How I Got Rid Of My Cystic Hormonal Acne

How I Got Rid Of My Cystic Hormonal Acne

How I Got Rid Of My Cystic Hormonal Acne

Are you struggling with cystic hormonal acne?

Where no matter what you do, no matter how many times you get rid of a pimple, they always seems to come back.

Where your face is covered in red, deep, sore and cystic spots that litter your jawline, chin, cheeks and forehead.

Where you’re at your wits end, your cupboard is full of all the products you’ve tried and you’re sick of being embarrassed by your skin.

I feel you. Because that was once me.

I suffered from relentless, painful, cystic hormonal acne for 6 months until I’d had enough and I made a pledge to get rid of it.

Four months later I was acne free and I’m still acne free to this day.

I eat dairy. I eat sugar. I put makeup on and sometimes I even forget to wash my face until 2pm. And I still don’t break out.

Wanna learn how I became acne free?

Then this episode is for you.

Download the podcast episode from your fav podcast platform or hit play below.

Today I’m going to show you…

How I got rid of my cystic hormonal acne

Before we dive into my years battling with acne, I want to give you a visual of what my skin is like today. Which is clear, cystic acne-free, red and purple mark free.

  • Where I eat sugar or chocolate without breaking out.
  • I can wear makeup and sweat and not break out.
  • And to be honest, some days I forget to even wash my face until the afternoon, and I still don’t break out.

To show you how I got here, I need to rewind back a decade or so, all the way to when I was 16 years old.

You see when I was teen, I didn’t have that stereotypical acne that covered all over my face. I had maybe 2 or 3 small pimples that were always present on my face, but my biggest burden was my back.

My back was covered in hundreds of red, blind pimples. Some were whiteheads, but mostly they were small, really red and a pain in my ass. It was bad enough that at my Year 11 river cruise I gave my friend a Covergirl concealer stick. She slathered concealer all over my back, rubbing it in to try and cover all of my back acne because, for once, I wanted to wear a strapless dress. Not even a fully back exposing one, just one that exposed the top of my shoulders to armpit level. But my upper back was so bad that it had to be caked in concealer to cover it because I was mortified at my acne.

By the time I was about to start my final year of high school and our school ball was coming up, I’d reached a critical level with my skin.

My skin was making me miserable and shot my confidence to the ground.

So my parents decided to take me to the doctor to see if I could do something just to clear it up for the ball. And out of all the options, my doctor at the time recommended I go on the oral contraceptive pill.

And the pill cleared it up beautifully. My back cleared, my face cleared. I was on one specifically for acne that has an anti-testosterone aspect to it.

But all in all, my acne cleared up.

And at the time, being young, I was like, holy frickin hallelujah. This is great.

 

Then fast forward to late 2016. I had been battling with various reproductive, vaginal and mood issues for about 6 years and the last point of call to see if these symptoms would go away was to try going off the pill. I was also in my third year of my naturopathy degree and I knew the impact the pill had on my health. I’d reached a point where I couldn’t stick my head in the sand and I knew it was time to come off and use other forms of contraception instead.

So in October 2016, I stopped taking my oral contraceptive pill.

And those first two months, were freaking phenomenal.

I had so much energy, and coming off had such a profound impact where it felt like I had this veil suddenly disappear from my head like this intense brain fog just suddenly disappeared. It was the most clarity and clear thinking I’d had in so long. I didn’t realise the impact the pill had on making me feel cloudy and foggy. My libido increased like 200%, I was getting a bleed each month, and everything was hunky dory.

Until it wasn’t.

About three months after stopping the oral contraceptive pill, my acne started to pop up.

At this point it was just one little acne spot on my chin, a little spot on the forehead, a little spot on the cheek. But it was manageable. I’d get rid of it but then more would start to pop up. It was kinda like get rid of one and 2 would appear in it’s place. At this point, they were just these little sebaceous white heads that were really easy to squeeze and get the pus out.

But about 4 to 6 weeks later, my pimples started getting really deep and cystic that I was struggling to get rid of them. And these cystic ones were forming mainly on my cheeks, forehead and chin.

These cystic acne spots would be these super deep, reddish-purple acne spots that you could see a mile away. The pus was really deep down and they were really sore to touch. I’d often stare at my face imagine using a scalpel to cut through the pimple, just to alleviate the pressure and allow the pus to start oozing out.

It’d be so frustrating, because they’d pop up and hang around for weeks. I could hardly get rid of them and end up littering my face in scabs and scars. I ended up going crazy trying to battle with this acne on a daily basis.

I got to about six months of being off the pill where my acne was at the worst it’s ever been.

I had so much going on in my life at the time that I basically put my head in the sand because nothing was working to get rid of it or make it any better.

I got to a point where I felt embarrassed to go out without makeup, that I would go outside and feel like people were looking at me and my confidence was completely gone.

I felt so embarrassed of my skin and the fact I was a woman in her late 20’s suffering with horrendous acne.

All I could think was ‘I wasn’t a teen anymore, this was getting ridiculous’. I was so sick of always battling with one acne spot, finally getting victorious, only for another 1 or 2 to appear in its place.

I was so downhearted about my acne at this point that I had a moment where I thought ‘far out, maybe I should just go back on the pill’. Because I was losing this fight and the pill would make things so much easier. That fleeting thought appeared multiple times but I pushed through every time and thought ‘No, I’m not gonna do that. I came off for a reason and I’ll only have to go through this again the next time I want to come off it’.

At this point in my life, I was 1.5 years away from graduating my naturopathy degree, and after trying countless topical products, I decided to dive in deep and discover absolutely anything and everything that I could do for my acne.

I wanted to understand how acne operated, why it formed on a deeper cellular level, and what was truly effective at getting rid of it for good.

And holy moly, it made me realise acne is not a mysterious beast that we’re always trying to reign in. It has a very simple pathophysiology. It has a simple set of factors or processes that are driving to it be produced and I thought that if I just fix up the things that are triggering those factors or processes, then acne can’t appear in the first place.

And boy did I hit the jackpot.

From that moment, my acne started to clear up and kept clearing up until I now have skin that I don’t even need to worry about.

The worst my skin ever gets now is maybe 1 or 2 of those super tiny little sebaceous whiteheads once a month. You know the kind, where they’re so small that your fingernail can gently glide across it and it takes the top off and suddenly – poof – it’s gone.

So the burning question: how did I clear my acne for good?

Well this was my unique combination of factors that caused my acne.

But before we dive in, I want to reinforce that all health issues have a trigger or the root cause which started the health issue in the first place. I had a trigger that caused my acne and it may or may not be the same trigger that caused yours. Kind of like how a match is the one to start a fire.

Then there are exacerbators, the things that make health issues worse. I had certain things that were making my acne worse. They didn’t cause my acne, but they were making it flare up 100x worse. This is like chucking fuel onto a pre-existing fire.

Add fuel to a fire, the fire gets angry and worse. But if you add fuel to a bunch of sticks that have no fire , then nothing happens.

Things like dairy and sugar are exacerbators or fuel added to an acne-fire. While you’re acne is present, dairy and sugar can flare it up and make it worse. But when your acne is gone, dairy and sugar won’t trigger your acne anymore.

1. Hormones

My root cause, the light that started my acne-fire, were my hormones.

For 3 months after coming off the pill I had a regular 28 day cycle, which was more muscle memory by my body knowing I should have a monthly bleed rather than it being a healthy period.

Because after 3 months, my menstrual cycle went erratic.

  • My 4th cycle was 47 days
  • My 5th cycle was 88 days
  • My 7th cycle was 61 days
  • My 8th cycle was 104 days long. I didn’t have a period for nearly 3 months.

It was at this point when my cycle was varying in lengths that it was clear I wasn’t ovulating.

Why is not ovulating an issue (despite the obvious fertility issues)? Well it causes a hormonal imbalance.

  • Testosterone is your pro-acne hormone. It triggers your acne to appear and especially triggers acne along your jawline and chin.
  • While oestrogen and progesterone are like your anti-acne hormones that stop you from breaking out in acne.

But if you don’t ovulate, you don’t produce any progesterone. And the reason for not ovulating may be because my healthy oestrogen levels weren’t high enough.

So you end up with low oestrogen, low progesterone and normal or high testosterone. See the imbalance?

When testosterone is left unchallenged by oestrogen or progesterone, it’s free to do what it wants. And what it wants to do is make you break out in pimples.

This is a big reason why certain oral contraceptive pills work so well for acne. They give you synthetic oestrogen and progesterone, but more importantly they inhibit your testosterone production. No high testosterone means a big acne trigger is gone.

For me, my testosterone levels were actually fine. It was my lack of ovulation that were throwing my hormone levels all over the place. This is why testing your hormones post-pill is so important, because we don’t want to reduce your testosterone if it’s actually at a healthy, normal level.

The root cause of my acne was my hormonal imbalance and this was due to not ovulating which was happening for 2 reasons:

#1. I had classic post pill amenorrhoea, or a lack of periods after stopping the pill.

This happens because when you’re on the pill, it makes your body think that you’re pregnant. The pill gives you synthetic oestrogen and synthetic progesterone. This tells the brain, Oh, I’m pregnant – there’s no need to ovulate. When you’re on the oral contraceptive pill, you don’t ovulate. That means I hadn’t ovulated for the 8 years I was on the pill.

But when you come off the pill, if you’re not able to detox and get rid of that synthetic oestrogen and progesterone, they’re going to continue to prevent you from ovulating.

My body didn’t detox and get rid of my synthetic oestrogen and progesterone very well, so my body didn’t ovulate for a long time until I manually cleared the synthetic hormones myself. Once I cleared my synthetic hormones over 8 weeks, my cycle returned to a standard 30 day cycle. The main way I did this was via broccoli sprouts. This is because broccoli sprouts are super rich in a substance called sulphurophane which detoxes oestrogen and gets it out the body at a much faster rate. I took a lot of broccoli sprouts during this time, and it got my period back to normal pretty quickly.

#2. Stress.

Stress was one of my exacerbators of my acne. It was throwing fuel onto my acne-fire and making it rage like crazy.

 

 

2. Stress

The reason stress made my acne worse was:

#1. Stress stopped me from ovulating.
Stress comes along and it tells your brain ‘now is not a safe time to fall pregnant, don’t send the signal to your ovaries to ovulate’. Stress increases your prolactin which stops ovulation, and it tells your body to go into fight or flight mode and run the heck away from that tiger. When you’re in fight or flight mode, your ovulation stops because your body does not want you to fall pregnant while running away from that tiger. Although we aren’t running from tigers anymore, our lives are filled with lots of new stress.

So my stress was stopping me from ovulating, and as a side effect my testosterone was unchallenged and causing acne.

#2. Stress spikes your blood sugar and boosts up insulin-growth-factor-1 – which is a chemical in the body that causes acne.
Controlling my stress was the most important tool I had to learn during this time and that came in the form of regular me-time. I scheduled in 30 minutes twice a day where I relaxed and did whatever made me happy – read a book, take the dogs for a walk by the beach, lie in the grass. Whatever it was, I had to put two me-times into my day to help control my stress hormones and ground me back down.

I did take a few adaptogenic herbs too like licorice and siberian ginseng because these herbs reduced my stress hormone and stopped my adrenals from reacting to the stress in my life – nipping that vicious stress cycle in the bud.

To this day, stress is still the bugger that messes up my menstrual cycle and causes my acne to come back if I don’t look after myself.

 

 

3. Replenish Nutrients

#1. Vitamin D

My vitamin D was really really really low. Even beneath the doctor’s reference range at 35 millimoles (ideally, we want it at 100 millimoles).

Vitamin D has an essential effect on acne because it works to modulate your immune system and through extension, your inflammation levels.

Because at the root of it, acne is an inflammatory condition.

So having your immune system and inflammation supported and calm helps to stop your acne forming in the first place. Vitamin D can make a really big impact because it’s essential to control the immune system and inflammation in the body.

#2. Zinc

The other nutrients that I needed replenishing was zinc. The oral contraceptive pill does deplete nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.

Zinc is crucial when it comes to acne. You need sufficient levels of zinc to help modulate your testosterone levels, but you also need it to help with controlling how fast your skin cells are replicating and how much oil you are producing on your face – both factors that cause acne. Zinc is crucial to replenish in my body, especially because it’s really hard to get enough zinc in the diet. It took about around six months to fully replenish my zinc levels to a satisfactory level.

 

 

4. Skin dehydration

I’ve always had what was described as combination skin. Usually my skin is pretty dry, but during the months after going off the pill,  my skin oil went up like crazy as it does when you come off the pill, but I also still had dry skin.

This caused an issue for 2 reasons.

  • #1. My dry skin was making me produce more oil to try and protect and hydrate the skin dryness.
  • #2. Coming off the pill made me produce extra skin oil, which was dehydrating my cells and making my skin cell membrane unstable.

When my skin cell membranes were unstable, it made them vulnerable to being infected by the P.acnes bacteria. P.acnes is a bacteria which lives on the skin and causes acne by oxidising the oil on my skin and causes inflammation and acne.

My skin was dry, dehydrated and trying to produce lots of oil to compensate for the dryness which was making me break out in even more acne.

How I fixed this was rehydrating my skin back up and stabilising my skin cell membranes again so that they wouldn’t break out in acne.

  • The most important part here was drinking enough water – over 2.5L or 10 glasses per day.
  • My dry yet oily skin also made me fall into the trap of trying to remove the oil from my face with drying products – which actually had a negative effect and made me produce more oil to counteract the dryness. The best thing I did was switch my foam based cleanser – that was incredibly drying and making me produce more oil – over to a cream based cleanser which was hydrating my skin and balancing my oil levels way better. It also meant putting a good oil-free moisturiser on morning and night to tell my skin it was hydrated so it wouldn’t produce more oil. I started with a plain jojoba oil, which may seem horrifying adding more oil to your skin, and trust me I was scared as bat poo when I first did it, but that oil stopped my skin from producing extra oil.

 

 

5. Bad gut bacteria

During my acne flare up, I was super stressed from my studies, and I was also anxious and stressed because of my skin.

This stress was making my acne worse, but it was also irritating my gut.

Stress damages your gut and it alters your gut bacteria in favour of the bad gut bacteria. And I knew my stress was irritating my gut because I started to get gassy and bloat after eating.

But why is an upset gut and an overgrowth of bad bacteria bad for acne?

Well the biggest issue is those bad bacteria produce a substance called lipopolysaccharide, or LPS for short. This LPS molecule is super duper inflammatory and there’s been one study that’s found that those who suffer from acne have elevated LPS levels in their blood, whereas those who didn’t suffer from acne had no or reduced levels of LPS in their blood. This LPS, it comes from those pesky bad bacteria in your gut.

So by my gut reacting up, my LPS levels were increasing and they were throwing a tonne of fuel onto my acne and making my acne flare up.

The other sneaky reason my gut made me acne worse is there are certain bacteria in your gut that reactivate and reabsorb your oestrogen back into your body to recirculate in your blood. If that oestrogens there, it’s messing with your hormone levels and potentially stopping ovulation from happening.

Getting my gut bacteria rebalanced by promoting the good gut bacteria with specific prebiotics was essential to help reduce my acne.

 

 

 

How did I get rid of my post-pill hormonal acne?

For me, my acne was mainly due to a hormonal imbalance after I came off the pill because it stopped me from ovulating and altered my hormone levels. And then my acne got worse because of my high stress, my nutrient deficiencies, my dehydrated skin, and my gut and my bad bacterial overgrowth.

Once I realised these were the 5 factors causing my acne and started to fix them, my acne started to reduce after 2 months and by 4 months my acne was pretty much gone.

To the point that:

  • I eat sugar and I don’t break out.
  • I eat dairy and I don’t break out.
  • Even now I can have high moments of stress and the most I might get are tiny little sebaceous white heads the size of a pinhead that disappear on their own in a matter of hours.
  • Even my skincare routine isn’t fabulous and my acne still doesn’t come back.

All because I found the root cause of my acne and sorted it out, while also making sure all those factors that were exacerbating it (basically throwing fuel onto the fire) were looked after and supported, too.

So if you’re struggling with relentless acne, or you’re like me and suddenly breaking out after being on the oral contraceptive pill, just know your solution is out there. Your acne has a root cause and once you find it you can have clear, acne-free skin long term.

 

If you’d like help to find the root cause and exacerbators of your acne so you can have clear, acne-free skin, too, then send me a message or book in for a free discovery call and get the clear skin you deserve.

4 Easy Tips To Totally Prevent Pimples

4 Easy Tips To Totally Prevent Pimples

4 Easy Tips To Totally Prevent Pimples

Do you want clear, acne free skin?

  • Skin you don’t have to put makeup on.
  • Skin that makes you feel super confident.
  • Skin that doesn’t break out into a pimple party every time you eat sugar.

I 100% understand and today I have 4 beautifully magic tips to help you get the clear, acne free skin you totally deserve.

Because you deserve to love the skin you’re in and not feel heartbroken every time you look in the mirror.

These 4 tips are absolute dynamite and 4 tips I use with every single acne client so they can get the acne free skin they’re dreaming of.

So, if you’re finally looking to get clear, acne free skin too, download the podcast episode from your fav podcast platform or hit play below.

Ugghhh pimples, breakouts, acne, zits.

No matter what name they go by they are always heartbreaking and pain in the butts.

I know you desperately want clear skin. I feel you 100%.

> I know what it feels like to stare at your face in the mirror and feel your heart sink, sad and heavy, at the red, pustular spots splattered all over your cheeks, chin and forehead.

> I know what it feels like to check your appearance in your cars mirror and suck in a steady breath to get past the feeling of despair in your chest before you get out the car and step in front of the public.

> I know what it’s like to try to control the swirl of thoughts constantly circling your head as you tell yourself you’re fine, that no ones looking at your skin and that it doesn’t matter what they think, as your confidence pulls you down as you walk around the shopping centre.

> I know what it’s like to feel so embarrassed and in utter despair about your skin. To close your eyes and just wish it’d be gone. To feel hopeless and heartbroken when it doesn’t go away. And to have your confidence leave you high and dry, that you don’t want to be in public or take photos because you hate your skin.

But I also know what it feels like to be free of acne.

To love your skin, to go out make-up free, to eat sugar without worrying about breaking out, to not worry what people think and to feel so confident showing off your fresh clear face. And I know how you can get there.

And today I have 4 beautifully magic tips to help you get the clear, acne free skin you totally deserve.

So let’s start with tip number one.

1. ZINC

Zinc is soooo important for your skin and your acne for 2 big reasons.

#1. Zinc influences the creation of your acne

Zinc controls the proliferation of your skin cells, how quickly they’re replicating and creating new skin cells. If your skin cells are replicating really fast, then your skin cells keep building and it causes more blockages of your pores. We want the oil in your pores to be able to freely come out easily, but if your skin replicates really fast and blocks those pores up, then the oil in your pores has a harder job of coming out. Oil that gets stuck in your pores leads to acne.

If your skin cells are replicating faster than we want them to, zinc slows that process down. Zinc also plays a role in how much skin oil or sebum you produce. If you’re over producing, zinc will bring that oil production back down, also reducing acne.

#2. Zinc balances your hormones

A lot of acne is because of your pesky hormones, and one hormone in particular plays a big role and that’s testosterone. Testosterone especially plays a role with acne or pimples around the jawline and chin.

Zinc’s a phenomenal little treatment for hormonal acne because zinc helps modulate your testosterone levels. This means it balances your testosterone levels.

  • If your testosterone is too high, it’ll lower it back down.
  • If your testosterone is normal, it keeps it where it is.
  • If your testosterone is low, it’ll increase it back up.

Zinc is a really wonderful risk-free treatment option. It keeps your testosterone in a nice, beautiful mid range level. Now while testosterone is wonderful in boosting your energy and your libido, it’s also going to increase how much skin oil or sebum you produce and increase how many pimples occur.

Zinc is one of the most crucial nutrients for acne, I use it pretty much with every single acne client. If there was one treatment I’d suggest starting with, it’s zinc.

Especially if you’re not getting enough in your diet. But hey, if you want to eat a whole plate of oysters, go for gold. Typically, our bodies are pretty deficient. Especially in Australia because our soils are really deplete in zinc so the level in our food is often low.

Zinc doesn’t produce quick results.

You’re generally looking at taking zinc anywhere between three to six months to really get a beneficial effect. Also because lots of things in your body require zinc as well, and they may require it more importantly than your skin does so the zinc will be used up there first before it starts to work on your hormones and acne.

 

But, I tried zinc and it did diddly squat

I hear you loud and clear, but my question to you would be:

  • What type of zinc did you grab off the shelf
  • How strong was the zinc?

There are different forms of zinc which are used in different ways in the body, and have different absorption properties in the body.

For instance, if you’re going to go for zinc oxide, it has really low bio availability, meaning you hardly absorb any of it, in comparison to something like zinc bisglycinate or citrate, which has a much higher bioavailability. So when you take zinc bisglycinate or citrate, you’re actually absorbing a lot of the zinc, so you get a beautiful therapeutic effect in your body and for your acne.

When it comes down to zinc, the dose is really important.

I generally start a lot of clients on 25-30 milligrams a day. I want to start low and go slow because zinc can cause a disruption and liberate a lot of your copper at the same time. If you liberate too much copper, then high copper will then cause a lot of issues, different issues – a big one being anxiety and stress. Staying at 25 milligrams of zinc for the first month is a really nice safe, healthy dose, that’s actually going to be helping you.

When it comes to looking at how much zinc your product actually has, what you need to do is look at the back label and look at the equivalent amount of zinc that you’re getting in that product. Don’t bother looking at the total zinc, go straight to the equivalent zinc as this is the actual amount of zinc that is having an effect in your body. This is important. So aim for 25mg equivalent zinc per day.

 

2. facial sauna

I am a huge advocate of going to a sauna, or using an infrared sauna for your overall body because sweating is freaking amazing for your body. Get that sweat on.

In particular it is the bomb-diggity for acne.

I really want you to have a heck of a good sweat, and sweat in the places where you’re actually getting your pimples.

This might seem a little counterproductive and you may be crying out “I breakout worse when I sweat”, but this is just a purge. As long as you clean up well after having a sweat, it’s actually doing your acne and skin a favour in the long run. The purge is always short lived and the results once the purge is over are really, really good.

why would we want to be using a sauna?

Your pores contain all this oil, and it can become really stuck and stagnant inside your pores. That oil is what encourages the bacteria on your face (P.acnes) to cause your pimples to form.

What we want to do is encourage that oil to move freely out of your pores and not become too stagnant and stuck that it allows the bacteria to get in there, cause a little infection and cause acne to form.

How do you prevent that happening? By having a good sweat and saunas are amazing at this.

When you have a good sweat, it combines the oil in your pores with water/sweat and encourages this combo of sweat, water and oil to move freely out of your pores. Rather than that oil becoming stuck inside your pores causing your pimples.

This is why your first big sweats may cause a breakout or a purge as all that oil and ickiness is suddenly moving out of your pores.

The more you sweat, the less icky, gunky, oily build up there is inside your pores and the less your acne will come back.

How can you have a sauna-like effect especially if you don’t have access to an infrared sauna?

Luckily, very easily. Especially if you mainly suffer from face acne.

All you have to do is have a facial sauna.

How you do this is grab a big bowl, a towel, and then a couple of essential oils. What you’re gonna do is basically the same as what you might have done as a kid, when you had a cold and your parents made you stick your face over a bowel and inhale the eucalyptus.

  1. Fill your bowl with a lot of hot steaming water, to a temperature that your face can comfortably tolerate without feeling like it’s burning.
  2. Pop 2 drops of either lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil or Eucalyptus essential oil.
  3. Stick your face over the bowl, throw the towel over the top of your head and the bowl so it forms a cosy little cocoon.
  4. Stay there for at least three minutes.
  5. Repeat this every week.

What this is doing is encouraging your face to sweat, and that sweat to move out of your pores, taking your gunky oil along with it. The essential oils have an added benefit of being antimicrobial, so they’re helping to neutralize some of the bacteria on your face that causes acne.

Do this facial sauna every week for 3 minutes, and you’ll start to have a really nice purge coming through, and less acne forming.

 

3. drink water

You’re probably groaning saying you’ve heard this a million times. You know to drink water. But I’m here to remind you – again.

Because this is one I have learnt never to overlook.

I want you to drink enough water, and when I’m talking about enough water, I’m talking about 2.5 liters minimum. This is the equivalent to 10 glasses of water.

Having one liter or four glasses a day is not going to be enough. And if you’re drinking coffee, alcohol or black tea, they actually dehydrate you so they reduce your overall water consumption level. This means you have to replenish what they make you lose.

Water is uber important because it encourages the elimination of toxins out of your body.

It’s allowing your bowels to move freely, so that you are pooping at least once a day every single day. Because your poop is full of toxins that need to get out of your body. If you’re not pooping everyday, then those toxins and hormones are being reabsorbed back into your body and they then cause an effect in your body all over again. Being well hydrated means you’re going to be pooping much easier and those toxins are getting out, rather than staying in.

You have toxins that come out through your urine too. If you notice your pee is yellow, then you’re not drinking enough water and your kidneys can’t flush out your toxins well either.

So, if you’re not getting over 2.5L of water per day, there’s going to be a backlog of toxins in your bowels and your kidneys and that means you’ll be reabsorbing those toxins back into your body. Your body wants those toxins out so where else do their toxins have to go if you’re not pooping or peeing them out? The next best place is your skin.

Your skin is your next biggest elimination pathway.

Those toxins either come out through your sweat, or they try to be detoxed by your skin cells.

That’s why people who generally don’t drink enough water can have really smelly BO.

Those toxins that are stuck in your body or trying to come out through your skin cause inflammation. Inflammation causes acne and pus build up in your pimples.

Drinking a minimum of 2.5L or 10 glasses of water is sooooo important and keeps those toxins away from your skin and stops you breaking out in pimples.

 

4. omega 3

Omega 3 that you find in fish, walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds.

And I’m not talking about omega 6 or 9 here that you find in evening primrose oil which I really don’t like for acne.

Omega three works on your skin in three different ways.

#1. it helps control the oil production in your skin

There is a bit of a vicious reaction that happens with those who experience acne. Generally, you have an increase in skin oil or sebum, so why would I want you to be adding more oil into your diet and your skin?

Well, what happens when your skin produces extra oil is it’s reducing the oil content inside your skin cells to be able to release it on top of your face:

  • When that oil reduces inside your skin cells, it makes your skin cells ‘dehydrated’ and super susceptible to oxidative stress.
  • That P.acnes bacteria found on your skin that causes acne is able to penetrate into your skin cells and cause a whole bunch of inflammation.
  • Inflammation then causes acne. Because acne is an inflammatory condition.

So, your skin oil is becoming oxidised and messed with by the bacteria that causes acne, which is causing inflammation and that inflammation causes further oxidative damage to the oil in your skin causing more inflammation and the cycle continues. This entire cycle increases your risk of getting pimples.

#2. your skin makes more oil when it feels dry or damaged

When the inside of your skin cells have a lack of oil, they feel dry and dehydrated. And when you pick your pimples, you damage your skin.

When your skin is dry, dehydrated or damaged, it increases how much oil it makes to try and heal and protect your skin. Your body see’s that dry and damaged skin as angry and irritated and the barrier of your skin has become compromised.

Your body doesn’t want your skin to be dry, irritated or compromised because your skin is your #1 protective barrier against everything in the world. You need that healthy, moist protective skin layer to protect your insides from all the things outside in the world. And your skin oil is part of that protective mechanism. So your skin oil goes up when your skin is dry, damaged and irritated.

If you’ve got dry skin and you’ve got acne, and you’ve always been afraid to use oils in case is causes more acne, I’m here to tell you otherwise. It’s beneficial for your skins oil content to be healthy. If your skin is prone to drying out or you often pick your pimples so it forms little wounds and microtears on your skin, then you actually produce more oil to try and fix the dryness and microtears. You need enough oil in your skin so your skin is hydrated and you don’t produce even more oil.

A fabulous way to do this is via internal omega 3. Omega 3 helps stabilise your skin cell membranes so they stop losing all their oil. AKA. your skin cells don’t become dehydrated. Hydrated skin cells = no extra oil being made. No extra oil = less acne.

#3. omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

Just like I mentioned previously, acne is an inflammatory condition. Those pimples and acne spots are forming because there’s inflammation present in your pore and skin cells. This inflammation is what drives that blackhead and then that whitehead and pustular acne to form in the first place because inflammation is what’s oxidising your skin oil to form your pimples.

So getting rid of the inflammation is a crucial part of clearing your acne for good.

Omega 3 is a phenomenal anti inflammatory. It helps neutralize the inflammation and stop acne from forming.

On a side note, not all omega 3’s are made equal.

I highly recommend getting a really good brand in a health store so know it’s good quality and not loaded with heavy metals. Even better is loading your diet with 3 serves of fatty fish per week such as salmon or sardines, eating 1Tbsp of chia seeds per day and munching on walnuts and hemp seeds.

 

Use these four tips to start clearing up your acne today.

  1. Get the right type of zinc and start taking 25mg.
  2. Start doing weekly saunas or facial saunas.
  3. Start drinking 2.5L or 10 glasses of water and
  4. Make sure you’re getting enough omega 3 in your diet with 3 serves of fatty fish, chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts.

This combination is absolute dynamite to start clearing up your acne. If you’re not noticing your skin clearing, your acne may be due to other reasons such as a hormonal imbalance, sluggish lymph or inflammation and immune imbalance coming from the gut. Every single person has a solution for their acne, and you can get a life where you can walk outside totally confident and loving the skin you’re in, even when you eat sugar.

 

How to Conquer the Acne Monster

How to Conquer the Acne Monster

HOW TO CONQUER THE ACNE MONSTER

Acne affects 85% of teenagers, but did you know that it will continue to haunt nearly half of men and women all the way into their third decade of life.

Acne is such a common condition yet is somehow so poorly understood in society.
Today’s acne treatments focus on ‘strip away all that excess oil’ or ‘tighten those pores’ and even scrubs that feel like they peel away an entire layer (or 5) of skin cells. But do any of these ‘acne solutions’ ever have long lasting effects?

The answer is usually no.

The problem is, most treatment companies don’t tell you what acne is or how it’s even formed. And how are you expected to successfully treat your acne when you don’t even know how it started or why it keeps coming back?

Especially when some of these products can potentially be causing more harm than good in the long run.

 

SO WHAT IS ACNE?

Acne is a condition where the pores in your skin get blocked (often by extra skin cells or debris). Blocked pores can be a normal part of your skins process, and in a lot of people the simple act of regularly washing your face keeps these areas healthy and acne-free.

In acne-prone people, you unfortunately have an increased amount of sebum (oily substance) which starts to weaken your pores and allows a perfect entryway for the treacherous Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) to enter. For imagination purposes: think of your pores like a strong castle fortress – when the stone walls are being continuously pummeled by extra rain (your sebum in this case), the walls start to weaken and form holes and perfect entry points for invaders to get in. Not ideal.

Before we go any further I want you to be aware that you have your own unique skin microflora (unique blend of micro-organisms such as bacteria that live on your skin and work to protect your skin from nasty organisms that cause infections). Like any microflora, we often have a symbiotic relationship with these organisms (where we both benefit from each other) but it’s when they get access to somewhere they shouldn’t be that they can suddenly turn detrimental. Your P. acnes is one of those guys for your skin.

When these P. acnes get into your pore, they love this protected little pocket in your skin that is filled with extra oil and ultimately decide to set up shop and set up a community there – effectively colonising in your pores. Unfortunately these P. acnes end up triggering an inflammatory reaction in your pore which catalyses a ‘healing response’ by your body in response to this ‘invader’.

This healing response means your skin cells start to replicate at a faster rate and extra sebum is produced as a way to protect your cells from further damage.

Can you see the problem here? This inflammatory reaction/healing response causes your skin cells and sebum to continuously be produced, which piles up over your pore and compacts upon themselves forming a snug little plug, blocking the opening of your pore to the outside world.

Tada!

You now have a blackhead.

It’s this ongoing inflammatory reaction which brings certain white blood cells to the party, and they produce pus as a by-product while engaging in the war against P. acnes. As this pus accumulates, you get rewarded with a tender, large, pussy pimple.

Guess what the response by your body is?
Continue with it’s inflammatory/healing response to try and neutralise and destroy this invader to restore harmony and peace to your pores – little does your body understand that this is feeding the invaders every wish and the cycle continues.

 

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Treating the ongoing war topically with creams and washes is still very important, but it’s finding out your root cause is that will produce those everlasting acne-free results.

To find your root cause, I want you to remember the two main points that were the cornerstone moments influencing the production of acne:

  1. Extra oil production
  2. Inflammatory reaction

When you get on top of these two points, you’ll be amazed by how much your acne starts to reign itself in.
And just for you, I’ve listed my top 5 methods I use to control that extra sebum production, inhibit the inflammation and conquer the elusive P. acnes.

 

1. NOURISH THE SKIN

There are three techniques I want you to follow:

Moisturise: Now I know the idea of putting extra oil onto your skin seems preposterous but I promise I’m not encouraging a full on break out. When your skin is dry, you will actually produce extra sebum to compensate. So applying daily and nightly moisturiser to your face with a natural, light moisturiser or oil will send feedback to your skin cells to reduce their own production of oil, leaving you in complete control.

Don’t pick or scrub: I know the temptation is hard to ignore but every time you exfoliate your acne-prone areas, or squeeze that pimple, you are breaking the skin and forming a little wound. Like any wound on your body, a healing response occurs resulting in inflammation and increased sebum production as a way to protect the damaged areas. As a result: extra acne!

Cleanse: I’m sure this seems like the obvious one – and it is! Research shows washing your face twice a day with a cleanser that has a skin-friendly pH and mix of ingredients that help promote regular oil production, healthy pores and luscious skin, was the best way to regain control of that acne.
I particularly love mixes that have a range of essentials oils like tea tree and geranium, herbs like aloe vera, gotu kola or calendula, and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin B3.

 

2. REGULATE YOUR HORMONES

Testosterone makes your pores ‘sticky’ making them easier to clog and increases sebum production while oestrogen actually reduces it.

So getting your hormones checked out can go a long way to reducing the problem. And while testosterone is a big player (and I’ll explain the influencing factors controlling testosterone production in the sections below) xeno-oestrogens are becoming even bigger players in today’s world.

The problem with xeno-oestrogens? They inhibit your own natural oestrogen.
Xeno-oestrogens are exogenous oestrogens found in the environment which don’t have the amazing benefits of your own naturally produced oestrogen but actually block your oestrogen from exerting all its benefits on your body. Including inhibiting oestrogens wonderful sebum reducing effect.

Xeno-oestrogens are found in plastics, perfumes, cosmetics, etc, and although their levels are small in individual doses, they will accumulate over time and start affecting all oestrogen pathways. – resulting in unbalanced testosterone and minimal beneficial oestrogen, meaning acne can go crazty

So use glass containers, natural essential oils and cosmetics free of all the nasties – refer to my toxin free resource on the freebies page.

 

3. STABILISE BLOOD SUGAR

High blood sugar triggers a cascade of unfortunate events that eventually results in increased testosterone.

And as stated above, testosterone drives sebum production, leaving you with an oily face and clogged pores…and eventually acne.

The common culprits that cause a blood sugar spike are your refined sugars in desserts, sweets, soft drinks, etc and general sugar.

Reduce your intake of overall sugar and when eating food high in carbohydrates, combine with a source of fat or protein such as avocado, hummus, nuts or seeds, to reduce the rise in blood sugar.

Another culprit is dairy, specifically A1 casein. Casein causes a blood sugar spike and triggers mTOR which is associated with increased sebum production. Reduce dairy intake or switch to A2 dairy.

 

4. OPTIMISE ELIMINATION

If you’re not going to the toilet regularly to poo or pee out the waste your body has accumulated, then it has to find the next available exit.

Unfortunately your third main elimination organ is your skin.

Make sure you are drinking 2L+ of water a day and enhance your liver’s detoxification & elimination ability through cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, dandelion root & leaves, burdock root) – this will ensure appropriate removal of any toxins that may cause inflammation in the skin and worsen your acne.

 

5. DE-STRESS

Chronic stress will worsen your acne in two ways:

1. Elevates cortisol: when your body goes into stress mode (whether that be a tiger chasing you or simply feeling swamped under your to-do list) your stress hormone cortisol is released.
Cortisol does amazing things to pump your body up for fight or flight mode and one of those things is elevate your blood sugar level so you have plenty of fuel available to supply a prolonged energy high (brilliant if you need to run a long distance away from that tiger or stay awake to finish an assignment before a looming deadline).
Unfortunately this spike in blood sugar will also drive increased testosterone production and – you got it – increased sebum production. Hello oily face and acne.

2. Stimulates sebum follicle: stress has this nifty trick that is also super annoying – stress activates the receptors within your sebum follicle (your oil gland) to increase skin cell replication (hello clogged pores), sebum production (hello oily face), and promotes inflammation in your pores (hello acne) This all leads to the formation of your blackheads and whiteheads.

Find your perfect way to wind down and de-stress. This can be anything from meditation, walking the dog, getting out in nature, reading a book or even watching your favourite Netflix show. Reigning your cortisol back into a healthy rhythm will go a long way to not only help your acne but many other aspects of your health!

 

 

There are many potential causes of acne and ways that it continues to flourish, and my above explanation covers only the most common ones. So hopefully adapting my top 5 recommendations can put you on the right path to having skin you are super proud of.

If you find you are struggling to control your unruly acne, I have an arsenal of amazing herbs and nutrients specifically indicated to help get that acne under control. Feel free to inquire about a consultation today, so that your skin may glow and you can feel amazing too!