One of our readers recently said, “I wish that someone would just tell me what I had to do to have clear skin and I would just do it.” I can completely relate—I had acne for years. But, once I started eating clean whole foods, my skin cleared up. My friends actually asked me what I was doing to clear up my skin and it was simply changing my diet! I wish I would have known this information when I was much younger. It would have saved me from some acne scars.
Sometimes the search for clear skin seems so elusive, as most of the American population deals with acne at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a magic formula that works for everyone. However, based on research and my own experiences, here are some tips that have helped lead people on their journey to better skin.
- Heal that leaky gut. As with other inflammation, doctors think the immune response that occurs when molecules of food pass through tiny holes in the intestinal tract may contribute to acne. Cleanse your intestines of harmful things like parasites and yeast and bacterial overgrowth.
- Eat a low glycemic diet. This is an area where a lot of research has been done. The ingestion of simple carbohydrates that raise blood sugar, increases acne. So what counts as a simple carbohydrate? This would include products made with sugar, corn syrup, refined flours, etc.
- Cut out dairy-or at least some forms of dairy. Research has shown a link between drinking milk and acne. Many believe this is due to the hormones found in milk and how they respond in your body. Also, some forms of dairy raise blood sugar. However, current research does not include studies using raw dairy products. You may need to experiment by eliminating some, or all, dairy products to find out if it is beneficial for you.
- Eat low inflammatory foods. As you probably know, certain foods seem to cause inflammation in some people and not in other people. You need to eat foods that work for your body. Many people find that soy, grains, corn, nuts or eggs may be bothersome to them and should be eliminated. In GMO animal studies, there is severe inflammation that takes place when they have ingested genetically modified products. It is best to avoid GMOs. Some low inflammatory foods (also high in antioxidants) that seem to help are turmeric, ginger, green tea, berries and vegetables.
- Take supplements. People with acne are often low in a few vitamins and minerals. Supplementing may help your organs run more optimally and therefore result in clearer skin. Supplements that seem to help acne include, zinc, A, C, E, D and B vitamins and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is also helpful to consume fermented foods that contain good bacteria. If this is not possible, supplementing with a good probiotic may help.
- Other factors. There are a few things that can be done externally. Sweating occasionally, seems to help. Applying antimicrobial essential oils may help some people. These include oils such as tea tree, copaiba and rosemary. Also, as always, be careful what you put on your skin. There are many synthetic ingredients found in soaps, lotions and makeup that are not good for your body. Keeping stress low and getting a good night sleep are also beneficial.
So, if you, your child or your grandchild is an acne sufferer, hopefully this list will help you get to the bottom of the issue. It may take a little time and detective work, but it will be worth it. Good luck on your journey to better skin!