Let’s talk about acne, everyone’s best friend. I’ve been sharing my experience with skincare for a few years now and have mentioned a couple of skincare products that have helped me but I’ve never really shared the natural remedies that got rid of my acne, so here go! There’s a lot to cover to be ready to take notes.
To give you some insight, I have combination skin and would mostly get acne on my forehead, also chin and neck area and I know the last two are more hormonal but these steps helped with that as well. My type of acne is mostly white heads with the occasional cystic acne on my cheeks and chin.
Okay so I did a few different things but I truly believe that the combination of all of them was key to getting rid of it. The first 3 are diet based and the next 3 are natural topical treatments so make sure you carefully read them all:
- I took a Food Intolerance Test + went Dairy free. I wrote a blog post last year on how and why I changed my diet so you can give it a read HERE to find out more details. But basically by taking this test, my doctor and I where able to pin point which foods were causing problems in my body such as Dairy, which turns out was a big contributor to my acne. There were many other foods that where causing me issues such as nausea, fatigue, rashes, among others and clearing those out of my system undoubtedly helped my skin, but I’ll focus on the one that helped the most with my acne. After I went diary free, I noticed my skin was less inflamed after the first week, I was shocked. The longer I kept staying away from dairy the less and less acne I started getting, and the ones I already had where healing so much faster so now I make it a priority. But whatever your trigger might be, I think a Food Intolerance Test is a good way of finding out which foods to avoid to have healthier skin.
- I cut Meat out of my diet for 6 weeks. Okay so this one was hard for me, but the results where crazy good. By eating tons of veggies, fruits, some legumes and Seitan and Tofu to get my protein, I got the healthiest looking skin of my life! I am not kidding or exaggerating, I’m no expert so I’m not sure of why this worked so well, but trust me it was like a re-boot for my skin. I started seeing results closer to 2 weeks in, of course it was specially good for my hormonal acne. My plan was to do it only for 4 weeks but after seeing how good my skin was doing, I decided to extend it for as long as I could. Obviously as you can tell, I only lasted 2 more weeks because I actually do love meat. But now knowing what I do, I’ve cut way back on red meat and eat mostly fish. Honestly my skin isn’t as nice as it was without meat in my diet but for now I can live with it.
- I incorporated Probiotics. If you eat tons of processed foods or those lacking in probiotics then you’re more prone to have gut problems. Gut health has an important role to play when protecting your skin from the damages of the outside world so again, you want to heal and nourish your skin from the inside out. For me it was a natural step to take because I went from consuming a lot of dairy products to none and my body was definitely feeling the change. That’s when I decided to update my probiotic source and found a daily supplement I could take. Now, I know there are many food sources where you can get probiotics but personally I’m not a fan of them, however if you find some you love go for it! But for those who prefer a pill like me, I bought some at Target and it’s worked great.
- I used Witch Hazel as Toner. I buy Thayers Witch Hazel Alove Vera Formula “Original” at my local market, it’s cheap and so soothing. It works as a natural astringent because it helps to remove oils (without getting that super dry feeling afterwards). It also calms down inflammation and acne areas, my skin even feels way smoother but one of the biggest changes for me is that evens out my skin tone! I feel like my SK-II Treatment Essence is also amazing at making my skin smooth and to even out my overall tone but at a MUCH higher price. I’m still a fan, but I mean it’s $99 vs $9.50 so it’s your choice. HOW TO APPLY: I use a cotton pad and moist it with Witch Hazel, then I gently pat all over my face, neck and chest. I leave it on just like I would any other toner.
- I used Tea Tree Oil as Spot Treatment. I’ve mentioned this before on the blog but I’ll officially say it again, this is the best natural way to spot treat acne. You should definitely dilute it with coconut oil or something similar before you apply it to avoid damaging your skin as it is strong, but it works wonders! HOW TO APPLY: I mix a bit of coconut oil and a drop of Tea Tree oil and apply it directly on my acne with a cotton swab and leave it on. Don’t over do it, just enough to cover. I realized that it helps to get rid of acne faster. Sometimes it will help it pop if it needs to and sometimes it simply takes it away before it even gets to that point. But either way it never fails to speed up the process. Also if the skin did brake I apply a bit extra afterwards to clean it and help it heal quicker! After doing this I saw that acne started to recur less and less.
- I used Raw Manuka Honey 15+. I buy this at my local Sprouts Market. Raw Manuka Honey is very moisturising on for the skin, it also has beneficial antioxidants and works as an antibacterial, so it leaves your skin feeling smooth and with fewer bacteria which means less chance of infected pores, which means less acne. BUT you do want to pay attention to the grading system so look for the UMF or MGO rating on the label. For acne purposes make sure you’re using a minimum of UMF 10+ or MGO 261+ (attention: not just a +number, it has to say UMF or MGO so you know it’s certified). I personally used UMF 18+ (in MGO grading it would be 692) to make sure I had enough levels of antibacterial properties and it worked great. HOW TO APPLY: Start with a clean face, wet your hands and lightly dab your face and neck so the honey applies easier. I used it as a mask on my face and neck 2-3 times a week for about 15-20min and rinsed off with water.
- Turmeric Drink before bedtime. I started making “Golden Milk” but used Oat Milk instead of dairy. You can also drink Turmeric Tea, I just like the Golden Milk recipe better, but the point is to fight off acne from the inside. Turmeric is well known as an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial and I found that by consistently drinking it my acne started looking much better. *I buy my Turmeric powder at an herb and spice shop in LA because I feel that it’s more reliable and potent than the ones you find in supermarkets, plus it’s cheaper. But I’ll leave that to your discretion. DIRECTIONS: 1) Pour 1 1/2 cups of the milk of your choice into a small pot on medium heat. 2) Add 1 tsp ground Turmeric, a pinch of black pepper (this activates the turmeric and helps your body absorb the curcumin), add 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (also an anti-inflammatory) and add honey to your liking. 3) Let it simmer for about 10min. Enjoy nice and warm! I would make this every night. Now that my skin is better I drink it about 3-4 times a week for it’s other benefits and to help me sleep.
- Staying consistent with a remedy. The thing with skin is that you have to give it time for things to work! The human body is AMAZING and it works really hard everyday to fight off infections, inflammations and basically to regenerate itself so naturally aside from needing to be properly nourished, it also needs TIME to adjust to a new skincare routine. So whether you’re trying these steps above or your own or any skincare product, please don’t give up after a week or two, try to be more patient. Believe me, if you’re switching remedies and products every week, nothing will work for you. I’m a firm believer than you have to give things at least 3 weeks if not a month to see and feel results. So staying consistent and simple with your remedies/routines is key, it truly helped me.
I made a conscious plan to follow all of these steps within the same time period and around month 3 I felt like I had new skin. I still get a pimple or two around my period but of course that can’t be avoided! So far though, my skin has been feeling so much better. To whoever might be reading this, I know it’s frustrating to live with acne and you can feel so discouraged and tired of nothing working for you but there’s always a solution out there so please don’t lose hope! I truly wish you find this helpful and if there’s natural remedies that have worked for you that I didn’t mention please comment below so we can all help each there out. Part 2 of this post will be up soon, so keep an eye for that. I send you all my best!!