It doesn’t always seem fair, but sometimes our skin feels the brunt of an overall cleansing process since it is one of the major elimination organs of our body.

A couple months ago, a lovely woman emailed me about this very issue. I thought I’d share my response with you here in case others have noticed this unwelcome (but temporary) symptoms of cleaning up your diet.

Hi Lisa,
I recently had to give up caffeine, so I no longer drink sodas, tea, or coffee. Those drinks were my primary source of sugar, so by giving up caffeine I gave up sugar too.

I did it cold turkey because I had to, and in only a few days my moods and energy level are steady and I feel better overall. Even my husband noticed, and he used to doubt me when I said caffeine and sugar made me irritable.

I’m drinking lots of water and avoiding sodas and you know what? My skin looks terrible. Is it going through a cleansing process? And if so, for how long?

I downloaded your workbook, which was excellent, but I want to know what I should expect after I stop eating sugar: what am I in for?

Here’s my reply:

I think it’s fantastic that you gave up soda and caffeine– really hard things for most people to strip from their diet.

Isn’t it incredible, how much it really does impact our moods? I don’t drink soda, but when I start getting back into my coffee habit, I can always tell if it is getting too much when my irritability starts to skyrocket 🙂

You know from what you’re explaining, even briefly, I would have to agree with your assessment…it seems as though your body may be just detoxifying…which is a really good thing, but can be a bummer if you have to go through the skin eruptions that sometimes come along with it.

Another thing that possibly could be happening is that since you are no longer relying on caffeine (and possibly sugar if you used to drink regular sodas) for your energy supply through the day, your body may be readjusting hormonally. This also is a good thing overall, but when our hormones start to shift as they find their sync and balance again, it can often surface in skin problems.

  • Keep drinking the water

You mention that you are drinking lots of water— I’d absolutely keep up with that since it will speed and aid detoxifying. You may want to add some lemon to your water- excellent also for detoxifying as well as helping with pH balance.

  • Provide your body with nutrient dense sources of true energy

Since caffeine can be an energy crutch, taking it out of your diet will require that your body realign the proper channels to provide you with energy…but over time excessive use of sugar and caffeine also can deplete your nutrient reserves, so your system may not be able to kick in as easily as you’d like.

So another thought would be to try and fortify your body with super antioxidant, nutrient dense foods— like berries, dark leafy greens, dark green veggies (like broccoli) and dark orange vegetables (like sweet potato, squashes). Even a morning smoothie with frozen berries and kale is an excellent idea.

  • Consider herbal supports

Finally, you could explore herbal teas known to help with skin breakouts like nettle, calendula, red clover or lavender.

I know it must be frustrating to be doing such good things for your body and have to deal with more issues at first than you originally had.

For most people the initial reactions your body has as it detoxes (during the first 1-2 weeks) are often the worst of it. As you continue to flush and nourish your body you should see the negative stuff fade away.

Has this ever happened to you when you shifted into a cleaner, healthier way of eating?