Not everyone is blessed with perfect skin without any efforts, but believe me when I say, you don’t longer have to wait for glowy and bright skin when you have acne prone skin just like me!
During puberty I did have perfect skin, but at the end of my teens things dramatically changed and my face turned into one hell of a mine field over night. I didn’t really know what caused the massive breakouts at that time, but now I know it was probably because of the nasty foods I was eating and some hormonal imbalances. Of course, just like every doctor would do (I wouldn’t though…) I got my face stuffed with the contraceptive pill and things slowly started to clear up. That’s how things work in modern medicine, cover the symptoms quickly, but let’s not think about the root of the problem… Things were good for then. I admit there were some pimples and blackheads here and there, but nothing too bad. Turning vegan also helped big time when it comes to my skin. But ever since I turned my back on hormonal contraception, my skin slowly started to break out again. But in the end I did manage to get things under control just by following some simple routine tricks I learned over the years. So for whatever reason your skin is not happy (hormones, stress, hygiene,…) this will help you (hopefully) tremendously.
Just remember to be patient.
This is, in my eyes, the most important aspect when it comes to healthy skin. Our skin is our biggest organ and every thing we put in our body is somehow showing on the outside. So stay away from nasty processed foods and also eliminate all animal foods. Turing vegan has had a massive impact on my skin and overall complexion. Eat healthy whole foods in abundance and incorporate loads of greens. Pro tip: Green juices are like a magic elixir! So try it.
The most important thing you need to know is that for optimal skin health your digestion and hormones need to be on point, otherwise your skin will never be. There is a strong correlation between gut health and skin health. It’s all in the gut, trust me! Also if your hormones are going crazy, because of hormonal contraception or adrenal fatigue, your skin will respond badly.
You will achieve optimal digestion by simply eating the right foods. See how your gut health will change over time when you’re eating plant based whole foods. Keep your intestinal flora happy by adding some fermented foods like sauerkraut or kombucha. If things are still bad, try some pro and prebiotics to restore gut health. And also: don’t be afraid to eat healthy fats, they’ll help with hormone production, especially in us females. Just try to avoid refined oils, just eat fats in their whole food state such as avocados, nuts and seeds. But don’t go overboard though. Regular exercise and a healthy sleep routine will also help with balancing out hormones. Sleep is curial, so don’t underestimate it. It is the time your body is resetting and healing. So you want that acne to be gone: go to sleep early!
Last but not least: stay hydrated. Insufficient water intake can have a massive impact on our glow! So drink that extra cup of water and try to opt for a minimum of 2,5l a day!
Repeat after me: Less is more! Like I said, our skin is our biggest organ and it will not only show everything you put in your body but also absorb every toxin you put on it. So stay away from harsh chemicals. Try to stick to natural skin care products. I for myself mainly use coconut oil (love that stuff!) when it comes to cleansing and hydrating my skin. Cleansing is important, because you do want to get rid of the bacteria sitting on your face, but don’t over do it. Wash you face in the morning and before sleep with a soft cleanser (I use Dr. Bonner’s with Tea tree oil, turmeric soap or organic cold pressed coconut oil), apply some toner (I use rosewater) moisturise and you’re done. Try to exfoliate a few times a week with a brush (I use this one). But give things time to heal.
What about make-up? I used to put on make-up every single day, but I must say these days I prefer to go bare faced. I just feel that my skin can breath better. But you don’t have to throw away all your tins and pots, just try to go without some times. Switch to lighter products that are non-comedogenic, like mineral powders or tinted moisturisers (cruelty free of course, preferably natural skin care). Once you’re skin clears up, you don’t need it anyway. But when you’re putting on make-up, make sure to really clean your face before bed time.
Another important factor is sweat: make your skin sweat to get all the dirt out! This can be anything from a heavy gym session to sauna or steam rooms. Just let it all out!
It’s no news: bacteria are everywhere. It’s a love-hate relationship really. We do need them (at least the good ones), but the bad ones can give us a really hard time. So a few things I implemented for myself are: Short nails and washing hands regularly. Long nails are like a Petri dish to go! You will not believe what dirt can sit under your nails! So make sure to clip them regularly. Wash your hands a few times throughout the day, but you don’t have to go all OCD about it. And even if your hands are clean: keep them hands off of your face! Always!
Use towels only for your face and change them regularly (letting it air dry is still the best option though). If you have just one towel beside the sink for everything, you will dry your hands and your face with it, which can easily transfer bacteria back onto your face. Just dedicate a few towels for your face (I use these and I use a new one every day) and wash them regularly at 90°C with a bit of vinegar. This will kill all the bacteria.
Also change your sheets regularly, especially your pillow case.
Do you really need supplements? I myself am not a big fan of all the pills and powders out there, because I believe that all the things you need are in fruits and veggies. However if you are really lacking a nutrient you cannot get through nutrition, as a last resort, I would advise to take supplements. Zinc for example is a mineral that helps with skin, hair and nail health. Maca root powder is said to help with balancing out hormones. Blackstrap molasses (like I explained here) is also great for skin and hair. Another thing you can add is greens powder. Just make sure to always use organic (and vegan) quality when using supplements and superfoods.
I hope these tips can help some of you to get clearer and healthier skin. But remember, I am by no means an expert (even though I am technically a doctor) but I just wanted to share my experiences and research with you and show you what helped me. If you already have clear skin, but from time to time small break outs are happening, my secret weapon was and always will be: tea tree oil!