Combat Acne

natural-skincare-acneThere’s nothing worse than waking up to a huge pimple planted on your face. No matter how hard you try, it feels like everyones eyes are on that “gihugenormantic” red spot on your what-used-to-be-clear face.

Lo and behold, you can put yourself at ease because you’re not the only one and like your parents always told you, it will clear up, sweet cheeks!

First of all, what exactly is acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition which is characterized by pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Although adult onset acne may occur, it generally arises during puberty when the body dramatically increases its production of androgens (male hormones). These specific hormones stimulate the production of keratin (a type of protein) and sebum (an oily skin lubricant). If the sebum is secreted faster than it can move through the pores, a blemish will become present. The excess oil makes the pores sticky, allowing bacteria to become trapped inside the pores.

What are some common causes of acne and how can you get rid of it?

There are many factors which contribute to acne, making it a common concern for a wide range of people. I can assure you that just about every other person I have spoken to in the past couple of months have been either dealing with some form of acne or skin condition. Why is this?

1. Dehydration

Although most would believe the opposite, one of the most common causes of acne is actually dehydration! Being dehydrated can throw your sebaceous glands into overdrive to produce more oil to provide the lubrication needed by your skin and hair follicles. In other words, if you have oily skin, please do not fear! When maintained properly, oily skin is in fact healthy skin.

How to start:  keep your body AND skin hydrated. Aside from drinking plenty of water throughout the day and find a natural daily moisturizer or serum best suited for your skin type.

2. Clogged Pores

A large (very large) majority of commercial skin care adds synthetic material into their products. Although this may initially make your skin feel smooth and silky, the products contain ingredients which will clog your pores. Aside from containing toxic and carcinogenic properties, many products are petroleum based. When a product contains petroleum, the molecules are too large to be fully absorbed in the skin, allowing them to clog the pores. When the pores are clogged, the skin becomes dehydrated as moisture is unable to be absorbed. Remember, when you put something on your skin, it is a direct passage way to the bloodstream which nourishes your vital organs. A great example of this are medicinal patches for uses such as; nicotine addiction, pain medications, hormone therapy, etc.

How to start: If you’re not familiar with every ingredient in your skin care product, try visiting http://www.lovelyskin.com/ (previously skindeep.org) and search the product in their datebase for valuable information. It is important to stay on top of advertising methods and be aware that not all “natural” or “organic” products are not always healthy for your skin. All you need is a large bowl with boiling water and a towel to cover your head and the bowl. Be sure to leave a peak open to breathe and to not scold your face. To optimize your results, following 5 minutes of steaming, use a clay masque to extract an impurities, rinse and moisturize. From experience, this is such a great method!

3. Sluggish Liver

As you know, the liver plays a very important role in the body by detoxifying and filtering toxins in the blood. When the liver is exposed to more toxins than it’s able to filter, the waste will try to take a secondary pathway, your skin. According to a 2008 article on the Jigsaw Health website, liver congestion is the leading cause of acne. Your skin is a direct reflection of what is happening inside of your body.

How to start: If your liver is congested, consult a healthcare provider to discuss a natural and safe way to detoxify the liver properly. In the meantime, try eliminating toxins from your lifestyle which contribute to liver congestion.

4. Hormonal Imbalance

As previously mentioned, it is common for acne to erupt during teenage years due to hormone fluctuations but imbalances are not limited to teeny boppers. Hormone-driven acne can be seem pre menstruation, women suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), getting off oral contraceptives, and excess insulin and cortisol. Hormonal changes may be rebalanced with the help of a natural health practitioner or physician.

How to start: Hormonal changes may be rebalanced with the help of a natural health practitioner or physician.

5. Your diet

Many people have or are discovering that your diet is an underlying cause in every condition and specifically acne. Along with focusing on what you ARE eating, it’s just as important to pay attention to what you may not necessarily be including in your everyday diet. A perfect example of this is including fats in your everyday diet. Your cells are literally made up of fat so the key is to include healthy fats and not bad fats.

How to start: Include health fats in every single meal during the day. Examples include: healthy oils, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, cold water fish, and leafy greens.6. The health of your gut

According to researchers noted in Gut Pathogens:

“The lines of communication, as mediated by gut microbes, may be direct and indirect — ultimately influencing the degree of acne by a systemic effect on inflammation, oxidative stress, glycemic control, tissue lipid levels, pathogenic bacteria, as well as levels of neuropeptides and mood-regulating neurotransmitters.

It was not the contention of Stokes and Pillsbury, nor is it ours, that acne is a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Yet, there appears to be more than enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process.”  

Suffering from constipation can also present acne due to the back up of toxins. Again, if the bowel is not ridding the waste, your body will try to release the toxins through your skin. According to Kristen Ma of Pure and Simple, a clear sign of bowel-related acne is an abundance of blackheads on the jaw line and lower cheeks.

How to start: Please do not immediately resort to a conventional or natural laxative to relieve constipation. If you have a sluggish bowel, start off by increasing your daily water and fibre intake as this is generally the cause of constipation. For optimal results, taking a daily human strain microflora probiotic will re-inoculate the “good bacteria” in your gut and assist with daily bowel movements.

It is important to know that acne can get worse before it gets better, this is normal. According to Bellevue Acne Clinic, you may have pimples which are in different phases. For the first month, you may experience previous microscopic pimples which were already present erupt to the surface and result in a “flare-up”.

Nobody should have to “just deal” with the fact that they have acne. There are many natural methods to feed your skin the necessities to be healthy, clear and even glow (no matter how old you are!)

Blog Sign OffChelsea Cybalski, C.N.P
info@verveholistichealth.com
(519) 591.4087