Acne can be a very embarrassing skin condition for anyone of any age. It is brought on by overactive Sebaceous (oil) Glands in the skin. This over activity is caused by hormonal changes (puberty, menstruation, and menopause), mental stress, insufficient water consumption, and a diet full of fried and processed foods. The reason this is so is that the skin eliminates, by pore excretion, various toxins from the body, those not eliminated through urination and defecation. Therefore, the more bad stuff like processed foods, insecurities, carbonated or sports drinks, and negative thoughts that you bring into your body the more is excreted through your pores. The more waste and toxins excreted through the pores the more opportunity for pores to get clogged with toxins and wastes. The more the waste builds in the pore the more bacteria collects with it, increasing the opportunity for the inflammatory reaction of the pimple formation.
Keeping your skin clean is not the only answer. Oftentimes, astringent use is overdone, thus over-drying the skin, and causing the skin to try and balance itself out by producing more oil. Over-drying of the skin also produces more dark spots in the skin later on, during aging, and causes dry, irritated, red patches which can look like Rosacea. Gentle cleansing and natural moisture are the best options for healthy skin.
Teens and pre-teens need to be provided healthy food choices as well. Soda and junk foods provide more toxins than nutrients and more often than not teens are consuming these regularly. Thus providing more for the skin to excrete, when stress has already caused over-activity of the glands. Fresh, nutrient dense foods are most supportive to healthy development and acne free skin. Water should always be stressed in dietary measures because it provides clean fluids for excretion during activity that causes sweating. Teens should also avoid caffeinated and stimulant based energy drinks because they increase oil production as well as stress. They are called stimulants because they stimulate the entire body, not just the mind.
An insecure, unsupported, and nervous teenager will have more acne than a calm, collected, and supported teenager. Teens that are outcasts from the popular groups because of differences in appearance, background, lifestyle, and personality are more likely to have acne problems because of the stress of trying to fit in and be accepted. It helps your teen greatly to instill in them, from a young age, that image is not as important as personality and intelligence. Acceptance into a group is not always beneficial, because it can lead to exclusion from other opportunities. Judging and excluding people based on appearance alone is a good way to exclude yourself from benefiting from such acquaintances. Often the individual who is different according to society’s beliefs is the one that can teach you the most about life.
The same goes for adults. Adult acne is the same as adolescent acne in that the glands are overproducing oils for various reasons. The pores are clogged by the toxins and wastes taken into the body and excreted through the skin. Stress of paying bills, dealing with bosses, maintaining kids schedules, and life itself increases susceptibility to acne formation. Stimulants like coffee work the same in adults. They increase absorption, production, and excretion of wastes throughout the body.
Adults need the same healthy, nutrient dense and water filled diet that adolescents need, to support healthy aging. This includes reverting acne symptoms and maintaining skin, muscle, and bone health. Effective stress management also goes a long way to alleviating embarrassing breakouts.
So, after my lecture, here are a few options for treating acne at home, naturally.
Witch hazel – a great natural astringent that doesn’t over-dry the skin and naturally tightens the collagen in the skin. These two benefits fight wrinkles and acne at the same time. You can purchase it anywhere and use straight from the bottle on your skin. It is the most effective for moderately oily and normal skin.
For people with oily skin (over-active sebaceous glands) – you want a slightly drying but nourishing treatment. To clear the oil from the skin and support healthy pore and gland function.
Mother Gaia makes Acne Free and Clear Skin toning cleansers. So simple and effective without benzoil peroxide or other petroleum based chemicals.
Basil for dry skin – you will need 1 ounce dried Basil leaves and one bottle of Witch Hazel extract. In a 12 to 16 ounce jar place dried Basil, cover with Witch Hazel, close lid, shake vigorously, and keep in cool, dark place for 14 days. Strain and use as directed above.
I love recycling bottles for these types of uses. A clean and sterilized Wine or Sauce bottle is perfect for facial cleanser storage and use. The flow control caps inside can be used, after cleaning, to pour the cleanser onto a cloth.
Sign-up for blog updates and get a free e-booklet on Plant Actions and Uses.