Acne is largely hormonally influenced, but is also thought to be influenced to some extent by genetic factors, stress, epidermal bacteria and diet. It most often appears in teenage years, around the onset of puberty.
However, there are cases of acne that start during pregnancy or at other times of significant hormonal shift in the body. The majority of medical treatments consist of prescription and over-the-counter chemicals that have antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and hormonal effects.
For treating acne naturally with home-remedies, it is best to treat the acne both externally/topically and internally through diet and supplements.
I will recommend a basic acne treatment plan here, but as each person’s body presents a unique balance of hormones and chemicals, you will want to modify this regimen to what works best for your body, according to the severity of the acne.
For internal treatment of acne, eat a diet rich in vitamin A. Eat steamed sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens (especially kale, collard greens, turnip greens, swiss chard and mustard greens). Eat raw or steamed carrots and spinach. If you have a juicer, you can also make juice out of carrots and any of the greens listed here.
Acne Healing Juice
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup carrot juice
- 1/2 cup juiced kale
- 1/2 cup juiced spinach
This juice is delicious and loaded with skin-friendly acne-fighting vitamin A.
Romaine lettuce is also an excellent source of vitamin A, so put it in your salads and on sandwiches instead of other types of lettuce. Or, better yet, try sunflower sprouts on your sandwich instead of lettuce.
Additionally, incorporate about two avocados into your diet weekly. If you’ve never eaten avocadoes before or haven’t eaten them very often, allow three weeks for your body to adjust to their rich and skin-nourishing fatty acids and vitamin E. Try them on sandwiches, salads, with beans and rice, in tacos or in smoothies.
The linoleic acid and the vitamin E in avocados are so good for your skin that some people even recommend smashing a ripe avocado and applying it to acne-prone skin as a masque.
If you want to do this, I recommend adding raw honey to the masque in order to benefit from the antimicrobial effects of honey as well as its sticking power that helps the masque stay put.
Acne-Calming Avocado Honey Masque
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 TBSP raw honey
Raw honey will have greater antimicrobial activity than heat-prepped honey. Mash the avocado with a fork or mashing implement in a small mixing bowl, use a hand mixer or fork to whip the honey into the avocado evenly.
Apply this masque every three days after steaming the face for a few minutes over a bowl or sink of hot water and washing with a splash of apple cider vinegar and warm water. Leave the masque on the face about 10 – 12 minutes.
If no improvement is seen after three weeks, discontinue application. However, if your skin improves after three weeks, reduce the masque application to once per week for about one month, then every other week for one month, and eventually just once per month.
Supplement with zinc daily according to the recommended dosage on the zinc supplement tablets you purchase. Zinc plays a role in wound healing and reduces inflammation.
You may also want to try supplementing with brewer’s yeast (the specific strain is shown effective in reducing acne is CBS 5926).
While some sources may recommend the use of tea tree oil for treating acne, I simply cannot agree. While it is certainly antiseptic and antibacterial, it is far too harsh for use on sensitive irritated skin and is likely to deplete and dry out the skin.
I highly recommend daily application of 100% pure rosehips oil to any acne prone skin. It is important to apply it daily and not just at times of breakouts because the daily application will slow the rate of your breakouts and may eventually eliminate them altogether.
In addition to reducing acne breakouts, rosehips oil works to reduce any scarring you may experience from acne. It also is an excellent way to hydrate and improve overall skin vitality.
I recommend washing with a splash of apple cider vinegar and warm washcloth before bed and applying the rosehips oil so your skin can benefit as you sleep. Apply a little after anytime you wash the face to help rehydrate and replenish the skin.
During especially bad breakouts, you may want to add about 3 drops of oil of wild oregano to 20 drops rosehips oil to give added antiseptic power to this treatment. Do not put more than 2 or 3 drops though as oregano oil is very strong like tea tree oil.
I recommend avoiding caffeinated and carbonated beverages when you have acne breakouts. Drink lots of hot teas instead. The following are especially beneficial to the skin and I highly recommend drinking them daily if you are prone to acne:
– rosehips tea
– hibiscus tea
– rooibos tea
Avoid highly-acidic foods such as red meat. I also recommend avoiding milk products, unless it is probiotic-rich yogurt. If you want to drink milk, add a couple small slices of ginger to two cups of milk over low heat on the stovetop. Warm the milk, adding a dash of ground cinnamon and a dash of ground cloves.
Sweeten with a teaspoon or two of 100% pure maple syrup or raw honey. Instead of cow milk, use almond milk. Almonds are a very skin-friendly food rich in vitamin E. Eating a couple raw almonds daily is a great way to nourish and strengthen the skin.
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