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Get Rid of Adult Acne From the Inside Out

This week a visitor had the following question about adult acne.

I am a 20 year old female who is still struggling with acne. The strange part about is that when I go to Ukraine ( that is where I was born) my face clears up and as soon as I get back to the States, it is back to the old story. I went to different dermatologists, their only answer seems to be Accutane. I was wondering if there were any natural ways of getting rid of acne that I have had for years. Thank you, Vita

Acne is experienced most frequently by teenagers going through puberty, because of fluctuating hormones and poor diet, however adult acne is occurring more and more frequently largely because of the high level of environmental toxins we are all exposed to and the standard American diet that is high in sugar, trans fats and refined junk foods and low in fiber, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

Many people try to treat their adult acne with the use of harsh chemicals, facial cleansers or prescriptions drugs. Unfortunately these products only make the problem worse in the long run. Your body actually needs a certain amount of oil on the face ,and if you strip it all away with harsh cleansers, then your body reacts by producing even more oil to compensate for the loss. Additionally the chemicals are too harsh for many people and may result in rashes, irritated or burning skin, blotchiness, redness and extremely dry skin.

Prescription drugs are accompanied by a variety of side effects that don’t really address the core problem and may actually perpetuate the problem of acne by encouraging Candida overgrowth and interfering in proper functioning of the liver, kidneys and other organs necessary for eliminating toxins.

Additionally, because you haven’t got to the root of the problem, then these products have to be used continuously to keep your acne under control. You can keep your face clean and reduce oil by simply washing with water several times a day. This keeps dirt from building up in your pores, however, the best acne treatments are ones that actually get to the root of the issue by addressing the problem from the inside out.

Adult acne can be caused by a variety of things, but the primary contributors are Candida, hormone imbalances, diet and nutrition, unidentified food sensitivities, and environmental toxins. Acne is a signal that something isn’t working right in the body.

The good news is that all five of these factors can be addressed by making simple changes in the diet and lifestyle that will help your body to detoxify and ultimately clear up your acne.

  • eliminate sugar, caffeine, white flour and other refined foods
  • drink more water
  • eat more fiber
  • get regular exercise
  • reduce environmental toxins
  • eliminate make up
  • reduce Candida overgrowth
  • identify hidden food sensitivities

A healthier diet that consists of organic and fresh fruits and vegetables, hormone and antibiotic free meat, nuts, eggs and healthy oils helps clear up adult acne for a variety of reasons. One is that you’ll be ingesting more fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesome food so your body will get the vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients it needs to function adequately and two, it helps your waste system function more effectively and moves toxins out of the body. I recommend a slightly modified version of the Paleolithic diet.

When you eat an unhealthy diet you don’t get enough fiber, and when you don’t get enough fiber, then your body can’t eliminate wastes properly. Your colon is responsible for eliminating wastes through bowel movements, but when you eat a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates then waste material can get stuck in the colon for too long. Colon waste contains a variety of toxins and when it sits in the colon instead of moving out it begins to putrefy and then the toxins are reabsorbed by the body. The body then tries to get rid of the toxins in other ways like through your skin and thus results in acne.

When you drink more water, it keeps the waste material in the colon soft so that it can move through the colon easier and quicker. Fiber also keeps things moving along the intestinal tract. Vitamins and minerals keep your bodies organs and systems functioning optimally and all this works together to keep toxins from building up in your system. Maintaining good colon health is essential for clearing up acne.

For some people who have been eating a poor diet for a long time or who have a Candida overgrowth problem a good colon cleanse can be beneficial to get the ball rolling a little more quickly. Colon cleansing will physically remove the toxins much more swiftly and help the intestinal tract to function better.

Some form of daily exercise is crucial for a variety of reasons. It gets your blood moving through your body faster and enables it to carry oxygen to all areas of the body much more quickly. It flushes out toxins and bacteria by enabling the liver and other organs to filter toxins out faster and more effectively. Additionally unhealthy bacteria can’t live in the presence of oxygen.

When you combine exercise, with drinking more water, ingesting more fiber and eating a healthier diet then your liver and colon work better and your body is able to dispose of daily toxins quicker, which then prevents the body from trying to eliminate it through the skin and acne will begin to recede.

Hormonal imbalances often occur in teenagers as a natural occurrence as they go through puberty, however they are a very big contributor to adult acne as well. The key point to remember about hormone imbalances is that they occur in response to a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and environmental toxins. Meat and dairy products that are injected with hormones, fruits, vegetables and grains that are contaminated with pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals in the environment disrupt the endocrine system and cause hormonal imbalances.

You can take a hormone test, preferably one that is done with your saliva, to determine your imbalances if you want concrete evidence. The two most important steps for balancing your hormones is to eliminate sugar, caffeine, meat injected with hormones and other refined foods from your diet and reduce your exposure to environmental toxins by adopting an environmentally friendly lifestyle that eliminates the use of common everyday chemicals in your living space.

Environmental toxins instigate acne in a variety of ways. One is the toxins in the air actually instigate the acne itself by clogging up the pores. The second is that they damage and weaken the bodies liver, endocrine system, colon and other organs so they don’t function adequately. Last but not least, they are largely responsible for the high levels of hormone imbalances in the population. Environmental toxins are one of the main causes of hormone imbalances because they interfere in the bodies hormone production and function.

Candida overgrowth occurs when a naturally occurring yeast in the gastrointestinal tract grows out of control and takes over all the healthy bacteria. It produces over 70 different toxins that can make their way into the blood stream and infect other areas of the body. These toxins can result in acne as well as a variety of other serious psychological and physiological symptoms. Additionally, Candida interferes in normal functioning of the liver and the colon, which can result in more toxins building up in the system and contribute to more acne outbreaks.

Unidentified food sensitivities is another very common cause of acne. Some of the most common foods to have this result would be sugar, grains, dairy and chocolate, but it could be anything. I recommend the ALCAT test to identify sensitivities.

Another simple lifestyle change that can improve adult acne is to avoid the use of make up. They clog up your pores and don’t allow your skin to breathe. Learn to love yourself au naturel, the way you were born. Besides that, make up is full of chemicals and preservatives that qualify as environmental toxins. These are not only bad for your skin, but your health in general. However, if you absolutely must use some make up, then use an all natural mineral make up. It doesn’t have harsh chemicals and preservatives and it’s better for your skin and your health.

An important thing to know about beginning a healthier diet and making lifestyle changes that will help your body detoxify, is that in the beginning your adult acne can actually get worse for a while as the body pushes out the toxins at a faster rate. All the toxins that have been built up over time will come rushing out and may result in a severe outbreak, but as the level of toxins in your body diminishes, so will the acne.

Other contributing factors to adult acne include birth control pills, steroids, nutritional deficiencies, an imbalance in the body ph level and poor kidney and liver function. However, it’s important to note that each of these factors can be addressed as well by cleaning up the diet and making changes in lifestyle.

Vita, in regard to your specific case of adult acne, the fact that it improves when you go home is a crucial piece of information for you. This tells us that something in the environment here in the states must be contributing to your acne. This could be something in your home environment like your cleaning supplies, pesticide use, perfume, laundry soap, carpeting in your house etc., or it could be in the air in the city you live. If you live in a city that has high levels of car pollution or are surrounded by farms that use pesticides or herbicides, or live in a highly industrialized area with industrial chemicals these could be the culprit.

Another possibility is that when you go home there are less environmental toxins and therefore your hormones balance out while you are there and your acne disappears. When you come back to the states the toxins put your hormones out of balance again and your acne reappears.

A third possibility is that your diet changes. If you eat a different diet when you go back home than you usually do here in the states then this could be a factor, however if you’re eating the same food in both places then that would eliminate this as a possible contributor.

Under these circumstances I would follow all the suggestions made above to help your body detox, but I would pay special attention to the environmental toxins issue.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Vita G. August 15, 2008, 12:41 pm

    Hi Dr. Perkins,

    Thank you very much for your advice. I eliminated sugar completely out of my diet and started wearing mineral make up and already noticed some improvements.

    Thank you,

    Vita

  • Vita G. August 15, 2008, 1:32 pm

    Another thing which I think is the main cause of my acne is the toilet seat in the US. I was reading about colon cleansing on your website and noticed you mentioned that our toilet seats do not allow us to go through proper bowel movement.Well, in Ukraine, most of the toilet seats are very low to the floor and parts of them are actually built in the floor. When I go away, it is usually for at least a month and the use of such toilet seat I believe helps me clean out my colon. I definitely am going to use some of your colon cleansing recommendations as well.

    Vita

  • admin August 15, 2008, 2:26 pm

    Hi Vita,

    You’re welcome, but just wanted to say I’m not a doctor. I’m an educator and a counselor.
    :)

    I’m glad that this was helpful for you. Wow, that is very interesting information about the toilets in Ukraine. Thanks for sharing that. I was aware that some countries had toilets like this but was not aware Ukraine was one of them. I would bet that this plays a huge part in your situation. That is really a powerful example of how important healthy bowel movements are.

    Best of luck.
    Cynthia

  • Stanley April 11, 2009, 1:14 pm

    hmm bowel movements as a reason for Acne… Well will be sure to start paying attention to that…

  • mitesserentfernung May 7, 2010, 1:29 pm

    I myself suffer from rather severe acne and blackheads and I already applied various treatments and home remedies without having great results. I am gonna test these recommendations, makes sense to me. I hope I will get some results.

  • JK March 30, 2012, 11:38 pm

    Good Evening Cynthia,

    I am happy to have found your site! I am currently studying to become a certified holistic health coach. I have been passionate about living an all-natural lifestyle for many years and finally took a leap of faith to make it my full time job. With that said, upon signing up for the certificate program I decided I needed to stop using a harsh benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid cleansing program. It is full of chemicals, toxins, etc. etc. Over the years I have tried quitting to try more natural poroducts and after a few weeks I go crawling back. As part of my journey to living a 110% holistic lifestyle I have started a journal to try and find any hidden food sensitivities, or other triggers (stress, amount of sleep, etc.) I am vegan and eat quite clean- I rotate my grains and try to eat different foods each day. I am trying to increase my fruit and veggie intake as well as my h2o consumption, but there are only so many hours in the day – and I work retail! I cook 98% of my foodstuffs/meals from scratch. I am finding it very hard to pinpoint why I get acne, specifically localized to my left chin/jaw/lower cheek. I am currently practicing the oil cleansing method with some success, but this past week I had a flare-up. I started my period and wonder if there is a correlation. I do take the “mini-pill” as a form of contraception. It is a progesterone only pill as I responded negatively to estrogen by way of hyper-pigmentation. I would love any additional advice, feedback or comments that you may have for I am at a loss and I am trying very hard to smile through this! Thank you for doing what you do and inspiring people like me :)

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins April 24, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Hi JK,

    Thank you, I’m glad you are finding the site to be helpful.

    I suggest you explore all the aspects I listed above.

    Additionally, can’t balance hormones or address acne if one takes a birth control pill, not to mention the many other problems that can occur later. You need to find other alternatives.

    Also, it is essential to have meat in the diet. The colon is a haven for unfriendly organisms and inflammation when there are grains in the diet, which often leads to problems like acne.

    I encourage you to read the following pages

    The Whole Grain Lie
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/the-whole-grain-lie/

    Excess Carbohydrates
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/it%E2%80%99s-excess-carbohydrates-that-will-kill-you-not-red-meat-and-fat/

    Does Red Meat Cause Disease
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/does-eating-red-meat-really-cause-cardiovascular-disease-cancer-and-premature-death/

    Good Carbs Bad Carbs
    http://www.holistichelp.net/good-carbs-bad-carbs.html

    Why The Kind Diet is not Healthy
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/why-alicia-silverstones-the-kind-diet-is-not-healthy/

    Which Diet is Best for You
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/which-diet-is-best-for-you/

    Candida Diet and Vegetarians
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/candida-diet-and-vegetarians/

    Vegetarian Candida Dilemma
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/the-vegetarian-and-candida-diet-dilemma/

    What to Eat for Breakfast on Candida Diet
    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/what-do-i-eat-for-breakfast-on-the-candida-diet/

    All the best in your holistic studies.

    Cynthia

  • Paloma August 13, 2012, 4:19 am

    Hi! Thank you so much for this site!

    I am a 17 year old female and I have various skin problems, which include acne on my face and back, seborrhiec dermatitis on the scalp, and constant itching inside the ears. I’ve been dealing with this for a long period of time..Years, actually. I know you are not a doctor, but I wouldn’t trust doctors because they only prescribe me things to apply externally. I was wondering if you think this has anything to do with candida overgrowth? I’m positive that there must be something wrong internally, but I’m not sure what. I do know that my diet needs some work, for sure. Same with exercise. What do you think?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins August 13, 2012, 11:09 am

    Hi Paloma,

    I would say that you should explore each of the factors I’ve discussed in this article as they all contribute to the types of symptoms you are having. I would pay particular attention to Candida, as it is a frequent cause of the itching in ears and skin issues. I have an entire section on my site and my blog on Candida here

    http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/category/candidiasis/

    and here

    http://www.holistichelp.net/candida.html

    Best
    Cynthia

  • Paloma August 13, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Thanks for your reply! I will sure take a look at it.
    Also, how do I know which kind of meats are full of hormones or antibiotics if I want to avoid toxic substances in food?

  • Admin - Cynthia Perkins August 13, 2012, 2:45 pm

    You’re welcome. You buy meat that is organic and clearly states that it is hormone and antibiotic free on the package.

  • Rex Elliot April 24, 2013, 4:00 am

    As someone who has lost weight and is finally winning the battle of the bulge, I thank you for this great post!

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