Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert
Have you exhausted every option in the books to clear acne without success? RESCU expert, Anthia Koullouros, shares how to achieve smooth and healthy skin with six natural remedies.
1. Eat to clear skin
– Identify and eliminate foods that may cause or aggravate acne such as sugar, refined grains, gluten, dairy, vegetable oils and processed foods in general. These processed foods and ingredients displace healthy, nutrient dense foods, which help heal the skin and balance the underlying causes contributing to acne. High sugar and carbohydrate consumption in general can promote hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance, which in turn increases androgen hormones causing oily, clogged skin.
– Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, though keep fruit to a minimum and avoid just eating tropical sweet fruit. Fructose behaves the same as sucrose or sugar.
– Eat quality grass fed animal protein in the form of eggs and meat, which contain more anti-inflammatory omega oils and choose to eat wild, non-farmed fish and seafood.
– Eat plenty of antimicrobial and blood purifying fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, basil, thyme, oregano and sage.
2. Drink to clear skin
– Certain herbal teas will not only hydrate your body but will deliver important healing constituents with every cup.
– Burdock root or leaf (Arctium lappa) is indicated for boils, sores and inflammatory conditions. Drink 1 teaspoon per cup of boiled water 3 times per day.
– Echincaea root (Echinacaea angustifolia/purpurea) is a potent anti- infective indicated for acne. Drink 1 teaspoon per cup of boiled water 3 times per day.
3. Detox impurities
– The skin is the largest organ of elimination. We sweat toxins and impurities via the skin. If the other organs of elimination and detoxification are compromised this may congest the skin. An herbal tonic or tea can be used to promote detoxification via the bowels, liver, lymphatic and urinary systems. Common herbs are St Mary’s Thistle, Dandelion root and leaf, Yellow dock, Oregan grape and Goldenseal. See your qualified Naturopath or Herbalist for a prescription.
4. Less is best skincare
– Did you know that many ingredients found in your beauty regime are comedogenic, which means they clog pores? And that over washing your skin can actually dry out and irritate it even more, which worsens your acne and triggers future breakouts.
– Use gentle, chemical free products that support the skin’s natural health function whilst you are addressing the underlying cause of your acne.
5. Gut flora is king
– Constipation and the reabsorption of toxins have been linked to acne. Poor gut flora health due to an overgrowth of bacteria or pathogenic infection can cause constipation as well as intestinal permeability and overall poor immune health. Intestinal permeability allows the influx of unwanted material or toxins into the blood stream. Gut flora health make-up 2/3rds of your immune system. So you can see how vital it is to create and maintain a healthy gut. For chronic acne associated with constipation see your health care professional and request for a comprehensive stool test to assess gut flora health and microbial imbalance.
– Consume a diet rich in healthy probiotic foods such as cultured vegetables and drinks, made from non-dairy ingredients. Kombucha and sauerkraut are two examples.
6. Hone in your hormones
– An excess production of androgen hormones can trigger excess oil production leading to clogged pores and breakouts. Avoid sugar and excess carbohydrates to start with and have your hormones tested by you healthcare practitioner. If the pill has helped clear your acne then a hormonal imbalance is one most likely contributing cause.
– Avoid exogenous sources of hormones, which act as endocrine disruptors. They are mostly man-made, found in various materials such as pesticides, metals, additives or contaminants in food as well as personal care products. As the name suggests they disruptthe endocrine or hormone system. They increase the production of certain hormones; decrease the production of others; imitate hormones; interfere with hormone signaling; compete with essential nutrients; bind to essential hormones and accumulate in organs that produce hormones. Bisphenol A found in plastics and pesticides found in non-organic foods, are two examples.
– Balance your stress as stress hormone cortisol can be disruptive to general hormone balance, creates more inflammation and increases your requirements for extra nutrients.
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