If you've ever experienced acne and most of us have at one point, you'll know it can be a condition that comes with more than a side of red, inflamed skin. It can profoundly affect your confidence and self-worth. What are some easy, but important ways of treating acne naturally to help this annoyingly stubborn skin condition improve?
What Causes And Triggers Acne?Acne Vulgaris is a common skin disease characterised by patches of scaly red skin (seborrhea), pimples (pustules) and blackheads or whiteheads (comedones). Cystic Acne is a more severe type of acne where infection and inflammation have caused significant, red, deep and sore acne lesions. Acne is usually present in oilier skin types with a dense population of sebaceous follicles. This usually affects the face, upper chest, and back. While predominantly associated with adolescents, acne commonly appears in adults and sporadically during times of stress and altered hormone levels, such as during pregnancy.
9 Tips For Treating Acne NaturallyWe spoke to our resident skin expert - Botani Founder and Naturopath, Barbara Filokostas who has treated hundreds of acne sufferers and knows a thing or two about how to give acne the flick. Barbara believes treating any skin condition requires a holistic approach, and that's no different for acne. Here are her top tips to fight acne naturally:
1. Change Your MindsetStart with a positive mind. Know that there is no 'quick fix' solution. Believe that your skin will improve if you follow the right advice consistently, and not just for a week.
2. Don't Over CleanseYou may think that by removing the excess oils sitting on the skin surface, that this takes away any 'clogging' effect. All it does is strip the skin's surface and interrupt the skin's acid mantle (our skin's natural barrier). This layer is essential for protecting the skin against infection, irritation, allergic reactions and dehydration. Over-cleansing can leave skin prone to further infection and breakouts, not to mention dehydration. Cleanse twice a day with a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser such as Purify Facial Cleanser (which happens to have the added benefit of naturally antibacterial ingredients).
3. Avoid Harsh Skincare IngredientsThe skin needs to breathe, and anything that blocks it prohibits it from functioning correctly. Silicone derivatives: Pore-clogging silicones (more commonly labelled dimethicone), clogs the skin and can lead to inflammation on the skin (pimples). The skin naturally releases bacteria, skin oils and other impurities but silicone-derivatives can cause oil, sweat and dead skin cells to become trapped in the pore, causing inflammation and infection. So the very cosmetics that you may use to cover up acne is contributing to the breakouts and congestion! Benzoyl Peroxide: a harsh bleach-based chemical that's common in most pimple creams! Can sting, burn, dry and irritate the skin further. Harsh exfoliants: the very ingredients you think are 'scrubbing your dead skin cells away' might be spreading bacteria. Avoid microbeads, harsh salt/sugar scrubs on your face and large-molecule sized exfoliants like the walnut shell.
4. Minimise Processed FoodsFoods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates are linked to acne breakouts. That includes:
- Processed food, e.g. chips and biscuits.
- Food high in starch, e.g. white bread, pasta, potatoes.
- Sugary drinks, eg soft drinks, energy drinks.
5. Maximise Nutritious FoodsWe've all heard the saying 'you are what you eat', and it couldn't be more accurate.
- Try a rainbow of fresh produce.
- Gut health is essential for the proper absorption of nutrients. There are lots of ways to boost your gut health including probiotics and gut-healing broths.
- Keep your hydration up. Drink lots of alkalized water and add a squeeze of lemon in the morning to kick-start your metabolism.