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How I Took 5-10 Years Off My Face

 

wedding day ice-cream cone

It’s about time I came clean with this….

It’s just too effective.

It’s too dang transformative.

No, we are not talking about all that blah, blah love stuff. (There will be plenty of time for that later :) )

We’re talking about how to look younger. How to reduce wrinkles. How to say good-bye to that haggardly, dry-patchy, perhaps red-y, splotchy skin.

And how to stop googling “how to unclog pores.”

You better believe I have tried every product on the market. All of them.  Prescription products, too. And so-called natural wonders. And Clarisonic-dermabrasion-chemical peel please help me miracles.

But nothing – nothingever, ever, ever changed my skin more than this…

I went dairy-free.

That single thing has changed my skin and appearance so dramatically, I can’t even believe it. My doctor did an allergy test and said I had a dairy sensitivity. Who knew. I sure didn’t. No other symptoms whatsoever. Just a lot of inflammation on my face (and likely throughout my body, unbeknownst to me.)

Since going dairy-free, I actually look in the mirror sometimes and can’t believe that I have THAT skin. I have THAT skin that I always stared at and coveted on my gorgeous European friends. It may not be quite exactly like theirs, since I have years of damage from bad skin. But…for me…my skin has never been clearer, brighter, and happier and I’ll take it.  I still feel like a European goddess because I know what my skin used to look like.

And – pinch-me-now – sometimes I don’t even wear foundation like all those women I secretly envied.

Now, getting there required a cold turkey approach. 100 percent. If I ever have a morsel of dairy — say in a dessert that a friend makes for me that I can’t pass up…well…I just brace myself for my old skin. It comes back in a jiffy. The next day I’ll look at the mirror and see the pores. I’ll see the uneven color. I’ll see the inflammation. I’ll look older. At least until I can get that dairy out of my system.

So, if you’re not totally happy with your skin, I can’t recommend enough to try going dairy-free. You just might have a sensitivity to it like I do and it may be worth a try for you to see if it works. In fact, the chances of this working for you are pretty high. According to Dr. Frank Lipman, “in 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links between acne and dairy. Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity.” (You can read Dr. Lipman’s very informative article, here.)  Now, be warned that you might feel withdrawal symptoms when you go off of dairy (headache, anxiety, jitters, depression). I did. I felt like a drug junkie. Not that I know what that feels like. :)  But my doctor said that’s what I should expect. So just carry through for a few weeks. And stock up on almond milk and coconut milk ice cream (the peanut butter swirl is amazing.)  And things may just get a lot better!

Mara

P.S.  I say still buy a Clarisonic and any Kiehl’s product you can get your hands on. Because now those wonders of the world will actually be able to do their job since they don’t have to deal with inflammation everyday.

Note: Going dairy-free worked for me, but make sure (as always) to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your diet.

Photo credit: Rachel Thurston

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10 beauty secrets every woman should know

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