8 Easy Steps to Clearer Skin through Diet, Stress Reduction and Mineral Skin Care

Serious Acne Care 101 With Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master at Awakening Skin Care

This is Part II of a two-part series on natural acne treatments. Read Part I here.

As I discussed in my last Serious Skin Care 101 article, there are a lot of pervasive myths about acne out there. Greasy foods, strong acne medications, hygiene — all of these and others have little or nothing to do with the severity of your acne breakouts. Today, I’m going to do the flip side — I’ll be discussing some things that DO work, and I’ll be giving you some strategies that will help you to reduce acne, control your acne breakouts, and in the process, live a bit healthier all around.

Sound good? Okay – here we go.

First of all, I really like the idea of “steps” in helping people to make improvements in their lives, and I think this is a perfect topic to approach in that way. Some of these steps are tougher than others, so just keep in mind that you can move through them at your own pace, and you’ll get results accordingly.

Step 1: Get Enough Rest

It may seem strange that this is the first step. But more than any problem that is facing modern society, not being rested – being worn out and stressed – needs to shift first. “Get enough rest” is one of those pieces of advice that’s tossed off by doctors, in a way that almost seems like they’re just repeating something they heard somewhere. Which is exactly what they’re doing. I mean, how many doctors do you know who get enough rest? Gimme a break! The fact is, we all try to do too much (doctors especially!), all the time, almost as if it’s expected of us. If we’re not “busy,” we must be lazy. Sadly, certain facts of human life are unalterable, no matter how many technological advances are made. In other words, you gotta sleep!

Now, getting enough rest is definitely not a problem that is limited to teenagers, although that is definitely the time in life where staying up all night becomes a possibility. Who needs sleep, right? Well… you do. Now you might ask yourself, “What does SLEEP have to do with acne?” Okay, fair question. The answer is, “A lot.” It’s all about the immune system, really. You know, that pesky thing that like, keeps us alive!

Not getting enough sleep just drains your body’s ability to stay healthy. With the smaller amount of available energy going to basic things like digestion and mental focus (i.e., survival), your body naturally has to underperform in other areas. So something like fighting off the P. acnes bacteria that can make acne worse gets moved to the bottom of the pile. The thing is, if you’re suffering from acne and not getting enough sleep, you might be thrilled to find that when you catch up on sleep, your acne will clear up. So try this: try diligently getting enough sleep every single night for one month, and chances are your acne will improve dramatically, even if you don’t change ANYTHING else (which is not to say you shouldn’t change anything else!).

Step 2: Improve Your Diet

Those of you who read Part I of this article, called 12 Myths of Acne Exposed, know that eating greasy foods and chocolate have zero to do with acne. You also know that sugar and caffeine, because they’re such huge stressors on your system, CAN contribute to acne. What follows are some easy guidelines for keeping you and your skin healthy.

The Modern Industrialized Diet

Studies have shown that modern industrialized countries have a very high incidence of acne, while non-industrialized societies have virtually none. Although there may be genetic factors involved, it is pretty clear that this cannot be the only factor. There is growing evidence that the diet of industrialized societies, which includes a lot of white flour, refined sugar, fat, dairy products and meat contributes to acne, whereas a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit, fewer grains, and smaller portions of meat can reduce diet dramatically. In one study, teenage boys given a diet that was free of the typical western foods experienced a 50% reduction in acne. So while the grease in some of these foods doesn’t have any direct relationship with acne breakouts, some of the other ingredients may. Try this: double your vegetables, double your fruit, and cut your sugar and white flour in half. Just that little change can make a huge difference, not only for your skin, but for how you feel in general. Now, here are some specific suggestions to help support your body’s natural acne-fighting capacities.

Specific Nutrients

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found in fish oils, dairy products, carrots, yams, apricots, cantaloupe, kale, spinach, parsley, and lots of other yummy foods. Keep in mind that too much Vitamin A can actually be poisonous, so if you’re eating a lot of Vitamin A-rich foods, don’t take a supplement as well.

Vitamin B-2

Vitamin B-2 is a great stress reliever that’s found in whole grains, fish, milk, eggs, meat and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B-3

Vitamin B-3 is found in peanuts, eggs, avocados, lean meat. B-3 improves circulation, which promotes healthy skin. It also reduces cholesterol and helps you digest and metabolize protein sugar and fat, which increases your energy levels.

Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 aids in the metabolism of hormones. It can be found in potatoes, garbanzo beans (chick peas), bananas, and many others.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, broccoli, wheat germ and vegetable oils. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your cells from the effects of free radicals.

Zinc

Zinc is a highly-regarded antioxidant that boosts the immune system. Found in eggs, whole grains, nuts and mushrooms.

Magnesium

Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in your body, it is present in over 300 biochemical reactions in your body, including hormonal function. It is also essential to healthy skin, which is why it is one of the two key ingredients in Awakening Skin Care products. Magnesium is helpful for relieving stress and is responsible for the health of the heart, blood circulation, blood pressure and overall relaxation. Magnesium is found in meats, seafood, green vegetables, dairy products, nuts, bananas, peanut butter and potatoes.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3s are considered to be absolutely essential for good skin health. They’re found in wheat germ, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, and walnuts or walnut oil are great vegetarian sources of Omega 3’s. Many fatty fish like salmon also contain an abundance of Omega 3s. A good health food store or natural grocer will undoubtedly have many supplement options for Omega 3s.

Note that you can get all these nutrients in a good multivitamin. That’s fine, but it’s no substitute for eating well. As always, a balance is good. There is definitely no need for getting extreme with this stuff.

Triggers

Certain foods may trigger your acne. Just try to notice this and if you’re at least 50% sure that a certain food is contributing to your acne, try cutting it out and seeing what happens.

Step 3: Deal With Allergies the Smart Way

Let me be clear – acne is NOT an allergic reaction. You can’t get acne because you’re allergic to milk, or wool, or perfume. However, allergies play a role because everything in your body is regulated by immune function. When your immune system is compromised, the body shows you by getting sick, or breaking out in certain skin rashes, or in feeling lethargic, or in any number of other ways.

The thing is, when your body is busy trying to fight off allergies of one kind or another, it can’t devote as much of its finite supply of energy to keeping everything else running smoothly. If you suffer from some kind of food sensitivity (dairy products, wheat and corn are the most common) but you keep eating the offending food, you may actually be making your acne worse (not to mention making you feel terrible in the process) for the reasons stated above. And if you suffer from seasonal allergies like hay fever and you take a drug like Claritin for it. Well, guess what? One of Claritin’s (many) possible side effects is, you guessed it, acne.

There are many alternative approaches to seasonal allergy treatment. One of the best is to eat local honey. Because the bees that make the honey are pollinating many of the same plants that are causing your allergies, you can actually get significant allergy relief by eating a tablespoon a day or so. How’s that for Nature’s Pharmacy?

As for food allergies, that is a HUGE topic that I don’t want to get into here (besides, I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, so I’m not qualified to give advice about it). What I will say is this: for a month, try cutting out the major allergens from your diet, and if you see improvement in your skin, slowly add each allergen back into your diet, one by one, over a period of a few months. This way, if there is one offending food, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. By the way, just about anyone will feel better if they cut those foods out of their diets, so don’t be surprised if you end up making a bit of a lifestyle change in the process.

Step 4: Exercise

For centuries, people have sought some kind of miracle drug to cure what ails them. I know of only one miracle drug, and it’s called exercise. Besides the fact that exercise is crucial to long-term health, you just feel better when you exercise. Circulation improves (which is crucial to good skin health), your metabolism goes up, you have more energy, you sleep better, and you look better overall. If that isn’t a miracle drug, boy, I don’t know what is!

Step 5: Relax… dammit!

As I discussed in Part I of this article, stress can be a big contributer to acne. And being a teenager with acne is probably about the most stressful thing in the world. So it’s really important to find healthy ways to relax. Now I’m not necessarily talking about yoga or meditation, although those are great if you want to do them. Relaxation might mean listening to music you love, or meeting friends for tea, or walking around a nice neighborhood, or just taking an hour a day for yourself, away from the people that are always telling you to do something.

The thing is, you have to really relax so you can shut off those stress hormones which wreak havoc on your body. Just reconnecting with yourself and checking out of the chaos for a nice chunk of time each day can do more to make you healthier in every way than you might imagine.

Step 6: Try Alternative Acne Treatments

Almost all the acne treatments on the market are chemical or pharmaceutical in nature. And while some very bad cases of acne do respond to these products, there are some excellent alternatives out there. See this list of natural ingredients with antibiotic characteristics. One specific ingredient that many people have reported to be an excellent anti-acne treatment is tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that comes from the Australian Melaleuca Tree, and it is truly one of those miracle substances, kind of like fresh ginger for all things digestive in nature. Tea tree oil is incredibly effective on a wide range of skin problems, including rashes like poison ivy, which runs for the hills when faced with it. Tea tree oil is available in any natural grocer or health food store. It’s a VERY concentrated astringent, so it’s important to be sure that your skin will tolerate it before you use too much.

Start by diluting several drops into a small sink full of warm water. Soak and wring out a wash cloth, and then apply it to your face (keep your eyes closed!). Keep it there until the cloth cools, then repeat a few times. If after doing this for a couple of days, your skin is feeling good (in most cases it will feel really good!), you can start applying a VERY small amount of the oil directly onto your pimples. Keep in mind that a little goes a really long way. As I said, many people report great results using tea tree oil for their acne, so try it and you may be so impressed that you’ll toss your benzoyl peroxide medication in the trash!

Step 7: Use Mineral based Skin Care Products

As Product Master at Awakening Skin Care, I have worked for many years creating skin care products based on Dead Sea minerals. To my surprise, we have gotten some incredible raves about how effective our products are at controlling acne outbreaks. This is wonderful, since we never set out to make “acne treatments.” But after much research, I have come to understand that most of what you get in over-the-counter acne medications can be gotten from two products: a high-quality Dead Sea mud masque, and a good, non-greasy mineral face cream.

Believe it or not, Dead Sea mud is possibly the world’s best natural facial cleanser. It contains upwards of 120 minerals that exfoliate your skin, pull oils from facial pores, and nourish your skin cells. Our own formula also contains zinc oxide, which is a powerful acne fighting ingredient, and extracts of chamomile, lemon and tea tree oil, which as I mentioned before can be a very powerful acne fighter. There are many excellent Dead Sea Mud scrubs and masques on the market, but we are of course partial to our own. 🙂 Simply apply the masque to your face, let it dry, and then gently rinse it off.

The second step is to moisturize. Now, this may sound counter-intuitive, because we’ve all been programmed to believe that the only way to fight acne is to dry your skin out beyond recognition. But there is more to skin health than the presence or absence of acne. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s responsible for a huge amount of detoxification and protection. And like any other organ in the body, it needs nutrients.

The key ingredients for healthy skin are the minerals magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is a topical anti-allergen that helps to heal skin injuries and irritations, soothe pain and itching, and even reduce wrinkle depth. Potassium is a hydrator, another foundational ingredient in all our formulas, that is absolutely necessary for healthy hydration of skin. A good mineral skin cream will be light and non-greasy, and a small amount used after a mud masque will help your skin stay healthy and clear, rather than causing any further breakouts.

Step 8: Have Fun!

Okay, now what could having fun possibly have to do with acne? Well, just like getting enough rest, having fun in life is absolutely essential. All work and no play makes Jack… very prone to acne breakouts! When you regularly have lots of fun – laughing, kidding, joking around – your body releases tension and cleanses itself of all the junk we hang onto. Some people think that you can actually release chemical toxins by having a good belly laugh. I suppose we’ll never know for sure, but one thing is certain: having more fun is… more fun! So let loose on a regular basis, and who knows? You just may find yourself with clearer skin!

Well, that’s it for this edition of Serious Skin Care 101. If you’d like to get a handle on your acne by trying a proven natural acne treatment, pick up a bottle of MUDFACE and one of our newest product, FACE&NECK, an antioxidant, healing face cream unlike anything else on the market anywhere. And if you act fast, you may still be able to pick up a jar before our first batch runs out at a very low introductory price! Just like with all our products, if you’re ever dissatisfied for any reason, we’ll happily refund your money, no questions asked!

Click on either image below and start experiencing clearer skin today!

MUDFACE

MUDFACE

FACE&NECK

FACE&NECK

Awakening Mineral Therapies has been hand-crafting unique Dead Sea mineral skin care products for over 15 years. For more information about this and other natural mineral-based skin care remedies, visit our main site at: www.awakeningskincare.com

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3 Responses to “8 Easy Steps to Clearer Skin through Diet, Stress Reduction and Mineral Skin Care”

  1. Very nice read I found here. Thanks for sharing well explained
    and informative post. Getting rid of acne is much easier than we think when we
    eat the right diet and use the right remedies. Right diet, together with
    certain other lifestyle such as regular exercise and avoiding stress really
    help to get rid of acne.
     

    Acne

  2. at the bneigning. It depends on what your skin can handle. I used it before, but now I change to other profuct that makes my skin not so dry.Say, my friend got a great result for using this product, and some other got a great result just using one supermarket product. It depends on what your skin can handle, and everyone is different.Trust me, acne is all about what your diet. I eat raw veggies and fruits, and thats the best and easy thing so far

    • You’re right, all skin is not the same, so different approaches work for some people, but not others. The food you eat is an extremely important piece of that puzzle, and you absolutely are on the right right with the raw veggies and fruits.

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