Clear Skin From Within- What does this really mean and does it help reduce acne?
This post will be delving into the world of naturopathy. Healing my acne through herbal medications, diet and lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements.
“No matter how much it gets abused, the body can restore balance. The first rule is to stop interfering with nature.”- Deepak Chopra.
It was roughly 6 months into my first year of my bachelor degree that I truly began to understand the importance of internal health and the impact it can have on our skin. I started to become very intrigued and decided to do my own research, this is when I decided to look for a naturopath close by who had a great understanding on skin health. This is when I discovered Rosie Pratt, a naturopath with a keen interest in PCOS, menstrual disorders, IBS, adrenal exhaustion and insulin resistance. With my knowledge in Dermal science, this showed me that she would have a lot of experience in dealing with female hormones in relation to acne.
I made my first appointment and was not disappointed. She instantly noticed the areas in which I was breaking out and requested that I go get a hormone test to see what my imbalances might be, also relating back to what caused my skin to break out this bad (YAZ). So off I went to get my blood tests, but what I wasn’t expecting was.. everything was fine!! Why did this make me so frustrated when everything was okay? I wanted to find an answer, if there was an imbalance in a certain hormone we could work on it by balancing it out and hopefully curing my acne, but NOPE, this was not the case. So, instead I was prescribed with skin healing ingredients. Over the course of about 6 months I was prescribed with:
1) ZINC- Zinc is important for immunity and has been shown to increase immune system cells in the body. Zinc plays a role in transporting vitamin A, another important vitamin for the skin, it is important in the normal functioning of the oil secreting cells of the skin and helps with wound healing. This is important for healthy repair and healing of inflamed acne affected skin. Zinc also has a role in hormonal regulation which can be contributing to the acne.
2) SILICA- Our bodies contain around 7g of silica, concentrated mainly in our skin, bones, hair, tendons and blood vessels. Silica is essential for the production and maintenance of collagen in our body.
3) EPA & DHA- These are Omega-3 fatty acids, which help in improving your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. These reduce redness and puffiness of acne lesions. Moisturize your skin naturally, making your skin softer. Help reduce stress, preventing excess acne-causing sebum production.Slow down skin cell over-production and balance your hormones.
4) LYMPHATOX- This is made up of cleavers, burdock and nettle for healthy skin. Lymphatox provides optimal blood purification and lymphatic support and may assist with the removal of wastes from the body to help cleanse your body and clear your skin.
5) NERVINE CALM- This was prescribed to me based on the times where my skin would break out the most, around times of stress. During exams, interviews, public speaking etc. Nervine Calm has been formulated to assist in the relief of nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety. The formula of herbal tonics and nutritional ingredients helps to nourish the adrenals, calm the nerves and aid in a restful undisturbed sleep, resulting in a healthy balanced mood.
6) VITAMIN D- I was prescribed this as my blood test results showed that I was vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D supports the immune system, reduces inflammation, works as an anti-microbial and nourishes and supports the endocrine system which can help to balance your hormones which may have an impact on your acne.
7) PRE and PROBIOTICS- Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your digestive system healthy by controlling growth of harmful bacteria. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the human body and are essentially food for probiotics. These were prescribed to me in order to help with the detoxifying process of my internal environment.
Rosie also gave me some suggestions to alter my diet that may improve my skins health. I stopped having dairy and gluten to see if this made any difference. I did notice a big difference with my bloating and my skin did clear up but I’m assuming this was due to a number of things. I cut down on my sugar intake as it was possible I had a slight insulin resistance and my body was not responding properly to the hormone insulin. I incorporated more red meat that was hormone free and dark green leafy vegetables for vitamins and minerals as well as iron and folate. I stopped taking my protein bars and was given a recipe for bliss balls which were essentially made up of mixed nuts and dates with coconut. Basically making everything as natural as I could and cutting out anything processed or foods that would have a negative impact on my digestion.
One thing Rosie also mentioned was to keep receiving skin treatments as she saw the importance of a healthy internal environment as well as treating the external environment to clear my skin. Visit my post about what skin treatments I received..
Gupta, M., Mahajan, V. K., Mehta, K. S., & Chauhan, P. S. (2014). Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review. Dermatology Research and Practice, 2014, 709152. http://doi.org/10.1155/2014/709152
Khayef, G., Young, J., Burns-Whitmore, B., & Spalding, T. (2012). Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne. Lipids in Health and Disease, 11, 165. http://doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-11-165
Lim, S.-K., Ha, J.-M., Lee, Y.-H., Lee, Y., Seo, Y.-J., Kim, C.-D., … Im, M. (2016). Comparison of Vitamin D Levels in Patients with and without Acne: A Case-Control Study Combined with a Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS ONE, 11(8), e0161162. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161162