Naturally Kick the Acne Habit
Acne is a nuisance, a bane of our teenage lives that likes to hang around well into adulthood for many of us. Clogged pores are to blame for both black heads and white heads. Sebum, an oily substance produced by the body, and dead skin cells, along with bacteria, can form a blockage, but there are many things that contribute to the plugging of our pores. Excessive oil, vitamin deficiency, poor diet, and hormone fluctuations can all lead to acne. There are things you can do to prevent and speed the healing of acne.
Use less makeup. Makeup helps cover blemishes, but it also clogs those pores. Makeup is made from different minerals, oils, dyes, and waxes that don’t let the skin breathe and clean itself the way it’s used to.
Eat well. Many will argue that it doesn’t matter what you put in your body when it comes to acne. Then they’ll prescribe a pill to help you clear it up without seeing the irony. Of course it matters what you eat. The body uses the skin to release toxins through our sweat glands. The more unhealthy oils, fats, and chemicals we take in, the more likely we are to dump this junk out through our pores. We provide food for bacterial infections and plenty of debris to plug up our pores. The cleaner you eat, the better your skin will look.
Wash, exfoliate, and moisturize. Our skin likes to be clean and hydrated. Harsh cleansers aren’t necessary, but you do need to keep your skin happily clean and moisturized. Use natural products that are less likely to cause irritation.
Use tea tree oil. Tea tree oil naturally cleans and fights bacteria. It can be a little intense straight, so dilute it in witch hazel for a powerful cleanser.
Think citrus. Lemons are an excellent cleanser. The acidity kills bacteria while removing dead skin cells and oils gently. Fresh lemon juice can be combined with sugar for an exfoliating scrub or used alone. Just don’t leave it on too long before rinsing with water. If you want to leave it on longer, dilute the lemon juice in water before applying.
Get chromium. Chromium is a mineral that aids the body in healing infections. It helps regulate blood sugar which directly affects acne and skin health. Chromium can be found in whole grains, broccoli, and mushrooms to name just a few good foods.
Add zinc. Zinc is pretty potent stuff when it comes to acne. It reduces stress hormones, lessens oil production, boosts immune function, fights inflammation, and combats allergic reactions. This all keeps acne at bay.
Try jojoba oil. Jojoba oil mimics sebum, the skin’s natural cleansing oil that removes dead skin cells and hydrates. Use it as a cleanser to easily remove makeup, dust, and grime. This convinces the body that it doesn’t need to produce as much oil.
Sweeten up with honey. Honey makes a great cleansing mask. It kills bacteria, hydrates, and strips off dead skin cells.
Eat carrots. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A strengthens skin, makes it more elastic, and works as an antioxidant to keep cells healthy and toxins from forming.
Get baking soda. Baking soda makes a great exfoliating cleanser that removes oils, scrubs away dead skin cells, kills bacteria, and deodorizes too. Combine it with the honey above for extra effect. Add it to baths to help with acne all over the body.
Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar, like lemon juice, is acidic and helps neutralize bacteria on your skin and in pores. This is another that can cause irritation. Dilute it in witch hazel or water before using.
Go garlic. Garlic is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent with beneficial sulfur compounds. This one can be used topically and internally to benefit the skin.
Most of these are not instant cures. You aren’t going to see your acne disappear overnight, but if you consistently use some of these, you will begin to see results within a few days or weeks. These will be lasting results unlike the many quick fixes out there. So don’t give up!
About Charlie Pulsipher
Charlie Pulsipher is a health and fitness enthusiast, writer, author, and neighborhood do-gooder. He shifted his education from Biochemistry to English Literature in an attempt to avoid math, but never stopped loving the natural world of the miniscule. He has published several fantasy and science fiction novels and helped others publish more down to earth books about natural foods. He can’t stop writing. He is probably happily tapping away on some keyboard even now.