Today I've a fantastic guest post from Susannah Perez, giving us the heads up on how to fight acne naturally. Take it away Susannah!
Image by: Mohamed Adel
Acne has to be one of the most annoying things ever to have plagued humans.
You wake up one day, thinking that everything is great, that it’s going to be a brilliant day. But then you head to clean your teeth, and they’re there. Crept up on you in the night, the little buggers, to cover your forehead, nose, chin... Spots. Freakin’ everywhere.
You apply the works – foundation, three layers of concealer and half a pot of powder, but in your heart you know that that layer of makeup will eventually wear off and everyone will notice those giant red volcanoes.
What the hell? You yell, I thought I was past this! You scream. But no, no; it doesn’t matter if you’re going to be 36 next year - spots can plague anyone from puberty to retirement.
So What Can We Do?
Although eruptions are also notoriously hard to predict – and there isn’t a simple cause-effect path you can follow to control the problem – there are about a million chemical remedies out there that promise the world (in terms of acne, at least). They all claim to vanish those spots and zap those blackheads off your face for good.
Unfortunately, in reality, chemical face washes and astringents do nothing but dry your delicate skin out – the beginning of a vicious cycle. Your skin attempts to compensate by producing more oil, which can assist in clogging up your pores and creating more acne, which, of course, you attempt to get rid of by using more chemicals.
So let’s be honest here, and admit that the best way to start treating breakouts is from the inside out.
Healthy Body, Healthy Skin
Image by: nickton
It’s a hard thing to face up to, but if you spend half your life in an office chair, the other half on the sofa, eat nothing but processed foods and drink nothing but fizzy pop, you can’t expect your skin to look good. Now, I’m not saying that you should never buy a bag of crisps or a can of coke again, but your skin does need certain things that you can only get through a healthy diet.
Making sure you get your five a day (and no, a strawberry daiquiri doesn’t count), and eating plenty of lean protein can help you ensure you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
There are certain foods that can help battle breakouts, which include ones rich in vitamin C (citrus fruits, red peppers), omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, walnuts), zinc (oysters, beef, sesame seeds) and selenium (brazil nuts). It’s thought that getting a good amount of zinc and magnesium can actually help balance the hormones that can cause acne, so may have a pretty significant effect on the frequency of breakouts.
Make sure you get a reasonable amount of exercise too (I know, I know) as the increased blood flow can help whisk away nasties and make you less stressed. Exercise also helps you improve your liver, kidney and bowel functions, meaning you have less toxins to sweat out.
Image by: James Bowe
When you do get flare ups, opting for gentle, natural products to treat your skin can do a hell of a lot more good than whacking on harsh washes, astringents and lotions. In particular, avoid anything overly drying and irritating like SLSs, soaps, alcohols (watch out with this one, they shove it in a load of natural products too) and peroxides.
Cleanse with a SLS and soap-free facewash, and then get to grips with the spots. Using a few drops of lemon or grapefruit juice with cooled, boiled water can make a great toner, as it’s lightly antibacterial – though make sure you make it fresh every week.
There are also certain oils that are awesome for spot-prone skin. Now, if you get regular breakouts, you’re probably used to making sure everything you put on your skin is “oil free” – but hear me out! Oils like tea tree, rosewood, geranium and sea buckthorn can actually help rebalance and purify the skin, in turn helping minimise breakouts. Make sure you blend essential oils in a light carrier oil such as hazelnut oil, as they can be too concentrated and strong on your skin otherwise.
If blending oils sounds like too much faff for you, there are a few good products out there that have done the hard work for you, like the Salcura Antiac acne treatment which has worked well for me in the past.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, there ain’t no cure for acne. Keeping healthy and eating the right foods can help, and using natural, gentle remedies on your skin can avoid over drying and irritation, which just makes matters worse.
Do you have any great natural acne remedies that I need to know about?
Susannah Perez is a skincare nut who has spent at least half her life fighting spots. She blogs about beauty and fashion for anyone that will let her!
What a fantastic, informative post! Be sure to follow Susannah on the Twitter machine @susannahperez and do drop by her beautifully vintage Tumblr: Pretty Things.
If you have a kick ass post like this and would like to write a guest post, do please get in touch and let's chat.