Acne is an inflammatory condition. A holistic appraoch for acne can help you get rid of this problem without the damaging side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Bacteria and other underlying infections can often cause acne and other skin conditions by triggering a cascade of inflammatory chemicals and cellular activities in the skin. The outcome of this inflammatory frenzy is increased blood circulation (causing redness) and an influx of helper white blood cell called phagocytes, which attempt to wall off the invaders, in turn, causing a pus collection (pimple or cyst), either under the skin or at the surface.
Here are the biggest offenders:
This is the bad wolf of inflammation. Eliminate sugar from your diet. With the exception of low glycemic unprocessed foods like fruit, complete with the fiber that is implied to accompany it, sugar will just feed any underlying infections causing a continual flare up of your acne. Having insatiable Sugar Cravings? Try one drop of essential fennel oil or a square of Lillie’s dark chocolate in your tea or on your tongue. Note: Infections can actually cause sugar cravings. Once infections are eliminated most people notice their sugar cravings go away.
All holistic approaches and many traditional western medicine doctors now know that Dairy is super inflammatory and can exacerbate issues with acne. Chinese medicine, in fact, has considered dairy to be the most congesting, inflammatory food group, increasing mucus production, and preventing digestion. Stick with goat and sheep cheese if you require a cheese fix– they’re simpler to digest and don’t cause the severe inflammatory reactions that dairy can cause.
Gluten and wheat:
Genetic modifications in the wheat crop have actually started a gluten-intolerance epidemic. People with true celiac are rare and genuinely can’t have any gluten (not even the gluten in soy sauce or skincare products). However, many people are “gluten intolerant,” meaning that gluten causes bloating, gas, and tummy aches, as well as systemic inflammation in the body. Choose naturally gluten-free, protein-rich grains like quinoa and millet instead. If you are working with a holistic coach you may learn that you need to completely avoid all grains for a period of time, even the gluten free ones.
Present in corn oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil. Omega-6 fats are present in huge quantities in the modern diet and become inflammatory when not balanced by a comparable amount of omega-3 fats. The good news? You can correct the imbalance by including things like walnuts, wild rice, edamame, flax, and sustainably caught fish like salmon to your diet, along with reducing processed and fried foods and other foods that are high in Omega 6.
Red wine has some antioxidant impact due to high concentrations of resveratrol, along with a mild blood-thinning effect, but don’t be fooled into thinking that a glass a day is good for you. In fact, unless the wine is organic, it is full of pesticide which adds to the already toxic effect of the alcohol. If you are going to enjoy an occasional glass of wine, choose an organic wine or one that is from areas in Europe where many or all of the toxic pesticides are banned. Other alcohols have fewer documented health advantages, and no form of alcohol is helpful in any way. Alcohol is toxic and irritating for the liver, pancreas, brain, and other intestinal organs. The point is that even if you’re a clean eater, you probably have room to improve.
When people are stressed, the bodies produce more testosterone and cortisol, both of which can cause increased sebum production and break-outs. Also, it often takes care of ourselves less attentively when people stressed, sleeping less, taking less time for the health routines, resulting in acne, dark circles under the eyes, irritation, decreased hydration—sound familiar? So, how do you manage your stress? There will continuously be pressure and worry and insufficient time and an endless to-do list. Step back, breath, and find your way to keep stress in check.
Aside from the fantastic truth that you create your happy chemicals when you exercise, sweating is usually helpful for your skin. Through sweating, it balances the electrolytes and increases blood flow to the skin temporarily, warming it and allowing clogged pores to release. Attempt to work out with clean skin instead of using makeup, and always follow with by a gentle, cool-water rinse.
If analyzed, your hands, washcloths, towels, headbands, and pillowcases would show bacteria that you otherwise wouldn’t know you are being exposed to – actually you would be shocked! And yes, while some bacteria are crucial to good health and clear skin, not all are created equal. Here’s how you can assist:
• Don’t touch your face unless you are doing your skincare routine.
• Wash your face thoroughly before bed every night.
• Use clean linens in the bathroom and the bedroom.
• Clean your phone/iPod/keyboard regularly with a natural, antibacterial wipe.
• Wash your hands frequently.
Pulling excessive oil from the skin will cause it to up-regulate sebum production, resulting in more acne rather than less. As soon as a pimple appears, drying it mercilessly leaves redness, flakes, and scars– who would want that? Instead, you want to clean the skin and nourish it instead of stripping it.
Here are a few tips used by many holistic doctors for acne:
1. Oil cleaning is lovely, but should be limited to once or twice a week, or it can pull excessive oil from the skin and cause increased sebum production and break-outs.
2. Use a handmade soap or gentle face wash for your regular cleansing. Fewer ingredients and chemicals are less likely to aggravate your skin.
3. Appropriate exfoliation will keep the epidermis healthy and help prevent blackheads. However, over-exfoliation can leave the skin irritated and compromised—susceptible to bacterial invasion and acne flares.
4. Don’t be afraid to utilize an oil serum! Used on damp skin merely after washing, the right blend of oils can assist the skin in regulating it is itself sebum production better. If you break-out from an oil serum, it is most likely not the right blend for you. (Remember that almost everyone breaks out when changing skincare products, so give it at least a week.).
5. Raw Manuka honey mask can settle inflammation and have included antibacterial activity—twice a week is sufficient.
6. Work with a holistic practitioner to determine if you have underlying infections, toxins, and /or gut issues that are ultimately causing your acne.