Improving your acne isn’t going to happen over night, but if you are committed to make some lifestyle changes, you will be well on your way to getting the clear skin you’ve always wanted. I have personally used these 10 steps and have seen some pretty amazing results. No longer do I have terrible breakouts that keep me indoors and shying from doing the things I enjoy in life. i know you can feel the same way, so let’s get started!
Improve Your Acne With These Simple Steps
In the following steps you will learn what causes acne and how to get rid of acne by using non-invasive natural techniques. Try not to feel overwhelmed! Just go through and start with one step at a time in order to create new lasting healthy habits.
Best of luck!
1. Cut the Sugar
One of the best ways to begin your acne free journey, is to think about how much sugar you are consuming on a daily basis.
Did you know that the average person these days eats approximately 2 pounds of sugar per week? That’s an astounding amount since sugar was first introduced into our diet only 150 years ago!
I know from personal experience how hard it can be to cut down on the amount of sugar I was consuming. When I would be studying for school, I would always have a bag of small candies nearby to nibble on while doing homework. At work, I found comfort in eating sugary snacks when I was under a lot of stress. Sugar was my vice. It was like a Band Aid I’d try to put on an open wound that couldn’t be staunched. Despite sugar being horrible for my skin, it was hard to cut back.
You may need to go through your cupboards and grab all the items that contain sugar (I’d say more than a gram per serving) just to see how much you’re actually consuming on a daily basis. Take a look at these items and really think about whether or not they are good for you. Chances are they’re not!
Don’t be fooled by the many aliases sugar goes by.
Some of them include:
• brown sugar
• fructose and crystalline fructose; high-fructose corn syrup
• invert sugar
• rice/corn/maple/malt/golden/palm syrup
• corn sweetener
• Ethyl maltol
As you can see, there are many names for hidden sugars. If you’re eating boxed cereal for breakfast with a glass of orange juice and some toast with jam on it, you may have already surpassed the daily recommended dose which is 5 tsp per day. I’m not saying all sugar is bad, but the vast majority is not good for you. Cutting back or replacing certain foods and drinks with better alternatives (not diet products mind you) will really improve how you feel.
I always recommend going with a whole foods approach. Foods in nature are going to have balanced and recognizable, fully usable sugars whereas processed foods can be full of unnatural sweeteners.
Cutting back on sugar will also help your immune system to function properly, help you lose weight, and help you to get clear skin! In case you didn’t know, blood sugar fluctuations are a MAJOR cause of acne.
You can learn how to cut back on sugar intake here.
Food Choices Are Important to Getting Clear
2. Consider the Quality of the Foods You Eat
Eating foods that come in a box isn’t the way to go with this one. Most, if not all boxed foods have been processed into a form that is no longer good for us because they have been stripped of nutrients.
The nutritional value of processed food has been damaged and diminished which means that you’re essentially paying a lot of money for the colorful packaging it comes in and NOT for the nutritional content. This will affect your skin negatively because most of us are already deficient in a lot of vitamins and minerals that these processed foods don’t contain.
For starters, try replacing one of your meals with balanced homemade leftovers or a large mixed green salad (meaningful greens please!). Add a vegetable to every meal if you can. You want to start getting in those whole foods into your diet. The more meals you can replace with REAL food that still looks like it came from nature, the better you will feel and the clearer your skin will become as its elimination pathways clear, its hormones become balanced, and deficiencies are reversed.
Don’t for get to include healthy fats like coconut oil and grass fed butter. Believe it or not, these are FULL of awesome nutrients that your body craves in order to stay nourished and rebuild itself.
3. Bring out the Blender
Making smoothies as a meal will increase your energy, up your immunity, and nourish your skin! Plus, they taste good and can pack a lot of fruit and veggies into a single smoothie that you may not normally eat.
I recommend starting your day off with a smoothie of your liking that does not contain dairy. Reason being, most of us have an intolerance to dairy and it has been known to aggravate acne conditions, so you will want to make sure to rule it out. If dairy doesn’t bother you, have at it, especially if it’s milk kefir. I will always recommend raw dairy over all others.
To make a delicious smoothie, start by choosing some of your favorite fruits if you’re scared of greens at first.
Here’s a few simple recipes:
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
• 3 cups orange juice/ almond milk/ or coconut milk
• 2 cups ripe strawberries
• 1 or more bananas depending on the thickness you want
• Blend and enjoy!
Mango Banana Spinach Smoothie
• 3 cups almond or coconut milk or more
• 2 mangos
• 1 banana
• 1 huge handful of fresh spinach
• Blend and enjoy! You’ll never even taste the spinach
Mega Green Smoothie
• 1 green apple
• 1 pear
• 2 de-ribbed stalks of kale
• The juice of one lime
• ¼ cup or more of fresh cilantro leaves
• 2/3 cup or more of orange juice
• 1 ¼ inch piece of fresh ginger
• 1 banana
• Blend and enjoy!
You can even add an awesome green powder to the smoothie to give it extra oomf!
Be sure to get some healthy fats in there too. I like to throw in a nice spoonful of coconut oil to my smoothies to give me extra energy and nourishment. I also use a high powered blender, you can get the one I use here.
Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get in tons of fruit and vegetable servings into your diet. There are MANY variations, so have fun making up your own smoothie recipes. Your skin will thank you for it!
4. Stop Picking at Your Skin
This is a big one!
Picking and popping erupted acne is not going to heal your acne faster, it’s actually going to make it a lot worse. Where you used to have one pimple, might turn into 3 pimples due to bacteria actually getting pushed further into the surrounding pores. Not a good thing if you’re trying to prevent future breakouts.
Picking at your skin will also create possible hyperpigmentation which we all know lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I have personally had hyperpigmentation that lasted nearly 6 months! So let’s try and abstain from touching our faces needlessly. If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation already, this article teaches you how to get rid of it quickly.
Keep in mind that I still don’t recommend doing this, I would just rather you did it this way than poke and prod yourself into a nasty scar you’ll regret later.
One easy tip I think a lot of us overlook is simply keeping your hands and nails clean. Even if you’re not “picking” per se, you could still be spreading germs on your skin with the constant touching and feeling.
5. Practice Awareness
Paying attention to what your hands are doing will help with your acne a lot!
Have you ever suddenly noticed that you’re touching your face for no reason? Most acne sufferers have an issue with subconscious picking. One minute you’re typing on your computer, the next, you’re scratching at a blackhead. The next minute, you’re in front of your bathroom mirror inspecting it and then squeezing it. Suddenly you realize where you are and what you’re doing, but too late! Now that blackhead that was barely noticeable is now angry looking and red.
I used to have the worst picking problem. I literally wouldn’t even notice that I had stopped doing whatever I was doing, go to the bathroom mirror and pick at imperfections on my face. I know there are others out there that have experienced this same ordeal.
So how do you fix it?
Simple. I put sticky notes on the bathroom mirror that would say things like “Stop! Don’t Do It!” or “It Will Look Much Worse If You Touch It” on them. There was one time I actually wrote “awareness” on a thick red rubber band that I would wear on my wrist as a reminder.
You don’t have to use the rubber band idea, just find something like a colored string or ribbon that signifies awareness to you and wear it as a bracelet. Whenever you move that hand to your face, you’ll see it and remember not to pick. It worked pretty well for me, and it might work for you too!
Of course there are more severe cases of picking that people experience. And for those, it’s really mind over matter. Do you really want clear skin? Be gentle to yourself and you CAN achieve it!
Keep Things Pure
6. Take a Look at Your Cosmetics
Most of us ladies love us some cosmetics, and I’m no different. But what types of ingredients are actually in all of those potions, creams, powders, and waxes we are so willing to use on ourselves to enhance our beauty?
A lot of crud unfortunately that will not improve your acne one bit.
Most cosmetics, especially certain types of foundations and concealers are going to clog pores and aggravate acne prone skin. They might even be the sole cause of your acne! I’ve seen a lot of improvement in people’s skin just by switching to non-comedogenic or natural make-up lines.
Another reason to look into the ingredients in your make-up is to pinpoint potential toxins like:
1. IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA AND DIAZOLIDINYL UREA
Did you know that the main ingredient in these is formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is known to be toxic to humans and is usually the next ingredient you’ll find after parabens.
2. METHYL/PROPYL/BUTYL / and ETHYL PARABEN
These are used as bacterial growth inhibitors so that your cosmetics have a longer shelf life. They are known to be toxic and can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
This is a byproduct of gasoline!
4. PROPYLENE GLYCOL
Used to maintain moisture in certain cosmetics. It is known to irritate the skin.
5. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE
Used in shampoos to create that lather everyone loves, but guess what? It causes eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, dandruff and allergic reactions. Some lines try to hide by saying that it “comes from coconut.”
7. SYNTHETIC COLORS
Synthetic colors are believed to be cancer-causing agents. If you see these listed in the ingredients, don’t use it!
8. SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES
These can contain over 100 ingredients! Any of which can be harmful and aggravating to the skin.
These are just a few ingredients to watch out for. There are MANY others. Try to go with cosmetics with readable, natural ingredients in them. You don’t have to stop using cosmetics just try being more mindful and try to find natural, mineral based cosmetics. I like Zuzu, Mineral Fusion, and Gabriel.
Changing your cosmetics is one of the best ways to improve your acne condition. When I first started, I switched from a popular brand to a more natural one and saw a huge decrease in my comedonal acne.
Make the switch to a mineral make-up if you can and see the difference it can make. Please note that your acne can actually get worse because it finally has a chance to get all those clogged up toxins out. This is GOOD, so try not to get discouraged! Be happy that your skin is getting rid of all the build-up and think positively. You can use a clay mask during this purging process to help calm things down.
To learn how to make your own make-up check out the articles below:
7. Drink Lots of Fresh, Clean Water
If you are drinking mostly soda, energy drinks, coffee, tea, and processed juices during the day, your body is going to get dehydrated believe it or not.
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee. All but one of the above mentioned drinks contain it which indicates that the vast majority of us are chronically dehydrated. You can read more about why caffeine is bad for your skin here.
Water is the main transporter the body uses to excrete toxins from the body whether it be by sweating, urination, defecation, breathing, or even crying.
Without it, we simply can’t function properly which is why the human body can only go 3 days without water before dying. If we are constantly consuming only flavored drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine, we risk dehydrating ourselves to the point of sluggish elimination. This can lead to a whole slew of ailments, and acne is certainly one of them.
Simply by replacing a lot of the Starbucks and soda you consume, you can help cleanse the body of completely avoidable toxins and improve your skin while you’re at it!
I personally enjoy drinking fresh lemon water. It’s hydrating and tastes great! Learn more about it here.
8. Beauty Sleep
Getting enough sleep is key to having radiant, clear skin! As we all know, it’s the time when our body can focus on repairing itself without us bombarding it with tasks like digesting, exertion, and stress. Improving the duration and quality of sleep will really help you adapt to stressful situations better and allow your body to rest.
Less stress = less cortisol in your system = less acne!
Try getting to bed a little earlier if you can. And if you can’t, maybe consider some gentle herbs like chamomile, lavender, hops, and passionflower. If you REALLY can’t sleep, try valerian or california poppy tincture to bring on restful sleep.
Learn how to get better sleep from these articles:
- Better Sleep Tips
- Natural Sleep Aids- The Herbalist’s Way
- Restful Sleep Tea
- How to Make Sleepy Time Gelee
Letting Go of Acne
9. The Power of Now
Have you ever read this book? I suggest you do!
Many of us are stuck in either the past or the future. Maybe even a little of both at times. I know I have spent enough time dwelling on the past… and let me tell you, it doesn’t get you anywhere.
Harsh words, I know.
The best way to start feeling good about ourselves and improve our overall health is to be present and live for the moment.
When we are stuck in the past or future, we become overly stressed which can cause poor digestion, impaired immunity function, lack of sleep, depression, and a whole lot of other unpleasant things. Living in the present will enable you to let go of your worries. Have you ever considered that maybe you’re holding on to your acne?
Try to live in the moment. Be aware of it. What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you hear or feel or see? Right now.
When you are doing something, try to focus on your senses and live in that moment. You’ll find that your happiness will start to increase the better you get at focusing and using awareness. In turn, your stress levels will go down and your acne will start to get better. Being in the moment will keep you from picking your skin subconsciously too because your mind won’t be wandering.
Give it a go and see how you feel! You can improve your acne soooo much by utilizing just this step alone.
These simple improvements will make such a huge difference!
You can get The Power of Now here.
10. Be Strong and Believe in Healing
Acne is horrible, there’s no other way to describe it. But don’t let it control who you are and what you want to do with your life. Try not to let acne control your emotions or your actions.
Let happiness into your life because happiness is a choice. So CHOOSE to be happy if you can. Live in the moment and enjoy the little things. Laugh hard and play harder. Get out in the sun and let the earth nourish your soul. Your skin will clear in time, but only if you let it. Try to accept happiness and LET GO of your acne!
You may also enjoy reading:
The Real Cause of Acne
How to Eat Less Sugar
5 Easy Remedies for Cystic Acne
3 Steps to Improve your Female Hormonal Acne – Anyone Can do It!
6 Skincare Tips That Cleared My Acne Naturally
Thyme Serum for Acne Free Skin
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