Acne is something that instils fear in the best of us. We all like to look our best and often even the smallest outbreak of acne can make us lose confidence. There are many things that can cause acne, hormones, genetics, stress…. Usually diet doesn’t cause the acne, but can definitely worsen a pre-existing condition. So what can you do?
If you are prone to getting acne there are few areas to look at first:
What is your skincare regime? Ensure you cleanse twice daily with a good quality cleanser. If you tend to be on the oilier side then you may be more suited to a gentler foaming cleanser, this will help to establish balance without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Choose organic where possibly to not only reduce the chemical load on your body (and yes your skin is highly absorbent and will happily absorb anything) but also chemicals tend to be more irritating to the skin.
Avoid sugars as much as possible – especially in their refined forms as sugars are highly inflammatory at the best of times and can exacerbate already “angry” / “inflamed” skin.
If the outbreak is happening around ovulation or coming into your period, consult a qualified Naturopath so they can help normalise your hormones. It is important to see a practitioner in this regard as often we spend a lot of money unnecessarily on trying to fix these issues after being given the wrong advice. Given the correct supplementation and dietary adjustments in conjunction with the correct skincare it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to get your skin back to its glowing best.
Eat foods rich in essential minerals such as selenium and zinc. Zinc rich foods are beef, ginger and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Unfortunately we aren’t able to get as much selenium from our foods as the selenium levels in our soils are heavily depleted, so a supplemented form may be more suited in this case. The dosage and type of selenium is best determined by a qualified practitioner. Foods that are know to be higher in selenium are garlic, brewers yeast, pecan nuts, wholegrains and almonds.
How much essential fatty acids are you getting in your diet? Ensure you are having enough fatty acids from sources such as chia seeds, flaxseed, fish oils, coconut oil and oil fish as not only will they help from an anti-inflammatory perspective, but also will assist in helping hormones, and keep you skin plump and hydrated.
Water! Often overlooked but flouride free water will help hydrate you, flush out toxins and allow the uptake of iodine from your diet which may be contributing to your acne. Though not a direct link, studies have indicated acne may be a secondary symptom to iodine deficiency related hypothyroidism.
Minimise / Avoid Alcohol, softdrinks and caffeine based drinks as these may exacerbate problem skin. In Chinese medicine caffeine has very “heating” properties which can worsen skin conditions such as acne.
Lastly look for and AVOID these ingredients:
sodium lauryl sulphate
sodium chloride and parabens that will further dry out the skin and exacerbate the problem.
My favourite products:
I just adore both the Mukti and Meditree Organics ranges and from a practitioner perspective find my clients get great results from both! So, I will break down the products from each range that I would recommend for acne.
Gentle Foaming Cleanser, Refreshing Facial Toner, Aloe Vera Moisturiser and Sebogel with the Jojoba Facial Exfoliant at least twice weekly.
Meditree Tea Tree Facial Cleanser with Willowbark
Most importantly, love the skin you are in. Nurture it and it will reward you tenfold.