Your skin is a very good indicator of your physical and emotional health, and is literally your interface with the world in more ways than one. You may be someone who thinks one stray pimple is devastating enough, but what if you struggle with chronic acne or pimples? Whether you suffer from adult acne or are a teenager going through the rocky hormonal stages of puberty, we all like to feel confident and beautiful.
There are many medical treatments you may have tried, that essentially treat the symptoms and have their own array of unwanted side effects. What are some natural alternatives to helping your skin recover a healthy, clear lustre and beauty?
Your Diet & Beneficial Bacteria
Gone are the days a doctor could tell you skin breakouts are unrelated to what you eat. If your gut isn’t in good shape, it can result in inflammation in your body. More than that when you are eating foods that trigger inflammation in your gut it can lead to a leaky gut, which allows all sorts of toxins that should stay in your gut to leak through into your bloodstream, which could result in breakouts.
An elimination diet where you test for food sensitivities can help, as well as eating healthy natural probiotic foods or taking a probiotic supplement. Common food trigger include gluten containing grains, dairy, corn, soya and eggs. A healthy gut biome can help treat inflammation of your skin. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to treat acne, with the result being that the antibiotics can damage gut flora, which in turn can impact your skin health. A really good quality probiotic can help your rebalance your gut ecology as you eliminate foods that may be triggering inflammation.
It’s been found in some new studies that the same goes for healthy bacteria on your skin. Yes, bacteria of the right sort on your skin is actually good for your skin’s immune system and can help repair your skin on a micro level! There are new skincare products coming out that have probiotics in them, but if these are out of your price range you could try mixing a tablespoon of organic yogurt with a capsule of probiotics and applying it as a mask – leave on for 10 minutes and wash off.
Natural Hormone Balance
This one is no surprise. Balancing your hormones plays a crucial role in your skin health. The medical route is often to prescribe the pill, which may come with a host of other side effects for you, such as gaining weight, disrupting gut flora and even for some, hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Plant based oestrogens have been found to be a really effective alternative and what many have found really works like a bomb is natural progesterone cream which is sourced from Wild Yam. Other hormone balancing herbs you could try include red raspberry leaf tea and Chasteberry (many herbalists recommend you stop taking chasteberry while you are menstruating).
Natural support for balancing hormones include essential fatty acids too, found in foods such as cod liver oil, flax seed oil and evening primrose. Fats are important as your skin needs fats to use fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E, as well as build healthy cell walls. Fats also play a key role in synthesising certain hormones.
Natural Skin Treatments
While what you put in your body is really important you can also treat your skin directly with some great natural remedies that can help create a healthy balanced pH, disinfect infections and soothe and heal inflammation and redness. From gently cleansing, to using masks to draw out toxins, to healing dark spots and scars, Mother Nature has some amazing remedies.
Honey: give yourself a honey mask beauty treatment a few times a week, being sure to use raw honey as it is brimming with natural antibacterials and anti-inflammatories as well as plenty of skin food. Honey can even be used as a gentle skin cleanser instead of soap too.
Black Soap is soap that contains activated charcoal. Many people find this really helps clear up their skin as it deep cleanses and draws out toxins
Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water makes an excellent toner that help create a healthy pH balance and reduce inflammation and marks (mix 1/3 ACV with 2/3 water).
Aloe Vera Gel contains special sugars that are especially healing and soothing for irritated skin and accelerates wound healing. Truly a deluxe treatment for problem skin that can also help reduce the risk of scarring.
Clay Masks are a wonderfully effective way to draw out toxins and tone your skin while feeding your skin with rejuvenating minerals. Taking clay internally can also give you a good detoxing spring clean for beautiful skin
Turmeric can be used as a mask too, with potent anti-inflammatory effects – just be sure to wear an old t-shirt and not get yellow stains on everything!
Tea Tree Oil is another fantastic natural antibiotic that helps zap those eruptions in their tracks. Depending on how sensitive your skin is you may want to dilute a few drops in water and use it as a wash, or you can test and see if you can tolerate it neat onto eruptions (don’t spread neat over the whole face). It’s been found to be a good alternative to commonly prescribed benzoyl peroxide, with less side effects such as itching and drying, though you must keep at it for at least 3 months.
Ozonated Oils are a combination of ozone gas and oils that destroy micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses extremely effectively
Scars & Marks
Rosehip Oil is an amazing support for eradicating those dark spots and scars, softening and smoothing. It contains both vitamin A and C, the skin beauty vitamins.
Myrrh is an amazing skin rejuvenator, stimulating new cell growth
Bellabaci makes a super skin repair serum called Skin Get a Life that can help diminish marks and scars
(Faithful to Nature has so many excellent serums and oils for scars and marks it’s worth your while to browse our range here.)
A good vitamin C supplement can really support your skin’s healing, and many people report that taking a collagen supplement did wonders for their skin, not only firming it up, but helping to create healthy, new skin and minimise scars and marks.
And remember, try your best to keep your hands off! Leave your body to heal itself, it knows best.