Breakouts are the topic this month, and chances are you’ve been trying all kinds things to fix it that rely solely on topical care. A more holistic approach will give you much better results, and better health too. So let’s look at some of the ways to address acne at the source.
Reducing stress in these key areas:
- Diet & nutritional stress. In my opinion, this can be one of the most effective ways to control acne.
- Reducing added sugar and refined carbohydrates like candy, ice cream, sodas and even too much bread, pasta and baked goods
- Remedying dehydration by getting adequate water intake will help your body flush toxins and wastes more efficiently on a cellular and system-wide level. Remember, the skin is part of the excretory system too (think exits here), so keep it moving freely!
- Identifying possible food intolerances, (not just allergies) such as gluten, dairy, eggs and soy can be a huge source of systemic inflammation. If you’ve tried everything else to control your acne, this might be a logical next step. A healthcare professional can inform you of testing methods to uncover these hidden intolerances.
- Eating real, whole food
- Mental & Emotional: Having acne appear during or after a very stressful life event is not uncommon (at any age), but chronic, long-term stress can worsen acne too because of the increase in stress hormones like cortisol. I often suggest stress reduction techniques like:
- Structural/musculo-skeletal: While it may seem odd, structural and spinal alignment can play a role in the reduction of acne too. Stress in ANY of these areas can trigger stress in other linked systems, so reducing it in as many areas as possible will be the quickest way to get it under control.
Adding important nutrients/supplements
- Essential Fatty Acids (essential because your body can’t make them on its own, so you need to get them from your diet), like fish, flaxseed or evening primrose oils can lower inflammation and help to improve the balance of fatty acids that might be missing in acne-prone skin.
- Probiotics. The skin tissue that covers your body is a variation of the tissue that lines your gut and reflects what’s going on in there! By now we know that a healthy microbiome is important for overall gut and immune health, but also contributes to healthy skin externally too.
- Minerals like chromium which helps to stabilize blood sugar (reducing inflammation) and zinc which is important for normal skin cell (epithelial) production and repair – inside and out.
- Herbs such as burdock root, Oregon Grape root, dandelion root and yellow dock herb all have a detoxifying and cleansing effect that helps to clear skin more effectively. We love Vitamedica’s Healthy Skin Formula for it’s combination of many of these ingredients!