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Acne is caused by one or more factors, including excess oil production, poor exfoliation, genetics, diet, stress, and hormones. Many people trying to control their acne resort to harsh prescription or over-the-counter medications that dry the skin, which then cause excess oil production, creating a vicious cycle. But the good news is that breakouts can be controlled and even eliminated completely with an inside-out treatment plan focused on natural acne remedies.
Did you know?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 50 million Americans suffer from acne, including 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24.
Topical Natural Acne Remedies
Because acne affects physical appearance, most people want to deal with it from the outside first. This is possible by following a simple, four-step strategy that includes using the following natural acne remedies:
- A nontoxic exfoliating cleanser with antibacterial ingredients
- Essential oils, such as lemongrass or lavender, to calm overactive oil glands
- A natural mud mask and exfoliating peel
- A flavonoid-rich, hydrating cream
Cranberry, tea tree, and totarol from New Zealand are effective antibacterial natural acne remedies. Fruit flavonoids, enzymes, and herbs such as aloe, green tea, neem, and shea help hydrate, calm, and support skin cells. Fruit pulps, such as pumpkin purée, are rich sources of vitamin A and other carotenoids, which can help heal acne.
It is important to use products that contain nontoxic ingredients that won’t dry or irritate the skin. Products that excessively strip skin of its natural moisture content can actually make acne worse. Synthetic chemicals and toxic ingredients in conventional products can also increase inflammation and damage skin tissue.
There’s little doubt that food influences acne severity. Many studies have shown that dairy products in particular can irritate or cause acne. It is important to determine dietary acne triggers, which can vary from one individual to another. Food allergies can also cause acne. In addition to dairy, food allergens that can contribute to acne include refined carbohydrates, nuts, and chocolate. All forms of refined carbohydrates, especially in the form of soda, have been shown to contribute to acne. In addition to sugar, foods such as breads, chips, processed flour, and trans or hydrogenated fats are also likely to promote acne.
When it comes to natural acne remedies, a diet that emphasizes organic vegetables, fresh fish, and low-fat, high-fiber foods is the best place to start. In addition, drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily to stay hydrated inside and out. Dietary supplements are available to provide anti-acne nutrients and help complement a healthful diet. Some of the key anti-acne nutrients are zinc, essential fatty acids (including flaxseed and borage oil), and vitamins A, B6, and C.
Acne can be emotionally, as well as physically, damaging, but with the help of natural acne remedies — including dietary changes and nontoxic topical treatments — you can put breakouts behind you and put your best face forward to the world.