For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with my skin. In high school, my dermatologist and I ran the gamut from oral antibiotics to Accutane and after that, I remained on Yazmin for years, relying on hormones to keep my skin from breaking out. By my early adulthood, my cystic acne was faded but I still was met with persistent breakouts, especially around my time-of-the-month.
What finally changed it? Healing my gut.
So I must admit here, that I didn’t MEAN to end up with clearer more luminous skin. What I wanted was to treat my IBS, get my bowel movements more consistent, and find internal health to match the health and fitness goals I’d begun to pursue.
Plus! As even more proof, I can tell you that every time I’ve strayed from my new healthy lifestyle, I’ve seen the consequences pop up on my face!
We break out when our bodies are trying to dispose of toxins and these toxins get trapped in our pores, creating unsightly pimples. Since our digestive system contains so much of our immune system, it’s there that this detox process is driven. There is an inherent gut-skin relationship! “All disease begins in the gut”, as Hippocratic told us – and acne is no exception!
These are my top tips to address acne naturally:
Wheat is one of the top eight most allergenic foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Allergies often expose themselves on our skin, as our bodies become inflamed in an attempt to regulate our immune system. (I wanted to understand this better, so check out this definition I found on WedMD.com: “When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area, and may result in redness and warmth.”)
Oddly enough, people with skin issues are often sensitive to the protein in dairy called beta casein A1. This sensitivity can also impact the digestion of dairy products as it creates a dairy intolerance.
Take a probiotic
A probiotic is the most underrated immune rockstar. When choosing, reach for soil based organisms specifically and try to choose a probiotic with at least 10 billion cultures (50 billion for those of you with chronic digestive issues). This daily habit, in addition to food changes, will work wonders inside and out. Check out this blog post for suggestions.
Choose fermented foods
These foods, like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut contain organic acids and probiotics. These acids and healthy bacteria will play a role in resetting your intestinal microbiome which will help your body more effectively detox toxins. Making your own can be tricky at first, but a lot of fun too; for ideas, check out this post.
Use essential oils
In particular, these two essential oils are great for addressing acne:
Tea tree oil – You can apply directly to blemishes or dilute in a carrier oil, which acts as a topical antimicrobial. Even better, I can help treat acne scarring from past breakouts, helping your complexion on the whole.
Frankincense oil – This is a powerful anti-inflammatory that you can take topically or use internally (if labeled as a dietary supplement). If taking internally, 2+ drops can reduce inflammation and help build healthy gut and skin. Even better, frankincense oil can support hormone balance which will further support clear skin.
PRO TIP: Mix the two oils together!
Add turmeric to your diet
Tumeric is the king of anti-inflammatories. You can eat as a spice on your foods, supplement with whole pills, or add to your teas. Curcumin, the healing compound found in turmeric, supports consistent inflammation balance in the body, as well as provide your body with antioxidants that promote beautiful skin.
Drink bone broth
Bone broth contains collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin which make it a home run for anti-inflammatory help which can be seen in clearer skin. Having 1-3 cups/day is ideal to see results sooner.
Choose natural toiletries
This one has been a doozy for me! I love fun bath products, but scents and preservatives added to these products can actually CLOG our pores, instead of clean them out! Become a label reader and avoid unnatural ingredients their products you use on your precious skin daily.
Building Your Regimine
The best part about these tips are they are additive – one will help a little, three will help a lot, all eight would revolutionize your skin (and probably your life!). Check them out and let us know how it goes in the Thrive by Food private Facebook group to become a part of a large community of fellow advocates to provide increased accountability support.
Finally, if you’d like a more personalized opinion, set up a FREE introductory call with Thrive by Food’s founder, Kristin Thomas, to discuss what your short terms goals are and how she can support and accelerate your journey.