I am gonna go ahead and let the cat out of the bag…a problem that runs rampant in Western medicine is treating the symptoms and not the cause. If we treat the symptom there is never a true cure, and BigPharma loves when there is no cure…💰💰
Sadly, this is the case with acne, western treatments just don’t work in the long term. The global acne market grosses 3 billion dollars annually (source). Sounds like a good time to be involved in the acne industry, huh? What do you think would happen to that number if those treatments really cured acne?…not much of a prospering business after all.
In medicine we must always look further than the first few layers…like Shrek says, people are onions.
Although acne appears to be an external problem, it actually begins its origin deep within the body. It’s our bodies way of screaming to us, HELP something is not right inside of me!
Often times this something arises from problems with the gut, hormone imbalances, and/or nutrient deficiencies. Surprisingly, these three things are all interrelated, with both hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies stemming from the gut. Irresistable You, by the dermatologist Dr. Schaffer does a great job at explaining this connection.
So, really the GI system, in most cases of acne, is to blame. A sick, irritated, and overworked gut leads to body wide inflammation and lowered immunity (read more about it here). Fixing the gut, soothing the skin, and de-stressing is a surefire recipe for acne free glowing skin. Here are my top 5 products for acne recovery.
Unfortunately, there is no one step quick cure for acne as western medicine would like you to think. If you want clear skin and health for the rest of your life, you need to see it as a multistep journey. It’s a lifestyle change and it will take time to see results. But once you get and maintain those results they will last F-O-R-E-V-E-R
Here’s how to treat the cause
Stop using harsh anti-acne skin care regimens
Acnegenic skin is hypersensitive and irritated, which is exacerbated by harsh chemicals and drying abrasive products. The common treatment regimes for acne (benzoyl peroxide, acids, etc) are exactly what you don’t need.
Your skin needs soothing, calming, and hydrating… simple products. Dr. Woods Shea Vision is the cleanser I used to help get rid of my acne, read about it here. It is a very simple cleanser with minimal ingredients. It balances ph levels, hydrates, and soothes. Plus, there is noting abrasive or harsh about it.
Also, you can find the recipe for my DIY toner I used here. It is based in Apple Cider Vinegar which does wonders for acne. Do note that it can sting the skin, especially if there are a lot of open areas. However, you can dilute it or just tolerate it, the sting isn’t harming anything. ACV is a master at helping acne. Looking for preformulated products to banish acne, here a list of 5 that I always have on hand.
Heal Your Gut
Now, this the most difficult step and the most crucial.
It requires willpower, diligence, and dramatic changes to your diet. But it is the most important for long term recovery. If you doubt that your gut and the foods you eat are linked to acne watch a season of Survivor. You will notice some contestants have acne at the beginingg of the show, however, within just a few weeks of the Survivor diet (rice, fish, coconuts, crabs, etc) their acne is gone! This is the ultimate proof that throwing away that packaged, processed, GMO loaded foods allows your body to heal.
Read this article on leaky gut and get to understand what it is and means to you. To summarize, you will want to eat Real Food, cut out anything processed or packaged, start consuming probiotic rich foods, and avoid GMOs like the plague.
Find Your Food Triggers
Find which foods cause your breakouts, and find which foods you are sensitive to because of your leaky gut. For me it was chocolate, gluten, almonds, and sugar. Some common triggers are gluten, soy, corn, alcohol, dairy, chocolate, and grains.
Eliminate these foods and takes steps to heal yourself. Further info is outlined in my Leaky Gut article here. I would try 4 weeks of no sugar as well. Your skin (and body) will LOVE you for it! Sugar feeds acne by keeping your hormones imbalanced and your gut bacteria population incorrect. Don’t worry though, once your gut is healed most of these trigger foods can be eaten in moderation again.
Balance Your Hormones
Your hormones will naturally begin to balance themselves as you heal your gut. However, it is quite possible you may need some extra help. There are simple saliva tests you can order online to test your hormone levels or you can look over symptoms of low progesterone and high estrogen to see if you fit the mold, (I highly recommend the former).
Balancing estrogen and progesterone levels are key to getting rid of acne. This is why birth control pills (temporarily) stop acne. Fortunately, there are other safe interventions that can be done to normalize hormone levels. Natural supplements containing DIM and I3C (like this one) that can help rid your body of excess extra bad estrogens. Also, natural progesterone creams (this is the one I used) to help bring progesterone levels up to normal. (Medical Disclaimer)
Start Key Supplements
Borage Seed Oil: Balancing Omega 3’s and 6’s is essential to getting clear skin. I recommend a borage seed oil supplement like this one to boost your gama-linolenic acid (GLA). If your skin is congested looking with small plugged pores, Borage is right for you. If your body is low in GLA its sebum gets thick and sticky, causing plugged pores. So, by taking borage oil those congested pores will go away because the sebum will be a normal consistency. Borage seed also helps balance hormones and is anti-inflammatory.
Fish Oil: Omega 3's contain potent anti-inflammatory compounds that are a must when recovering from acne. To boost your omega 3’s, which most Americans are deficient in, take a high quality fish oil (I always recommend Green Pastures, read what else fish oil can do for you here). I choose to take Green Pastures Butter/Fish Oil Blend in particular because it is also full of natural vitamin A, vitamin K2, vitamin D, and vitamin E. All of these vitamins are especially important in balancing oil production, reducing inflammation, and promoting healing.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A balances oils levels, hormones and reduces skin slough which clogs pores. There are two types of vitamin A, animal (retinol) and plant (carotenoids). For acne treatment (and in general) retinol is best because the body uses it easier. In order for the body to use carotenoids it must covert them to retinol in the small intestine, and since those with acne have sick guts this conversion process is damaged, making most of the carotenoids you take useless. This is another reason to take the Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil Butter Oil Blend I recommend earlier.
Stop touching your face
This is very difficult for some but you will notice such a difference when you do so. Stop picking, popping, and poking your poor skin. Acnegenic skin is sensitive and delicate…all it’s doing is spreading the p.acnes bacteria across your face and causing your inflammatory system to go wild. A perfect recipe for more redness, irritation, and pustules.
This also includes the way your wash your face, be GENTILE. We are not trying to scrub off baked on lasagna, it’s your skin, touch it as you would a babies cheek. Also, be aware of unconsciously touching your face during the day, for instance resting on your hand during a boring class lecture or your cell phone always on your cheek.
Quit Makeup for Two Weeks…and then actively switch your makeup to natural clean products.
Not wearing makeup is so hard when you have breakouts, I know, I hated doing it too, but saw a dramatic difference when I did so. It can be horrifying thinking about going into public without makeup to cover your acne, and it is even more horrifying doing it. But your skin needs a break, to breathe, and recover without a “mask” always over it.
Often times your skin will be sensitive to ingredients it wouldn’t normally react to. In my case, even clean non-toxic makeup was exacerbating my breakouts. However, now that my acne is healed I wear the same makeup without issue.
If you are still using standard non-natural makeup this is also a huge factor in your acne! The preservatives, formaldehyde donors, and other chemicals they contain are skin irritants. And the ultra common silicone family is literally like putting plastic wrap on your face, preventing normal air flow and stifling it!
Even if your makeup says noncomedogenic it can still exacerbate acne. Be careful too as many brands that market themselves as natural are really not. Just because the label says natural or organic doesn’t mean it is good for your skin.
This is perfect time to try out truly clean brands like Vapour Organic Beauty (my review here), W3LL People, or RMS Beauty. Unfortunately, makeup is a huge contributing factor, but once your skin starts to heal you will thank yourself you bared the humiliation and went without.
Do a liver, kidney and colon cleanse
Acne is a sure sign that the body is overloaded on toxins. Cleansing the vital filtering organs is necessary to purge the body of what nasties are lurking around causing inflammation, irritation, and ultimately acne.
I like this herbal cleanse from Gaia Herbs, please always consult a doctor before doing any cleanse. After you have cleansed, or if you choose not to do it, it's important to keep your colon working smoothly. You should prevent constipation and make sure you are having at least one BM a day.
Love Yourself and De-stress
This is one of the most important ones…stress gives you acne and self loathing is crappy. It is hard to not get in a vicious cycle of thinking about your acne, becoming anxious, raising your stress levels, and giving yourself more acne. Here is a great article to help you start loving yourself and your skin.
Stop the western medical treatments that are masking your acne and preventing the cure
You can throw all the birth control, Actuate, and Minocycline you want at it…and it may work to suppress the breakouts for a while. However, beware when the treatment is stopped…your acne will come back stronger than ever.
Plus, you’ll have a host of other health issues to deal with because while the western treatment was suppressing the breakouts your body was still in a state of disease with the real cause going unchecked and free to wreak havoc in other body systems.
So there they are, 10 steps, some easier than others but all dependent on one another. These steps should ideally be done all together, or at least in a span of a month. Selecting just a few will unfortunately set you up for failure. You see, the entire picture needs to be addressed in order to really see results. Don’t give up and do have courage.
Finally conquering acne is an arduous road, some days it may seem like you have taken a step or two backwards. However, if you stick with the lifestyle change you will start to see real differences in your skin and your body as a whole. And always remember, our skin takes 28 days to regenerate, so results are not immediate.
If you are reluctant to give up that doctor prescribed treatment I challenge you, go read blogs and forums all throughout the internet…you will find hoards of people saying their western treatment worked to quell their acne temporarily only to come back with a vengeance later. I know it did for me and for every single one of my friends. Step bravely into your new lifestyle and step firmly.
Two Resources for Natural Acne Treatment
Although acne appears to be an external problem, it actually begins its origin deep within the body. It’s our bodies way of screaming to us, HELP something is not right inside of me! Often times this something arises from problems with the gut, hormone balances, and/or nutrient deficiencies. Surprisingly, these three things are all interrelated, with both hormone imbalances and nutrient deficiencies stemming from the gut. So, really the GI system, in most cases of acne, is to blame. A sick, irritated, and overworked gut leads to body wide inflammation and lowered immunity (read more about it here). Fixing the gut, soothing the skin, and de-stressing is a surefire recipe for acne free glowing skin.
Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I always give my honest opinion and findings of the products and would not recommend anything that I do not use for myself or family. All of the products recommended will adhere to the Standards of Clean, listed here.
Disclaimer: The information found on cleansthenewblack.com is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness/disease. Nor is to intended to supplement the advice of a licensed physician or the like. You should not rely upon the information in this blog to make medical decisions prior to consult with your medical doctor.