Is anyone else reading the title of this post extremely dramatic? As in, “The Detox – DUN DUN DUN!” Just me? …Cool.
Starting this round of the Whole30, I was convinced it was going to be a piece of cake. I presumed I was going to be the Paleo equivalent of one of those pregnant women who experience no negative symptoms and instead only glow and look adorable for 9 months before literally sprouting a miracle from their bodies. Yeah…that is more or less exactly how I pictured my Whole30 going…
And, I’ll admit, for a solid portion of week 1…it was just that. My energy skyrocketed by day two, my sleep immediately improved, and I found myself naturally drinking less coffee (that is a BIG one for me folks). I wasn’t experiencing any wild cravings/feelings of deprivation, and there were no signs of the irritability that I’d faced in previous ¨detox periods” of yesteryear.
I have heard nightmare stories from other people’s detox weeks. It’s been reported that people have experienced flu-like symptoms – complete with fever, cold sweats, and even vomiting. I’m thankful to report that I didn’t experience ANYTHING near that, but what I did develop may have proven even more frustrating.
So what are the negative symptoms I experienced? Well, first off, 4 out of the 7 nights this week I received a pretty hefty headache right around bedtime. It’s not a huge deal, and truthfully most nights I slept right through it. It’s the other negative symptom that still has me beating my head against the wall.
So what’s the other symptom? Well…suffice it to say that my face has completely erupted with a break out measuring the intensity of a thousand suns. Okay…that may be a bit of an exaggeration… but, for someone who has never really had to deal with a lot of facial acne (I know, curse my name), developing this symptom was altogether shocking, embarrassing, and extremely frustrating.
It’s that awful kind of break out where there is nothing to expel. Instead, youŕe just red, swollen, and the bumps feel like painful, underground blisters. What’s worse? They are ALL over my face. No longer will those maps of ¨What Your Facial Acne is Telling You” aid me in my strife…instead I’m left in this vacuous gray area of ¨is it the detox,¨ is it an external irritant,¨ or, “is it even something worse?¨
Considering the drastic improvement I’ve witnessed between days 4 and 6…I suspect it’s merely detox symptoms. The timing between everything is spot-freaking-on, but just in case, please continue to keep your fingers crossed for me, and send me any recommendations you might have for dealing with this.
Day 5 photographic proof is posted on the left below. Day 7 on the right. You can see the quick improvements, as well as the fact of how badly my eyebrows need grooming… Still, happy to see the speedy improvement between these two pics.
Moving forward, it has been suggested that I try cutting out nuts and seeds to see if that helps things to recover. In the meantime, there are a few skin remedies I’ve been turning to in order to aid with this irritation. Here are the treatments I have found the most beneficial…
1. Homemade Green Tea Mask – This sounds (and looks) so gross, but it was the most soothing, wonderful concoction I could have ever put on my face. 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder, 1 tbsp honey, and a tsp of lemon juice. That measurement of everything makes enough for just about 4 masks. Schlack a good portion of the mixture on your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Repeat daily as needed. It’s the most relieved my skin has felt in days.
2. Tea Tree Oil – Just in case my breakout did stem from a root of bacteria, I opted to add a little Tea Tree Oil into my life. Tea Tree Oil is a natural disinfectant which makes it a strong tool for several purposes. Something to note about Tea Tree Oil, however, is it is extremely potent. A little goes a long, long way, so be sure to use it sparingly. Also, using Tea Tree Oil alone will be far too drying for the skin. Make sure you always follow up with a moisturizer which brings me nicely to…
3. SheaMoisture’s 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Face Lotion – Listen…You all know I love this brand like whoa. I sang their praises via my Ultimate Gift Giving Guide and continue to do so daily as I liberally apply all their products. This face cream is wonderful. It is fresh, bright, absorbs beautifully into the skin…it is pretty much a miracle in a small, reasonably priced tube. I am obsessed. I literally use it every morning and night. It’s my holy grail of face lotions.
So what’s next on the paleo horizon? Tackling week 2. Can’t wait to check in with you all then and share a few of my favorite quick bites. 🙂
Got a burning Paleo or Whole30 question? Be sure to ask it here! I’d love to know which aspect of the diet/protocol you would love me to lend a voice on 🙂