Natural Treatments for Acne – Part 1
Acne is the sort of problem that can strike at any age, it seems. While we tend to associate it with teenagers, it can flare at various other points in your life. Hormones play a key role in the development of acne, as does nutrition and other factors.
You may be looking for natural treatments for acne. After all, the "chemical" acne treatments sold over the counter may seem harsh and/or ineffective. Here are some ideas for natural treatments for acne, regardless of what age you are.
Take a Good Multivitamin
Many people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Among those nutrients most important for the treatment and prevention of acne are Vitamin A, zinc, Vitamin E, selenium, and chromium. If you can't find a supplement with all of these nutrients, you can take some of these separately, or increase your dietary intake of these key vitamins and minerals.
The role of the diet is somewhat controversial with regard to controlling acne. For example, the great chocolate dilemma - does eating it cause acne? - has never really been resolved. However, given the role that vitamins and minerals play in staving off and healing acne, it makes sense that a healthy diet is important in managing this condition. For example:
* Experts recommend cutting back on dairy products, especially milk, as the hormones and trans-fatty acids it contains can worsen acne.
* Refined sugar is said to exacerbate acne. Sources point to sugar's effect on the body's insulin production, and the connection between effective sugar metabolism and skin health. Studies have shown an improvement in acne when sufferers received insulin injections. Since most of us can't inject ourselves with insulin - nor is this advisable for non-diabetics - it makes better sense to cut out refined sugar and the increased need for insulin that it leads to.
* Fresh, whole foods are implicated in the treatment of acne. Processed foods often contain artificial dyes and preservatives, which have been shown to affect hormone levels in the human body. Given the role of hormones in acne, it makes sense to avoid such artificial substances.
Natural and/or Homemade Cleansers
Helping your acne heal also means applying treatments to your face. Sulfur-containing soaps and cleansers can help quite a bit, and are available at many natural health stores for less than $10. Here are some homemade options as well:
* Mix 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Apply this to your face as a cleanser or to clean skin and massage gently. Leave it on for as long as possible, up to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. Yogurt and honey both help balance bacterial activity on your skin.
* Grind rolled oats in your blender until they are a fine powder. Mix the oatmeal with enough water to make a paste and apply it to the problem areas. Leave on for a bit, then rinse off. Alternatively, you can mix the oatmeal flour with plain yogurt.
Natural Treatments for Acne – Part 2
For some acne sufferers, it feels like you've done everything the doctor says and you still don't see results. Maybe you have tried multiple prescription medications or tried lots of different topical treatments, and you still have more pimples than you like. Thankfully, there are some natural treatments you can try, even if you feel like you've tried everything. Here are some suggestions.
You can make your own natural cleansers to help treat your acne, or you can buy them at your local health food store. If you want to make your own, here are some suggestions.
* Mix 1/4 cup plain yogurt, strained or Greek style, with 1 teaspoon raw honey (plain yogurt and raw honey are star ingredients in homemade acne cleansers). Mix in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Apply as a cleanser, gently working your way over your whole face and rinsing with lukewarm water.
* Pineapple juice and enough baking soda to make a thin paste can be used as a facial cleanser. Pineapple juice is said to contain enzymes that help treat acne.
After cleansing, there are some natural topical treatments you can employ as well. These are not intended to be rinsed off. Here are some to try.
* Aloe vera juice can be applied to skin using a cotton ball.
* Gently rub a slice of cucumber over acne-prone areas before bed.
* Combine 3 parts filtered water with 1 part apple cider vinegar; mix well and apply with a cotton ball.
Masks are reputed to promote deep healing. They are left on the face for a period of time, and then rinsed off. You can make your own if you like. Here are some ideas.
* Crush an aspirin tablet and mix it with a tablespoon or so of Greek style or strained yogurt. If you like, mix in 1/4 teaspoon raw honey as well. Apply to your face, leave on for 20 minutes or so, and rinse.
* Peel and seed a cucumber. Puree in a blender with enough milk or plain yogurt to make a thick liquid. Apply and leave on for about half an hour.
* Mix 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon lemon or grapefruit juice. Apply and leave on for 20-30 minutes; rinse.
Store-Bought Natural Remedies
Some natural health companies have formulated their own acne treatments. They may be homeopathic, herbal, or both; they may be in supplement form to be taken orally, or they may be topical. Look for a formula that fits your age and stage in life, and which contains ingredients you're comfortable with.
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