While a healthy diet can often be the simple answer to most people’s acne, I’m seeing more and more women struggle to clear their skin with diet alone. Stress levels, pollution and the pressure to be on your A-game all the time are at an all time high and I’m more sure than ever that these are just some of the reasons why a healthy diet alone isn’t always enough to cure acne.
What to do when a healthy diet doesn’t cure acne
Isn’t it just the worst when you dedicate your life to eating healthy yet your skin doesn’t dramatically clear up? Cutting our sugar, refined grains and trans-fats will go along way to balancing your blood sugars, reducing inflammation and helping to calm acne down, but more and more of my clients are needing to explore different avenues alongside an optimal diet to achieve fully clear skin.
Let’s get things straight first, if you’re just 2 weeks into a healthier diet and you’re getting impatient with the lack of miracle results, then this post isn’t really for you. Throwing absolutely every single treatment and supplement you come across right at the beginning of your healing journey isn’t going to make results happen faster, it’ll probably just burn a massive hole in your wallet. With any treatment you try, you need to give it at least 3 months before deciding you need to try something extra.
In this blog post, I’m going to share with you the additional steps you may need to take when a healthy diet hasn’t cured your acne.
You are still using pore-clogging beauty products
This is SUCH a common issue with many acne sufferers as 95% of beauty and make-up products actually contain ingredients that CAUSE acne. I have been coaching clients for over 3 years and I am yet to come across one who is using a 100% acne-friendly regime! It only takes one pore-clogging ingredient to cause congestion and spots so it is absolutely vital that you ensure that your entire routine is safe to use.
Luckily, I offer a range of 1-2-1 coaching packages to help you understand where you are going wrong and the steps you need to take to clear your acne naturally!
You are not supporting your emotional health
Stress isn’t just about work deadlines or financial difficulties, it’s about how you think of yourself and also internal stress from things that our body doesn’t know how to process (social media, anxiety, low self esteem) all this “hidden stress” is one of the major causes of acne and there’s no supplement or diet that can fix it. YOU are the only one who can fix it!
Don’t ignore the emotional traumas that are contributing to your acne. If a breakout makes you feel more than slightly annoyed, or you feel unattractive because of your skin and it’s the first thing you notice when you look at your reflection, then you MUST address this negative emotional behaviour before you can really be free from acne.
Your healthy diet is TOO healthy!
You may think a green smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch and some stir fried vegetables for dinner is a great way to clear acne but it’s definitely not. To start with, our bodies NEED calories to function, as a moderately active woman, you should be aiming for 2,000 kcal a day but most women aren’t even hitting 1,600! To put it simply, if you’re not eating enough then your body won’t be able to produce the right hormones it needs to heal and maintain clear skin.
Not only that, but diets such as vegan, low fat and low carb can all cause problems with our skin in the long term. Our bodies must have the right amount of protein, fats and healthy carbohydrates to produce the correct hormones, at the correct times of the day/month and diets that restrict food groups like protein, fat or carbohydrates will all cause our skin to go crazy eventually.
The general rule for optimum skin health is for 40-50% healthy fat, 25-35% carbohydrates and 15-25% protein – the specific ratio will be down to you to work out. Those with hormonal imbalances such as PCOS will probably benefit from higher protein and lower carb whereas those with an underactive thyroid or those who do intensive exercise on a regular basis will benefits from more carbohydrates.
You’re still constipated
If you’re constipated, then no matter how much you throw at all your other symptoms, you will never be able to clear you acne. When faecal matter sits in your digestive system for too long and causes constipation, putrid and toxic matter (including excess hormones) get reabsorbed into the blood stream where it causes inflammation. Ideally, you want to be having 1-3 solid, smooth, medium brown bowel movements every single day.
If you’re cramping, straining or in pain then you need to put some serious efforts getting that gut back on top form. Whether it’s taking Magnesium Citrate every day, increasing your fibre intake, taking herbal bowel stimulants or performing a colon cleanse, getting rid of all the crap in your bowels on a daily basis is essential for clearing your acne.
Your liver need extra support
If you’re constipated, then chances are your liver is struggling too! A sluggish liver can result in problems passing waste but can also appear as many other symptoms including:
- Mood swings
- Bitter taste in mouth
- Excessive thirst
- Poor digestion, nausea
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Luckily, your liver is DESIGNED to detox your body but there are plenty of ways to help support your liver including getting to sleep before 11pm, avoiding toxins and xenoestrogens and eating plenty of healthy fats, bitter herbs and greens to stimulate bile production and support your liver in eliminating toxins and excess hormones.
You need to increase your stomach acid
We’ve already spoken about how bile is really important in helping the the liver get rid of toxins and excess hormones, but it also has another really important role within the body – it’s key to digesting food and helping the body absorb the right nutrients for healthier skin and happy. How does bile link to stomach acid? Well, without the right amount of stomach acid, then your body is unable to produce enough bile to break down and digest food properly which leaves use at risk of developing leaky gut, parasites, acne and hormone imbalances.
With around 90% of Americas suffering with hypochlorhydria related health concerns, chances are your stubborn, persistent acne could be caused by this too!
What’s the best way to increase stomach acid? A diet predominant in healthy fats signals your gallbladder to secrete the right amount of bile for optimum digestion but if that’s not enough, you may find drinking some warm apple cider vinegar or taking a Betaine HCL/Digestive Enzymesupplement like this one here before meals is just what you need to get your digestion working properly.
You’re lacking in vitamins and minerals
Sometimes we’re so obsessed with sourcing that miracle wild, hand picked, rare herb that actually has little-to-zero scientific research as an acne cure yet we fail to give our bodies the basic nutrients it needs to function properly! Cutting out foods like cows dairy in an attempt to clear your acne actually leaves you at high risk of developing a deficiency in hormone balancing nutrients such as iodine, vitamin D, K2 and acne clearing superstar – vitamin A.
It can be pretty tricky to find a high quality multivitamin that offers all the right nutrients and types of nutrients in the correct dose. Many offer substandard vitamins that aren’t very well absorbed and quite often not in the optimal dose. For example you need 30-50mg of Zinc Picolinate or L-Methionine for it to have a positive impact on your acne but many multi-vitamins will use cheap zinc in as little as 3mg per capsule which will pretty much do nothing for you, except rinse your bank account.
That’s why I only recommend this multi vitamin or grass-fed beef liver as it provides a broad spectrum of basic nutrients including (zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, selenium, iodine and zinc) that will help clear the skin and balance hormones.
Environmental toxins are causing hormone imbalances
While this is unlikely to be the one and only factor behind your acne, it’s still a very important part of the overall healing process. Whether is harmful chemicals in your beauty products or excess fluoride exposure from your toothpaste and drinking water, reducing these toxins as much as possible is only going to benefit your health and speed up the healing process.
The average person is exposed to 126 toxic chemicals everyday just from their beauty products! These chemicals can include pore clogging mineral oil, skin irritating foaming agents and hormone disrupting preservatives.
How much fluoride is too much? Unfortunately it doesn’t take much exposure to fluoride for it to have a negative impact on your health and your skin. Fluoride can aggravate your skin from minor skin complaints such as mild perioral dermatitis around the mouth, to full on cystic fluoroderma. Cutting back on fluoride containing oral care products can help if you suffer from minor perioral dermaitis but if you suspect that fluoride is causing more than just rash like bumps around your mouth, you may want to investigate whether the drinking water in your area practices public water fluoridation.
If you’re concerned your acne may be linked to fluoroderma then I highly recommend this eBook by a woman called Melissa which goes into much more detail on the subject than I ever could!
So…what can you do to heal your acne?
You can always work your way through these points but remember, that could take a real long time! I went down the experimentation route and it took me 2 1/2 years before I finally worked it all out! The turning point for me was when I eventually took a hair mineral analysis and DUTCH test and was finally able to work out the root cause of my acne, therefore helping me treat the underlying cause quickly and effectively! I know both hair mineral analysis and hormone tests seem expensive but I promise you, they will be much cheaper than years of experimenting with the wrong supplements that just won’t work for you – trust me, I’m telling you this from experience! Hair mineral tests are cheaper than DUTCH tests but can still tell you so much about your current state of health so if budget is a real issue, I usually recommend clients opting for a hair mineral test first, then a hormone test at a later day.
Did you find a healthy diet had little-to-no impact on your acne? Or were you one of the lucky few that quit the junk food and saw incredible results in their skin? Let me know your stories in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin,