Morning Glory Muffins (nut free option)

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I’m mad. Like, really f*cking mad. Ok, that’s a lie, I don’t really get mad, I just get sad. So, I’m really f*cking sad. My face was finally getting better, finally looking like something was changing and my face was starting to play nice, but NO. No, no,no. It ain’t playin’ nice no mo’. My face has freaked out. Like OMG Ihateyousomuchjuli. Iwantyoutostaysingleforever. Andidefinitelydontwantanyonetofindyouattractive. Ever.

You, my face, are a straight up b*tch.

Ugh, I’m going to get so many emails about my dirty mouth now. I’ll save you the time…please don’t send them.

Anywho, I’m having one of those days of feeling absolutely hopeless. I don’t know what to do. I clean up my diet and it gets a little bit better, then it goes back to normal. I change up my face cleansing routine and it gets a little better, then goes back to normal. I get off birth control, I stay on birth control. I take fish oil, I don’t take fish oil. I eat more fat, I eat less fat. I don’t eat dark chocolate, I do eat dark chocolate. I get facials, I don’t get facials. You get what I’m throwin’ out? I try everything, but in the end my face has full control, and I am left staring in the mirror with tears in my eyes, choking back the egg of frustration that sits in my throat.

Just today, I started taking the probiotic saccharomyce boulardii which was recommended by Liz of Cave Girl Eats. I also am getting cod liver oil soon to start trying that as well. And making sure all sugar and nuts are cut from my diet. It’s just so annoying that my mind has to be filled with thoughts of how ugly I am or how I wish I could improve my skin. That’s dumb. It should be filled with cookbook thoughts, and Christmas gift thoughts, and food thoughts. But no, the face has won.

So here’s my question out of utter frustration and anguish…do I try acutane? Do I face the fact that I may be incredibly depressed, moody, and upset for months because of the drug? Do I face the fact that I may have to take the drug even though my face and other body parts will literally dry up and peel off? Do I face the fact that it may not even work? I don’t know what to do, but I’m obviously upset enough to blab all about it and want some of your advice. So, advise me.

On a more positive note, you NEED to try these muffins. They are DELICIOUS.


Morning Glory Muffins (nut free option)

  • Yield: 9 1x


  • 1 apple, peeled and cored, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (optional for nut free version)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Now add your pepitas to a small saucepan over medium heat with a tablespoon of fat. I used coconut oil.
  3. Cook for 3-5 minutes, moving around lots so they don’t burn and so they cook on all sides.
  4. While your pepitas are roasting, add your apple and carrot to your food processor with the shredding attachment. If you don’t have a food processor, use a grater to shred your apple and carrot.
  5. Add your apple and carrot to a bowl along with your sunflower seed butter and rinse out your food processor bowl.
  6. Then add your roasted pepitas to the food processor and puree until you get a flour/meal.
  7. Then add your pepita flour, eggs, coconut oil, honey, raisins, pecans, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Mix well.
  8. Pour your batter into 9 FULL muffin liners in your muffin tin. I lined my muffins tin with silicone muffin liners but paper would do just fine.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.
  10. Let cool slightly, but eat warm, because they are the best that way.

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PaleOMG Morning Glory Muffins


More Nut Free Muffins:

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (nut free)


Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins (nut free)


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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


409 thoughts on “Morning Glory Muffins (nut free option)”

  1. Juli, absolutely positively do NOT take the acutane. My oldest step-daughter’s mother put her on it when she was a teenager for a very short period of time and she suffers from terrible IBS and other gastric issues from it now. No, no, no, no, no. So not worth it.

    1. No accutane!!!! First off, get a prescription for Retin-A… it will change YOUR LIFE. In addition, I go and get microdermabrasion… also has changed my skin big time.

      1. Don’t try Accutane, it ruined my gut. which is why I am now paleo (hopefully I’d be paleo regardless) but there are studies that have linked it to causing gut disorders. Don’t do it. … I’m trying to think of what I did that changed my face… your paragraph of things you tried sounded like my LIFE. I stopped using all traditional skin products and moisturize with virgin coconut oil, wash with the oil cleansing method in combination with Juice organics Pom Smooth foaming facial cleanser. .. I seriously feel for you- I have been there. I am sorry.

    2. I used it and it worked wonders. Not everyone has horrible experiences. It does get worse before it gets better though. And my skin was like the Sahara for the 8 months I took it.

      1. I used Accutane after having my children and it worked GREAT for me! I had no side effects at all and it didn’t ruin my guts at all.

    3. BTW earthclinic dot com has fantastic drugless cures for virtually everything. My skins cool but from memory tumeric has some sort of wildly successful ability to cure acne.

      1. And holy smoke man, since when do you get over two hundred comments?! Last time I was here you got maybe thirty. Serious pat on the back. You’re doing unbelievably well.

    4. I took Accutane and I honestly don’t think it did anything for me. I saw no real difference with my acne or affected the rest of my health. Just thought you could always use another person’s experience!

    5. Please don’t use Acutaine! My husband took it when he was in high school (only for a month or so, because the depression was so bad) and then several years later he was in the hospital (too close to death for a 19 year old) with an extreme case of Ulcerative Colitis. Those of you that say that not everyone is effected negatively I beg to differ, years later these effects can take place. It isn’t worth the risk.

  2. Accutane – that shit is SERIOUS. I used to be a pharmacy technician and in order to dispense it, we had to jump through a million hoops, sign 24,598 pieces of paperwork, and have women give us an arm, a leg, and their firstborn to prove they wouldn’t get knocked up whilst taking it. Some serious shit.

  3. So, I hear you on the acne. I’ve been on birth control for a year, still had acne and insanity (like, I want to stab everyone in the eye and break down in tears alternatively) kind of insanity despite being off the artificial wackness that was supposed to help regulate my hormones and help my migraines etc. Then I did a Whole30 and I saw a slight improvement – just enough to tell me there was a fix but it was probably going to be more than just dietary intervention.

    Long story short, I went to see more of a DO than a traditional MD (though I don’t think she’s actually a DO, she has more of a whole picture approach and uses homeopathy, supplements and meds if necessary but is paleo friendly) and she said (no surprise) that I was hormonally unbalanced and that I needed to give up coffee bc it screws with hormone regulation. But she also gave me a homeopathic remedy to get this shifted back closer to normal and pointed out that the birth control and depleted me of a lot of things that my body needed. I’m fatty acid deficient in a big way despite the fact that I take fermented cod liver oil daily. I also had a number of vitamin deficiencies and through blood tests and various other things she was able to identify a thyroid issue and a milk allergy I never knew I had.

    So, what I’m saying is that maybe its not what you think it is. And maybe you haven’t given your body what it needs to heal itself. I, personally, wouldn’t go the Accutane route. Drugs have repercussions and not just the ones we can easily identify. If you are still breaking out that means there’s an underlying problem and its better to struggle through and ID the problem so you can fix it rather than slap a bandaid on it thats only going to temporarily cover up the issue.

    1. *I’ve been OFF birth control for a year. (I’d been on it for 11…now I’m going the copper IUD route. Single gal and looking to stay tiny human free for the foreseeable future.)

      1. I’ve had a copper IUD for 4 years and am getting mine out tomorrow (gulp!) because my husband wants to start a family (double gulp!!). I wish you many years of happiness, and baby-free peace with your IUD. I love mine, and am totally getting one put back in, post baby. Best BC method. EVER.

    2. Amanda, I hear you! there are so many things that can be at play, and I’m glad you found a great DO. I wish I could find one in my area, but I honestly have no idea how to go about doing it. I think your issues are probably pretty common – that birth control has depleted a lot of women of things they need, that many of us have thyroid issues, and that’s why it’s much more common for us to have acne than men.

  4. You are crazy beautiful, stop being silly! I understand (sort of) your frustration. I eat whole30, primal, sugar detox, IF and no matter what I still look the same. ANNOYING!! I say no on the accutane, it sounds like your body is doing some serious detoxing. I don’t claim to have great skin but I wash with this great organic skin care stuff and my clarisonic brush, use ACV as a toner and slather on coconut oil as my moisturizer.

  5. #1 – Swear away. Potty mouths are the new black, or whatever. Every time you swear it makes me love you a little more.

    #2 – Give the new stuff some time to work.

    #3 – If a dude can’t see all of the awesome in you, he doesn’t deserve you.

      1. TRIPLE LIKE!! You are awesome Julie. My sister has struggled with the same issues so I know how hard it is to love yourself when you just see the face flare ups and it makes you feel so stabbity. I have been blessed with good skin, and have started taking Nordic Naturals Cod Liver oil with vit. D and it has helped with nerve pain a lot but I have noticed more breakouts, sort of like what you mentioned. I wish you the best. Wierdly my skin is the best break out wise right after I get a good sunburn…natural microabrasion?? (but that’s really bad for us fair freckly scandinavians!!). And dude, if a guy can’t see past your face he is one dumb turd and not worth your awesome energy. Throw a sugary piece of cake at him and be on your way!

        1. oh…one more thing I forgot. My sister’s friend struggled with acne on her shoulders and chest and used some products from Lush and voila…it cleared up amazingly. Spendy, but worth it IHO. Just a thought….

  6. aaawwww Julie dont let that shit get you down! Your gorg! May be a dumb question but have you tried Proactiv? I used to use it and it really did work. Hope you pull put of your funk ASAP. 🙂 Cant wait to make these muffins BTW.

    1. Isn’t Proactive basically hydrogen peroxide? So it’s dealing with bacterial overgrowth and drying out the skin, leaving a need for any extra oil that might think about hanging around and being zitty.
      This woman tracked her cystic acne to flouride overload: Even stock from the bones of a turkey that drank fluoridated water causes her to break out.
      Oh, and how friggin’ cool is this? Might answer some of those ‘is it gut related’ questions, too:

      1. Hey yeah- I was going to mention the fluoride but went on some other tangent. You could consider a reverse osmosis undersink filter, they’re frikkin awes. Also get a REmineraliser because it sucks all the minerals out- basically dead h20, not very useful in the rehydrating schematic.
        BTW if you suck back a lot of water, make sure it’s MINERAL not ‘spring’ water (‘spring’ means they either fill your bottle with tap water or bog standard UNmineralised reverse osmosis- in which case either way you lose). MINERAL water is usually imported from Italy. San Pellegrino etc. Stupid really, which is why a stainless steel bottle full of fresh REmineralised water from under your sink is really the way to go.

    2. I am 28 and have been using Proactiv almost 10 years. I have tried to go off of it before and the result was more of the cysts and zits all over. Benzoyl peroxide isn’t ideal, but the inflammation and humiliation on my face is worse for me. Most people are shocked when I tell them I have bad skin (and if I went off Proactiv today they would believe me in a week) because I use a good moisturizer and take very very good care of it because if I don’t, I will pay for it. I love this blog. I dabble in Paleo (barely) but I love your recipes and your ‘tude. And I totally feel your pain on this. My sister is hardcore Paleo and resisted Proactiv for as long as she could, but she is back on it and her skin is totally clear (she has also suffered from a life of acne, even into her 30s). I know it won’t work for everyone, but if you haven’t, give it a shot!

  7. Juli, first off, you are BEAUTIFUL! I am so sorry you are struggling with your skin. My daughter is as well, and it pains me to see her sadness about it. She has taken acutane, twice, at the advice of a dermatoligist. Her skin cleared up for a few months afterwards, but is now breaking out terribly again. It’s so unfair-she’s diligent about skincare and her diet. I would advise against acutane. It dries you up terribly, and in our case, did not work at all.

  8. Hey Juli! I struggled with acne really bad a few years ago. I use Dial Gold Liquid Handsoap. I use it once a day in the shower ( my problem area was my upper chest and upper back). It sounds really weird, I know! But my skin cleared up within a few weeks and I haven’t had a problem since.

    P.S. I love your recipes! I make at least one of your meals weekly!

    1. Dial liquid gold- I’ve heard of this working on acne before! There must be some magic in that soap. When I got my tattoo, its the soap the shop swore by too.

    2. Hi Julie,

      I am sorry to hear about your skin issues and I hope since you first posted, it has gotten better. I had acne as a teen and into my college years and also as a young adult. I went to a dermatologist for many years and Minocin seemed to do the trick for me after trying many other medications. I stopped taking Minocin in college after I had an allergic reaction (I was out in the sun way too much… sun tanning), so after I stopped taking anything, the acne came back in my late 20’s& 30’s. So! After trying every lotion and potion, I went to the local grocery store and got a yellow bar of yes, DIAL anti-bacterial soap. It’s been a miracle for more issues!! Dial is one of the only “anti-bacterial” soaps on the market and I hope you will give it a try. Get the yellow bar of Dial. It really works. I read one of the other posts and she shared the same thing about Dial so I wanted to as well. Wash your face in the morning and at night before you go to bed. Wear your make up as you normally do after applying a small amount of SPF sun block.

      Look forward to trying your delicious recipes!

      April W. 🙂

  9. I worked in dermatology for amost 4 years before I decided to stay home with the kiddies. Accutane definately works, I have actually never seen someone it doesn’t work for (a few repeated the course of treatment) I think docs have gotten a lot better at perscribing it, so your face isn’t scaling off, we only had a few patients with “depression” but my docs always said it’s less the drug itself and more who it’s being administered too. Teenagers with low self esteem- has depression written all over it. The first doc I worked for- I had formed a negative opinion of accutane, and swore as a parent I would never allow my child to take it, then once I switched practices I saw a little more insight into it. It’s such a pain as a patient to take though (without the woes of possible side effects) doc apt once a month, two forms of birth control, blood work, pregnancy tests, etc etc etc. I hope you find peace no matter which path you choose.

  10. Hey Juli, I used to have problems with breakouts too. Paleolithic eating has definitely helped. The cleanser, etc. that I use is by Arbonne. I had never heard of them and a friend introduced me. It is a natural line and after about a month to two months you really see a change in your skin. I became a consultant just because I liked the products and they worked. Just like you I had tried a lot of things and nothing seemed to work. Just wanted to share what worked for me because I know how frustrating it is. I spent tons on dermatologist visits, medications, etc. before I found what worked. If you have any questions feel free to contact me! Btw, I love your recipes! Can’t wait to try these muffins . 🙂

  11. Hugs, Juli. You are beautiful. As a girl, I know how hard it is to feel beautiful when the outside isn’t cooperating. I taught myslef to shift perspectives – how to focus on positive aspects of the self. We can be our own worst enemies. I wish there was a simple answer to your question. I know that in the past, I have had to try some pretty drastic medication to help some problems – just to know that I had tried everything, you know. The side effects were always worse than what I was treating.
    Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to read it and have it mean anything from a stranger – but you’re inspirational, gorgeous, talented and hilarious. Many of us would be lucky to have one of those attributes, let alone all of them. Keep your chin up – love yourself by focusing on the amazing things you do well. Try not to fret about the things you don’t like. Stress makes everything worse.

  12. Accutane can be scary stuff, but it helps. I took a six-month course of it four years ago, and it helped when other topical meds and antibiotics didn’t. Looking back, I wished I would have discovered paleo and see what impact it would have had.
    Aquaphor, heavy moisturizing creams, vit E oil, and lots of H2O are your friends if you do decide to try Accutane!

  13. hey julie, i use to have really bad acme, i tried everything out there, even so desperate as to use my dad’s hemmroid cream on my face. I have very sensitive as well so one faulty product and its 10x worse. Well, a few years ago, i came across a line by Rodan & Fields called Unblemish and it saved my face and my dating life! Its a kit with 4 medically essential products. My skin not only cleared up, all the uneven tone to my face balanced, it turned so smooth and people would never believe i had acme. I have told several of my friends with bad skin to use this line and its been a miracle for all. Check it out, i feel your pain girl!

    Ps- i love your blog and your personality, you keep it real!

  14. I took Accutane in my early twenties. Lowest dose for four months. It DID help with the big ol’ cystic acne stuff, and my skin looked great – for awhile. However, my acne did return. It was never as bad as it was before, but it still came back. I think I read somewhere that it is not a complete cure in about 20% of people. Lucky me to be in that 20%. Honestly, I am more concerned that it might affect your training. I have a friend whose son is taking it, and it is really messing with his joints. I would “pass” for now and try some other things. It is so frustrating. I will never have a beautiful, English, peaches and cream complexion. Just ain’t gonna happen. Look at the bright side – you are still YOUNG! Wait until you are nearly 50 like I am and have zits AND wrinkles AT THE SAME TIME! That is just plain WRONG!

    Can’t wait to try these muffins!! Do you think I could sub almond flour for the pepitas flour?

  15. I took acutane, about 12 years ago. It sucked, but it worked for me. My skin has been better ever since. Well, I still have acne scars, and I still get the occasional breakout, but nothing like I used to, and not often. You have to be on birth control when you take acutane, and you have to get blood work done every month. Invest in Chapstick. I was only on it for about 4-5 months, thankfully. The last 4-6 weeks I was on it I lived on Pepto because it was jacking with my stomach and gave me the runny poos. But as soon as I went off acutane that all got better. It’s certainly a last-ditch effort. And it sounds like you’ve exhausted all other options. Talk extensively with your doctor about it.

  16. First of all, I think your way pretty. Secondly, (and this may be an obvious suggestion and one you’ve already tried) but have you tried Proactiv? I’ve had real bad bouts with my skin and it always helps and clears it up. Try it if you haven’t already!

    P.S. Obsessed with your site and your food. Everything is so good!

  17. Hi Juli,
    Just have to say love your website. You’ve helped launch me into the Paleo world and it’s fantastic! I agree with everyone that I think you’re gorgeous and I wish you weren’t tormented by your skin. It’s never as bad as you think! But as I’m my own worst enemy too I get it. I have 2 friends who have had huge success with acutane. I recognize its a serious drug but these people are so thankful for it and still have clear skin years later. All the best!

  18. I was on Acutane for 6 months about 20 years ago. At the time I took it, they still weren’t sure what long-term effects might be, but as a struggling teen, my parent’s and I decided it was right for me. Plus, my brother has already had successful results with it. While the short-term effects (peeling skin, painful joints, drowsiness, having to do monthly blood draws) were annoying, I did not have any long-term effects aside from clear skin.

    Of course, I still have breakouts – hormones and stress can do that. But now my breakouts are one or two blemishes. I still use Differin and that seems to help control things much better now that I have taken Acutane.

    Go over the risks with your dermatologist before making your decision. They probably have a lot more information about it now then they did two decades ago. Good luck!

    1. Just one more comment – I don’t want to be completely rude, BUT, I wouldn’t take advice from someone who knows someone who took Acutane. They don’t fully understand the benefits vs. the risks.

      It is really easy for someone with flawless skin to tell you to go the Proactiv or homeopathic route. But, only someone that has suffered with severe acne truly understands the miracle of clear skin.

  19. Mty sister in law did two cycles of acutane… She complained of dry skin, which she used plenty of moisturizer for and did not have any other problems with mood swings, etc.
    Her skin is now beautiful and acne free.Talk to a Dr. and see if he/she recommends it for you; it’s not for everyone and you have to weight your options, you literally have tried everything else….
    On another note, you are absolutely beautiful, strong, funny, and can cook like a bad ass!!! You have to really look at yourself in the mirror and take note of everything you have accomplished, we all have bad days but you have to look at the brighter side and be happy and thankful for how awesome you are. On yet another note, I made 3 of your recipes for thanksgiving, I am Cuban and my family LOVES the fattening, dripping in oil stuff, however, they all LOVED all three dishes I made. THANKS for making my thanksgiving an awesome one this year, without all the bloating and guilty conscience after…

  20. I know you’re going to be like “I ALREADY TRIED THAT SHI*T BEFORE” but I’m going to offer it up anyways. Have you tried Proactive? I’ve been on it for a year and I’m slightly obsessed with it. Except they totally suck at delivering the product to your door. People will steal that sh*t. So I’d recommend going to the mall to pick it up.

  21. Hi, I was on acutane as a teenager and it worked amazing, and kept my skin clear from there on out for the most part. I get the hormonal breakouts on my jaw line now when I am getting my period and it pisses me off royally. I would say if you are that unhappy about it, definitely go see the dermatologist and talk to them about it. No I don’t agree with going on drugs for anything, but when it comes to overall health and stress levels because of something like this, it might be worth the short term pitfalls of the drug for longer term reduced stress over something that can potentially be changed. Good luck, I love your recipes 🙂

  22. As far as I’m concerned I think you should be the only one who decides if you want to do Accutane. But that’s not a today, right now thing. When I was thinking less than kind things about myself someone told me to look in the mirror and find 3 things I loved about my appearance and to say them out loud to myself while I looked at my reflection. Do that every day. Seriously. It makes you realize how much you do like. And eventually I bet you’ll have something nice to say about your skin too.

  23. Have you gotten a full hormone panel blood test? Have them test every hormone, and I would recommend going 3 times during one menstration cycle: the beginning, the middle, and the end because the hormones change throughout the cycle and you will be able to see if they are doing what they are supposed to be doing at each given phase. It is a little pricey to do this, but will give you something to work with if you find out a hormone comes back low or high at a certain phase.

  24. Have you tried the Unblemish Regimen from Rodan and Fields? It’s a little pricey, but I’ve been on it for a week and can already tell a difference. I was diagnosed with cystic acne and it can’t get any worse than that. I totally understand where you’re coming from, trying everything in the book, but you should definitely try the Unblemish.

    Can’t wait to try these muffins!

  25. hi juli! i know just how you feel – ive been eating paleo for almost 2 yrs, gluten free for 4 yrs and autoimmune paleo for about 5 or 6 months… and still have acne. it is SO ANNOYING to hear all these people say that they switched to paleo eating and all of a sudden had miraculous skin. anyway, i have struggled w/ acne for about 10 yrs (i’m 26 now), and had a lot of success with using laser treatment and using topical epiduo gel and duac cream. when i was doing those things plus eating strict paleo my skin was clear… BUT it just flared again because i stopped using the topical meds since i’m trying to get pregnant and they say those may be bad for pregnancy. you may want to try to see if you have any underlying hormonal issues… i have the trifecta – PCOS, adrenal fatigue and an issue w/ my thyroid (high rT3). i also have a lot of weird allergy/immune type issues so i’m trying to work on my gut healing right now, which hopefully may heal the acne? anyway, just wanted to let you know I FEEL YOUR PAIN! oh and btw, oil cleansing is NOT working for me either. i just ordered the blemish line from primal life organics – we’ll see how that goes 🙂 stay strong!

  26. Juli – I’m sorry! I’ve had two friends who have done accutane. I will say both their skin improved like maybe they have a breakout once in a while, but it makes your skin super, duper dry, like peeling like you said. When they took it, not sure how it is now, you have to be on birth control, do blood tests monthly to make sure you aren’t preggo. There are a lot of side effects, so there are the con’s alongside of the pros. I have a friend who operates Naturals Cove,, she is here in CO and can offer great skin care advice if needed. Let me know.

  27. DO NOT DO ACCUTANE. NO NO NO. You are putting a bandaid on a problem, not truly healing anything. Acne problems stem from your gut, so you gotsta heal your gut. Try GAPS. Keep doing oil cleansing (for me, my acne has gone away now that I have gone gluten-free). And stop saying you aren’t beautiful (YOU ARE) and that no man will want you. They will (they already do, obvs), but you don’t need a man to prove your worth. Now quit your bitching and think about laying in piles of money when your cookbook comes out in April 🙂

  28. Ive never had experience with it, a friend of mine took it for years, didnt do much.
    This sounds cheesy, but have your tried Proactive? I used it about every other day, so my skin doesnt dry out. That “refining mask” its pretty much the best thing on earth, but you have to wear it to bed.
    Ive discovered after going palep, that a sure fire way to get my chin to break out is eat candy/sugar…esp Chocolate. Even dark chocolate. Prob due to the fact that i cannot just have one piece. the shit is like crack!

    Good Luck though! I would avoid medications and stress :).

  29. First, I love your blog and recipes! I’ve never commented before, but I can empathize with this post so much that I wanted to throw in my two cents.

    I understand the concerns about Accutane but it is the ONLY thing that worked for me. I have been on it three times between the ages to 18-29. I had zero side-effects other than chapped lips and less oily hair (a plus!) and everyone else I’ve known who has taken the medication had the same experience. You’re blood work is monitored once a month while you are on it so they catch any changes quickly. You do need to be aware of your moods and mental state – I know this is an issue for some people, but I never experienced any issues.

    After you finish your course of treatment, most people never have major issues with acne again. I was not so lucky. For some (mostly women), it doesn’t cure it for good. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and each time, Accutane was the only thing that cleared up my skin. It would stay perfect for 1-2 years after I finished the treatment and then would slowly start to break out again. I’m now 33 and haven’t been on Accutane for the past 4 years. My skin is still not perfect, but I have found that now that I’m older, Retin-A Micro (only Micro) keeps my skin clear for the most part.

    Accutane is a very powerful drug but, for me (and quite a few other people I know), it was a godsend. I know there are tons of horror stories out there, but I wanted you to know that there are also many, many people who have had a very positive experience with it. I would take it again in a heartbeat if needed.

    Whatever you decide, I hope you find something that works for you. I know how frustrating this can be!

  30. Please Juli – do not take Accutane! I took it when I was 22 and really regret the decision. 1) my face is not any better 2) it really screwed up my hormones 3) I am really worried about what effects it might have on my future kids. I know CrossFit people make fun, but Jillian Michael’s book “Master Your Metabolism” (which is a horrible title and really has nothing to do with the content of the book) had an excellent section of how horrible Accutane is for you and why. The damage it inflicts on your natural hormone balance is crazy. Don’t do it!

    Also, Proactive is also not going to clear up your skin unless you have very oily skin and acne caused by excess oil and clogged pores. I have very dry and sensitive skin and the combination of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid made my skin peel and breakout in a rash.

    I found a book a while back called Skin Type Solution which is a bit dated (some product suggestions don’t exist anymore) but it did help me understand my skin better. I found out my acne was caused by too much dryness and thus I needed to simplify my process and the products.

    While my skin is far from acne free, it is better when I simplify – Cetaphil clenser, witch hazel as toner, and Nivea Soft moisturizer is what I use.

    I was thinking about trying out your oil method??? not worth it?

  31. Juli! Just recently found your blog and I’m lovin it. Just keep swearing it up in here 🙂 I also continue to have problems with my skin regardless of diet, stress, birth control, time of the month, blah blah blah. I started on Solodyn (a mild antibiotic specifically for acne) and things are looking a lot better! Maybe it would be helpful if you’re not ready for something as hardcore as acutane. And just remember you skin always looks worse to yourself than anybody else sees it, good luck!

  32. You mentioned cod liver oil Julie. Have you tried fermented cod liver oil? There’s an amazing blend w/ high vitamin butter oil from Green Pastures – it blows the regular stuff out of the water.
    I’ve also known MSM to work with skin issues. If the issue has anything to do with hormones, maybe some hormone balancing assistance (i.e. Maca!) It’s a root that has some incredible benefits.

  33. I would try seeing a naturopath, if you haven’t already. I started seeing mine for allergy issues and it turned out that I had a systemic candida problem. Candida affects your immune system and can manifest itself in many different ways, mine was allergic reactions to all sorts of foods. I worked with her on an elimination diet and some high level probiotics and I am happy to say I am allergy free now! I’m not saying this IS what you have, but if you have a system infection of sorts (ie candida) then it can show through your skin and there are ways of treating it without going to harmful drugs like accutane. It takes a bit of dedication, but it’s worth it. Also with naturopathy, they work with your body chemistry and focus on healing and strengthening it instead of changing the body chemistry (through drugs). I’ve seen some great things come from it.
    I hope this is helpful! And I hope you find something that works for you. I haven’t had too many problems with my skin, but I’ve had my fair share of digestive issues and it’s frustrating to feel so helpless against it. Feel free to email me if you have any questions!

    Also, I found that when my skin does get off track (sometimes it’s INCREDIBLY dry and rough), I take apple cider vinegar every day. Two tbsp with one tbsp honey, some cinnamon and mix into a glass of water. It’s tolerable (if not tasty sometimes!), and after about a week or so my skin and digestive system gets back to normal. ACV helps balance your body’s PH levels, so I hear.

    Anyways, good luck! And let me know if you have any questions about naturopathy!


  34. Hey girl!! I so feel your pain. I am 43 years old and struggle with this. I never had acne when I was younger. I took accutane and it is serious stuff. My face was clear while taking it but it came back. I was also extremely sore after workouts and it really made a mess of my digestive system. I developed candida, leaky gut, and food intolerances. I was just crying the other day because I try everything as well, no sugar, paleo diet, adding more fats ect. I am now getting hormones tested to figure out what is going on. I seriously can’t take it anymore. I have a photo shoot soon and I just pray I don’t break out. It is always on my mind because a lot of people don’t realize how it messes with your self esteem. I have friends say they don’t even notice but I feel that is all anyone sees. It is awful. Hang in there girl!!

  35. Please don’t get on Acutane! It is so bad for you on so many levels. I totally understand your frustration. I went through all of this too! Proactive (although it worked for a little while), fancy shit from Sephora, Dermatologist creams, OCM, natural products and it all left me with horrible acne. I wanted so bad to be able to use OCM but it just wasn’t working after 2 months of painful acne. So I gave up and went back to what did work and its the remedy at I bought their cleanser, treatment, and moisturizer and also take flush-free niacin (someone mentioned it on an acne blog and it really seems to work, I can tell a difference when I don’t take it) every day and my face is clear. I occasionally have the period pimple or 3 but I’ll take that compared to what I used to experience. Plus, it’s not crazy expensive either. I hope you try it, I really like it.

    1. Completely agree with the suggestion above! Only thing, out of many many many things (including Proactive), that has helped me. Changed my life. The website provides tutorials of a specific regimen that should be followed. It then recommends over the counter products that can be used to fulfill the regimen (which includes a mild cleanser, lots of benzyl peroxide, a and moisturizer), and then a separate website,, also sells products specially formulated for the regimen that I found to work the best. The site and recommendations are completely free and the owner of the site, Daniel Kern, was an adult acne sufferer who discovered a system that worked for him that he wanted to share with other sufferers. I would highly recommend you check it out and I hope it helps you. Hang in there. Love the recipes and the rants!!

  36. I know exactly what you are going through! I couldn’t pin point the cause of my wrecked forehead for almost a year. I cut so many potential chemical products and allergens from my lifestyle. And finally settled my debate using the oil cleansing method (olive oil & castor oil) and seriously limiting nuts, bananas, avocados, and nut milks…so painful. It didn’t clear up right away, but it slooooowly got better…ugh! Damn latex allergy must have been to blame.

  37. Hey! I love your blog and potty mouth first off. Second, I know exactly how you feel with your skin! I’ve had issues with it for a long time and finally have control over it. I used proactive for awhile and now have control over it with tea tree oil and bare escentuals makeup. However, both my brothers had major skin issues and NOTHING ever worked. They finally went on Acutane and it was the best thing they ever did. They were only on it for 6 months and their faces are completely clear now. They didn’t have any side affects and it’s definitely something you have to be careful with. Do you would make you happy!

  38. I hope you know you are absolutely beautiful, you’re just having a bad day (which I’m sure you already know). I don’t know if you have this problem, but I notice when I’m really stressed out and drinking coffee regularly and eating chocolate I start breaking out too. But I get those really painful zits that not only make you look like shit, but also hurt like a b***h. The combo could be the problem. I’ve also talked to girls that have egg allergies and have not idea and no other symptoms other than just skin issues. When they cut eggs out for a few months their skin clears right up and then they can tolerate them again.

    If you’re sick of guessing, you should look up an applied kinesiology doctor. They’re usually a chiropractor. They work with your body on a whole: biochemically, structurally, and emotionally. They basically use your body as it’s own feedback system to figure out what is going on and what your body needs. You should really check that out, every time I’ve had a problem, they fix me right up.

  39. Juli, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t use acutane. That stuff is so toxic! Believe me, I totally understand the temptation of taking something to fix your skin. I have psoriasis and was thiiiiiiiisclose to taking an immunosupressant. I’m so glad I didn’t, in part because in a round about way, that’s how I found you! Please don’t do it.
    I’m an esthetician, and I would LOVE to talk to you about what’s up with your skin. Seriously, let’s talk and see what we can see.

  40. No Accutane!! I did the shit when I was a teen and it was the worst year of my life. I was super emotional and suicidal (yikes).
    I used to have the WORST acne and I tried everything like you. It wasn’t until I went Paleo that it changed. I think you might be touching your face too much. I never wash mine (even with makeup) and I don’t use an moisturizer and I try to never touch it and it stays amazingly clear. Try backing off your coconut oil/washing regimine and see if not touching helps! PS. you’re beautiful lady!

  41. Hey Juli,

    I have the same problem, and every doctor told me to try acutane, proactive, hormone stuff, and a ridiculous amount of other things. Turns out it was none of the above.

    Have you ever heard of leaky gut? It’s basically when you have little holes in your stomach and food particles escape into your blood, causing allergic reactions. So if you have this condition, you’ll keep breaking out until you fix it.

    I went to an alternative doctor and he not only helped me fix it, but also was able to tell me exactly what I was allergic or sensitive to, so that I could stay off those things. All I took were completely natural, vegan, allergen free powders, supplements, and aloe vera, and I’ve seen the proof on my face that it’s all healed. I feel 10x better and don’t hate my face anymore.

    I have actually lost a few “allergies” that had developed simply because my leaky gut was getting worse and worse since it wasn’t being healed. I now have a MUCH clearer face and only break out when I eat something I know I’m sensitive to. But the point is that I know what I’m sensitive to and my leaky gut is gone.

    I don’t know where you live, but here’s the doctor I’m using: If you can find an alternative person near you (many of them are actually chiropractors) who deals with leaky gut, I highly recommend getting tested/trying the temporary diet and healing it with natural supps.

    I totally feel for you, and this doctor turned my life around 180 degrees. Email me if you would like more info on the supps I took to heal it.

  42. Please don’t take accutane – I did and it was horrific and didn’t really work!
    I totally get how you are feeling about your skin. I am in the same place. I think mine is hormonal but my doc says my hormones are all balanced and fine. However, this is the doc that told me girls shouldn’t lift more than 20kg!
    So I am going to try find a natural dermatologist and get my hormones checked again.
    Stick with it! x

  43. I know many others have chimed in both for and against Accutane. I wanted to chime in myself and say that I as on it two different times and it DID help me. I don’t know if I was lucky or not, but never had the depression or any side effects from taking it. I took it once just after high school, probably 18-19 years old and I took it again in my late 20’s – probably 28 or so. It is a pain to have to be tested each month to make sure you aren’t pregnant because YES, it is SERIOUS stuff, but I haven’t had any issues (that I am aware of) as a result of taking it.

    I hope you can find somethign that works for you. I have heard good things about ProActiv, but I have not tried it.

    Good luck to you! I feel your pain. I had bad skin as an adult and it does affect your outlook and that really SUCKS!

    You are beautiful – sailor mouth and all! 🙂 I appreciate the honesty and straightforwardess of you!

    GOOD LUCK and thank you for your inspiration to all of us! 🙂

  44. Retin A. prescribed by your dermatologist. clears up acne and prevents wrinkles. not as invasive as Acutane. I would try Retin A first.

    I log on daily to read your blog, sorry you are down, but you always cheer me up.

  45. A lil acne= single??? C’mon JB!! I look at this shit they way you talk about some of your recipes. Sometimes it may not look how you would want it to when its done right? But once you take a taste you can’t stop. Yes there are some out there that would stick to appearance without even taking a taste… F them!! If the recipe is the same time and time again it will not matter how its presented..period! Gonna make these tonight EST

  46. At least see a dermatologist. There are steps you can take before Accutane. For example, I’m on oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics, and topical T-retinoin. it totally works! I was in your shoes for about 10 years and it got so bad I didn’t leave the house unless I absolutely had to. My skin is so much improved now. I have to give it time for the scars to heal/fade. And still single but whatevs.

    1. I forgot to mention I was previously on accutane. it worked. Lots of dryness but no other major side effects. The big disadvantage of being on it now is that i’d have to go in for monthly pregnancy tests and that’s more free time than I have.

  47. do whatever you think you need to do to get the results you need, try it, if it doesn’t work, you tried, but always remember you are only as beautiful as you feel, but seriously if a man doesn’t see your beauty, fuck him, he isn’t worth it, your a cool, amazing, hot ,smart, rocking body, chef, beautiful women, and that comes from a chick, straight!

  48. Hey Juli! Do NOT do the Accutane. Don’t do it.
    The side affects are real and they do happen.
    Think Ulcerative Colitis.
    I have it.
    You don’t want it!
    Don’t do it.
    One question….when you cut out the sugars etc from your diet, how long did you do it for? It just might not have been for long enough.
    Keep your chin up!

    1. Ulcerative Colitis sucks. I lost my colon because of it. I would never take anything with risk factors that serious, but of course, you have to make your own decision.

      I second all of the people who said look into gut issues and see a naturopath/oriental medicine doc. There’s definitely something going on, and there has to be SOME natural solution to it; the problem is figuring out what that solution is! Definitely see if you can find a good doc though; they will know what to try, and eventually you’ll figure it out!

      By the way, those muffins look amazing! I don’t typically make ‘paleoified’ baked goods, but with apples, carrots, sunbutter, and pepitas in there? That’s a healthy muffin! Thanks for the recipe, and good luck with your skin (:

  49. Do not go on accutane! I also have adult onset acne but it’s getting better, although it did decide to be nasty this month for the first time in a long time. I have PCOS and my ovaries are all f-ed up from endometriosis crawling all over them. I take spironolactone and it mostly keeps my androgens under control. Without being too personal have you looked into these options: PCOS and other gyn crap, I notice you drink beer have you been checked for a gluten allergy (yes I know it sounds weird, it is a stretch), have you been checked for any allergies for that matter, thyroid function? I hope this helps 🙁

    1. I should add that I am 31, had lovely skin when I was a teen until I went on BC from 19-24. It started getting bad around 25. I no longer use BC because it makes me feel like crap and doesn’t help the acne, plus my tubes are now tied despite being sans children. You could always look at the copper non-hormonal IUD since you are so young. I only got the PCOS and endometriosis diagnosis at age 30. I got the gluten allergy diagnosis right before I turned 31. I like the spironolactone aka aldactone other than the slightly increased diuresis. I also tried every over the counter topical, a couple Rx topicals, and antibiotics before I decided enough was enough since I scar very easily and have some pock marks that looks like they belong on Mars! I also quit all the face washing, despite being a naturally oily person, and now just wash my face morning and evening with my regular soap, which is Chagrin Valley Neem & Tea Tree. It’s taken my face most of this year to heal up and I still have occasional flare ups but they are fewer and far between and the scarring is much more minor. I intend to have the scars worked on with a laser when the breakouts are under control. Everybody is different though, so I hope all the good info in the comments gives you the info you need to ask your doc the questions that will help you decide what is best for you.
      The attitude that zits = single is infinitely more unattractive than the acne scars any day. Men will probably notice that, and actually care about it, rather than the pimples. I have a great hubby and you will someday too.

  50. Have you tried aldactone? It’s an oral medication (hormones), but not as intense as what you’re considering and it won’t peel your face off. Also, over time, your doctor can reduce the dosage. It works in tandem w bIrth control. I know holistic / clean eating is the ideal fix, but of its not working then this might be worth a shot.

  51. Juli,
    I have suffered from acne and excema for as long as I can remember…and I will say, this shit sucks! Not only do I have rashes breaking out all over, I have these mountains suddenly appear on my face! Luckily, after finding your site and taking some fish oil pills, my rashes have started clearing and my face isn’t as bad. However now I get these under the skin pimples that hurt like hell and cause huge scars. Lately I’ve been feeling the same way as you. But I have found one thing that works if I have a really bad break out..I use a clarisonic brush with some type of exfoliant wash. I do this maybe three times a week and it really helps. I used to use other products like benzoyl peroxide and other creams but they always dried my face out or caused a chemical peel, ew/ouch. Now I just wash my face in the morning and evening with cetaphil face wash and use that fantabulous face brush. I think you look awesome though, and any guy would be lucky to have you. Heck you’re a badass cross fitter with a freaking website and cookbook. Go get em girl!

  52. You are beautiful! But I also don’t know what it’s like to be dealing with acne. I have, however, had customers tell me how fantastic Clearin from Vaxa is. This is a homeopathic acne supplement that one lady bought 3 at a time for her teenage son. She said she spent thousands of dollars and only this worked. Go to Vaxa’s website and check it out. It has a money-back guarantee, (and so did our store) and it was never returned. I would also suggest a naturopath and perhaps acupuncture.

  53. Juli, I have no idea if this so.ution works but I received a post on FB yesterday. It was a picture of a little girl who had severe eczema at 18 months and a more recent picture of her with a totally clear face. I put a post on Pinterest with a link to the page with the info you may want to read. I will try to embed my Pinterest link here. If this is your problem it will not hurt to look at the page. God bless and I hope you can find a natural cure. Acutane is not the answer I believe.

    You are awesome…

  54. You are a gifted writer/blogger Juli. You express your human-ness in a very real way. The way you describe your frustration, sadness, anger, joy, giddiness and love connects this community because we all feel those things too. Do not despair! You are waaaaaay more than your face!

    Please seriously reconsider considering accutane! My brother took it when he was a teenager (that was 20 years ago) and he has struggled with pretty serious depression and anxiety ever since. He is such an amazing person and it’s been a tough few decades for him. He did a tonne of research trying to figure things out and he thinks that the accutane really messed with him at a very hormonally fragile time. Just like other things that a person can put in his or her body, that shit is toxic.

  55. Go to a dermatologist, I had same problem come to find out I had an allergic reaction to my makeup. It doesn’t hurt to get their opinion

  56. First I’d like to say, I’ve been creepin’ on your website daily for almost a year now….and though I haven’t weighed in on any issues before, I thought I’d offer my input on this one. My sister had TERRIBLE acne growing up, poor girl. She tried everything there was to try, my mom used to make homeopathic remedies for her face, she had daily, painstaking, time-consuming regimens she followed every day as a teenager, not fun, and nothing worked. She eventually went on Acutane in her late teens, and it cleared up her acne for good. Her face is a little scared from the acne, but clear otherwise. However, she lost her perfect eyesight and now relies on glasses/contacts due to the drug. Perhaps a small price to pay? You should deplete all other options first, but seriously weighing the pros and possible cons should help.

  57. JB,

    I’m sure you have heard from a thousand different people w/ a thousand different suggestions. There is a Doctor/Homeopath named Dr. Jacqueline Fields based out of Fort Collins in an office called the Healing Garden. She developed a line (albeit pricey) that has worked wonders on a few of my friends’ skin problems. Possibly worth a phone call or consulation???

    If you decide to investigate further and tell her you follow a paleo diet, please let me know her reaction ….

    Good luck and thank you for all of your amaze-balls recipes. Skin problems are the f***ing wors!

  58. Duuuuuude – don’t do it.
    There’s at least 4 chicks over in London that are in agreement that you are HOT (you were on our list of ‘if I played for the other side…’ )

    Also, skin sucks. Same as thighs suck. Or Varicose Veins suck (alllllllways someone worse off than yourself) or having only one leg sucks (told you)
    Buuuuuut don’t do the drugs, you’re only jumping out of the frying pan. Kim might be right – leave it the fook alone for 4 weeks (makeup and all – maybe wait until post x-mas) and just see. The first few weeks might suck but you never know.

  59. Juli,

    I had severe cystic acne in high school. I tried everything prior to getting on accutane…no sugar, cleaned up the diet, kagen water, different skin care products..anything and everything. Some of it helped with the topical acne, but nothing helped the cystic acne like accutane did. I researched all the side effects and still decided to give it a go. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! I did not have any depression or joint pain, the only thing I had was dry skin….but that was way better than major cysts on my face. After six months I was done and my skin looked great. I still had acne scars, but the cysts were gone! It definitely is a serious drug, but for people who have suffered with acne their entire life it can be a life saver. Good luck with whatever decision you make!

  60. Hey Juli, love your blog. Sorry to hear you’re so upset with your body lately.

    I think I might know what is irritating your skin. Or maybe I don’t know shit, but you sound a lot like I did some 10 months ago when I first began the diet. At the time, I was seriously considering Acutane like you but felt myself bending under what I wanted physically on the surface and what I knew internally could ruin my health forever. I tried to talk myself into it, I am so thankful I did not follow through with it. If you’re having similar feelings, LISTEN to that instinct. Please be patient and listen to your body, it loves you, it’s trying to take care of you. First let me just say to cut out the fruits and nuts-

    I know. And I’m sorry.

    I notice a lot of your recipes include high amounts of nuts and honey as a sweetener- I would say to cut back or just cut out these things and watch how your skin improves.

    I noticed when I began the diet I LOVED snacking on nuts and didn’t realize they were truly a “limited quantity” kind of food- the tricky thing about nuts is that they all belong to vastly different botanical families, some of the mot popular nuts aren’t even nuts at all… Also, they are very high in calories & carbs and anytime your overeat in a single sitting, your body converts almost everything it can to sugar. Including proteins. To this day I still don’t have it answered what makes certain nuts so irritating to my acne and others none. However, I recommend you cut them all out and if you must have a nut, go for macadamia nuts. They do not upset my skin whatsoever AND they have almost 0 inflammation factor according to various nutrient data websites- but don’t overdo it, no more than 1/4 cup a day during your elimination phase if any.

    Given where you describe your skin to be right now, I would avoid sugar in any form. it’s not a myth or some hype- FORGET sugar. Your skin hates it.

    I had and still have pretty reactions to honey which has consistently proved itself more than irritable to my acne, even in small quantities such as a teaspoon. But I found that maple syrup doesn’t disrupt my skin as long as I don’t consume ridiculous amounts. I’m not saying go on a sweet binge by experimenting between these two- in fact, I’m tell you the opposite. I would avoid sugar in every way for a couple of weeks- including fruits. This dramatically effected my skin during the beginning phases of my paleo diet and even now when my skin gets fussy, if I cut out fruit for a few days, my skin recovers much much quicker. I love fruit as much as the next person, but it does contain sugar- you can argue about it all you want, but healthy nutrients added or not, sugar will still effect you.

    I will probably get a lot of hate responses for this but I would cut back on the sweet baking for a while- you make incredible recipes and you remind me a lot of myself when I went off on paleo-baking-possibilities in my diet- to which my consequences were much like you describe, constant breaking out from mild-severe acne. I found that it was mostly about the AMOUNT of nuts I consumed and my sensitivity to honey/sugars (I was making a lot of breads from various nuts and coconut flour). Cut them all out and stick to your veggies and meats and see the difference.

    Indulge in recipes that are meat and vegetable based and you WILL see a difference- if you don’t, there’s more than likely a vegetable you’re eating that you’re allergic to.

    Do it Jules. I believe in you!


    1. Obviously, my vote is please don’t do the Acutane.

      You’re on the right path girl, but even on the paleo diet there are certain foods you can overdo that will upset your health and ultimately manifest in your skin.

      I’d like to add to stay the hell away from coffee. And green tea. I realize coffee is a hard beverage to give up but I was more than successful in substituting roasted dandelion root tea for my regular coffee brew (it’s caffeine free and has a strikingly similar taste to coffee especially when combined with other herbal teas), I found it to be delicious. Here’s a good recipe for a brew:

      As for green tea, there’s very controversial debate over it’s effects on acne but I personally discovered it was in fact aiding my acne flare ups in addition to coffee (which I quit at different times). Organic/decaffeinated or not, I broke out.

      Yerba matte is sightly better than straight green tea and coffee, I think. I eventually braved trying this out as an alternative to coffee and regular green tea. It definitely gives me a boost of sustained energy but if I have more than a cup a day, I noticed little acne flare ups coming on. Some people’s bodies handle energy-boosting foods/drinks better than others, I’m a naturally high-energized person- I have no business downing coffee regularly or even excessive amounts of green tea(s), as I’ve learned to accept.

      Remember though about the sugars… Fruits should be a treat, not a regularly consumed food with every meal and they should definitely be eaten alone/way before a meal, if at all. I know as an athlete too, the risks involved with eating too low of carbs but I’m not asking you to do that, you just have to switch your carb intake to foods that don’t contain sugar (at least for a little while, while you go through this srtict-dieting phase to heal your skin). You know your body, you know how many carbs you usually need in a day, so take that number and divide it up with veggies and more veggies. You don’t have to eat like this forever but while your skin is breaking out, this is the best advice I could give anyone and that I wish somebody had given me before I stumbled upon it by accident.

      The carb count you get from fruits such as apples is deliberately due to their sugar content. Vegetable carbs are much more valuable for sustaining energy and appetite-satiation, only without the sugar. (Sorry to everyone who’s skin doesn’t show signs of over-consumption of [natural] sugars but us acne sufferers fucking know- that shit sucks.)

      I STRONGLY recommend that for your carbohydrate consumption on the paleo diet, you make non-starchy vegetables your carb intake instead of fruits & nuts because the sugars in fruits do more harm than good and nuts are questionable for a variety of reasons. Additionally, most vegetables are alkalizing, as opposed to many fruits which are typically acidic (due to their sugar content).

      I hope this information helps and that you give it a try, I had really stubborn acne that would crush my self-esteem every day- I totally feel for you. Keep strong, be patient with your body, and exhaust every natural method there is before doing something so dangerously permanent as Acutane.

      If you have any questions or want to know specifics about something, I’ve investigated and experimented with virtually every one possible. Feel free to email me if you want.

      Good luck!

      1. Just wanted to add one last thing. I advise caution against seeds as well for the time being. Nuts and seeds are essentially the same thing, and I’ve noticed reactions to certain seeds as well as nuts during my reintroduction phases.

        I’m a 25 yr old female (athlete). I struggled with acne since I was 13 to the point of refusing to go to the bathroom with the lights on because I hated my skin’s condition so much and it broke my heart to see my reflection.

        I noticed a lot of people here have commented on their use of topical medications as well as what they eat. Personally, my skin acts accordingly to what I eat over what I put on my face. In fact, I don’t put anything on my face. Ever. I wash my face 1-2 times a day with a soap free/natural oil based bar and pat it dry with a towel I’ve established a very good ph balance with the paleo diet and this method of care for my skin gives me glowing, balanced skin (and requires virtually no care). I’m amazed. The winter weather has always been notorious for giving me dry skin and making my skin break out really bad. Not this year- not since going Paleo 11 months ago.

        Not only do I not feel the need for any topical aid, I deliberately avoid tempting facial creams/oils during the “reintroduction phases” of this diet because I don’t want any topical stuff to compromise the results of the experimental foods I eat.

        I’m telling you, do this Juli. Your body is reacting to something you’re putting in it, you aren’t “born” with acne it is NOT a normal condition as the paleo diet has debunked and I can personally attest to. You need to eat and drink as basic and gentle as it gets to let it heal:

        Water. Chicken/fish (if you’re not allergic to any). Vegetables. EVOO for recipes.

        Stay on top of your water consumption and eat the simplest foods without high sugar/starch/carbs and you will see a difference in your skin. I saw a difference within a few days when I did the diet cut-throat and stopped putting anything on my face (even natural/holistic stuff) and by the 3rd week, I wasn’t breaking out anymore. To this day I have consistently clear skin unless I get off the diet for an extended amount of time.

        As others have already said, you are crazy beautiful and FUNNY as hell. I love your blog and your creative inspiration. I can relate to how you feel in spite of your other abounding, wonderful qualities. Clear skin is yours for the taking and it is more than possible to achieve naturally so I hope you go for it!

  61. Try the pads with saliciac (sp?) acid 2% only not just one or two each time, use 6-10 pads each time you wash your face. So, one pad for half of your forehead, one for the other half, one for a cheek, etc. have ALWAYS had horrible acne- actually painful until I started this a few years ago. Wash my face at least twice a day this way. Get maybe one zit a month now!

  62. I went on a 6 month treatment with Accutane 4 years ago and my face has stayed relatively clear since. I have not suffered any of the more severe side effects associated with it. However, my lips, nose and other areas of skin dried out like a BITCH. I felt like I was constantly bathing in lotions and aquaphor. I was extremely sensitive to the sun, but I would just wear SPF and a hat when I knew I’d be out in direct sunlight for an extended period of time. They closely monitor your liver enzymes and make you take all sorts of crazy tests to get on the meds which is annoying, but it made me feel a little safer taking it.
    All in all…. would I take it again? Considering how bad my skin was and how desperate I was to get it cleared up….YES. But, I would exhaust all options before taking the plunge to try Accutane. Hope this helps Juli 🙂 I feel your pain. ACNE can SUCK IT!

  63. I took accutane eight years ago and my skin is still clear. i do suffer from occasional break-outs (usually related to my period — gotta love it), but it is nothing compared to what it was before. Before that point, I had literally tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked at all. On Accutane, my skin cleared up almost immediately with little to no side effects. I personally did not experience any of the moodiness (although my doctor told me that it was really rare to become depressed anyways). The side effects that I really noticed were the dry skin (but I have dry skin anyways). My lips peeled a lot so I was addicted to chap stick and used a loooot of moisturizer. Also my nose bled quite a bit because my skin was so dry. I cannot recommend the medication enough though, it gave me hope when I thought that there was no other solution for me and I was destined to have gross skin for the rest of my life. It is truly a miracle drug. If you have any more questions about it, feel free to email me and I will give you all of the details! I would definitely recommend it though, 100%!

  64. Julie- My teenage daughter has really suffered from skin problems and she has had great success with OBAGI acne products.It took a slid month for her to see results and now she is 100% clear. She said to me today mom look I am even on my period and my face is this clear. (she would freak out if she knew I said that) I would give it a try, it’s expensive but so worth it.

  65. I have had acne issues since I was 16 ( I am now 40). Sometimes it has been ok other times it has been so bad I didn’t want to leave the house. Ihave tried numerous oral and topical medications, pro-activ (which ruined all my bedding), and every other type pf cleansing routine. A couple of years ago I tried retin A and my skin is 90% clear now. The only time I still get pimples is right before my cycle. But that only happens if Idon’t use the cream. I barely even have to wear make-up any more! Your skin will be dry and flakey for tye first month but will adapt. Just don’t use it everyday until your skin gets use to it. Hope this helps!

  66. Juli, I feel for you girl.. I struggled severely on this front a couple of years ago and it seemed like nothing worked. I would get so worked up and stressed about how bad my face looked and it spilled over in other aspects of my life. If there’s one thing I learned from the whole things it’s that most of the time, people aren’t really noticing the acne unless you are so self-conscious that you make them aware of it. And stressing about it only makes it worse. It seems to me that every single person has a flaw or flaws that they don’t like about themselves but other people don’t usually see. Look at all of the wonderful things you have going for you! You are an inspiration to all of us who read your blog.. we can relate to you as so many levels and yet we aspire to be like you one day– and the best part is we don’t care if you have acne or not! 🙂 Smooth skin isn’t going to bring a man into your life.. confidence and loving yourself is.
    So my advice is to not stress about it, put some good smelling sh*t on your face, and smile about all that you are and will be.

  67. Absolutely do not take accutane. I used to have a lot of skin problems too, have you been to the MD to check hormone levels because that can really influence acne. Birth control helped me but took several different tries with different medications to get the right one. Proactiv did wonders in my teens, I just use castor oil/grapeseed now. Also check out acupuncture, it really works for everything!!!!!!!

    1. as a doctor of traditional chinese medicine, i second the rec for acupuncture…particularly in combination with chinese herbal formulas and dietary/cleansing routines (though sounds as though you’re already doing the latter). i’ve had good results treating my own adult acne and that of patients of all ages. i’m in FoCo…but i’m sure there must be a good practitioner in Denver. look for someone who’s a traditional chinese medicine or oriental medicine doctor with strong herbal knowledge in addition to an acupuncture license (rather than someone whose main training is in acupuncture alone).

  68. Sooo it looks like I’ll be in the minority here when I say this but I definitely would recommend accutane. It honestly changed my life. I struggled with TERRIBLE and very painful acne for a couple years. I finally got on accutane and after 6 months (with some minor depression, mood swings, and dry skin), my face cleared up and I haven’t struggled with it since!! I got a pimple last night and was totally shocked to see that this morning..if that tells you anything! I hope it all works out, because I feel ya girl!

  69. I second My entire history with acne is in the blog section entitled “Love Letter to Primal Life Organics”. I did absolutely everything…EVERYTHING (accutane included-that is some seriously nasty shit)…to try to get rid of my acne. Primal life organics was the final piece of the puzzle on top of paleo. I personally have to go the autoimmune route as well for my underlying skin condition, but these products are the only things keeping my skin clear. I can’t say enough good things about them….amazing, simply amazing.

  70. Someone may have already said this but I wouldn’t know cause I didn’t read through the bajillion comments.

    1. It needs to be Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend. My skin looked better after a week. No joke! The stuff is expensive so take out a loan, but it is worth it.

    2. I take 8 capsules a day. I’m not saying you should take that much but it works for me and Cheeseslave says you should. So go do what Cheeseslave says you should.

    Trust me. It is awesome! And I have absolutely nothing to gain from saying this.

  71. Oh and coffee-

    I’d actually say that’s your deal-breaker above all other things.

    if that’s something you drink regularly, cut it OUT. Even 1/2 cup a day effects my acne, 1 cup+ a day and I’m officially broken out by the end of the day or next. Could be the caffeine and/or the acidity, but even now if I’m doing perfect on my diet, nothing makes me break out like coffee… Not even alcohol.

  72. Definitely don’t do Accutane. Can/does cause life long hormone issues that you really don’t want to deal with. Nasty stuff.

    PS… You’re effing hot, anyway.

  73. I feel your pain, Juli. I’m still struggling with depression and body image issues, and my skin isn’t cooperating either. I haven’t been officially diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I have Raynaud’s too. I just started the autoimmune diet to see if it can help with some of these problems. I hope you find something that works for you.

  74. I took Accutane when I was in high school. Yes, it was serious stuff, but as someone who suffered from horrific acne which impacted my self-esteem (I was the girl standing in front of the mirror with tears in my eyes…every. morning.), it was the best decision I have ever made. I didn’t have the psychological side effects, but good Lord…keep the chapstick and moisturizer handy. You will dry out like crazy. I was well monitored by doctors and did very regular check ups. 10 years after taking it, I have clear skin that I get compliments on.

  75. OK….you’ve heard every angle, every story. Ultimately, you’ll decide what’s right for you. It’s different for everybody. My daughter (21), has been on 2 cycles of Accutane. Her skin looks fab right after, then it comes back several months later. She’s considering going for another round. She says all the same things you do. Ugh- she’s a moody you know what when she’s on it. She’s currently trying the Castor oil, hot towel method. Had some good results but the acne always seems to come back. I feel for you! I know this will mean nothing but I’ll say it anyway. You’re amazing- inside & out!! Don’t let your skin dictate how you feel. Would you let someone else do that to you? No you wouldn’t….so go be your awesome self and tell your acne to f*ck off!

  76. I can say that I took a low dose(10-20 mg) a day, and didn’t have many side affects. My skin was dry while I took it, but I wasn’t depressed or moody, nor did my hair fall out. I would stick to a low dose though to minimize all of this. I think overall it’s worth it- much less harmful than daily stressing and crying. Also it’s the ONLY thing that worked for me- I tried all your remedies and more for years.

  77. A good friend of mine took Acutane and didn’t experience any negative side effects, aside from laying down immediately after taking it and getting heart burn (it says on the bottle not to do this). It worked really well for her and she goes back on it from time to time. Everyone is different. You might as well try it. If it’s terrible, stop. But who knows? Maybe your skin will be beautiful and you’ll get your confidence back without any problems. There are side effects to drugs, but clearly this is really taking a toll on you. You don’t have to be Perfect Paleo Natural Girl … sometimes we have to compromise on our ideals when they don’t fit into our current reality. Do what you need to do!

  78. Hi Juli,
    It seems like you’ve been trying a lot of things that could really have potential to help you, but maybe you aren’t *patiently* sticking with one regimen long enough to actually receive its benefits. I have always had bad acne. Always. I have been on a prescription of three things that has worked very well for me that a dermatologist put me on back in college. Clindamycin phosphate, trentinoin cream and spironolactone pills. It does not do anything harmful in terms of depression, believe me, I’d know. It takes about a month to start working as long as you don’t touch or pick at anything on your face. The best thing you must do is to stop picking at it because that makes it so much worse and causes scarring, though I’m sure you know this. I have a policy with myself that I can not touch my face. Even sometimes when studying I end up with my hand on my chin and a pimple will pop up there. But lately, I tried the oil cleanse method you talked about maybe a month ago, and I’ve been only doing that. I have not washed my face with any soap since I started and I went off of that meds trio i mentioned. For the most part, my skin does seem to like it. I still get a pimple here or there, but I don’t touch them, they go away much faster than they used to when I was over-drying my skin with all of that crap. It does take time for skin to detox- and acne is a result of detox. Switching so frequently makes sure your skin never fully detoxes, and then we’re back to square one. I think a little sugar or chocolate *in moderation* here or there is not the issue. I think it’s too much dryness, changing of regimen, and touching the skin. SLEEP is a huge one for me. One night of five/six hour sleep in a sea of eight hour nights will be enough to upset my skin. Hope this helps. Hope I can listen to my own advice too 🙂

    1. I also used to take Spironolactone (diuretic) and it worked (I think b/c it was blocking the testosterone). I did it for 10 years, prior to that just had to suffer with lots of pussy awful pimples. Have had acne since junior high and I’m 34 now. I wanted to be drug free so I got of birth control and Spironolactone and so far so good. I have a dairy and a soy intolerance so I have to believe that omitting one of those two things (or both) has led to my being able to stay off the drugs. But, if I were to start breaking out again, I’d get back on it in a heartbeat b/c it worked with no noticeable side effects! Acne so big sucks!

      Also, my naturopathic physician as well as the woman who does my facials both recommend Witch Hazel. ND had me add some concoction to it but I don’t recall what it was – will try to find out.

      Proactiv bleached my brand new, monogrammed, West Elm sheets and some bath towels – if it’s doing that to fabric, what’s it doing to your face?

      Can’t speak to acutane but I think you’ve already answered that on your own plus an overwhelming majority saying no with only a few saying yes and maybe there are side effects that are unknown to accommodate the known ones. Sounds like a gamble. I’m not a gambler.

      Tho I have cleared my acne problem (I think, it’s only been a few months and I do have some backne), I have another skin problem that seems to be impossible to fix! I have itchy skin 24/7/365 – no rash, no dryness, just ichy as hell. It’s brutal. I’ve tried so many things including the food intolerance, water softener, etc. Why oh why must we have so many ailments?! Hope ya get it figured out beautiful lady!

      Thanks for all you say/do/post…looking forward to this cookbook!

    2. I’d like to add that I also tried spironalactone as well, and while it worked for acne, it also made me gain weight and cellulite. There are a few huge threads on the internet of a bunch of people saying it had this side affect. So you never know… I’m upset that I ever took that.

  79. 1st, love your blog! You have been a big help in finding great things to eat that are healthy for me. Thank you!

    2nd. Have you heard of Nerium AD? It’s originally marketed for reducing wrinkles and skin texture. I’ve only been using it for 3 weeks and have noticed a difference in my skin texture.The thing is, people that are using it are also finding their acne and scarring improving! This isn’t what it is marketed for but it is making a difference. It’s all natural the main ingredient is from a magnolia, if I remember correctly. I just bought it for my son who has a terrible time with acne. It may be worth looking into.

  80. I had accutane when I was in my twenties and it did get rid of my acne but only for about 5 years and then it came back. I am now in my 40’s and reckon I have arthritis in my knees as a side effect of taking accutane! 🙁

    The cure for me for my acne has been :

    1. Take Vitamin D supplements (10,000 IU a day at the moment till my levels are up to at least 50 ng/ml or 125 nmol/l.) Vitamin D is much, much safer than accutane – I definitely recommend you get your blood serum levels tested. Here is a book from Amazon on Vitamin D:

    2. Go low carb and especially cut out all sugar, and keep the amount of natural sugars such as honey and fruit very low. (my carb intake is around 20-30g net carbs a day)

    3. Avoid all wheat and dairy.

    My skin is now about 99% acne free but if I have a slip up and eat anything with sugar in it, I’ll get great big, deep cysts on my face straight away – not worth it! Sugar is definitely the main culprit for me when it comes to acne.

    I always follow your recipes and they all look great but many of them have too much sugar for me, Perhaps cutting back on sugar could work for you too?

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

    Di 🙂

    1. Totally agree. Especially about 2 & 3.

      Cutting out sugar made a huge impact on my acne and going low-carb aided in preventing break outs from when I would go off my diet with other foods (including sugary to fried ones). Crazy… Carbs & sugar go hand in hand.

  81. Juli,
    I did accutane when I was in my teens. I won’t lie, it did an amazing job on my skin. But I also now have terrible digestion issues. And my skin now breaks out as an adult. It’s not worth it. Accutane is TERRIBLE for your body and the side effects during the treatment can be pretty brutal. From someone who did it (2 HEAVY rounds), the price you pay with your body for clear skin (that may not stay clear) is not worth it. You are beautiful just as you are. Don’t sacrifice your body.

    If you would like to ask questions about the side effects and how my treatment went, feel free to reach out to me. I am happy to help in anyway that I can.

  82. I know how you feel Juli I have acne too and it’s only on my chin and I try everything no sugar no nuts nothin processed. I eat so healhty and exercise and I’m not stressed out I love my life right now and it’s still there and won’t go away. I pretty much have given up. I’ve cried so much over it thats it’s just not worth it anymore. So yea i look like shit when i’m working out because I have no makeup on to cover it up. Hopefully one day we will find someone who likes us for our personality and they won’t care about the acne. Stay strong girl you have an awesome sense of humor and a wonderful personality

  83. Hi Juli,

    I noticed that most of the people who commented here were women. That in and of it’s self is not surprising but I felt that I should comment on two things (as a token guy).

    One, I was just turned onto you site by a friend and I just happened to see a picture of you with your bright smile and beautiful hair and I think you are, well…stunning! And I like your potty mouth. 🙂

    Two, I was on acutane for a year as a teen and it messed me up for a while. I was told by a doctor that I respect that it is, at best, a temporary bandage for a deeper issue.

    It is frustrating, as you know to try and get to the source of the real problem. I still suffer from acne, although not as bad as when I was younger. I wish there was an easy button for this one. Dammit!

    Please remember what you already know…. all things are temporary and you are not your moods which are fickle and mostly lies. 🙂

    P.S – thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes and and your beautiful self.


  84. As someone who has had terrible acne since she was 9, I can totally understand where you are coming from. I had tried everything. Every medication, every topical, every commerical treatment, diet changes, vitamins, facials, oil cleanses. You name it, I did it. I even totally overhauled my diet for several months to try to fix the ‘gut problem’s that supposedly cause acne. Did that more than once. No success. Not even a small change.

    I really didn’t want to do anything extreme or hormonal, but I eventually tried birth control to help regulate it. No success. After fighting with my doctor, I finally gave Accutane a try. Sorry to the haters, I’m generally as holistic as it comes but you try living with terrible, painful acne for upwards of 15 years.

    Accutane has done wonders. My skin definitely dried out a ton but my breakouts were better within a month (def still there, but better). My skin is less oily and more smooth. I’ve had zero side effects other than the dryness and my performance has not suffered. My sports med actually helped to convince me to go on it, and she had been on it when she was a competitive rower with no side effects.

    Its not for everyone, and it is a long process, but I honestly believe that the meds are a little less extreme than people make them out to be. TRY IT. if you hate it a month in, go off it. Maybe its not the best thing for you, but neither are the constantly elevated cortisol levels from being stressed about your current acne. I know thats not the fairest comparison, but as someone that really was worried and resisted Accutane for a long time, I really believe its worth a shot.

    Sorry thats long winded. I hope it helps.

    1. Hi there,

      I love this blog. I have never commented on a blog before, but some of the comments above prompted me to respond.

      I have suffered from sever cystic acne for 30 years. 30 years. I am 41 years old. That is a long time to suffer with something that sucks really bad. I have tried every single suggestion that has been given to you above. Every. Single. One. Every antibiotic, topical prescription, dietary change, supplement, gut-fixer, Proactiv, Unblemish, every natural skin care line, every organic skin care line, all of it, everything. And no change. No change at all.

      I have been on Accutane five times – five times – over the last 30 years. It will work. It will be painful. Joints will ache. Back will ache. Lips and eyes will dry out. Eye drops, Eucerin and Aquaphor will be your friends. It is labor intensive, as it will require birth control management, monthly blood work to monitor various things, and monthly doctor appointments. You might possibly require a low dose, which would mitigate the side effects.

      Those who say that most acne is a “simple fix” have likely not experienced what I have. Chronic, sever cystic acne. Those who say you should never take Accutane have possibly never been on it.

      Accutane was rough, but worked miracles for me. For some of us, there is no dietary or topical cure that will make acne improve.

      Don’t believe everything you hear or see on TV. Do your own research and make the best decision for you.

      Feel free to email me directly if you want to chat about my experience. There are few things I love to talk about more than acne and skin care.

      P.S. I have swear like a sailor as well….;-)

  85. What oil combinations were you using? I am using 1 part Castor oil (cold pressed) and 3 parts Grapeseed oil on the days that I wear makeup or feel I am getting blemishes coming on. The other days I use just the grapeseed oil (bought at Sprouts in the facial products section). I tend to get way too dry and have noticed when my skin is dry my acne is horribly active. I think I do the castor oil combo 1 to 2 times a week and only water wash in the a.m. unless I forgot to wash my face the night before. Perhaps you were overdoing something or needed more of something else. Hope you figure it out, acne can get the best of you.

  86. I exhausted every effort to clear up my acne but it started developing really badly on my chest and back as well as my face. I did five months of Accutane, and yes, my skin and nose did get very dry, but that was almost four years ago and my skin has never been better. I pretty much had perfect skin for several months after, and now I get maybe one or two pimples before my period (pretty normal). Also, my skin used to be VERY oily, now it’s not at all.

    Talk to your Dr about it, but I would recommend it. It is serious stuff, but it also works for a lot of people.

  87. PLEASE don’t take Accutane! I have never, ever commented on anything on the internet but I feel like I can really relate to your post. I have struggled with acne my whole adult life, I’m now 34. I have tried absolutely everything. Accutane did NOT work. It cleared my skin a little and only for awhile, the side effects were not worth it to me. Proactive worked wonders for me for about 3 months then my face went back to the same old game. Also you haven’t mentioned it but in case someone recommends it…laser IPL treatment, tried it, it was an absolute nightmare. Awful, awful.

    My humble advice & current regimen is Dr Bronners peppermint soap, witch hazel toner, and an all natural fresh moisturizer (I use a Lush product.) Get tested for any random allergies you may have. I found, on my own, that when I avoid any cleanser with sulfates my skin improves dramatically. This includes face soap, body cleanser, shampoo & conditioner , as well as laundry detergent. I made all of these changes about a year ago and I am still slowly seeing progress. That was probably the biggest lesson for me. It takes FOREVER! My skin still isn’t perfect but I am finally starting to feel in control.

    Best wishes to you. I feel like I know exactly what you’re going through. It can be very difficult at times, especially if you’re the kind of person who is super confident in every other aspect of your life.

  88. You KNOW I feel you on this. SO SO MUCH.
    I have lots to say on the topic — I have done Accutane myself and there were benefits and drawbacks — of course I did it long before I was ever Paleo, so my opinions about what were benefits and what were drawbacks are probably a lot different than they were back then. Anyway, lots of people are giving you EXCLAMATORY ADVICE!! So I won’t weigh in like that, but if you ever want to email me, I’m all ears (eyes???) to chat about it. I’ll give you some real deal opinions. 🙂

  89. You are SOOO pretty Juli! Not to mention hilarious and a paleo recipe genius. I can’t recommend anything for your acne, but I CAN guarantee you that you will not be single forever, nor will no-one ever find you attractive just because of your skin. You can hold me to that 😉 If all of your readers love you, you should definitely love yourself too 🙂
    (P.S thanks for another amazing recipe)

  90. Sorry to hear that you are struggling. I can relate to your frustration.

    I would echo Bo’s response above. My own experimenting has confirmed a lot of what she is outlining regarding nuts and sugars. I would also add that I notice overdoing my exercise routine tends to create flareups. I don’t have scientific back up but my guess is that is has to to with high levels of cortisol in the system that lead to adrenal fatigue and other subsequent hormonal imbalances as a result of that fatigue. Practicing relaxation techniques and breath meditation has helped me with that as well.

    I know that it’s a pricey solution, but if you haven’t tried it already, washing my face once a day with the Clarasonic Mia skin brush totally changed my life and the quality of my skin. It took me awhile to find the right kind face wash to go with it (the one that they sell didn’t work all that well in my opinion) but I landed with a line of products called DDF (doctor’s dermatologic formula) that really works well and has options for a variety of skin types.

    Like some of the others said above, I would exhaust all possible holistic resources before trying accutane. That sh*t is serious.

    Best of luck to you as you continue to try and figure our your personal recipe for skin health.

  91. Before my wedding I went to a top dermatologist in Chicago. Like so “top” that most of her patients were famous people like Michael Jordan. Not that that matters….but since she was so famous of a doctor, I listened. She told me not to put anything on my face except for luke warm water. So since then, I splash my face with luke warm water and gently massage with a clean wash cloth if needed. And it cost me lots of money to be told that!!!

    Think like a paleo. How did they eat 100’s of years ago? You eat like that and like it, right? Now move that thought process to your face. How did our an-sisters care for their face 100’s of years ago? They didn’t have any chemicals, toners, lotions, etc. They just used water. And they also took Cod Liver Oil. Which is what I also started taking!

  92. Just remembered another weapon in the fight against acne – oil pulling with coconut oil – just Google oil pulling to find out more.

    Gum disease and bacteria getting into your bloodstream via your gums could be a cause of acne, especially around your mouth. Oil pulling with coconut oil will get rid of the bacteria.

    I agree also with Angela – only use plain water to wash your face.

    Another side effect of accutane that I have been left with is extremely sensitive skin that has an allergic reaction to everything.

  93. I see a lot of ladies have given you a thought on accutane, you may appreciate the thoughts of a guy (oh no, Y chromosome!) who was on accutane. As you already know from the posts and research, you’ll first have to be approved by a dermatologist to even be able to take the stuff. Usually they’re good at determining whether or not you need to be on the stuff, if they say yes, then I say take the plunge.

    You’ll have to take blood tests, and you will ANNIHILATE all your Chapstick and skin moisturizing products, GUARANTEED! Eye drops will also be your friend. Considering you live in an area that snows, you will want to moisturize your face so as to not crack and bleed around your nose, mouth.

    I took it when I was 16, so I don’t know if I was already over emotional, but I know the medicine couldn’t have helped. It is pretty rough on the body, and does take a toll those 6 months you are on it, BUT (big but, huuuuugggeeee BUTTTT) the results have been worth it to me.

    I am almost willing to bet my first borns life that your acne isn’t as bad as mine used to be. Thankfully accutane helped me out. I get the occasional zit here and there, but it’s not terrible, and i’d say that is pretty great considering it’s been YEARS since I was on the stuff.

    If you do get on the stuff, just be sure to stop immediately if you start feeling anything weird internally.

    Good luck!

  94. Girl! i want to say i love your blog and love how funny you are. I hate you have to suffer with acne. i tell people i must sound like an info-merical but, i had bad acne that HURT! and i used to hate life. i thought i had tried everything too until Proactiv. im being for-reals. this junk WORKS. like crazy works. never going back, and its only 20 bucks a month. for care free, eat what you want (paleo of course), no make up wearing skin, please give it a try 🙂

  95. Others have already said it. The number 1 cure for you will be to lower that stress. Our bodies hate it, and yours reacts by breaking out it seems. Then, you stress more.

    I would also suggest you find a consistent approach and stick with it long term and avoid shot-gunning whatever someone else said worked for him or her. Give your body time to adjust to the good things you are doing for it before throwing the next “solution” at it and confusing it more. My opinion…

  96. I didn’t read all the comments (I read enough to know people had both good and bad things to say about Accutane) but as someone who took it I wanted to chime in.

    I was on a high dose of Accutane for almost 6 months in high school. I was MISERABLE – my lips dried out and flaked off, my skin was bright red and painful, my stomach rebelled – but it was totally worth it. I haven’t had more than an occasional PMS pimple since I finished my dosage more than 10 years ago. The side effects were no joke but not waking up in the morning in tears thinking about facing the world covered in acne made the pain worthwhile. I can’t tell you it will be a miracle for you, but I know how frustrated you are and how miserable it is to hate your skin.

  97. There have been plenty of comments so far regarding the acne situation so, I shy away from any on that and instead let you know that your pumpkin pie bars were a smashing hit at Thanksgiving and I have gotten rave reviews over the Carmelized Onion & Sausage (can’t remember full name) stuffing as well as the Sweet Potatoe Au Gratin!!! You are such a blessing providing the entertainment that you do in addition to your amazing recipes… thank you SOOOO much!!! I continue to whip up recipe after recipe from you and never have any complaints! Anxiously awaiting the official cookbook girl and chin up… you’re a ROCK star… a real man worthy of a woman as amazing as you will never even notice the exterior packaging because the interior is shining way too bright as it is! xoxo =)

  98. First off, you are stunning. You are strong and lovely and fabulous (at least on the internet).
    I did accutane in college. It is great. The side affects, as with many drugs, are not necessarily present in each user. My derm said in his experience, he had 1 person battle depression while using accutane. I had very dry mouth but the plus side was that I didn’t have to wash my hair much. 14 years later, I still get a few blemishes but nothing like what i had then.
    Either way, you gotta do you. This is just my experience. Good luck!

  99. I know how difficult it can be to deal with acne…especially when you’ve poked & prodded your diet, work out and everything else in hopes of fixing the issue. I was on Accutane and if I had to do it again…I would. I had cystic acne, basically I got 2-3 cysts a month on my face (mainly my nose) that were approximately the size of a blueberry and hurt like you wouldn’t believe. It got so bad that even a strong wind made me cringe because the contact of WIND hurt…frickin WIND! For me, the only thing that worked was the Accutane. I started with a 5 month goal…it ended up taking about 9-10 months. It sucked, I won’t lie…sucked hard. The first month I shed, yes like a snake. Accutane closes off your pores and dries you out like a drunk in rehab. Then (oh, this was fun) because the dose was such a strong antibiotic, I got yeast infections. That was awesome. I also had monthly blood work to prove (1) I wasn’t pregnant [you cannot become pregnant while on Accutane] and (2) all my organs were still working. I was extra moody and generally very pissy but my skin cleared up. I have, not to toot my own horn, beautiful skin now. Washing my face is exciting (still 3 years later, I love it). It’s smooth, it’s clean and fresh and glows. I’m happy and I would do it again. It’s not for everyone and I don’t think anyone under 21 should be taking it. It’s a lot of responsibility and self monitoring. If your doctor is recommending it and you feel comfortable with him/her…do it.
    Good luck, Juli. Too bad those killer abs can’t kick your acne!

  100. Hey Juli, I feel for you and the acne issues. My skin improved when I started eating paleo, but I still broke out on my chin and along my jaw line really badly. I have had amazing success using Paula’s Choice, especially the beta hydroxy acid 2% gel and BHA 9 treatment. It’s not the answer for everybody since acne has so many different causes, but the “All About Acne” article on the site has some great research-backed (and they actually cite it) info that could help you figure out a new approach. I’m not a paid shill, I swear- I just really f-ing hate zits, and this is what works for me. The article is at . Best of luck– I know it’s hard when you look in the mirror and your outside doesn’t match your inside, but until you figure it out, be kind to yourself because you seem pretty damn awesome to me. 🙂

  101. Accutane = No way! I was on it in high school and it only worked temporarily as I’m still dealing w/ acne now in my mid-20’s. It was crazy harsh. I realize now it’s a hormonal issue. SO, I’m giving maca powder a try (both topically and mixed in smoothies) as I’ve heard great things about it. Still in the trial stage but am confident as it’s a natural solution and I’m all for those! Have you seen this website?
    Great resources on skin care, search on her site for more on maca if you haven’t heard much about it. She also has a great post about the oil cleansing method, which I think you’ve mentioned you tried before? Anyway, not sure if others commented w/ these suggestions or not but hopefully these tidbits help! I can relate 100,000,000,000,000% on this acne issue. It’s a bitch.

  102. I know this is going to sound crazy but you are stressing your skin out… You need to leave it alone and not put anything on it for now on…Don’t put lotion on it and wash it with water (not soap) after the gym. I am a skin freak! My sister and I both have amazing skin because we don’t clog the pores and put anything on it. Have you noticed how moisturizes just dry it out after? The only time my skin is horrible is when I put stuff on it or when I wash it with soup. Our skin heals itself. I promise. You are never letting it do the healing itself and it gets stressed and zits are a sign of that. Let your skin do the work this time. I promise it will pay off. You might have a few weeks of awkward zits showing but don’t do anything to change it. . Think about it? You need to go back to basics. Just leave it alone.

    1. TRUTH.

      Though I can’t say avoiding putting anything on my face alone is enough to keep me totally clear, it definitely aids in having less/smaller zits and a speedy recovery whenever I break out from eating crazy for 11+ days. My diet is still the anchor of my clear skin.

      Wash your face with water alone or a soap-free/fragrance free bar (for when you want to wash make up off). No exfoliating washes or textured cloths for the time being.

      I believe for where you’re at with your skin, doing this and adhering to the basic principles of the diet while avoiding sugars will turn your skin around.

      1. I completely agree bonnes. Everyone is different. Try at least 20 of these ideas that everyone has and see which one works.. LOL.. Sucks but you will figure out your skin and find something that sticks. I am 30 yrs old and finally figured out that lotions and face wash were horrible. So glad I figured it out. Now I have amazing skin and no problems but it wasn’t easy to find the answers. Good luck hun!

  103. I am an accutane believer!!!! I know it is some scary stuff but I was on it in college and didn’t have any side effects! Both of my brothers took it too and none of us have had any issues. They do make you get tested for liver counts (my counts were so good because I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol while I was on it so I didn’t have to get tested every month(I know it sucks to not be able to have a social drink for 5 months but I figured it would be worth it in the end)) and make you take a pregnancy test every month but I have virtually zero scars and I haven’t had a serious break out in almost 10 years. It may have been because I was younger that I didn’t have a lot of issues but my complection is MUCH better off because of it….I was that fat kid with the f*cked up teeth and acne in junior high and high school and once I got to college it was a whole new ball game!! Braces came off…..acne cleared up (because of Accutane) and baby fat became sexy!! 🙂 I know it’s not “paleo” to use Accutane because it is not natural but if you suffer for 5 months and never have a breakout again…..would it be worth it to you??

  104. I took Accutane in my mid-twneties as a last resort to my cystic acne. I had tried everything else- diet changes, washing more, washing less, not washing at all, Aldactone, Retin-A, etc.

    Did I have dry skin? Of course. Did I want to hurt myself? Never. Did it get worse before it MIRACULOUSLY got better? Indeed.

    I am now 31 and have RARE breakouts, but not the painful cysts that I used to get. I’ll never reget my choice to take Accutane; having clear skin is worth a little dry skin and a few blood tests.

  105. I’ve been on Acutane not once but twice. My cystic acne used to be so bad, the kids at school called me Mrs. Pizzahead (thank you PizzaHut).

    The blood tests didn’t bother me so much but the flaking, cracking, dry skin, dry eyes, dry nostrils, nosebleeds and all the other little gems that came with it…sucked. I cleared up a bit after both rounds but honestly didn’t really find clear, relaxed and comforted skin until I started
    1) Increasing my vitamin E intake (same concept as Acutane except…not nearly high enough levels to destroy your body)
    2) Cutting back dairy (Coconut milk rocks my socks)
    3) Moving to scent-free, oil-free, sulfate-free face and hair products (see the “Yes to Cucumber” line with the “yes to tomatoes” face mask, a micilar cleanser of any brand and coverfx make-up.)
    4) Gently washing my face with a fresh new cloth (or face brush cleaned with anti-bac soap) every morning
    5) Rinsing my make-up brushes every day and cleaning them every week
    5) Changing my pillowcases every few days. I’m also the nerdy girl that has to wear mittens to bed to prevent scratching but skin looks a million times better and if I keep them under my pillow…my boyfriend is usually asleep before I pull them out so…no one’s the wiser.

    I only wish I had a bod like yours – believe me, clear skin is only a small part of the picture. You’re gorgeous and hopefully any/all of these tips will help you! Best of luck and keep the F-bombs and F-ing sweet recipes coming!!

  106. Hi there! I am new to your blog but wanted to chime in on the skin issue. I’m not sure if you want to go the homeopathic route or willing to try a prescribed medicine to treat but here’s my story: I never had acne issues growing up. All of a sudden starting just a few months ago I started to have acne, particularly around my mouth (from my nose to my chin like a goatee). I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist (something I had never done before). She took one look at me and prescribed Doxycycline. The doc indicated that the type of issue I had is so very common for women in or around their 30’s. You can take it just for the amount of time it takes to clear your skin or you can continue to take it as long as you like. Your skin will clear up and be AMAZING! She simply suggested to stop taking while you are sick and on another antibiotic, after that you can resume as normal. I have been on/off for a short time now and absolutely love my skin now. I have had no issues with it and wish I made my appointment sooner. So, my suggestion is to visit a dermatologist and see what they suggest. Good luck on your war against skin issues!

  107. Acne is definitely a gut issue–no ifs, ands, or buts. No dairy, caffeine, sugar, or gluten I was told by my doctor (he’s an MD + holistic). But my leaky gut did not improve until I stopped all grains, legumes (sound familiar….Paleo?). I also started to see a homeopathic physician and THAT was the answer. If you want his info, email me, he is amazing.

  108. Proactiv works really well for me, but I’ve been using Netrogena’s grapefruit scrub lately and it’s AMAZING!

    You are beautiful, not matter what you say. Don’t stress over your skin, it will make it worse! Keep doing your thing and being you.

  109. My sister spend 1000’s of dollars on acne treatment, two rounds of accutane and finally an endocrinologist figured out her testosterone was too high. She now takes a medicine that keeps it level and she is acne free.

  110. I used Acutane a couple of years ago and if I could decide for you I would not allow you to do it!

    My lips dried up and peeled so much they bled on a daily basis. My face broke out in extremely painful hard zits that hurt to the touch. But “it was all part of the process to make it better.” Towards the end things did start getting better and my doctor was pleased with the results. I was supposed to let my skin heal from the “damaging harrassment” it just went through and then I could have scar removal done. Well, by the time it got to that I had pimples showing back up.

    My face does not break out as bad as it used to, but it still breaks out more than I feel it should after such harsh treatment. I now use a cleanser called CeraVe that works pretty well for me. I only have to worry about extreme breakouts around my time of the month.

    So, if I were somehow that one person that could make up your mind for you… don’t do the Acutane.

  111. Have you gotten a complete hormone blood level profile done? I have been hearing/reading lately about how lots of crossfit, HIIT, and excessive lifting can dramatically increase women’s testosterone levels, and in that case, no topical remedy or diet fix is going to help.
    I have PCOS, so my hormones are already screwy, but I know that when I lift too frequently I start getting those awful cystic pimple things, especially on my chin, jawline and forehead.
    Anyways, getting a hormone test done might be worth a shot if you haven’t already. If you have insurance, it usually is covered by that.

  112. Pleaae don’t try accutane! It’s been 6years since I did it and my skin is still fucked from it. Dry, red, things that never happened before. The best solution is natural products and a great aestitician. I found one in pdx who uses starflower essentials…this shit has saved my skin. I know how much acne sucks but trust me, accutane ain’t worth it.

  113. I was on Accutane for 9 months. It was some serious shit, yes. But you know what…aside from stress and hormonal pimples, I have zero problems. And I had acne BAD. Like, painful and huge pimples all the time bad. Just be sure it’s what you want.

    Your skin will dry out and will be so scaly it will hurt. And nothing but Aquaphor will make your lips not scaly. Something to think about. You will also have to be on two forms of birth control, take a pregnancy test every month, and get your blood drawn to test your cholesterol levels monthly.

    I agree with Stephanie. Serious stuff. Crazy serious.

  114. Don’t take acutane! My mom took it when she was younger and now she has breast cancer (which our doctors have hypothesized came from the acutane since my mother is the healthiest person possible) I have had the same exact problems as you and I am still trying to find a solution…. Lately apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil have been working pretty well topically…..

  115. Julie!! Ok, I just started this a few days ago and my face is already clearing up. Buy Organic and Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs or Omega Nutrition are good brands). Drink it in the morning, first thing (2 tbsp ACV+glass of lukewarm water+lemon juice (optional)). Drink it again in the afternoon, but only put 1tbsp of ACV in this time. So in total, you will have 3 tbsp of ACV over the day. Don’t take it too close to bedtime because it can give you energy too!! (bonus!!)
    Anyways, honestly, my skin has gotten SO much better. You can totally google (that’s how learned about it) if you’re not sure.
    It makes your body more alkaline (like if you were to eat a lot of leafy greens)… if your problem is the same as mine, my skin flares up because my body is inflamed/too acidic.
    Ps. Make sure too always take it diluted with water, and don’t swish it around your mouth too much. If it is too concentrated it can damage tooth enamel and won’t feel too good going down. It sounds crazy, but it’s working for me. Good luck!! xo

  116. Spironolactone is amazing medication used to treat hormonal acne that does not have nearly the same negative side effects as other medications. I’m 27 and struggled with persistent hormonal acne and it’s been incredible.

  117. I was on accutane in the winter of 1997. I didn’t have severe acne but I had tried every medication to clear my skin with no avail. I will say it was horrible while I was on it. On the 2nd day of being on it my entire face seemed to dry up and peel off, lips bled constantly for 4 months (the duration of my time on it) it was semi painful but I got through it and loved the results! I swear I never wore makeup the rest of high school because of how great my skin was. I had other friends, all guys, that were on it around the same time I was, their skin problems were much more significant than mine. I do remember one of them feeling pretty low but I think a lot of that had to do with how he looked while taking accutane. It’s just hard because you really look a bit scary for the time you’re on it. My brother in law also was on it about 6 years ago and has since suffered digestive issues however I think if he were to eat a better diet, a lot of these issues wouldn’t bother him. So, in saying that, my advice would be to do your research, talk with you doctor about how strong of a script you would have to be on and for how long you would have to take it, make a decision based on that and just go for it or don’t, but don’t look back. The physical discomfort was the only thing that sucked for me, who knows, maybe I had other adverse effects occur but I have no idea about them if they exist. I liked being on it during the winter because you’re already dry, pale and uglier than in the summer, also, your skin is super sensitive to the sun so you can lock yourself indoors and hide out 🙂 In retrospect, I would have paid a lot more attention to what damage I could have been doing to my digestive system while on it and what it would take to compensate for that damage. Knowing now how meds can effect that stuff, it would be the only reason I could see that I wouldn’t do it again. I do still get minor breakouts, mostly around my period, and I think also because I mess with my skin too much so something small turns into a huge nastoid thing in no time… ocd? 🙂 So… I hope this was a little bit of help in your decision making. I guess

    1. triple post, wow! I didn’t mean to say ‘I guess’ at the end…. didn’t read through it thoroughly before I posted it and it seemed like I was being mean…. sorry! Just a typo!

  118. Hi Juli,

    It’s about time I comment on you’re blog! My heart aches for you because I know exactly how you feel. I have had hormonal cystic acne for at least 10 years and it got REALLY bad for this past year and has finally cleared up. I’ll link my post for more info, but here is what helped me. I have been washing my face with oil, talking fermented cod liver oil, and what I think has helped the most is eating fermented food daily. The oil cleansing method was the first thing that improved my skin, but i was still having breakouts. My face has been pretty darn clear for a month now and I really think it’s from eating fermented foods (mostly sauerkraut) I have been eating them 1-2 time per day. I have been taking a probiotic for a while, but I never knew that fermented foods have a TON more probiotics in them. I even ate horribly over Thanksgiving weekend and just got my period and I still didn’t breakout. I also think I have been dealing with a yeast/candidia issue, and the fermented foods have helped that too. I hope you find a solution, please feel free to email me with any questions!

  119. Yo Juli,
    I think you should check out Argan Oil. My sister works at Sephora and just recently picked up some. She has really sensitive skin and tends to break out a ton. Go to Sephora and maybe ask about it. Also, DON’T STRESS haha, won’t help your out breaks! <3 ;] Thanks for the awesome food recipes too. Your the Boss!

  120. I did Acutane twice, yeas it’s hardcore and horrible, but you are the only person that will know what you need to do, and you’re the only one that knows what it feels like to look in the mirror and be frustrated. There are some laser treatments that are less invasive… Acutane is powerful my only recommendation is Aquaphor I used it on my lips and as lotion ocassionally… I was on a super high dose and it raised my blood pressure while I was on it in college which is weird. This is the time of year to do it, not summer since if thins your skin out. Just be aware of your body… Pay attention to side effects especially to do with IBS there is a class action law suit against the drug makers currently. I would check into lasers first.. Then hormones you may have too much testoroine and a condition called PCOS … You’ll make the best decision! Follow YOUR peace!

  121. Jenifer Jones-Dees

    Juli, you’re pretty bad-ass and connected in the Paleo world, so maybe you have already done this-sorry if it is a repeat. Check with Stefani Ruper of Paleo for Women. For my day job, I am a Pediatrician. Her knowledge of hormones is amazing and I have learned tons just from reading her posts. Some of the posts she has are so eye opening and include information that I was never taught in medical school. What’s best of all?? She cuts to the chase and doesn’t fill her words with a bunch of hard to understand crap.
    I hope you find a solution. I totally get your anger with the face. Stupid hormones! They need to just do their job and be done!
    In the meantime, I will let you know how much I love your blog and appreciate your humor from way out here in ND!!! My favorite thing is to discover I haven’t been online in a while and when I check your blog theres tons of new Juli chronicles to read about!!! such fun!!! Keep up the good work, sista!!! 🙂

  122. I’m so sorry that you are suffering with this. You really are lovely. You should give acupuncture a try. I say this as an acupuncturist 🙂
    Anyway, I do love your recipes and I’ve made a ton of them. I’m not paleo but I don’t eat many grains. My husband has been cutting out grains and I’ve been cooking him many of your concoctions. The magical brownies are just that, magical.

  123. OK, I don’t have acne. But I do have body image issues and I feel like our struggles, and those of a lot of fellow 20/30 something single gals could be similar. We see something about our appearance that we don’t like and we blame our singleness (or whatever) on it, and then we obsess about it. Mine is weight. I was a f*ckin’ Division 1 All-American athlete with this body, and I’m fit by health standards (low body fat, yada, yada, yada), but I look in the mirror and see Amazon woman. What guy wants that???? But, Lord help us, the right guy will. Health is one thing, appearance is another. If it’s a symptom of an internal issue, definitely try to figure it out. But don’t add something to your body that your body doesn’t need. PLEASE, as someone that looks to you as a freakin’ awesome example of a fit, funny, beautiful woman, PLEASE share your struggles with us and be an example of how we don’t have to be crippled by our messed up views of outward beauty.

  124. You’ll probably hate me for this but that’s okay, I still like you a lot.
    Stop crossfitting.
    For two weeks.
    Sleeeeeep. Recharge.
    Eat anything and everything. Laugh, dance, destress.
    If you find you are tired, sore, fatigued and feel worse,
    chances are, you’re burned out.

    My hormones were f*ed up from all this orthorexic, HIIT, intermittent fasting, stressed out nonsense.I was running off adrenaline for maybe two years.

    After cutting exercise completely and stuffing my face with anything I desired, I was immobile for nearly a month. Now I can make it through the day without caffeine and without a nap. And my skin is clear and happy.
    Anything I swore off as a gluten intolerance or dairy allergies went away.
    Turns out my body just wanted oatmeal and nutella for years.

    You’ll probably ignore this. That’s okay.
    Just know that i think you deserve sugar, sleep, chocolate, an awesome boyfriend, and I think you looked way hot b4 cross fit. You look great now too, but it’s not like you ever needed to do it.
    Let your body be and stop being so hard on yourself.

  125. NO to acutane. My friend took it in high school, got super depressed and committed suicide. If he never had taken that medication, we might never know if that would have happened otherwise.

    Also, and maybe I should already know if you have tried proactive, but it worked wonders for me and i started it at age 21. I was very diligent with it and saw results within 3 weeks. I continued with it for a year, and my face has been pretty good ever since!

  126. Face…check out Lemongrass Spa Products. Products are 97-100% natural ingredients, and I haven’t met anyone it has not worked for. And to make Lemongrass even more awesome, it is a COLORADO based business =) Woot woot Colorado! Skin care is just like eating, the more processed, the less healthy. I love the stuff so much I have recently started selling it and holy moly, its good stuff. My site is if you want to take a look. I’d check out the tea tree face soap, Tea Tree & Citrus Facial Mask and Dead Sea Facial Polish. Or there is a set for blemish prone skin.
    All ingredients are posted on each product and on the website, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your system! Stay away from the chemicals! no good!
    Oh and FYI, You make Paleo eating easy and amazing =) Thanks for all your hard work!

  127. So I didn’t read the million comments before this so this may have already been said. I LITERALLY never comment on blogs other than the occasional giveaway but felt I needed to add my thought since I completely understand. My acne (which I’ve had pretty badly two separate times in my life, both during times of stress) was so bad I was canceling plans with friends because I couldn’t bear trying to make myself look presentable and that caused me to be depressed etc etc. my point is, I get it. I went to a dermatologist and she talked to me about options. And before we even considered acutane, she put me on an antibiotic and gave me a gel to put on my face. Yes the gel was drying, but nearly as bad as products like proactive (shit seriously made me feel like my skin was falling off when my tshirt barely touched my face.
    So, go to a dermatologist, it’s worth the cost of us sanity and self love, and see what other options there are… And don’t feel bad about your choice, people who have not had severe acne do not understand how much it disrupts your life..

  128. I’m sorry your skin is super frustrating. I’m not a doctor or anything but I’d recommend cutting out sugar/simple carbs and see how that affects you. I saw that you did the sugar detox but I’m talking like not even eating carrots for a while kind of sugar detox, like just leafy veggies and meat/fat. Your body’s PH can have a huge impact on your health. I know that if I go on a carb/sugar binge I get medical problems that no one wants to hear about and it’s all because I’ve damaged my body’s natural ability to deal with the bacteria on my skin.

  129. I just wanted to add my experience with accutane since it usually gets such a bad rap. Nothing ever worked for me, no BCP no diet, nothing and I eventually decided to try accutane. I had little to NO side effects, aside from dry nose and mouth. I took a blood test every month and took accutane for 6 months, I have never had to do anything to my skin since. I dont even get pimples anymore, I’ll get the occasional blackhead or whitehead.

    Just wanted to share, I’ve been there and I’m glad I decided to try accutane if anything, you can always stop. I think it is worth some consideration.

  130. Without being at all medically qualified, I couldn’t recommend roaccutane (what its called in the uk) enough. I tried literally everything for my skin including OTC and prescription meds, topicals, every old wives tail, birth control, and nothing worked for more than a brief and slight improvement for a couple of weeks. I took roaccutane for 5 months last year and the improvement was insane, I never have problems anymore and people actually comment on how good my skin is. I save about 30 min every morning because thats how long it was taking me to cover up. I didn’t have any problems with depression, and my only side effects were (a) dry skin, including minor nosebleeds and cracked lips (but the flp side of this is that your hair dries out a it too, so you don’t have to wash it so much – still don’t in fact – bonus) and (b) it turned my pee yellow, which doesn’t seem to have changed back since – no idea what that’s about. I made sure I drank a ton of water (like 4litres a day) and my doctor gave me some amazing cream for my lips. It is a serious drug and the monthly appointments were annoying (although reassuring to know that you’re not preggers I suppose). The hardest thing was not drinking (not sure what that says about me), although after a few months my doc did concede that I could have a few glasses of wine (read: jaeger) on special occasions eg New Years. Longest comment ever, but in summary: what do you have to lose by trying it? You can always stop if the side effects are that bad!

  131. You need to decide for you! I’ve used Accutane and it really worked for me with hardly any side effects except dryness. What I hated about acne was the pain of the cysts – in my neck, ears, between my eyebrows! I still eat paleo, still exercise a lot, had tried
    EVERYTHING else (I even found an awesome boyfriend :)). BUT its your body and your decision!

  132. Hey Juli,

    I was put on Zinc by my doctor (for an unrelated thing) and my skin has improved alot… worth a try as its way less aggressive than acutane.

  133. Getting rid of my acne needed a narrower diet than paleo. If I eat nuts that have not been soaked and dehydrated, or if I consume small amounts of oils with a poor omega 6 to omega 3 ratio (i.e most nut oils and many unsaturated oils) I will get acne. If I don’t, my skin is completely clear.

    Also, if I eat sprouted einkorn flour, my skin will absolutely glow, and this is despite being sensitive to gluten and everything else remotely gluten-like (casein and I suspect even albumin). It’s not paleo but it does wonders for me.

    As a general set of guidelines, paleo alone works for most people by merit of eliminating tons of problematic foods, but it still allows for many foods that bother some people. Before you try something drastic like accutane, maybe check out information on specific foods in Whole 30, SCD, and Weston A Price communities. You might have been simplifying to be brief, but it sounds like it’s possible you’ve focused mostly on macronutrients (amount of fat or sugar) and not as much specific foods or specific compounds in those foods — or, another thing to consider, preparation methods for the foods. For example, if you soak and dehydrate your nuts, that seriously might get rid of your acne. I didn’t think things like that made a difference until I did it and my problems began to go away. Another example: eating raw nuts is less problematic usually because the fats in them are prone to oxidation when they are cooked, so only using nuts in no-bake recipes might be necessary. More oxidized fats can definitely lead to acne.

    Also, consider that you might be allergic or otherwise somewhat intolerant of coconut; I know I can’t tolerate coconut oil very well at all, and I can only barely tolerate homemade coconut milk (guar and xanthum gums mess me up in the canned kinds). I know some paleo sites (I think I first read it on MDA) say not to sweat gum additives, but many people have to pay attention to those. They’re easy to ignore if they don’t cause stomach distress but as you’ve come to find out, something is giving you acne without stomach distress.

    So I would start by looking at specific kinds of fat, and how you’re using it. Soak and dehydrate your nuts (they taste better) and try to use cashews and walnuts for better omega ratios or low levels of omegas instead of almonds, which are high in omega 6s. I’ve tried a lot of your recipes substituting soaked and dehydrated cashews and walnuts and they’re still delicious. 🙂 And try not cooking with nuts or any unsaturated fats at all.

    Good luck, eliminating stuff sucks but so does having acne and I’m totally sympathetic to all those intrusive “I hate my face” thoughts because I used to have acne, often cystic, and visibly oily skin. Before I changed my diet I began the oil cleansing method which I still use today and it eliminated much of the oiliness, but all the stuff above is what took me the final step.

    In case you’re curious, the fats I cook with are organic nitrate free bacon drippings, ghee, and sometimes butter. Every now and then I will cook with olive oil BRIEFLY and over low heat, but I reserve it for salad dressing. I also use macadamia oil for salad dressing sometimes. I use duck fat if I’ve made duck recently. And that’s it.

    I have not found that sugar or starch does anything to my complexion, low or high. I had acne just as bad on low carb and low and moderate carb versions of paleo. I eat moderate carb now — I eat fruit several times a day and sometimes just straight up eat like several tablespoons of raw buckwheat honey, and sometimes even veer into high carb since potatoes don’t even raise my blood sugar — and my skin looks fab. That may not be the case for everyone but I have found that bad fats is what bombs my complexion.

    1. Oh, I should add that everything I said about nuts here applies to seeds as well: while nuts have their own set of allergens, pay attention to omega ratios in seeds, soak and dehydrate them, and don’t cook with them because they have all that in common. At least to see if it makes a difference, anyway; I really think it will.

  134. Juli-
    Where is your acne? Where the acne is tells a lot about what is causing it. I had the same problem. No matter how much I cleaned up my diet my acne did not get better until I found out about my reaction to eggs. I see that you have a lot of egg recipies posted on your site. Maybe try elimating them for a couple weeks. Everytime I ate out I also started to have minor reactions as well. I blamed all the seed oils but maybe the resturants used eggs for their sauces??

  135. I am a firm believer in accutane. It changed my life. I had awful acne and I didn’t want to leave my house. Having horrible skin made me very depressed. 🙁 I think skin issues are genetic and food/OTC treatments will only do so much. After taking accutane my skin didn’t breakout for an entire year. Now my skin will rarely breakout. Once my skin was clear, I worked on improving the scars with dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. Good luck! I love your recipes!!

  136. I was on Accutane a few years ago, while doing Crossfit. It was really difficult to stay on top of things, only because I don’t typically drink tons of water, and Accutane forces your body towards dehydration. It dries you out. I hated it while I was on it – I could feel the achiness in my joints and muscles because they didn’t get enough hydration, and I would occasionally get dry skin (Which burns like hell when you sweat!), but in the end, it was so worth it! I cut dairy out shortly after starting accutane (Started paleo), which also helped make my acne cysts go away, and I haven’t had trouble since.

  137. I recently started following your awesome blog. Thank you for all the great recipes. I’m new to paleo…making changes a little at a time. Your sweet potatoes brownies and TO DIE FOR:)!

    About your acne…have you ever tried Lever 2000 (aloe scent)? It is the ONLY thing that helps my son and my nephew. If it’ll help you, you’ll see results in a week or less. It might be worth a try.

  138. Oh girl I feel your pain! I’ve struggled with bad skin all my life. I have acne and eczema which means I can’t use a lot of products on my face. The thing that worked for me was a combo of birth control, oil cleansing, mild cleanser (like Neutrogena deep cleaning wash) and a Clairsonic. I use the oil cleanse in the morning and then at night I use the clairsonic and mild cleanser. After using the Clairsonic ONE time my skin was softer and smoother. My skin hasn’t completely cleared up but it’s the closest to clear that it has been in YEARS!

  139. I suffered from hormonal acne for 20!, yep that’s right, 20 years. I have not had a single pimple on my face for over two years now, thanks to benzoyl peroxide cream. Seriously, the only other thing that *ever* cleared my skin up was pregnancy….lol. Started on 2.5% strength, and moved up gradually to 10%. Only very occasionally need to use it now, if my skin is starting to look like it wants to misbehave.

  140. Juli,

    Me, my sis, and my bro used Acutane when we were in middle school/high school age. And now we all only rarely get a pimple here and there, ever so often. Our break outs were no more!

    Right now, my issue is the weather. It is really drying out my skin, even with globs of moisturizer. I just woke up one morning two weeks ago, and boom! I had a whole bunch of dry and slightly bumping sections of skin on my face. So I have been moisturizing like crazy.

    Have you discussed Acutane with your derm? My derm back in my hometown before I relocated is amazing. Probably one of the top 3 derms int he country. She knew her shit. Acutane really helped me and my family, and it may help you. I would recommend talking to your derm about it.

  141. I’ve definitely been exactly where you are. Hopeless about my face, debating Accutane, trying every medicine/eating/drinking/supplement combo I could think of…I am so sorry. I had huge cysts, bumps that spread across my face, oiliness, dryness, scaling, redness, scarring…I’d call in sick to work or class b/c I was so upset.

    I know every has a personal fix, and I’ll tell you mine…

    Instead of Accutane, my dermatologist got me hooked on IPL laser treatments (best decision I ever made). My first treatment I did with Levulan (a topical cream that makes the laser work ‘deeper’ b/c it makes your skin extremely reactive to light). It reduced 95% of my acne scarring within 24hrs. I now go get an IPL every 6-8 months b/c it shrinks your sebacious oil glands and promotes collagen regrowth. My dermatologist is Skin Solutions in Franklin, TN. You could glance at their website so you could compare to any IPL treatments you find in CO. They are expensive, but the best choice I ever made.

    I also used minocycline to control my worst breakouts (now I can take it just around my period). I also take spirolactone daily. My dermatologist had found this medicine does well to clear up breakouts that happen along the jawline…which is where I tend to breakout now after clearing up my cysts. I also use Duac and Tazorac to topically clear up my breakouts. And I’ve found Cetaphil facial cleanser (must say the ‘facial’, my face doesn’t like the ‘body’ one) and face moisturizer work the best. I also use Equate or Dial antibacterial body wash (blue liquid) to wash my body and sometimes use it on my face if I feel the Cetaphil isn’t cleaning well. I use rubbing alcohol to clean any bumps that seem to be spreading or just not clearing up.

    I know it feels hopeless. Keep your head up. I would counsel against buying expensive over the counter fixes. Proactive, expensive facial cleansers/creams, etc did nothing but frustrate me that I wasted so much money on things that made my face worse. I’m anxious to see what regime works for you. Best wishes!

    1. I couldn’t use facial scrubbers, facial peels, or deep scrubs until I got my cysts cleared up. Now my face is healed enough to use these sparingly to clear up the small amount of clogged pores I get.

      And Spirolactone is a testosterone limiting drug just so you know.

      And I agree with the posts on reducing stress, keeping plenty of sleep, and relaxing as much as possible.

  142. I total feel you with your skin. I was once in your shoes, then I was introduced to Lindy! She is so much more than a estetitian, she is an energy worker. Before meeting her I had cystic acne, even after working with Chek Practioners, dermatologists, GAPS protocol, you name it. Lindy’s products are gentle and if you can make it to LA, ,she only takes recommendations, I will tell her you are coming! My skin has never gone back, ever to being what it once was and that was almost 10 years ago. She is also one of the most l

  143. Oops. I hit post—

    Anyway. She is lovely and will heal your skin, no doubt. If you can’t get to her, she can do work from a distance and her products rock! Lastly, she has an intuition better than any sub clinical testing. As long as I avoid some random foods- like Spinach I don’t even have any little breakouts. She will know what to do. This is more than diet, promise. Lastly, she told me years ago while I lay there crying about my skin that one day people who never believe I had had such bad acne and would compliment my skin. I didn’t believe her. She was right, as she always is. Email me if you want more info. I have sent friends and clients to her for over 10 yeas now and she always makes a world of difference. Wishing your skin to heal : ). AT

  144. O.M.G. I’ve been paleo for about 3 months and it’s been AMAZING. I ate pretty clean before but it definitely has cleaned up my act and I love it. BUT I have had chin acne from about week two. I started out on fish oil (paleo challenge at my gym, fish oil was suggested) and it had made me break out before so I assumed that was what did it but now I’ve been off it about a month and I STILL have the acne! Maybe I’m having the same issue as you! Hmmmm…I’ll try this probiotic you’re taking. Thanks for opening my eyes! You’re awesome and he’ll come along. I thought I’d be single forever as well and I’ve been married almost 6 years and have 2 beautiful babes 🙂

  145. Juli,
    I *SO* enjoy your website and felt I had to comment on the accutane debate. After 4+ years of struggling with terrible acne as a teenager and doing everything BUT accutane, I finally convinced my mom to let me try it when I was 16. It worked like a charm. I am now 42, have two healthy kids and don’t really remember any bad side effects other than dry skin (and it wasn’t really that dry). I remember those mornings of waking up and dreading looking in the mirror because I knew I would find more breakouts. The miracle of accutane saved my sanity esp as a teenage girl. My skin has been clear ever since and I NEVER wake up wondering if I have a breakout. You can always start a regimen and if your body doesn’t like it, you can stop. Good luck in your decision. You are fantastic and beautiful inside and out.

  146. SOOO I’ve read through several of the comments above and I know they have awesome intentions since we all love you Juli, but you really can’t get a lot from our comments since:

    A) the type of acne i have or another person may be totally different than you

    B) Its impossible for us to know what the underlying cause is

    C) You definitely don’t want to put any excess stress on your body by trying 100 different cleansers.

    I tried 4 different dermatologists and cried for years about my acne. The solution for me finally came from oral antibiotics and sulfur cream. But it totally depends on your body chemistry and your allergies.

    I suggest going to a new doctor (I assume you’ve tried a M.D. before) and get to the bottom of the issue, whether it be food allergy or something else.

    Honestly, my gut feeling is that yes, diet helps, but there are SO MANY other factors that could be at play like your hormone balance.

  147. So you pretty much described exactly the way I have felt for the past two years… I was DOWN about my face, my life, my diet blah blah blah, and it was all purely stemming from my bad skin. Which I didn’t have any problems with before. Grr. I just finished accutane, (four months) and honestly I had no trouble whatsoever. Dry lips, tiny bit of exzema on my arms and that was it! (Plus I totally didn’t have to wash my hair more than once a week because it NEVER got greasy… Bonus!) I’m left with loads of scars, but following a clean diet seems to be helping that. Can’t say whether it will come back obviously (fingers crossed not!!) but it’s really made a massive difference to my life. Dont wake up any more touching my face just to prepare myself for what I’m going to see in the mirror… and I don’t dread the gym in case the sweat causes my make up to run off my face… I know it has a lot of bad press (especially on here) but I really didn’t have any problems!
    Can I just say though, all the photos you post on here, we can’t see any spots at all!!! Are you sure you have acne…? 😉

  148. Could the breakout possibly just be a “purge”? I know you said you were doing the OCM. From what I understand, your face will look wonderful at first, and then you will experience the purging and terrible breakouts for a little, but on the other end is clear skin. ::shrug:: At least that’s what I read, and what I’m hoping for myself (just started OCM last week)

  149. Not sure this will help, but I saw a big difference in acne around my face when I quit using toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate in it. Plus, my doctor put me on antibiotics for about 2 weeks. I’m not a proponent of antibiotics when not needed, but it did help. And now I only use ProNamel toothpaste. I’m not intentionally trying to sound like an infomercial, either. 🙂

  150. I totally feel you on the acne! I’ve battled acne for 16 years and I’ve tried pretty much everything, including acutane. Nothing seems to work. However, I just did a pretty strict Paleo diet for five weeks and it got way better. I think it is a combo of corn and dairy that affect me. So I’m sticking with a pretty strict diet to see if I can figure it out. I’m also planning to do a liver and gall bladder cleanse/flush in the next few weeks because my naturopath says that can be part of the problem.

    My advice on acutane is to not do it. I did it for 5 or 6 months and it worked. My face was clear and I was super happy, but then it all came back a few months later. It was so frustrating. I just put all of those crazy-horrible drugs into my system for no reason! I was so upset. However, I did not experience any of the crazy symptoms that are possible and the whole ordeal wasn’t as terrible as I thought it would be. But everyone is different, so who knows how your body will react.

    And remember, there is so much more to you than your acne! I PROMISE! I met my husband when I was 30 pounds heavier and covered in gross acne…and sort of bitchy! If he was able to find a way to love me, there is definitely someone out there who will love you 🙂

  151. Girl, I feel you. I’ll suggest you go to and try their product and method as a last attempt. We are all different so not every product works for every person, but i’d give it a shot. It did improve my skin. Also, no joke… meditation. It helps combat stress which might be a big part of why you’re breaking out. Again, all suggestions.

  152. Have you tried coconut oil?? I’ve used it and it seems to be just like apple cider vinegar… It’s great for EVERYTHING!!!

  153. Eggs are the devil for me with my skin. Have you ever tried eliminating them for a while to see what happens? Good luck!!

  154. Juli-
    -Don’t tell me no one will think you’re beautiful cause thats just bullshite. You look f’n beautiful to me 🙂 When i met my dear husband he had severe acne on his face neck, chest and back… Super bad, it hurt him and made himso self-conscious. But, he was and is AWESOME, so i dated him, married him, had 3 kids with him…blah blah.
    He used accurate and it worked without side effects, but he’s a guy and they have different hormones. So not a recommendation, just what is 🙂

    My skin went to crap after baby #2, I had acne places I never had before, took about 2 years, but finally stopped using everything… I use wet wash cloth with 3 drops of tea tree oil to wash twice a day and it cleared everything up…worth a shot

    BTW you make me smile with every post, so thank you!!

  155. Juli… try different birth controls!!!!! Stay away from acutane! There are so many different birth control pills that tweak your hormone levels this way or that (i’ve gone through many to find the right balance… trust me, there are so many but it is so worth it), that you can find the right one to minimize your acne and not make you crazy/bloat/etc! Since it sounds like you’ve tried everything else, why not give it a shot? You may go through a couple pills that make you crazy…. but you’ll find the right one and be sooooo much happier for it! I’d suggest the one I’m on, but each person reacts to each pill differently, so what works for me may not work for you. Your Dr should help you 🙂

    Also, a (semi awkward) suggestion for now: moisturizer with salicylic acid ( I love aveeno clear complexion) to keep your whole face from drying out, and every so often, try poking a hole in them with a safety pin or needle- don’t pop- and wipe with rubbing alcohol to try and dry them out. It worked for a few friends!!

    Good luck 🙂

  156. I haven’t read any of the replies, so forgive me if this has already been mentioned, but have you tried MSM? I take the powder, I’m up to 12g daily now. It’s got the toxicity of salt, so it’s not dangerous. I use the Jarrow powder. It tastes like ass, but after the first week, it’s not so bad. 😉 I don’t have acne, but I have Keratosis Pilaris. My acupuncturist recommended I take it because it dissolves the stuff that causes your skin to plug up. I saw results in two weeks, I’m still figuring out my exact dose. I started at 3g daily and saw results, but they would keep coming back so I up every few weeks. It has reduced the # of plugs by much more than 1/2 and I’m hoping I’ll find my magic dose and they’ll all be a thing of the past. Good luck.

  157. Juli, I understand your frustration at your skin. I had great skin as a teen, in my 20s it went to hell. Painful cysts that never really blew up, just hung out barely under the surface and were purple and weepy. (great image, sorry).
    I tried it all- oral antibiotics (hello yeast infections!), topical crap (ahh yes, painful peeling, all over redness AND the cystic shit).
    I was 29 when I got on Accutane. Yes, there were hoops to bounce thru. Yes it could be drying (stock up on eye drops, heavy moisturizers, lip balm) but on the plus side, I washed my hair twice a week! Never got depressed because of the drug (the birth control I had to be on, that is another story). I was depressed already because of my effing face being a mess to start with!
    I am 36 now. I only did one round of Accutane. Low dose over an extended period. Do I get zits now? yes. hormonal little whiteheads. *knock wood* I havent had a cyst since Accutane. Last side effect???? My night vision isnt great which is a known side effect and one that doesnt bother me that much.
    I wish you the best of luck. I know it is tough when you do everything you can think of and it seems that nothing can help you.

  158. I have not read all the comments, so I apologize if this has been brought up.

    Have you tried essential oils? Applying them topically has done wonders for my face. There are several out there that are great for acne.

    BTW, you are beautiful.

  159. God fucking damn, do I ever hear you on the acne. It’s the thing that drove me into Paleo. I don’t have strong digestive reactions to non-Paleo food (only a few exceptions) so it took me ages and ages to figure out what does and doesn’t affect my acne. Cleanser/toner/moisturizer has zero impact. If I eat 100% Paleo, I’m golden. I can also tolerate whey protein and fake-sugar sweeteners. But even the slightest bit of soy or dairy or grains will cause cystic acne.

    And every now and then I have a reaction with no fucking clue what caused it because I have eaten nothing non-Paleo and that I didn’t make myself, and then I feel exactly like you expressed with this post. This

    “It’s just so annoying that my mind has to be filled with thoughts of how ugly I am or how I wish I could improve my skin.”

    is just how I feel, too, and I know it’s stupid but I can’t stop myself from feeling depressed and hating my face. It ruins me. Even though I can mostly hide with makeup, and no one else notices, *I* see it every time I look in the mirror. I want to tie up that awful, mean, internal bitch and throw her off a cliff.

    So basically: hugs. You’re not alone. You are beautiful even with acne, and you can figure it out and beat it. And also, you’re strong as fuck, so you should tie up and toss YOUR internal bitch off a cliff, too.

  160. If you are going to be in the Seattle area anytime soon, I know a lady who gives a mean facial and can provide you with some really great advice after she has some time to work with your skin. I was a skeptic – and she has been a miracle worked. 3/4 of the things she recommended for me – were NOT, and I repeat were NOT products to buy from her. My adult acne has gone down, and while I still experience the occasional flare up – it’s usually hormonal and the ice-cube (read more below!) always helps…

    Okay – here were my two golden nuggets from her (and I really suggest seeing her if you are even in Seattle!):

    1) flax seed oil. a tablespoon a day. it helps thin the oil that secretes out of your pores, and therefore it helps with clogging issues.

    2) ICE CUBES. after washing my face but before putting on any of my other products, I take a big ice cube to my face and rub it all around – about twenty seconds per large section. the ice cube acts as an anti-inflammatory and also has helped reduce my pore size. i know it sounds crazy, and believe me – it’s cold!! but if i skip an AM or PM ice cube-ing, I notice it!

    good luck. i know it’s not fun, and i know how frustrating it can be. come to seattle! visit ms. lisa, and i promise you will not be disappointed!! she’s a miracle worker. i believe her son had really bad acne, and she has figured out how to really individualize a plan for each person’s unique skin needs. DO IT!

  161. PROACTIV. Have you seriously not tried Proactiv? It totally worked on my two teenage sons. It has Benzoyl Peroxide in it which is the magic ingredient (this is NOT the same as hydrogen peroxide). There is no worse acne than on teenage boys and it seriously worked. It’s one of those automatic reordering systems, but you can cancel at any time. But you probably won’t want to cancel after you’ve tried it. If you are considering putting stuff INTO your body to control it, try this stuff which only goes on the outside. It works.

  162. Juli, have you ever heard of oil pulling? There are tons of people that swear by it to fix everything. I don’t know if it will help but it certainly can’t hurt to try especially since it is a “natural” cure!

  163. HI Juli
    I have been following your blog for a while its fantastic and I have never commented before on your posts. It breaks my heart to hear your overwhelming frustration. Your health and fitness is clearly very important to you. But it seems everyone is plagued by a health hurdle they cant seem to get over no matter how hard they try.
    I love your spunk. Your sense of humour cracks me up every time. You are more fit than I and I am always eager to see the recipes you post. The skin problems that affect your emotional well being have never factored into my respect or admiration that I have for you. I expect there are a lot of people out there including males 😉 that feel the same. Hang in there I wish I could offer skin advice but I am not experienced enough to offer you any suggestions that you havent already tried.

  164. Juli do NOT take acutane!! My brother and I both used to have terrible skin and he went on acutane and I didn’t. He’s been off of it over 7 years and still has issues with IBS and thinning hair. My mom took me to a hormone doctor that treats hormone imbalance using compounded hormones. meaning your hormone levels are tested and hormones compounded from natural sources (such as yams) are created for your individual needs. Birth control prevents your body from having a true ovulation – it just quiets the whole reproductive system using CHEMICALS! I would strongly suggest looking up Wiley Protocol. Her website has doctors listed across the country that do it. Acne comes from a hormone imbalance. which is why women as old as 50s have it!

    You take such great care of your body and healthy by eating right and exercising – this is something you should definitely look in to!

  165. Accutane changed my life. No other way around it. I’m all about the natural life, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I know there was a big IBS lawsuit associated with it, but as I had debilitating IBS before I went on it, I didn’t care. I was on it for a little over a year, I’ve been off it for two years and I’ve never had more than one spot on my face at a time since. Before that my acne was everywhere, all over, and I felt like each pimple began in my brain it felt so deep. I noticed no mood issues while I was on it. That being said, I had a good friend who went on it at the same time and her acne had been plaguing her longer than mine (I had average teenage acne for my whole teenage life occasionally taking Rx creams and antibiotics until it exploded at the age of 19; I only had to suffer horrible acne for about 5 months before I just went on Accutane). She already had bouts of depression but Accutane made it worse. Her skin never healed quite like mine, and she’s actually back on it now after a couple years off it. So I’m very happy I did it. I’ll never know what ill effects it’s had on me, but I have been acne free for 2 years and sometimes it’s just worth it.

  166. I can identify 🙁 even though I’ve gone perfectly Paleo and sugar free for a month, my skin still didn’t improve completely. Paleo helped 50%. I also heard of a food sensitivity panel test, in where your antibodies are tested to see if you are reacting to any other food. Got my results, and I was stunned to see I missed a few allergens even though I went through an elimination diet. Stopped all allergens, even the ones I was reacting very minorly. My face cleared up totally. I was stunned. Sugar, chocolate, nuts and coffee made acne worse. Basically, I think my leaky gut syndrome may be messing up my body, so I’m working on trying whole90, sugar free and nut free. Taking whole food supplements and cod liver oil and dairy free probiotics to heal my gut. We shall see. Biggest help were the food sensitivity panel. Check it out here:

    My homeopathic doctor was the only one who was willing to let me get this test. Through a doc, cost $175. Gotta be like a detective and watch every single thing that goes on your skin and into your mouth 🙂 hang in there, hon.

  167. You’ve got 40,000 comments here, so you may not see this one. I used to have TERRIBLE skin in college, and it turned out to be caffeine. Even now I can only have one cup of coffee a day without getting monster zits. I would recommend against accutane, because that shit messes with your hormones. I don’t know how much coffee/caffeine you drink, but give it a go? Love your recipes, BTW!

  168. I’m so sorry you are feeling that way. Everyone who visits this site thinks you are gorgeous so lay off the self bashing. I know what has worked for me is to be lazy about skin care. Whenever I use a nut scrub or anything other than vanicream soap my face goes apeshit. Is it possible you are doing too much at once and its causing your face to react? If you have sensitive skin I would recommend vanicream soap (its cheap and gentle) or if you want something stronger Hibiclens is awesome. But hibiclens needs to be used with care as it stains clothing and make sure you do not get it in your eye. But it is the best stuff out there. It is what hospitals use to disinfect patients before surgery. You can get both at Walgreens or CVS or

    As for thinking you won’t find a boyfriend because your skin isn’t flawless is a little nutty. If a man won’t date you because of your skin then he’s a total prick.

    Now go conquer the world and kick ass!

  169. Stay away from the acuntane. Seriously. I tried it about 6 years ago, and it worked for about 2 months, and then my cystic acne came back. Plus, dealing with all the side effects. No thank you.

    I’m in the same boat you are, i have to eliminate caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy to keep my acne under control… and still, when I get my period, i break out. no winning here 🙁

  170. Ugh! What a hassle, I doubt you will even make it to this comment, BUT every one is dealt a different hand. Some people get moles, others acne, sunburns through glass, funky toe nails, stanky breath, premature balding, cellulite despite hours at the gym, and so on. Don’t get upset. You having so many amazing qualities, one being able to curse like a sailor and still be a hottie totty. I’m sorry you are so cranky but shit gets a whole lot worse. I vote no to harsh drugs.

  171. Hi! I have worked as an Esthetician for about 10 years. I would not due Accutane, but your body and your life, I was wondering where your acne is? Neck? Chin? Cheeks? Forhead? We can often pinpoint cause by its location. What is your current skin care routine? What products do you use?
    I like the f word. so if you could use that more!!
    I think you are awesome!

  172. Just wanted to clarify, the ingredient list says baking soda but the instructions say baking powder. I’d like to try these because they look delicious, plus my husband is allergic to tree nuts and hates coconut so that rules out most muffin recipes I’ve found. Thanks!

  173. Hey pretty lady!

    Have you ever tried BenzaClin? I was given that a few years ago (and really used it more as a spot treatment vs all over the face every morning and evening).

    Also… sounds really silly and simple.. but ever tried using dial/antibacterial soap for your face? I still have break outs here and there but my face changed drastically when I started using that soap vs all the acne stuff.

    BTW – you are amazing and beautiful!!!! 🙂

    PS. Can’t wait to try to recipe!

  174. Juli, clearly many people have different views on Accutane. That’s completely fine, but it should only mildly influence YOUR thoughts on it. I have been on Accutane twice, and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. My father is a doctor, and one of the first people to ever try the drug. I truly do not think he would allow his own daughter to take something that was harmful. Anyway, I used to have terrible, awful skin, breakouts all over my face and neck, and my BACK was actually the worst! Before taking the drug I was miserable, cried in front of the mirror, felt depressed and ugly, and it really messed up my entire outlook on life! I understand!!! How our skin looks and how we feel in it is one of the most important things for a girl. My skin really did hold me back from a lot of things (pool parties, summer in general) and now I am so much more confident and love my skin. It’s been six years and no acne has surfaced. And absolutely NO scarring. You would never know that I had acne before. I also had absolutely NO problems with depression and my hormone balance wasn’t and isn’t screwed up. All I’m saying is that if your skin is holding you back from the life you want to have, then you should go ahead and do it, because it changed my life. Good luck on your decision and I hope all of these extensive reviews helped clear up any questions you had! xoxo

  175. Back to the recipe….. I was making it this morning and noticed in your ingredients you wrote ‘baking soda’ and in the directions you wrote ‘baking powder’. I already had everything in the bowl, including the baking soda, so I threw in 1/4tsp of baking powder just to be on the safe side—it turned out great! Even my 14yr old liked these muffins. And one muffin kept me full all through a 3 mile walk, weight-lifting, and errands.
    For future reference, which ingredient did you mean? 🙂

  176. Hi Julie! Ive suffered with Acne for a very long time too. So i totally understand the frustration. The only thing I have ever found to help me was and is proactive and being consistent with it and making sure I use their moisturizer. My friend tried accutane and it didnt work. And there are a lot of side effects with it especially with your kidneys and liver. But I have heard a lot of success stories with it. My cousin used it and hasnt had a problem since. I wont take it bc Im just so hormonal and very sensitive to meds. PS Cuss your little heart out. We love it! We love you! So be you! Good luck!

  177. I feel your pain with the acne suffering! I’m 28 and have had terrible acne since I was 12?…

    After years of trying everything under the sun I have accidentally found something that really works: virgin coconut oil.

    I’ve been eating a spoonful of it everyday and have noticed a CRAZY HUGE difference in my skin. People have been commenting on my skin – it’s that good.

    Try it – I cant believe nobody suggested it to me before, it could have saved me years of tears, money, and agony.

  178. Have you tried Chemical Peels like a Jessners or something similar? I get occasional break outs, but regular peels have ended those and made my skin much better. The peels help turn skin cells over and really clear out pores.

  179. Hey Julie,
    Just like Kristen posted, the Clarisonic Mia changed my life as well. Yes it is pricey, but it is worth every penny. I suffer from cystic acne that has left me with unsightly scars. After using the Mia once, my skin felt really clean and looked really smooth. I have been using the Mia for over a year and have had very few breakouts. Come to think of it, the only time I had a breakout is when I didn’t use the Mia for a few days in a row. I vote purchasing a Mia over taking Accutane. There are many class action lawsuits against the makers of Accutane due to the side effects it causes (you can check them out online if you Google them).

  180. Accutane = hell on earth, at least for me. I did two rounds and the first was OK, but during the second I got the worst horrible cystic acne possible all over my face. It scarred me for life, literally and figuratively.

    Finally at age 38 my skin has gotten much better. I credit the fermented cod liver / butter oil blend that I started on Liz Wolfe’s recommendation, plus loads of fermented foods (kraut and kefir, both homemade).

    But in any event, I found my wonderful partner at a time in my life when my skin was not at its best, so don’t worry too much!

  181. I was on Accutane for two years. In the beginning, it did not seem so bad, but then what you said in your post about depression and my lips practically coming off from peeling and having my my entire face peel happened.

    Before accutane, I did not have any medical problems. NONE. Now I have hypothyroidism, IBS, severe anemia, and back pain (which has been checked by every doctor possible – gotten MRIs, EMGs.. everything) has been going on since after accutane – who knows if theres an correlation or not…

    My skin is fabulously flawless now, but my body is not. I guess it was a tradeoff, and not one I would recommend to anyone.

    ps. love your recipes-thanks taking the time to create them.

  182. Hi Juli — I’ve struggled with cystic acne for 15+ years (ugh) and based on my experience with Accutane (twice!) would urge you to stay the hell away from that toxic stuff. There are lawsuits and FDA recalls out there right now for a reason, and I would take acne over permanently messing up my digestive system any day of the week (and would have chose to avoid the drug had I known that back then.) After two rounds of Accutane, my acne has come back each time, along with some pretty severe digestive symptoms and food allergies. I feel your pain — but Accutane is not worth it.

  183. I did accutane awhile back, and told them up front that they didn’t have to worry about depression affecting me because I made it such a habit to listen to and read positive things every day. I was WRONG! I was thisclose to being suicidal for the last 3 months of my treatment when they increased the dose, and pretty much lost my personality during that time as well. My skin cleared up, then returned to about half as bad as it had been.
    Have you tried The ingredients are small enough to actually get in your pores and clean them, and there is a 6 month money back guarantee in case you don’t like the results. You can get it from (item# 701940)
    Good luck to you, whatever you decide! btw, I enjoy your sense of humor, swear words and all!

  184. I think you are really brave to post something like this struggle with the world. And chances are your acne isn’t as bad as you think. I took Accutane in high school and it worked wonders. I mean, it cleared my skin up within 3 weeks and it was absolutely 100% clear for about 2 years. Then standard stress, bad habits, college and the like gave me milk breakouts, but nothing BCP couldn’t control. I had beautiful skin for years until a traumatic incident left my hormones going crazy. I tried proactiv, vitamins, dietary changes and nothing. I finally went to a dermatologist and she told me I had HORMONAL ACNE all these years (if you break out around your chin and nose area, and are a women in her child-bearing years, chances are you have hormonal acne). She put me on a blood pressure med called SPIRONALACTONE (or Aldactone). It’s painless, ok to take for long periods of time and won’t affect your workouts or lifestyle. It has dramatically reduced my breakouts to the point where I am not thinking about my skin constantly or avoiding social contact and men. Please do yourself a favor and find a female dermatologist to discuss this treatment with. Having struggled with acne my whole adult life, spironolactone is worth checking out if you are sick of it. Good luck…keep on workin’ out and cooking like its nobody’s business 🙂

  185. I took accutane when I was in high school (before I started eating Paleo) and after I finished my skin was AMAZING. So clear and soft, I couldn’t believe it. The dermatologist reccomended I get a facial by them after I’d completed the regime because everyone had reacted so great to doing that. Well that effed up my skin bad and it’s not been the same since. I have times when my skin is bad and times when its OK now. I also didn’t have any depression/excess drying issues etc. it all depends. Id try every other possible thing first though before doing accutane.

  186. I love your blog first and foremost.

    This is a really good article about acne:

    I think you should really reconsider cooking with animal fat. Your acne may be a sign your body can’t break it down properly and hence trying to eliminate through your skin…
    I had really bad ance most of my life and rarely get a breakout now due to the following changes:
    -Use Dermologica Medi-bac Line
    -Use clairsonic MIA daily when washing
    -digest coconut oil daily
    -only cook with coconut oil.

    Hope you find somethign that helps!

  187. I took accutane when I was 16 years of age (I’m now 31). I did not have any side affects from taking it. Granted, I think it should be your last resort. I was on high strength Retin-A for several years and it did not work. I had serious acne as a teenager (all over face and even occationally on my upper back). Acctuante completely cleared up my skin. It’s a tough choice…definitely do your research and talk with your dermatologist about your options. Contact me if you have any questions (definitely take probiotics every day).

  188. DON’T DO IT!!!! I took Accutane for two rounds in high school/college and I still have acne issues that I deal with….besides the fact that it just plain distroys your stomach. I also had bright bright red irritated skin. It burned soo bad when I sweat, the seams on my pants would rub my skin raw, it was the worst thing ever. I have also had stomach issues like crazy since then. I’m finally working with a doctor in the Tech Center who works on hormone regulation then treating gut infection. ( – Dr. Jonas) The book, Practical Paleo also addresses the gut infection issue. I totally believe that the skin is a reflection of what is going on inside, however it may not exactly be something you are eating.

    1. I totally agree! I love the book Practical Paleo! I have a lot of stomach issues too although I haven’t taken Accutane. My dermatologist reccommends that I do for my acne but I would rather deal with it naturally then to take something that destroys your stomach! Also, since our small intestine is most of our immune system, we really need to take care of it! What is going on inside is really reflected on our skin. Great post!

  189. I feel your pain! I use to have horrible acne and I was already in my mid-20’s. I felt like I was a teenager, but worse. There were some days where I wouldn’t want to leave the house because of my acne. I too was thinking about Accutane, but decided against it because of the excessive peeling it will cause and I was already depressed about my acne so I didn’t want to worsen my mood. I stopped taking acne medicine and went on birth control. I started a glycolic regimen. This consisted of every 3 weeks of facials which included glycolic mask and extractions. I also used glycolic skin cleanser and moisturizer. Every since, my skin has been great! Of course it got worse before it got better, but we all have learned to have patience when dealing with acne:) I get the occasional pimple or 2, but I rather have 1 or 2 then a full face of them! Hope this helps!

  190. Wow – so many responses on this post and it only makes me want to respond so much more. I’m in school right now at Institute for Integrative Nutrition, to [hopefully] work with people just like yourself and alot of these readers. I had acne for years, hormonal acne. The suggestion my derm gave me, besides the topical cremes and prescriptions, was to go organic. Cut out the external hormones. I saw such an impact, that I have since cut out all dairy and eat minimal meat. I’m no longer on any prescriptions for my acne and find I can control breakouts with adequate water intake and minimizing stress. Have you ever considered changing your paleo lifestyle (gasp). I know it sounds drastic but you should consider experimenting with it. I’d love to talk to you more about it if you wanted!

  191. Juli,

    I hope that you get to read every one of these comments! Obviously, your choice whether or not to take Accutane is your choice–everyone is so different and therefore you can only do what feels right to you. I am a 22 year old girl who totally feels your pain. I have cystic acne and PCOS, which I think causes it. I went to a naturopathic doctor recently and we are experimenting with hormones–natural ones like chaste tree berry. She told me that she eventually wants to get me off birth control which I am all for–in my opinion, anything synthetic or man-made is not as good as the real stuff from good ole Mother Earth. I am almost at 1 month of doing Paleo and it has helped my acne, but not cleared it up completely as I thought it would. 🙁

    This makes me sad, but I’m hanging in there. I’ve been dealing with this for so long now and have been gluten free and eating only organic for over 3 years! It’s not fair that people like you and me try SO HARD to be healthy and still have issues like acne when others can eat crap and have flawless skin. At least we will probably live longer though right? 😛 All I can say is hang in there, take it day by day, and know that you are NOT ALONE! For all its worth, you inspire me and I think you are a truly beautiful person with a truly beautiful soul. Any man would be lucky to call you his.

  192. Have you tried the Sonicare brush? I don’t have time to read all of the above, so I don’t know if anyone has recommended it – but it CHANGED my life! You do have to give it a few weeks and STICK with it – but it makes your skin so much better. Good luck girl and hope to see you at Crossfit Anaerobic in Laguna Niguel some day soon!

  193. You’re not alone!! I haven’t read through all your comments (yeesh) but Acutane is the ONLY way to go. I had terribly acne growing up, my confidence was horrendous and I took the plunge and I will never ever regret my decision because I no longer have skin issues at all.

    Yes – you will have some negative side effects, your “time of the month” will really really suck, your skin will be super dry and you can’t get facials or waxes and your lips will dry out in a way you can’t imagine right now.

    But your MOOD – maybe you’ll feel blue randomly and maybe you’ll be pissy randomly (who isn’t even off-drugs?) but your mood will sky rocket once this amazing drug kills your grease-producing self-hate inflicting hormone that causes acne.

    Do it. I don’t care if anyone disagrees with me if you’re even considering it you’re living a painful life right now – take the jump and know that you’re doing something to make your life better!!

    *if you need more convincing…if/when I have kids they’ll probably get acne, and I will not hesitate to get them on Acutane*

    *also be ready for once a month pregnancy tests to make sure you don’t sue them…absolutely worth it*

  194. I wash my face with oil-based soap and moisturize it with jojoba oil. OIL, is what I am saying.

    I also don’t combine carbs and fats, though I tend to eat about 40-55% of my calories from fat (15% from carbs). I know this because I’m doing research on macros at the moment.

    My skin looks better than it ever has.

    Good luck.

  195. I did not read all the comments and do not know if you have tried it but Arbonne products? I used to have horrible skin I used their face products and i couldn’t be happier. Just a thought.

    PS I just made some of the Magic Brownie Bars can’t wait to try them : )

  196. I took Accutane in college and I have to say I’m glad I did. I know all the awful things it can do to you, I never experienced those. I was religious about taking it, not drinking, taking supplements and going to do my blood work. I’ve been clear of majority of acne now (10 years later) and now I just use a Clarisonic. It really helps and makes a total difference. Don’t use the Clairsonic too much (once a day at night MAX). But when you break out then its not as bad and they clear up much faster. I highly recommend that first and if it doesn’t work then move onto the Accutane. Good luck!!

  197. Juli girl, you have got to try Michael Todd True Organics. I’ve used the products for only 2 weeks and all the little bumps on my face are gone. Sign up for their emails and you get emails saying 35% off. Or if you follow any beauty gurus on You Tube they are always giving out coupon codes. I have used the Detox Cleanser, Lemon Toner, and Hydration Serum. They seriously have done wonders for my skin and have lots of different products based on skin type.

  198. I have the SAME struggles with my digestion/Chron’s, etc. I try one thing..then the opposite and just the same results. gotta keep fighting! I just take care of myself and researching:)
    Have you ever done a full 30 days of strict paleo (meaning no sugars, grains, dairy, etc)?

  199. HI there! This is the first time I have ever commented on a blog, but I was so compelled to respond! Please do not use drugs to cure your skin problems. Skin problems are a sign that something is “off” in your body….your thyroid, your adrenal glands. I struggled with skin issues for years and am not getting treatment for thyroid and adrenal issues through a Homeopathic/Naturopathic doctor. You have to find the source of the problem…not just treat the breakouts. I know this is so frustrating and just heart breaking. I have been through so many roller coasters with my body, but what I can tell you is a homeopathic doctor will help heal your entire self….not just treat symptoms. You will be amazed!

  200. Just take the drugs. I did when I was 19 because I was SO over having bad skin. It actually wasn’t too bad, just stay out of the sun (perfect time now with winter here). I was the happiest I had ever been because my skin was getting better! It changed my life. Once it’s over, its over and you never have to be so restrained and vigilant for the rest of your life just to take care of your skin.

  201. There are so many comments and I’m sure that you are overwhelmed with the caring people who have responded to your blog post. I can’t think of anything that can mess with your self opinion than skin issues. I had so many issues when I was in my 30s. Never had any as a girl/teen. There are tons of things that cause it and it sounds like you’ve trying everything. I can’t say it enough… NO DRUGS! I have a very good friend who is a Chemical Engineer who has been on everything under the sun for her cystic acne which she has had since adolesence… being that she understands all of the chemical components in the drugs. She wanted off of them. So, she tried Arbonne skin care. I am a consultant and would be more than happy to send you some samples. If you do well on them, I would love to send you a travel set for free! Arbonne is formulated without mineral oil, animal products/by-products, chemical fragrances and dyes, gluten, soy or parabens. All of which are known irritants to the skin and our advanced delivery systems. I would love your feedback! Please email me at with any questions. I love the changes that this product has made to my skin and the confidence it has brought back to other women too!


    PS… Love your blog and recipes! 🙂

  202. Juli-I have the EXACT same skin issues and I too have tried everything (omega oil, change diet, try every product on the market, facials, vitamins, acupuncture etc) and it seems like something will work for a couple weeks then it stops. I am 33 and I’ve been battling acne for 3 years ever since I got of birth control pills. Turns out I have polycystic ovarian sydrome so no amount of healthy eating or lifestyle changes was going to improve my acne. I am now taking beyaz birth control pills as they are fda approved to treat acne. I’m on my third pill pack and I’m just now STARTING to see improvments. I used to get 2-3 giant, really painful zits every day. I haven’t gotten one of those in almost 3 weeks now (a miracle). Anyway, I am in the exact same boat as you so I know how bad it sucks. I tried eveything too..exept acutane, but that would have been my next step too. So glad I’m back on the pill. I was worried it would make me gain weight but I’ve actually los a few pounds and haven’t changed anything. I think I’m just overall happier because I don’t have a pizza face any more. Good luck to you, xoxo, love your blog!

  203. yo, the one undeniably nice thing about accutane is that while you’re on it, you can completely stop worrying about your skin (at least for a while), because you’re already doing the hardest-core thing for it possible. it’s a nice reprieve, if nothing else.

  204. Although I am new to your blog and recipes, I will first say, we are loving it in this house! With that said: do you have any amalgam fillings? You might want to read about mercury and how it can affect your body (says the girl who suffered from severe Ulcerative Colitis until she found SCD!) I am in the process of having my amalgam removed…. SLOWLY!

  205. I feel your pain, but do NOT do the drugs! I am 38 and have only this year figured out what my acne problem was from and since I’ve figured it out i have no issues. I used to get the cystic acne all over my chin that would not go away. I almost always had a cystic zit or two on my face. I went to doctor after doctor and they all said it was hormone related, but couldn’t tell me why or what to do about it. I finally had a naturopath that i started seeing this year and she tested my vitamin D levels and i was super low. Like 17. Even though i take cod liver oil. and live in Arizona. Go figure. I started seriously supplementing with vitamin D and my face has been great. But, if I stop even for 2 days I will break out. I don’t know if this is your problem, but try getting your levels checked and see if it might be. Good luck! I recently found your blog and you rock!

  206. Cut out meat, grains, dairy. Seriously. Eat fruits, vegetables and healthy fats from avocados. Detox your body and regulate your hormones with natural plant-based-hormone-free foods. A natural path told me this a few years ago, and now my skin is 100% cystic acne free and literally glows 🙂 For the first time in my life I dont have to wear makeup to hide anything. I know you’re ‘paleo’ (duhhhhh) but try and detox for at least 2 weeks (6 is optimal) and then slowly introduce foods back in (if you wish). I may not eat paleo but I read your blog because you’re a beautiful, funny person. All the best!

  207. Juli – look at how many people love you girl! I haven’t read all the comments ( so much love!) so sorry if i repeat myself but :
    DO NOT TAKE THE DRUGS. You are doing well.

    I recommend the above with seeing an ND/ homeopathic doctor. there is probably something totally unrelated going on that it is affecting.

    Also – you are doing all the right things but i feel like you are not giving long enough for it to work. We all have been there, months where are so angry at ourselves bc of our skin, I used to just not look in the mirror because it made me upset. It took me MONTHS of paleo and trying the coco oil / ACV method. Keep trying it. dont stop, and keep up with squeaky clean paleo, as you go see an ND. just dont give up and switch before it has time to work. Its a long process. stay strong!!

  208. Ok. Way too many comments for me to have read everything here, so forgive me if I am redundant.

    Firstly, as ridiculously frustrating as acne is, remember you are still beautiful and have MANY enduring qualities that deserve your positive acknowledgement. Now on to talking about the issue…

    Working on diet is a step in the right direction when it comes to acne. Acne, for many, is a result of bacteria that meets poor quality fat (sebum production in skin) & inflammation. Probiotics are absolutely a great addition to helping balance your gut, your inflammation and even your hormones. However, for your individual case, much more may be needed to get your gut on track, your hormones balanced and that acne tamed. It sounds like you’ve already got the idea that removing sugar, grains and other inflammatory foods can help, but you must be diligent about it. Ugh! I know that’s not very fun at times.

    You are right that accutane has its side effects and you should consider those when choosing to go on a medication. While it may take care of the symptoms of the acne, the question is, why do you have persistent acne? Our skin is a reflection of what is happening on the inside. Your acne may be a clue to a deeper imbalance.

    I know how frustrating acne can be as I work with many people in helping them resolve theirs. I’ve gone through my share as well.

    Ok. Now I am off to make this amazing recipe. I love your recipes and I love what you do. I appreciate you sharing and want you to know that I always look forward to your concoctions.

  209. Three things I can recommend that have really helped me:

    Get a Clairisonic. They are pricey but once you break down and spend the money it really will become your favorite skincare thing ever. It does make the skin break out a little bit at first, but this doesn’t happen to everyone. You know, the whole it gets worse before it gets better.

    Use a prescription retinol product. Epiduo is what my Dermatologist prescribed me. There are lots of different ones, though.

    Lastly, if you’re taking supplements, make sure they don’t contain Biotin. I was taking a hair and nail growth supplement which contained Biotin and my skin FREAKED out. I did a little research and apparently Biotin can cause pretty heinous breakouts. So, avoid that shit for sure.

    Hope this helps! Thanks for all you do, keep up the great work!

  210. I put off taking accutane for so long because of all the scary things I read online & I tried EVERYTHING else. I mean everything, I sat in front of blue lights, I used every cream on the market, I took birth control, etc etc and nothing worked. I finally gave up and decided I was willing to risk all the horrible accutane effects because having acne made me feel horrible about myself & I was just willing to risk it. OMG, I wish I just saved myself years of suffering and went on it right away. I wish I could tell everyone suffering with ance to just go on accutane. Did it suck having DRY DRY DRY skin & bruising like an over ripe tomato? Yes it did. The initial breakout also sucked, but you have no idea how freeing it is to look in the mirror and not hate your face. I don’t care if it sounds vain, I want to feel good about myself and not feel like a teenager when I’m an adult woman. You have to remember that people who take accutane & have annoying dry skin for a few months & then clear skin after don’t get on the internet and write reviews. People with bad experiences write reviews, so the internet makes everything look scary. My kind old man dermatologist who finally convinced me told me, “I’ve been prescribing accutane for 30 years and I put my daughter on accutane.” You will do it, it will moderately suck for 6 months and then you will thank God that you did it every morning for the rest of your life when you have flawless skin.

  211. I was single until I was 23 and I was positive it was because of my awful, red, inflamed acne. It sucks. It sucks a LOT. I have faith that there is a guy out there who will believe you are beautiful even on a bad face day, because one of those guys found me and if it happened to me it can happen to you.

  212. I am 22 and have sufferedf from acne for the past 10 years of my life so I feel your frustration. I am on month 5 of accutane and I have never been happier with my skin. Really! Everyone tells me it glows. I was so nervous b/c I have a history of anxiety and depression and I have experience NO false side effects other than some dry lips. However, I just constantly have chapstick on me soooo problem solved. I HIGHLY recommend accutane and I wish I had done it MUCH earlier in my life!

  213. Get a full hormone profile done, ideally do a salivary profile vs. a blood hormone panel. You likely have an eleveated testosterone level with probably a lower than normal progesterone level. Check your cortisol too. Find a GOOD naturopath and stick with him or her – they are a god send. MD’s tend to be flaky with hormone profiling…maybe a good idea to checked out for PCOS too…I was told a million times i didn’t have it, but hormone panelling doesn’t lie and it was real! Women with PCOS are ofthen naturally stonger, fitter and athletic. They often have milk-mod acne and report that they put on muscle easy while having a slightly harder time shedding fat. Worth a shot!

  214. Since you asked I am just going to throw this advice out there…
    1. Read “Excuse me Your Life is Waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn becasue how you think about your face is just as important as what you do to it.
    2. Find a great Doctor that practices naturopathic medicine and get some testing done for food allergies and hormones. My sister-in-law is having the same struggle with acne and she just found out that she has PCOS and she is waiting on the other tests so that she can get her mind and body in harmony. She also had the same limited results with diet change and new washes, etc. but her recent visit to her naturopathic MD has been more benefitial than all the previous 32 years of creams, potions, medicine and facial treatments combined.

    Best of luck.

  215. Just a quick comment about cleaning your face with the oil method. I have been doing this for about 3 months now. I love it and my skin is so thankful. I use organic avacado oil. Castor oil can cause allergic reactions in alot of people and I found that it broke me out.

    This may not be what you are suffering from, but the advice in this blog post seems solid for finding a cause. I have what she’s talking about and it’s very painful and embarrassing as well. This post opened my eyes to a whole new thinking because I never connected that it might be a food allergy.

    Thank you for your site. I might not be a 100% paleo but the knowledge you are sharing and the recipes are changing my life and my shape. Good luck!

  216. Accutane is totally worth it. I have never had terrible acne on my face (a zit here or there) but I have had the absolute worst, and most disgusting painful cystic acne on my back. I went on accutane for 5 months and even though I was scared as hell about the side affects it was a good decision and I would highly recommend it. Not everyone has horrible side effects. I did have flaky skin on my cheeks and near my nose which looked like a “skin beard” for awhile (yuck!) but it went away. Exfoliation and a good moisturizer helped. I used Aquaphor on the worst parts near my nose and on my chapped lips which helped immensely. Bottom line – give it a try. you have to jump through hoops to get it but its worth it in the long run. I now only occasionally get a pimple on my back when I eat too many cheats and don’t stick to paleo close enough. BTW – Acne or not you are still beautiful and I hope I can crush a WOD the way you do one day. You rock and I wish you luck in your search for a solution.

  217. Have you also thought about positive affirmations? Look into Dr. Wayne Dyer……I am perfect radiant health….I am clear skin…..I am whole….etc…..

    Many blessings to you….you attract what you ARE, and you are love…..

  218. I had horrible acne for years and took Accutane. It cleared my skin permanently and I have no side effects. It really improved my self-esteem to have beautiful skin. I’m now married with a child and through all of the stresses and hormonal changes I’ve gone through over the years, my skin has remained clear. Good luck with whatever you decide to do! I’m so sorry you’re goIng through this.

  219. Juli, I am sure you get unwanted facial advice all the time but I just have to add one more. I have been dealing with oily skin for 15 years and recently found a combo that eliminated my blemishes and although im still oily during the day, I dont have breakouts. First, cleanse with a bar of real goats milk soap (as in, the first ingredient is goat milk, and the rest is just fat and all natural ingredients) and while you are lathering, exfoliate. I use salt but you can you sugar or baking soda if you have sensitive skin. Do that morning and night. At night, use 99% pure organic aloe vera to coat your face and neck before bed. It is an astringent and somehow this is the key ingredient to no blemishes (plus the lactic acid in the goat milk). I have been blemish free for a few years and the zits only come back when I slack on my routine. hope you see this comment and decide to try it, you will see results FAST

  220. As an athlete, I hated choosing between wearing coverup or being ridiculously embarrassed, so after suffering with acne from age 12-24, I did accutane for 5 months, got addicted to chapstick (use Aquaphor) and have only had ~1 zit/month since and always around the same time of month if ya know what i’m sayin and I’m almost 30. The only annoying parts were the red tape you have to go through every month to get it and you weren’t supposed to drink alcohol… which I might have ignored slightly. One of the best decisions I ever made.

    Things I used and still use: Johnson’s Purpose face wash and spf 15 daily moisturizer. The Body Shop’s Vit E moisturizing spray and night cream. Post-accutane: anything from the Aqua Glycolic product line, too strong while you’re on it.

    Good luck dude!

  221. so I’ve been on accutane twice and it’s come back each time. Adult acne blows. What I have come to terms with is the fact that I have fine body hair on my face and I’m always going to struggle with it. ALWAYS. I literally have tried everything….on a lighter note, my whole body didn’t shrivel up on accutane like some peoples AND it made it to were I could go more than one day between washing my hair. I loved the results…they just didn’t last.

  222. Hi Juli, I know there are a TON of posts in relation to accutane. I took accutane in highschool, I’m now 26 and dealing with the worst acne of my life (far worse than highschool and for almost 2years since I weaned my daughter.)

    TWO things… My skin has been improving via Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. Skin is related to your liver and lungs (I have asthma so I predisposed to acne etc) in chinese medicine. I take some bitter tasting herbals 3x a day as a tea and get acupuncture treatments 1x a wk or every 2wks depending on what my wallet can afford. I have excess “heat” so I’m supposed to avoid certain foods such as spicy etc. I looked all over for a TCM doctor who specializes in acne treatment. I really think it will be almost cleared in a few months if I also manage my stress and keep eating right.

    Another thing I am going to look into is getting my genotype E tested and eating for my specific genes. Theres a book called “The Perfect Gene Diet” by Pamela McDonald my naturopath recommended it to me last year and i have finally started to read it.

    Recap: TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE and ACUPUNCTURE!!!! (I swear by this… tcm has helped me a lot over the years dealing with hormonal issues.)


    Let us know what route you take< i understand your frustration…. I sleep with makeup on when Im at my boyfriend's and I just wish I could wake up and not worry about my face.

  223. Acne is a terrible disease. It made me hate meeting new people, because they would think I was ugly (not true, but you can’t help feeling this way), and seeing old friends, because they would be shocked at how much worse my skin was. No matter what nutrients I supplemented, no matter what food group I cut, it just seemed to get worse and worse. At one point, my entire forehead was raised, purplish-red, and hot to the touch. There wasn’t a single millimeter of healthy skin left.

    From your descriptions, I’m 99% sure your acne has the same cause as mine: hormones. If you get inexplicably moody and/or inconsistent/painful periods all the time, it’s DEFINITELY hormones. Something that stopped deep, cystic pimples from forming was drinking two cups of strongly brewed green tea a day. There are anti-androgenic properties in green tea that calmed my system the fuck down; however, I continued to get little clogged pores and scattered forehead acne.

    I find leaving raw honey on my face for 30 minutes acts better than any prescribed topical antibiotic. I only found the honey mask effective the first time I used it (’cause after that, all the bacteria were already dead). Raw African black soap helps a lot with the small pimples I get now (can’t prevent cystic, hormonal acne, though.) The black soap I got was from Natural Cosmetics on Amazon. I hear the Tama black soap from Coastal Scents is amazing as well (it has neem, which is pretty kick-ass against acne). Also, consider trying the products recommended at Epic Beauty Guide, if you’re willing to drop some dough. I’d have tried more of her recommendations myself, except that EVERY oil I’ve ever put on my face has caused breakouts. I’m hoping that my pores just didn’t know what to do with themselves back when my hormones were in flux. I really want to try some of my nice, oily things once my skin settles down once and for all.

    Some other supplements that are nice but didn’t cure my problem:

    -silica (I take bamboo silica. I hear good things about Biosil and Huber colloidal silica gel.)
    -Magnesium to go with D3
    -pre-formed A (you might be a poor converter of beta carotene)
    -B complex (biotin can make things worse, though)

    I really wish you well and hope you figure out how to cure it!

  224. I took acutane for acne on my back that I had for about 9 years give or take. The dermatologist exact words were ” I can give you some creams or pills to take, or I can just give you Acutane and be done with it in six months.” I started it took it about 4 months untilI was drying so bad that I had to come off. Since then I have had no acne, or breakouts of any kind. My suggestion try it out just buy a tub of Aquaphor when you do and don’t even think of getting pregnant. Good Luck

  225. Hey GIRL… I’m sure you don’t need any more advice and I haven’t read all the comments so I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned these things yet, but thought I would add in my two cents….

    I have struggled with acne FOREVER, and called on Chris Kressor for some help because I was so frustrated with being a strick paleo girl for years with not a single bit of improvement.

    On top of what your already doing, a couple things that have helped me significantly is Fermented Cod liver oil from green pastures and bone broth ( I also did the Gaps Introduction diet which got me headed on the path to clear skin).

    The facewash I use now is ANDALOU naturals – Citrus Kombucha ( they carry it at Whole Foods).

    Best of luck….I know its a long frustrating journey that really wears on a girls self esteem 🙁

    PS. Love your blog and recipes!

  226. Hey Juli, love your blog. Holy crap you’ve gotten a lot of comments/advice on the whole skin thing. I didn’t read through all them to see if anyone else has recommended FANIE products. My sis and I both were on Accutane in high school (twice) and it worked great while we were on it but the acne came back after we got off of it (not to mention some intense side effects). So we discovered FANIE about 7 years ago and its literally the only product that has cleared our skin up. Check out the website, its a shop in San Diego but she ships everywhere. I’d recommend calling and getting advice from her on your skin type and the products. Seriously amazing product.

  227. Julie have you seen the face diagram. Meaning if you breakout on your jawline or chin its due to hormones and stress. If you breakout on you cheeks/forhead its due to dairy and so on (which I am pretty sure you don’t eat). Where do you get facials? I have a wonderful woman I go to in the Highlands.

  228. Hey Juli! Your are awesome.
    People love YOU not your pimples. You are no less beautiful with or without them.

    If you are interested-I wrote this post on paleohacks out of complete and total frustration.
    “What I’ve learned in a year of fighting and studying acne”

    You really have to question EVERYTHING you eat, EVERYTHING you use on your body, and yes, even your water. Even stuff that you’re 100% you don’t react to, could have some chemicals or treatments that affect you after the chemicals build-up. Like nuts. or coconut. or dried fruit.

    Like one of the commenters above mentioned, I am allergic to fluoride! Freaking toothpaste, as well as the sulfuryl fluoride that gets sprayed on EVERYTHING in the US – almonds, walnuts, pecans, lettuce, kale, other greens, also accumulates in fatty chicken parts and chicken bones, turkey, TAP WATER, etc. etc. etc.

    Also sodium laureth sulfates (or other derivatives) make me break out!!! So when I used regular conditioner I would get pimples! What???

    I am such a BIG PITA. (Pain – in -the – ass)

    Almost everything I eat now has to be organic or grass fed. and I’m still learning about things that seem OK, but 1 week later crop out.

    I buy nearly 100% of my groceries local. And you know what else? I stopped washing my face and my hair. I no longer spend money on cosmetics and I’m glad. I am FREE from that hole, as well as seeing dermatologists, who I’m sure would throw me out of their office.

    I am crazy, though. I spent a ton of money for thanksgiving turkey to buy a bird that was raised on chloride free, fluoride free water so I wouldn’t break out. (Eberly turkey and chicken if you’re interested)

    I also like this post about acne:

    It spoke to me a lot about what I have found out, that acne reflects some issue with your liver, kidney, thyroid, hormonal, lymphatic, or gall bladder symptoms – one or all of the above- and though they sound crazy, I also think chinese acne face maps are helpful for deciphering what needs support.

    Please email me if you want to talk, or if you would like to borrow my GAPS book. Until I understood WHY symptoms can get out of whack, I was like you – trying everything, it felt like every supplement under the sun!

    (Before Chris Kresser wrote his series

    I have tried: Cod Liver Oil from Green Pastures, NOW zinc, Vitacost Magnesium, Kroger Vitamin C, Biotin, Selenium, Silica, Niacin, Probiotics, Fish oil, Vitamin D)

    The ones from his article I didn’t try:
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin E
    Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5)

    But it’s much more basic than that – something in your body is out of balance. Something in my body was.

    Here’s what worked for me:

    1 week of intro gaps – Lots of bone broth (with Distilled water + salt!). Really well cooked vegetables. Digestion ok? Great. Added homemade yogurt, egg yolks.

    better but not perfect. I figured if I couldn’t eliminate fluoride, my kidneys must be hurting, so I started taking the following herbs:

    milk thistle
    burdock root
    dandelion root
    turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
    grapeseed extract (anti-oxidant)
    NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)
    Stinging Nettle

    I still find out something new bathed in fluoride every other day – conventional meat (can have up to 40 ppm), conventional GINGER (sprayed with a ton of Sulfuryl Fluoride).

    I would be happy to be your buddy if you want someone to support you as you go through any kind of elimination diet.

    But the US food chain is so F*CKED from all the shit they add to our food to preserve it and grow it that organic is the way to go. Plus the antibiotics/birth control prescribed to ladies for “abnormal” periods or yeast infections or UTI’s, which seriously f*cked me up. And based on personal experience, the stupid f*cking fluoride pills prescribed to me as a kid and thinking I was healthy in drinking 3 L of tap water every day and using tons of toothpaste – the more th better right? It’s not you. It’s this f*cking country we live in. Sometimes I am so angry at the fact that I have to be so f*cking anal about my food. But Don’t take accutane. Please. Don’t let them get more of your money than they deserve, or f*ck you up more. Western medicine is great if you’re on death’s door, but not so great at quality of life issues.

    It’s going to be a long hard road, but seriously please email you seem so awesome and I promise you I would like you the same acne or not. You will be stronger having conquered this. I PROMISE YOU THAT YOU CAN.

  229. There’s so many damn comments on this I doubt you’ll see this one BUT I went on accutane, it worked, had no problems. My lips were a little dry but they make this stuff.. its called CHAPSTICK. Oh and lotion. I don’t know if you’ve heard of those? Try acctuane for a month or two, if you don’t like the results don’t stay on it. Simple as that. Or ya know.. you could try that crazy ass concotion above.. lol. Good luck. Oh and I can’t even tell you the CONFIDENCE I have now gained from having clear skin. I think if anything you should talk to a doctor about accutane. Any questions or concerns you have they can answer. I hate to see people unhappy about acne when there’s things that DO WORK!

  230. I have struggled with acne ever since I was a teenager (I am not 30). It is especially bad when I am nursing or pregnant. The hormones rage war on my skin. Girl! I totally get the feeling of being ugly because your skin is so bad! With my current pregnancy I started taking turmeric and it has worked wonders! Finally after all these years something that works! I take 2 daily and when it is really bad I take 2 in the morning and 2 at night. My skin is pretty close to clear. Not perfect but infinitely better than what it was. You can also make a paste of turmeric and water to put on the trouble spots for a little bit or before you go to bed at night. This totally helps too. Just put a towel or something over your pillow case because it stains yellow. Here is a link to the stuff I get from vitacost that has worked wonders for me! Good luck girl! Hope that helps!!

  231. Juli, I know this is like…. a week late…but whatev, I was grabbing the recipe and read your post. I just wanted to tell you that at age 29, my face went from flawless to pimply, zitty & major cysts within about 3 months. And I’m not joking in the slightest. It was ALL over my face, and the most depressing thing I have ever experienced…I know I know…everyone says it’s what’s inside that counts… but even when you are putting the right things inside and you ‘feel’ fine on the inside… the outside stuff is just as important to me too! I mean, if I’m working my body to look great, I want my face to look great too! WITHOUT concealer!! Rabbit trail. So, the sheit stayed around on my face and multiplied like ugly little bunny rabbits for 2 years. I started using a certain product line and while it cleared MY skin up in about 2 weeks, I will say I don’t attribute it TO the specific product alone, it certainly did help to be using quality products that aren’t harmful to your skin and it’s natural growth & regeneration, I largely attribute it to how the routine of using it changed my skin’s habits (very much like how our bodies can reprogram themselves to choose fat as the primary fuel first…right?) So… my new routine become: gentle cleanser, NON oxidizing toner (ie… antibacterial toner, not the kind that tingles/burns your skin when you use it), and simple hydration, both day and night. Once in the morning, once before bed. I learned that all the super scrubbing I was doing (with or without harsh acne chemicals) was actually stripping my skin of its oil, and NOT using a moisturizer (thinking that I didn’t want more stuff on my face) was causing my oil glands to produce SO much sebum that it was just clogging everything up. Now add that onto the fact that I worked out a LOT (gym rat & 10km racer) I was taking a lot of showers, again rinsing away my natural oils, and my skin’s natural acid mantle and pH. Add to that the stress of a divorce…BUT any stress just contributes (including healthy physical stress…hormones are powerful little buggers) SO…verbal diarrhea here, but all of that to say, what worked for me doesn’t always work for everyone, but the solution might be as simple as picking gentle products to clean your skin, a VERY gentle toner that doesn’t use strong alcohols as an astringent, and a nice light daily moisturizer and a night cream to make sure your skin is getting what it needs. I also use a serum with my combination because I’m focusing on making sure my skin has the vitamins it needs as it ages (I’m 34 now). But the whole key is remembering that drying out your skin with products will just cause it to make more oil. NOW, all of THAT to say, you may have already tried this and reading this was a colossal waste of your time. If so, I recommend having a glass of wine. 🙂 (but the fact remains, you’re good peeps)

  232. I seem to be one of the lucky ones who took accutane with negligible (I think?…remains to be determined) negative results. I did need to have to have my blood drawn every month, which I didn’t think much of at the time (because all teens are invincible!…or feel that way, anyway) – but it did clear up my acne. Full disclosure, I’m a guy and I’m not sure how it might differently effect the female body (not sure about a lot of things, really…like I said, I’m a guy).

    Looking back, I’m not sure if I would do it again, understanding the consequences more fully. I’ve also found that cleaning up my diet (re: going Paleo) has cleaned up my skin/complexion better than any skin care regimen. I used to have especially dry skin around my nose, but that sh*t has become as smooth as a baby’s backside.

    That being said, I highly recommend Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap as an excellent facial cleanser:

    Also, this clip from Alan Watts explains who you really “are” when you look in that mirror:

    Someone else mentioned meditation, and here’s a great lecture from Watts on that:

    And, besides that, you’re gorgeous. Not only how you look, but your personality and sense of humor. Might not mean much coming from this anonymous schmuck on the internet (who also already swam in accutane like Scrooge McDuck in gold coins…this freakin’ hypocrite!), but it’s what I think.

  233. Hi! Just came across your site & love your recipes… Your personality is hysterical too!! Have you ever had an allergy test to see your IgG reactions to foods…. Or are you eating flax at all?? It doesn’t appear that you hve flax but it brutally breaks me out horribly & several of my friends.

    Another note is I work fora company that makes a high strength probiotic used by many physicians around the country for issues like this. What’s going on in the gut, definitely comes out in the skin… Those toxins must go omewhere. You may benefit from a strong probiotic like Theralac& rotate with TruFlorato combat yeast & other intestinal problems. Let me know if you’d like to try a sample & we can send you one. I’d love to help !! Good luck & thank you for the good ideas & many laughs!!

  234. What if I told you that I had an approach you had not tried yet? It seems to me that you have excess yang qi. I have successfully improved my face through diet and if you’re curious as to how please reach out to me.

    If you don’t reach out I highly recommend implementing a “yin diet”. I have been on accutane 7 times in my life since I’ve been 16 and I am now 24. It would always work but within time my face always reverted to what it was before. The process is also a bitch. I hope you contact me!

  235. Everything I have EVER put on my face makes me break out…except shea butter. I use a natural shea butter soap. If I get a breakout I’ll use peroxide on a cotton ball. When I was younger I suddenly started breaking out badly. The only thing that worked for me was taking Zinc and vitamin C. They’re mad frikkin cheap and good for you and make your skin wicked frikkin awesome!

  236. Juli, I have been having very similar acne problems for the past several years. I am making great progress so I wanted to share with you. Same as you, I would switch washes and it would be great for a week and then go back to how it was. Played with my diet and it would be great but then go back to how it was. 2 months ago I started using Glytone step-up. They have several different lines so look at the Step-Up. It’s a wash and then a lotion for morning and one for night. You use it for 3 months and then buy the lotions in step 2, use that for 3 months and then buy the lotions in step 3. At first I didn’t think it was working but give it a month. I am beyond thrilled with my skin now. Another thing I realized is that I can’t wear foundation. I had been using mineral foundation for years and since discovering that it was adding to my breakouts I’ve tried about 6 others but they all make me breakout. For now, the face wash has made my skin so pretty I’m ok with not wearing foundation. Someone suggested I try the new BB creams but I’m nervous. I’m just not ready to chance it. Best of luck. I know how painful it is.

  237. Forgot to mention Bentonite clay. Don’t have to get the expensive stuff. I buy one called..i think it’s aztec secret..something like 8 bucks at whole foods. Mix it with either purified water or with aloe juice and make a paste. That stuff clears up a zit in a day!!
    I hate using chemical stuff…they’re always a vicious cycle.
    Anyways…if you have a zit after using this clay stuff once or twice, i’d be highly surprised. It will even draw lead poisoning out of your system.

  238. I know exactly what you have been dealing with, try reading this article. It may be a lot cheaper way to get the results that you would get from accutane. Do some research on zinc and acne, I had been searching for years and finally read about how so many people with acne are actually deficient in zinc because their body doesn’t absorb it right. I am paleo and eat completely clean, I even have to stay away from coconut and nuts. Healing your gut is key but its not the only link:

    P.S When you buy zinc, try the chelated kind from blue bonnet instead

  239. Here is the deal: sometimes people are sensitive to all the “stuff” that should clear up acne. I’m allergic to salycilic acid (which is in everything for your face and more) …makes me break out hard core…all over. Not pretty. I switched to a product that I buy on Amazon called, Free and Clear…it’s shampoo…and my skin is amazing! I get compliments ALL the time. I also just use plain old eucerin lotion. Nothing fancy but it has very few ingredients…which is the key. Also, organic cleansers can still have irritants in them bc many herbal or natural or organic products, like witch hazel, are very much like the synthetic products so your skin can react to them the same way. Less is more. For a $10 bottle of shampoo and a $12 bottle of lotion, it’s worth a shot. Incidentally, I also used to be an esthetician. I wouldn’t touch accutane with a ten foot pole.

  240. Hi Juli! I can see how many comments you have on this acne issue and how many suggestions you have to sift through. However, I would like to add my two cents 🙂 You are beautiful, but I completely understand what it looks like to see someone you don’t like in the mirror. I have been chubby my WHOLE life. I’m doing really well right now and I’m happy, but for a long time I would be sad when I saw how big my belly was, etc. in the mirror. Anyways, you seem to eat a really healthy diet with lots of good fats. The only thing I would recommend food-wise is to load up on the greens. Greens are calming and balancing, which if anything, will help with the mental stress this acne gives you. Also, I would throw out any beauty products that you can’t eat. It just doesn’t make sense to me to put chemicals on the skin when the skin soaks up everything directly into the bloodstream. I love Living Libations products and it may seem weird, but cleaning your face with oil really does work. And her oil cleansers smell sooooo good and are amazing! If you are really interested in natural beauty routines, I would recommend the BE Beauty program by Tera Warner. They have a free 10 day program if you don’t want to pay for the 30 day and the lady who runs it, Paula, struggled with severe (and I mean SEVERE) acne her whole life until just last year when she committed herself to this BE Beauty program. I don’t work for this program, but I have gone through it and I believe in it and I have seen its effects. Let me know if you try it and like I said, if you want something quick and cheap – do their free 10 day program. You won’t regret it!

  241. Hey Juli,

    I’m wicked late on this one, but I figured I’d throw in my two cents. It’s the least I can do since your website has given me so much since I became a follower in July. Seriously, you are awesome and your food is awesome, and without you and George of Civilized Caveman, I don’t think I’d still be following Paleo (and I’d be chunky, depressed, and lethargic again).

    Anywho, I had a derm who wanted to put me on accutane despite the fact that I never really had skin THAT bad. I refused and continued dealing with my skin issues, which had gotten worse again in my late 20s. I visited another dermatologist who put me on a brief round of antibiotics, made me stop using any drugstore product aimed at getting rid of acne, and gave me a prescription lotion to keep my skin hydrated and a gel for any brief flare ups. I used that for a short period of time (as it was intended by my dermatologist), in conjunction with Aveeno fragrance-free, dye-free face wash. Gorgeous skin! Skin I had always dreamed of! As I said, that was a short lived regimen (with the scripts), and now I just eat well (indulging in sugar from time to time) and use Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Cleanser and the occasional moisturizer. That’s IT. I wasn’t keen on being on antibiotics, but it was so short-lived that it was ok. I’m going on 6 years with clear skin now. Whatever you try, give it some time to work and don’t scrub the hell out of your lovely face! Give it some time to heal.

  242. I got some relief from retin-a, but when it was combined with benzoyl peroxide cream and a benzoyl peroxide soap, I really started getting traction against my acne. I had a mid-twenties explosion in which my acne suddenly flared again, and my dermatologist switched me from retin-a to tazorac. It’s crazy strong, but worked like magic. I only had to use it a couple of nights a week — any more than that, and my skin dried up too much. I’m 38 and don’t have too much trouble any more (light at the end of the tunnel, Juli). I use Clinique acne-clearing lotion every morning under my foundation (neutrogena acne-clearing foundation) and I’m generally clear. And keep that headband off your forehead. Bacteria is just stewing under there.

  243. Hi Sweet Juli,

    I’m chiming in late here. I have been on ProActiv many times, Derm perscribed antibiotics and Accutane TWICE. I had cystic acne so bad. Knots all over my face that would spew blood and puss. I would cry and call in to work sick. I had to wear makeup so thick. The kind that post-op folks had to wear after plastic surgery was healing. I feel your pain.

    Three things that worked for me.
    Rena Levi amazing scrub and soap. Her before and after pictures are incredible.
    Pure Skin Junkie: ALL acne products. They let the good bacteria on your skin live (as opposed to drug store and ProActiv jumk) while your skin heals.
    And Dr. Hauschka normalizing oil. I would put it all over my face and sleep in it. My face would calm down and sigh Ahhh.

    Lastly, even above diet (which is HUGE) is the connection between our skin (including acne, hives etc) and Fear, Anxiety and Stress that we harbor and nurture internally. It throws off the entire system and your skin is actually trying to tell you something about what is happening inside. High levels of fear (even if it happened twenty years ago) etc. triggers increased histamine secretion behind the skin and also increases the secretion of oil in the epidermis causing acne.

    Accutane hurt me in so many ways. I’m 15 years out from my last round and I am still not the same. I’ll tell you after everything I’ve been through, if I had it to do all over again, I would be kind to my skin with basic coconut oil and a gentle cleanser and find out why and how I am blocking love from reigning supreme in my life and heart. It sounds silly and way too simple. But when I let love cast out fear from the very fiber of my being, many many many things balanced themselves out. My body is at rest and the crappy cortisol drip shut off and my nervous system is at peace to do what it was designed to do instead of balance the fight/flight/freeze dance.

    I think you are amazing and are so dear. A book that helped me understand this in depth was “A More Excellent Way to Be in Health” by Henry W. Wright.

    I wish you all the best.


  244. So many great comments! I have had both acne and skin sensitivity to everything, there are a few things I have done that has changed everything. I have used Murad products and gotten facials using Murad. Check out Massage Envy Spa in your area for great facials at a great price.

    Next look into oil pulling, at least in the morning before eating, drinking or brushing your teeth. Amazing what has happened to my face since I started.

    Lastly, Use coconut oil as your base even to wash and under moisturizer.

    Good luck. You are beautiful. Also, when your partner comes, none of this will matter to him. Keep doing what you do so well and know you will will be healed.

  245. I used to have a similar problem. I never tried any drugs. What it seems to work for me is no pork/beef meat. Expecially no cured/processed meat such as ham, salami, sausages, bacon, etc. This is a no no for me. When I occasionally eat some red meat (e.g. roastbeef) at a party or similar social occasion, the acne comes back.

  246. This may sound weird, but have you considered acupuncture?

    My husband had a course of 3 treatments for a trapped shoulder nerve and they were fab, but the strange thing was that a patch of stubborn acne he had on his back cleared up and has yet 9over a year later) to return.

  247. Some two cents you can use RIGHT NOW instead of a long term heal-your-organs-and-hormones fix for your skin! Yes, it’s a band-aid.. are you ready??

    Get some amazing, CLEAN, gorgeous makeup and feel psychotically pretty. Ready?
    uncoverup and luminizer, buy them
    soft focus and/or illusionist concealer

    I’m not a skin guru, derm, doc, fanatic or any of that but I DO know that switching over to makeup that doesn’t have petrochemicals, harsh detergents, or parabens cleared my skin up FAST.

    Also see:

    Like most already said, you’re on my “list”.. don’t you dare say any more mean things about my favorite Paleo baking goddess!

  248. I know I am a year behind, but I suffer from the same stuff! I am thirty and have suffered most of my life with the acne. I really hate taking medicines or putting that stuff inmy body. You never really know how it will effect you short term or long term. Your post has a variety of bad efftects.

    My Dr. receommended changing to a mineral makeup. I use the cover girl one and it works fantastic. I don;t wear much makeup anyway (partly because it has always caused more breakouts). And he told me to use the Cetaphil Daily Cleansing Wash. make sure you get the Daily one. Also he said to begin using the Cetaphil Daily UVA/UVB SPF 50 Moisturizer. My pores have almost disappeared just fromthe moistuirzer! My skin is not perfect, but it is definitely about 90% better and I don;t have to take any medication. I can handle that. Try it. Hopefully you find something…or HAVE found something.

  249. Juli-
    I feel your pain! I struggled with acne since the age of 12 and my dad’s a dermatologist! I don’t know your health history, but I wanted to share my experience. I took antibiotics, the whole bit…Even accutane in HS and my face did peel off and it was NOT cool.
    It wasn’t until I was 29/30, trying to get pregnant, did I find out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. You can google it to find all the symptoms but for me acne, hair loss around my face, late periods were the biggest problem. Ugh, and some hair facial hair stuff- gross! I didn’t think I was the typical PCOS person, I’m not overweight (although I always think 5 -8 less pounds wouldn’t hurt) and my blood work did not shout out insulin resistant/hyper androgen or whatever…all the insulin and androgen stuff is related some how…I’m not a doctor and it’s a bit confusing.
    Anyway, my doctors stuck with PCOS — i got preggers taking metformin — fast forward a bunch of years and 3 kids later and I am not on metformin anymore, and my face is a wreck – ALL THE TIME!!! I was on the verge of going on accutane. I even signed all the crazy warning paperwork. But, hesitant, I pushed and pushed the doctors, including my dad, telling them something wasn’t right. Finally the gyn treated me for PCOS again with metformin and the derm treated me with spironolactone. After tweeking dose for a couple months – BINGO! The combo gave me CLEAR SKIN! My hair is thick again around my face too. PCOS is very often undiagnosed in thin women (who are not trying to get preggers).
    Sorry – this is prob TMI and i totally abbreviated the story, just think it might be something you could explore…you could email me if you need more info. My two cents- if you have acne severe enough for accutane a cleansing routine or product is not going to fix the problem.

  250. I found a recipe on Pintrest for coconut oil and baking soda paste… just mix the two and ‘wash’ with it. I have oily skin and it looked like a tiny alien was trying to birth itself from my face.. I have been using a powder after, but it doesn’t make my face as oily as i thought it would, and it’s helping a lot. I’ve only done it for a few days, but it’s healing up nicely.

  251. A quick note on these muffins: DELISH! Unfortunately I don’t own a food processor (I know, how do I survive?!) so I used almond meal instead of the pepitas, which turned out nicely. I then sprinkled some pepitas/sunflower seeds on top of each muffin before baking. Thank you for the great recipe! A perfect addition to my breakfast repertoire.


    PS I had terrible acne too, from the age of 12. When I was 19 I finally conviced my Mum to let me try the drug. I’d tried absolutely everything else and nothing worked. I was lucky enough to not suffer any side effects apart from a small patch of dermatitis on my right hand, which still flares up today every now and then. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I finally have my confidence back after traumatising teenage years! Good luck.

  252. Omg girl
    1. I’ve been on accutane. It worked and then stopped
    Working and I’ve spent years healing my digestive
    2. Make sure you are working out in a way that
    Cleanses your organs pretty much everyday.
    3. Chinese herbs: gynostea tea, rehmania, reishi, abizzia
    Flower, shizandra berry will all help relax you and
    Clean your liver and blood.
    4. I’d stop eating fruit if I were you and see how it helps
    And any oils that are not from mammals( I tried cod liver
    Oil to help my skin and it got so much worse)
    5. No glutomine.
    6. Coffee enemas will save your life. Seriously
    They are so effective at getting stuff out that’ll be
    Toxic that your body isn’t eliminating on its own!
    7. Also alba has a 2% salycidic acid gel that has
    Really helped me.
    8. This is the most important one I’ve learned over the 15 years of this acne thing, your emotional state is so portant.
    Practice stress release at any time possible. Heal your feelings of self worth, ESP related to men. Intimacy really helps so if you don’t have a partner meeting your needs, find someone who does or get a massage, or hang out with friends who affirm your radiant beauty and give you cuddles and love. Change your thoughts and remember that you can and will heal!!! You will trust that. So much love to you!!

  253. Do not take Accutane! You are smart and gorgeous and really fucking amazing in the kitchen and gym, so cheer up: you are more than your skin problems! Seriously, if you didn’t mention it, none of us out here in internetland would even notice it!

    PS. Keep up the good work. Those muffins look amazing.

  254. Actuate is some scary stuff! Have you ever asked your dermatologist to put you on a low does of Spironolactone? Spironolactone is for high blood pressure, but one of the unintended side effects is that it clears up hormonal acne. Before I went on it, I was getting massive, painful acne that I was totally embarrassed about…I’m in my late 20s but look 16 and work for a big company where I give a lot of presentations to the high up executives and felt like I had no credibility because of my high school looking face acne and all. I’ve been on Spironolactone for a year now and I rarely break out and when I do, it’s not near as much as I used to and I clear up in a few days versus the breakout sticking around for over a week.

  255. I am new to the site and LOVING it so thank you a ton. I especially have been enjoying the sweets because I have a wicked sweet tooth. So, about your skin, you have a ton of amazing comments from wonderful people so I’ll share what I’ve learned. POOP. Yep, I said POOP. You need to poop. So, up your fiber and you will be surprised. : )

  256. I have had acne ever since i was 14 years old. I am 22 now. y acne has finally gone away after so many years. Aczone cream in the AM and PM, Retin-A in the PM. Both prescribed by dermo. It has nothing to do with what you eat how how you wash your face.

  257. hi boo, this commend will probably get lost in the abys BUT I am the same as you and normally a hot ass 26 year old but then my face revolts against me when my confidence is good and I am a prepubescent teen. DO NOT GO ON ACCUTANE. Whatever you do. I did. DO NOT. This is TMI but do you get your period? Have you ever thought of having your estrogen checked? I have acne JUST on my chin and apparently that area is 110% hormone related. If you find a good doctor (who leans towards natropathic tendencies) they can give you all natural supplements that can help. I could go on forever and email if you want (or don’t that’s cool too) and also know that it looks 2903480293840234x worse on yourself than to anyone else. xoxo

  258. Just wanted to say that I second or hundreth 😉 all the comments that let you know how beautiful, brilliant and generous you are. You’re eyes say all of this. You put so much good out into the world, and I hope it comes back to you tenfold. I’ve struggled with the same issue and hated how I allowed it to drain so much of my time, energy and self-esteem.
    A lot of it is hormonal and spikes before my period. What’s worked for me: for the most part, as far as skin care, never use anything on your face you couldn’t injest, (Pratima products worked wonders for me, and I plan to look into some of the other products people have suggested here cuz I’m a skin care junkie)eat the way you’re already eating but detoxes are good on occasion, oracea (oral) has worked to keep cystic ones from getting out of control, as well as the topical duac. Recently I’ve been using another topical, Aczone, and it’s A-mazing! Not drying at all and keeps cystic almost completely at bay even before my period, which is the test for me. Thanks for creating this wonderful space on the interwebs and for all that you do. You will win this battle, but remember, your skin does not define you. Thanks to everyone else who contributed such helpful info and kind, supportive words:D All the happiness you deserve in 2013 and more!!!!

  259. A friend of one just told me about your blog (which I already love). I happened to come across this post in looking for recipes and wanted to tell you I totally understand the skin issues. I had to switch to a paleo type diet because of some other health issues but in the process my skin broke out even worse than it had been. The naturalpathic doctor I’m working with (happy to give you her info, I Skype with her since we are in different states) is awesome and besides just helping me get my gut feeling better she’s also helping me with my skin. She has me on a probiotic, which I believe is the same one you are on- saccharomyces boulardii – for both my gut and skin issues. Today, in my follow up appointment, she decided that i need to start doing castor oil packs. Basically you take a piece of flannel and put some castor oil on it and place it on your belly for 30min every day, or several days in a row at a time. She’s sure this with help my skin clear up ( since the antibiotic I’m also on isn’t doing the trick just yet) plus it will help my overall system.
    Anyway- not sure if you’ll see this comment or not, I’m sure you get like a bagillion everyday, but again I would be happy to give you this doctors her info, she’s awesome. She’s gotten my mom to feeling better and now me.
    Good luck and thanks for all the awesome recipes!!!!

  260. I am considering cutting out grains and joining the paleo/primal/whole30/etc movement…it sounds like a good idea for the physical and mental clarity aspects! HOWEVER, I keep reading people talking about their faces/skin freaking out…acne, or dryness, or anything. Right now I feel ok about my skin, and I’m afraid going paleo might ruin it or cause problems that I currently don’t have to worry as much about. HELP PLEASE! Is it worth it? I don’t want to ruin my complexion (it’s not perfect now, but it’s definitely not awful). I’m confused!

    Also, if paleo is supposed to be so healthy, and if our skin is a reflection of our internal health…why do people have these skin problems? Or are the people who face these issues after going paleo people who ALREADY had some skin problems? I’m just trying to sort this out BEFORE I JUMP ON THE PALEO TRAIN. Thanks for your help!!!!!!!

  261. Never take Acutaine! my bro took it, didn’t help. messed with his vision as well. me? i’ve got cystic acne, but if i keep coffee to a minimum it’s under control.

  262. Claire Cvetkovski

    Julie: I am 26 and have lived with the same thing…umm…forever. I dont get the crazy crater acne, but mine is also more chronic and a lot worse than it should be at my age.
    When I went Paleo over a year ago, it simmered down like you said, but I still get nasty flare ups as well. I do notice that adrenal fatigue has a lot to do with it as it gets A LOT worse during my intense training times. Also, getting REAL sleep can help as well.
    When I say that certain things help, that means it is just not as bad as other times. It is never gone. I’ve tried everything except for accutane as well.
    Despite all this rambling, I think I have figured out one of the main issues. Even though it cannot be helped by birth control, I still feel it is hormonal. I currently have a 14 week future awesome little human growing in me, and with those hormones, the acne has SERIOUSLY CHILLED (unless I am eating baklava and cookies over Christmas). No face wash, no meds, and no treatment will actually help it seems when it is hormonal.
    SOOOOOOOOOO basically this just means you have to forget your standards and morals for an evening, get knocked up, and your acne will be gone!
    Either way, despite the fact that you and I both have the faces of 15 year old girls, we both can still kick some seriously tail in the gym and then in the next second, look HOT as all get out in an uncomfortable dress and pair of heels (by which I actually mean the sweatpants and T’s… screw being uncomfy!)

  263. Hey Juli!

    It sounds to me like you need to get your hormones tested. My skin was batshit crazy – nothing helped. I finally had my hormones tested and my estrogen and testosterone were both high, and DHEA was really low.
    Badda-boom-badda-bang: skin problems.
    I took a few months to resolve the hormone issues and my skin, no exaggeration, is crystal clear. Clearest it’s been since I was young!
    Try it girlfriend. I think there is something deeper going on than just you munching dark chocolate or cheese balls. 😉

  264. I stumbled across Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser for my adult acne, used in conjunction with Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiant exfoliant 2x/week. My skin has never better. Best of luck.

  265. Hey Juli – I’m sure you are all set with the acne comments but I just wanted to add one little thing. I have acne and my derm said it’s actually Rosacea and trigger by all the things I love – red wine and dark chocolate (which I know you love, too). When I stopped those things it went mostly away. Then I did a round of doxycycline every 3 months (10 days worth at a time) and that cleared up my skin tons. Not ideal – the antibiotics – but worked. Also, if I know I have a special occasion to go to like a wedding, I’ll ask my derm for a round of doxy and my skin will be clear by the time of the occasion. Like you, I’ve tried EVERYTHING.

  266. I would suggest Spironolactone first. I’ve been dealing with acne for a very long time and this has worked the best so far. I’ve tried everything including Accutane, but since it is hormone related it didn’t help in the long run.

  267. Hey, I just came across your site and I can’t wait to start making some of your recipes! So, thank you! I then noticed you are dealing with acne, which I also dealt with and know exactly your feeling. I am 29 and didn’t have acne growing up. I started getting really bad acne on my face in my mid 20’s when I became a hardcore athlete. I felt helpless, depressed and pretty much tried all kinds of stuff too, but nothing seemed to work. I thought it might be from all the training, but I wasn’t going to give that up. I was also tempted to go with acutane, but don’t! After battling and trying all kinds of things, I made these natural changes … low stress, enough sleep, omega 3-6-9 daily, bikrams hot yoga, no dairy and meat (I feel like there are hormone’s in these foods and tried to eat more fish, omega 3’s), no wheat, used pure aloe vera on my skin for moisturizer (it feels a bit weird, but seems to work) and kiehls facewash and toner. To be honest, I am not exactly sure which one of these changes made the difference or if it is the combination, but I stuck with this and this seemed to work. It has seriously almost cleared my skin back to normal. It did take 6 months, but I saw improvement and just stuck with it. Hope this helps! Cheers

  268. Juice fating is the only thing that got rid of my severe cystic acne for good! I even took accutane, it only worked for the 8 months I was on it, and i risked my liver…had to get liver checks every month. Acne came back with a vengence. Clean out your gut/liver with regular juice fasting and you will have clear skin.

  269. I just found your website when I started Paleo and gotta tell you, I LOVE your recipes!

    Ok, so about the acne thing. You may have mentioned somewhere just which type of acne you have, but I haven’t found it…yet, so here comes my all around acne cure. (not sure if it works on cystic acne though)

    I have acne rosacea. Kept it under control for 15 years using drugs, but had to stop taking them when they started causing liver damage.

    At that point I researched acne till my eyes were red and chose to try a totally holistic approach.

    I bought a good facial scrub… the type with micro beads in it, a huge stack of soft face cloths, a jar of noxema and a jar of cold pressed Shea Butter.

    Be sure there are no fragrances or weird oils (like lanolin) in the scrub and NOTHING added to the shea butter… that part is important!

    The Cleansing Routine:

    In the morning, wash your face with lukewarm water, use a fresh face cloth and the noxema. Rinse well, pat dry with a clean cloth and then apply a small amount of shea butter. You can put on makeup 30 minutes later if you want.

    After a workout, repeat the morning routine.

    At night, use the facial scrub. Apply with a clean damp face cloth and wash GENTLY. Rinse well with warm water, pat dry, then apply a small amount of the shea butter again.

    Do NOT give in to the temptation to touch your face. Never…ever… =)

    The theory behind the routine is that some types of acne are actually caused by demoditic mites. Everyone has them, but some people get a great big mite party going on and that’s when trouble starts.

    The mites feed on dead skin cells, reproduce under the skin and can cause acne and redness of the face (they irritate the skin and cause the capillaries near the surface to swell)

    I haven’t used Minocin for my rosacea in 7 years and my face is actually less flushed and has NO acne using the scrub, noxema, shea butter routine.

    I’d definitely try the holistic method before using ANY drug, especially Accutane. After all, what do you have to lose? If, after 2 months, the acne isn’t cleared up, then you still have the option of going the accutane route. =)

  270. Hey Juli,
    I suggest u get your hormones checked, most of the time acne for women is a hormone imbalance. its a abundance of testosterone especially if u have PCOS which is what the Dr said I had. I’m seeing a natural doc for it and it’s mainly about diet and exercise to lower the overabundance of male hormones. doing a salvia hormone test is the accurate way and getting an ultrasound of your ovaries. symptoms of PCOS is acne, hair loss, hard 2 lose weight, hair grow on face, irregular periods, infertility, etc…please email if u want more info =) I’ll be praying that u feel better =)

  271. hey! so i didn’t scroll through the millions of comments, so if i’m repeating something here, i apologize. i’ve had horrible face breakouts since high school and have cut out a LOT from my diet hoping that would help. after much procrastination and unwillingness, i finally resorted to poractive (not sure if that’s paleo or not, because i’m not…). BIG mistake. it messed up my face so badly that i wouldn’t even leave the house. since then, i’ve ditched all traditional cleansers and do my own remedy of apple cider vinegar, honey and nutmeg. it’s pretty awesome. i still have blemishes, and am still playing with my diet on that one, but i can leave the house without makeup and not feel like a monster. hope that helps!!


  272. Try minocycline or spironolactone. I used to have terrible skin and those medications cleared it right up. I too, had tried everything.

    Also, buy a Clarisonic:
    Best skin care product I own and have gotten my whole family and girlfriends on board. You’ll love it.

    Good luck, acne sucks!

  273. I had the SAME thoughts/problems. It came up all of the sudden and was horribly frustrating and made me super self conscious. What ended up working for me was eliminating coffee from my diet. (I knew it wasn’t dairy, as I’d been eating paleo for awhile). Seriously that’s all it took. I still drink caffeinated tea but something about coffee made my skin break out like a pubescent teenager.

  274. Well, I second all you said,. Currently debating acutane myself. I was actually having this discussion with my mother last night and today I find your blog post. I’m 30, I’ve had acne for 18 years, I’m sick of this s&*t.

    On another note, I love your site. Keep it up. 🙂

  275. all these folks with acne, and no one has mentioned

    Hundreds of acne sufferers, and no one mentions the one real help- “The Clear Skin Diet”

  276. I know this was posted awhile back, but I just started reading your blog Juli. I’ve had really bad hormanal acne on and off through my twenties and now, gasp, my thirties. A couple years back my awesome derm put me on a medication called Spiranolactone. I am a nurse and this medication is generally used for high blood pressure, but an off label use is hormonal acne in women. My skin completely cleared in 4 months. Not sure how you feel about taking medication, but it works. You have to be on the pill to take it cause it can cause menstrual irregularities. Also, don’t get pregnant on it. Anyway, I wish someone had told me sooner about it. Thanks for all the great recipes! diane

  277. Just a heads up — I had real bad acne for at least 10 years. I changed up my routine. I now only wash my face when I shower, and I only shower every other day or so. I found that my constant desire to be clean was making it way worse. I also use pH-neutral body wash.

  278. Juli, what kind of sunflower butter did you use? Just raw sunflower butter? Or, sunflower butter with sweetener, etc. in it?? Thanks! Tried these yesterday and 4 yo (picky!) and 2 yo loved them, as well as my gluten loving husband! Thanks for sharing!

  279. Okay, I know this is old but I can relate to how you feel about your face. I never had acne until I hit the age of 20. I tried everything you could think of: doxycycline, tetracycline, retin A, tazorac, minoxicycline(sp), clarisonic, tons of topicals and tons of pills but noting helped. I decided to go back to my dermatologist and demand to be put on accutane because my sister had been on accutane and I can now say she is 95% acne free (she just gets the occasional bump).

    So anyways…I walked in to my dermatologist and explained that I had tried everything and nothing worked so I wanted accutane and she agreed. My experience while on accutane was good after the first 2-3 months. You go through a phase where everything gets 10 times worse before it get 100 times better. It is worth it after the third month. The only dry skin I had was my lips. I used aquaphor just about every waking minute and it helped keep my lips from cracking. Once I got off accutane I was acne free for a year and now unfortunately everything is coming back and it’s awful. I went back into the dermatologist and asked for accurate again but they didn’t want to put me on it just yet so I have been testing out more products such as Spironolactone, which has gotten rid of the little bumps on my forehead but the cystic acne is still present. She has made me use spiromolactone for 5 months before letting me go back on accutane. I go back this month to hopefully get blood drawn so I can start my next cycle of accutane.

    All I can say is that what works for me may not work for you and what works for you may not work for me but if you are going to test something out you need to try it for at least 1.5-2 months to make sure it works or doesn’t work.

    P.S. My sister had to go through two rounds of accutane before she got the skin she has now so it’s not uncommon.

  280. This is a bit late after your initial post, but I’m new to your site. Have you ever tried just NOT washing your face with anything but water?! I had very bad flare-ups when I was about 20-22 years old (I’m turning 40 in a few weeks), I went camping for 4 days in the woods with no running water, so was unable to wash my face. (Also had no mirrors) By the time I got back home, my face had completely cleared up. Ever since I do not wash it with anything but water. I do use the scent-free makeup wipes from wal-mart when I need to get makeup off (not every day). I’m a fitness instructor and sweat like a man, but still only use water to wash my face. Just a thought. Perhaps washing like a caveman will be as good for your system as eating like one!

  281. I did two cycles if accutane with some improvement but didn’t get rid of my acne completely. I changed my skin care around using the Elta MD line (cleanser and tinted sunscreen) and combining it with a clindamycin facial lotion in the morning and retinA at night. My face looks way better than when I was in Accutane. You might also want to see an endocrinologist or get your hormone levels checked people that have adult acne sometimes have polycystic ovarian syndrome which can be treated. Best of luck on whatever you decide.

  282. I know it’s tardy, but I hate my face too. I have rosacea with a smattering of painful acne, and it sucks. When I went sugar-free it helped a bunch, and going further paleo helped a little bit more, but through that I found out that I can’t eat nuts or avocados, as they both make my face worse. It’s stupid and I hate it.

    But I’m really anxious to try these muffins (but not too many, because the sweetness screws me up something awful)

  283. Hi Juli,
    My heart goes out to you. I have had acne since 8th grade and it’s not much fun. I took acutane in highschool and it did work for a few years but the acne came back. I would just keep eating healthy and let the toxins work themselves out. Microderm abrasion has really helped me as well as regular facials. I liked the comment on going to a natural/homeopathic doctor to figure out if you have some alergies or hormonal imbalances. I have a friend who is an esthetician and has created her own natural skin care line, it has really helped my skin in fact it is the only thing that has helped. Her web page is
    Oh and one more thing, you are love and light!

  284. I didn’t read all the comments but yours are heartbreaking. I hope you find something that will work for you without using the accutane…it’s definitely hardcore. Looking at your picture…YOU ARE beautiful! Your smile is beautiful and you’ve got some great stuff going on! Hang in there and try not to be so hard on yourself.

  285. You need to get your hormones checked! I’ve suffered acne majority of my life. Diane 35 (birth control) worked AMAZINGLY! People commented on how beautiful my skin is… Now trying to get pregnant so off the pill. The past year has been HELL! My skin totally freaked out but I stayed off the pill… it does more damage then good. Your doc won’t agree but it’s the truth.
    I see a progressive/anti-cancer, anti-aging doc, he tested my hormones and I over produce too many male hormones. This can lead to major weight gain in later age, hair loss, acne.. etc. I’m now on Spironolactone and my skin has cleared up. It’s not perfect but definitely much better. Unfortunately you can’t get pregnant on this drug so that’s on hold b/c I just can’t handle the acne. Working on fixing my hormone levels via major supplement regime prescribed by my doc (omega’s, iodine, DHEA, etc)
    Also try eating a totally plant based diet for 30 days. Juicing, salads, raw veggies. I’m fearful of Accutane. Good luck.

  286. Hi I have had terrible skin for two years and have finally cleared it up using Asprin! Strange I know I found a tip on Pinterest and thought what the hell I’ve give is a try. So you get a disolving asprin put it in the palm of your hand and drop about 2-3 drops of water on it let it dissolve a bit, then pat it on your face. Leave it for 10 mins at least then wash off with water. I did this about twice a week and my face is almost completly pimple free. I still used my jurlique facewash and scrub evey night.

  287. My husband took accutane. Cleared his skin up, but he also ended up with ulcerative colitis. (ulcerative colitis is an Inflammatory bowel disease) Traded one problem for the other! Not a fun disease. Good luck!

  288. I’ve had acne my entire life. What I personally found worked the best was to wash my face with coconut oil and moisturize with it every morning and night. That’s it. I also hardly ever wear any makeup. It just made things worse. I’ve had one pimple in the last 7 months or so. I’ve been for facials, took meds that never really helped, steroid creams, I even went to a specialist in NYC. Coconut oil was the ONLY thing that helped me. Probably because it’s anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti microbial. I use it ALL over now. Cures just about anything.

    Muffins look great by the way! If I didn’t just make your sweet potato brownies (still hot) and sweet potato ice cream, i’d think about making this tonight for tomorrow! So glad I found your site!

  289. I know this post is from a few months ago so I’m not sure if you will see this or not, but try Lush Cosmetics. My mom has had 13-year-old-boy- style acne for literally her entire life, and like you she tried everything, even went on a long term series of antibiotics to clear it up. Then I had her try a mixture of Lush Dark Angels facial wash, Tea Tree Toner, and Enzymion facial cream. Literally cleared up in a grand total of one month. Their stuff isn’t totally cheap but they aren’t lying when they say a little goes a long way. I sound like a damn infomercial but I swear this stuff really does work and I’ve seen what bad skin can do to a person’s self confidence, self worth, and self respect. Hope this helps!

  290. hi juli! i was surfing the paleo web for a muffin recipe and landed on you first (i’ve used a number of your recipes, btw, LOVE). i was compelled to comment today because i know very well the pain of what you suffer from – personally. i know this post is a few months old but i want to share what has finally worked for me. stop using every facial product as you know it! seriously. i now wash with just a sprinkling of baking soda mixed with water. i occasionally moisturize with vitamin e mixed with a few drops tea tree oil. sometimes i switch out and wash with just coconut oil, which really moisturizes. i also have a re-purposed mustard bottle that i fill with one cup of filtered water, two drops lavender, one drop tea tree oil, and one tablespoon vinegar. sometimes i’ll soak a cotton ball and rub that all over my face as either a cleanser or a follow up to the baking soda if my skin is feeling a bit tacky. i’m 31 and for the first time in my life i can say i am acne free. i’ve also stopped using conventional shampoos and conditioners, and do a similar routine for my hair, so maybe that has helped to. go paleo on your hygiene and don’t look back!

  291. Hi! So I know most people are telling you not to do accutane but YOU SHOULD!! I did it about two years ago and it honestly changed my life! I know exactly how you are feeling and I battled that for yearssss. It is two years later (from when I finished accutane) and my face looks more amazing than it has since I was 15 (I’m 23 now). I highly, highly reccommend it. For me it was a pretty easy process. I was a little dry but nothing too crazy, had no mood changes, no personality changes, really just a ton of bloodwork you have to keep up on and not drinking was hard but TOTALLY WORTH IT! Please email me back if you have any questions at all. I never comment on blog posts, but though you needed to know, that shows how strongly I feel about accutane and how much it posistively effected my life.

  292. If you haven’t already checked out you might wish to do so. She has an Autoimmune Protocol that has improved her life. It is a stricter version of paleo. She includes pictures of foods that she eats. And the recipes are sight and taste worthy as well. Good luck!

  293. Hey Julie. So, 360 comments means a lot of advice. I wouldn’t bother adding this except I can’t find it above, and because I can empathise. Take it or leave it.

    I stopped using soap – any soap, ever – and my skin has cleared, including most of the cystic stuff. Inflammation and redness went down first, then my pores shrank and my normal pimples started to disappear. I stopped eating fructose and all processed food and my skin got calmer still (you’re already doing a bit of this). Now my face is calm enough that I can pick the foods I react to clearly – if this works for you I’m sure you’ll be unique, but mine are any kind of casien and certain brands of dark chocolate. I have also gone back to eating fruit and honey, and some processed products without incident. I can go without makeup now most days for the first time since I was nine.

    To put it in context, my acne hit when I was seven, I spent all of school and uni tearing by back open accidentally with my bag and hiding my face. I will always have dimples which aren’t dimples, but scars from the cysts that I used to get either side of my mouth. I can’t go sleeveless because of the damage to my back. I’ve tried every cleanser 15 years of therapists could throw at me, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, facials, hormones, probiotics, cutting out everything under the sun. I’ve been gluten and wheat free since I was an infant and organic and largely processed-free my entire life. My mum spent forty years struggling with the same condition (until she hit menopause).

    I only tried not using soap because I was in Cambodia, and I ran out! Skipping soap has not only helped my face, but has eliminated skin problems on my back as well. Instead I wash with warm water and a soft scrubber, and dry vigorously with a towel. I actually used the black soap mentioned above for a while before I stopped using soap, and it improved my skin slightly. My therapist suggests this is because its not very soapy – it leaves your skin’s natural flora intact. Needless to say, no soap seems to work better.

    If your system is throwing this curve ball at you, its probably because its a bit vulnerable for some reason. Throwing drugs in the mix, which may or may not help, is at best a big risk for an unpredictable outcome. You could try not using soap for a while and see how it goes. I have a sneaking feeling these things are more individual than we know, but it might be worth a shot. Also, sorry to throw the 361st ‘I know what you should do with your life’ into the mix – I know how it feels to get advice from all and sundry (occasionally aggravating). However, I couldn’t not say something, given that I wish I could tell my younger self to stop using soap and save myself a decade of anguish and the self-esteem damage that goes with.

    Good luck sorting it out.

  294. hi! I just came across your blog as i was googling “paleo muffins”.

    I had skin problems ALL my life. I too, tried everything. The ONLY thing that worked for me was a product called “METRIN”. It is pricey, but it worked.

    Good luck. Looking forward to trying this recipe

  295. I’m really super late to the party here but I am also on paleo and still break out occasionally (hormonal imbalances and all). The ONLY thing that has worked for me is a product by Genuine Health called Perfect Skin. I know its is just fish oil with some antioxidants and minerals but man does it WORK! I take extra omega 3 on top of that and honestly it is incredible. I can also recommend a face cream that will help by NeoStrata. Sometimes coconut can make you break out, and definitely the birth control pills. I have a background in nutrition and natural medicine.

  296. I don’t know that you will see this w so many comments – but I thought I’d pitch in anyway.
    I am 40. Saturday last week was the first day in my adult memory that I had zero zits on my face. Hallelujah! I had give up hope 🙂 Of course – one came back on Tuesday – but one, not 25.

    I think that it has been due to a combination of diet and a specific product regiment.
    1) My acne seems to be worsened by dairy and sugar (I am trying paleo diet, but not so successful 🙁 I have tested allergic to cow dairy so that could be part of it.).
    2) My doctor had me read The Acne Cure by Terry Dubrow and Brenda Adderly. They explain the scientific rationale for each step. I am not even still doing all their recommendations, but I’m doing a subset of them. Their full regime (as I remember it is):
    a) *Morning wash with salicylic acid cleanser
    b) *Morning 2nd wash with 10% glycolic acid cleaner. I had to find online and I’ve been using Be Natural Organics AHA Facial Wash
    c) *Morning SPF 15 moisturizer
    d) *Evening wash with salicylic acid cleaner
    e) Then, Rub ice cube over skin to cool it down and reduce inflammation.
    f) *Then, use benzoyle peroxide that you keep stored in fridge. They recommend a certain percentage of ben per, but I forget what it was..
    g) Use ice pack on face for 10 minutes.
    (They say that by using the cold to reduce inflammation that you are allowing medicine to penetrate pores better.)
    I did all steps for like 7 days and gave up. I continue to do the steps with the asterisks and my skin keeps getting better. I don’t use the BP every day because I get too dry. I still have back acne and I don’t have the energy to do the regimen on my back, but my back seems to be clearing as I am longer on a cleaner diet.
    Accutane scares me.

  297. hi juli,

    i just came across your blog and don’t know anything about you other than what is written in this post, but my face cleared up when i stopped drinking coffee. my mom told me to quit and i kept telling her it wasn’t the coffee because i only drink one cup a day and all the aestheticians and doctors i spoke to said it wasn’t because of coffee. regardless, i committed to abstaining from coffee for 2 months just to get her off my back. i hate when she is right, but it worked. what a difference. if you’re not a coffee-drinker, then nevermind.

  298. I have been having similar problems and have found an amazing cure that is SO SIMPLE!
    Wash your face with a paste made of baking soda and water.
    The baking soda kills bacteria and exfoliates(so don’t rub vigorously).
    Mixing it with olive oil is also helpful, even though putting oil on already oily, acne prone skin sounds counterintuitive. It actually nourishes and protects the skin AND HELPS CLEAR UP ACNE AND BLACKHEADS.
    Weird, right?! But it works! Put the mixture on face once a day and leave it for as long as you can(10 min?). Wash off and put a thin coat of olive oil on afterward. Wash with olive oil at night. It made a difference in my red, irritated, broken out face after ONE APPLICATION. I had previously been using three different prescription medications, to no avail.
    Yea natural(and inexpensive)remedies!

  299. I haven’ been reading or perusing your recipes for very long but you seem determined to avoid ingesting things you can’t pronounce (easily…like, “carrot” or something…). I believe the same should apply to what you put *on* your body as well. Our skin absorbes nearly everything and some chemicals can really change the cell structure, pore responses, hair follicles and so on. I’m not talking out of my ass either, I’m nearly thirty and have never been without a breakout since I was, oh I dunno..born!? I tried eight (yes, EIGHT) different birht controls before I gave up too. A few years ago, I started reading Julie Gabriel’s blog and product reviews (her book is called “The Green Beauty Guide”) and it really helped me make better choices in regards to not only the makeup I chose but the skin care, cleansers, creams, oils, masks and so on I force on my skin. She talks about proactive, acutane, salicylic acid, and every other product that’s been pitched to me in my two plus decade face-drama. I don’t have her book but her website thegreenbeautyguide dot com is like my girl-bible. Remember though (as I’m sure you know), change takes time, be sure you give yourself a few cycles to “re-calibrate”, if you will.

  300. Juli. I just discovered your blog. It’s beautiful. Don’t know if you are still going through all this now, but if you are, here’s what worked for me besides eating clean, which you obviously already do.
    My doctor prescribed me Progesterone cream to balance my hormones. I believe that is why my face cleared up.
    I also used Benzyl Peroxide that is kept in the fridge for acne that can be dried up. Some is too far under the skin for the BP to really work.
    I also used a coconut water based face wash called Skin by Ann Weber. (Whole Foods has it). It has coconut water and aloe in it, which seemed to at the very least reduce redness and inflammation.

    Good luck and thank you for the recipes!

  301. Simply awesome! Just made these for breakfast. Thank you for such a delicious recipe. My roommate is on her second one already (she beat me because I paused to type a comment …).

  302. From my personal experience, Accutane worked wonderfully with no side effects other than really dry skin and lips. That problem went away when I stopped using the medicine. I did two courses over several years and am so very glad I did. I still have rosacea and occasional zits, but NOTHING like before. I see this post is several months old so I hope you have found some relief!

    Hey Juli,
    Love the site. So I’m just chillin with my cockateil at home looking for some inspiration. Can’t wait for your paleo cookbook to come out.
    I too suffered from moderate acne. I am also on the mend from a lifetime of mental issues (depression/chronic fatigue mainly). Both of which are not my fault and are incredibly complex, annoying and frustrating.
    “Primal Body, Primal Mind” Nora T Gedgaudas. is AMAZING! She sums up a lot of my research and sooo much more. She talks about science, ancient history and paleontology, Nutrition, Humour, oh I am in love! (Figuratively)
    She talks about abuse of sugars and carbohydrates and the effect on the body and the mind.
    The body and mind are one, they do not work independently from one another! One can not work without the other. Check it out, fascinating read and it may help with your outbreaks.
    PS After meticulously researching (and experimenting) acne, it hardly has anything to do with bacteria and topical solutions. It starts with your body’s inflammatory response. Caused by sugars, carbohydrates, hormones (which are affected by those two), toxins (exercise and sweat helps), and stress (which affects your adrenals-which takes us back to hormones-which takes us back to sugars and carbohydrates).
    PPS. Chocolate forever!!!!………in moderation

  304. I made these muffins this week and absolutely LOVE them! I recently discovered that I have a problem with foods that are high in oxalates…almonds being one of the biggest offenders. So thanks for the nut-free recipes! Sunbutter is now my friend. This was the first muffin I’ve eaten in oh so long that hasn’t caused a reaction. I’m very thankful for your recipes and savoring every bite!

  305. Juli, I know this blog may be a little old but I thought I could help you out a little with the Accutane 🙂 So I had the same problem with you ALL my life. Started when I was in 3rd grade (yes 3rd grade) and I battled my face, chest and back acne up until my freshman year of high school. I had tried every other face wash, drug, medicine whatever there was out there to clear it up; it would get better for a couple of days and boom. it was back. Anyways, I went to the dermatologist and they recommended Accutane as a last resort, but the best resort EVER. I had/have perfect skin since then. im not kidding. I never was depressed, never had ANY of the symptoms these people are talking about. The only thing that was a little bit of a downside (not anywhere near the zits though) was dry skin because it dries your lips out and stuff so always keep Vaseline handy. My very best friend had the same problem- I was in VA and she was in AL- and her skin is PERFECT. still. this was 8 years ago almost. she went on it twice and I only did once but I want to again just to knock it all out. it’s a little bit of a pain to go through the blood work and all to get it each month but im telling you it is SO worth it. I am looking into going on it again. hope this helps if you haven’t already found something!!

  306. I am hoping you can help me out here. Love your website and your recipes. I made these Morning Glory muffins and they came out amazing. Only problem is that my muffins have a green tint to them. All of my ingredients are fresh so I do not believe it is that. I made a batch of almond/berry muffins from civilized caveman today and they have the same green “hue”. Kind of freaking me out. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

  307. Hey Juli,
    I realize this was a post back a few months, so I don’t know if you are still suffering from acne or not (maybe you found a magic cure?). However, I went through this all through my twenties. I HATED my face! I would change my diet and my skin care regime, do all the natural stuff, etc and changes only lasted a short while before going back to breaking out. It wasnt until I randomly talked to someone at Earth Fare about it that I found the cure (for me anyway – but maybe it will help you too). She suggested that I only wash my face with a natural Tea Tree Oil face wash (I use Desert Essence brand), use Extra Virgin Coconut oil for moisturizing, and do the occasional sulphur mask (she actually did the mask once a week). Here is a copy of exactly what she told me to do:
    Weekly face mask: benonite clay, apple cider vinegar, egg whites (2), tea tree oil (10 drops), 1 crushed sulphur tablet. Leave on face till dry then rinse.
    Every morning and night use tea tree face wash and then coconut oil for moisture. She used Kiss My Face acne gel. (I use a sulphur based acne spot treatment by Murad). She also said that if she works out or has been really sweaty, she would use the tea tree Desert Essence face pads after washing her face.
    This was a breakthrough for my face! I don’t even do the mask anymore – just the washing and moisturizing. When I get the occasional pimple, I just put the Murad spot treatment on it.
    I hope this helps. And if I’m late in giving advice, sorry to bother you. 🙂 Good luck!

  308. Please do not resort to using Accutane! I had that in hand when I was 16 and reading the possible side effects scared the shit out of me! That was 19 years ago, and my skin is better, but not perfect. Things like blueberry capsules, infrared sauna, oil of oregano spot treatment have all helped to some degree. Please remember you are loved by many past your skin. Thanks for the recipe–my daughter and I are eating one as I type this, and the rest are coming along on our weekend road trip.

  309. I feel for you… I’ve been going through the exact same crap for ten years. I got all misty-eyed while I was reading your post, because I know exactly your frustration and the level of stress this problem causes. I virtually have to apply my makeup with a trowel, which I’m sure exacerbates the problem. I’m even embarrassed to leave the house sometimes. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just something I’ll have to live with until it decides to go away on its own. :/

  310. Holy CRAP this were good. I love that shredded carrot and apple, and pecans… etc. I’ll be making this again… and again… and again…

  311. Have you ever gone to a naturopath and gotten the blood allergy tests done? I have also fought with acne my entire life, did 2 rounds of accutane (stay the hell away from that shit!) and many other things. I’m now 36, and up until a couple years ago, still fought with acne. Once I got my allergy results back and cut the offenders out of my diet, I now have clear skin…for the first time in 20 years. It’s expensive, but I can’t think of a better way to spend your money.

  312. I know this thread is kind of old. When I went off birth control, my face went CRAZY. I tried prescription stuff (dry my skin out, red, don’t even work), the oil cleansing method, coconut oil on my face.

    Here’s what worked – vitamin A! I started researching it. I started with high dose, 25,000 iu per day for 3 months. Then I went down to 5-8,000 iu per day. I still take it. It worked amazingly!!!! Just be careful not to take too much for too long. It basically works the same way as accutane from what I have read, but it’s so much safer. It is the only thing that has worked for me. I now use jojoba oil as a moisturizer, it keeps my skin from getting dry without getting over-oily. The vitamin A (esp high dose) can dry it out a little (not bad) so the jojoba oil works wonders.

    Hope this helps!

  313. I completely agree with Felicia about taking vitamin A. You have to be patient, though. I had acne for 15 years before trying vitamin A, so I know exactly how you feel about your skin! It is so frustrating. I never wanted to leave the house because of it:( I’ve been taking vitamin A for about 60 days now and my skin looks amazingly better-about 95% clear!! I can hardly believe it. I about cried last week because I was so happy about it. I take 8,000 iu of vitamin A 4 times a day for a total of 32000 iu each day. The first month my skin was on a rampage as usual and I about gave up, but at the start of the second month, the breakouts eased up. And now it is on the mend, not getting new breakouts, and looking the best I’ve seen it in…I don’t even know when. The high dose vitamin A regimen has to be continued for 90 days, no less, possibly more if your skin isn’t completely clear. After that you can reduce the dosage to around 5,000-8,000 iu each day. Just like Accutane, you can not get pregnant while taking a high dosage of vitamin A or their is a possibility of the baby being born with defects. So, keep that in mind. My friend is a naturopath and she specializes in skin care, so I totally trusted her when she recommended it. What do you have to lose by trying it? Just give it 90 days, girl, you will be AMAZED!! It’s so cheap, too!!

  314. I want to make these but I was wondering if you think cashew or almond butter will work as I have no sunflower on hand!
    Sorry I have no acne advice! LOL

  315. Hi juli,

    I just stumbled across your blog in search of paleo recipes. Great blog by the way! Anywho, after reading your all-to-familliar rant of frustration about acne, I wanted to recommend I have no idea how I originally found it. It was probably after my 100th frustrating internet search on the subject. But it has completely worked for me. Worth a shot if you haven’t already found your own working solution! 🙂

  316. Joanne Carncross

    Hi Juli,

    I just read this and I can absolutely relate to what you are going through. My skin has been on a rollercoaster lately. I do advise you to stay AWAY from accutane; I know three people who have suffered immensely from it; one of them is blind. Although I am not a doctor, I find that three people I know within the small amount of people that is, and that have all tried accutane, it is no coincidence of their issues.

    One articled I read (and this will sound weird) suggested taking charcoal capsules. As well as mixing the charcoal in the capsules with aloe vera gel and creating a mask to use for spot treatment.

    I’ve also read that eggs can often be the culprit (I know, worst news ever for a fellow Paleo-er).

    I also have been on Doryx for about a week now and have noticed some improvement.

    Wishing you all the best, I know exactly where you’re at!

  317. Have you ever taken an Alcat test? It determines your “food sensitivities” from how your blood reacts to the proteins and sugars in all foods. Basically the test is different for everyone but once you find out what is causing inflamation in your body and cut it out of your diet Wahlah no more breakouts, stomach cramping, headaches, or the multitude of things that plague us when we eat what our body is asking us not to. I topped that diet with 225 billion CFU’s probiotic and have had amazing results.

  318. I know everyone’s just trying to help, which is kind of them, but as a ten-year acne sufferer who’s only been mostly better for a couple years, I can tell you that one of the worst things about this condition is the mixed information and the uncertainty that comes with it. These comments are packed with good advice, and I’ve tried most of it. And I’ve heard that for some people, vitamin A is the magic bullet. I know someone for whom it was zinc. Or birth control pills. Or stopping birth control pills. Or Accutane. Or fasting. Or going paleo. Or going vegetarian. Or products. Or no products. SEE? Everyone is different, almost anything can cause acne, and I’m getting pissed off just thinking about it, because finding your own personal solution is just such a bitch and I remember the hell I went through trying it all for years.

    Juli will likely find her answer if she keeps looking, and these comments are a wonderful list of resources she could try, but for those people insisting that it’s definitely fruit, probably eggs, definitely coffee, probably her touching her face too much…you don’t KNOW. Only she can figure out if that’s true for her. I had so many treatments and judgments pushed on me when I was suffering and it made me feel so much worse.

    Juli, your site is part of what’s helping me commit to paleo and I’m grateful for it. Also, I think you’re gorgeous and I want a body like yours. I wish you all the best in your search. Curse all you want. It’s like a pressure valve releasing air, and sometimes it just has to be done. Lots of love.

  319. Hi Juli!

    I know this post is old, but I thought I might chime in just in case you haven’t found a solution. I totally feel your pain, and agree with many of the comments saying to not take Accutane. It really is as terrible as everyone is saying it is, and my gut has never been the same since.

    I live in San Francisco and have been seeing an acne-focused estitician that helped me clear my terrible acne up for my wedding. Like, COMPLETELY clear. She focuses on a regimen using a very clean benzyl peroxide and eliminating all clogging products from your beauty regime. They have a great blog with all kinds of great info at Their list of clogging ingredients is especially helpful and awesome×790.jpg.

    The theory they base their practice on is outlined in Acne RX, which is also an amazing resource.

    Good luck, skin problems are the friggin worst and I feel your pain. I hope this info helps you!


  320. You might have skin diabetes like myself. I noticed a lot of your recipes have tons of sugar in them (too much high glycemic fruit). The only fruit I can tolerate is berries in small amounts, cuz they have the lowest glycemic load. You may just have to cut out or cut back on fruit =) My skin now is virtually flawless. Cashews are high in sugar btw, I cannot tolerate them.

    Too little sugar however, causes the same problem. I did the Intro to GAPS for awhile, which is basically just meat and broth. My skin went nuts. Though research and my own experience, I find that sugar really affects hormones, and the body needs just the right amount of sugar to keep hormones in balance. So don’t think sugar is evil or anything, you’re probably just eating more than your body can handle. Hope that helps.

  321. Hey hun,

    I commented on another one – just found your blog. I have had the exact same problem. On birth control is by far the best, but off birth control has had some nasty-ass acne side effects. Including….some gross bacne. It’s always worst mid-month.

    I tried lots like you. Many cleansers, washing, not washing, different lotions, different makeups. A few times in the past year I’ve been in absolute tears. I went to see some ladies in a pharmacy who were a godsend as a start. They took me off the expensive shit that dries your skin out and told me straight up I had sensitive skin and essentially I had hives / allergic reaction – not acne. They immediately put me on a toner without the harsh astringents to use sparingly, ionized water, a very gentle high-quality cleanser and told me to wash 1x a day or less. I switched out my moisturized to a kind for sensitive skin and changed over my makeup.

    I used to be on powder (dries skin) and then to cover girl cream. They said it was simply too heavy for my skin and I now apply my cover with a brush and it’s a godsend – thick or thin coverage it’s fantastic. I left it at work or I’d tell you the brand, let me know if you want to know.

    Secondly, despite all of this, I was still getting the chin / jawline / shoulders and back sometimes. Yes, watching your wheat and dairy can help, but it’s sugar for me. And the most surprising culprit was fructose. Fructose is obviously in fruit and in refined sugar. You do have a lot of fruit in your recipes, it may be something to consider because since eliminating most sugars, particularly fructose I have seen such a difference. The only way to figure out with food is to do a partial elimination diet fully eliminating something for a number of weeks (long enough for skin to heal).

    But, I know what you mean when you say it cleared for a bit and then went back, cleared for a bit and then went back – it’s so frustrating! Only 6 weeks ago I was in tears and refused to go on a date b/c I felt like that’s all anybody could see.

    Hang in there, you’ll be great 🙂