If you have acne, whether chronic or occasional, it may seem like there’s nothing out there to safely help. Acne is often treated with harsh or even toxic medications that do your body no favors. They certainly don’t take into account that many acne cases involve lifestyle factors such as diet. Fortunately, there are natural ways to effectively treat acne without harming your body or your wallet.
These four natural remedies may surprise you with their simplicity, but they’ve got science behind them; these are acne treatments that work. They’re also good for your overall health.
Clear Up Your Diet
Science has validated what many of us had already observed: diet can trigger acne. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating dairy foods and carbohydrates can cause a flare-up. The culprit seems to be the rise in blood sugar from eating foods made with refined flour. This is yet another reason to favor healthy vegetables, fruits and whole grains over packaged muffins.
If you eat dairy, try cutting back or replacing regular yogurt with Greek yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt has about twice the protein and half the sugar of regular plain yogurt. Also, eat a little fat with your dairy to slow down absorption and keep blood sugar from spiking.
The good news? Oily foods and chocolate don’t trigger acne, so enjoy getting some of your antioxidants from dark chocolate.
Boost Your Vitamin A
Even a mild vitamin A deficiency can cause acne. Healthy levels actually help prevent acne by reducing sebum production and strengthening your skin’s connective tissues. Eat sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach to boost your levels. Avoid a supplement, as vitamin A is fat soluble and can be toxic in high amounts. A good multivitamin combined with eating the right foods should be plenty.
Eat The Right Minerals
Our modern food supply is depleted in the minerals that our bodies depend on. Low levels of zinc and chromium can actually cause acne. Zinc has antibacterial properties than can help regulate your skin’s oil production and prevent inflammation. Foods rich in zinc include sesame seeds and tahini, lean beef, oysters, and nuts. Chromium fights skin infections. Food sources include whole grains, broccoli, and fish. You can also try a daily chromium supplement.
Release Your Stress
The skin is the largest organ in the body and the ultimate shield protecting you from environmental dangers. Your skin also reacts to inner changes and can literally erupt when you’re bottling up stress. Work out your tension in positive ways and you’re less likely to find your feelings showing up on your skin. Get regular exercise, whether it’s running marathons or winding down with yoga. For maximum mind-body benefits, practice regular meditation as well.
Protect Your Face
Your skin’s dirt and oil are trapped on everyday objects that it touches. Change your pillow cases every other day to keep your face free of nightly buildup. Keep your hair back from your face and wash it often, especially after sweating. Choose sunscreens and other skin products that say “noncomedogenic” on the label, meaning they don’t block pores and are safe for sensitive skin.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, wear a broad-brimmed hat to block the sun’s rays. Too much sun can make acne worse. Over-the-counter acne medications can also make some people more sensitive to the sun, rendering sunscreen less effective. Your best bet is a hat made for sun protection. They’re now widely available and come in a range of styles for the whole family.