I keep a food/health journal because at times I get crazy hormonal acne and the bane of my life: closed comedones. Although, it’s getting better because I’ve pinpointed its causes, but sometimes when life takes over and my learnt habits begin to spiral again, it’s nice to remind myself that keeping good health is a choice and a habit that needs constant devotion.
It’s been said to death but everything starts from within. Once you know what your body can handle and what you can’t, your skin begins a beautiful transformation process and your internal organs as well as the mind, begin to heal.
I know it can be as frustrating as F cutting out foods, avoiding eating out or even food that you are craving, which leads to mood swings and anger because you want it but you think you can’t have it. When we keep a food journal we want to know exactly which foods irritate us so we can enjoy all the other food that doesn’t. Sometimes it’s only a case of a few things, you don’t need to cut out a whole major food group.
This is the way I journal:
- For 3 weeks eat without restrictions (of course, if you have a known allergy or are lactose/gluten intolerant, you probably don’t want to consume the foods you wouldn’t usually)
- Write down everything you eat – after every meal is good so you don’t forget.
- If you record a confectionary, write down the brand name instead of writing just chocolate, whether it’s Kit Kat or Green and Blacks. As sometimes it’s not chocolate that’s the cause but other additional ingredients, such as E numbers and syrups.
- Also write down what your emotions are after each sitting. A few hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner write down how you feel.
- For accurate pinpointing, I record if I’m on my mensies and what I was doing at a particular: e.g. working, at home, exercising, ate out etc., etc.
- Also if you are taking medication or are on the pill, just pop that into the journal too.
- One last thing: write down if you get bloated after or you get any aches or pains, headaches, etc. etc.
When you are done, if you experience any other symptoms from day to day, write that down in the days between you get them.
After the 3 weeks analyse your journal to spot any correlations between what you eat and how it affects you.
The reason it’s so beneficial to record what you eat on your period is because certain foods can aggravate cramps. I don’t eat sour foods when it’s my time of the month. I also religiously avoid soy products before and during as I breakout on my chin and cheeks like crazy.
Recording where you eat and what you do before and after helps pinpoint your mood. Again, I don’t do intense workouts such as hot yoga or spinning because I feel really lethargic afterward. I’ll do low intensity workouts with weights every day though.
You will get to know your body a lot during this time and this is a brilliant thing because whether it sounds hippy-ish or new age, you should let your body tell you what’s working for it and what’s not.
Cut out what irritates you straight away. If it’s a few things cut them out one at a time so you know exactly what it is. 2/3 weeks is a good trial time to capture your results.
I’ve learnt a lot about my body through journaling and have now completely cut out certain things; it turns out Flaxseed messes with my concentration, and aggravates my comedones as does Sunflower and any vegetable oil. Spirulina gives me heart palpitations and so does my B12 spray. And Soy, even non-GM, sends my hormones into overdrive and I get terrible acne on my cheeks and chin.
If you cannot seem to pinpoint your problem skin causes, try food journaling. Let me know how you get on!
Closed Commodones: how I treat
Before I get into what you need to record for your food journal, I’ll touch on closed commodones, because I’ve read so much comments about it online and it really does frustrate people when they get these. Closed commdones are small bumps under the surface of the skin and can be seen predominantly under sunlight. You can’t pop them the way you would a spot because they are so deep, that it would leave a scar and look worse. There is no known “cure” but they can be somewhat controlled by our food and cleansing habits.
I started my food journal again this year because I had a flare up of acne again and I really wanted to know what caused it. According to everything I was recording, my commodones flare when I eat too much heavy foods: too much sugar, salt, oil, hot spices. As I looked into this further I found that everything I mention above has a direct impact on the liver, and also the colon. I thought it was down to gluten at first but it wasn’t. So I decreased these foods, especially oils, I only have olive oil now. I notice my forehead looks a lot flatter and people have commented because they’ve noticed too. I also switched up my skincare but I have a separate post on closed commodones which you can read here: I used to only use water but I switched up my skincare to below:
Upon waking I use S.W Basics toner to remove the night’s dust and oils off my face. One cotton pad does the job.
In the shower I use a daily face scrub: I use Yes To Grapefruits’ daily Scrub, I don’t exfoliate harshly but I create gentle circular motions for up to a minute on my forehead and my T Zone before washing with warm water, I don’t rinse with cold water afterwards.
After the shower, I spritz pure rosewater on my forehead and use Caudilie’s S.O.S Thirst Quench on the lower part of my face.
I cleanse my face with the Sukin foaming wash – this contains no harsh ingredients, mineral oils, or parabens and it’s vegan-friendly. It still works and leaves my skin dirt-free.
If I’m wearing make-up I remove it with fragrance-free wipes first before cleansing.
After cleaning, I use the Yes to Grapefruits scrub only on my forehead once again, not harsh.
After patting dry, I spritz organic Witch Hazel all over my face and let it dry. If I have any large spots, I’ll dab a bit of tea tree oil on.
Once a week I use a mask, at the moment, I alternate between two masks that I make at home. I create an organic sandalwood powder, rosewater and turmeric paste and apply that all over to clean skin, let it dry and wash off.
The other mask is by crushing strawberries and papaya fruit. Both of these fruits have naturally occurring salicylic acid, and that helps dead cell turnover. This one can get a bit messy but it’s worth it.
(If you are looking for an organic clay mask, I have written a post about my favourite ones.)
That’s how I maintain my skin at the moment. Of course, do test patch everything as everyone’s skin reacts differently to the ingredients mentioned above.