I can’t tell you how many times I sat on a cold examination table in a paper robe at the dermatologist’s office, asking the same questions over and over again, and unfortunately, getting the same answers.
“Are you sure food isn’t causing my acne?” I’d ask, sheepishly.
“Of course not, that’s ridiculous.” They’d respond dismissively, throwing me back into a pit of stress, confusion, and insecurity, again.
I knew, knew, *knew* (intuitively) (even when I was 15 years old), that what I was eating was impacting my skin a lot. But I didn’t have the tools or knowledge to articulate this, and so I spent the next 15 years struggling with acne; trying every pill, cream, antibiotic and topical cream possible.
Finally, I had one awful and completely shi**y dermatologist who, after 15 years of various treatments, recommended I try a “light treatment” as an option for $500 “…but it may or may not work?”
This last appointment got me to finally, finally, finally trust my intuition around my body, skin, and most specifically, my food.
I *knew* that food was the biggest contributing factor to my acne, but spent a lot of time not trusting my intuition and instincts.
Message from-the-future-me-to-the-future-you: don’t do that. Trust yourself. If you think something is up with your food and your skin, it IS. Full stop.
After that fateful dermatologist appointment and a lot of soul searching, I discovered an amazing practice called “Chinese Face Mapping” which confirmed what I had guessed all along – that what I was eating was negatively impacting my skin. It helped me understand that my face was just one indicator of what was happening in my body – that where my acne was on my face could potentially tell me information about what was going on in the organs in my body.
This discovery led me down a path of natural acne healing – my skin has been completely clear for 7 years now – and I want to share the knowledge I gained with you.
I have many programs I’ve created for natural acne clearing, but if you want a kickstart for natural acne healing today, start by asking yourself the following three questions.
Question #1: Is my digestion regular?
How is your digestion? Are you “going” regularly? Are you often constipated and/or have the, ahem, other problem?
I had massive digestion problems growing up and they manifested on my forehead. I had all of these teeny little white bumps all across my forehead and they drove me crazy. Also, during this time, I was terribly constipated. Sometimes I would go for days without going the bathroom (yep, DAYS! #sobad). Once I realized that there was a huge link between my digestion and my acne, I took a few big steps.
First step: I started taking probiotics religiously. Probiotics help to replenish your gut with healthy bacteria that may have been removed when you took antibiotics for that sinus infection/UTI/skin problem you had last year.
Antibiotics remove healthy gut bacteria which can mess with our bodies in all kinds of ways.
Go to the store today and grab a probiotic with “20 billion + cultures” (hint*: check the refrigerated section!). Your stomach – and ergo, skin – will thank you.
Second step: I’d start to add in fermented foods into your diet, a few times a week, at the minimum. So items like kombucha (a fermented drink, super yummy) kimchi and/or sauerkraut are a great place to start. They’ll do the same things as the probiotics above – they’ll add in the helpful bacteria that your stomach needs to digest optimally.
Question #2: Do I have a massive sweet tooth?
Do you prefer sweets over salty foods? Do you have a family history of diabetes? Do you have a massive sweet tooth?
Confession: this is me. I have a massive sweet tooth, a family history of diabetes and some blood sugar control problems myself. All of that being said, blood sugar and acne are deeply linked.
I’ll explain super quickly here: the higher your blood sugar is, the more insulin your body pumps out to control this blood sugar. The more insulin you have in your body, the more insulin growth factor 1 hormone you have. This specific hormone, IGF-1, encourages cell growth, which is exactly what we don’t want to happen around/near your pores when you’re struggling with acne, as it’s one of the first steps to the creation of a breakout on your face.
So what can you do?
First step is a big one but it’s really important: get off the artificial sugar. I know, I know, it’s a crappy step, but it’s really important. Sugar really is your skin’s greatest enemy.
Second step: start to substitute all artificial sugars with berries and fruit. Yes, yep, oui; a tangerine instead of a snickers bar; strawberries over a brownie; blueberries over a big chocolate chip cookie.
This was one of the biggest steps I took for my skin – getting off artificial sugar – and it was one of the most important for me.
Question #3: Could I have a hormonal imbalance?
Did you get your period really early? Have you taken birth control pills over the years? Do you find that most of your acne is along your jawline?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, especially the last one, I’d say you could be working with some hormonal acne problems.
The trick with this last question is that it’s intimately linked with the first two. Hormonal problems are often quite complex – and I don’t want to pretend to be able to fix them for you in a simple paragraph. I’d recommend taking a looking at the steps for questions #s 1 and 2 and giving them a try.
Also, I would take a look at supplements like Estroblock, milk thistle, chaste berry/vitex agnus castus herbs. I can’t tell you which supplements are right for you, but these supplements have been known to help female hormonal acne, especially. Do some research (always discuss with your doctor first, I am not a doctor;), and try out a few different supplement combinations – you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find!
Final word on natural acne clearing: You Always Know.
You always know if there’s something off with your body and you always know if there’s something happening with your food that relates back to your skin, etc. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
If you’ve been wondering for a while now about whether or not your skin problems have to do with something specific happening in your body – you are probably *NOT* wrong. Trust your instincts around your skin and body, and know that this trust combined with self awareness plus the tools above could be exactly what you need to heal your skin.