Acne can strike at any age, unfortunately. While we tend to only associate it with teenagers, acne can pop up (pun intended) at other ages, too. I was one of those people that had no real acne problems as a teenager, but did have breakouts as an adult…go figure.
Hormones tend to play a BIG key role in the development of acne, as well as nutrition and many other factors.
The acne treatments sold in your average store can contain way too many harsh ingredients and may end up doing more harm than good to your skin.
Here are some ideas for natural treatments for acne, regardless of what age you are.
1. Take a Good Multivitamin
Many people are simply deficient in certain key vitamins and minerals. Getting an annual blood test from your healthcare provider may be a good start to see if you need a little extra help in certain areas.
I prefer a whole food vitamin such as Megafood, but feel free to explore others out there, too. And even though a good multivitamin is a good idea it shouldn’t replace your diet, which brings me to my next point.
2. Change Your Diet
There is no one thing that causes acne. The causes will differ from person to person. With regards to food, anything from dairy to refined sugar and processed foods is said to cause and/or exacerbate acne. Processed foods, especially, often contain artificial dyes and preservatives, which have been shown to affect hormone levels in the human body.
Fresh, whole foods are your best bet when trying to treat acne with food. Here are some of the best foods to eat when it comes to clearing your skin:
- Blueberries and Pomegranates: rich in antioxidant anthocyanins which help protect you from fine lines and dryness
- Dark Chocolate: flavonoids protect the skin from sun damage
- Spinach: vital nutrients and antioxidants help fight inflammation and free radical damage
- Walnuts: omega 3 and vitamin E make for smoother skin, healthier hair and stronger bones
- Yogurt: zinc helps calm skin inflammation and help cell regeneration
- Tomatoes: lycopene protects the skin from sun damage
- Kiwis: vitamin C stimulates collagen production and repair damage to skin-cell DNA
- Edamame: isoflavones in soy ease inflammation and slow down collagen breakdown
- Sweet potatoes, carrots and butternut squash: the body turns beta-carotene into skin-smoothing retinol
- Green tea: antioxidant catechins help prevent certain cancers and stave off sunburn
3. Drink more water
One more time – water is the best choice of beverage for your body. Staying hydrated is key so aim for at least 6 cups a day, however, you may need more. Water will keep your cells hydrated and keep things moving in the right direction, including the bad stuff that caused your acne in the first place. So, think of drinking more water as more of a prevention and not necessarily a remedy or treatment.
4. Control your stress
Research has found a link between stress and acne. When our bodies are stressed, they produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can then lead to acne.
5. Switch to natural and/or homemade cleansers
Helping your acne heal also means applying specific treatments to your face. But, remember the products in the store may not be the best choice. Here are some homemade options to try until you find the right store bought natural product for you:
Yogurt & Honey Mask – Mix 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Apply to your face as a cleanser, massage gently. Leave it on for as long as you can, up to 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Oatmeal Face Mask – Grind rolled oats in a blender until they’re a fine powder. Mix the oatmeal with enough water to make a paste and apply it to the problem areas. Leave on for a bit, then rinse off.
Raw Honey Mask – this is my personal favorite and what I use with great results. Wet your face with water first, then apply a thin layer of raw honey. Leave on for about 15 minutes, then rinse off.
Banana & Honey Mask – Mix one banana and 1 tablespoon of honey together. Add a few drops of juice from either an orange or a lemon. Apply to your face for 15 minutes before rinsing with a cool washcloth or a steaming warm washcloth.
6. Moisturize with oils
Instead of using traditional facial moisturizers use oils. Believe it or not, using oils will not make your skin oily. Jojoba oil, which is really a liquid wax, is the closest to our own skin oils as we can get. Other suggested oils are argan (I use this), olive, avocado, and unrefined coconut oil.
Got any clear skin tips you would like to share?