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Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that affects 85% of Americans at some point in their lives.

Although it appears harmless, it is actually more than a cosmetic problem.

Acne can cause emotional stress and low self-esteem for many of those who experience  unwanted pimples and blemishes, and can even lead to long-term facial scarring on some individuals.

Yet treating and reducing acne is actually easier than it might seem.

Most people just cover red spots up with makeup and hope that the dermatologist can provide topical solutions, but conventional treatments aren’t just expensive, they also lead to uncomfortable side-effects like dryness, excess redness, irritation, and other unwelcomed side-effects.

Moreover, these treatments just cover up the problem rather than addressing the cause underlying the issue.

Luckily, there are actually quite a number natural home remedies that you can use to treat acne and prevent it from occurring in the first place.

 

What Causes Acne?

Acne is a manifestation of toxic heat coming out through the skin.

From a biomedical standpoint we know that hormones such as androgens and progesterone can stimulate the skin to produce an oily substance called sebum. If there is too much sebum in the pores, bacteria and skin pigments get trapped, leading to pimples and blackheads.

Heredity, hormonal imbalances, shifts within the menstrual cycle, allergies, stress, nutritional deficiencies, digestive imbalances, poor diet, toxic exposure, and certain drugs can all tip the scales lead some people to be more prone to outbreaks than others.

 

Internal Acne Treatments

Diet

The first place to look when you want to prevent and treat acne is not in the medicine cabinet, but on your plate.

Acne is a clear indication that there is excess heat in your system, and that your body is trying to detox through your skin.

If you want to have clear skin, it is essential that you clean up your digestive tract and eliminate inflammatory foods. That way your system won’t get overloaded and can more effectively eliminate toxins.

Foods to avoid: Fried foods, rich and oily foods, spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, dairy, shellfish, white mushrooms, and stinging nettle. Limit red meat consumption, and if you eat sweets, only eat a very small amount at a time. Eating larger amounts of sugar all at once can lead to insulin spikes that can cause acne flare-ups.

Eat more: Fiber-rich foods, spinach, squash, celery, carrots, cabbage, beet greens, dandelion, potatoes, burdock root, mung beans, cherries, buckwheat, millet, and brown rice. Drink water instead of other beverages and make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Detox

If you want to eliminate acne, it’s a good idea to give yourself a fresh start.

For 30 days, eat nothing but vegetables, fruits, some meat, eggs, and optional whole grains like brown rice and millet.

Use only avocado oil, coconut oil, and ghee for cooking, and drizzle meals generously with olive oil to provide your body with the good fats it needs to effectively absorb nutrients from your food.

Make sure all ingredients are organic, and that all animal products come from pasture-raised animal farms.

You can also talk to your health-care provider about including liver-supporting herbs like barberry, coptis, goldenseal, Oregon grape root, dandelion root, and milk thistle to your daily regimen. 20 drops of tincture from any of these herbs, taken 3 times a daily before meals, can help boost liver function and reduce inflammation.

Take note that when you do a detox your acne might get worse before it gets better as your body processes out old toxins that have built up over time, but once the initial flare-up subsides you will have clearer skin than you’ve had in a long time.

 

Improve Digestion and Immune Function

If you’re not properly absorbing nutrients, your overall health will suffer, including your skin.

To boost your digestive capacity, take acidophilus (as directed on the label) to refurbish your gut bacteria.

You might also consider eating garlic, raw and refrigerated flaxseed oil, chlorophyll, and unpasteurized fermented sauerkraut to fight off infections and support metabolic balance.

 

Natural Topical Treatments

While the internal remedies mentioned above are great for preventing acne over the long-term, there are also short-term topical solutions that will help reduce the appearance and duration of acute acne flare-ups.

The Best Way to Clean Your Face

Because acne is exacerbated by oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, it’s important to gently clean your face and astringe your pores every day.

First thing’s first, if you wear makeup, make sure you thoroughly remove it with an organic makeup remover like sesame oil every evening. To your skin, makeup is added dirt, so you want to clean it off as well as you can.

Then, avoid using harsh chemical soaps to scrub your face, as even those that are advertised to treat acne actually end up doing more damage than good to the condition of your skin.

Instead, steam your face over a bowl of hot water in the evening, rinse with cold water, and gently pat skin dry with a clean washcloth.

If you wish you can add fresh rosemary and lavender, or essential oils to the hot water. Rosemary has natural antimicrobial properties, and lavender is well known to promote relaxation in addition to relieving inflammation and pain.

Next, wipe the surface of your skin with witch hazel, a natural antimicrobial astringent that is gentle on skin and especially good for oozing eruptions. It can also help reduce the appearance of pores.

Finish with aloe gel and calendula cream to cool inflammation and promote healing.

You might also choose to add sesame oil as a finishing touch, as it contains natural antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that will moisturize and clarify your skin simultaneously.

Acne-Reducing Masks

1. Cucumber, aloe-vera, and watermelon have natural cooling properties that can reduce inflammation and are therefore excellent for topical application on skin that has acne. Blend a cucumber or watermelon with a tablespoon of aloe gel and apply over the affected area. Leave on for twenty minutes, rinse it off, and pat dry with a clean washcloth.

2. Roast buckwheat, grind it into a powder, mix with rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar to make it into a thick paste and apply to the affected area. Leave on for twenty minutes, rinse well, and pat dry with a clean washcloth.

3. Grind pearl barley into a powder, mix into a paste with aloe gel and leave on overnight. Rinse well in the morning and pat dry with a clean washcloth.

 

Acne-Reducing Beverages

In addition to drinking mostly water, there are a couple of beverages that can help promote clearer skin.

First, drink warm water with two teaspoons of raw local honey in the morning on an empty stomach to lubricate the intestines and promote effective toxin elimination.

Secondly, dandelion, carrot top, and beet green tea can boost metabolism and help your body eliminate toxins more effectively.

 

Finally, stress-management techniques, eating mostly vegetables, and getting adequate exercise are all essential if you want to have clearer skin.

And if you diligently try all of these home remedies for acne for a couple of months and still aren’t satisfied with the results, I recommend finding a local Chinese medicine practitioner to help balance your system from the inside out.

 

Do you have other secrets for reducing acne? Share them in the comments section below!

 

References:

1. The Tao of Nutrition, 3rd Edition by Maoshing Ni, Ph.D., O.M.D., and Cathy McNease, B.S., Dipl. C.H.

2. Prescriptions for Herbal Healing, 2nd Edition by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

3. Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edtion by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

 

 

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