Acne advice Part 2

4. Supplements and superfoods

Sometimes it’s not possible to get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients required to obtain and maintain clear skin. We can be eating all the right foods, but because of other factors — such as long-term antibiotic use — we may not be absorbing everything we need from our diets. There are a few supplements that are particularly useful for getting rid of acne, including:

  • Maca

    Maca — a powdered Peruvian root vegetable that helps balance and stabilize the body’s systems and helps normalise hormones. It tastes delicious blended into smoothies, a little bit sweet and little bit savoury. Maca is also rich in essential amino acids, fatty acids, phytochemicals and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, silica and iodine.

  • Nature’s Living Superfood — A nutrient-dense, mineral-rich superfood, it contains a full spectrum of absorbable nutrients: vitamins, minerals, trace minerals.

5. Use only natural products on your skin

Many skin care products on the market contain chemicals that can aggravate acne-prone skin. By overloading the skin with harsh chemicals that strip the skin’s natural oils, the skin will produce more oil to compensate — which can lead to more blocked pores and acne! Use products that contain natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, which is known for its antibacterial properties, to help get rid of your acne. The best method for dealing with acne-prone skin is the less-is-more attitude. Use as few products as possible so your skin gets a chance to heal on its own. If you wear make-up, buy formulas that are non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic (non-pore blocking).

6. Reduce stress

Relaxing exercises can improve blood circulation

Stress is one of the biggest precursors of acne, especially beyond puberty. Controlling stress can reduce the release of the stress hormone – cortisol, and therefore reduce the severity of the acne. If you suffer from stress regularly, learn to recognise the early symptoms and take action to help get rid of your acne. There are various ways you can reduce stress and become more relaxed:

  • Exercise — especially Yoga and T’ai Chi. Moderate exercise will increase blood flow to the skin and aid healing, as well as improve the health of your internal organs enabling them to get rid of waste more effectively. Relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and meditation are highly recommended.

7. Reduce your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates

There is recent research pointing the finger at diet — eating refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice, flour etc) and sugar leads to a surge in insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1. This in turn leads to an excess of male hormones, which encourage the skin to excrete large amounts of sebum. This grease-like substance encourages the growth of bacteria responsible for acne.

Refined carbs/sugar = more insulin = more hormones = more sebum (oil) = more bacteria = more acne

8. Reduce your intake of caffeine

Caffeine can increase stress levels in body and aggravate acne situation

Caffeine increases the levels of stress hormones in the body and can aggravate acne. Avoid coffee, tea, chocolate and other stimulant containing drinks.

9. Reduce your intake of dairy and red meat

Dairy products and meat are hard for us to digest, and are acid-forming in the body. The condition of the skin is linked to the health of your internal organs. If you’re struggling to digest high levels of animal protein, your body won’t get rid of waste products effectively, and they may be released via the skin as acne. Dairy and red meat also contain hormones which can increase our levels,
and may result in more acne. Many people are also intolerant to dairy products without realising it, and a mild intolerance could manifest itself as acne. There are plenty of alternatives to dairy these days — and you can create simple and nutritious nut milks at home, such as the calcium-rich sesame and banana super smoothie.

10. Sunshine and fresh air

Sunshine stimulates the creation of vitamin D in the body — an essential vitamin for healthy skin. A little bit of fresh air and sunshine every day will also reduce stress and increase oxygen to the skin. Even when it’s overcast, the sun’s rays reach us, so take a 10 minute walk outside every day. Don’t get burnt in the sun though — apart from increasing the risk of skin cancer, burnt and heavily tanned skin forms a thick layer on the skin’s surface that doesn’t exfoliate quickly enough and leads to blocked pores.

Acne Myths

Greasy foods were said to be the cause of acne

There are many myths about the causes of acne. Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on the development and course of acne in most people. Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and other acne lesions are not caused by dirt. Stress doesn’t cause acne, but research suggests that for people who have acne, stress can make it worse. It is also a myth that poor hygeine can cause acne.

Understanding Acne

There is not guarnteed acne solution, but if you are better informed about the facts of acne, then you can atleast treat you acne
with a realistic perspective. Don’t fall for acne myths. Take control of your acne and don’t be a victim of myths.

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