Acne occurs when excessive oil is produced, and, when combined with blocked pores from dead skin cells, accumulates, providing an environment for bacteria. This is the HOW, not the WHY. These conditions are often seen during extreme fluctuations of hormone levels. Acne is associated with stress and foods like meat and dairy. But there must be more, as many people with the same lifestyle may or may not develop acne.
pH: A systemic overgrowth of Candida yeast (which can transform to a fungus as it seeks to spread) can occur when our body becomes overly acidic, as can the overgrowth of many microbial organisms. Candida feeds on sugar, white flour, and other starches.
Elimination and detoxification: Candida produces waste products called mycotoxins that can affect the brain, immune system, joints, muscles and tissues, and especially damage liver function. Candida overgrowth can cause everything from anxiety attacks to hearth palpitations, headaches, hypothyroidism, skin problems, insomnia, and more.
Hormones: When there are problems with the bowels and kidneys, deactivated hormones will not be eliminated, allowing them to reabsorb into the blood and reactivate. The bowels can actually become clogged with mucus that stimulates the growth of parasites and fungus like Candida.
Nutrition: In considering foods that can compound this environment, certainly an overly acid-forming diet causes problems. Foods like bread and other foods containing gluten can become gluey substances in the intestines and slow things down. A diet not rich in key phytochemicals will leave the body unequipped to fully perform detox functions.
How does this really relate to acne? When the organs of elimination are unable to properly function, toxins are expelled through the lungs and the skin. Why in some and not others? There is a genetic factor. If you have this factor, then over-toxicity and hormone imbalances will manifest as acne. In others, it may show up in other ways. In this way, acne is a warning sign, the body’s way of alerting us to a deeper issue within that needs to be addressed.
So what can we do?
- Adjust the diet immediately to one that is alkalizing. If severe, it is a good idea to stay with a higher volume of veggies and be mindful of sugar intake.
- Drink plenty of fresh, clean water to keep the cells hydrated and to keep the kidneys flushed. This also helps to maintain a good pH.
- Dry skin brushing works well to keep the skin free of dead cell build up. This aids in elimination of oils from the skin, and improves the circulation of blood and lymph fluids.
- Take digestive enzymes. They not only assist in breaking down food for digestion, but taken on an empty stomach, they help remove plaque buildup in the intestines. Papaya is a great source of digestive enzymes.
- Coconut oil and garlic! Both are antimicrobial, and considered super foods. Coconut oil and garlic boost immune function. Coconut oil will also help balance the oils in the skin, and is a great help with digestive disorders, even Chron’s Disease and IBS. Garlic helps boost endocrine function and sexual hormones.
- Keep the liver functioning at top performance. Beet is a great ally to the liver. Beet softens the liver and is high in phytochemicals. It also cleans the blood. Chinese Tonic herbs like Schizandra can also provide incredible detox and regeneration support.
- Address constipation. Be sure that you are maintaining a good flora balance. Drink warm tea first thing in the morning to help relax the bowels. Foods that help reverse constipation are sweet potato, black sesame, squash, salmon, papaya and pineapple, okra, eggplant, avocado, flax seed, acai berry powder and aloe juice. Use probiotics to keep the intestinal tract healthy, well functioning, and supporting healthy immune response.
- Include healthy fats and oils. Fats and oils such as avocado, coconut oil, DHA-rich foods such as wild salmon, and omega-rich superfoods like chia seeds help with healthy skin while supporting good hormonal balance (Maca is another amazing hormone regulator!).
- Maintain a good mental outlook. Stress has a multitude of affects on us and can actually contribute to an acidic body environment. It can manifest many ailments, and weakens the immune system. Find a way to balance this. Keep a positive outlook. Working on the self-image as it pertains to acne can make a big difference in how the body responds with healing.
Primack, Jeff. Conquering Any Disease. (2008) Press on Qi Productions.
Walden, Mike. Acne No More (2nd edition). (2007) Higher Ways Publishing, Inc.