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Having acne prone skin can often feel like a never-ending battle with creams, gels and ointments from the chemist or your doctor. But there are things you can do to help treat your acne holistically either alongside your conventional acne treatments or on their own, depending on the severity of your acne.
Topical acne creams and oral medications help to cure the symptoms of acne, but they don’t address the root cause. This means that your acne comes back, or it never actually goes away.
Taking a holistic approach to finding the cause of your acne and making relevant lifestyle changes can mean that your skin improves significantly.
Here’s some tips on helping to get rid of acne naturally.
Can diet cause acne?
When you consider that what you put on your skin only helps to treat around 20% of skin problems, you realise that 80% is under the control of what you put in your body. Does our diet have anything to do with acne? You bet it does!
The way our body deals with food differs from person to person. What triggers acne symptoms in you may be perfectly fine for someone else and vice versa. If we eat a trigger food, then it can cause stomach problems in the immediate term, and quite possibly an acne outbreak in the coming days.
But however different we all are, there are some common foods that can cause acne flare ups in many people.
These foods include sugar, dairy products, eggs, fish, gluten, nuts and soya. Knowing which foods might trigger your acne is a process of elimination. This involves completely eliminating these trigger foods for three months and then re-introducing them slowly, one by one, to see if your acne flares up.
This sounds hard, but don’t worry, we’ve got a healthy skin meal plan that you can download to help.
In a nutshell, healing acne with diet involves eating a diet rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugar, salt, red meat, fatty and processed foods as much as possible.
Balance hormones to reduce acne
Sadly, for many of us, especially women when approaching their period or the menopause, our skin is also very much under the control of our hormones. Puberty in both males and females can also affect the skin.
So how do hormones cause acne? Hormone levels fluctuate depending on our age and what we’re experiencing at the time. Male sex hormones called androgens are linked to acne, in both men and women. These rises and falls can lead to increased sebum production, clogged hair follicles and a surge in a skin bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes – all of which can lead to acne.
Hormonal treatments such as the oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy can be helpful but if you’re looking to treat hormonal acne naturally, there are still things you can do.
Drinking green tea and applying green tea creams to your skin can help. Green tea contains antioxidants that have been linked to an ability to naturally balance hormones. Diet is also an important factor in balancing hormones.
Aim to eat a colourful diet full of antioxidant fruits and vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish, walnuts and flaxseeds. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and processed foods where possible.
Can stress cause acne?
We all experience stress – a little bit of stress or pressure is actually good for us. But too much and it can manifest itself in acne breakouts. The cells within our skin that produce sebum can be affected by the hormones that are released when we’re stressed. The more stress hormones, the more sebum is produced and the more likely we are to suffer an acne outbreak.
If you lead a stressful life it can feel daunting trying to figure out how to become less stressed. But taking time to talk about your stress, either with a loved one, colleague or trained counsellor will help.
Practicing mindfulness and yoga are also great ways to manage stress better. Our Holistic Guide to Healthier Skin with Dara Davenport download has more information on eliminating stress related acne.
Does exercise cause or reduce acne?
High intensity exercise that causes you to sweat excessively can lead to acne breakouts. Butthat’s not to say that all exercise is bad for the skin.
Exercise gets the heart pumping blood, oxygen and essential nutrients around the body andto the skin, where they can support good skin health. It also encourages the clearing awayof toxins and waste products via the lymph system.
Try some regular gentle exercise such as walking (at a fair pace), yoga or Pilates for a fewweeks or months to see what effect it has on your skin.
How to get rid of acne quickly?
Having acne can make you turn to drastic measures and use untested treatments or unlicensed procedures to get rid of it. But the truth is, getting rid of acne, or more precisely, managing your acne symptoms, is a process that can take time.
There is no magic pill that will cure acne overnight. Instead, taking a holistic approach that supports your skin, eliminates acne triggers and becomes a lifelong habit is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
Once you’ve discovered what’s causing your acne, through elimination diets or looking closely at what events or activities can lead to break outs, achieving clearer skin will become a lot easier.
Treating acne naturally at home
Listening to your body and learning what causes your acne to flare up is crucial to managing your acne prone skin naturally. Observing what foods can trigger your acne will allow you to purposefully eliminate certain foods, and not just restrict your diet for the sake of it.
Also observing how hormone fluctuations and stress can affect your skin may mean that you can make lifestyle changes that will improve your skin.
Whilst there’s no one size fits all, “best natural acne treatment in the world”, we do know that looking at your diet, lifestyle and acne flare up triggers really can make a difference. We know, because we’ve been there.
Skincare for acne prone skin
We developed our range of alkalising cleansers, toners and moisturisers to support and work holistically with skin just like yours. Using our simple products on a daily basis could be the answer to your quest for a natural acne treatment.
We’re always on hand to answer any questions you may have, just drop us a line below and we’ll be happy to help.