Why do we use antibacterial creams and harsh soaps when acne begins deep inside the body? Acne isn’t just skin deep. Breakouts, pimples, and deep cystic eruptions are actually signs of inflammation in the body.
Typically, we develop acne when:
- Hormones fluctuate.
- We eat certain foods.
- We drink alcohol.
- We have irregular bowel movements.
- We are under extreme stress.
4 Natural Ways to Help Get Rid of Acne for Good
Inflammation is driven by the immune system, which is primarily located in the gut. So, if you really want to take control of your skin, you need to take inventory of what you eat and how you feel.
Step 1: Body Awareness
Leaky gut and acne are best buddies. Wherever you find one, you will likely find the other. A leaky gut is an inflamed gut. One way to detect leaky gut is to watch out for irregular bowel movements: Either constipation for days or loose stool multiple times a day.
Other possible signs of inflammation include:
- Bloating, gas, or heartburn
- Joint pain
- Nasal congestion
- Anxiety or depression
Keep in mind that you can also inflame the gut just by subjecting your body to excess physical, emotional, or environmental stress.
Step 2: Food Awareness
Food is the most common gut irritant. If you struggle with acne and haven’t checked in with what you eat, now is the time. The wrong kinds of food actually feed infection and inflammation and thus lead to acne. The most notorious culprits are:
- Grains—especially those that contain gluten, like wheat, rye, and barley
- Eggs and Dairy
- Tree nuts—such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts
Seed oils can also feed inflammation. This is because many seed oils are refined (and rancid). They also contain disproportionately high levels of omega-6 fats, which have been shown to contribute to inflammation. Examples of seed oils include Canola, Corn, Peanut, Safflower and Vegetable oil.
Read labels—these oils are often in store-bought dressings and mayo alternatives.
Some plant oils—such as unrefined coconut and palm oil—are safe and even beneficial to consume. These oils can withstand high cooking temperatures without turning rancid. Unrefined coconut oil also contains antimicrobial fats that work with your body and your immune system.
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Step 3: Support Your Inner Ecosystem
Did you know that your digestive tract is filled with bacteria and yeast? These microscopic organisms are extremely important and make up the inner ecosystem of the gut. And because they know how to communicate with different cells in the human body, they shape human health. In addition to leaky gut, many of us have a wounded inner ecosystem—one that is out of balance from an onslaught of antibiotic medication, oral contraceptives, and sugary foods. Antibiotic medication, oral contraceptives, and sugary foods all damage the inner ecosystem and feed Candida yeast overgrowth.
You can rebuild your inner ecosystem by incorporating fermented foods into your diet. Fermentation is an ancient way of preserving food and has been around for a long time. But over the last century, it’s fallen out of fashion. Fortunately, we are seeing a new wave of interest in fermented foods like coconut water kefir and cultured veggies. Cultured foods:
- Are full of active enzymes and good bacteria.
- Help to lower inflammation in the body.
- Detox the body gently but deeply.
- Reboot stress hormones.
Step 4: Support Liver Health
When harmful bacteria, dietary irritants, and environmental toxins get past the gut lining, they drain into the liver. The liver is not so much of a filter as it is a place where detoxification and transformation happen. With the help of powerful antioxidants like glutathione, the liver transforms toxins. And with the help of the immune system, the liver clears potentially harmful substances—including bacteria and pro-inflammatory fragments of bacteria. When the liver is not able to function optimally and gets congested due to medications, greasy foods, chemicals, heavy metals, preservatives in food, lack of sleep, stress, and repressed anger, it leaks toxic bile. This causes inflammation.
How well you remove pollutants from your body is not solely dependent on your liver—it also hinges on the integrity of your gut. With a healthy inner ecosystem, you can restore your liver’s ability to cleanse. You can bring your body back into balance and lay the foundation for beautiful, glowing skin.
Acne is a pesky skin issue that is more than skin deep. Cystic acne and breakouts are signs of deeper inflammation in the body. Acne may be triggered by certain foods, alcohol, irregular bowel movements, hormones, or extreme stress. All of these triggers activate the immune system; the immune system is responsible for inflammation.
About the Author
Donna Gates, M.Ed., ABAAHP, is the international best-selling author of several books. She is an Advanced Fellow with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, she is on a mission to change the way the world eats. Visit her website