Healing Tips for Acne Prone Skin

I wish that there was a miracle product that would clear acne, and while over the years I have definitely come up with an amazing line of acne products, the topic is complex and unfortunately not one that can be treated only superficially.  When addressing acne, after treating the skin itself, there are three aspects that need to be considered, diet, hormones and the breath.   

Diet is a wonderfully helpful tool in treating acne. It is actually quite simple, there are foods that you should eat and foods that you should avoid.  

Foods that help treat acne:

  • Seaweed is the #1 food that helps in treating any kind of skin disorder, including acne.  Seaweed can be found in pill form (spirulina, blue green algae, chlorella, kelp), and in commonly found foods such as sushi (nori) or miso soup (kombu and wakame).  My favorite seaweeds are kombu and wakame but there are other seaweeds which you might favor.  Two examples of such are hijiki or bladderwrack. Bonus here for those who also want to drop a few pounds, is that eating seaweed also aids weight loss and double bonus is that seaweed is anticarcinogenic.  
  • Vegetables are wonderful tools to heal your body and your skin.  Almost all vegetables will help fight acne (the exception to that rule being the nightshade vegetables; eggplant, tomato, potato and pepper), but vegetables that are sulfuric in nature will be especially helpful.  The brassica family of vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, radish and broccoli) are extremely high in sulfur and will help to clear up acne.  Try and include a portion of a brassica vegetable in every meal. 
  • Herbs and spices are powerful healing tools for balancing your digestive system and your hormones as well.  Include as many as possible of your favorite herbs and spices in your meals.  The ones that I have found to work best are, capers, mint,  basil, turmeric, chamomile, dandelion, nettle.  
  • Probiotic foods are a wonderful way of balancing intestinal health and restoring healthy flora and fauna to the digestive system.  While of course you can just take a probiotic pill, consuming a food with a probiotic is superior to taking a pill.  My favorite probiotic food is organic miso, but any fermented food, such as homemade sour pickles (not canned pickles that have been pasteurized) are a wonderful source of probiotics.
  • Water is the best way to flush toxins out of the system and to prevent them from accumulating on the skin as pimples.  Make sure to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Lemon water or vinegar water taken first thing in the morning, boost the cleansing properties of the water and helps break up accumulated fats that are in your system.  Starting your morning with a glass of lemon water or organic apple cider vinegar water can be very helpful for some.

Foods that can cause acne:

  • Fried foods. 
  • Unhealthy oils.  Try to use only olive oil on cold foods and to cook with unrefined organic oils with a high flash point.  The best oil for cooking is sesame oil.  Avoid canola oil, it is not healthy for you, that is a myth and great PR but it’s essentially a refined and genetically modified product that is unhealthy for you. 
  • Chocolate is one of the worst foods in the world for acne (sorry).  Sugar and other processed foods are not your friends either. 
  • Dairy products are extremely unhealthy and many people see an immediate difference in their skin when they go off of dairy.  Even if you love dairy, it is worth taking a trial break from dairy just to see what will happen.  To see if dairy is causing your acne, go of all dairy for a month and see if it makes a difference to your skin.
  • Gluten can often be a cause of acne, as with dairy it is worth taking a trial break from gluten and see how it affects the skin.  A one month complete break from gluten is often enough to see a huge difference in the skin. Go wild! Try going off of gluten and dairy at the same time and see your skin start to heal!

Hormones and Acne:

 

Hormones definitely affect the skin and the best method is to try to balance the hormones themselves.  The best way to balance the hormones is through using  herbs which help to balance the hormones.  Bonus is that not only will your skin look better but you will feel better as well.  While it is recommended to go to a qualified herbalist and have a remedy prepared that is the correct formula for you, below is a list of commonly found herbs that might be of assistance in treating a hormonal imbalance.

  • Evening primrose oil is my favorite and is general enough and broad enough for almost everyone to use, and it can be taken safely for long periods of time.  A minimum of 2 years is recommended when taking evening primrose oil.
  • Black cohosh helps to balance estrogen which makes it effective for both PMS as well as menopause and of course if an estrogen imbalance is causing acne, black cohosh can help to remedy that. 
  • Agnus castus helps to increase progesterone production which can not only help reduce acne but also help with PMS and menopause symptoms.
  • Zinc deficiency specifically, as well as other mineral deficiencies can be a cause of acne.  Try taking a natural tonic such as mumio to add necessary minerals to your diet.

The Breath:

Just as the lungs breathe, the skin breathes too.  Focusing on the breath and even practicing breathing exercises can be a wonderful self-help tool to clear up acne.  Here is a simple breathing exercise called box breathing that can help increase awareness of the breath and encourage diaphragmatic breathing.

  • Lie flat on your back, either a bed or yoga mat works great.
  • Place your left hand on your chest and your right hand on your abdomen and breathe normally for a moment.
  • Now, fully release all of the air out of your lungs as you exhale.
  • On your next inhale, try to make your right hand on your belly rise as you inhale slowly to the count of four. Fill your lungs entirely and then hold the air in your lungs as you count to four.
  • Exhale to the count to four again and feel your belly deflate and move back toward the floor.
  • Hold for another count of four before repeating the exercise at least two more times.

    Navon Naturals Acne Products:

    In addition to addressing the internal imbalances, healing the skin itself is crucial to an effective acne treatment.  Below is the full acne regimen and tips how to best utilize the Navon Naturals products.

    • Visage Exfoliating Face Wash is an all purpose face wash that should be used twice daily, morning and evening.  Use it on dry skin and then rinse with water.
    • Acne Serum 3.0 contains anti-bacterial and hormone balancing oils which help to both kill the bacteria causing the acne and to lubricate the skin to allow the pores to open up and remove toxins trapped in the skin.
    • Seaweed Face Mask should be used once to twice a week for a deep cleansing to remove dirt and toxins trapped in the skin.
    • Mask-ne Stick is meant to travel in your purse or pocket and to be used throughout the day on individual pimples. not only does it help the pimples heal faster it is an effective tool to prevent picking at or playing with your skin.   
    • Healing Foundation with SPF is a 3 in 1 product with the triple action of sunscreen, light coverup and healing for acne.  The zinc provides both sun protection and a necessary mineral that is lacking in many people with acne.  Additionally the inclusion of clay and healing oils helps to heal the acne while providing sun protection and coverage.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have or to learn more about natural healing for the skin and body.