Acne is the sort of problem that can strike at any age, it seems. While we tend to associate it with teenagers, it can flare at various other points in your life. Hormones play a key role in the development of acne, as does nutrition and other factors.
You may be looking for natural treatments for acne. After all, the “chemical” acne treatments sold over the counter may seem harsh and/or ineffective. Here are some ideas for natural treatments for acne, regardless of what age you are.
Take a Good Multivitamin
Many people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Among those nutrients most important for the treatment and prevention of acne are vitamin A, zinc, vitamin E, selenium, and chromium. If you can’t find a supplement with all of these nutrients, you can take some of these separately, or increase your dietary intake of these key vitamins and minerals.
The role of the diet is somewhat controversial with regard to controlling acne. For example, the great chocolate dilemma — does eating it cause acne? — has never really been resolved. However, given the role that vitamins and minerals play in staving off and healing acne, it makes sense that a healthy diet is important in managing this condition. For example:
* Experts recommend cutting back on dairy products, especially milk, as the hormones and trans-fatty acids it contains can worsen acne.
* Refined sugar is said to exacerbate acne. Sources point to sugar’s effect on the body’s insulin production, and the connection between effective sugar metabolism and skin health. Studies have shown an improvement in acne when sufferers received insulin injections. Since most of us can’t inject ourselves with insulin — nor is this advisable for non-diabetics — it makes better sense to cut out refined sugar and the increased need for insulin that it leads to.
* Fresh, whole foods are implicated in the treatment of acne. Processed foods often contain artificial dyes and preservatives, which have been shown to affect hormone levels in the human body. Given the role of hormones in acne, it makes sense to avoid such artificial substances.
Natural and/or Homemade Cleansers
Helping your acne heal also means applying treatments to your face. Sulfur-containing soaps and cleansers can help quite a bit and are available at many natural health stores for less than $10. Here are some homemade options as well:
* Mix 2 tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Apply this to your face as a cleanser or to clean skin and massage gently. Leave it on for as long as possible, up to 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. Yogurt and honey both help balance bacterial activity on your skin.
* Grind rolled oats in your blender until they are a fine powder. Mix the oatmeal with enough water to make a paste and apply it to the problem areas. Leave on for a bit, then rinse off. Alternatively, you can mix the oatmeal flour with plain yogurt.