3 Natural Ways to Clear Acne
Nearly 40 million people suffer from acne or breakouts.
Are you one of them? Even if you aren't, you probably know someone who does.
In fact, half of that 40 million are women over the age of 25 so it's not just something teenagers are dealing with. It's an adult problem as well.
I can't say that I've actually ever dealt with chronic acne, but I do remember being in 7th or 8th grade and I completely broke out. I had tiny pimples ALL OVER my face and I had no idea where they came from.
My mom took me to the doctor and we couldn't figure out what was causing it. He told me to start using ClearasiI. I did and it took a while to clear up, but eventually, it did.
In fact, it had such an effect on me, I ended up using Clearasil until I was in my 20's. (I cringe at that now knowing what is in that product).
But I remember feeling so embarrassed and trying to cover it all up with makeup. It worked a little bit, but I still knew it was there and it definitely affected my self confidence. In fact, there was a boy I had a crush on at the time and I felt for certain he would not like me once he saw all these pimples all over my face.
So I can definitely relate to how breakouts and acne aren't just a physical issue. It's an emotional one as well.
What is Acne?
Acne occurs when oil from our pores combines with dead skin and clogs the pores. The oil secretions build up beneath a blocked pore, allowing bacteria to proliferate, causing a breakout.
This may be the physical cause but what's the underlying problem?
There are a few things that could be causing chronic acne or breakouts.
I'll touch briefly on the Inner and Outer Approaches to clearing up acne.
The Inner Approach to Acne:
A 2014 study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology suggests eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as refined carbs, plays a role in the development of acne.
Choosing low fat dairy such as skim milk over full fat dairy can also trigger acne.
Eggs have also been linked to skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
Try eliminating these 3 foods for 7 - 14 days and see if you're skin improves.
These 3 foods alone can give you a good start to improving any acne or breakouts you may be experiencing.
While these are foods you can eliminate, there are way more foods you can ADD IN.
Consuming Omega 3's found in foods such as nuts, seeds, healthy fats and wild caught fish can improve your skin's condition. Eating whole foods that are nutrient dense, full of color and have more fat can promote healthy skin from the inside out.
Taking a Marine Collagen Supplement can improve skin as well. Some studies have shown better results from collagen coming from a marine animal than a land animal, commonly called "Bovine collagen."
The Outer Approach to Acne:
So while what we put IN our body is super important to our skin's condition. What we put ON our body is just as important.
Antibiotics and steroids are the most commonly prescribed treatments for skin problems such as acne. But because of it's overuse, we are now seeing bacteria resistance even on pimples. What once was used to "zap" these unwanted intruders is now doing nothing. Bacteria is pretty smart. But we have to be smarter.
Your skin has it's own microbiome too. This means it has it's own bacteria make up on the surface . So when we kill the bad bacteria with antibiotics, we are killing the good stuff too causing an imbalance on the skin surface leaving it without any protective barrier to do it's job.
Another topical issue that could be contributing to acne are synthetic oils. Most cleansers or moisturizers on the market today are made with synthetic oils like mineral oil.
Mineral oil is derived from crude oil, which poses questions about it's safety. It's an incredibly cheap ingredient and not wise for skin health. Synthetic oils can sit on the surface of the skin and not absorb like plant oils do. They can also actually encourage the skin to produce MORE oil and therefore more potential breakouts.
Mineral oil has also been classified as a carcinogen (cancer causing) according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Look for this on labels: Mineral oil, liquid petroleum, paraffin oil, and white mineral oil. It would good to avoid petrolatum as well.
And for the teens in your life, many products on the market have chemicals in them that mess with hormones. As if hormones were not already a problem as a teenager, they could be making it worse with hormone disrupting chemicals that you'll find in most skin care and makeup.
Hormone and endocrine disrupting chemicals can lead to health challenges down the road for your teen such as infertility, ovarian or breast cancer.
Recap and Solutions
So Here is a quick recap and some solutions for you to try.
Eliminate refined sugars, fat free dairy, and eggs for 7-14 days. I would recommend 14 days for best results.
Limit your use of antibiotics and steroids topically (and internally) and more synthetic drugs that simply mask the symptoms.
Switch to a beauty brand that does not use Mineral Oil or other synthetic oils and commits to NO hormone disrupting chemicals. I like Beautycounter because they have a Never List of over 1500 potential toxic ingredients that they will never use and mineral oil is one of them. Primally Pure is another wonderful brand.
One favorite product that many say has helped with their acne is the Activated Charcoal Bar. Activated charcoal is a binder and it binds to toxins on the skin, absorbs them and eliminates them. It's been used in hospitals for years as a poison control for anyone who swallows or is exposed to a poison.
Check out this powerful testimonial:
"I was at my wits end over a year ago. I was contemplating taking Accutane because I had tried so many different things with little to no success. Then I finally tried their charcoal bar and I’ve been hooked ever since! My skin is clearer than it has been in over 15 years. Im also in love with the radiance serum. It’s an amazing company." - Desire
Beautycounter has also just launched it's first Acne Line called CounterControl. A line formulated to fight acne withOUT a slew of harsh chemicals, benzoyl peroxide or alcohol.
Most acne lines for teens are just drying out your skin with peroxide or increasing cell turn over rate with retinol. Retinol being applied to the face and then going out in the sun has been linked to birth defects, reproductive problems, and skin cancer. Check out this article here for more info.
In a 4 week independent study after using CounterControl twice a day,
95% said skin looks clearer
100% stated skin feels healthier
100% said skin clarity is improved
95% said skin looks less red
If your health is important to you, switching to safer beauty products and buying from companies who are about educating young girls and women is imperative.
It's an issue very rarely discussed because most women just don't know.
Get yourself or your teen OFF products that could be causing you harm and switch to safer.
Did you know?
Beauty Products are extremely under regulated in the United States. More than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into the market place since World War 11 and less than 10% have ever been tested for safety. And most of those are used in beauty products.
There are certain ingredients we should be avoiding to actively protect our health.
Ingredients that are linked to infertility, hormone disruption, headaches, early onset puberty, birth defects and even cancer.