6 Must-Do Steps to Improve Acne
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
Ughhhh! Acne! It is by FAR one of the most frustrating skin conditions that we are dealing with today. Teenage acne is almost expected but adult acne, it’s just all too common and totally unexpected. We are living in a world where acne is affecting men and women of all ages. "WHY ME!?" you ask. There are many reasons acne flares up and may even continue for years. Everyone is different and it’s vital you find out your why to properly clear your skin. Of course, genetics plays a big role, for me, my family suffered from teen acne and adult acne (yay for me!). This sent me on a huge acne research mission to find the greatest success so I could help myself and others on their acne journey.
Here is my acne in 2018 and here is my skin currently as of 2020. I can’t find the photos of my acne that were worse than this, because I kept deleting them as I was so disgusted with what I was seeing. Natural health can do wonders when done correctly, but it has to be specifically tailored to you.
- Food intolerances
- Excessive use of antibiotics or other medications affecting the gut (this includes anti-depressants)
- Hormone imbalances (polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, excessive estrogens/testosterone)
- Post contraceptive pill hormonal imbalances
- Mood imbalances (depression, anxiety, stress)
- Gastrointestinal inflammation (chronic or acute)
- Candida overgrowth or underlying infections
- High intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars
- Inflammatory lifestyle (little exercise, high stress, poor diet, no sunshine, depleted digestion)
In a nutshell, your skin reflects your body’s ability to detoxify. It is signaling to you, right on of your face, that something is up and it needs your help. There is, unfortunately, no escaping or avoiding acne and the struggles are real. I get it. Acne left me mentally exhausted, depressed, self-conscious, and socially awkward. I would always be wearing make-up which left my skin clogged and the thought of dating was terrifying. I felt my skin defined me and I based my self-worth around it. Although, in reality, we are SO much more than our skin, it still hurts. Which is why I work with clients and their skin issues every single day.
My top tips for healthy skin, are scientifically-based. They won’t work overnight and persistence is key but today is the day to start healing your body from the inside. If you’re suffering from acne, you need to think “my body is inflamed and I need to support it”. Firstly, you need to support your digestive system, this is absolutely critical for healthy skin.
Simple ways to support digestion and skin
Organic Bone broths 2 – 3 x per day
Aim to eat as many green vegetables as possible, swap a fruit juice for a celery juice every day
Slow-cooked easy to digest foods (soups, broths, slow-cooked stews, lightly cooked vegetables)
Ensure all your animal products are organic and free-range
Drink 1 tsp. of apple cider vinegar with water before each meal, this helps to improve your gastric secretions to breakdown your food.
Anti-inflammatory foods into your daily meals/drinks: turmeric, ginger, Echinacea & cinnamon herbal teas.
Liver supportive teas: St Mary’s thistle, dandelion root, Schisandra, and rosemary are all excellent for promoting liver detoxification.
2: Reduce/Eliminate for 8 – 12 weeks
Reduce high intakes of carbohydrates and all sugars for 8 weeks (this means fruits, high carb vegetables i.e. potatoes, pumpkin, beetroot), rice, fruit juices.
Inflammatory foods: dairy, wheat, gluten, and eggs. Eggs?! What?! Yup! 80% of my clients are intolerant to eggs.
Over-eating, I would highly recommend implementing intermittent fasting for 14 – 16 hours each day if your health allows. This promotes digestive rest and rejuvenation.
Probiotics are an acne lifesaver! You want to have a potent dose of lactobacilli spp. & bifidobacterium spp. (More than 20 – 30 billion per serving). Probiotics are essential for the gut microbiome, immunity, intestinal health and is a key player in reducing intestinal bacterial overgrowth and chronic inflammation.
Vitamin A: 5 000 IU per day. Vitamin A is essential to support intestinal health, cellular membrane integrity, and skin collagen production. It is a potent anti-inflammatory, supports the immune system, and has been shown to significantly improve acne flares.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 2000mg per day. pantothenic acid is vital to support energy production, keratinocyte differentiation, epidermal functionality, and has been shown to significantly reduce skin inflammation and acne lesions.
Zinc: 10mg per day. Zinc is a key regulator of skin, immunity, bacterial overgrowth, and is important for over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. It provides support for collagen regeneration, wound healing, DNA replication and can reduce hyperpigmentation and inflammatory compounds known to contribute to skin irritation.
Vitamin C: 2000mg per day. Vitamin-C is another acne winner. It helps to improve the immune system to clean up inflammatory compounds causing damage within the blood. Vitamin-C provides essential support to the lymphatic detoxification system associated with your skin integrity and can reduce acne lesions.
Sunshine! You MUST get your vitamin D, get back to basics and take a 15-minute sunshine break during the day or on your lunch break. If you don’t have vitamin D, say goodbye to the chance of healthy skin. Vitamin D is vital for your immune system, digestion, neurotransmitters and skin healing processes.
Ensure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re not sleeping properly, you’re not healing. Getting a night of deep rejuvenating sleep is essential to every aspect of your health. If you’re suffering from a healthy sleep, follow my top tips here.
Annnnnd the usual 30-minute exercise + 2L of filtered water per day to get your blood and lymphatic detoxification moving, but you know that already ;)
5. Support Your Mental Health
10 minutes of mindfulness each day
Talk out your mental health with a trained professional. I get it, no one really realizes how much acne can truly affect someone’s mental health unless they go through it themselves. You need to be able to express your hurt and vulnerability to this condition. It’s hard to face the world front on when you don’t feel adequate, but talking it out will remind you that you’re so much more than your skin and how to feel powerful or motivated to work through it.
Everyone is different from what their exact dermatological requirements are, it’s not a ‘one routine fits all’, if it was, we’d all have clear skin! Work with me so we can find the right natural skincare routine to support your acne.
Start to implement what you can, choose 3 x things per week to start with, and take it from there. Your skin will go back and forth, but that’s okay. The main thing is you’re trying and one day it will be over, even though it doesn’t feel like it. I’m living proof. Find your support network, get your family and friends involved in your healthy lifestyle
If you’re exhausted from battling with your health, book in an appointment or free 15-minute consultation to comprehensively evaluate your health.