Like many of us, I grew up with hormonal teenage acne.
Although at that age, oily skin and acne are the norm.
Being in your mid-twenties, thirties or forties and suffering from severe facial acne is confusing and totally embarrassing.
Especially when your friends and colleagues all have clear skin.. you can’t help but wallow in self pity and think “WHY ME?!”
Let me assure you – BAD SKIN IS TEMPORARY!!!
I know how depressing it is... you can hardly look at yourself in the mirror without tears welling up... I’ve been there and it is not fun.
But there is a way out of this without the use of harsh chemicals on your delicate skin.
The natural state of your skin is clear beautiful and glowing.
Acne and blemishes are the unnatural state, caused by years and years of disruption and damage. But it can be reversed, I promise.
So how do we reverse bad skin and move towards glowing, radiant, acne-free skin?
It’s all about figuring out the root cause of your acne and making necessary adjustments with as much patience as you can muster up.
Below is a list of the main causes of adult acne:
So how do we workout the root cause of our acne?
Firstly, we need to look for any other symptoms showing up, alongside the acne.
This will help us to detect whether the source of the acne is stemming from hormones, unbalanced gut flora or a trigger food (these being the most common sources of acne).
The good news is the following recommendations are safe avenues for any source of acne. No matter whats going on internally, these 7 pointers will help to steer you towards healthy, glowing, acne and blemish free skin:
1. Make friends with high quality water:
The liver plays a huge role when it comes to acne so flushing the liver with as much water as possible will help. Water also detoxifies your blood and flushes toxins out of the body. The highest quality form of water is found is ALIVE PLANT FOODS like raw vegetables (cucumber, tomato and dark leafy greens being the best). Fruit contains a lot of pure water that also comes with many minerals, antioxidants and nutrients that can heal your skin. It may feel as though fruit is making your skin worse at first. This is called a healing crisis (symptoms that arise when our body starts to detox - it always passes).
2. Ditch the sugar:
Healthy eating sugar addicts: we are fooled into believing certain types of sugars are ok for our health, like agave and palm nectar etc. Yes, these sweeteners have more nutrients in them than sugars found in candy, ice cream and soda although they are still messing with your hormones due to the spike that happens to your blood glucose levels. Try to avoid or limit the sweeteners whilst you are healing your skin. If you have a sweet-tooth-frenzy go for dates or fresh fruit. The fibre within will help to prevent blood sugar spikes resulting in increased insulin levels in the blood.
For those who are still eating the naughty processed sugars, try to reduce your intake as much as possible or better yet go cold turkey and replace with some of the natural sweeteners mentioned above. Be cautious when you grocery shop as 95% of products in your local supermarket have sugar hidden amongst the ingredients. The food producers load sugar into everything to find that ‘bliss point’ where any food tastes delicious and becomes highly addictive to the consumer. Be sure to look at the ingredients on everything you are buying if you want clear skin. Watch out for the following: high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, fructose sweetener, cane sugar, sucrose and dextrose.
3. Stress Less:
When my acne was at it’s peak I was doing everything possible to see change. The one piece I was missing as I was convinced it didn’t make much of a difference.. was stress. When you are stressed you are releasing cortisol into your blood stream. This is the number one acne-causing hormone so reducing stress is a must. If you have a chaotic job or live in a hectic city so therefore have unavoidable stress, take 3-10 seconds as many times as you can throughout your day to close you eyes and take some deep breaths. Do this whenever you feel your stress levels rising. Also, try to stay in the present moment as stress is nothing but worrying about the future or things you can’t control. Starting a meditation or yoga practice are highly recommended.
4. Stop drinking caffeine:
It goes hand in hand with stress and excess cortisol. It boosts your cortisol levels, dehydrates your body and your skin and promotes unhealthy gut flora. Therefore it creates a perfect environment for bad skin.
5. Sleep your way to radiant skin:
Not only does sleep deprivation cause extra cortisol in the bloodstream, it also makes you release more sebum (the oily fat secreted through the pores that causes acne). Sleeping is the rest and repair part of your day and is absolutely essential for clear skin.
6. Food triggers:
We are all bio-chemically wired differently so we are going to have different allergies and triggers. The commonly known foods to cause inflammation and acne are soy, dairy, wheat, corn and peanuts.. but your triggers may not stop there! If you are eating something and noticing a burning/itching sensation on your face which leads to new pimples forming within the next day or two, I can almost guarantee you are eating something that is triggering inflammation in the body. Do an elimination diet to see what is causing the reaction. It may be a temporary trigger so try to remove this food for three months, until your gut health has improved, then incorporate back into your diet in small doses.
7. Become more alkaline:
This is where the transformation lies when it comes to beautiful glowing skin. Have you ever heard of the saying, you are what you eat? This is exceptionally true for your skin. If you are eating crappy food your skin is going to reflect this. By eating lots of vegetables and fruit, you will be getting all the nutrients you need to heal and repair whatever is going on internally that’s creating the acne. Focus on dark leafy greens and the brassica family (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards and kale). Make sure you are eating fibre rich foods (fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains) to ensure healthy elimination.
Incorporate all 7 of these diet and lifestyle tips for 2-3 weeks and see what happens. I guarantee you will see improvement. Your skin as well as everything else will improve drastically over several months of integrating these 7 steps.
There are also some great supplements, depending on what we are trying to balance out. Leave a comment if you need advice on this.
Please be aware, clogged pores or the wrong skincare regime is an unlikely solution to your acne.
This means no toner, spot cream or cleanser is going to reverse this permanently. Please, stop wasting your money and searching for the perfect skincare products. This is burning a hole in your pocket and is addressing the symptom, not the root cause.
The biggest thing you need to remember is to be patient. This won’t last forever although you need to be taking this into your own hands instead of relying on antibiotic creams or drugs from your doctor if you want to remain clear-faced for life. Acne is the first warning signal to more serious health problems due to it being a sign of inflammation, so listen to your body and make some adjustments.
With much love,