Quick and Easy Ways to Heal Acne... Naturally!
We’ve all been there… you wake up to find your skin is red and inflamed, and you’ve got a mega-breakout. When this state is the norm – when waking up with red, inflamed skin covered in pimples, whiteheads and blackheads is a daily nightmare for you – then it is often referred to as acne.
Acne is a skin condition that affects the hair follicles of the skin and the oil glands, caused by oil and dead skin cells clogging up your pores. It tends to affect the face, the neck, the upper back, the chest and/or shoulders, and it’s most commonly seen in teenagers, as a result of massive hormone changes. It can, however, affect adults too, and, depending on the severity of the outbreak, it can lead to emotional distress as well as permanent scarring. It’s enough to make anyone feel self-conscious – but don’t give up hope just yet. Check out our tips on dealing with acne naturally; introduce these practices and rituals to improve your overall skin quality without the use of chemical skincare or strong drugs.
1. Practice good sleep hygiene
Sleep is a major buzz word right now! Studies have shown that we need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night in order to optimise cognitive functioning and cellular regeneration. This extends to skin, too: once the sun sets, your body shifts into repair mode, producing collagen, human growth hormone, which strengthens skin. From 9pm, your body will begin secreting melatonin, too, which has antioxidant qualities.
It’s generally recommended that adults head to bed sometime between 10 and 11pm if you want to get enough uninterrupted sleep and wake up by 7am to 8am. Try to get into bed at roughly the same time each night – this helps your body getting into good sleep habits and rhythms.
In addition, nighttime is when your body detoxifies itself. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the gallbladder detoxifies between 11pm and 1am, releasing bile and repairing cells. Meanwhile the liver detoxifies between 1am and 3am, detoxifying the blood.
The natural detoxification processes of the liver and gallbladder are both very important for your skin: if toxins accumulate in your body, it will show up in your complexion. Inflamed skin is part of your body’s clever warning system.
You can also assist the detoxification process by eating lightly in the evening, or eating early (by 7pm). Heavy meals eating close to bedtime will divert energy to the digestive process, making it hard for your body to focus on detoxification.
2. Balance your hormones – naturally
Pimples and acne can be a sign of your hormones being out of balance. You can help restore balance naturally by eating well, taking the right supplements, exercising regularly (at least three times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes), and introducing good sleep habits.
In terms of your diet, experts such as Dr. Mark Hyman recommend reducing your intake of gluten, dairy and sugar. Instead, go for a diet rich in unprocessed, organic (ideally), plant-based foods. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale are important for the detoxification process. In addition, introduce good fats (avocado, salmon, coconut oil), plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed to your diet each day, and, if you must have soy, go for organic, non-GMO soy products.
As for supplements, studies have shown that fish oil, vitamin D3 and B vitamins can help balance oestrogen levels. We like Ogaenics’ Hello Sunshine Vitamin D, K2 and Calcium and B-Happy Vitamin B Komplex. For balancing sex hormones, consider taking evening primrose oil, trans-resveratrol, vitamin E and curcumin (turmeric).
3. Use toner!
This is the very first step in a good skincare routine, and yet it’s one so many people neglect. Toner helps remove residue left by make-up, dirt and dust; it clarifies the pores of the skin, leaving a clean surface that makes the application of serums, oils and creams all the more effective. Here at BEYØRG, we particularly like Amala’s Rejuvenating Toner, which uses all-natural ingredients to gently tone the skin.
4. Take a targeted approach
Your skin type and the type of acne you suffer from will affect which strategy will be most effective at blasting skin problems. Here are our recommendations….
- For oily to combination skin
- For those whose breakouts are spread across the skin
Strategy: Prevent your pores from clogging + stop the inflammation from spreading
Powerful skincare combination:
- For those with dry but oily skin, a dull complexion and some acne:
Strategy: Rectify the water-oil imbalance and hydrate the skin
Powerful skincare combination:
5. Wash your face
Bacteria is one of your skin’s worst enemies. To keep it at bay, wash your face regularly and thoroughly with a gentle cleanser – especially during summer. This will help remove residue left by make-up, dust, dirt and pollution and avoid sebum and bacteria build-up.
Make sure you choose one that suits your skin type. For dry skin we suggest a make-up remover like Amala Silkening Creamy Moisture Cleanse.
For oily and combination skin, meanwhile, we suggest Amala Pore Clarifying Gel Cleanser. In the summer, we also recommend that you wash your face a second time after removing your make-up: this will ensure your skin gets a deep clean, something that’s often needed during humid weather.
6. Get more vitamin C
Got acne around your mouth? This often means you’re lacking in B and C vitamins. Other symptoms of insufficient B and C vitamins are – according to TCM – bad breath and depression.
The best way to up your intake naturally is to eat more fruit and vegetables. Salmon and leafy greens like spinach and collards are a great source of B vitamins, as are legumes, organ meats (liver etc.), beef, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, oysters, clams, mussels and sunflower seeds. For vitamin C, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, red and green chili peppers, capsicum, parsley, thyme, grapefruit, papaya, strawberries, kiwifruit, mango and of course oranges and lemons.
Of course, with our busy urban lifestyles, it’s not always easy to get the vitamins we need through our food. An effective supplement can help here. We like
Ogaenics Healthy Kick Plant-based Vitamin C and B-Happy Vitamin B Komplex – both of which can help boost your metabolism, balance hormones in the face of stress, and boost oxidation – all of which is great for fighting acne and creating a gorgeous glow that comes from within.