Internal actions that propel your skin towards being balanced and clear faster:
- Consider taking vitamin A + E + D supplements (see this post). Often, chronic acne sufferers are deficient in vitamin D.
- Consider taking 30mg of zinc a day (research has proven this daily amount improves the appearance of acne prone skin!). Zinc helps speed up the healing process so those blemishes don’t stick around for long and many of the blemishes that haven’t reached the surface yet, clear up before ever becoming visible!
- Increase your daily intake of antioxidants and consider taking an antioxidant supplement; research has shown that acne sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants and that increasing them helped reduce their acne.
- Start taking a high-quality probiotic
- Avoid processed sugar as much as possible – this is super important. The more spikes in your blood sugar, the more inflammation will promote acne
- Gradually (so you’ll stick with it) reduce the meals and foods you eat often that aren’t nutrient dense. Swap these for meals and foods that are packed with nutrients (the better fed your body is with foods it can put to work to heal your skin from the inside out, the easier time you’ll have clearing your acne. Plus you’ll see all sorts of other benefits like more energy, reduced cravings, etc). Thick whole foods, veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.
- (For women) Consider taking EstroBlock or EstroBalance (I take EstroBalance which is available in Canada. EstroBlock is available in the US) if you believe your acne is mostly hormonal (this resource will help you figure that out). If you do take a supplement like EstroBlock/EstroBalance you need to take a liver support supplement as well. My choice for a liver supplement is Milk Thistle.
- Get IgG testing done (food sensitivity testing). This will tell you what foods create inflammation in your diet (so you can avoid them). Chronic inflammation is almost always a factor in chronic acne. IgG testing can be done with a naturopath or through an independent lab that offers that service.
- Get hip to herbal tea! Particularly dandelion and Skin Support Tea (go here to read why)
A few external actions that will help your skin avoid acne triggers:
- Change your pillowcase every night (or at least flip it over each night and then change it every other night). Oils from your face and hair, plus dead skin cells and other debris hang out on your pillowcase and that’s just asking for problems!
- Don’t skip moisturizing (this will make sure your skin’s natural moisture barrier is taken care of – this makes sure your skin can fight off infection and extra bacteria – plus dry skin and dead skin cells will just create more acne and blackheads)
- Exfoliate every day but be gentle – exfoliate for longer rather than harder
- Build a gentle, targeted skin care routine. Resources to help you are available here.
- Let your makeup do some work: my facial primer helps pull out blackheads because of the natural clay it’s packed with. And stick with pure mineral makeup (like mine) that is free of irritants (so you don’t have to worry about your makeup causing more breakouts!)