Three amazing “green” ways to treat breakouts

If you suffer from acne or regular breakouts, you may think that running to the pharmacy or your doctor is the easiest and best thing to do every time your skin flares up … but it really isn’t!

In fact, it’s the all-natural, homemade remedies that best treat acne in the long-term. This is because antibiotics and analgesics only help reduce symptoms immediately. In the long term, they can actually cause severe problems and side effects.

On that note, I’m sharing three super-simple ways to treat your acne the “green” way. Your skin is sure to thank you!

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Three all-natural breakout treatments

#1: Yoghurt, honey and cinnamon mask

Honey and cinnamon both pack impressive antibiotic properties, while yoghurt soothes irritation and reduces redness.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened full fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply the mask to clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash the mask off with warm water and pat dry.

#2: Face steaming

If you’re looking for an easy, non-invasive way to loosen oil and dirt that’s clogging your pores and causing your breakouts, look no further than face steaming. Steam is an excellent immediate cleanser, and practising it regularly can help improve your skin health in the long term.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pot boiling water
  • Handful of organic mint, basil or lavender
  • 1 fresh towel
  • Large bowl

What to do:

  1. Pour the boiling water into a heat-safe bowl and toss in the herbs.
  2. While you wash any make-up or residue off your face, let the water cool.
  3. Carefully hover your face about 15 cm above the surface of the water and drape the towel over your head so it catches the steam.
  4. Steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to breathe deeply to inhale the herbs you’ve added … they’re a great source of aromatherapy!
  5. When you’re done, pat your face dry.

#3: Honey and lemon toner

Both honey and lemons are antibiotic, so this is a powerful combination to help deep-clean your pores and treat any blemishes you may have to prevent future breakouts.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add in the honey, then stir to combine.
  2. With clean hands, carefully apply the tone to your face, gently massaging it in as you go.
  3. Leave the toner on your skin for five minutes, then gently rinse it off with cool water.

Share your top natural breakout treatments and tips with me in the comments below!

Combat acne with this honey and cinnamon face mask

Raw honey – ah, how sweet it is! Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, to bake sweet treats, or to enhance the nutty flavour of a pecan pie – it’s pretty versatile. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it’s a fantastic moisturiser, and it also has antibacterial properties that can help you spot-treat acne.

 

The honey and cinnamon face mask recipe I’m about to share with you is amazing. It will brighten your complexion, soothe any irritations, and clear up acne. Please just note that cinnamon can irritate very sensitive skin, so do a patch test before applying the mask to your entire face if your skin is sensitive.

 

Honey pot and dipper.

 

Honey and cinnamon acne face mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 3 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Mix the honey and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your face with warm water and finish off with your daily moisturiser.

Three popular diets that surprisingly trigger acne

Diet is crucial to getting and maintaining glowing skin, am I right? Therefore, following a healthy eating plan seems like a sure-fire path to a beautiful complexion! But what if your “healthy” diet is actually what’s causing your breakouts or acne?

 

Here, Dr Makoto Trotter, a Toronto-based Naturopathic Doctor, breaks down the hidden acne culprits in three of today’s most popular diets.

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Three diets that can be bad for your skin

#1: Vegetarian diet

People turn to vegetarianism for a number of reasons, including ethical considerations, health matters or a general distaste for meat. Vegetarian diets have an aura of being associated with good health, as you know.

However, eliminating meat from your diet may be done haphazardly without a lot of research into balancing nutrition and preventing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. First, it’s important to ensure adequate sources of vitamin B12 and iron to prevent anaemia.

Second, carbohydrate consumption can get out of control after eliminating high-protein, low-carb meal options from your diet. Excess carbohydrate consumption is a major trigger for acne.

One of the key issues in a vegetarian diet is the challenge of getting adequate protein. An easy substitute is dairy. Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese are often eaten regularly to make up for a lack of meat protein. With a high intake of dairy, a common food sensitivity for those with acne, this becomes a potential problem.

There’s a large gap in the knowledge that exists between a healthy vegetarian diet and an unhealthy one. It makes sense to research ways to eat healthily as a vegetarian before you adopt the practice.

Processes foods – such as boxed mac and cheese, peanut butter and jam sandwiches and bagels – are examples of easily-accessible but unhealthy options for recently converted vegetarians, particularly if these foods are consumed regularly. It’s not uncommon for vegetarians who make these food choices to see their skin worsen or develop other health concerns.

#2: Raw vegan diet

You can’t get much healthier than this diet, right? It would appear that if someone follows a raw vegan diet and has acne, it’s not the diet that’s the issue. Think about it – vegans doesn’t eat eggs, dairy, meats, and primarily eat whole foods.

They’re usually very knowledgeable about nutrition and balance to ensure that part of their diet, particularly is a person is juicing regularly. Eating juiced fruit and starchy vegetables (a common one is beetroot) quickly adds many sugars to the body – and in a form that’s readily absorbed. Juicing removes fibres and bulk that would normally stall the assimilation of the sugars through the digestive tract into the bloodstream.

If you’re prone to acne, your skin is very sensitive to sugar spikes. Asa result, the raw vegan diet can deceptively contribute to breakouts unless you monitor your sugar intake carefully, particularly when you’re juicing.

#3: Paleo diet

Paleolithic, or Paleo, diets are helpful to many people. The diet helps improve numerous health concerns. A big reason for this is the focus on quality basic foods that are high in protein and healthy fats, as well as reduced carbohydrate intake, thanks to the avoidance of all grain products and legumes. The Paleo diet generally consists of fruits and vegetables, eggs, wild-caught fish, pastured chicken, grass-fed meats, and good fats.

There are many interpretations of the Paleo diet, but some suggest that certain forms of dairy are acceptable, including fermented sources such as kefir, yoghurt and aged cheeses. Eggs are consumed regularly and often in relatively high amounts.

The carbohydrate intake and glycaemic control portion of the Paleo diet are exceptional. The main problem is that two of the more common food sensitivities are included: Eggs and dairy. Many people following a Paleo diet end up eating large amounts of eggs and derivatives of dairy. These two food sensitivities typically follow right behind carbohydrates in the hierarchy of dietary triggers for acne.

In addition, diets that are low in carbohydrates can cause increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). This can ultimately increase blood sugar. It seems counterproductive to follow a low-carb diet for the long haul when the point of restricting carbohydrates to such a degree it to prevent blood sugar from spiking. This is why maintaining small portions of grains and legumes in your diet is acceptable and may actually be beneficial for acne treatment and prevention in the long run.

Here’s how long you need to stick to a skincare routine before you start seeing results

It can be really frustrating when you’re excited to try a new skincare product, but it doesn’t live up to its hype straight away, right? Well, good things come to those who wait, experts say.

 

So how long before you should give a product the heave-ho? You see, it all depends on the skin issues you’re looking to treat. Let me tell you more.

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How long it takes to treat these five common skin problems

#1: Anti-ageing

Fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles take about six weeks to start fading, with even more noticeable improvement arriving in another wave of a few weeks later. There’s also a benefit to continued use of anti-ageing lotions and potions. Why, you ask? Well, you see, the powerful ingredients they contain prevent sun damage and continue to improve your skin over the course of months or years.

#2: Acne

Oral medications take around a month to start working, while topical regimens take six to twelve weeks. And, here’s the thing: When it comes to breakouts, there are many different kinds; from blocked pores to cystic bumps. You need to monitor your skin to see if the products you’re using are improving your complexion on the earlier end of that timeframe, and then adjust them if needed for results that fully come to surface towards the end of the trial period.

#3: Rosacea

Like acne, rosacea treatments vary according to the type of rosacea you have, and whether it forms redness, bumps or inflamed blood vessels. Oral medications take about a month to work, while topical treatments require patience at two to three months. Redness and broken blood vessels can be treated right away with a laser in a doctor’s office, but require a series of pricy monthly treatments to maintain.

#4: Hyperpigmentation

To see your dark spots disappear, you need to wait two to three months – and theres a big caveat. Skin-brightening routines won’t work if you skip your daily sun protection. Pigment also almost always recurs intermittently with sun exposure, so continued maintenance with a powerful brightening product as well as a good sunscreen is recommended for best results.

#5: Rough texture

If you want to improve your rough skin and minimise the appearance of your pores, these results take the longest to truly form – about ten to twelve weeks. That’s because they involved remodelling the deep structure of collagen; the protein that makes up your skin. However, lots of products on the market today include silky ingredient s like dimethicone, which can immediately (though temporarily) give your skin a smoother look and feel.

The bottom line: Plan to commit to a new skincare routine!

Seriously, commitment is necessary! You need to wait it out for anywhere from six to twelve weeks to see if it really works. I find this a pretty budget-savvy strategy, considering that’s about how long it takes to use up a bottle of product.

Here’s what you can do about your acne scars

If you have acne scars, you’re probably wondering what in the world you can do about them. The good news? There’s a lot you can do to diminish the appearance of acne scars! Let me tell you more about your options.

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Firstly, let’s differentiate between acne scars and dark spots

There’s a difference between an actual acne scar and a dark spot that comes as a result of blemish healing up. Dark spots from blemishes are common, and end up disappearing on their own. It’s completely normal and not actually a scar.

Acne scars, on the other hand, don’t just fade away. If you’ve had acne and have dark spots or scars left behind as a result of having had this skin condition, they’re likely acne scars. Here’s what you can do about them.

Here’s what you can use to fade acne scars and fill indentations

A brightening cream from your local pharmacy might be your best bet. These products contain ingredients like kojic acid, which are effective at bleaching dark spots on the skin. If this doesn’t work for you, chat to your dermatologist. He or she will be able to prescribe formulas with more powerful ingredients, like hydroquinone or tretinoin.

If your acne scarring has resulted in giving your overall complexion a very uneven tone, try a drugstore product that has alpha hydroxy acids to refine your skin tone over time. Lastly, if you have skin indentations that bother you, see a cosmetic dermatologist, who can smooth things out using lasers, fillers, chemical peels and other minor procedures.

It’s also useful to keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Don’t pick at your spots – they’re much more likely to scar if you do!

Can bee pollen be the solution to acne-free skin?

Millions of men and women around the world suffer from acne; an inflammatory disease that affects your hair follicles and sebaceous glands. While medicated treatments are the most popular, there are a number of natural solutions that can effectively treat this skin condition. Bee pollen is one of them.

 

If you suffer from acne, you’re probably interested in finding out just how effectively bee pollen can help clear up your acne and keep breakouts at bay. Today, I’m going to clear that up for you.

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Let’s first take a look at what causes acne

Most people think that topical skin treatments are the best solutions for acne; hence, they spend lots of money and effort on pricy acne face washes and creams. But the fact is this: Acne isn’t just a skin disease – it’s most often caused by a hormone imbalance in your body.

This is exactly why acne is more common in teenagers than in adults, especially at the onset of puberty. It’s also pretty common in menopausal women. And another contributing factor is stress.

Why acne treatments don’t always work

It’s very easy to use the wrong skincare products to treat acne. For example, using mineral oil can block your pores. And, as you probably know, clogged pores prevent your skin from breathing or removing toxins, which only heightens your chances of breaking out.

Many people think that applying a topical treatment to acne is best, when in reality, nutrition is a far more effective approach. This is because eating well can tackle your acne problem from the inside. This is where bee pollen as an acne remedy comes into play. Yup, you eat the stuff.

How bee pollen can help clear up and prevent acne breakouts

Bee pollen is a food supplement extracted from the bodies and legs of honeybees. This now popular superfood has been used for ages in treating ailments from allergies to diabetes among numerous other conditions.

Scientifically, bee pollen is composed of many vital nutrients that are beneficial to your health in many ways, such as boosting blood circulation and formation. Other bee pollen benefits include immune system stimulation and metabolism enhancement.

Bee pollen is also a very effective acne treatment. It helps your body resist acne’s effects by stimulating skin cell renewal through a high concentration of nucleic acids (specifically DNA and RNA). It can also help nourish your skin and in turn heal up acne scars.

A huge plus is that eating bee pollen will do a lot more than just clear up your acne – it’ll help prevent premature ageing too! That’s all thanks to its good dose of antioxidants. Some research also shows that bee pollen can inject new life into dry skin cells, protect skin from dehydration, and even stimulate the growth of new tissues.

Where to find and how to take bee pollen

You can purchase bee pollen or bee pollen supplements at your local health food store. Go for a brand that’s toxin-free and of a high quality. Your skin will best absorb this kind, making for an effective acne treatment.

I fortunately don’t suffer from acne, but I still add bee pollen in smoothies and smoothie bowls to reap the fantastic anti-ageing benefits. It has a lovely subtle floral taste! You can consume as much of the superfood as you like. If you’re taking it in a supplement form, follow the recommended dosage.

Three great tips to treat hormonal acne

Hormonal acne comes as a direct result of your body’s oestrogen, testosterone and androgen hormone levels. These hormones fluctuate naturally throughout a 30-day cycle.

 

When there’s an increase of testosterone and decrease in oestrogen, your skin responds by producing more oil. This overproduction of oil then leads to congestion, which creates acne-causing bacteria. These hormonal breakouts occur in ladies of all ages. Yup, that’s why it didn’t stop when you turned 16. Ugh!

 

But here’s the good news: Hormonal acne is actually really easily treatable. Here are some useful tips for keeping your hormonal acne under control.

 

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Three solutions to treating hormonal acne

#1: Balance your hormones

Because of the specific cause of hormonal acne, a specific treatment is necessary. Generic acne products don’t always work because the cause s systemic rather than external. Seek out products with hormone-balancing ingredients. A local pharmacist or your doctor can help recommend the right product to you.

#2: Incorporate phytoestrogens into your skincare routine

One safe way to topically treat hormonal acne is to incorporate products with phytoestrogens into your skincare regimen. Phytoestrogens are naturally-occurring, plant-based hormones that safely treat hormonal acne breakouts without entering into your bloodstream. They can help bring balance back to your skin by regulating oil production and eliminating bacteria.

#3: Seek out all-natural skincare products

For your skincare routine, seek out all-natural, organic products (with phytoestrogens) to ensure the purest ingredients possible. “Greening” your skincare routine can do a world of good for your skin… All-natural ingredients aren’t harmful and don’t trigger infections and irritations. Plus, they’ll provide your face with a boost of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits as well!