I had great skin as a teenager. I know. Weird right? It wasn’t until I became pregnant with my first child that my skin rebelled. It affected everything, including my self-esteem. I would cry with frustration. I swear there were times where it looked like I was coming off a meth bender. Don't laugh. I'm serious.
Over the past ten years, I have spent thousands of dollars trying to clear up my skin. I’ve tried Proactive (which made it worse), expensive peels, chemical-ridden gels and even harsh antibiotics. Nothing worked. NOTHING. Sure, I was taking diet pills at the time, and not exactly eating healthy, but there had to be a magic price I could pay for clear skin.
When I started school at Institute For Integrative Nutrition, I had a whole course on holistic skincare. As I began listening to the lectures, I was torn between two feelings:
I was EXCITED! This is exactly what I had been searching for. Could it really be this simple??
I was also ANGRY! How did all the “professionals” not know this??? I felt ripped off by all their broken promises of clear skin.
I decided to see for myself and low and behold, my skin is pretty dang clear these days. In fact, it's really clear. A thin layer of mineral make-up does wonders for me these days. I never thought I would say that.
Here are ten simple and easy to follow tips for clearing up your skin. It worked for me!
1) Avoid Dairy
This is the number one thing I do to keep my skin clear. Sure, once in a while I have some cheese, but if I have too much, I can tell in my skin almost instantly. There is a very famous Nurse’s Health Study that examined the health habits of 47,000 nurses. They found that those who drank more milk had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk. There was a direct link between the amount of milk consumed and the severity of acne.
Keep in mind, almost all commercial milk comes from pregnant cows, which means it is loaded with hormones- even organic milk. You’re drinking sixty-some hormones you’re taking in when you consume dairy products. Hormones cause growth. That includes acne growth. It’s also important to remember that dairy turns to mucus in the body. When it has nowhere else to go, it leeches out through the pores in the form of acne. Not sexy. For more information on the link between acne and dairy, click here.
2) Avoid Sugar
You’ve all heard this one before, but I had no idea how important it was! Sugar, liquid calories, and flour products all drive up insulin and cause pimples.
3) Eat Healthy Fats
Avocado, almonds, salmon and flax are a few of the Omega-3 rich foods that will help kick acne's butt. Omega-3 foods help reduce inflammation, thus reducing acne.
4) Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide
You all might think I’m crazy here, but it works wonders for a spot treatment. Hydrogen peroxide is just water with an extra oxygen molecule. Acne cannot survive in an oxygenated environment. If you don’t believe me, believe these guys.
5) Eat an Alkaline Based Diet
This goes back to the idea that bacteria or any virus cannot live in an alkaline environment. Hello green smoothies! Click here for a list of alkaline foods you can start incorporating into your diet.
My little brother always says that water is the key to success. Well, he’s right. We often forget that our skin is the largest organ in our body. Staying hydrated leaves skin looking hydrated. It also flushes toxins out of the body in a timely fashion. Simple as that.
I seriously love probiotics. Good bacteria helps fight bad bacteria. The link between skin and intestinal health has been a source of speculation for at least 70 years, when two dermatologists, John Stokes and Michael Pillsbury, recommended acidophilus (probiotics) preparations. I get mine daily in the form of Kombucha tea. You can also buy probiotics at your local health food store.
8) Pay Attention To Food Sensitivities
When we are sensitive to foods, our bodies react. It’s believed that food allergies/sensitivities play a large part in acne. Here are some of the main culprits:
9) Use Simple Products
Proactive and most other products on the market are meant to treat the skin on the outside. Besides being pricey, they are also made with toxic chemicals. When you realize that acne is an internal problem, your world will shift. Curing acne topically would be like trying to fix a car’s engine by giving it a new paint job. Doesn’t make much sense does it.
Here is what I use on my face. Affordable, sustainable and chemical free!
Wash- Dr. Bronner’s castile soap
Toner- Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water and tea tree oil
Moisturizer- Almond Oil or a mixture of coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter
Scrub- Raw honey, crushed almonds lemon juice and olive oil.
**I was told by many “professionals” that I could never use oil based products. Now, that’s all I use to moisturize. Coconut oil is a wonderful too. It’s all I use on my kids.
According to my class on holistic skin care, these are the recommended supplements for acne
Evening primrose oil: 1000 to 1500mg twice a day.
Zinc : 30 mg a day.
Vitamin A: 25000 IU a day. Only do this for three months. Do not do this if you are pregnant.
Vitamin E: 400 IU a day.
Fish Oil: 500-1000 mg once a day
I hope you're inspired to modify a few areas of your life! It can't hurt?! As someone who as spent thousands of dollars trying to clear up my skin, I hope you give it a go! The cure for acne is not on a perscription pad or in a bottle of expensive gel. It starts on the end of your fork.
If you've ever wanted a crash course on raw foods, this is the post for you. Raw foods can be defined as live, uncooked, fresh, and unrefined foods. They regenerate the body and prevent the depletion of enzymes, which are rightfully nicknamed the “Foundation of life”. Every chemical reaction that takes place in the body is dependent on enzymes, and as we age our natural supply of enzymes gets lower and lower. Once they are gone, that’s it! It’s up to us to replenish them. The problem is that most people don't. This is part of the reason our country is in the middle of a disease epidemic! Our body’s ability to function, heal and repair itself, fight diseases, and grow is dependent on enzymes. Someone once told me to think of enzymes like a key to a car. Without that key, the car won’t start!
Besides the ubber-important concept of enzymes, the benefits of raw foods are endless. That’s right folks. They’re not just for hippies anymore! As we awaken to the fact that all disease and sickness is directly linked to diet, more people are shunning conventional medicine in favor of a more holistic approach. I can tell you without hesitation that prevention of disease starts with raw foods. Even scientists now agree that cooking not only destroys nutrition and enzymes but chemically changes foods from the substances needed for health into acid-forming toxins, free-radicals and poisons that destroy our health!
So what’s the big deal with acidic foods? Your body is smart and fights to remain in a constant state of balance. Whether your body is in an acid or alkaline state will determine the quality of life you will experience. If you’re living off acidic foods like meat, dairy and processed pre-packaged meals , you are creating a breading ground for disease. Your PH levels will be off. PH is a measure of how much acid is in the blood. The PH is measured on a scale from 0 to 14 (0 = pure acid and 14 = pure alkaline). Our body strives to be more alkaline, about 7.3 - 7.4. There is no wonder drug that can change your PH balance. It all comes from the food you eat. To really make my point hit home, did you know that scientists have found cancer thrives in an acidic solution, while it is unable to survive in alkalinity? This is why people are actually curing cancer with diet! Kris Carr is one of thousands who has taken this approach. This is why I love to do a juice cleanse when I indulge a little too much, begin to feel sluggish or crave coffee. It’s a great way to give my body some much needed healing time! I instantly feel better when I bring my PH levels back into balance.
To summarize, all food is energy. Like gas for a car, we can only expect to get out of our bodies what we put in. All foods that are “raw” have life and therefor are life-giving. Because they break down naturally in your stomach, you won't be expending extra energy to digest them. This is why raw foodists are so full of life! Raw Foods increase energy, vitality, and an overall sense of well being. They cleanse the body of accumulated toxins and waste. They contain the highest concentration of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They help prevent disease through proper cellular regeneration and help to alkalize the body. And, if you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight, they decrease fat production! Now, that’s staying healthy and slim the natural way!
I could write a book on raw foods and their benefits. Raw foods fascinate me and I encourage you to do more research on your own. The purpose of this article was simply to touch on the importance and hopefully inspire some of you to incorporate more into your diet! If you only took away one piece of advice from this blog post it would be to try and eat 51% of your daily intake from fresh raw foods that have not been processed. Below is a list of alkalizing foods to chose from. I’m working on getting more raw food recipes up too!
Garlic , Alfalfa , Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado , Fermented Veggies , Watercress, Beets, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Celery , Chard, Chlorella , Collard Greens, Corn, Cucumber , Dandelion Greens , Eggplant , Kale , Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens , Dulce, Dandelions, Edible Flowers , Onions , Parsnips , Peas, Peppers, Pumpkin, Rutabaga , Sea Veggies , Spinach, Spirulina , Sprouts , Squashes , String Beans, Swiss Chard , Alfalfa, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass , Wild Greens , Nightshade Veggies
Apple, Apricot , Avocado, Banana , Cantaloupe , Cherries , Currants, Dates/Figs Grapes , Grapefruit , Guava, Lime , Melons , Nectarine, Orange , Lemon, Mango , Peach , Pear, Persimmon , Pineapple , Plum, Pomegranate , Prune , Raisins , All Berries , Tangerine , Tomato , Tropical Fruits, Watermelon,
Sprouted beans , Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu (fermented) , Flax Seeds Flax Oil (cold-pressed) , Pumpkin Seeds , Tempeh (fermented, ) Squash, Seeds, Sunflower, Seeds , Millet Sprouted Seeds , Raw Nuts-(Soak 1st ), Young Coconut meat
Apple Cider Vinegar , Agar , Bee Pollen, Lecithin Granules, Probiotic Cultures Green, Fresh Veggie Juices , Fresh Fruit Juice , Organic Milk (Raw/un-pasteurized) , Mineral Water Alkaline, Water, Green Tea, Herbal Tea, Dandelion Tea, Ginseng Tea, Banchi Tea , Kombucha Tea, Young Coconut Water , Alkaline Water
Stevia , Honey, Raw & pure
Cinnamon , Curry, Ginger , Horseradish , Mustard , Chili Pepper, Sea Salt, Miso Tamari, All Herbs
Maitake, Daikon, Dandelion Root , Kelp, Shitake , Kombu , Reishi , Nori , Umeboshi , Wakame
IF you’re serious about alkalizing your body and restoring your PH balance, contact me to schedule a juice cleanse in February!