The Age of Acne
I thought I had it bad during my teen years, hoping my mother wouldn’t make me go to school because I had yet another zit break-out.
Is the word, ‘zit’, still even used?!
Whatever you want to call it, zit or blemish…I had bad acne when I was a teenager which lasted throughout my 20’s and still even once in awhile today (I’m in my late 30’s).
My mother definitely sympathized with my situation so she bought me various facial products and she even took me to the dermatologist to try some prescription solutions.
My skin seemed to worsen the more I tried different products commonly found at your nearby drug store or pharmacy. I tried everything from special ‘acne’ soaps, creams and toners.
The only thing that did seem to work is benzoyl peroxide creams or gels.
I would obsessively cover my face up with my ‘zit cream’ day and night. The side effect to this was very dry skin and whitening of the skin. It also slightly lightened my hair AND my pillow case! (sorry Mom!)
I didn’t mind the dry skin problem since my skin is naturally oily. However, dry skin long term causes more break outs since the dead skin cells can cause clogging of the pores.
It’s difficult to know what to do when you have constant advertising on television and in magazines for a large variety of beauty products claiming to make you beautiful. When I was a teen, we didn’t have the internet so I can only imagine how many different zit creams I would have purchased online.
Chemicals to Avoid
Dr. Edward Group and The Global Healing Center recently published an article Chemicals to Avoid In Skin Care which lists 19 known toxins found in so many common products. This is a good reason to read all labels when purchasing anything!
It wasn’t until my late twenties when I began switching out all of the cheap or not so cheap chemical laden products in my bathroom to natural ones.
I discuss in my first blog, Welcome, that when I began my natural health journey, I learned that oftentimes, skin problems are not only caused by ingredients found on the market but also by the foods we eat.
One of the most common skin problems is eczema, a chronic inflammatory condition.
The reason why I love the field of holistic nutrition is the fact that we treat the body as a whole rather than focus on one part or one symptom.
Skin conditions like eczema are more closely related to inflammation inside the body and it is also linked to certain foods such as dairy.
Many researchers have found that reducing inflammatory foods from your diet while adding anti-inflammatory foods into your diet will significantly improve your overall health. (Check out my blog: Anti-Inflammatory Foods.)
One of my favorite mentors, Dr.Michael Greger explains briefly in his video, Flax Seeds for Sensitive Skin, about how flax seed oil and flax seeds may improve your skin health.
Your body absorbs healthy fats internally and actually reduces skin dryness. I can personally agree that this is true.
Other Natural Supplement Aids
Other supplements that I have found to be beneficial not only for myself but also for my clients to assist with various skin conditions include Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM, as well as, probiotics.
To see consistent results, I would recommend supplementing 1 – 2 grams (1,000 – 2,000 mg) of MSM daily and also a probiotic which has at least 10 billion strains per pill. Jump to my Favorite Things page to purchase pharmaceutical grade Power Probiotic Daily.
The following suggestions for natural topical solutions are ones that I use personally to improve my skin and reduce acne breakouts. (To find these products, please shop at your local health food vitamin store. Some purchase links are provided below.)
Just a few drops of both 100% pure tea tree oil and organic lavender oil into a bottle of witch hazel used as a toner or as a spot treatment.
(Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial while lavender oil reduces the inflammation including redness. The two together work well to improve healing time.)
For soap, I use plain soap like Clearly Natural’s pure glycerin soap with Aloe Vera. Aloe vera gels or ointments are very healing for the body but do not use if you are allergic.
Since I have naturally oily skin and currently live in Florida, it’s rare for me to have dry skin, but when I do, I use pure aloe gel or for dryer skin I highly recommend Nutra Ultra Relief Cream which has MSM, lavender, chamomile and other nutrients. (This one smells amazing and also helps with joint pain.)
Many of the so called ‘natural’ cosmetic lines that are found at your neighborhood grocery store still have many chemicals in them.
I recently found an absolutely amazing cosmetic line called Beauty Counter. This company offers safe and high performing products for women, men and children without using harmful ingredients linked to human health issues. Beauty Counter currently bans more than 1,500 harmful ingredients from their products and are compassionate towards helping the environment. They also have coral-reef safe sun protection lotions.
Click Beauty Counter for more information.
Be well always!