Acne: It’s Not Just About Good Skincare
by Organically Becca Friday, March 23
Did you know that acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States? It affects roughly 40-50 million Americans. Most people think it’s just a right of passage for teenagers, but actually, acne is not “normal” and is really a sign of something internal that’s off balance.
And unfortunately for some people, acne doesn’t just magically go away when they become adults. Even more so for women–they make up about 75% of adult acne cases (sadly, I was one of them!).
So what can you do when topical medications aren’t making your zits magically disappear? Let’s take a look at some diet, lifestyle, and skincare changes that are proven to help your body heal itself from within!
Stay hydrated. This sounds obvious, but staying hydrated is key to flushing toxins and keeping your skin clear. If you think water is too boring, try adding some lemon or cucumber which also can benefit your skin. A general rule is to divide your weight in half, and have that much in oz. per day. So if you weigh 150 lbs, try to drink at least 75 oz. of water per day.
Lessen your sugar intake. The American Heart Association recommends most American women eat no more than 20 grams of sugar per day, 36 grams for men. If you pay attention to ingredient labels, you might notice that sugar is added to SO many foods! Meaning, we’re most likely eating more than the recommended amount. It spikes your blood sugar, which in turn causes inflammation and your skin overproduces sebum. This clogs pores and leads to acne!
Heal your gut. More and more research is showing the importance of a happy gut flora. Your gut contains both good and bad bacteria, and you want to have more good than bad obviously! Having a healthy gut supports skin and immune health, and even mental health. Fermented foods also help control sebum production. Some fermented foods are: kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut. You can also take a probiotic, but make sure it’s high quality.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Most vegetable oils (like Canola) are highly processed, genetically modified, and contain high amounts of trans fats and omega-6s, which are very inflammatory. These oils can also alter your sebum and make it more susceptible to bacteria, causing acne. Other inflammatory foods include gluten, dairy, sugar, trans fats, and processed foods. Try incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like green leafy veggies, avocados, beets, broccoli, pineapple, salmon, and grass-fed bone broth.
Sleep and reduce stress. Stress causes acne and acne causes stress. It’s a vicious cycle. Stress also kills off good bacteria in your gut, which is crazy! The stress hormone called cortisol also causes acne. Getting enough sleep is vital too. When you’re tired and don’t sleep, that induces stress and makes your body work harder to stay healthy. It’s also very important to sweat and work out. You might think that sweat makes acne worse but exercising and sweating helps rid your body of toxins!
Go outside. Not only will the sunshine make you happy, it will naturally give your body vitamin D, which is essential for fighting inflammation. Vitamin D also reduces oil production, is anti-microbial, and helps with stress.
Avoid endocrine disruptors. We live in a world full of endocrine disruptors! Whether it’s BPA in plastic, harmful chemicals in makeup and personal care products, or even added hormones in our food. Our bodies are having to deal with crazy amounts of hormones like never before, especially estrogen dominance. This usually manifests itself as acne, especially around the chin and jaw area.
Wash makeup brushes and pillowcases frequently. Did you know that 25% of people never clean their makeup brushes?! It’s super important to keep them clean because they can trap SO much bacteria. Same with your pillowcases, especially if you sleep with your makeup on (that’s a no-no!).
Skincare Products for Acne-Prone Skin
Most conventional acne products have harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. In my experience, these can cause skin to be inflamed, dry, red, and irritated. Thankfully, the Choosy Chick carries a ton of natural skincare products that are perfect for targeting acne. Here are a few:
Release your inner goddess with Aphrodite Facial Oil by Magic Organic Apothecary. It’s a dry oil blend of beneficial oils like rosehip, Damask rose, yarrow, and rose geranium. These help combat acne scarring, reduce redness and blemishes, even skin tone, and calm irritation. The Daily Cleansing Ritual helps remove excess oil, impurities, and give your skin a deep, balancing cleanse that will remove traces of makeup. It contains organic yarrow which naturally contains nature's antiseptic ingredient: tea tree.
Using both the Prim Botanicals Face Oil AND Potion #1 together is a dynamic duo for acne! The Face Oil contains omega fatty acids and organic oils like cold-pressed sea buckthorn, wild moringa, and black cumin seed. These reduce inflammation and help prevent blemishes and congestion. The Potion #1 is concentrated detoxifying spot treatment that removes impurities while banishing and preventing breakouts.
Dr. Alkaitis products were created for his daughter who suffered from cystic acne. The trial kit contains a purifying facial cleanser, herbal toner, nourishing treatment oil, and soothing gel. All holistically made and suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin. They are made with edible living ingredients that are certified organic/biodynamic and wild-crafted herbs, fruits sea vegetables, and virgin cold-pressed vegetable oils.
Some moisturizers can be too much for acne-prone or oily skin. This Kimberly Sayer facial moisturizer is lightweight AND contains an SPF. It won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, plus it’s made with natural and organic ingredients including lemon oil to detox the skin, minimize oil production, and help dry up acne.
Who doesn’t love a green face mask?! Made with only 5 ingredients, but they pack a punch! It contains French green clay (to absorb excess oil and detox as it draws impurities from the skin), cucumber peel (to tone and keep the skin soft), white willow bark (removes excess skin cells, keeps pores clear, reduces inflammation), rosehip (for a healthy glow), and rosemary (natural antiseptic).
This alcohol-free, natural astringent toner reduces the appearance of large pores and is suitable for acne-prone skin. It has apple cider vinegar, green, and white teas to minimize pores while providing antiseptic, antifungal properties. It also has cilantro, geranium, and lavender which have natural forms of salicylic acid in them to help calm breakouts.
For even more, check out other Choosy Chick products from the Oily + Acne-Prone collection.
As someone who struggled with adult acne but overcame it, I know you can do it too! Just be patient, listen to your body, and help it heal naturally. You got this!
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Written by: Organically Becca
Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She’s on a mission to get the word out about chemicals found in our everyday items like makeup, food, and personal care products. She provides education on ways you can live a more holistic life and easy swaps you can make in your routine to naturally safer products. Check out Becca’s blog organicallybecca.com and catch her on Instagram @organicallybecca.