Acne. How it can seem so arbitrarily distributed (unless, of course, you notice a strong tend in your family) and thus, so unfair. The impact on one’s psychological state is undeniable and can often lead to social isolation, depression, and lowered self-esteem.
What’s worse is that companies love to target the “victims” of acne. They know that an acne sufferer will do anything to be rid of acne, and that includes emptying out their bank account for the latest alleged “cure”.
Often, these “cures” either don’t work, or offer a temporary fix that can cause damage to the skin in the long run. If you’ve tried Proactive or courses of antibiotics and feel that you’ve only gotten worse in the long run, I strongly recommend that you try dealing with it the natural way. I gave up on pharmaceuticals and commercial products several years ago, and though it took some time to get better, I am certainly feeling more balanced now.
Watch what you put on your face. Whether it’s a harsh cleanser or drugstore foundation, monitor the effects it has on your face. Harsh cleansers and scrubs often aggravate the situation by over-stimulating your skin. Do you smear creamy concealer on your face and wonder why you’re breaking out all the time? Even those oil-free foundations that you get at the drugstore can clog your pores. I’m sure many of you have heard about mineral foundations. There are many to try, from Everyday Minerals to Aromaleigh to Bare Escentuals. Those are so much gentler on your skin and I urge you to try them if you insist on wearing makeup.
When you’re about to use something topically, please consider honey. Honey is an amazing substance that has antibacterial properties and is also nourishing to the skin and body. I not only eat it and stir it into my tea, but I also use it as a mask 3 to 4 times a week. My skin is left softer, and when I leave it on overnight (beware, however: it is sticky) my acne tends to subside. I also use it as a face wash and when I need to scrub my face (once or twice a week), I mix it with some sea salt.
Coconut oil is quite amazing. I use it to massage my face and then I wear a honey mask over it. You can add tea tree oil to the coconut oil for its bacteria-fighting potency, and then proceed to massage it in. Within a few days, your skin will look considerably better.
Lemon Juice is great for lightening acne scars and I often use a toner of diluted apple cider vinegar to bring my skin’s PH balance back to normal. This also has aided my skin in fading its past scars, and my skin has a pink luminosity to it now that I’ve begun using the vinegar. Make sure, however, that the vinegar is diluted; used full strength, it can irritate your skin.
Now I’m going to discuss dealing with acne internally. Make sure to take pro-biotics to balance the good vs. bad flora environment of your intestines. If you’ve taken antibiotics in your lifetime, then you are at an increased risk for an imbalance of the intestinal bacteria. Eat yogurt several times a day if you don’t have any pro-biotics and find them to be too pricey (the good ones can be up there in cost). Take vitamins and supplements, especially vitamins A and C, chromium and zinc to ensure that any deficiencies you may have can be dealt with.
Also, I take the herb saw palmetto regularly. I have long suspected that my acne was due to a hormonal balance, and was told that saw palmetto blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone into its concentrated form (DHT). Ever since I’ve been taking one saw palmetto pill (from GNC) a day, I’ve noticed that my skin is less reactive.
Also, make sure you are having bowel movements regularly. A proper diet plays a role in healthy and consistent eliminations of the toxins that have built up in your body. Whenever I suffer from constipation, I get bad cysts. It never fails to happen. I usually take magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) for emergencies, but I try to make sure that I can usually go to the bathroom without having to resort to this.
Watch what you eat. Don’t be obsessed with it, but do observe the effects of certain foods on your skin. I have, after years and years of food elimination tests, deduced that I have difficulty with dairy products, baked goods (cookies, cakes, white bread), iodized salt, and soda. Ever since I have increased my intake of omega-3 fatty acids (in fish, flaxseed oil, etc.), my skin has gotten so much better. Drizzle healthy oils on your salads and cut back on your consumption of pro-inflammatory fats (fries, margarine, cakes, etc.) I also drink lemon juice with water daily for a mini-detox. I believe that this helps with my digestion and may even address some stomach acid problems that I think I may have. In place of lemon juice, you could try drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with some honey.Finally, make sure to get some mild to moderate exercise to get your blood circulating and to relax your body. I have been practicing yoga off and on for some time, and notice that if I stick with it, my acne gets a lot better. I especially recommend any moves that allows for your blood to rush to your head as this allows for a healthier complexion. Incorporate any other stress reducers into your life, such as meditation, warm baths and massages. Modern life has just gotten too fast-paced and I realize that the more I take care of myself, the better my body is at correcting its imbalances brought on by past experiences with stress, poor diet, pollution, etc. Since acne is an imbalance, try these tips to gently prod your body back to its natural, flawless state.