While no one’s acne is the same, many who suffer from this skin disease have found success by treating it naturally rather than with problematic OTC products and possibly dangerous prescription medications such as tetracycline or Accutane.
The key to successfully fighting acne is finding the natural treatment that works for you. Since inflammatory skin disorders afflict to some degree about 80 percent of all Americans between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, treatment for the problem may vary. Some may find that cutting out junk food and refined sugars is all that is necessary. Others may have to treat their acne more extensively by including certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs in their diet, and by applying essentials oils.
Naturalists have successfully treated acne for years without using the more than 150 synthetic products available. Instead, they use diet, vitamins and minerals, herbs, and essentials oils to safely control and eliminate acne.
When treating acne through diet, you should emphasize raw foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, and whole grain cereal. You should avoid foods with refined carbohydrates and trans-fatty acids (milk, margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated vegetable oils). In addition, foods high in iodine have also been show to aggravate the skin.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A is the most effective vitamin for treating acne because it reduces the production of sebum (the white fatty substance found in the body’s pores). In large amounts, however, vitamin A may be toxic. When treating acne, the recommended amount of vitamin A is 50,000 IU per day. Although dosages of vitamin A over 50,000 iu and under 300,000 IU per day for a few months rarely are toxic, experts advise medical supervision for doses this high.
Vitamins and minerals useful for treating acne are:
· Vitamin B Complex (taken daily and should contain at least 10 mg of B6)
· Niacin (300 mg three times a day)
· Vitamin E ((200 to 400 iu per day)
· Vitamin C (1,000 mg daily)
· Dolomite (two tablets)
· Chlorophyl (three tablets)
· Zinc (30 mg daily).
Since most acne flare ups happen when individuals have a lot of stress and emotional strain, stress-reducing vitamins such as B complex and C can control acne. Vitamin B plays an additional role in eliminating acne by stabilizing a person’s hormones, which may also be responsible for the build-up of glandular oils. Niacin (vitamin B3) should be taken in addition to vitamin B complex because when it’s included in the B complex pills it is usually in the form of niacinamide. The niacin may cause you to have a hot flush about ten minutes after ingestion. This is caused by a dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow to the face and it is part of the cure.
Vitamin E helps the body regulate the level of vitamin A in the body. This was demonstrated in an experiment where the level of vitamin A was tested in rats feed a vitamin E deficient diet. Even though the rats were being feed large dosages of vitamin A intravenously, their bodies were not processing it because of the lack of vitamin E.
Lastly, zinc is extremely important for treating acne. This mineral is involved with the body’s hormone activation, wound healing process, immune system activity, inflammation control, and tissue regeneration.
Herbal treatments used for acne vary widely. They range from drinking Chinese blood cleansing teas to applying witch hazel directly on the skin, which causes the skin’s pores to contract and stop discharging oil.
Despite the diversity of herbal treatments available, most naturalists agree on three particular herbal treatments for skin disorders. The first treatment often used for acne uses calendula, a popular ornamental plant commonly known as pot marigold. The bright orange flowers of the calendula plant can be made into tinctures, lotions, or creams that are often available at health food stores. Another method is to wash your face daily with a calendula tea made from the plant’s flowers.
The second herbal treatment uses echinacea. This plant has been shown to contain cortisone-like properties which inhibit inflammation and promote healing. The flower also has a proven history of stimulating the immune system and killing bacteria all of which are useful when controlling lesions of the skin.
The last of the three herbal treatments employs goldenseal. The major alkaloid, berberine, found in the goldenseal plant is the reason it is able to stimulate the immune system and detoxify the liver. Berberine has been shown to be effective against fighting bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.
“Essential oil treatment combined with a sensible diet, exercise, and fresh air, often clear up the problem…. The bactericide and anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils are obviously extremely useful in helping the healing process. The relaxant properties of essential oils also play their part as stress is a precursor of increased sebum production.
Try a three-stage 42-day treatment using essential oils. During the first stage you apply the following oils in the increments defined for fourteen days.
In stage one dilute the following oils in 30 ml almond oil:
- Chamomile German 10 drops
- Myrrh 3 drops
- Palma rosa 10 drops
- Yarrow 5 drops
- Chamomile Roman 7 drops
- Carrot 20 drops
These oils promote healing, reduce inflammation, and start correcting the overproduction of sebum. Be sure to let the oils soak in the skin for five minutes and then pat off any excess. At night, wash the oils off your face using warm water and two tablespoons of cider vinegar. Then apply the following night treatment:
- Carrot oil 30 drops
- Borage seed 60 drops
- Chamomile German 5 drops
After fourteen days, move to stage two. For this stage you should apply the following oils diluted in 30 ml of almond oil during the day to the skin:
- Eucalyptus radiata 5 drops
- Clary-sage 5 drops
- Thyme linalol 5 drops
- Lavender 15 drops
- Carrot 5 drops
These oils will fight infection and continue to balance the production of sebum. At night, rinse with a solution of water, cider vinegar, lavender, and eucalyptus radiata. Then apply the following diluted to 30 ml almond oil:
- Evening primrose 30 drops
- Carrot 20 drops
- Bergamot 10 drops
- Lavender 5 drops
- Geranium 5 drops
- Eucalyptus radiata 10 drops
After fourteen days of stage two, begin the last stage. Diluted in 30 ml almond oil the following oils and then apply them once daily:
- Neroli 10 drops
- Fennel 5 drops
- Geranium 5 drops
- Parsley 5 drops
- Lemon 5 drops
At night cleanse the skin with the rinse defined in stage two and then apply the following oils once again diluted in 30 ml almond oil:
- Rose 10 drops
- Violet leaf 8 drops
- Carrot 10 drops
- Galbanum 4 drops
- Lemon 8 drops
While acne is not a fatal disease, it is a common one that often is associated with emotional stress and low self-esteem. Natural treatment of skin problems doesn’t harm the body like antibiotics which kill friendly intestinal bacteria nor does it pose the frightening risk of birth defects as does the ever-popular prescription drug Accutane. Instead, natural treatment attempts to regulate the body’s production of sebum while allowing the rest of the body to function as normal.