Podcast Episode #67: The Beauty-Cast! Acne, Dark Circles, & Paleo Skincare
Opening chat: Liz’s New Year’s Resolution
#1 Time to embrace a natural skin care regime? [12:20]
#2 Rosacea, inside and outside approches, what’s best? [21:30]
#3 Dark under eye circles, anything to be done? [30:48]
# 4 When all else fails, how to handle persistent acne? [38:00]
# 5 Gluten in beauty products? [49:40]
Primal Life Organics skincare
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1. Time to embrace a natural skin care regime?
Firstly, absolutely love your podcasts! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and wisdom in such an informative and entertaining way.
My question is regarding acne. I didn’t have acne much growing up but for the past 4 years, it has been pretty constant in my life. Spots appear, clear up, couple of days of good skin, new spots appear…and the cycle continues. It is not debilitating, but it definitely indicates to me that something is not quite right. I have been paleo now for about 6 months. Prior to this, I was eating pretty much in line with paleo principles but was consuming a lot of dairy and not nearly enough of the good fats. When I ditched the dairy 6 months ago, my acne cleared up radically. But I also lost weight and lost my period (have always been lean so losing weight not wanted). About 3 months ago, I decided to try the autoimmune protocol and get supplement recommendations to sort of some long standing digestive distress and try and gain weight (and get my period back). Introduced supplements included biotics beta-plus (no gall bladder), biotics hydro-zyme (digestion), and biotics cytozyme-ad (suspect some adrenal issues). I also started taking apple cider vinegar before each meal to assist with digestion. Digestion improved (still have issues from time to time—fast system!) and gained lost weight, but strangely, acne came back with a vengeance. At the same time I had also introduced ghee. I removed for a week but acne persisted so I added it back in to ensure a variety of fats.
I am at a bit of a loss with what to try next. I have had my hormones checked and have low T3, estrogen and testosterone (which I am addressing with some additional supplements–see below). I wonder if the acne has something do to with hormonal changes that that occur with healthy weight gain? Perhaps it is still some lingering gut issue and inflammation and I just need to persist with gut healing protocol? Maybe it is time to embrace a natural skin care regime. Any thoughts or recommendations that you ladies may have would be most appreciated.
Strict paleo and autoimmune protocol. Variety of grass fed meats and wild fish (beef, chicken, salmon, hake, sardines, chicken livers), cooked vegetables (carrots, spaghetti & summer squash, celery), fats (coconut oil, ghee) and approx. 1/2 banana per day. Coconut flakes for treat. Bone booth. Approx. protein 25%, carbs 10%, fat 65. Calories adequate for weight gain (initially) and now weight maintenance.
Supplements: Primal probiotics, magnesium, iron. Biotics beta-plus, biotics hydro-zyme, biotics cytozyme-ad. More recently, biotics thyrostim, dhea (10mg) and cyctozyme-F (to support low T3 and estrogen levels).
Run 4x per week (40 mins) and “lift heavy” in gym 2x per week.
Sleep: Generally good. 7-8 hours per night. Often wake at 5am and am wide awake. Very tired in evening.
the second question for me would be….let’s map what has changed since this started. Stephie gives us a few ideas of what MIGHT have changed, and the overall lifestyle change, but often there’s something or another that ends up sticking out like a sore thumb when we really dig. I’d say, to start, Pull the banana and replace with a different starch. See what happens.
Finally, yes – it’s definitely time to embrace a natural skin care regimen. If you want to leave the mixology up to someone else, I can’t recommend the Primal Life Organics Banished line enough; I’ve also got an entire world of nutritional, digestive, and topical advice in the skin care guide that will be out at the beginning of January! If you want to sign up for an alert when that comes out, go to CaveGirlEats.com and sign up for email updates.
2. Rosacea, inside and outside approches, what’s best?
Hi Diane and Liz, I have a question about rosacea. I’ve experienced mild yet constant redness in my cheeks for as long as I can remember. I also flush extremely easily, which can be caused by anything from temperature to spicy foods to emotion or discomfort. Apparently this combination of symptoms is classified as subtype one rosacea. My skin is quite fair and sensitive but otherwise clear – I’ve never had issues with blemishes or acne. The only other skin ailment that I’ve experienced is occasional eczema, but this has been a non-issue since I stopped eating dairy.
I’m wondering if there is anything I could or should be doing to keep my skin healthy and potentially reverse any rosacea symptoms, for example following an autoimmune paleo protocol? Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you both for all the wonderful work you do.
I’m 23, female, about 5’4″ and 130lbs, and I’ve been paleo for seven months now, and I’m quite strict paleo (only two “cheat meals” – even though I hate that phrase – since I started). The majority of my meals consist of eggs, ground meat (chicken, beef, camel, kangaroo, lamb) or fish (salmon, tilapia, sardines) and veggies (usually some combination of kale, broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflour, carrots, peas) with some avocado or coconut oil. I’ve been trying to keep my fruit intake under control (1-2 pieces/servings per day), only because I’ve had issues with my blood sugar in the past. I drink 2-3 cups of green tea per day, and am guilty of not quite drinking enough water (about 1 litre per day). Sleep is a priority for me, always a minimum of 7 hours, occasionally up to 9 per night. I do Crossfit style workouts 3-4 times per week and when I’m lucky, yoga once per week. I have an active job, so I get to move and walk a lot during the day. In terms of supplements, I used to take a lot of fish oil but I’ve been moving away from these after listening to your podcast. As I live in rainy Vancouver, I also take 5000IU of vitamin D per day.
We talked about rosacea in a previous podcast, it’s an inflammatory skin condition which can worsen over time, and its triggered by extremes: extreme stress, extreme heat or cold, any extreme you can think of including extremes of personality. Now, a good Paleo-style diet with an emphasis on nutrients – the fat-soluble vitamins we find in fermented cod liver oil, organ meats, butter oil, seafood; and the minerals we find in homemade bone broth, can be really powerful. Digestive healing is important, but I have to say – if the norm is some kind of heightened activity or stress, as in you’re constantly active and such, it may be hard to heal digestion to satisfaction because, in effect, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. So stress management and reduction is key – even if you don’t FEEL stressed as in you don’t feel dragged out or over-taxed, recognizing activity that puts a load on the body and mind, like an active job or a busy life, is pretty key. I actually haven’t seen a lot of improvement with clients using D supplements, that goes for other skin issues as well, but actual sun exposure during appropriate times of the year seems to be helpful. Topically, I think I said this in the last podcast, there’s the clo balm from green pastures I’ve seen good results with; there’s tamanu oil, there’s the calendula hydrosol from mountain rose herbs. Even using digestive teas topically, ones that contain licorice or marshmallow root can be helpful. And I’d actually look at subbing out green tea for a red rooibos tea, which is a great skin-care tea. I do think there are varied tweaks that need to be made depending on what each person is dealing with most prominently, and I do try to tackle that in the guide – which, I don’t know if I ever announced it, is called the Skintervention guide.
3. Dark under eye circles, anything to be done?
I’ve been eating the Paleo way for around 8 months now and I generally look and feel good, however there is an issue that my lifestyle changes have not cleared up. For about 3 years now, I have had dark under eye circles that never seem to go away despite recommendations from a holistic practitioner which included various topical creams and supplements like Aller-DMG – a formulation to reduce respiratory problems and nasal congestion associated with under eye circles as well as reducing histamine levels.
It is often thought that dairy and wheat cause the dark circles, particularly in children (called “allergy shiners”, however I have eliminated all dairy (except grass-fed butter) and grains are no longer part of my typical diet. I typically eat a Green smoothie for breakfast with a banana, spinach and raspberries. For lunch it’s either bone-broth soup with pumpkin, carrot and garlic or an egg salad. Dinner is either chicken or salmon with roasted vegetables or salad. I’m now looking into FODMAPS as I’m also having some digestive issues and plan on aiding that with Aloe vera juice. I also take a soil based probiotic supplement, Vitamin D and FCLO Butter blend. (I’m pretty sure you know what that is haha!)
I get a good 8-9 hours of quality sleep, drink plenty of fluids and do light yoga-based exercise. I’m 21 years old and of a healthy weight. The only external skincare I use is a splash of water once a day. I had a food allergy test carried out by a hair sample around 1 year ago to find I was allergic to dust mite, various trees and some foods which I have now included back into my diet: Beef, Cinnamon and coconut. I also show nutrition deficiencies; Copper, vitamin C, Ellagic acid, Ligans and betaine.
4. When all else fails, how to handle persistent acne?
After going off of the Pill for multiple reasons (mainly not wanting to ingest synthetic hormones after 10+ years of doing so) my acne has worsened exponentially- it is ALL around my mouth/chin- YUCK! I’ve had acne probably for at least 10 years as well, and before going off the pill had switched to Yaz to alleviate acne specifically-which worked moderately well. Now, I’m in a constant battle with it. I know Liz and others recommend removing dairy and nuts from my diet- which I am currently trying (but haven’t previously)- but I’m 26 and need some relief now! Is this a hormone problem or a diet problem?
I’ve researched Liz’s website extensively and have tried the OCM, ACV, and other natural remedies. I really don’t want to go back to the dermatologist to get some weird topical product.
Any additional advice?
Also what do you recommend to use as spot treatment? Anything specific to reduce redness?
THANKS !I eat mostly paleo, work out 3x week and take evening primrose oil (for acne), biotin and 2 brazil nuts daily for selenium. I take the FCLO daily as well.
5. Gluten in beauty products?
Hi Liz and Diane, This question is concerning body care. I was just wondering how bad gluten in body products (such as shampoos and conditioners) is? Can it be absorbed into the skin or cause an immune response somehow? Thanks!
Diane & Liz