If you suffer from acne you’re not alone - more than 90% of the world’s population is affected by it at some point in their lives. With all the amazing accomplishments mankind has achieved one might think that a product to cure acne would be available by now. But the thing is, acne is caused from the inside-out, so if you want to heal it for good, you need to address the inner imbalances that are fueling it. Below are three foods and 3 habits to help you do just that.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables fight acne and support skin health in so many ways. They are high in fiber which helps to keep insulin levels in check and reduce the production of acne-causing androgenic hormones. The fiber, as well as the water content found in most fruits and vegetables, also helps to promote regular bowel movements - reducing the number of toxins that are purged out through the skin. Plus they are loaded with nutrients that help beautify the skin by nourishing it, balancing hormones, reducing inflammation and hastening the healing of acne lesions.
Deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables are particularly helpful as they tend to contain the most antioxidants, which promote skin healing and help protect them from inflammatory free radicals. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale are also highly beneficial because they contain a potent acne-fighting compound called DIM (diindolylmethane). DIM targets hormonal acne at its root by reducing the estrogenic and androgenic hormones that fuel it.
*For quicker and more profound acne-clearing results get a bottle of DIM 259 - each serving provides the equivalent dose of DIM as would be found in 3 lbs of cruciferous vegetables.
Researchers have recently identified a direct connection between acne and the gastrointestinal tract. If you have an unhealthy gut microbiome, it will lead to inflammation and the production of pore-clogging sebum, and in most cases, stubborn acne. Cultured foods are rich in probiotics and consuming them regularly will repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria, and over time, help clear acne.
Yogurt is the most well-known probiotic but I don't recommend it because dairy is loaded with inflammatory compounds and estrogens which worsens acne. Instead, get your probiotics from non-dairy sources such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, pickled vegetables (especially if you pickle them yourself) and tempeh; kombucha tea and coconut water kefir.
Many consider this blue-green alga to be the single most nutritious food on the planet and it is bursting with acne-fighting power. It contains gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, which is an essential fatty acid that’s been found to reduce both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions. It also contains beta-carotene (a natural skin-clearing agent), and a range of antioxidants, to help create new, healthy skin cells. Plus it helps reduce acne severity and frequency by lowering inflammation levels and promoting a gentle clearing of toxins from the body. You can add spirulina to your morning smoothie, or buy Slim Blend Pro which contains spirulina, as well as 30 fruits and vegetables, fiber and probiotics - to promote glowing, acne-free skin.
3 Daily Habits
Reducing stress is one of the most important things you can do in terms of preventing and minimizing acne. Every time you experience stress, your cortisol levels rise, and cortisol increases inflammation and sebum production and leads to red, swollen acne. Stress also negatively impacts your gut microbiome, which as mentioned above is now considered one of the root causes of acne. Plus it interferes with sleep (which is when your skin does most of its healing), and makes you more likely to pick at your skin, which aggravates skin lesions and can lead to scarring. And finally, it causes a rise in the hunger hormone ghrelin, which makes you much more likely to make poor food choices and binge on junk foods that feed acne.
Any type of exercise that you enjoy doing, will help to release stress. Walking, spending time in nature, learning to say no and delegating tasks, sleeping well, laughing, eliminating caffeine, practicing yoga, meditating and conscious breathwork are also great ways to reduce stress.
Ditch the Western Diet
The typical low-fiber, high-fat Western diet leads to toxicity, inflammation, an unhealthy gut microbiome, a compromised immune system, and hormonal imbalances - all of which are underlying causes of acne. Foods with a complex mixture of fat (i.e., red meat); foods that have a high glycemic index (sugar, refined carbs, etc.), and dairy are especially bad as they raise the levels of two acne aggravating hormones: IGF-1 and insulin.
So if you’re serious about getting acne-free, glowing skin, and maintaining it for life, you need to swap out the Western diet for a wholefoods based diet. This means eliminating or vastly reducing red and processed meats, dairy, sugar, gluten, oils, fried foods, and most packaged foods. Try shopping the outer aisles of your grocery store (that’s where the fresh stuff is usually located) and get a copy of the Simply Healthy Cookbook, to learn how to cook nutrient-dense meals that are so delicious you won’t even miss all the unhealthy foods that were exacerbating your acne.
Simplify Your Skin Regime
Okay, so admittedly this is not addressing internal imbalances, but your skincare regime will either aggravate your acne, or support it's healing, and you want to make sure it's the latter. Over cleansing, using too many products, and using harsh chemicals will increase inflammation diminishes the skin's protective layer, and make you more susceptible to breakouts. Plus it will dry your skin out and your skin will compensate by sending sebum production into overdrive, which is something you definitely want to avoid.
Keep your skincare regime simple, by rinsing with water, or a gentle, organic skin cleanser; and toning with witch hazel. Ditch the harsh chemical moisturizers, and definitely avoid anything with oil or fragrances in it. And finally, if you want an acne clearing product that doesn't harm your skin and actually works get Annihilate Acne Cream. It contains DIM (the acne-fighting compound found in cruciferous vegetables), and other gentle, yet powerful all-natural ingredients that are known to relieve scaling skin, itching and inflammation while helping to promote clearer skin.