Skin Health 101: 6 Steps to Clearing Acne

IMG_2502I have struggled with the health of my skin for the majority of my life, and have tried so many options to clear my skin of acne that I can hardly remember them all. I have tried prescription creams, dozens of cleansers and drugstore topical treatments, all of which only lead to more problems, or a temporary fix.

When I started treating my acne holistically with a clean diet and a few skincare changes, I noticed major differences!

Here’s a starting guide to finding your perfect-skin combination:

1) Drink more water
Water is the first step to skin health, and it essential to keep our whole body functioning properly. Drink lots of clean water, and make sure to replenish after drinking any caffeinated beverages, sweating, or in warmer weather.

 2) Eat more veggies
Greens, greens, everywhere! Eating a plant based diet helps the acid-alkaline balance in our body, which supports tissue health, gut health, and our energy levels, and reduces inflammation. Lately, I’ve been eating lots more greens in my diet and have noticed lots of great changes. Not just in my skin health – my whole body feels so much more balanced!

 3) Find your food intolerances
The biggest change I saw in my skin was when I discovered I was gluten and dairy intolerant. When our body has a hard time digesting certain foods, they can cause inflammation and toxicity in the body, leading to skin issues.

It takes some trials and experimentation to find out what foods are best for your body. For starters, eat more greens, less (if any!) white sugar, and limit your dairy consumption.

If you’re really curious, try to find a naturopath or holistic practitioner in your area, who can talk to you about the best food plan to start out on. Before making any big changes, it’s good to check with a professional who can help you narrow down what the best options are for you.

 4) Get a little more vitamin D
Remember those sunny, summer days when your skin just seems to glow after being outside? Unless you live somewhere down south, you probably don’t get out in the sunshine every day. Here are some great reasons to love vitamin D. My skin has never been this consistently acne-free since including it in my daily routine!

 5) Clean up your skincare products
Have you looked at the ingredients in your cleanser, toners and moisturizers? Alcohols, sulphates, parabens, artificial colours and scents… These ingredients aren’t doing anything good for your skin. Check out this list of ingredients to be on the watch for.

Skin toner blues? Use organic lemon juice. It heals redness and marks, and can help balance out oil production. Use it once or twice a day and it can work wonders!

For moisturizers, test out using oils instead of creams. When I was first cleaning up my skincare routine, I started using an oil moisturizer with essential oils. It really balanced out my oily skin! Try an organic, natural oil-based moisturizer to see how it jives with your skin. We’re so used to trying to strip our skin of the oils that might contribute to acne, but that can sometimes cause even more problemsour body tries to compensate by creating even more oil!

  6) Sleep more, sleep early
Do you ever notice that after you stay up into the early hours of the morning (*ahem* watching Netflix) you wake up with a little less glow than usual? Our body resets, heals and refreshes during sleep, so the more you get, the better your skin is going to be. I’ve found that even if I sleep from 1am-10am (9 hours!), my skin will never look as refreshed as when I get to sleep before midnight. If you’re a night owl like me, getting to sleep early might take some getting used to, so give yourself a week or two to make it into a habit.

Need a little help feeling tired earlier? Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea half an hour before you sleep. Chamomile is the classic “sleepytime” tea, but make sure you find a fresh, organic brand to avoid pesticides and chemicals.
Chamomile is also good for stress and anxiety, which are two more causes of acne!

There are so many factors that contribute to our skin’s health, so if something doesn’t work perfectly for you, don’t give up! Living with acne is tricky, and with so many “miracle cures,” it’s hard to know what to believe. Focusing on a clean, healthy diet is the easiest place to start!

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