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

From Tired, Overweight, and Depressed to Radiant Beauty with Whole / Raw Foods

Dawnmarie Raw Foods Before & After

This is a guest post by Dawnmarie, read on to hear her story of transformation with raw foods.

The year 2006 was the worst year of my life. My best friend of 15 years and I had a falling out. My Grandmother died. I lost my job. I opened my own practice only to close 9 months later in near bankruptcy because of low reimbursement from insurance companies. My husband left. I found a new partner. He left. My dog was diagnosed with ehrlichia.

My life was starting to sound like a country music song. But perhaps the most devastating news came from my ob/gyn.

You aren’t fertile. Your FSH is too high. You need an egg donor.

Having wanted children all my life, now 37 and without a partner, my chances were quite grim.

Not only would I need a sperm donor, but also an egg donor. There must be a way to restore my fertility.

In addition, at the time, I was taking a pharmacy load of medications:

  • Wellbutrin for ADHD and depression.
  • Lamictal for refractory depression (standard antidepressants no longer worked).
  • Strattera for ADHD.
  • Klonopin for anxiety.
  • Citrucel for my irritable bowel with constipation.
  • Bottles and bottles of Advil for various aches and pains, headaches and menstrual cramps.
  • Glucosamine for joint pain.
  • Coffee to wake me up in the morning.
  • Sleeping aids to get me to sleep at night.

I was 155 pounds, heavy for my 5″7 frame. My cholesterol was elevated. And, I had acne. All of the time. I didn’t recognize who I had become. And I didn’t like her.

Discovering Raw Food

My friend Leslie, at the same time my husband left, decided to “go raw” for a few weeks to do a “cleanse.” I thought this was ridiculous and unnecessary.

Meat and dairy are essential to a balanced diet. Its good for you. Or so I thought and so I had learned.

While my world continued to spiral down, I noticed Leslie’s was improving. She became my emotional rock and she was no longer so fragile.

Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine

She continued to tell me about “raw” and I continued to dismiss her. But for Christmas, to support her, I bought her Gabriel Cousens’ book Rainbow Green Live-Food Cuisine. And I did myself the favor and read the introduction.

There was one thing that he said that I wanted to hear, you can “change hormone production with a living food diet.

A month later, when I arrived in California for a job so that I could prevent bankruptcy, I “went raw.”

After three months, I was no longer anxious. I didn’t need Klonopin.

After six months, I didn’t feel depressed. I stopped the Lamictal. Several months later, I didn’t need the Wellbutrin, either. Strattera was causing my blood sugars to rise. I stopped it, and they normalized. The Citrucel sat on my shelf.

Eating fibrous foods was not constipating. I wasn’t buying Advil, either, as I no longer ached. I didn’t get headaches anymore. I replaced coffee with green smoothies. I slept well every night.

Testing The Raw Boundaries

One day, early in my raw journey, I was overtired and decided to get a latte prior to work. Within hours, I was doubled over in pain.

All along, I had been lactose intolerant, and didn’t realize it. So that’s why I wasn’t farting anymore.

I lost weight. All of it. And I was back down to my prior college weight of 125 pounds. I looked and felt fantastic.

Although, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (likely induced prior to going raw, by the large quantities of dairy I used to consume, as dairy promotes autoimmune disorders), my thyroid hormones stabilized quickly, and I haven’t yet needed a prescription for thyroid replacement.

Once I stopped gluten, I no longer had acne.

The Ever After Part…

It’s four years later, and I’m still mostly “raw” and definitely only consume a whole food plant based diet. I feel better now at 41 than I did at 31.

Another fertility specialist just informed me that my AMH is zero and that I have only one follicle producing in my left ovary per month.

He says I need an egg donor and he says I have a non-significant very small external fibroid on my uterus.

My mother lost her uterus to fibroids at 37. I believe had I not turned my diet around, I, too would be getting a hysterectomy.

While all of my other health problems have cleared, the fertility issue is still a challenge. I’m not giving up.

I’ve been to Clear Passages for 30 hours of physical therapy to prepare my ovaries and uterus for pregnancy. (A pleasant side-effect of this treatment, now that my uterus isn’t nailed to my abdominal wall from adhesions, is that I can now orgasm on intercourse).

I’m taking DHEA, which has been shown to improve egg quality and follicular production. And next week, I fly to Seattle to attend Randine Lewiss course for women with reproductive challenges like my own.

Whether or not I become pregnant on my own or by a donor egg, my raw food journey has lead me to a better place, to better health. This physician, healed herself, with a whole food, plant based diet.

Thank you Dawnmarie!

I just want to take a moment to thank Dawnmarie for sharing her story with all of us. It’s amazing what a whole food diet can do, and I am so blessed to be able to share this message with the world!

Love, Nathalie