Our skin is just a representation of what is going on internally. It’s our messenger to let us know if our body is in balance or not. Almost all of us go through periods of imbalance, and knowing how to best address these issues surrounding our skin specifically can feel daunting. These are the 7 most effective ways I’ve found to heal acne naturally
First, let us gain some understanding on how these precious little dots of chaos occur. When your pores get clogged up with oil and dead skin cells, this is the start of most common acne. When our pores get clogged up it forms a substance called Propionibacterium acnes, aka that white puss we all can't stand. This backup in your pores creates an inflammatory response to try and address the issue, and pop! there's the pimple! There are lots factors that contribute to these outbreaks. From genetics, diet, stress, hormone changes and infections, getting to the root of why you are dealing with yours takes time, but almost always starts with what you are consuming in your diet first, and how you are tending to your skin second. Making the right choices to heal it is equally a process. That being said, with some determination and patience, I believe you can do it naturally without using harsh chemicals on your skin that will only mask the root of your problem.
This one is the least fun, but the most important. Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly healthy fats that offer all kinds of health benefits. They are known essential fats we must have in our diets to preserve cellular health and function. Unfortunately most people consume far too less of this anti-inflammaory fats, and instead have too must pro-inflammatory fat in their diet. This fat is known as omega-6 fats. It’s in all the processed, fried, and highly refined foods. This fat inflames your cells sending out messages throughout the body to inflame itself. This in turn causes lots of cellular stress that is unnecessary, and ultimately over time is harmful to our entire body, including our skin! This issue can be corrected be consuming more omegas-3. Fats, and decreasing your omega-6 fat consumption. Fish tend to have the highest amounts of bioavailable omega-3 fats. Bioavailable just means that your body doesn’t have to utilize as many enzymes to further break down a compound before it is absorbed and utilized within your body.
Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. EPA specifically and been shown to have benefits for our skin by managing oil production, improving hydration. It can take up to a month before starting to reach see the benefits externally, and there is technically not a set recommendation. That being said, 500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily is a great place to start. Make sure to check in with your doctor if you are currently on any medications. Omega-3 fatty acids come from fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies. Walnuts, chia seeds and ground flaxseeds also contain omega-3s, but is much lower quantities. I like to supplement with a high quality fish oil like Nordic Naturals . They also have a vegan source from algae that is very effective as well.
I wish someone had told me this when I was younger. The process of exfoliation will help remove that top layer of dead skin cells from your body. Use a brush or scrub to physically remove the dead skin cells. This will also help any of your acne treatments work more effectively by allowing it to penetrate deeper into the skin.
3. Use a Witch Hazel or Apple Cider Vinegar Toner Treatment.
Witch hazel contains tannins, which have strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties . It is extracted from the bark and leaves of the North American witch hazel shrub. Whether dealing with dandruff, eczema, varicose veins, burns, bruises, insect bites or acne, witch hazel is a natural go-to for all kinds of skin issues. Multiple studies show how applying it to the skin can fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and help with healing.
Apply apple cider vinegar is also known for its ability to fight many types of bacteria and viruses. It contains several organic acids that have been shown to kill P. acres . In particular, succinic acid has been shown to suppress inflammation caused by P. acnes, which may prevent scarring. Also, lactic acid has been shown to improve the appearance of acne scars. Apple cider vinegar also helps to dry up the excess oil that causes acne in the first place. I recommend using some extra caution when applying vinegar to your skin, as sometimes it can cause burning and irritation. Start by using in very small amount or diluted with water.
Bambu Earth is a natural skincare like that has some great skin toners that use witch hazel and apple cider vinegar.
Research shows that people with acne tend to have lower levels of zinc in their blood than those with clear skin
Zinc is an essential nutrient that’s important for cell growth, hormone production, metabolism and immune function.
It is also one of the most studied natural treatments for acne. Several studies have shown that taking zinc orally helps reduce acne. In one study, 48 acne patients were given oral zinc supplements three times per day. After eight weeks, 38 patients experienced an 80–100% reduction in acne. I recommend getting a zinc oxide, which contains the largest amount of elemental zinc. The upper limit of ingestion for zinc is 40 mg per day, and is best to not exceed that amount unless under the supervision of your doctor. Taking too much zinc may cause adverse effects, including stomach pain and gut irritation.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that is well known for its ability to fight bacteria and reduce skin inflammation
Several studies show that applying 5% tea tree oil to the skin effectively reduces acne. It also helps to balance out dryness, irritation and burning. Tea tree oil is very potent, so always dilute it before applying it to your skin. You can mix it in with a thicker moisturizer and spot treat the areas that are affected
Aloe vera is a tropical very resilient plant. Its leaves produce a clear gel that when applied to the skin, helps heal wounds, treat burns and fight inflammation. It contains salicylic acid and sulfur, which are both used extensively in the treatment of acne
Several studies have shown that applying salicylic acid to the skin significantly reduces acne. Th best way to use Aloe is fresh. You can apply it topically, and also consume it. The flavor can be quite intense, so I also recommend adding it to something like coconut water or lemon water to balance out the intensity.
Manuka honey is the ideal ingredient for at-home face masks. Honey is great for improving hydration and moisture. To target acne, a combination of Manuka honey and tea tree oil are basically your dream team. From controlling excess oil, to cleaning out your pores, and diminish blemishes, this combo will aim to sooth dry red irritated skin, acne, and eczema.
Here is a quick DIY Recipe I found from Women's Health that I really liked :
Directions: Stir till smooth and creamy and apply to skin with the back of a spoon or brush. Smooth out with your fingertips and immediately wash your hands to prevent staining. Leave mask on for 20 minutes. Massage an additional teaspoon of yogurt to soften the dried mask and rinse well with warm water. Shrink your pores by running an ice cube over your skin afterward, and apply moisturizer.
To sum it all up, by addressing your diet, increasing your hydration, and using all of these natural topical remedies, I would be shocked if you didn’t notice big changes in the health of not only your skin, but your entire body.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.