4. Tea Tree Oil for Acne
Studies of the use of tea tree oil to treat acne have found it to be at least as effective as benzoyl peroxide (a popular acne medication) with no side effects. (18, 19) In addition, tea tree (melaleuca) oil is a natural antibiotic that kills the bacteria causing your condition.
Tea Tree Oil with Olive Oil Wash
Firstly, olive oil has antibacterial properties and many nutrients that promote skin health. It also removes oil and other toxins from pores and moisturizes skin.
- Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil and 2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin olive oil.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected area.
- Leave on for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Repeat daily and regularly for best results.
5. Switch to a Low Sodium Diet
While there are no current studies that definitely conclude that high levels of sodium in the diet directly contribute to acne, it is a possible cause. Processed and fast foods contain high levels of sodium. Honestly, as you probably know, these foods are not good for your skin due to the amounts of sugar, synthetic chemicals, trans fats, and lack of nutrients they contain.
Additionally, high sodium levels do correlate to inflammation in the body, which as we know can cause acne and other health concerns. (20, 21)
6. Relieve your Stress
Your body produces various hormones when you’re subjected to stress. So it’s no surprise that chronic stress affects general hormone balance and compromises your immune system. There are many ways to relieve stress, so find out what works for you. Popular stress relievers include exercising, taking a bath, and reading.
7. Take Raw Probiotics
Probiotics are absolutely essential for gut, and by extension, whole-body health. Hence, having appropriate levels of “good” bacteria in the body are necessary to eliminate harmful bacteria. Probiotics also reduce inflammation.
In fact, a 2015 study reads: “Probiotic bacteriotherapy can have great potential in preventing and treating the skin diseases including eczema, atopic dermatitis, acne, and allergic inflammation or in skin hypersensitivity, UV-induced skin damage, wound protection, and as a cosmetic product.” (22)
To discourage acne, skip the probiotic supplement and try these probiotic foods:
- Apple cider vinegar (raw, unfiltered, organic)
8. Eliminate Coffee
Say it ain’t so, joe. Coffee in moderate amounts is good for you—no question about that.
When it comes to acne, however, it’s not such a great thing:
- The caffeine in coffee stimulates stress hormones.
- Coffee can interfere with the metabolism of blood glucose, increasing insulin levels and affecting general hormone balance.
- It stimulates the craving for sugar, which, in turn, causes inflammation.
- Coffee can affect healthy gut flora and lead to inflammation and immune response as a result.
- The drink can contain microscopic fungi that affect estrogen levels and compromise the immune system. (23)
Try quitting caffeine by eating a more energizing breakfast, exercising in the morning, and drinking herbal tea.
9. Increase Anti-inflammatory Foods
Inflammation in the body can contribute to acne, among other things. It’s even known that chronic inflammation leads to heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, and cancer. Following an anti-inflammatory diet will promote overall health and reduce the odds of a bout of acne.
Herbs and Spices:
- Black pepper and turmeric
- Carrots (better when cooked to release beta carotene and vitamin A)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fish (sardines, salmon, other fatty fish)
- Leafy green vegetables
10. Balance Your Hormones
If the root of your acne is a hormone imbalance, there are things you can do to restore things to their proper levels.
Here’s how to balance your hormones naturally:
- Regular exercise relieves stress and supports the immune system.
- Eat foods that alkalinize the body and help to balance hormone production: beans, lentils, organic poultry and eggs, peppers, cabbage, coconut oil, and flax seeds are a few.
- Adequate, good-quality sleep gives the body a chance to recover and recalibrate.
- Steep herbal tea: chamomile, fenugreek, ginkgo Biloba, lavender, mango leaves, and spearmint are all great options.
- Inhale essential oils
- Take an Epsom salt bath
- Remove endocrine disrupting chemicals from your home.
11. Washing Your Face
Be very careful about what you put on your skin. Chemicals in soaps and facial washes can interfere with your natural oils and hormones and irritate your skin.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic that can unclog pores and remove excess oils. Combine with water in equal part and use as a face wash.
- Coconut oil is full of vitamins and antioxidants, nourishing the skin. It also contains medium-chain fatty acids that get to the root of the cause of acne.
- Green tea is nutritious and full of antioxidants. Rinsing with green tea can reduce the acne-causing bacteria on your skin. In fact, drinking it supports skin health from the inside.
12. Allergy Test
The cause of your acne may not be hormonal, but possibly an allergic reaction. To start, eliminate dairy and wheat right off the top to make a difference, as these are common allergens. If you notice no difference in your skin, it may be worth a trip to your healthcare practitioner for an allergy test. They’ll be able to determine if you have an allergy or sensitivity of which you may not be aware. (24)
Hormonal acne may be a natural phenomenon but no one likes it. Being mindful of what goes in and on your body will help you to minimize its severity and frequency.