Posts Tagged ‘acne’

6 Ways Juicing Can Help Persistent Acne

Have you tried everything for your acne, but still seem to struggle with consistent breakouts? I did too. You wouldn’t know it by looking at me today- but I struggled with terrible acne for over 15 years! I tried everything under the sun to clear my skin until one day (after a particularly awful dermatologist…

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Homemade Acne Treatments? How About Foods that Prevent Acne

This article has been a long time coming, and it is hard for me to post pictures and write about my journey with acne. I started getting lots of pimples when I was eleven years old, and tried everything to get rid of it.

Finally, after years of struggling with facial and body acne, I feel like I am ready to share what I have learned to stop zits and breakouts. I’m by no means an acne expert, I share only what has worked for me.

Homemade Acne Treatment
Acne photos – before and after high raw diet

Hormonal Acne, Pimples, and Sugar

I started having lots of acne and breakouts when I was 11 years old. At that point in my life candy was a staple in my diet, and so were processed sugary foods like cakes and cookies. I also drank soft drinks left and right.

Oh, and I should mention that my favorite restaurant growing up was McDonald’s. For the toys.

Since I started breaking out at a young age (no one else had acne yet) my parents and I tried all kinds of things. I went to the dermatologist, the esthetician, and bought every type of cream and “system”.

I kept hearing “rumors” that acne was caused by chocolate, or soda, or sugar. When I asked my dermatologist, the answer was a flabbergasted – of course not! Diet has nothing to do with breakouts, it’s all hormones. (Now I know that the body is a sum of the whole, and that nothing is ever isolated!)

Nothing really put a dent into the acne, no matter how much on the spot acne treatment stuff I applied. The years went by and I continued to eat peanut butter sandwiches, lots of sugary snacks, junk food, and soda.

Acne and Birth Control Pills

Finally in an act of desperation when I was 16 I went on the birth control pill, as recommended by my dermatologist.

I saw a slight improvement in my skin, even though the acne never completely went away. Unfortunately the birth control pill would go on to affect a lot of other things in my body.

I gained about 20 pounds in one summer when I started on the pill. This exacerbated an already messed up relationship with food and emotions.

It also put my hormones out of whack. In fact when I decided to stop taking the birth control pill 5 years later, I had a hard time getting my period back.

Oh, and when I stopped taking the birth control pill my acne remained at the same level. So really, I think the pill did more harm than good… especially when you take into account the side effects and how it threw off the balance of good bacteria and yeast in my body.

Homemade Acne Treatments

So what do I think is the best homemade acne treatment? A change of diet, quite truthfully. I’ve tried all the creams, all the homemade masks, and the closest I’ve come to clear skin is by eating right.

So what do I consider to be “eating right”? Eating lots of high water content fresh fruits and vegetables, reducing or even eliminating sugar, wheat, and dairy.

Here’s a little bit of what might be going on underneath your skin, and why what you eat really influences acne and breakouts:

  • You get breakouts and pimples when oil glands get infected with bacteria, causing an inflammation response and filling up with white blood cells and pus.
  • Eating foods that boost your immune system will help your body fight the bacteria, thus reducing the inflammation. Immune system boosting foods include those high in Vitamin C like oranges, kiwis, and broccoli.
  • Sugar causes spikes in energy and blood sugar, and generally leads to a compromised immune system, low energy, and a cycle of eating more sugar.
  • Sugar also feeds the yeast, causing an imbalance of good bacteria in the body. Without the good bacteria to protect you, you are more vulnerable to breakouts.
  • Stress has an impact on the immune system, essentially shutting down our digestion and other auxiliary “services” to undertake the fight or flight response. That’s why you get more breakouts when you’re stressed.
  • Toxins and other unwanted substances can get lodged in the body, either through the foods we eat, the air we breathe, or the products we put on our skin. If you observe breakouts after using certain products, discontinue their use.
  • Allergies and food sensitivities cause your body to go into an immune response, leading to constant inflammation, and reducing your body’s immune response sensitivity over time.
  • Water is essential for flushing out the toxins, hydrating the body and the skin. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every day.

Acne Tips

Here are some other acne tips I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Check out Acne.org for videos on how to wash your face to reduce inflammation.
  2. Picking pimples is not recommended, it causes scarring, and just encourages more pimples in the same spot.
  3. Be gentle on yourself – a lot of this is about mindset, and change is never an overnight transformation.

Finally, I need to say that I’m not totally blemish free. I still get some acne and pimples, but it’s much more manageable.

In fact, I usually know exactly why I am getting breakouts. Lack of sleep, too much stress, not eating right, a certain type of make up or lotion, that time of the month, etc.

Got Any More Acne Treatments or Tips?

I’d love to hear your acne story. If you found a natural way to reduce or stop your acne, let us know in the comments!

We’re all in this together and the more we share, the better for future visitors who are in need of advice.

Love, Nathalie

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Dry Skin Brushing Helps Eliminate Toxins… and Cellulite?

Dry Skin Brushing

What if you could help your body cleanse itself simply brushing the “yuckiness” off your skin? That’s exactly what dry skin brushing does.

Think of it as removing the top layer of dead skin debris, allowing your body to expel more toxins as it deems fit.

Dry Brushing Skin Benefits

Dry skin brushing helps to remove dead skin, and any toxins that your body expels through your skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ.

Along with the colon and urinary tract, the skin is one of the most important waste management organs of the body.

When you brush your skin with a dry brush you are also stimulating the lymph nodes. This in turn helps with further circulation and elimination of toxins, and also boosts the immune system.

Dry Skin Brushing and Cellulite

Ladies you’ll be pleased to know skin brushing helps eliminate cellulite too!

Simply brush your thighs and any area where you experience cellulite, and see what happens. In effect you are giving the toxins that are stored in your thighs a way out.

No one wants to store that junk in their trunk, so let it out by brushing it off!

How to Dry Skin Brush

The brush itself looks a bit like a softer version of a horse’s brush, with natural bristles. Begin by brushing the soles of your feet (try not to giggle too much!) and move up your legs, always brushing toward your heart.

Continue brushing gently toward your heart, or against the direction of the hair on your arms. After brushing, your skin will begin to feel softer. It will also make it easier for you to sweat toxins out.

Ladies avoid the breast area, since it is a more sensitive part of the body.

When to skin brush?

Ideally you would do a round of dry skin brushing before taking a shower, or before a work out. This ensures that your pores are clear of any debris, so that your body can expel toxins (if any, I know you’re pretty clean already!).

You can do it daily for good measure. If you do a fast or a cleanse, it’s even more important to help your body eliminate toxins by dry brushing your skin.

Where to find a skin brush?

You can find skin brushes at your local bath or body shop. I’ve also found them in most natural health food stores. You can also get a Purest Palm Body Brush at Amazon.

Enjoy brushing yourself to smoother skin, and ultimately a cleaner body all around!

Personal Update

This is day 7 of my master cleanse. You can find out why I’m doing this fast, what the master cleanse is, why I experienced a white tongue, and how to perform a salt water flush.

Yesterday was really tough. I have a feeling it’s because I wasn’t keeping myself busy enough, but I was definitely thinking about food more than the other days.

The lemon/lime sour taste is starting to get old. I decided to make myself a cup of herbal tea, since that’s considered an acceptable way to “cheat” during the fast. It was great because it really cut the lemon taste.

Though I did have a pretty severe stomach ache in the middle of the night. Probably brought on by drinking too much liquid before going to bed.

I woke feeling good, and performed the salt water flush again. I’m feeling good again, and looking forward to day 10!

Love, Nathalie

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9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

There are a lot of common reasons for going raw. To lose weight, solve a digestive problem, or heal your relationship with food. But here’s a list of 9 things that resulted from adding more raw food into my diet, in a question and answer format.

1. How to Try New Fruits and Vegetables? Eat More Raw Food.

One of the interesting things that happened after I started eating more raw food, is that I started to try different things at the supermarket. I tried all kinds of new vegetables and fruits that I had never even heard of before. Some of my new favorites include durian, mangosteen, and persimmons.

I also rediscovered some of my old favorite fruits like strawberries and raspberries. I used to pick raspberries from my grandmother’s raspberry patch when I was a kid, and going raw really rekindled those good memories.

return-to-raw-food
Photo by The Futuristics

2. How to Get Started Gardening? Eat More Raw Food.

I was never much of a gardener, but after going raw I realized that we are much more connected to nature and we think we are. Starting a garden was a revelation for me. I discovered how the earth we walk on every day is responsible for the food we eat. (Yes, even meat!)

Now I just love going through the garden and figuring out all kinds of tricks to get better results. Weeding the garden isn’t as fun as planting or harvesting, but it’s definitely a fun and enjoyable activity for me.

3. Want to Try Alternative Medicine? Eat More Raw Food.

At the same time that I decided to go raw, I also decided to explore the world of alternative medicine. Not so much by choice as by circumstance. With the magic of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I was able to heal a lot of my internal imbalances naturally.

Chinese Medicine also places a lot of importance on the foods we eat as medicine themselves. Just like Hippocrates did, saying “Let Food Be Thy Medicine.”

4. How to Reduce Acne? Eat More Raw Food.

I’ve had acne since I was 10 or 11 years old. My parents and I thought it was just my hormones, and so I went on the birth control pill when I was young.

Back when I was a kid, my vegetarian martial arts instructor, used to tell me that food was causing my acne. Of course I didn’t want to believe it, so I continued to ignore this advice. Now that I’ve been raw, and the longer I stay raw, the clearer my skin looks.

5. How to Take Back Your Kitchen? Eat More Raw Food.

Before going raw I knew very little about cooking or preparing food for myself. I ate at a cafeteria in high school and University. I didn’t know how to feed myself so I resorted to lots of packaged and pre-made “foods”.

Going raw really taught me about nutrition and how to make food for myself, and for others. That’s really made a big difference for me, because I don’t have to look in the fridge and cupboards and wonder what you eat.

Delicious Raw Tomatoes
Photo by Sporkist

6. How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Eat More Raw Food.

Everything we do has an impact, and right now everyone is even more aware of the impact that their food choices are having on the planet. I learned that for 1 person eating a piece of steak, there are 49 people eating out of an empty bowl. If you don’t have steak, all 50 people could have grain in their bowls, including you.

Meat has many more hidden “side effects” than we like to think about when we’re having a nice dinner. All of these hidden steps cause so much environmental waste. It’s not time to waste, instead let’s be very efficient in our environmental choices right now.

7. How to Improve Your Grades? Eat More Raw Food.

I went raw during University, and I truly believe that raw food helped me get better grades. I was able to concentrate better in class, and to prepare meals quickly for myself. Starting my day off on the right foot and focusing really helped me to learn better, and I definitely got better grades after I went raw.

8. How to Make Doing Dishes Less Boring? Eat More Raw Food.

With raw food there are no greasy pans. Yes, if I want to make something complex I might need to use a bunch of different ingredients and appliances. But overall, there’s a lot less greasy pan scrubbing, and a lot more going outside to enjoy the sunshine happening for me.

9. How to Increase Your Self Confidence? Eat More Raw Food.

Now that I’ve educated myself about what’s healthy and what’s not, I feel that I have more control and understanding of what is going into my body. I no longer have to look at so-called experts to figure out what it is to eat.

Whether meat is good or meat is bad, or carbs are good and then carbs are bad. It doesn’t matter to me anymore. I make my own choices, and I listen to my body to find out if I need to make any changes to my diet.

What About You?

What has raw done for you? Anyone can answer, whether you’re just starting out on raw food are not. I want to find out about your experiences, because we’re all in this together.

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