Acne can be a very serious problem for many men and women. Not only is it painful but it can be very damaging to your self-esteem. And yet, acne is no longer a problem that’s only debilitating teenagers around the world, but rather more and more adults everyday are being affected by this skin condition. 50 million, to be exact.
Now, I’m not a dermatologist, and I haven’t suffered from severe adult acne as some have, but I’ve had to deal with some painful cystic acne in which nothing seemed to cure. And apparently dermatologists were just as clueless, offering to prescribe one different acne cream or wash after another with no real significant change.
Being someone who’s always avid to learn, I decided that maybe I should try to find the perfect cure to eradicate this problem. After all, a whole population of an island on Papua New Guinea have never suffered from acne in their lives. This made me think about what did they have going for them?
First of all, throughout my extensive research I’ve learned one major fact, that acne is a problem that cripples mostly the Western World (poor eating habits and stress being the major issues).
I know dermatologists have been saying for years that they don’t know WHAT causes acne, but I decided to take matters into my own hands and figure out exactly what is happening to our skins.
The major culprit is P. acnes (a bacteria that colonizes the skin whether or not you have acne) and grows rampant with the help of sebum (hence why people with oily skin or combination skin are the ones who majorly suffer from this skin condition). Hormones also play a huge role, creating an overabundance of sebum (thus making your skin fertile for acne to flourish).
The issue is, how can we eradicate the problem? I turned to science as a way to solve it. What I learned was that a lot of the inflammation that causes acne begins in the stomach and that the common denominator in crushing acne is Vitamin A. So I used that knowledge to test drive the five steps that have kept me acne-free for two years.
5 Proven Steps to Better Skin
Vitamin A. This vitamin makes your skin virtually hostile towards P. acnes by keeping your levels of sebum very low. There’s a reason why dermatologists prescribe Acutane to acne sufferers, and it’s because it’s pretty much overdosing on Vitamin A. Now, there’s two ways you can obtain more of this vitamin (through food such as a chicken livers, which you’d only need to eat it once a week, as Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it’ll stayed stored in your liver till your body consumes it) or you can take Vitamin A supplements (which anything higher than 25,000IU daily dosage could be potentially harmful or even fatal, which is why if you’re planning on taking supplements that you see your doctor first to see what dosage is best for you). I DO NOT recommend to self-medicate because this isn’t a water soluble vitamin, so take with caution.
Rose Water Toner. Rose water helps soothes inflamed skin, and nothing causes acne-prone skin to breakout or get worse than using toners that are alcohol based (they’re too drying and hence will have your body replace even more sebum, creating a vicious cycle). There’s many to choose from on the market, but my personal go-to is Alteya Organic Bulgarian Rose Water (from New Rose Harvest). You can order it from Amazon and it retails for $15.94 (250-ml/8.5-fl. oz.).
Benzoyl Peroxide. This works because it helps kill the P. acnes that’s harvesting on your skin. Usually it takes about 6-12 weeks for you to start seeing a difference, so consistence is key. I’ve tried out many but what has really worked for me is Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel. It’s got 10% Benzoyl Peroxide (most of the creams out there have only 5%) and it really helps with keeping my skin clear. You can find it on Amazon or your local Ulta, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, or CVS and it usually retails for $6.50 (1-fl. oz.).
Brewer’s Yeast. Now, one of the major culprits that causes acne is your digestive tract being out of whack. Somehow, inflammation in your gut corresponds with inflammation on your skin. One of the reasons why that population in Papua New Guinea doesn’t suffer from acne is because they eat a plant-based diet, low sugar, and no processed foods. But some people even if they were to do all that, will still have gut issues because of stress. Enter Brewer’s Yeast that’s packed with all the B-vitamins essential for healthy skin (Thiamin Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Niacin Vitamin B3, Pantothenic acid Vitamin B5, and Pyridoxine Vitamin B6). It’s also got the good bacteria that makes your gut happy – Probiotics. Now you can take it in powder form (which is absolutely disgusting but does the trick) or you can find it in capsule form. I recommend Now’s Brewer’s Yeast, retailing for $10.25 (200-tablets) on Amazon.
Vitamin C Serum. Vitamin C is essential for collagen and cell turn over, and with skin that’s constantly inflamed, it helps dry out the P. acnes without causing it harm. I always put this on after having applied a thin layer of Neutrogena’s Spot Cream (see #3). I especially love Isabis Formulae’s Vitamin C serum because it’s also packed with Vitamin A & E which somehow helps keep spots at bay while leaving your skin feeling supple and glowing (this serum is so lightweight that you can also apply it during the day). It currently retails for $25.97 (30-ml/1-fl. oz.) on Amazon. A little goes a long way. One bottle usually lasts me between 3-4 months (I use it once a day at night).
*In conjunction with these steps you must also follow a diet that’s extremely low on dairy intake, high in leafy greens and water, and no processed foods or exceeding more than three teaspoons of sugar a day.
By: Azzurra Nox