I recently connected with an aesthetician to do a podcast on Healthy Skin.
She had listened to a podcast that I did some time ago titled Beauty Is An Inside Job, which was about toxins in our skincare products and then psoriasis and eczema. She wanted me to come on to her show to discuss acne, what the root cause was, and what natural solutions could be implemented to clean up a client’s skin and bring it back to a healthy balance.
As a health coach, who has done significant research to improve my inflammation, (I have autoimmune disease) I always start with healing the gut. Eliminating things that are causing a possible “leaky gut” is my first point of order.
So what causes leaky gut?
- Sugar, (which causes damage to every organ in the body) and carbohydrates that turn to sugar, which are things like white flours, cookies, etc.
- Stress (I have a series of 3-minute exercises that I have learned and recommend to let the “top” off of stress before it becomes toxic, to be utilized throughout the day.)
- Dairy (Milk has synthetic hormones in it so that the cows can continually give birth and those hormones impact the gut and skin) This includes cheese.
- Eliminating processed and fast foods, which are loaded with sugar, salt, omega-6 oils, MSG, and other synthetic ingredients that do not provide nutrition for the body and add harmful substances in their place. (My rule of thumb, if I can’t pronounce it or if I don’t know what it is, I put the food back on the grocery store shelf.)
- Some over the counter drugs, Steroids, NSAIDS, Antacids, Acid blockers are all believed to exasperate leaky gut. Tylenol exasperates the liver, which is our main detox organ.
- Toxic Metals
- Infections, parasites, and candida
- Toxins in all aspects of our lives, in and on our food, herbicides, pesticides, GMOs (which have BT Toxin grown right in them or are made “Roundup Ready” for heavy herbicide spraying, our water, soda pop, both with sugar and with fake sugars, our cooking supplies, and food storage containers, our factory-farmed meat. Omega 6 vegetable oils. Sensitivities (you can do an elimination diet, but I recommend you get a test done either by Genova or Meridian Valley. My sensitivities would never have been found by an elimination diet.) Our cosmetics and personal care products, our cleaning supplies, or fragrances (which are synthetic and harmful).
- Toxic lack of sleep- seven continuous hours of quality sleep is imperative.
- Toxic relationships, both personal and in the workplace.
- And toxic lack of movement
- While cleaning up the gut and healing the wall of the gut, it’s also important to eat a diet that consists of eating all the colors of the rainbow within a close period. Each color has a gift for the body and they work together to create a synergy of health and lower oxidative stress. They are loaded with phytonutrients. Eating the rainbow is a significant step towards health and getting all of the appropriate nutrients for the body (and the skin) to thrive.
- Get outside to get 10 minutes of sunshine every day whenever possible.
- Eat extra foods that have high levels of Vitamin A.
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
- Sweet potato
- Black-eyed peas
- Sweet red pepper
- Butternut Squash
- Red bell peppers
- Eat more foods high in zinc
- Grass-Fed Grass Finished Beef
- Dark organic chicken leg meat
- Firm organic Tofu
- Lean Pork chops (we eat Heritage Pork)
- Organic oatmeal
- Hemp Seeds
Take a good probiotic, and eat prebiotics to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are, onion, garlic, leeks, artichokes, jicama, rye, blueberries, raspberries, plantains, bananas, asparagus, and dandelion greens are also great prebiotics. Eat plain yogurt with active bacilli, kefir, and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, and drink Kombucha. Take a good digestive enzyme. I take Klare.
We have eliminated omega-6 oils, now we need to add omega-3 oils to the diet. Ghee, olive oil, brown rice oil, coconut oil, avocado oils are all good choices. Also eat Omega-3 foods, wild-caught fish, organic meats (that eat their own species-specific diet), and pastured, free-run chicken and eggs.
To help the liver, glutathione, and milk thistle, and Alpha Lipoic Acid. Again, the health of our liver is an important part of our body’s health as it is our key detox organ. Also eat more liver supportive foods, broccoli, cauliflower, pears, and apples (important for their high fiber). And eat other high fiber foods, nuts, and seeds.
You might have an issue with gluten. My go-to expert on gluten is Dr. Tom OBryan, and he has trained functional practitioners who are trained specifically in this area[i]. Dr. Amy Myers has a wonderful blog on her website on Cross-Reactive foods that mimic gluten.[ii] These foods should also be avoided.
I also suggest anti-inflammatory supplements that I take for my inflammation- curcumin with bp, quercetin, and resveratrol. Make sure your Vitamin D is up to snuff and that you get tested for your magnesium levels.
Be very discriminating about what you use topically on your skin. There are tons of toxins in skincare products. Cosmetics are not regulated to keep our skin and body’s safe. I use Keys Pure, because their products are so clean. EWG has an app called Skin Deep which is now part of their Healthy Living app, and another app Think Dirty helps you determine what not to buy. I have chapters on the toxins in all of our everyday products in my first book, It Feels Good to Feel Good, Learn to Eliminate Toxins, Reduce Inflammation and Feel Great Again, which is available on Amazon. This shares where I researched, what I found, what I replaced them with so it can give you a heads start on where the toxins are lurking.
There are many essential oils that, when mixed with a carrier oil (I use coconut oil) and dapped on the acne are great natural remedies. These are referred to by several holistic practitioners as possibilities.
- Tea Tree oil
- Lavender oil
- Rosemary oil
- Oregano oil
- Frankincense Oil
- Coconut oils itself has properties good for this.
One last comment, a conventional dermatologist or medical doctor would be likely to prescribe a pharmaceutical to go onto the skin. These solutions often have substances that are toxic to the body. Remember that the skin is the body’s largest organ, and it is a detoxification organ. Toxins easily enter the body through the skin and also exit through the skin. Before you take any topical or internal pharmaceutical do your research and then return and have a robust conversation with your health care practitioner. Accutane, Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, and Zenatane (all brand names) can have some pretty serious side effects as can minocycline. I am not a doctor, but do your own research and then open the conversation with your physician.
I would also be wary of antibiotics that can kill the good as well as the bad bacteria in your gut, and taking birth control pills which can muck with your hormones if this is the only reason they are being prescribed to you. Do your research and then have a conversation with your doctor.
The lifestyle changes above are the best place to start as they are all super good for your health and your body anyway, and you might be able to heal your skin from the inside out. Remember, beauty is an inside job, and the healthy habits I have outlined are good for your body and your beauty.
Take good care of your skin. Keep it clean. Dr. Josh Axe recommends you use something as simple as Castile Soap, which uses plant-based ingredients, such as olive oil. Or he suggests using Manuka honey and a small amount of organic coffee grounds. Again, seeing a good aesthetician is great, as long as she is using clean organic products on your skin.
The information in this article was researched for my books and from reading Dr. Susan Blum, Dr. Tom OBryan, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Amy Myer, and Dr. Josh Axe as well as information from IIN where I went to school to become a coach. They are all functional medicine practitioners.
Read Dr. Hymans article of what he did for his own Acne.