Healing acne naturally isn’t as hard as it may seem, but it does take dedication. Acne is an issue that a large majority of the population suffers from – not only do teens get acne, but many adults get acne as well! Sometimes people will go to the extremes of taking antibiotics to clear up their issue, or will subject their skin to harsh chemical soaps and creams which make the skin dependent on their use to maintain a clear face (and/or back) – when individuals stop using these products, it seems that their acne comes back full-force.
The real issue here is that the acne is caused by something internal, and individuals are trying to treat themselves externally (a completely backward process). To truly heal your skin, and find success in clearing acne, an individual must take a total-body healthy living approach. This includes changing diet, ensuring good digestion, exercising and maintaining proper skin care. Below I outline these aspects.
How to Heal Acne Naturally
Eating a clean diet is crucial to maintaining clear, healthy skin. When you eat clean, your liver and kidneys are able to flush out toxins on a regular basis. All toxins that enter the body must first be broken down in the liver before they go to the rest of the body – when the liver breaks down these toxins, they are transformed into molecules that can go out in the blood and be filtered by the kidneys and removed in the urine.
When our kidneys and liver are not functioning optimally, this process gets backed up, so instead of secreting toxins through urine, our bodies resort to excreting toxins through other body parts like sweat (major cause of bad body odour) and especially our skin. Having a healthy functioning liver and kidneys will result in clearer skin and less (or no more) acne.
Foods that are highly acidic like processed foods, animal products, and refined sugar all lead to an acidic body environment which puts a lot of pressure not only on our liver and kidneys, but other body organs too! Consume a high alkaline diet, full with plenty of fruit, vegetables, and water (aim for 3-4L of water daily to flush toxins out of your body).
It is important to decrease your consumption of dairy and other animal products which are loaded with synthetic and naturally occurring hormones specific to those species (and NOT humans). Pregnant cows produce a protein which inhibits testosterone processing in our bodies – this means that individuals consuming a high amount of dairy products may also be loading themselves with an abundance of testosterone, throwing off hormones and thus resulting in facial issues. Many people have responded positively with better facial complexion once going off dairy (true of my own experience, and an account of many individuals I have spoken with, read about – online, in books, and friends/family).
Higher testosterone levels also make the sebaceous glands start to produce more sebum, which the bacteria in acne love to feed on.
Improving digestion can help your skin tremendously! Start by learning to properly combine foods (you can learn all about that HERE) – properly combining foods means that your digestive system is not as stressed, and can digest one or two foods at a time without being over loaded with many different enzymes and nutrients. This will also ensure that you maintain healthy digestive flora, an important part of ensuring toxins are eliminated and not absorbed back into the bloodstream.
How can exercise help acne? It can help tame your hormones (like testosterone) which cause excess sebum production. It also helps reduce stress and builds your immune system (which equates to better overall health). Stress is one of the main triggers in acne flare-ups – when we get stressed, a hormone called cortisol is released, and this thickens hair follicle linings which causes blackheads and whiteheads. If bacteria get trapped in this area, then large pimples will develop.
Reducing stress through exercise (and mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing techniques) will allow proper blood flow and oxygen to the skin which are normally directed to vital organs in times during stress (and thus, when stressed, withdraws blood and oxygen from the skin). The skin, when stressed, then becomes starved of oxygen and blood and makes it more prone to acne bacteria (and will also make you look dull and lifeless).
Exercise helps pump the lymphatic system and circulatory system which helps flush out excess toxins – the less toxins we have in our body, the less our liver and kidneys need to work to filter them out.
Proper skin care in times of blemished skin is incredibly important. If you are currently using chemical-based face washes and lotions, throw them out now – they are not helping! Over time, your skin will become dependent on these products and without them, your skin will flare up. You must simply ease yourself off these products, and instead stick to the natural route so that you can repair the natural pH of your skin and allow it to breathe again.
I would suggest minimizing your face washing to once in the morning, and once at night – simply wash off your face with warm water, and scrub with a little bit of sea salt (I use himalayan sea salt to scrub my face at night – if you suffer from acne, use sea salt morning and night). Once you are done exfoliating with the sea salt, rinse off with cooler water, and pat dry your face. Next, rub in some natural oils on your face like jojoba oil or argan oil.
Remember, your skin might feel oily for the first couple weeks, but it is simply getting used to natural oil production and detoxing harsh chemical soaps and lotions – trust me, your face will look amazing in a month or two after using this routine, and sticking to a healthy diet and active lifestyle!