My Liver Detox And Why I’ll Never Do It Again

My Liver Detox And Why I’ll Never Do It Again


I was recently told by a naturopath that my liver eliminates toxins through my skin, which is why I get persistant acne. Not everyone has this problem, some people eliminate toxins through their colon so they can eat as much crap as they want and be exposed to loads of pollution and chemicals and still have beautiful clear skin. I on the other hand break out from the smallest stress on my liver, which includes blood sugar fluctuations, hormonal imbalances (yes this means pmt time girls) and exposure to pollution and chemicals.

Someone who suffers from acne on a regular basis will usually have some kind of toxic buildup which is stressing his or her liver. When the liver is overworked (often in tandem with the colon) or is being forced to process too many synthetic chemicals or other poisons, its ability to store toxins may begin to “back up.” As an emergency tactic, the body begins to release these excess wastes through the skin, where they can clog pores or turn up as blemishes.


To make matters worse, the toxins come out of my skin more because of my thin build. If you have fatty deposits on your body, the liver will eliminate its toxins into the fat cells. I don’t have enough fat cells for the liver to put the toxins in so they have to come out somewhere, lucky me, as blackheads and big pussy things on my face.

My detox experience


So, when I discovered this thing about my liver I got really excited and decided to go on some sort of detox. Actually the naturopath had given me a bit of a kickstart, providing me with a tablet, lipogen, which is a natural supplement that aids detoxification of the liver. Along with the lipogen I was drinking a warm glass of water with lemon first thing in the morning, and being uber healthy with my diet. Yeah, and I turned into a bit of a crazy maniac with the diet thing, trying to be AS healthy as I could. Surprisingly, I kind of liked it and I’m sticking to most of the rules now. This is my healthy anti-acne detox diet:

  • No alcohol (easy, I gave this up long ago anyway)
  • No cows milk (again, my milk of choice is rice milk!)
  • No caffeine (hmm, that one cup of tea a day is now Madura or something herbal)
  • HEAPS of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • No refined sugars (okay, the occasional green and black chocolate is okay …surely)
  • Whole grains only (I do this anyway)

I was eating a big bowl of porridge sweetened with honey in the morning, a big bowl of fruit salad at morning tea and a vege salad for lunch. My digestive system was working really well and I started feeling really healthy all over.

When it all went REALLY wrong

After two weeks my acne was getting steadily worse. I remember one night I woke up with two really sore blind pimples on my face, then over the course of that day two more popped up, literally. I also found a heap of tiny bumps all over the left side of my face that looked to me like swollen pores or whitheads. I was petrified that these bumps would turn into even more pimples.

I contacted my naturopath and she recommended I half the dosage of lipogen I was on. Over the next couple of days I experienced a really bad headache that lasted for almost the whole two days and would not go away, irritation, aching muscles, fatigue but also insomnia and a foggy head. By the third day I started to feel better and my acne began to take a turn. I also noticed my eyes began to have a lovely sparkle to them. I put the breakout down to a mini detox from the lipogen and healthy eating and looked forward to clear and beautiful skin from then on.

Unfortunately after one week my skin started getting worse again, and I started experiencing similar symptoms to my ‘detox’ again. I woke up in the morning a few days ago and looked in the mirror and cried. I was so frustrated that my skin had got this bad again. How can this be happening to me when I eat SO healthy, exercise, use good quality organic skin products and do regular yoga and meditation. How can I possibly do anything more??

I decided that my body was experiencing way too much stress from jumping into being so healthy so quickly, so made a decision to stop all supplements. I was on a lot at the time, so maybe my body was a bit confused. I was taking chinese herbs, fish oil, lipogen, premular for my hormones, and an ayurvedic body tonic. All this had to stop and I would then just focus on my healthy diet alone combined with regular yoga and mediation.

From the day I stopped taking the lipogen my acne stopped getting worse. It’s now three or four days after I stopped taking the supplements and I feel a lot better for it. I’m starting to think that maybe I have an allergy to an ingredient in lipogen which is why it didn’t sit well with my body, but only time will tell.

Unfortunately my acne and blackhead problem is still there so I’m still trying to fight this battle, but with each treatment I guess I’m getting a little closer. I feel like by the end of this, when I finally find the answer I’ll be some kind of expert at curing acne the natural way because I’m making my way through just about every natural theory and product out there. I know one thing for sure, I’ll never detox with supplements or medications ever again – from now on it’s food only.

55 comments… add one

  • Natalia

    My sister went through a serious sugar detox also, taking numerous natural remedies the naturopath put her on to. Growing up she always had such clear and beautiful skin. The detox threw a spanner in the works and her skin went crazy with acne. A year on her skin has started clearing up. She has fewer days where she feels sick or run down and is finally getting her self back in order. For the 10 years she was a hairdresser she was exposed to chemicals. This could be why it took so long for her to get her system cleaned out. I am just starting to go through a detox and I hate my skin also, the acne is so frustrating!
    Apparently it is best to not try too many products on your skin. Keep with your usual natural skincare routine and keep going. It will get better!

  • James

    I lat visited here when I posted in October 2013. Since then my liver detox has gone extremely wel, the nurses were saying I was “end stage liver disease” when they did shift change report by my bed! Today, no subsequent hospitalizations, my energy is back better than ever. I do believe it is all diet. I take milk thistle and dandelion, a very good organic supplement by Nutrilite (Amway) for which I am a dealer. I remain vegetarian, on a raw fods and juicing diet, and drinking galllons of filtered or bottled Icelandic water every day. Thanks for the advice and support, y’all have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

  • Katie

    Read the book Wheat Belly!! Whole grains have been so genetically modified, they’re no longer healthy. Can cause all sorts of problems for the skin. Even the organic whole grains. Read the book!!!

  • Detoxing can take a long time – you have to be patient with it, especially if you’ve never done a detox before. Generally it takes a minimum of six weeks (if you were already eating pretty well beforehand, which it seems you did). When there are a lot of toxins built up inside the body, it will also take time for them to get out of the body. Unlike mainstream medicine, alternative medicine allows the body to work at it’s natural pace by regenerating cells, strengthening organs, and more. It’s not a quick fix. Try it again, and do it for at least two months. It won’t be an overnight miracle though, so be prepared!

  • I have cirrhosis of the liver from years of alcoholism. I no longer drink but now I do have the cirrhosis. I get into acute crisi modes where I go to the hospital a few days and they do a paracentesis of my abdomen and drain fluid, and IV me on potassoium, fluids and white blood cells. I’m a bleeder, I wake up and have, and also spontaneously get all day, nosebleeds.

    I decided this time, with my stomach looking like I ‘m 8 months pregnant, very uncomfortable, to try to deal with it at home, I’m self-employed and don’t get “sick days with pay” and am behind on my bills.

    I am drinking gallons of (bottled Icelandic pH 8.4 ) water. Fresh berries – blackberries, blueberries, rasberries, strawberries. Cruciferous broccoli and kale. granola with yogurt. Dark, dark chocolate.

    I think it is working, after 3 days I have my energy back and the swelling is going down (then back up and down). I still have yellow urine, but started off it was brown/black – frightening! At night, when I get up in the morning to pee, it’s clear urine. During the day as I am drinking all the water, it’s yellow again – I figure when I am actively consuming water and the nutrition food, the detox is in “on” mode so I am seeing toxins flush out.

    I woke up this morning from a weird, almost a nightmare dream that I was on not LSD but one of those DMT drugs. Clumsy, etc. I woke and said I was glad it was just a dream, and then realized that I am flushing toxins from all through my body including my brain so I guess that nightmare was part of the “brain flush”?

    • sara

      Chinese bitters – Purges and detoxifies the liver. Ingredients: Chinese Gentian, Bupleurum Organs affected: Liver, gallbladder, urinary bladder

      There are a number of herbs that are good for the liver like Milk thistle, dandelion. You need to add a good oil to help cleanse the liver – I suggest organic cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil. Take a tablespoon at bedtime and in the morning.

      You will need to build your body back up after years of abuse. I am not sure where you live, but you can purchase a green powder drink make sure it contains – spirulina, chorella, barley green grass, etc. Google green powder drinks.

      Brewer yeast or nutritional yeast is a natural B complex .

  • Kris

    Flushes of any kind will at first make things worse. Your skin is a good place to get rid of toxins, especially if you don’t have a lot of fat anyway. Eventually, if you stick with your healthy diet, things will clear up.

  • Haley

    It might not be diet and exercise. It might be with your skin itself, with what comes into contact with your face. I’ve always had skin problems too. I used to try every acne product and they always made it worse. I eventually went to using gentle cleansers and apricot scrubs and they worked a bit better. Only recently have I been into reading labels and decided to make everything on my own. Even organic products that don’t test on animals can have parabens, sulfates, or otherwise unnecessary filler that can irritate your skin. There’s this method I just found on the internet the other week, called the oil cleansing method. I’ve been using nothing but water on my face for a week now. Warm water and sometimes my exfoliating bar soap. My skin has been a LOT better. I tried out the oil cleansing method last night and my skin feels nice. It was getting a bit tight and dry without using anything on it for a week. The idea is that oil dissolves oil, so when you open your pores with warm water and then rub oil on your face (sunflower and castor blend) the oil is cleansed from your face. I personally have a skin problem called keratosis pilaris where my skin doesn’t shed as easily as it should and gets blocked up. So I exfoliate my face with a loofah in the shower every few days….. You also might want to check your shampoo. That can be very irritating to the skin. Lotions. Whether you touch your face a lot or not – I tend to touch my face at the computer and that’s where my zits pop up. I also have this patch on the side of my face where I think it was from my pillow at one point. It’s mainly scars now and there’s a mixture I haven’t tried yet – honey and cinnamon. You make a paste (a certain ratio) and leave it on for a half hour then rinse…. Anyway. I would start from outside the body and go as natural and simple as possible. Also, with inside the body, doing basic things that you decided to switch to in the end sounds like a good idea. Mixing too many herbs and medications, and like you said rapid diet changes, can be harmful. Best of luck, hope I was somewhat helpful. :) And thanks for the heads up!

  • Nicole

    I had acne for a long time and when I became (mostly) vegan it helped a lot, just like many of you claim, but my skin still wasn’t as wonderful as I wished for. I know this detox did nothing great for you, but when I started the foot detox pads at night my skin miraculously cleared up really fast. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that the detox was actually on your skin… I don’t know. Good luck everyone :)

  • jeanette frey

    3 days ago I started drinking high ph water, drinking a “greens” powdered ph drink, eating more veggies, had an infrared sauna, vibration therapy, ionic foot bath, vitamin d bed treatment and have scheduled a colonics treatment. After a bit of fatigue and slight breakout of a few pimples, I am feeling better. The above therapies mentioned are now going to become a part of my newer , less toxic, healthier lifestyle!

  • claire

    I too have suffered from acne but the one thing that has helped tremedously is going on a alkaline diet.My body was clearly too acid and since researching which foods to eat it seems obvious now. Get on line and look up the alkaline diet and you will soon feel the benefits,stick with it as when your body first starts to adjust you may experience,headaches,or nausea,but it will pass in a couple of days.My skin is looking younger,clearer,and I feel more relaxed and not so stressed out.I have battled acne since I was 25 on and off,and I am 42 now.Good luck!

  • Caligirl

    I would like to let everyone on here know what worked for my daughter. We tried Proactice as well as everything we could by over the counter, we tried detox pills you name it we tried it. Her acne was so bad that at times it looked like she had boils on her face. Nothing we tried or the doctor tried worked….

    One day I noticed her hair looked oily & asked when she had washed it. She said this morning, I said well you didnt get all the conditioner out. She said I didnt use conditioner & that her hair always looks oily. So I went to my hair dresser & asked her for a new shampoo & conditioner. The one she told me to try had tree tee oil. My hairdresser said if you get a breakout or have acne to also use the shampoo to wash that area. I said OK but thought she was nuts because we had tried everything known to man. When I got hom I told my daughter what she had said & she said she was going to try it. My poor baby was now 21 & her face got worse with age & not better. Well one week after she started washing her face with the shampoo it looked like it was clearing up. 2 weeks after her face looked wonderful & has been clear for over 6 months now…… I have found her a facewash at a whole foods place that is made with tea tree oil and she uses that every morning & at night when she takes her shower she still uses the shampoo.

  • Ross

    Hey, This is common for people who jump straight into a detox program without proper preparation. Often it results in a Herxheimer reaction, leading to headaches and other symptoms as you have mentioned.

    Things like Candida and other similar bacteria may also affect the amount of toxins in your body.

    You should perhaps look into diet and lifestyle that strengthen the liver, before doing a detox, so that it can handle the extra stresses.

    Look into perhaps Ayurvedic herbs and treatments for liver strengthening.

  • D

    Do you think maybe your skin got worse because it was detoxing and getting everything out of your system? (and so getting worse before it got better) I heard that the vegan diet can do wonders for some people in terms of skin (I don’t think I could ever go full vegan, but I applaud people who do :-D) I’ve been reading “The Beauty Detox Solution” by Kim Snyder, it’s been pretty enlightening so far, not just what to eat, but how to eat “food combos”, you might find it interesting, too :-) Good luck in your diet adventures, I am in the same experimental process & I enjoyed your article :) D


    I agree with Rhiannon(#30). Im 30yrs old now and i have been having acne since age of 15yrs. Tried pretty much everything over the counter and nothing worked.

    But recently i found out abt the liver detox, gutcleansing and their relation to acne(wish i found out abt this yrs ago) and decided to have a crack at it.

    In the beginning, i started to have more breakouts. I thought of stopping it but decided stick to it. It took abt 6-8 weeks before the “Evil mountains” started disappearing. I have been acne free for 3 weeks now(longest in the last 15 yrs).

    So, if you are on liver detox programme and experiencing heavy breakouts… patient. It will pay off eventually.

  • amy

    hmm maybe it was a purging process and what you experienced sounds like detox symptoms, thats what happens when you detox, everything has to be pushed out usually in the second week. also if that herb wasn’t working for you you could always try something like dandilion and milk thistle.

  • mamato3

    I have a couple of suggestions for the acne issue. First I have been doing the “Oil cleansing method” as a face wash routine for about a month now and have had great results! My pores are smaller, less breakouts, and less black heads. It’s supposed to keep getting better with time too. All you need is castor oil and either olive oil or sunflower oil. It feels like a spa treatment with the hot washcloth :) The website that explains it all is

    Secondly, I found it interesting that a prior commentator mentioned that whenever she ate foods which were acidifying, she broke out. That makes sense since supposedly wearing a hazelwood necklace can help with acne and its main function is to absorb acidity. It has worked wonders for our daughter with severe eczema (which can also be caused by excess acidity). Just thought I’d share :) sells the hazelwood necklaces and they are very pretty!

  • I have spent best part of 10 years trying to clear acne and chronic fatigue. I have spent thousands of pounds on treatment & supplements and the bottom line is if you want to return your body to balance & wellness, you have to cleanse and if you want to do that you have to strengthen your organs slowly before your body will be able to manage any cleansing. See the ‘drain don’t detox’ article on for advice on how to do this. Healthy people are able to detox with little healing symptoms but if you are in poor health to begin with as I have found out myself you will cause yourself more harm than good. You need to seek advice from an experienced herbalist or naturopath. It’s like a lottery finding a good practitioner as just having a qualification doesn’t make you one. Believe me I have seen so many and I knew more than some of them!!!

    Full cleansing and alkalising is the only way to true health but as the drain don’t detox states you have to take this slowly. You can kid yourself that taking this supplement or that supplement will get you there but even though you may see some improvement you will never actually get true health. Taking health supplements is of the same mentality of a prescription from your doctor in that we think ‘we can get well by popping a pill”.

    Recommended reading – The secrets of an alkaline body by David Jubb. If you can follow it, it will blow your mind. It’s advanced health that unfortunately the majority won’t understand for many years to come.

    I know the pain of suffering from acne and there are some supplements that can help while you are preparing or working on your gradual cleansing. Something mentioned in an earlier post is supplementing glutathione and I have recently been taking a new product which encapsulates GSH inside a lipid sphere. As oil is not digested in the gut the GSH goes straight to the liver and this has cleared my acne. You can now buy this quite reasonably now in the UK from

    I wish you well on your journey to health!

  • Laura

    Have you tried coconut oil? It is better than any cream you could find for your face. Look it up and see the benefits. I myself am having problems with my skin only recently (well dramatically anyway). I have cut out sugar from my life, this is harder than it sounds, for example i now have to make my own bread! Anyway additionally i don’t eat meat I eat lots of fruit and veggies, exercise regularly, don’t have caffeine, much alcohol, and take vit e and fish oils. Why now then am i getting bumps on my chest? never had that before. the coconut oil helps but it is not enough. I don’t know what is the cause?


    Hi there. i would recommend you take a supplement called acetyl-l carnitine, MSM, and beta glucan orally. it will help out alot as they are very easy on the stomach. Also, for the acne, there is nothing that can fully get rid of it however, im in sydney australia and i am a laser practitioner. if you are near me i would be more than happy to help you out. But if not i can tell you what to do so you can do it at a place near you. It literally shrinks your oil glands to the point where it can not produce alot of oil so if you where to break out, it would not be large. its proven and has worked on everybody i have tried it on.

  • try using lemon juice on your face

  • Large doses of echinacea will help with detox symptoms. Try 1 tablespoons of a high quality Echinacea extract once per day. It is also important that your bowels are clear and moving properly and to drink extra water.

  • sally

    I have a history of acne and skin rashes. In my 20′s and 30′s i nearly always had ‘a period pimple’. I always attempted to eat natural unprocessed foods which I knew helped. However I never really paid serious attention to my health – not enough exercise and too much alcohol /social drugs etc. Now as I am going through menopause I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition ( ITP, decreased platelets). Blood tests show my liver is involved. Since I have started seriously alkalising my body I have never found it so easy to eat healthy. I am losing weight without any effort and feeling healthier every day. A few things I wanted to share – eating whole fruit – not excessive fruit juices. Having apple cider vinegar with meals mixed with probiotics to assist digestion and absorption. Green drinks (more barley grass than spirulina for the palate) mixed into freshly squeesed orange juice then eat the pulp of the orange to increase saliva and fiber and decrease acid. Good Health, Sally

  • Rhiannon

    I’m studying Naturopathy at the moment, and one thing that usually happens when somebody switches to a healthier diet, especially a liver detox, is that any symptoms previously experienced flares up as the body is more able to remove toxins in the body. So healthier food would have given any toxins lying around a little bit of a push – and since a better diet would help your body function better, it would be a lot more efficient at doing this too.

    Perhaps if you would have continued the diet for a little longer, you would have found your acne disappear or lessen after that initial flare-up? It takes your body a little while to adjusted to a new diet. I get pretty bad acne myself, but I’ve noticed if I eat healthy, it’s no way near as bad.

    What do you think?

  • did you check if you had chicken pox…most of the symptoms you decribed above match chicken pox / hives as well.

  • tanya

    I came on this site looking into how to help cleanse my liver as I am suffering from Candida and ibs. I have always had quite severe acne break outs and bacterial infections causing huge swelling and needing penicillin injections and tablets. I have come to the conclusion this may have been a long term build up of toxins in my body over many years, my diet was terrible until I got ill in Dec this year being rushed into A and E with severe Abdo pains, I have since lost 5 and a half stone through having these problems. My reason for telling you this is that I have in the last 10 days had to go on a very restricive candida elimination diet where I am allowed no sugar at all plus all the other nasty stuff I ate, I was also told to take a probiotic multi vitamin tablet and a tablet called Dida, I have had two severe episodes since being on this diet and also so minor ones in cluding more spots but was told this is a good thing!!! if you have a problem with your liver functioning causing other problems in your body you will get a die off process happening from cutting out the problem foods etc this can go on for some time but will stop, this only happens when your doing the right thing! and is all part of the process. I am looking forward to being nearly problem free in another 8 wks as this is usually a 3 month plan. I would rather this hard route than more A and E visits and Morphine, penicillin etc (the come downs from that have been awful) and look forward to a healthy new life. Good luck to anyone trying this method as it is tough esp if like me you love choccies etc, if you have had many courses of antibiotics have lots of tummy probs feel ill or tired all the time and groggy spots and have lots of white on your tongue check out about Candida it has many side effects and doing a diet to eliminate it may be just the thing to change your life! I am already feeling so much better in just 10 days and have gone from taking 20 tablets a day and the A and E visits on morphine down to just those 2 small healthy tablets… it’s worth a try!!

  • Jenny

    I came across this article a few days after I started on my liver detox. Dumbly, I started on it without doing any research on the outcome. For the past year, I have had incredibly bad breakouts, and I never knew the reason why. No topical medications would work to lessen the problem; the pimples just kept on coming. It had gotten worse and worse, and a few weeks ago it seemed as if my skin had started to clear up, until I broke out again as a result of sleeping with my hand on my face one night – I don’t even know how that happened, LOL! I was (and still am) breaking out like crazy, since I am still doing the detox – only one more week to go – and I am hoping that I can survive it. I keep looking at my skin and thinking, “I have never broken out there before,” but I do not actually feel like crying, because I have the feeling that doing this right now will benefit my body and myself in the future. (I am starting classes this coming week, so I’m more worried about showing up with pimple-filled face. Hehe. But it is still not the end of the world.) Reading through your articles has really inspired me to change my skin-care routine by using mostly organic, chemical-free products. As of right now, the only non-organic product I am using, aside from my makeup, is my facial cleanser – it is the only one I can find that will not dry out my skin. I have also completely stopped using medications like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and Differin. But I still do need something to help with my skin, so I went to a health store here and bought John Masters Organics Bearberry Oily Skin Balancing Face Serum, which helps with acne as well. (So far it is slowly working on drying out the pimples I am getting from the liver detox, and definitely doesn’t make my face feel itchy or weird like everything else I’ve used.)

    However, a major question I have for you is this: How can I cleanse my face without popping any of the emerging/mature pimples that I am getting from the detox? I find that no matter how gentle I am with washing my face, a pimple always manages to pop itself and I end up pushing the bacteria around my face with the face wash. (I am not even aware that it popped until I am done cleansing.) Or sometimes, a healing pimple that has popped itself before starts to bleed after I have washed my face, or after I have stepped out of a steamy hot shower. :(

    • Phoenix C

      Hello i have been experiencing acne problem for a year now and have wondered why it does not get better despite being on Chinese medicine for almost 3 months. I begin to think something is wrong with my liver. May i ask if your acne has got better now?


  • Binie


    I just came across your site, I have had acne since I was 14 I am now 27. When I was 16 I started to take antibiotics for a couple of years which worked for a while, then ceased to work. I was then given the pill which I took for a further 6 years. This also worked okay, but I came to the conclusion that I no longer wanted to continue on it. I found the pill gave me low mood and food craving which resulted in bad eating habits which caused a knock on effect, low energy, low self confidence. I totally changed my diet at this point eating all whole foods, fresh fruit and veg no dairy and no red meat. what meat I do eat is organic. My skin was okay from this point but still problematic, then I met my boyfriend and wanted a contraception. I had the Mirena coil fitted as I dreaded the pill. The mirena is awful for my skin, but I felt that apart from the skin complaints it was a good form of contraception. So as well as eating well, doing yoga, running, meditation. I started on b vitamins, was drinking apple cider vinegar, you name it I did it. I was so frustrated, I was researching into what could be possible causes. The mirena side is most likely to be an imbalance of hormones it produces. I firmly believe that as I was given antibiotics from a young age, then the pill, plus a not great diet this has impacted greatly on my Liver. Meaning it finds it hard to process all the extra hormones my body is producing. I am about to get my second mirena fitted and I am so worried it will flair my skin up. My plan is to have a colonic and then start a liver detox diet and flush to help support my liver and the excess hormones. I hope that if my liver is healthy then my skin will be to. Its just how long my poor liver will take to repair after all the years of antibiotics and chemicals :(

  • Lucysky

    I’ve suffered from acne ever since I stopped taking the contraceptive pill which I believe had permently caused an imbalance of my hormones. I also know several other people this has happened to and believe the pharmaceutical companies have used us girls as guinea pigs!!! The pill also stressess the liver and I know that my liver function is in deed under par. Anyway I did once completely clear my skin when I did the E-Lyte detoxx programme. It involved a strict low carb diet, taking lot of supplements and essential fats and doing coffee enemas twice a week. It was quite invloved not to mention the cost of all the products (nearly £2k for 6 months) but it was worth it, I had perfect skin. The problem was when I stopped the acne returned but I am determine to replicate the detox again. You will find some informaiton on this if you Google E-Lyte Detoxx

  • Greta

    I had horrible cysts and huge red bumps…long story short…gluten intolerance try cutting out all wheat/gluten products. I can’t have dairy or sugar either (insulin resistant) also my doc tested me for low Vitamin D level…
    It was low so I am now on 2000 iu per day. This made a most remarkable improvement. I’m 50 – acne was worse over the last 2 years than ever before – 2 – 3 new bumps daily until I cut out the gluten. It’s worth a try… all the best to you

  • Chris

    Great site! I do regular liver cleanses with Renew Life, about once every six months. The best thing for breakouts, though, has been Saw Palmetto Berry. I’m thin and an athlete, so my BMI is always on the low to underweight side. Hormones are my big issue, and the Saw Palmetto helps to balance them. Too much androgen and testosterone makes me break out. It doesn’t seem matter as much what I eat, although I eat healthy and avoid sugar, especially corn syrup. The Saw Palmetto Berry takes care of the hormone imbalance, and my skin is about as perfect as it has ever been. I’ve tried everything else and cannot believe that something so simple works! I use whatever brand looks the best at the health food store, as long as it adds up to about 500 to 600mg of the berry per day. Just thought I’d share. :) All the best!

  • Michaela

    I just finished my first liver cleanse and I have been breaking out like crazy. I know where it comes from: The lemon juice that I had to drink for 6 days, and then the grapefruit juice last night.

    I have really clear skin. Maybe one pimple per year or so (don’t hate on me ;-) ), so I figured out years ago, that anytime I have a pimple it was always after having too much citrus acid.

    You mentioned that you’re also drinking lemon juice for the cleanse. So, keep that in mind.

  • Bryce

    If You want to improve you acne then read this .In Chinese Medicine acne is known as an “angry liver ‘there is a clinical trial under way in the USA with a natural product that will increase your Glutathione levels the study has been done with about 60 people they all have acne The results have been very positive with all 60 improving more than 90%. The product they are using is not a tablet its a nontrasdermal product.Just remember not all Glutathione products are equal if you would like more info or help you can email me i hope i have helped.I have been in the health industry for over 20 years.



  • Lilika

    Since almost three years ago on gluten free diet, and i mean 100% free, my acnes are gone.

  • carol

    The reaction you had to the detox is normal. I had the same thing happen, but I continue with the detox program and today my skin is wonderful. I am 48 and most people think I am in my early thirties.

    I take super enzymes from twin lab, use hemp protein, barley, bee pollen, flax seed meal, psyllium husk (shake), alfalfa tables, and eat almost no meat. Plus other herbal teas.

    occasionally, I will do a oral enema with warm uniodized sea salt to help cleanse my colon.

  • Jenna

    You sound just like me! I hope you find something soon, and if I do, I’ll let you know.

  • Detox is normal to go through all that you did. Even though it was miserable it was releasing those toxins out of your body. If you normally have a problem with pimples that very well may be how your body eliminates a certain toxin you have in your body. The getting worse of you acne and sick symptoms was supposed to happen. It was the horrible before the good. Your body was releasing all those toxins and once it had done its job I believe all your pimples and alot of health problems would have disapeared. This happend to me on a liver detox.

  • Benny- Have you gone through my mini-course? It’s a great place to start. I’ll also be opening a bootcamp program soon which you should benefit a lot from. There IS a way to clear your skin so please know that you WILL get there.

    April- Your story has made me realize that it’s a GREAT decision not to do a liver cleanse before my photo shoot!!! But that’s wonderful news that your skin is good after the second cleanse. I’m sure it only gets even better from here on.

  • April

    I just wanted to report what happened with my 2nd liver cleanse. After the first one, and breaking out so badly, I was worried to do another… BUT, things went great! I didn’t break out and my skin has improved. I was even able to stop using the acne medication that was prescribed by my doctor. If I had tried to stop using my medication before I would have horrible results with break outs all over, but now it’s just the same. My skin is still bad though, don’t get me wrong. I still have zits that pop up here and there, but it’s nice to not be dependant on a drug in order to have my skin look the same as it did before. I’m looking forward to doing another liver cleanse in a week or so and hope that my results continue to improve. Maybe this is the answer for me? And maybe this can help other people too?

  • benny

    hello my name is Benny,

    i have had acne since i was about 14 and i am now 23.

    It passed for a lil while but then came back with a vengence. It never got horribly bad but now days it is horibble…”cystic” if you will!

    i have been trying some detox supplements…physically i cant tell if anything is working out.. cause my acne is still there if not worsened..

    Its all over my shoulders now and they are cystic and verry painful…if i bump one accidentally it shoots a stream of pain down my body.. its horrible….i also have very visible blackheads all over my shoulders..and i dont know how to get them out of my pores..i tried hot showers and exfoliants but they just dont do anything..

    goodness, everyone says it but honestly, i have tried every friggin thing out their to get rid of this stuff… i even stole creams at one point cause i couldnt afford to buy them.. so embarrassing but true…

    ive tried to get to the root of it all….tried to diagnose the means of “my personal acne” and what will fix it…..thousands apon thousands of hours researching the internet and books and articles trying EVERYTHINGGGGG!!

    yet nothing helps…

    my mom is really into essential oils and she made me up batch specially for acne.. it helped for a lil bit but then right back where i started….

    i have been researching these detox methods….accupunture…cupping.. deep tissue massages…all kinds of things… that might give me some ideas as to how to overcome this horrific acne

    i dont have any money to buy accutane or else i would.. everybody says it sux but it works

    i am just so at the end of my road yuh know!

    i just want clear skin

    i want to be able to shave and not worry about breakouts… i miss my pre puberty skin…i hate looking at pictures of me when i was young cause it makes me angry that my skin is so ugly these days

    i dream about haveing nice skin…i mean come on…:(

    nuffin works for me…

    i have been wanting to do the ultimate cleanse or some sort of fasting detox.. it seems to be the last hope for me .. cause i have tried everything…and goodnees me.. it that doesnt work..i feel as if i will just give up…and that so pathetic.. cause i am not one to give up

    Fran, anyone..please help me…

    if you guys can offer me any good advice or new things to try i would love you for it


  • April

    Hi, I found this post after doing a search about liver cleansing and breaking out. I was amazed while reading your story because of how similar it is to mine. I have a slight build & have had bad acne ever since I was a teenager (I am 31 now). I have tried everything natural in the book in order to clear it up, including switching to an all organic, whole foods & whole grain diet that is mostly vegetarian (which I love), plenty of sleep, elimination of stress, and I exercise regularly.

    I did a liver cleanse a couple of weeks ago & was so surprised by how severe my breakout was afterwards, all over my body & especially bad covering my face. I did not take the lipogen tablets as you did, but used epson salts, olive oil & grapefruit juice instead and I passed many “gallstones.” The terrible breakout makes me wonder if instead of an allergic reaction it is proof that I am on the right track? Obviously I’ve found an acne trigger here.

    I’m planning on doing another cleanse this weekend & I’m very interested in seeing if I break out again (and terrified that I will!!). From everything I’ve read it appears that my acne should get better after more liver cleanses… wish me luck!

    Oh, and p.s., I found you description of how our bodies eliminate toxins very interesting, since I also don’t have much fat for storage of toxins. But the fat I do have, a little around my thighs and rear end, is covered in cottage cheese! Could this be related? It’s funny because most people can’t believe that someone as skinny as I am can have cottage cheese, but it’s easy to prove because it’s right there! Very interesting…

  • matt

    Try zinc tablets, i tried everything from proactive to other pills, but found zinc tablets really helped !!!! try them

    • nicoletta jones

      zinc is amazing for clear skin and even healing blemishes qquickly. also b5 is also helpful. for acne, make sure you buy cleasing products with 2% salicytic acid. drink plenty of water and exfoliate.

  • Hi Kim, thanks so much for your comments, they’re really helpful.

    I take a multi-vitamin daily because it’s hard to find foods that contain good amounts of minerals, simply because of the poor soil quality produce is grown in. The only way fruit & veggies can get minerals is through the soil, so if it’s not there in the first place, it’s lacking. And even though I shop at organic farmers markets, I don’t eat all food fresh that same day, so as each day goes by the food becomes less and less vitamin and mineral rich as it ages :)

  • Kim

    Just DON’T take any supplements and eat plenty of veggies and fruit, drink lemon water herbal teas. NO processed junk like juices etc, only fresh.

    Only reason you might need supplements is if you have a MEDICALLY PROVEN deficiency in a particular mineral etc.

    Burst outs are most likely just your body going through crisis as it detoxes same with headaches.

    Pointless taking supplements if you are on a balanced fresh food diet (organic only of course)

    You also need some good fats, Flax Oil and maybe pumpkin seed oil in salad dressings and no other oils, particularly Olive Oil. NEVER cook in oil.

    You can mix the oil with a high quality organic cottage cheese or quark use an immersion or stick mixer. makes the Flax Seed Oil water soluble. Add a teaspoon of honey and some fruit. Do not take Cod Liver Oil.

  • Angela

    A Naturopath had told me that my liver needed detox. But he did mention that it had to be gradual or I would be very unhappy. I notice that if I have only one cup of tea with milk thistle (and, incidentally, rooibos), I get two strange blemishes, not pimples, on my inner thigh. Since I’ve stayed away from those teas and they’re making a recurrence today (the reason for my internet search) I am considering the possibility of the earlier post and the link to blood sugar levels. Since a recent blood test revealed elevated alkaline phosphatase, I may end up getting liver function tests…

  • Hi Hollie,

    I’ve actually written a food & acne guide. It explains what I did to cure my own severe acne:

    I also find it a little boring just drinking water at restaurants. I still have juice at home, but it’s 100% and I don’t drink a MASSIVE glass. Juice bars when you’re out are great too, and often restaurants sell fresh juices. And I often order green tea or bubbly mineral water.

  • Hollie

    i have suffered from acne since i was about 15, and i am 22 now. i only get it on my chin, but they are still red, sore, ugly pimples and blackheads which i cannot get rid of.

    i have tried every topical cream out there. i did have a good result with Proactive, but i dont like how it drys your skin out, and recently, i have found that it doesnt work as well as it used to.

    i have also tried products with salicylic and/or glycolic acid in them, and while they make the rest of my face smooth and soft, the acne does not budge from my chin.

    i have always known that diet plays a big role, but i never realised even natural food like dairy and meat can affect it. i am going to try this, because you guys seem to get an awesome result. here i was thinking that if i stopped eating maccas i would be fine.

    could someone give me some more specific pointers on what not to eat? i am not vegitarian or vegan, and i drink full or lite milk. i rarely drink alcohol but will stop for now until i get this cleared up, and i only drink one cup of black tea with milk and sugar a day, the rest is herbal tea.

    one thing i discovered the other day, is that bottled fruit juice has just the same amount of sugar per 100g as Coke or Pepsi. i have just stopped myself from drinking soft drink all together because of the effects on my skin and teeth, but now when i have lunch there is nothing (besides water but i dont want that for lunch cause i drink it all day) to choose from. unless of course i go for fresh juice, but they dont sell that everywhere do they.

    anyway, i will let you know how i go!

  • lisa

    Veg breakfast- smoothie made w. rice milk, LSA, berries…wasy to get down for those that find w. no hunger in the morning

  • lisa

    u need to eat good quality protein with each meal… all your meals contain carbohydrates with no protein which will play havoc with your blood sugar levels which will aggravate your acne. Researchers at RMiT university have found that ppl that consumed good quality protein w. their meals experienced a reduction in acne symptoms.. …increase eggs, fish such as salmon…

  • Tegen

    Hi Fran,

    I found your site about a month ago when I was looking for foods to help my acne, I immediately signed up to your mini course and daily check your site for new blogs. I use this site as a mentor to help me stick at eating healthy and looking after my skin.

    On your mini course on food allergies you said; “if you have a food allergy or intolerance then your body will have trouble digesting that food which can result in constipation or diarrhea”.

    I find it difficult to eat much for breakfast so I have some fruit or nuts with natural yogurt. After breakfast I always need to go to the toilet urgently. Your article made me thing maybe my bodies reacting to dairy, the annoying thing is I have just been to the supermarket and bought loads of the stuff!

    Do you think this is an allergy and is affecting my acne?

    Iv tried eating muesli for breakfast but I it too filling and I can’t eat much. Have you any suggestions for something light, healthy and Vegetarian for breakfast?


  • A particular hormone called Prolactin can cause acne flair ups also.
    Prolactin is released from the pituatiry gland and is the main hormone for Breast Milk Production, however YOU can have high prolactin levels & not be pregnant nor breast feeding.
    Stress can increase it! Sugar can increase it & Bad Fats can increase it!
    Any way a simple blood test to test out hormone levels can give you a good indication on what is going on in regards to your horomones.
    My acupuncturist suggested 4 years ago for me to check mine out & shock horror!!!!!

    A book called ‘The Sugar Blues’ will give you a Fabulous insight into the history of sugar & problems that sugar brings to the body from hundreds of years ago to now!

  • Hi Tam,

    That’s really interesting. Since writing this article I haven’t been eating meat (except seafood), dairy, caffeine, alcohol and wheat and my skin is almost healed. It’s amazing how much difference diet makes.

    I wonder what foods in particular that you eliminated helped the most.

  • tam

    Me and my partner have both had very extreme acne for at least 7 years and since commiting to a strict vegan diet, it cleared up! My skin now looks healthy.

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