Acne • Natural Home Remedies
Acne is a skin condition in which the skin erupts with red pimples from inflamed or infected sebaceous glands; a common problem for adolescents.
WHAT IS IT?
Acne is a skin condition in which the skin erupts with red pimples from inflamed or infected sebaceous glands; a common problem for adolescents, though it can continue beyond puberty.
- Cosmetics (usage)
- Drug use
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Hormonal disorders
Acne may affect up to 85% of young adults aged 12-25 years. It may continue into later years, recur occasionally, or disappear.
IS IT CONTAGIOUS?
No. Although it is caused by a bacteria, it does not spread. There are other factors that influence whether or not you will develop acne; nearly everyone has acne bacteria on their skin.
Since hormonal imbalances can complicate acne, it is important to pay close attention to nutrition. Start with a diet free of saturated fats. I read in an old book years ago that saturated fats will clog pores and then become inflamed in times of stress so I experimented with a no-saturated fat diet. Within a few months my skin was smooth, soft and clear. Be sure to eat good mono-unsaturated fats that are liquid at room temperature and will flow more easily from your pores. A diet like the Zone Diet will keep your hormones more in balance and improve your skin.
FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Whole, fresh, living foods
- A variety of fruits and vegetables (more vegetables than fruits that are high in sugar)
- Bone broth
- Raw garlic. Start with one clove per day
- Antioxidant-rich foods
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID
- Smoking. While smoking may not be a direct cause of acne, the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke displaces oxygen in your skin, causes nicotine-reduced blood flow, drying and discoloring of the skin. Smoking depletes many nutrients that help protect and repair skin damage.
- Alcohol decreases the body’s stores of Vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight off free radicals and that protects the lipid layer of your skin (which makes it moist).
- Caffeine is dehydrating
- Processed foods, especially breads, sugars, pastas
- Birth control pills: some may aggravate acne.
- Iodine-containing foods may aggravate. Experiment with cutting back on foods like butter, cheddar cheese spread, beef liver, turkey, kelp, asparagus, broccoli and onions
- Oil-based make-up
- Cosmetics with lanolins, isopropyl myristate, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4 and D & C red dyes
LIQUIDS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water as a skin toner. Use topically to keep your skin’s pH balanced and to limit oil on the skin. Use sparingly; it will dry your skin. Ratio of cider to water, about 1 to 4. Experiment and see how your skin responds.
HERBS AND SPICES
Herbs may be used in cooking, added to lotions, made into poultices, or made into teas. Some herbs may be used as supplements and can be found in capsule form or as tinctures. Teas can be used as a face wash.
- Aloe Vera, topically
- Burdock root
- Chamomile, as tea or mixed with water to form a paste for a face mask
- Chamomile tea, cooled and applied to your clean face with a cotton ball
- Green tea
- Hibiscus tea
- Milk thistle
- Red clover
- Witch hazel as an astringent
- Yogi tea
Administer essential oils via a diffuser for inhalation, topically in a carrier oil like coconut, or you can add drops to a hot bath. They can be added to lotions and shampoos and blended.
- Eucalyptus, diluted and used as an astringent
- Lavender, which is safe in small amounts applied directly to skin. Apply a very tiny bit on a blemish to heal faster. Use a weak oil so that it doesn’t burn or turn your skin red. Alternatively, use a drop of carrier oil to dilute a drop of lavender oil.
- Tea tree, diluted and used as an astringent. Dilute this oil either in a carrier oil or in water (1 part tea tree to 8 parts water) as it is very strong.
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
- Diatomaceous earth, food grade, taken internally with water,
- Edible clay or apply the clay mixed with water as a mask
- Vitamin A
- Zinc (do not exceed recommended dose)
Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body, and skin cells are made up of water.. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but the general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of pure water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Exercise nourishes your skin cells with blood and oxygen. That exercise is beneficial to overall health is undisputed. There is always something you can do to support your body, whatever your current fitness level. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Be sensible.
Stress will cause flare-ups. Stay calm. Chronic anxiety undermines health in every way. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow. Some practices that may work for you:
- Art therapy
- Biofeedback (for help with controlling muscle tension, heart rate, blood pressure)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Massage (which will increase blood flow and lower blood pressure)
- Music Therapy
- Qi Gong
- Tai Chi
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Aspirin (a little) and water paste applied directly to a blemish to reduce inflammation
- Avoid drugs, including prescription medications, when it’s safe to do so.
- Baking Soda (aluminum free) mixed with water and sprayed on the face as a toner to help shrink pores.
- Baking soda (aluminum free) mixed with water to form a paste for use as a scrub. Use gently.
- Baking soda mask (less water, more soda) left on for 20 minutes or so.
- Exposure (not over-exposure) to sunlight. Spend 15 minutes a day exposing your skin to natural sunlight. If that’s not available, ask your doctor about light treatments.
- Honey mask
- Lemon juice applied with a cotton ball to your clean face; rinse with cool water
- Make a mask of equal parts mint, yogurt and oatmeal powder. Apply and leave on for ten minutes and rinse.
- Papaya applied to the skin
- Tamanu oil, applied to the skin
- To cover up a blemish you will need a high-pigment (50-70%) make-up.
- Use green tea as a face wash.
- Use high-quality cosmetics if you must use make-up at all
- Wash all cosmetics off at night with a mild soap. Rinse well with cool water.
- Whipped egg white mask
- Witch hazel as an astringent
- Yogurt, cinnamon and honey face mask
- Zinc (do not exceed recommended dose)
- Chinese Medicine
- Earthing is said to decrease the load of free radicals in our body. Walk in the grass or on the beach for 15 minutes a day. Or even sit in a chair outside with your feet in the dirt.
- Do not squeeze pimples.
- Do not pick at scabs as you may cause scarring.
- A wholesome diet to build and support a strong immune system
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Keep them away from your face!
- Use natural household products rather than chemicals.
- After washing your face in warm water, rinse with cool water to help close pores.
- Quality sleep