One of many frequent questions you ask me and it seems to be a significant problem not only for teenagers but also for older women aged 20, 30 and over, is acne.
Today, I would like to share some practical tips on how to reduce or eliminate this issue. Firstly, the roots of acne differ hugely so these tips might not help those whose acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance (i.e PMS, thyroid dysfunction..), specific medicaments or having a serious gut issues. But at least, you can try these tips to support your largest organ – skin.
Here are eight general tips for acne free skin:
- Lactose-free diet – cow’s milk and lactose in common are well-known triggers of skins problems. Avoiding pasteurised milk may hep your skin to clear. You can try home made almond, coconut or cashew milk by using a high-speed blender and a nut milk bag to strain the pulp (not necessary for cashew milk and coconut milk if you make the coco milk from the flesh of young coconuts). The ratio is 1 cup of nuts to 4-5 cups of water. Keep your plant-based milk in a glass bottle in a fridge for up to 3 days.
- Avoid gluten and try to stay all flour free (yes, also gluten free flours such as rice, corn, banana, buckwheat etc.) for at least 21 days. Gluten interferes with our gut and may cause leaky gut which might be asymptomatic for years and causing many inflammatory health conditions, including acne.
- Add healthy fats into your diet – it might not make sense as normally acne skin is pretty oily, but healthy oils not the trans fat oils are necessary for a healthy skin, nails and hair. Add high quality pumpkin oil to your daily diet as it is full of beneficial zinc and vitamin E which are both essential for a healthy skin. You can use pumpkin seed oil externally (on your face) as well as internally. It has an anti-bacterial properties so it is great to boost your immunity as well.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) – especially omega-3 which you can mainly find in flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds/oils. Adding these seeds or high-quality oils into your daily dishes will help your skin to bloom again.
- Turmeric – this root is such a powerful anti-inflammatory tool which helps your skin with healing. Simply use the root in your juices, smoothies or simply adding this spice in your food. Facial mask using turmeric are also great!
- Leafy greens vegetables – do you drink your green smoothie every day? If not, you should start with this routine as soon as you can Especially kale is full of beta-caroten, a precursor of vitamin A which is important for a cell recovery and turnover. Also fibre is really helps to clean your colon. Use this recipe for a delicious morning smoothie:
1/2 cup of kale
1/2 fresh pineapple
1/2 cup broccoli
1 1/2 cup fresh almond milk
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy this delicious and highly nutritious smoothie.
- Foods high in zinc – chia, pumpkin, flax and hemp seeds are high in zinc.
- Probiotics foods – healthy gut bacteria can help significantly with reducing and healing acne skin. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, water kefir, coconut kefir, pickles etc. are all great fermented foods rich in probiotics, strengthening your gut. If for you cannot eat these foods then purchase a high quality probiotics (10,000 CFU to 50,000 CFU daily). You can purchase a dairy free, raw vegan probiotics from Garden of Life.
- Tea tree essential oil and natural cosmetic with tea tree is great to clean your skin with. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. You can mix 3 drops of tea tree oil, 3 drops of lavender oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Apply this blend 1,5 hour before you go to bed and rinse.