Skin acne can be a result of internal issues such as parasite and candida overgrowth or emotional imbalances, particularly brought on by stress. Your skin is your biggest organ, so it needs to be nourished like all of your internal organs. The skin has to deal with direct exposure to our environments each day from pollution, sun, toxic chemicals and nasty additives from our hygiene products & sunblock.
How your skin looks and feels directly reflects your inner world, so getting your inflammation under control healing your gut and balancing your 7 Pillars of Wellness is essential.
The Internal Causes of Acne
When your internal system is too acidic and your inflammation markers are raised, it is harder for the body to heal. I have treated all sorts of skin conditions successfully by caring for clients holistically – from the inside out.
As a naturopath, I work in the lane of my expertise and balance the internal environment, rather than like a dermatologist who focuses on the skin.
Over the last ten years of clinical practice, I have seen a considerable rise in Adult Acne. I see direct links between the digestive, endocrine (hormonal), nervous systems, and the skin.
As our lives have become more stressful, our inflammation has increased, with many living in emergency mode. Our digestive and endocrine systems have shifted out of balance, often leading to various ski conditions such as acne.
Hormones and Acne
The main hormones that can cause adult acne are the reproductive hormones like oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and stress hormones such as cortisol.
Adult acne can affect both women and men. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it’s more common among women because it’s commonly tied to menstrual cycle changes and menopause and pregnancy.
This can be the fruit rather than the root cause of the issue, so I like to look upstream before treating downstream symptoms. By restoring the foundations of your health, balancing your seven pillars of wellness, reducing inflammation and supporting the gut and nervous systems, the hormones tend to follow suit and shift back into balance, and the acne clears.
Acne & The Biofeedback System
The skin doesn’t work alone, but it belongs to the beautiful biofeedback system like all body parts. Like any skin condition, Acne is the body simply communicating with you that something is out of balance.
Acne can affect your mood and self-esteem and give your inner critic a whole list of things to judge and be unkind to yourself about. So let’s fast track your healing, embrace the journey, help you find your feminine flow, and support you to live with optimum health and have beautiful glowing skin as a natural result.
My Top 10 Tips to Clear Your Skin and Reduce Acne Naturally
1. Support Your Gut
One of the first places I start with any skin condition is the gut. Simply helping the body absorb nutrients from your diet makes a tremendous impact, allowing the body to heal itself.
A study involving over 13,000 people showed that acne patients were more likely to experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as IBS, constipation, halitosis, and gastric reflux.
To support your digestive system, chew each mouthful 20 times, eat more warm foods, boost your veggies to improve your prebiotic culture, and eat foods naturally high in probiotics such as sauerkraut organic kefir, kimchi, cloudy apple cider vinegar and aloe vera.
Boost your anti-virals & anti-bacterial, too, like pumpkin seeds, garlic, ginger, cayenne, lemon, grapefruit & cloves. Probiotic-rich foods also help line and heal your gut and create a healthy, sealed barrier that prevents inflammation that can trigger acne.
I also recommend our Para Cleanse and Candida Gone Capsules to clear out all fungus and parasite overgrowth having a direct relationship with your skin. If you do have IBS symptoms I would strongly advise you to do our Full Moon Parasite Cleanse which factors in lunar cycles since parasites hatch & reproduce over a full moon.
2. Opt for an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Often hormonal imbalances are the drivers for blemished and acne skin. Before I use herbs to balance hormones, I balance a client’s diet, gut and blood sugar levels.
The best diet to balance hormones is a Low GI, Anti-Inflammatory and whole-food diet, eating more plants and fewer animal products. This doesn’t mean you need to be vegan, but I would try a pesca vegan diet for a month to see how you get on.
Choose a good clean protein like wild fish to balance your blood sugar levels, organic vegetables and salads and good fats like avocado, olives, nuts and seeds.
Essential fats are high in omega 3 and are also very healing. Try using oils from coconut, avocado, hemp, evening primrose, borage and extra virgin olive oil. These Omega-3 oils also help reduce inflammation and support hormone balance.
Vegans – Add Essential Amino Acids From Your Protein
If you are vegan or eat little animal protein, it is critical to get your essential amino acids each day, so choose a good vegan protein powder like the one I formulated for WelleCo. Add in Zinc-rich foods to support wound healing, such as organic eggs, chickpeas, and pumpkin seeds. Pine nuts and almonds.
Vitamin A and C-rich foods are also anti-inflammatory and great for your skin; add berries, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, lemons, limes and carrots to your diet.
With over-farming & environmental toxins, it isn’t easy to get all the nutrition you need, so I complement with whole-food plant-based supplements such as The Super Elixir that I formulated for Elle Macpherson and WelleCo or the Rejuv Wellness Sea & Soil Super Greens Capsules providing you with all you need for optimum fuel and functional support.
3. Boost Electrolytes
Many of my clients drink 2L of water each day but are dehydrated because they are not absorbing the water at a cellular level.
I love to use infused waters to improve hydration by adding lemon, lime, ginger, cinnamon & fresh mint. Mix up a 2L jug of infused water each day and take this to a whole new level by creating a natural electrolyte by adding 1/2 teaspoon of unprocessed sea salt.
This will also flush out your kidneys, for, after all, your skin is like your third kidney and whatever the kidneys can’t filter out is dumped into your skin.
Two litres minimum of good clean infused filtered water is ideal, and increase that to 3L if you are a coffee/caffeine drinker.
4. Do A Parasite Cleanse
We all have a degree of parasites, fungus and candida in our bodies, and they are only an issue when they overgrow and get out of balance.
I always see these as one of the primary drivers of skin issues. The body becomes too damp and inflamed when your good bacteria levels are too low and your harmful bacteria levels are too high.
Using the Lunar Cycle to do a parasite cleanse is the most effective way to have long-lasting results for parasites hatch over a full moon (crazy, I know).
The week before the full moon and the week after, you can take herbs such as oregano oil, cloves, wormwood, grapefruit seed extra, rosemary and caprylic acid to kill off these bad guys and put your gut back into balance.
Visit my blog for more information on a thorough Full Moon Parasite Cleanse.
5. Reduce Toxic Load from Skincare Products
Many of my clients have ‘A-Ha’ moments regarding this environmental wellness pillar. They didn’t realise that having non-organic household and hygiene products here and there each day adds up to a big issue. Using these products creates a high toxic load and skin conditions such as acne.
This is why everything that goes on your skin must be natural, and it is why I love using coconut and avocado oils and fresh aloe vera gel as part of my daily routines.
When purchasing vegan, organic skincare products, my first choice is KORA organics. My skin adores this line, and when I get breakouts before my period, I always reach for the Brightening Turmeric Face mask, Sea Spray and the new powerful Active Algae.
Skin prone to acne tends to be sensitive. By choosing KORA, you avoid products containing fragrances, dyes, refined oils, and many other synthetic chemicals that can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
Exposing your skin to sunshine will boost your vitamin D levels, and swimming in the sea has a substantial balancing effect on your skin’s pH.
When it comes to household cleaners, you must remember that your home has a microbiome. Of course, we need to have clean homes, but using vinegar and natural products instead of chemical ones is always the way to go to eliminate bacteria & viruses.
It would help if you also were discerning when it comes to dishwashing liquid and clothes washing products. Dry cleaning should be avoided and only used for special occasions.
6. Reduce Stress
Living under high stress increases inflammation, reduces the body’s ability to heal and can cause skin issues. Since your skin is not essential to life compared to your heart or brain, the body will reduce blood flow to organs that are not vital for survival in a fight or flight situation.
Your body will experience vasoconstriction if you face real danger and get cut to prevent you from bleeding to death. Your adrenal glands also release more cortisol when stressed and sleep-deprived, affecting how much oil your skin produces. Increased oil production can cause cysts below your skin, leading to painful acne.
If you do feel your stress is 6/10 or higher add in our powerful adaptogenic herbs in our Adrenal Complex to give your nervous system what it needs to calm down, therefore facilitating healing.
Stress reduces healing blood flow to your skin and shuts down your body’s unique ability to heal. I have found that starting your day with mindfulness, gratitude, visualisations, and affirmations is terrific for both mind and body.
Start your day in gratitude and calm your inner critic. Choose to start talking to yourself like you would your best friend, for often, our internal dialogue can be our most significant stressor.
When you feel a trigger change your state, take three deep breaths and, if possible, get up and move, choosing to no longer sit and marinate in your stressful thoughts.
When you choose gratitude and joy, your health will flow, giving your skin an irresistible glow and a chance for your body to heal all systems, including your integumentary system – your skin.
7. Embrace Beauty Sleep
Beauty sleep may be an old cliche, but there is some science behind it. Sleep allows you to detox from the day you have just had and supports a healthy flow of your essential pathways and organs.
During deep sleep, blood flow is increased to your skin-supporting healing, repair and collagen production, facilitating repair and reducing wrinkles, age spots and breakouts such as acne. Deep sleep supports growth hormone release, creating new cells that help heal damaged skin cells.
I take WelleCo Sleep Welle Tea each night (2 tea bags, in fact), for I’m not the best sleeper; this allows me to get into deep restorative sleep and not spend an hour or so tossing and turning trying to fall asleep.
I used to be a poor sleeper so take two of the Rejuv Bedtime Blend Capsules before bed to calm my brain and nervous system down, thus facilitating deep restorative sleep. I no longer spend an hour or so tossing and turning trying to fall asleep or waking up and not being able to fall back to sleep.
8. Use Herbs to Balance Your Hormones
Once you have done all of the seven steps above, and if your acne is still not clearing, it is time to balance your hormones.
Due to the many drivers impacting your hormones, I always balance the body first and do this as a phase 2 instead of phase 1. I don’t recommend synthetic or even bio-identical hormones; I only recommend herbs and botanicals as I have seen the correlation between hormone treatments and female cancers over the years.
If you have irregular periods, period pain or PCOS driving your acne, I would use the new formula I created with WelleCo, The PMS Elixir.
These formulas use herbs and botanicals such as Vitex Agnus Castus to balance your hormones and provide the vitamins and mineral cofactors you need to balance out your hormones based on the season you are in.
9. Sweat to Reduce Acne
Your skin loves to sweat, which helps your body remove toxins, bacteria and even heavy metals. Sweating is a great way to reduce inflammation but always make sure you wash your skin, especially before exercise, to unblock your pores. You don’t want any dirt or makeup to block your pores, especially if you are prone to acne.
You can use a regular sauna or get your sweat on with your exercise of choice, but my favourite way is with the Thersage FIR sauna. Not only does this technology allow the sweat to pour out of you to get the full detox release, the Red Light Frequencies in their sauna have a “Tri-Lite” Therasage exclusive Light Emitting Diode (LED) that succinctly generates the healing light frequencies in the red light spectrum which is fantastic to heal acne. Most days, I use my KORA Goa Sha in my FIR sauna to support lymphatic drainage.
Don’t forget that when you use a sauna, having a cold shower afterwards is fantastic for healing (see KORA blog on the benefits of cold therapy).
10. Support Your Liver
The liver and your hormones are directly related, which results in hormone-related acne. The liver does not make hormones itself but plays a significant role in hormonal imbalances as the liver breaks down or metabolises the hormones once they have done their work in the body. Supporting your detox pathways and liver function has an indirect but consequential effect on your skin.
Eating liver-supportive foods can therefore help clear up acne. Eat more cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, leafy greens, beetroot and antioxidant-rich fruits, such as berries, pears and apples. The liver also loves garlic, onions and lots of wellness water. You can also take herbal supplements with milk thistle, nettle, artichoke, dandelion etc., to cleanse your liver.
If you also find it tricky to regularly eat all of the above herbs, fast track your liver and skin health with our Rejuv Liver Support Capsules.
Regular exercise is another way to support your liver, improve detoxification, balance your hormones, and it is excellent for your mood and mental health. Remember to choose a movement you love doing as a fun exercise rather than an act of obligation or punishment due to the food you ate. This will put you back into emergency mode, driving up your stress hormones and negatively impacting your skin.
Be Comfortable in Your Skin!
As you can see, there are lots you can do to support healthy, glowing skin, avoid blocking your detox pathways and keep your 11 systems to give your body what it needs to heal your acne.
Even something as simple as cleaning up your diet, drinking good filtered water and getting your beauty sleep will have a remarkable healing effect on your skin, so you look and feel amazing.
Be kind, get your head in the game and choose to love and talk to yourself as you would your best friend to keep your stress levels in check.
If you want to learn more about your overall Wellness and what is triggering your skin condition, you can get a one page summary of steps to improve your long term wellbeing; by completing your FREE Wellness Profile on our website today. Building your profile will only take 4-5 minutes of your time, but you will reap a lifetime of benefits.