How to Treat Acne with Natural Remedies
Acne happens when sebaceous, or oil, glands produce sebum that blocks your pores, usually on your face, neck, or back, and bacteria starts to grow. When it does, it results in pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Though we’re not sure what causes acne, diet and food allergies may play a role—but so may stress and hormonal imbalances. Fortunately, you can do something about it.
The Importance of Diet
Sugar and greasy foods like pizza and French fries are some of the worst foods for acne. Why? Simple carbohydrates (carbs) are metabolized as sugar, and this can affect the hormone balance in the body. But cutting out these carbs and increasing protein, such as lean meats and whole-wheat breads, can help prevent acne breakouts, as can eating regular meals and adding five servings of fruits and vegetables.
Green veggies especially help to clear the skin, and they’re high in vitamins and minerals. Green food supplements are also very cleansing for the skin. Go for greens like chlorophyll, spirulina, and barley greens to help filter out toxins. Drinking lots of water also helps to remove toxins from the skin. Get in the habit of keeping your water bottle or glass full throughout the day.
Recognizing Food Allergies
Acne can also result from food allergies. When you have an allergic reaction to a particular food, such as dairy or eggs, it’s because the immune system perceives the food as a kind of “invader” and mounts a response resulting in inflammation and acne. To find out if this is what’s happening to you, have your doctor give you the ELISA Blood Test, which tests for different food allergies, or try an elimination diet. To get a good response, you’ll want to eliminate possible offending food products in your diet for two weeks to see if your skin clears.
Acidophilus to Prevent Outbreaks
When your digestive tract isn’t functioning optimally, it shows on the skin. Taking acidophilus, a type of “friendly bacteria” or probiotic, can help your digestion by replenishing essential bacteria, similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut that are lost to poor diet and overuse of antibiotics. You can find acidophilus in yogurt or sold as a capsule. The recommended dosage is 10 billion parts of acidophilus with bifidus, another type of helpful probiotic. Now you can buy multi-layer acidophilus with bifidus “pearls,” which do not need to be refrigerated and deliver the bacteria intact and alive.
Topical Treatments for Blemishes
One of the best treatments for your acne is tea tree oil, as clinical studies prove its antiseptic effectiveness. It’s readily absorbed by the skin, which means it can help dry up and heal pimples faster. Calendula (from marigold petals) with vitamin E is also excellent for healing skin with acne, and lavender essential oil is a good antibiotic and antiseptic. Antioxidants vitamins A (Retinol-A), C, and E in topical form, either separately or together, can be effective in battling acne, too. At health food stores, you’ll find the available dosages for Retinol-A in cream form at 1 to 2 percent retinol. With a doctor’s prescription, you can get up to 5 percent. Taking these vitamins as oral supplements can help, too.
Don’t Fear Oil
If you have oily skin, the idea of adding more oil can seem, well, nuts. But the right kind can actually help to reduce sebum production. To make your own custom blend astringent, fill a 1-ounce bottle with the following:
½ oz. hazelnut oil
4 drops juniper oil
3 drops tea tree oil
2 drops rosemary oil
Shake all ingredients together, then top off with another ½ ounce of hazelnut oil. Apply two to three drops to a cotton pad and massage into clean skin twice daily.
Full Steam Ahead
For adults with acne, steam is a great remedy. Fill a tea kettle with water and bring it to boiling. Pour the contents into a plugged bathroom sink and create an herbal steam by adding a few drops of essential antiseptic oils such as tea tree and juniper oil to soften pores. Pull up a chair and put a towel over your head to capture the steam around your face. Top off with more hot water as needed. Afterward, dab tea tree oil on any pimples you may have.
When cleansing and toning the skin—an essential routine for those with acne—try the following natural regime:
2 oz. unscented cleansing base (you can use Dr. Bronner’s liquid baby-mild soap found here)
7 drops tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
5 drops lemon oil (Citrus limon)
5 drops lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Mix together all ingredients. Wash with cleanser two times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
4 oz. witch hazel hydrosol or extract
4 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lemon oil
Place all ingredients in a 4-ounce bottle with a spritzer top. Shake before each use. Apply by spritzing the face or mix 1 tablespoon into 2 ounces of unscented castile soap.
Most acne skin types are prone to dehydration due to the overuse of alcohol-based toners and cleansers. For this reason, individuals with acne can benefit from applying a soothing hydrating cream after cleansing and toning.
2 oz. unscented water-based cream
2 drops German chamomile oil
4 drops lavender oil
5 drops Frankincense oil
Mix together all ingredients. Apply to skin as a last step after cleansing and toning.
Helpful Herbal Teas
The liver is the primary organ of detoxification in the body, but if it’s overwhelmed by the wrong food and drink or hormonal imbalances, it can cause an acne flare-up. Certain herbal teas help the liver detoxify, including burdock root, dandelion leaves, milk thistle, and red clover. Chaste tree berry tea is especially good for hormonal women.
Acidophilus with bifidus multi-layer pearls: 10 billion parts
Burdock root tea
Calendula with vitamin E essential oil
Chaste tree berry tea
Dandelion leaves tea
Green food supplement: As directed
Juniper essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Milk thistle tea
Red clover tea
Tea tree oil essential oil
Tea tree oil with vitamins A and E topical salve
Vitamin A: 2,500 IU
Vitamin A: Retinol-A, C, and E cream
Vitamin C: 2,000 mg
Vitamin E: 400 IU
Follow these diet suggestions and treatments, and say goodbye to your acne! Good luck!