Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cure Your Acne Naturally: Part 1


All cases of acne are different. The first step to curing your acne is discovering the type of acne you have. Some people get hormonal acne, other people get acne from clogged pores or from poor diet or stress. What type of acne do you have? Here's a helpful blog post about different types of acne. Here's an acne map from imlookingfabulous.com:


#9&10 should say avoid acid forming foods

Below is a useful guide from mononicole.wordpress.com showing the different types of pimples. Whiteheads and papules are the type of acne that I suffered from and will be what I will discuss today. Pustules and cysts are usually hormonal, hereditary or bacterial acne and sometimes require medical attention. I recommend that you consult a dermatologist if you have severe acne.


My Story
As an adolescent I never had anything more than the occasional monthly zit or two. It wasn't until after the birth of my second child that I began having my first experience with acne. It started with just a few breakouts, but eventually covered my entire face. I was devastated. I tried so many different face washes and lotions to get rid of it. I tried practically every over-the-counter acne face wash and lotion. I tried products from Clinique, Mary Kay, ProActive and Murad. I must have spent hundreds of dollars over the course of two years trying to clear my acne. Luckily, I practically became a make-up artist and learned how to hide most of my acne, but it was still embarrassing and I could never leave the house without make-up. I even went to bed with make-up on because I didn't want my husband to see my ugly scars and forming zits. I got to the point where it began to affect my self-esteem.

Don't Let Acne Rob Your Happiness
I'm not sure what caused the epiphany, but one day I realized that I couldn't keep worrying about my face or keep spending money on acne solutions. I couldn't continue to let my acne rob me of my happiness. I decided to just live with it and to be happy with myself no matter what I looked like. It was a liberating thing to let go of the worry and realize that my worth did not fluctuate based upon the condition of my face. My acne didn't go away with this epiphany. In fact, it wasn't until several months later that I began to see my face clear up. But I stopped letting it bother me and I was a lot happier for doing that! So that is my first word of advice to anyone seeking a cure for their acne. Love yourself now. Don't wait to be happy until your face clears up. You are beautiful and valuable because you are a child of Heavenly Father.

Focus on Your Health
Most likely you have been dealing with your acne backwards. If you try to treat your acne topically before you treat it internally, then your efforts will be wasted. It's like trying to keep clean while wading in the mud. You have to get out of the mud first. My acne cleared up after I stopped focusing on my acne and started to focus on my health. My acne cleared up almost accidentally, as a natural by-product to my healthier lifestyle.

Acne Heals Slowly
The thing you need to be realistic about as you begin to implement the advice I'm going to share is that healing acne takes time. It can take up to 2-3 months to have a completely clear face again. Some people will see improvements almost immediately, others it will take longer. For some it will take a full month to see any changes. One of the biggest mistakes in acne treatment is to make too many changes too quickly. Whatever you try, give it at least a full 30 days. Otherwise you will just aggravate and increase your acne. Trust me. I know how frustrating it can be to wait, but it's worth it! Unless your face is actively getting worse, don't stop the treatment. I am going to share with you the changes I made that helped to cure my acne, but keep in mind that it will take time and everyone is different.

Start With Sugar
Stop making excuses and just make the commitment today to stop eating so much sugar and junk food. I was one of the people that would rather pay $100 for a cure-all face wash than to get rid of sugar. But even then, expensive acne treatments will not work because you haven't gotten rid of one of the biggest contributors to acne. I had a horrible soda habit and I didn't think it was a big deal or contributing to my acne. But eliminating soda was the #1 thing that made the biggest difference in my acne. If you do nothing else, limit the amount of sugar you have and you will be surprised at the improvement in your complexion. You may not have to do anything else. Do not ignore this advice because it seems too simple. Sometimes the best answers are the ones right in front of us. Every time I start to break out again I can always trace it back to having too much sugar. Once your face is clear, for most people, the occasional treat will not cause a problem. It's the daily doses of sugar that cause the problem. But until your face is clear, I would stay away from all soda, candy, ice cream, and any other heavy-sugar-laden food.

Identify Food Triggers
Sometimes clearing your acne is as easy as eliminating foods that trigger your acne. Some of the biggest offenders are wheat and dairy. How do you know if you have a food allergy? Try the elimination diet method. You eliminate the 8 major food allergy offenders, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat for 28 days to allow your gut time to heal. This is a good time to eat rice and broth and other gentle foods. Slowly add back in fish, shellfish, nuts, tree nuts and eggs and add back dairy and wheat last. Add the foods one at a time with a week in between. If your acne and general health improves during the 28 days of elimination, then you can be sure you've got some type of food allergy or sensitivity. If your acne or adverse symptoms return when reintroducing any of the foods, then you have identified which one (if not multiple ones) you are either allergic or sensitive too. I personally used this method to heal my gut and determine that I had a gluten sensitivity. Later on I used a special method of acupressure to reverse my sensitivity, but that's a topic for another post!

Balance Hormones
Since acne is often caused by an imbalance in hormones, it might be worth your time to focus on balancing your hormones. Some theories suggest that acne is caused by an excess of the hormone androgen. The human body is complex and more specifically, our hormone balance is an intricate and delicate matter with many domino affects. If you suspect you are having a severe hormonal imbalance, visiting your doctor and getting some blood work done might be beneficial to you. At any rate, there are a few natural treatments that you can try to see if it helps. For an amazing article about balancing your hormones naturally, read this post from Wellness Mama. One simple treatment is increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber can actually help to eliminate excess androgen and estrogen in the body. I add a little ground flax to my morning green smoothie for an easy way to make sure I get enough fiber. Which leads me to the next treatment...

Green Smoothies
Incorporating green smoothies was one of the first healthy changes I made that made a huge difference in how my skin looked and my energy levels. Not only do green smoothies help detox the body, they also give your skin a healthy glow. Green smoothies are an easy way to get your daily serving of vegetables. There is no specific recipe for green smoothies, just a guideline to follow which makes them incredibly easy to make. Here's the general idea:

Fill your blender with:
3-4 cups of green leafy veggies (spinach, parsley, kale, etc.)
Add a cup of frozen fruit (berries are a great choice)
Add 1/2 to a whole banana or 1/2 of an avocado
Add enough filtered water to get the ingredients to start blending (usually about a cup or so)
Optional: Whey protein, yogurt or kefir
Optional: Sweeten with 1 cup of 100% fruit juice, maple syrup (do not use honey as it will clump up), coconut water (or coconut powder)
Optional add-ins: TBS of Ground flax-seed, maca powder, bee pollen, aloe vera, probiotics or chia seeds

Don't Forget
Most people trying to clear up acne already know the importance of washing your face daily and removing make-up at night. But don't forget to change pillow cases, clean make-up brushes, use a clean wash cloth everyday and clean your cell phone screen often. If you're using old make-up try buying new make-up. Switch to a powder mineral make-up which is much less likely to clog your pores. I love Bare Mineral products. The less make-up you can wear, the better. Use a concealer stick to spot-treat and cover pimples instead of using concealer all over your face.

The Obvious
I'm sure I don't need to state the obvious, but in case you don't already know, it bares repeating. You should be drinking plenty of water each day, exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Water is the cheapest and best way to detox your body. It is often overlooked because it seems too simple, like cutting out sugar. Get yourself a new water bottle to motivate yourself to drink more water during the day. Exercise improves the body's circulation which helps improve your complexion. Get your heart rate up at least 3 times a week at minimum. It can be as simple as dancing in your kitchen or going for a hike. Don't overcomplicated it, just get out and move. Getting enough sleep improves your overall health, not to mention it will help with those bags under your eyes. These three things are easier said than done, but are vital to a healthy body and clear skin. If you aren't doing them, then don't waste your time on anything else. Employ these free acne solutions before moving on to the others.

Now that we've covered taking care of acne from the inside, now it's time for Part 2 where I reveal my topical acne treatments that really work!

2 comments:

George Chambers said...

This is a must-read! Almost everyone has experienced acne at one point in their life. There are lots of solution out there, but in my opinion, it’s best to know first what the different kinds of acne and what can cause them to appear. From here, they’ll able to prevent it from spreading or even appearing on their faces. Getting advice from a specialist is a good thing to consider as well. Thanks for sharing this.

George

Jenae said...

Thanks George! I agree. If you don't get to the root it is like putting a band-aid on a well. You have to stop it at the source.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...