Usually characterized by red pimples, pustules and blackheads, acne is a skin problem caused by an overproduction of sebum. When this oily substance builds up, it blocks and infects pores. Increased sebum production is often due to hormonal imbalances, like during PMS or when women are on the birth control pill. Blood toxins from poor diet or a sluggish liver can also increase acne, as well as food sensitivities or intolerances.
How to get rid of acne? change your diet first!
Your diet should focus on different kind of foods:
- Foods with a high-fibre content that is going to help cleanse your body
- Lots of fruits due to their high water content and nutrients
- Foods rich in zinc to help heal tissues
- Foods that contain essential fatty acids
- All forms of sugar if acne is linked to a glucose intolerance or candidiasis.
- Processed foods since they can damage your skin and collagen, due to their low content of enzymes. Enzymes are very important for proper digestion.
- Processed foods also contain high levels of iodine, which is known to worsen outbreaks. Be careful with high iodine content foods such as fish, kelp, and onions.
Supplements used to get rid of acne
Nutrients have many benefits in terms of overall state of health. Skin nutrients are primarily found in foods, hence the necessity to have a proper diet. Unfortunately, the poor quality of soil depletes our food from vital nutrients. A good nutritional program through a healthy diet and supplements, aims at strengthening your immune system and giving your body the nutrients it needs to function better.
Here is a list of nutrients that could be beneficial for your skin condition:
- Beta-carotene and vitamin A are essential for tissue repair and maintenance
- Chromium helps reduce infection of the skin
- Zinc aids in healing tissues (most acne sufferers are deficient in zinc)
- Selenium enhances the action of vitamin E
- Essential fatty acids (especially GLA) can lower the body’s production of sebum
- Lecithin helps to absorb EFAs
- Vitamin E helps prevent scarring and enhances the action of vitamin A
- Complex B vitamins combat the effect of stress
- Vitamin C helps fight against infections
- Vitamin D3 promotes tissue repair
- Fibre helps keep the colon clear
- Probiotics fight against infection and reduces outbreaks.
- Enzymes aids in digestion (most acne sufferers are deficient in pancreatic digestive enzymes)
- Nutritional yeast helps reduce oiliness
- Colloidal silver is a natural antibiotic
- Potassium (most acne sufferers are deficient in potassium)
- Garlic destroys bacteria
- Chlorophyll cleanses the blood
- Niacinamide aids circulation and helps repair the skin.
- Chromium helps with sugar balance
Herbal remedies for acne
- Chamomile, lavender, and sage infusions are good face cleansers
- Comfrey, birch leaves, thyme, and blueberry leaves are also good astringents
- Calendula cream or aloe vera gel can be applied externally to help healing
- Cleansing herbs are dandelion, chamomile, stinging nettle, yarrow, horsetail, or birch leaves
- Aloe vera juice helps to cleanse internally
- Echinacea helps with inflammation and promotes healing
- Goldenseal has antimicrobial and detoxifying properties
- Tea tree oil can be applied topically on pimples
- Alpha Hydroxy acids cleanse and exfoliate the skin
- Chaste tree berry extract helps in cases of breakouts due to hormonal imbalances
- Clay is used topically to reduce swelling and treat acne
Essential oils for acne
- Tea Tree
Because too high a percentage or direct application of essential oil could cause irritation and blistering, it is best to choose a soap containing essential oil or swab pure oil on the acne twice daily.
Homeopathic remedies for acne
- Hepar sulf for painful pimples
- Ledum for pustular acne
- Pulsatilla for hormonal changes
- Kali brom for itchy pimples
- Homeopathy is specific to each person, consult an homeopath for better results
Other remedies to get rid of acne
- Try to keep the affected area free of oil: shampoo your hair with a natural shampoo, use a natural soap, avoid any oil-based formulas, and try not to touch your skin too much since it causes the glands to produce too much sebum.
- Massage around the affected area to promote circulation and speed healing.
- Do not use an electric razor on the affected area but a standard blaze, and do not squeeze the pimples. It can increase inflammation and cause scarring.
Natural remedies for acne: external links
- Acne images (Dermatlas)
- Acne and acne scarring: why should we treat? (The Medical Journal of Australia)
- Questions & answers about acne (National Institutes of health)
- Acne Vulgaris - Topic overview (WebMD)
- Prebiotics could reduce acne infections
Natural remedies for acne: references
- Andrew Gaeddert, healing Skin Disorders, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2003
- Louise Tenney, M.H., Today’s Herbal health, 6th edition, USA, 2007
- Phyllis A. Balch, James F. Balch, Prescription for nutritional healing, United States of America, 2000
- Siegfried Gursche, Encyclopedia of natural healing, Canada, 1997
- Thomas Bartram, Bartram’s encyclopedia of herbal medicine, The definitive guide to the herbal treatment of diseases, Grace Publishers, UK, 1995