Naturally Treat Acne Prone Skin
More than 80% of people between the ages of twelve and twenty one will experience acne. It is a common bane of adolescence.
Hormones play a big role, as does heredity. During times of great hormonal change , such as during puberty, changes in the body create conditions ripe for causing pimples and breakouts. For example, sebum production increases and the oil, which ordinarily passes harmlessly through the glands, can harden and clog the glandular canals resulting in bumps known as pimples.
Other factors involved in acne during puberty include increased production of keratin, a protective protein which covers the skin, and an increase in the number of sebaceous glands.
All these things lead to clogged, infected pores and increased bacteria overgrowth on the skin.
Second to hormones, poor nutrition is the leading cause of acne. Fat, sugar, and processed foods can cause inflammation in the skin and make acne symptoms worse.
Some research suggests that food sensitivities may also play a role in the aggravation of the skin.
Unfortunately, most conventional approaches to the treatment of acne involve the use of prescription drugs which include harsh topical lotions that can cause red, irritated skin and sun sensitivity, or antibiotics which can disrupt the natural balance of intestinal flora and cause yeast overgrowth.
Natural Approaches to Treating Acne
A natural approach to treating acne will emphasize dietary changes, detoxification, stress reduction, natural hormone balancing and addressing food allergies.
A simple diet of unprocessed foods with lots of pure water is the best recipe for clear skin.
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Pumkin Seeds
- Lean Meats & Poultry (organic)
- Lots of pure water!
Foods to Avoid…
- Junk Food
- Baked Goods
- Sugar or Sugar Substitutes
- Trans Fats
- Fried Foods
Natural Acne Formulas
***Native Remedies makes some all natural topical preparations that many people find very effective.
Herbs for Acne
Dandelion Root supports the liver, which can be overtaxed with toxins and excess hormones. It is a very gentle laxative that assists in waste removal. 300-500mg daily, in capsules is the standard dosage.
Milk Thistle Seed also helps with liver detoxification and is a wonderful herb for the skin. 200-250 mg daily.
Vitex is the most versatile female hormone balancing herb. It is used by both men & women to control hormone related acne. It should not be taken with birth control pills, or during pregnancy. Must be used for about 6 weeks before improvement is noticable.
Burdock Root is a useful blood purifier and detoxifier, and also assists in balancing hormones. The usual dosage is 300-500mg in capsule form daily. You can also buy fresh burdock roots at the market and add them to soups or run them through the juicer with an apple and a handful of parsley.
Tea Tree Oil.
One study showed that a 5% tea tree oil gel extract was comparable to the results of using benzoyl peroxide in treating acne. And those using the tea tree oil experienced less dryness, burning, redness, and itching. It can be dabbed onto blemishes or applied in over the counter topical preparations.
Oregano Oil can be helpful if yeast is the culprit. 500 mg twice daily in liquid form is the standard dosage.
Supplements for Acne
Essential Fatty Acids are helpful in reducing inflammation and minimizing acne.
Zinc is one of the most helpful minerals in the treatment of acne because it helps to reduce the build up of DHT and promotes healing. One study found that 90 mg of zinc daily greatly improved acne.
Homeopathy for Acne
Calcarea sulphurica – Severe acne or cystic acne. Stays for weeks in one place. Yellow, creamy pus that drains for a long time; with swollen glands. Itching, stinging.Easy infections: skin, sinuses, ears, etc. Poor healing. Warm-blooded.Fear of being thought ugly. Anxiety. Averse to those who don’t agree.Worse: heat, drafts, wet, exertion, lower face. Better: open air, bathing.
Kali brom – Teenage acne, or into adulthood; forehead, upper face, shoulders, back.Blackheads. Pimples with a depressed center; leave purple spots or scars. Painful, inflamed red pimples with white heads. Worse at menses.Yellowish, sickly complexion. Overweight, overeater. Warm-blooded.Feels as if under a curse.
Pulsatilla – Acne, pimples, particularly at puberty, in young girls, pregnancy. Styes.Frequent itchy hives. Flushes easily. Pale, dry cracked lips (licks them).Chilly, but hates heat. Scanty, irregular or absent menses. No thirst.Affectionate, emotional. Forsaken, sad, weepy. Fear if alone or in crowds.Worse: evening, warm air, rich food. Better: fresh air, gentle motion.
Silica – Acne and rosacea – Forehead, cheeks, nose, back of hands. Pitting scars.Pustules, blackheads, boils, abscess. Itches and burns daytime only.Deep cystic pimples, do not come to a head. Easy infection, poor healing.Chilly. Profuse and offensive sweat. Sweaty hands, feet. Stubborn.Lack of confidence, afraid to initiate things. Wants good opinion of others.
Sulphur – Acne on forehead, scalp, nose, (becomes reddened). Rosacea. Oily face.Large pimples, close to the surface. Blackheads. Black pores on chin, nose, lips. Painless but itchy pimples, seeping fluid after scratching.Over intellectual, dreamers. Always dissatisfied. Selfish, lazy, messy.Hungry, weak at I I a.m. Worse: warmth, before menses, night, bathing.
Skincare Steps and Routine
- Wash away bacteria and dirt.
- Exfoliate gently, to remove skin cells blocking pores.
- Use a clay mask to remove excess oils.
- Prevent bacteria from landing on and flourishing on your skin by preserving the acid mantle.
- Kill the bacteria living on your skin and in your pores.
- Treat inflammation to help pimples go away faster.
- Moisturize! Do not skip this step.
- Makeup: use something oil-absorbing, not pore-clogging, and with good coverage for pimples and scars till they’re gone. Consider natural mineral makeup. They provide good coverage, non-greasy sun protection, and are mattifying.
Tips for acneic skin:
The key to acne treatment is gentle! Your skin is damaged and will take time to heal. You are not helping by picking, popping, scratching, washing roughly or exfoliating harshly.
Wash your face every day but not too many times. Washing too frequently, or not moisturizing after washing will cause your oil glands to go into overdrive, compounding your problems.
Warnings for acne prone skin:
If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients recommended in the steps above, do not use them.
Ingredients recommended for natural acne skin care
- Aloe vera – to treat inflammation and speed healing
- Tea tree oil – to kill bacteria
- Witch hazel – to reduce inflammation and preserve the acid mantle
- Recipes for oily and acne prone skin
- Facial toner
- Avocado and clay mask
Toxic ingredients to avoid that may irritate your skin
Based on the ingredients they use, many common products for treating acne seem to assume that your skin is indestructible, while really, it may be sensitive.
Ever wonder if the products you’re using to treat your acne are actually responsible for it? either by not allowing your skin to heal due to scrubs and chemicals, or by washing away your skin’s protective acid mantle?
Here’s a list of toxic skin care ingredients. Your break outs may actually be a symptom of an allergic reaction to one or another of these ingredients.
You can either quit them all at once, and try a skin care regime without them, or replace products one-by-one to see if they’re the culprit.
I recommend quitting them all at once. They may not be directly causing your pimples, but most have a long list of unnecessary side effects that are harming your body in other ways.
Herbal remedies for toxins
Acne may be a symptom of high toxin levels in your body. Where do these toxins come from? The air we breathe, toxic ingredients in skin care products, processed foods, preservatives in mattresses and building materials, additives to the water supply.
Your body is constantly processing these toxic chemicals through its natural detoxification system, but may become overloaded.
Toxic compounds are released into your blood stream and tissues, including your skin, and may be excreted through your sweat and oil glands, directly onto your skin.
Try a few herbal remedies to help detoxify your body. They may clear up your skin. They will improve your body’s health.
Herbal remedies for hormonal acne
Many women break out at a particular time in their monthly cycle, like right before their periods. If you’re one of them, it’s a good bet that your acne is hormonally induced. (Although, it’s also possible that you’re just grumpy before your period, eat tons of chocolate, and never wash your face…)
Yes, you can treat the symptom (acne) with any acne-specific product, but you can also treat the cause–excess hormones.
There’re a number of homeopathic remedies for hormonally induced break outs. These natural remedies help clear excess hormones from your blood and intestines, to be excreted with wastes. Milk thistle is believed to help remove hormones from your intestines. Try searching for homeopathic remedies like “vitex” and “pulsatilla”, recommended for hormonally-caused acne.