There are lots of harsh, chemical based products on the market that are said to rid your face and body of acne, even the cystic variety. But here's what I know to be true –– acne cannot be cured from the outside, and it can never be cured with medications and chemicals. Over time, these over-the-counter, mail order, or prescription solutions have only been proven to either make matters worse, or create other issue in the body. The only way to cure and not just treat acne, is to start within.
The questions I receive the most, other than questions about my hair, are questions about my skin. It never ceases to amaze me how many people still, after all the information widely available on the topic, do not correlate their daily lifestyle and diet to the health of their body –– including the health of their skin.
Whatever you put in or on your body, ends up in your skin. It's that simple. Your skin absorbs over 65% of everything it touches. That means that everything from your bath water and shower gel, your shampoo and conditioner, the detergent you use to wash your clothes and linens, the lotions, deodorants, and perfumes you use on a daily basis, show themselves in the condition of your skin. This includes your scalp, face, back, chest –– all of it! You live in a skin suit, and your skin is your body's largest organ. Just like your heart, liver, and lungs, your skin is a vital organ and it needs to be protected at all costs.
Your most important step to curing acne, even persistent cystic acne, is to cut dairy foods and byproducts from your diet. That means you are not to eat or drink anything that comes directly from a cow or any other mammal, nor ingest or use products or foods that have milk byproducts from a cow or other mammals. There should be no milk, cheese, or butter in your diet, or anything that includes these items. Dairy contains IGF-1, an inflammatory growth hormone that can trigger cystic acne in certain individuals. So, stay away from it, especially if you are prone to acne, and switch to vegan alternatives made from almonds, cashews, hemp, and the like.
Increase Your Water Intake:
I've said it a million times and will gladly say it a million more –– you should be drinking anywhere from 2 to 4 liters of water each 24 hours. In this range is where you will begin to see significant changes to your skin, and in all your organs. When women ask me what sort of full-body cleanse I would recommend, I always say, "Water." If you want to go absolutely nuts, add some lemon for its alkalizing properties, but that is all you need to rid your body of toxins on a daily basis. We wash our clothes, dishes, cars, and our skin in water because we understand that water helps get things clean. This includes the inside of your body, as well.
I recommend electrolyte water, as it tastes better and goes down smoother without drying out the mouth as some spring and filtered waters can. Electrolyte waters are made with just a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, and helps the body retain and use much of the water you're drinking before expelling the remainder as waste. This is the magic behind sports drinks like Gatorade, without the artificial flavors, colors, and added sugar.
Change Your Diet:
In order to change what is happening in and on your skin, you absolutely must change what is happening inside your body. So, be prepared to change your diet –– drastically. Now, every diet type won't help every body, so you will have to find the right one for you. Still, here are some diet changes that work for many people struggling with acne:
- No sugar
- No alcohol
- No gluten
- No caffeine
Switch to Non-Toxic Household and Personal Products:
Either gradually or all at once, switch all of your poisonous household products to non-toxic versions. When I say this, most women usually begin to ask which products are non-toxic, and ramble off the products they use at home. Here's the short answer –– all of them. If the household products you are using are not labeled organic or non-toxic, they are designed to make you sick. Toss them. Most products on the market that are sold in the average grocery or convenience store, are poisonous. Most products that have commercials are poisonous. Basically, everything you use is made to make you sick and eventually kill you, and in the meantime, it's going to make your skin react badly. So, throw it all out, and switch to companies like Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation, and The Honest Company.
Naturally, this goes for your personal care products, too! Let's go down the list, head-to-toe. Be sure to switch out your toxic, widely marketed products for non-toxic and less toxic alternatives. It all affects your skin, and the rest of your body, as well. You will find cleaner recommendations for many of these products on our recommend products printout in the Methodology section, as well as articles on our blogs.
- Body soap
- Leave-in and styling products
- Facial cleanser
- Facial moisturizer
- Make-up (eyebrow, eyelash, eyelid, face, cheeks, lips)
- Lip balm
- Perfume and body spray
- Lotions and body oils
- Body powders
- Tampons, pads, and cups
- Nail polish
- Nail polish remover
Adaptogens like Maca Root will help balance your hormones and assist in the clearing of acne. Daily exercise will also help to balance hormones, release toxins, and reduce stress, which can also help in the prevention and reduction of acne. Using our DOW Method can help reduce and prevent acne by causing you to do less to your skin, which significantly lowers the sort fo irritation that inflames acne. Also, in using the DOW Method, you are cleansing and moisturizing with natural oils proven to heal and prevent acne, such as avocado oil.
Looking and feeling better doesn't come with a cabinet filled with brightly packaged products; it comes with a healthy and mindful lifestyle. If you are having trouble with your skin, you are having trouble with your body, and it's time to fix the problem from the inside.
New York Times bestselling author and founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.