(NaturalHealth365) Acne can be a stubborn problem, challenging to resolve. With hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of acne remedies on the market, it can be frustrating to know where to turn. We all know that chronic acne can lead to complications, both physically and emotionally, making effective treatment all the more important.
What causes acne?
One of the biggest fallacies about acne is that it comes from a single cause, such as not keeping the face clean enough. Those suffering with acne, who have scrubbed their faces nearly raw or used enough chemicals to cause their skin to flake, know this to be untrue.
In reality, acne can flare up, in individuals, for a great number of often-diverse reasons. Among the more common factors are:
1. Diet that contains certain foods more likely to cause breakouts in certain individuals.
2. Activities that increase likelihood of blocked pores like, using toxic facial creams.
3. Sensitivity to chemical “acne cures” or treatments.
4. Physical, emotional and psychological chronic stress.
5. Hormonal imbalances or fluctuations in normal hormonal levels.
6. Lack of adequate rest.
7. Alcohol consumption and substance abuse.
8. Genetic predisposition to acne flare ups.
A plan of action to STOP acne
Even if you are uncertain about the causes behind your acne, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce problem acne in natural ways while avoiding the harm that chemical treatments can cause to your skin and general health.
Start an exercise routine: It may seem an unlikely way to combat pimples, but hitting the gym can reduce your acne problems from a number of fronts. Allowing your body to sweat is a natural way to cleanse your pores.
But, a good workout routine can also improve your metabolism and reduce stress – both common factors in acne. What’s the bonus to this lifestyle change? You will look and feel better, giving your self-confidence a much-needed boost.
Give cosmetics a natural makeover: Not only should you avoid using harsh chemical treatments on your acne, but your skincare products and cosmetics should also be made from ingredients that are kind to your skin.
The majority of make-up products found on the market today contain chemicals that can not only harm you skin, but make acne breakouts more likely as well. Invest in a set of natural skincare products and if you wear cosmetics, opt for natural products that will help boost your skin’s health.
Improve your diet: Trigger foods are not likely a myth. Researchers believe that certain foods can trigger acne in some individuals. The key is determining which foods are most likely to cause acne flare ups for you. And, even thought it’s not widely known, gut health is directly connected to the health of your skin.
For example, in some people, conventionally-produced dairy products can be a serious allergic issue. For others, poor-quality chocolate (loaded with sugar) can bring on pimples. Your best route is to choose a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and protein.
Then, monitor your skin when you treat yourself to something sugary or after consuming low-grade dairy foods. Note any changes and learn which foods are best avoided.
While you’re at it, consider reducing or eliminating your consumption of alcohol. It is not unusual to find that your acne has worsened after a night of drinking.
Get plenty of ‘beauty’ sleep: There’s a reason you can’t live without adequate sleep: your body needs proper rest in order to function.
But did you ever stop to consider that your hormones, stress level, and metabolism are all impacted by the number of Z’s you are able to catch? All of these are critical factors in reducing acne problems, so be sure your head hits the pillow long enough each night on a regular basis. 10 pm to 2 am are the most important hours for regeneration.
Are you well hydrated? Your body is about 70 percent water, so be sure to drink plenty of clean, pure water. Above all, avoid tap water – which could be destroying your health.
Keeping yourself properly hydrated will improve the overall health of your skin and lessen conditions that can lead to an increase in acne severity. If you don’t have access to a healthy source of natural spring water, use a high-quality water purification system to remove harmful heavy metals and other unwanted impurities.
Great ways to naturally care for your skin
According to Dr. Brent A. Bauer, MD, Mayo Clinic, there are a number of topical as well as oral treatments that can be effective in reducing acne breakouts and soothing inflammation. These include:
Zinc supplements: Zinc is important for wound healing, and it is also known to reduce inflammation, so taking a zinc supplement with food may improve your acne. In addition to oral supplements, zinc can be added to lotions or creams that target breakouts.
Alpha hydroxy acids: These are naturally occurring acids found in citrus fruits and other foods. Used topically, they can help improve acne by removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores, leaving skin looking renewed and fresh.
Be aware that some people experience side effects, including redness, and mild skin irritation and stinging. If you have acne scars, alpha hydroxy acids may also improve their appearance.
Tea tree oil: This topical treatment is most effective when applied as a gel containing 5 percent tea tree oil. Tea tree oil may cause a skin reaction known as contact dermatitis, so watch your skin closely for any unexpected changes.
It can take some time to see results of applying tea tree oil. Avoid this treatment if you have acne rosacea because your symptoms could worsen.
Azelaic acid: This is another naturally occurring acid, found in animal products and whole-grain cereals. Azelaic acid is thought of to improve acne because it is known to have antibacterial properties.
Conventional chemical acne treatments can be replaced with a 20 percent azelaic acid cream without a loss in effectiveness.
Brewer’s yeast: Be aware that this natural treatment has been associated with an increase in migraines and intestinal upset in some people taking it. However, a certain strain of brewer’s yeast, known as CBS 5926, has been shown to help reduce acne.