Update: Honey Challenge, Skin

So I had said I would do a no-honey challenge for the month of April. That meant no honey in my yogurt, no honey for sweets etc. I started off great, eating yogurt with fruit and making my SCD Truffles with dates (I think I prefer them this way now!). Then one day I just forgot and put some honey in my yogurt. I swear I didn’t mean to, it was just such an automatic step for me to grab the honey and add some. I decided to see if I can just limit myself to a small spoonful of honey (about 2 tsp) in my yogurt once a day. It seems I can somewhat control how much honey I eat and have been quite satisfied with that amount each day. So, the jar of yogurt that was about 2/3 full was almost empty 2 weeks later. That was also shared with my boyfriend who uses it in oatmeal and sometimes yogurt as well. While this wasn’t a total success in trying to go without sweeteners, I think it’s still a pretty good change. Maybe I have kicked the sweet-tooth a little bit? The rest of the month I pretty much had the same amount, just a bit of honey in my yogurt. I did make chocolate fudge for one night, but that was a special treat, not something I’m eating every day. I think I’ve bought honey once this month, about 500g worth, so that is a big improvement.

Now unfortunately the no-honey thing did nothing for my skin. My face was still breaking out like crazy. I turned to the BTVC-SCD Yahoo group and everyone who answered there kept saying they used oils on their face for acne. People had commented on my blog as well saying that. Some people were saying they rubbed the oil into their skin. That had me thinking, I’ve been putting oil on my skin very lightly. I never actually tried rubbing it in and then wiping the excess off.

I tried with coconut oil to start with. I rubbed a good chunk of it into my skin. I then showered and let the steam loosen up the oil a bit, wiped off the excess with a facecloth and then patted it dry with a towel. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks and it’s somewhat working. I think putting a thin coating of coconut oil was doing more harm than good, trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores. Rubbing the coconut oil in seems to moisturize it better and cleans a bit deeper. To help even more, I bought some tea tree oil and dab that on top of the coconut oil, let is sit for a while and then wipe off.  It’s not perfect yet but I’m having a lot less breakouts daily. I have also been taking cod liver oil a bit more regularly and some extra vitamin D, which others have said helped their acne. I have some red spots still that have to fade from having acne there and I think once that clears up my skin will look much better.

I know I mentioned going to China a while ago. I am still going, leaving in about 1 week! Very excited and not so nervous any more. I did fine eating rice for a short period and even had some soy sauce without problems. I did cut down on the rice because I was having joint problems that really seemed to get worse around the same time as the increase in rice/carbs consumption. I have heard from many other people that low carb helps with arthritis so it kinda makes sense. I had thought I might do ok with higher carb because I have a better balance of Omega6/3 fats and lots of anti-inflammatory foods in my diet. When I get back from China I’m going to look more into joint problems and how to deal them. Don’t think I have blogged about it before, but I have had joint problems off and on (knees, wrists, now hands) so I think it’s worth looking into. I’m also working on some info pages about good fats, Omega 6 and 3’s, nuts and how it all affects us on the SCDiet. (Hint – we eat way too many nuts on this diet)

So thankful to everyone for sharing their experiences with acne, hope I can get rid of this for good soon!


I have been following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since January 2008 to recover from Celiac disease. As part of the diet, I don't eat grains, sugar or potatoes and prepare all my meals from scratch.


  1. I would be interested in knowing what mechanisms are at least hypothetically at work for the treatment, sorry, I have an engineer's brain. Oil makes an excellent preservative (hence passive anti-biotic) so I could see how that might work, not so sure about the honey in the diet connection. If acne is really about bacteria trapped in the pores then wouldn't vinegar be a better solution? I've had good experience with curing dandruff using vinegar, I started out quite strong, unadulterated 8 percent, and it was basically a miracle cure. But dandruff is caused by fungus (a heightened sensitivity to a skin fungus we all have) not bacteria.

  2. I don't know a reason for the oil working. I was just going based on people's experience.

    The honey in the diet thing was more just that I keep seeing everywhere how low-carb or low-fructose helped people with skin issues. I wasn't going low-carb this time, but thought I was having too much honey. I didn't expect a huge change in my skin, but was worth it to try anyways.

    I have tried apple cider vinegar on my skin before and it burned. I use it on my scalp/hair no problem, but on my face it just doesn't seem to work.

  3. I would instinctively put honey in my yogurt too! You could try adding cinnamon instead, another nice flavor and may help with your joints.

  4. Have you tried to take out the dairy and nuts/coconut? It may be worth a try for a month in addition to the honey. I took out yogurt and cheese and after a week the itchy spots on my stomach that I've been battling for 11 weeks are almost gone. I thought they would be ok for me since they don't really affect my digestion. Turns out they were creating skin problems.

  5. Hi Shel, I went off yogurt in November for a number of weeks. I also have been very low nuts/coconut most of the time. My skin got really bad and when I re-intro'ed the yogurt it actually helped. So, unfortunately I don't think that would help. In China for 2 weeks I won't have dairy or nuts so that'll be another test. I might try no nightshades as well since some people report better skin without those.

  6. I've been reading about the oil cleansing method too. But I just wash with water or a little baking soda.

    I'm kind of thinking the bacteria theory for acne is just as bogus as the bacteria theory for tooth decay.. that it's the symptom of something underlying. I know sugar makes me break out, and hormone changes.

    I came here to check on how you were doing with kombucha 🙂 I just tasted my first brew, interesting stuff!

  7. You might try low salicylates too (honey has salicylates) if you're looking at tweaking your diet more. We started with Feingold.org before going gluten-free and sugar-free, and the lower salicylates definitely helped our eczema and my acne. 🙂

  8. @Cara, I agree with you, I know I'm breaking out from hormonal stuff, diet hasn't seemed to affect anything the past 6 months. Hopefully I get some relief soon!

    @ChickiePea I'll look into the low salicylates, but considering I'm not as sensitive as I used to be to many things, I'm not sure that would be causing problems. How long did you go low-salicylate?

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