There are probably only a few people who haven’t experienced an acne problem in one way or another during their lifetime. Unfortunately, acne problems are very common and are caused by several changes in our life which we all experience. And, since break-outs are so very common, remedies also come in all shapes and sizes. Of course, one of the best ways to treat an acne problem is by using natural acne remedies.
What do we know about acne?
Acne is a skin condition, or better yet a group of skin conditions that cause changes in the skin. The changes are mostly pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.
One very unpleasant side of the acne is that, depending on a how mild or severe the symptoms are, it can leave scars. Besides that, acne can be inflammatory or non-inflammatory.
The range of acne symptoms is wide just like the range of possible natural acne remedies. Without inflammation, acne is characterized by whiteheads and blackheads. Inflammation is caused by the presence of bacteria P. Acnes, but it is usually very localized inflammation. Cystic acne comes with cysts and nodules on the skin.
An acne issues that commonly affects adolescents, with symptoms appearing on their jaws, back, and chest, is an inflammatory acne skin condition called Acne Fulminans. The other inflammatory acne is Acne mechanica which is the result of mechanical influences on the skin, like pressure, heat, clothing or body friction. As the source of this acne is mechanical, athletes can be affected by this type of acne.
What causes acne?
There are several combinations of causes, but all of them have one thing in common… Clogged pores. Clogging pores with excessive oil production and /or dead skin cells causes acne.
We all have some amount of oil produced in our skin every day. That oil is called sebum and it is produced by our sebaceous glands that reside in the root of hair follicles. And, yes we all have hair follicles and hair on our faces and chest, which for women are very tiny but they exist nevertheless. And they produce oil.
Too much of that oil and the pores get clogged. Dead skin in the pores and even the smallest amount of sebum can cause acne. And sometimes bacteria collects, which causes inflammation.
But what causes increased amounts of sebum? The level of hormones. And we all know when that time is? During puberty. Especially high levels of androgen hormones are responsible for that. The other significant times of hormonal changes is at certain points in a woman’s menstrual cycle and during menopause.
Besides hormones, another very much cited cause of acne is nutrition. There are unhealthy foods which promote acne and also diets rich in plant-based nutrients which help to nourish the skin and keep it at its best. As this study suggests there is a correlation between a high-glycemic diet and acne vulgaris symptoms.
There are a number of other causes, as well, which can improve or worsen the symptoms. Causes like stress, smoking, medications (especially hormone regulating medications), hormones (especially misuse of hormones in sport – like very the infamous steroidal acne), and of course genetics.
Can natural remedies for acne eradicate all these causes? No, but most of of all, they can help to ease the symptoms, and some of them can even improve and remove the causes.
Natural acne remedies vs. over-the-counter medications
One of the major advantages of using natural acne remedies over the conventional ones is the very mild or non-existent side effects.
Two mostly used components of conventional acne solutions are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide and alongside them sulfur and zinc. These two aim to fight the basic sources of acne – bacteria and dead skin cells. The issue with these types of treatments is, they can dry out your skin and even “burn” it, if not used carefully. This can bring about another set of issues and while trying to remedy the dried and inflamed skin, you may worsen your acne further.
Regarding bacterial acne, sometimes you can get oral antibiotics in order to reduce their activity. Perhaps in severe cases a short course might be considered, but keep in mind all the dangers of antibiotics including digestive issues and how the eradication of healthy gut bacteria which can take 6 months to replenish. Also keep in mind the erosion of the effectiveness of antibiotics which could make them ineffective for a serious infection you have in the future.
What natural acne remedies have to offer?
One regular activity you can do is a gentle exfoliation. One reason to prefer homemade natural remedies over the harsh store-bought ones, is that you know what will be in the one you make. Conventional ones often have solvents and artificial additives to improve the color and fragrance of the remedy, which can cause additional irritation.
For exfoliation, we need hard particles that do most of the exfoliating. For that, you can use cornmeal, or sea salt or even ground oatmeal. In addition to that you need a nice base, otherwise you will feel like you’re applying sandpaper to your skin. For that, excellent choices are yogurt, kefir, honey, lemon and orange juice and egg white. These other ingredients bring natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory action. A nice recipe is to mix the cornmeal, egg whites, lemon juice, and yogurt, apply it to the skin, and gently rub in avoiding the eyes. In the end, wipe the skin with a dry cloth.
As an acne spot treatment, you can always apply tea tree oil (be sure to dilute it according to directions). It is very good for dressing and treating wounds since it has natural anti-bacterial properties. And since we want to reduce bacteria in skin pores this property can be very useful. Actually, in 1990 a study showed that over a longer period of application, a gel made of water and only 5% of tea tree oil can be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide.
An application of fruit acids is another great natural way of removing dead skin cells, thus preventing them from clogging pores.
So, as we can see, there are many possible natural acne remedies which we can make ourselves, ensuring we know exactly what we’re putting on our skin.
Another very good method of naturally killing bacteria is by applying topical nano-silver. Now we are not talking about a silver bullet for werewolves. Silver does kill bacteria but in a safer way than conventional antibiotics, by allowing “good bacteria” to remain and only killing the damaging bacteria. An application of silver gel as a topical treatment will not only clear the skin from acne-causing bacteria, but it will do so without drying your skin or causing irritation. It does not contain alcohol or any other solvent. ASAP Health MAX Silver Gel is an excellent choice for disinfection of the skin in the case of acne, and even rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other mechanical injuries – bites, burns, cuts, etc.
Healthy meal – healthy skin
As mentioned earlier, diet has a major impact on acne and one specific way is through your glycemic index and glycemic load. A high glycemic index food which also has a high glycemic load is bad for your skin (and overall health).
Without going too much into detail, let’s just say that glycemic index defines how fast blood sugar raises after the meal. While glycemic load takes that index into account, plus the number of carbohydrates and fiber into the equation. So more fiber – less the load.
So processed food and sweets have a high glycemic index, with high glycemic load, while vegetables have a lower glycemic index, and low glycemic load.
It doesn’t take much to realize the western, or especially American diet, is very good at promoting acne.
Green vegetables, especially raw vegetables, lots of fresh fruit, high-quality protein like cold sea fish, chicken, a lot of fiber, etc. are the basic ingredients of a healthy diet and are recommended for every health issue. Also adding food rich in zinc showed promising results in treating acne. Those foods are yogurt, kefir, seeds, nuts, eggs and legumes.
Vitamins and minerals also play significant roles in our health, and there are numerous kinds of foods with immune boosting properties.
These are all strategies for fighting bacteria and acne from the outside. But a strong and smart immune system fights bacteria and infections from the inside. The diet we mentioned earlier is great for improving overall health and the immune system. But, as with using silver gel, we can increase our immune system functionality with a bit of supplementation. BioPro-Plus is a great way of boosting your immune system in a natural way. Why is this supplementation natural? Because it tops-up the essential proteins already produced by your own body, with added zinc and nano-silver solution, it’s a power-house of immune-boosting properties.