This is a guest post from Jessica Graham from the Natural Acne Clinic.
Are you well during your teen years and still struggling with stubborn acne? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people still deal with acne and acne between the ages of 20, 30 or even 40 years. And if anything, adult acne is even more frustrating, more embarrassing – and more difficult to clear.
As a person who has struggled with stubborn acne for years, I know how incredibly unpleasant it can be. I tried everything to cleanse – pills, lotions, antibiotics, skin care. They will work for a while, then my acne will return. This went on for years! I missed a lot of fun because I hated how my skin looked. My confidence also dived.
But after many trials and mistakes, research and perseverance, I finally discovered how to clean and control my acne. And I realized that I had one goal: to help other people finally get smooth skin without acne.
If nothing worked, it's not your fault. Acne is largely a genetic condition. If one of your parents had severe acne, most likely you too. It is also caused by hormones, stress, diet and other lifestyle factors.
Most people treat acne with lotion, cleanser or topical medication. Dermatologists prescribe a regime of antibiotics and other drugs that you continue to take for years.
However, if you have tried these treatments with little success, it is not your fault. The truth is that there is no single approach when it comes to treating your acne. That is why switching to another acne medicine or using a new moisturizer rarely helps.
But do not worry – it is possible to clear and control your adult acne. The good news is that it is quite possible to clarify the situation, even if nothing happened before.
During my journey to cleansing the skin, I discovered that treating acne requires a comprehensive approach to the whole body.
While the right skin products are important, a healthy, balanced body is even more important.
There are certain vitamins and herbs that help eliminate the underlying cause of your acne, and this is the key to ultimately achieving the smooth and clean complexion you are aiming for.
Here are the top five on my list:
Skin Nutrient # 1: Vitamin A
Acne is a genetic disorder that speeds up the exchange of cells in your skin (a process called retaining hyperkeratosis). Acne-prone skin loses up to five times more dead skin cells than usual. These dead skin cells begin to accumulate and clog your pores.
If this is not so bad, these layers of dead skin react with bacteria on your skin and create a sticky layer that forms under your skin. This creates what is known as microcomodon. This is the beginning of a breakthrough.
Thus, if you slow down the cell turnover, you can stop the excess of dead skin cells from clogging the pores. And that's where vitamin A can help!
Vitamin A slows the exchange of cells, so dead skin cells stop clogging your pores. It is also an antioxidant that acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help reduce redness and swelling.
Since it is difficult to obtain a therapeutic dose of vitamin A only through diet, it is best to take it in the form of an additive.
Skin Nutrient No. 2: Zinc
Zinc is an important part of any health regimen, but this important mineral works wonders for getting rid of stubborn acne.
Zinc is an effective natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent that protects against harmful bacteria on your skin. It also breaks down a compound called “substance P,” a nerve chemical that causes oil production when your body is under stress.
So, if you tend to flare up during stress – zinc can help!
Zinc works especially well in combination with vitamin A and the following mineral on our list for acne control:
Skin Loving Nutrient # 3: Omega-3 Fish Oil
Omega-3 fish oil is rich in compounds known as Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), which are very beneficial to the health of your skin. They act as natural anti-inflammatory drugs that help alleviate inflammation caused by excess sebum and bacteria.
Moreover, they also fight the effects of PGE2 and LTB4, two inflammatory chemicals that cause acne.
Fish, flaxseed oil and avocado are excellent sources of omega-3. But you get the most benefit for your skin, taking it in the form of supplements.
Skin Nutrient No. 4: Vitex Chaste Berry
In women, hormonal acne usually appears along the chin and chin line. If this sounds familiar, a herb called Vitex should be part of your arsenal to fight acne.
Vitex agnus castus, also known as Chasteberry, is a “female herb” that has traditionally been used to relieve menstrual pain, PMS, abdominal distension, and other menstrual symptoms. We recommend Vitex because it promotes a healthy balance of hormones – and this is the key to achieving clarity.
Hormonal acne is caused by elevated levels of testosterone and other androgens along with an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels.
Vitex works with the pituitary and hypothalamus, increasing the production of luteinizing hormone and suppressing the release of follicle-stimulating hormone. It helps to reduce the level of androgens that cause acne, and at the same time helps to increase the level of progesterone.
Vitex can help maintain a healthy balance of these hormones faster than what your body can do on its own. Healthy hormonal balance means clean, healthy skin!
Skin Nutrient No. 5: Probiotics
Did you know that your digestive health is directly related to skin health? This is true! When your digestive system is running smoothly, the rest of your body does the same thing – and your acne can improve.
Your digestive system is where your body absorbs nutrients from the food you eat. It helps to eliminate the toxin from your body. Most of your immune cells also live here.
A deteriorating digestive system means that toxins are not eliminated from the body. Poor digestion also weakens your immune system and increases inflammation throughout the body. And you see it with acne, redness, dull skin, and more.
One of the best ways to get the digestive system back on track is to take probiotic supplements. Probiotics nourish the intestines with the “good” bacteria necessary to get rid of toxins, reduce inflammation and balance the intestinal tract.
Probiotics are especially important if you are taking antibiotics. While antibiotics destroy harmful bacteria … they also remove good bacteria. A probiotic supplement that contains a mixture of both lactobacilli and bifidobacteria can quickly restore healthy intestinal balance and quickly eliminate acne and digestive problems.
Bonus: One popular skin vitamin you should never take!
Biotin (vitamin B7) is a popular ingredient in supplements for hair, skin and nails. It is also found in many multivitamins, nutritional beverage powders and even in your shampoos and conditioners.
Traditionally, biotin is believed to prevent dryness and brittleness of your hair, so they recommend taking additional biotin so that skin, hair and nails look soft and shiny. But here’s a dirty little secret: biotin, it turns out, is one of the most serious criminals when it comes to acne!
One of the best vitamins that protect against acne is pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5. Pantothenic Acid helps protect your skin's natural barrier and protect against acne. However, biotin can prevent your skin from absorbing this skin-loving vitamin, and this can aggravate acne. There are also unconfirmed reports that excess biotin can make your skin more oily.
Biotin is naturally produced by the body. It is also easily available through diet, so there is no need to take additional quantities. The right supplements can help treat acne from the inside. As a person who struggled with acne, I understand how hard it is. Sometimes it seems that you will never have clear skin!
But I can tell you – judging by my own experience, as well as the experience of our clients – that even the most stubborn and painful acne can disappear if you treat them correctly. And the adoption of cleansing acne herbs and additives – a giant step in the right direction. They nourish your skin with the essential nutrients needed to keep it clean and stay clean for decades.
Jessica Gremli, the founder of the Natural Acne Clinic at Wheat Ridge Colorado, is a medical beautician, certified acne specialist, a specialist in the latest and diets. After decades of struggling with stubborn acne hormones, Jessica has combined her knowledge of herbal medicine, diet, nutrition, and skin care to create a holistic acne cleansing program that is 95% successful.