Clear, healthy skin is a struggle to get at any age. Although acne can be caused by out-of-control teenage hormones, emergence into adulthood doesn’t guarantee freedom from skin problems. Hormonal imbalances can continue into adulthood, and acne can also be caused by factors such as a poor diet and a buildup of toxins in the body. Get relief from unsightly skin problems with these natural remedies for clearing up acne.
Dietary Dos and Don’ts
Nutrition plays a major role in how your skin looks. Avoid processed foods high in sugar and fat. Sugar promotes oil production and provides food for facial bacteria to grow on, while saturated and hydrogenated fats are harder to digest and contribute to skin inflammation. If you suffer from acne, eat a diet high in unprocessed foods. Dark leafy-green vegetables contain important antioxidants for maintaining and repairing skin, and foods high in healthful fats and omega-3 fatty acids such as cold-water fish, nuts and seeds can reduce skin inflammation. Instead of caffeinated beverages, which can irritate the skin, drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of your body.
Flush out Toxins
Removing toxins from your body will help keep your skin fresh and pure. When your body becomes overrun with too many toxins, it can show on your face. Cleanse your body with a three-day vegetable juice fast; try drinking juices made from apples, carrots, beets and green substances such as wheatgrass and chlorella. Our livers are responsible for cleansing our body of toxins, but the high number of pollutants we encounter on a daily basis leaves this critical organ overworked. Give your body a hand in detoxification with these natural remedies for cleansing your liver.
For on-the-spot treatment, try these natural, safe solutions.
Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it useful for combating bacteria on the skin that cause acne. Studies have shown that a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil works similarly to benzoyl peroxide but without the drying effects. Apply a diluted solution of tea tree oil to blemishes twice daily, or try a facial product that contains tea tree oil such as Purple Prairie Botanicals Orange and Tea Tree Facial Bar.
Witch hazel contains high levels of tannins, which makes this natural substance useful for treating various skin conditions. Witch hazel can tighten pores and veins on the face, reducing skin inflammation and minimizing pores, while gently cleansing the skin. Unlike other acne treatments, witch hazel won’t dry out your skin. Apply this natural disinfectant and astringent twice daily to affected areas.
Chamomile is well-known for its ability to relax the body, but this herb can also calm inflamed skin. German chamomile is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and it can also help reduce stress, another contributing factor to acne. Try this skin soothing chamomile spray.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A can reduce production of sebum, an oily skin lubricant that can clog pores, and keratin, a protective protein that covers the skin. Higher dosages of this vitamin are necessary to be effective as an acne treatment, but high dosages can lead to other unpleasant side effects such as bone deterioration. Combining lower dosages of Vitamin A with another skin-promoting nutrient such as vitamin E or zinc can alleviate this problem.
Zinc reduces the buildup of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which can cause acne. Take 50 mg of zinc (not zinc sulfate, which is harder to absorb) twice daily for three months, then lower the dosage to 50 mg once daily.
Vitex can balance out-of-control hormones that lead to acne in both men and women. Take 160 mg of a standardized extract or 40 drops of a tincture daily.
Oregano oil has natural disinfectant and antiseptic properties that can prevent bacteria from building up in your pores. Take 500 mg twice daily.
Burdock root helps detox and purify the body. It also has hormone-balancing properties that make it useful for treating acne. Take 300 to 500 mg or 30 drops of tincture three times daily for eight weeks.