Category Archives: Acne: Alternative, Natural & Home Remedies

Alternative, natural and home remedies for acne. Also contains information on herbal and traditional Chinese medicine cures for acne. Basically, all the non-mainstream solutions for breakouts.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Cures for Acne

ACNE-ROSACEA#1:  Acupuncture

Acupuncture, the traditional Chinese medical treatment where tiny needles are inserted just beneath the skin’s surface, may help you get rid of acne.  The needles are inserted in areas associated with healing whatever problem you have.  The procedure is painless.  While scientists are not sure exactly how acupuncture works, they do know that it has been shown to be effective in a wide range of conditions.  It is believed to work by activating the nervous and/or immune systems when the needle touches the area of the nerve that’s being targeted.  Some say acupuncture results are simply a placebo effect, however, acupuncture is used in veterinary medicine with quite a bit of success and animals are unlikely to experience a placebo effect.  If you believe a weak or reactive immune system is involved in your acne, acupuncture might be an especially good option to try.

#2:  Acupressure

Acupressure is based on the same principles as acupuncture, except that instead of using needles to stimulate the target area, pressure is applied.  This is not painful and feels much like a massage in which light to medium pressure is applied to stimulate the nerves.

A related treatment is laser acupuncture, wherein laser light or low level laser light is aimed at the target nerve.  The light stimulates the area, eliminating the use of needles.  For people interested in acupuncture who don’t like needles, laser acupuncture is a good solution.

#3:  Reflexology

Reflexology is similar to acupressure, except that it involves massaging and applying pressure to certain points on your feet.  It is based on the idea that massaging certain areas of the feet will stimulate a corresponding part of your body to heal.  Even if that is not true, the massage is extremely relaxing, so the reduction in stress hormones alone could lessen breakouts.  In reflexology for acne, the parts of the body the reflexologist targets include the liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and pituitary gland.  You’ll notice that these are mostly parts of the body that clean out toxins.  With your body detoxed and in tip-top shape, your acne should disappear.

#4:  Aromatherapy

Certain fragrances ease stress or induce other emotional responses.  Used on a daily basis to induce relaxation, you can ward off acne caused by stress.  Stress is a major cause of acne because it changes your body’s hormone balance.  Mental thought processes have a very real effect on our physical bodies.  Every time you feel stressed, irritable or sad, a stress-related hormone is being released into your body.  Controlling and managing stress helps you blunt the effects of these hormones, which are known to aggravate acne.

Aromatherapy could technically use any scent that makes you relax, but certain essential oils have been found to induce a relaxation response for most people.  These oils include:

  • cedarwood
  • clary sage
  • eucalyptus
  • frankincense
  • geranium
  • juniper berry
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • lemongrass
  • sandalwood
  • tea tree

To benefit from these, you need only smell them.  In aromatherapy, the fragrance can be placed anywhere:

  • Put a cotton ball soaked in a watered-down essential oil into your pillowcase or dresser drawer.
  • Put the essential oil (with water or another liquid) into an atomizer or spray bottle and spray it around the room, your car, etc.
  • Create massage oils or lotions using the essential oil.

#5:  Margarite Acne Pills

These supplement pills, also known as Chai Feng Zhen Zhu an Chuang Wan, are a blend of Chinese herbs intended to treat eczema, dermatitis and acne.  Anecdotal evidence points to them working well, however, it may take two or even three months to see results.  This formula works on the premise that acne is not the problem, it is the result of a problem.  Your body is out of balance and toxins are not being expelled from your skin.  The result is inflammation and pimples.  The idea is that once the internal cause of the problem is corrected, the outside manifestation of it (pimples) will go away.

#6:  Cucumber

Cucumber is extremely popular for skin in skin care and in Chinese herbalism because it helps with so many different skin conditions, including acne.  Using fresh, organic cucumbers as a home remedy for breakouts is the best way to use cucumbers.  To use a cucumber to treat acne, you can slice it and leave the slices on your face as a sort of “mask” for 15 to 30 minutes, or you can get the juice from the cucumber (which is easier than it sounds- the juice comes out everywhere when cutting it) and apply it to your face or even water down the juice a bit, funnel it into a spray bottle and mist your face with it throughout the day.  When applying it as a juice, some people wash it off after awhile and some do not.  Typically, leaving it on the face is not uncomfortable, nor does it clog pores.

Some people also swear by simply eating lots of cucumbers to get rid of breakouts.  If you already like cucumbers, this is a great excuse to load up your shopping cart with them.

#7:  Watermelon

Watermelon is rich in Vitamin A, B6 and C, all of which help get rid of acne.  To use watermelon to get rid of acne, extract the juice from a slice of watermelon into a bowl.  Using a cotton ball or pad, apply the juice to clean skin and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes.  Then rinse or wash it off and your skin dry.  Your skin will act as a sponge, soaking up all those vitamins and rehydrating itself.

#8:  Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle flowers are known to eliminate acne.  This could be due to the fact that honeysuckle has natural antibiotic and antiseptic properties.  These make it excellent for soothing inflammation.  To use honeysuckle, get some honeysuckle flowers (you can buy them online or pull them off a honeysuckle vine, if you have one) and blend or mash them into a paste using a blender and a small amount of water.  Apply the mixture to the area where you have a breakout and leave it on for 20 minutes.

Another way to use honeysuckle flowers for pimples is to drink a tea made of them.  This is thought to boost the immune system, so it is more of an inside-out approach.  If you buy honeysuckle tea, instructions for brewing it should be included.  If you want to make your own, gather a small handful of honeysuckle flowers and add them to hot water.  It is useful to put the flowers in a strainer, so they’re easy to pull out when the tea is done.  Allow the flowers to steep in the water for 10 minutes and then enjoy your cup of tea!

#9:  Dandelion Root

Most acne treatments that use dandelion root call for taking the root internally.  You can purchase capsules of dandelion root powder to take daily for acne, or you can prepare and drink dandelion root tea.

To make your own dandelion root tea, you can buy dandelion root from a health foods store or you can gather your own.  If you are using your own, be sure to wash it well and use only the root portion.  You can chop the roots up a bit if it makes it easier to get them into the hot water.  Place them in a small strainer and set them in hot water to brew the tea. Drink one cup each day.  Dandelion root improves liver function, which some studies show are implicated in acne problems.

#10:  Chrysanthemum Tea

Chrysanthemum tea has a lot of beta carotene, which the liver converts to vitamin A, albeit somewhat inefficiently.  It is perfectly fine to pick a small handful of fresh chrysanthemum flowers and steep them in hot water to make your own tea.  You can also purchase chrysanthemum flowers if you’d rather not disassemble your garden.  Drink one cup of the tea every day with a meal.

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Can Your Diet Cause Acne?

foods

More than one study has concluded that acne is associated with the “Western Diet”. Suspicion especially falls on dairy products and high glycemic index diets. Accusations and claims abound:

  • Eating a healthful diet could improve acne just by virtue of reducing bodily inflammation. Your skin is a reflection of your overall health. It’s hard to make it look healthy if your body isn’t.
  • Some studies claim that populations of people livin gin their own traditional ways never had acne until they moved to cities and began eating a Western style diet.
  • They suspect that a Western sedentary lifestyle and diet exacerbates hormonal imbalances, leading to more breakouts.

 

There is some controversy over what constitutes a “healthy” diet.  Some researchers are also starting to break from this idea, claiming that diet has nothing to do with acne.  Given our knowledge that foods and supplements can be used to alter a person’s organ functioning and hormone levels, I personally believe that diet must play at least a small role in acne.  If you are serious about eradicating acne, eating healthy will only help you.

Low Glycemic Load Diet

A 2007 study done by Australian researchers found that a low glycemic load diet reduced several biological markers associated with acne.  It also reduced the amount and severity of breakouts.  Test subjects on the low glycemic diet had lower androgen levels.  This is important because high androgen levels are strongly associated with breakouts.

A low glycemic load diet contains foods that are digested more slowly and release their glucose (energy) slower.  This type of diet is highly encouraged for diabetics because it keeps their blood sugar stable and helps them lose weight.  A low glycemic load diet is part of many popular diet plans, including Nutrisystem, The Zone, South Beach, Sugar Busters and Glucose Revolution.

People are not used to identifying foods as having a high glycemic index (HGI) or a low glycemic index (LGI).  Identifying which foods are best for you to eat on this diet can be difficult at first.  Obviously, sugary processed foods are digested very fast, so they are HGI foods.  Foods with fiber that keep you full longer, like brown rice or oatmeal, are usually LGI foods.

 

Avoiding Trigger Foods, Especially Dairy

Each person may have different trigger foods that aggravate their acne, but one stands out in scientific research as a common acne trigger: milk.  High consumption of milk and other dairy products is correlated with more acne, especially for teenagers.

There has been some speculation that high-gluten foods wreak havoc with the digestive system of some people, causing their breakouts.  For a person with gluten sensitivity, it’s possible that consuming gluten (wheat) products every day could cause problems such as acne.

If you believe food sensitivities could be contributing to your breakouts, try an elimination diet for a week. Avoid dairy, gluten or whatever food you suspect is problematic.

 

Drink More Water

It is a common belief that acne can result from a buildup of toxins in the body.  To help your body process out these toxins and remove them from your bloodstream (and skin!), make sure you are drinking plenty of pure, filtered water.  Your skin needs adequate water to function.  Without it, your skin will not be able to cool you off and release toxins like it’s supposed to and your complexion will suffer.

 

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