If you have less-than-perfect skin, as everyone does, you have likely noticed that there are plenty of products made specifically to help it look better. Thank the lord for make-up. If things get really bad, there are medicines that can help treat our acne woes, but often times, they leave something to be desired, or more commonly, create undesirable side effects. While acne is certainly not life-threatening, it can be highly distressing due to its effects on our self-esteem.
If you are feeling a bit hopeless about your skin and have not given serious thought to natural strategies to clear it up, it is high time you start. Certain dietary measures, topical treatments, and supplements have been known to make a real difference, and experimenting with them is certainly worth your time.
For many years, the links between diet and acne were dismissed; when researchers look back at those studies from the 60s and 70s, they have noticed several flaws that may have accounted for this inaccurate conclusion, a conclusion that pretty much stalled research on the matter for many years after. But, recently, there has been renewed interest in the link between diet and acne, and the results suggest what we eat may very well have a significant impact on our skin.
If you are suffering from acne and eat lots of dairy, you may want to rethink your position. In 2009, a review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found very strong links between consumption of milk and the number of people who suffered from it, as well as the severity of the condition. Skim milk may be the worst culprit, as it tends to have higher amounts of certain substances linked to acne formation.
Dairy is loaded with all sorts of hormones that can mess with your skin—even organic versions; consuming it also triggers your body to produce more male hormones that increase oil production, leading to clogged pores. High amounts of dairy will also lead to frequent insulin spikes, which trigger inflammation.
Eating foods with a high glycemic load, such as white flour foods, soda and other sugary treats, may also contribute to acne, as determined by a review of 27 studies all taking place after the year 2000. The dramatic rise in insulin that accompanies consumption of these types of foods triggers inflammation, which is a major acne contributor; it appears that a diet high in these foods may also trigger the release of hormones linked to increasing oil production.
While addressing these two issues may not be enough to heal your acne, cutting back on these foods may make a significant difference in your skin.
Many conventional topical treatments for acne can cause unwanted side effects, like redness and drying, which make your skin look even worse. Many natural substances recommended for topical use for acne tend to be much gentler, and may produce superior results to boot.
· Tea tree oil has been studied a lot for acne, and its benefits appear to be equal to that of benzoyl peroxide. Apply the oil directly to blemishes, not the whole face. You can find many great essential oils for treating acne from many online shops. Just make sure you go somewhere like Amoils.com that only uses all natural ingredients.
· Jojoba oil may be another treatment to try. If your skin gets too dry, it can actually worsen acne because your body will produce more oil to compensate. It is similar in composition to the oil naturally found in your skin, which means it absorbs really well, and may ‘trick’ your skin into producing less.
· A mixture of apple cider vinegar and aspirin is another popular topical treatment for acne. The vinegar has astringent and exfoliating properties, while the aspirin contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory substance that is known for its acne-fighting properties.
· Aloe vera may not have any acne-fighting properties, but it can be a good treatment to soothe the skin, reduce redness and inflammation, and aid in the healing of already existing pimples.
Several supplements may help fight acne, but it is important to remember it can take awhile for them to show results—usually around two months, but sometimes longer.
· Zinc is important for wound healing and fighting inflammation in the body, and research suggests it may be helpful for fighting acne.
· Activated charcoal, when used internally, may help rid the body of toxins that contribute to problems like acne.
· Vitamin A, which is a core ingredient in many topical acne treatments, may help fight acne from the inside when used as a supplement.
· Omega-3 fatty acids are great for fighting inflammation, which is a common trigger for a variety of conditions, including acne.
When trying to treat your acne with natural solutions, it is important you be patient; you may have to experiment a bit with different strategies before finding the ones that work best for you.