Pimples have been ruining potential dates and causing teenagers to sulk since the begin-ning of time. That is because acne is a problem that affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. It is estimated that between ages 12 and 24 nearly 85% of people will develop some kind of acne or related skin problem.
All jokes and statistics aside, however, acne is a problem for adults as well. Though chronic breakouts are classically thought of as an adolescent affliction, many folks 25 years or older continue to have a problem with it. Fortunately, all the acne treatments covered here are just as effective for adults as adolescents.
Acne isn’t the end of the world, and doesn’t often cause any real lasting problems, but let’s face it, it can cause insecurity, hamper social interactions, and just be downright annoying in our day-to-day lives. This in turn can lead us to use prescription topical creams and even medica-tions, some of which can have extremely serious side effects. That is why I feel the need to take a moment out and list a few natural ways that, despite your age, you can successfully treat your acne.
1. Diet Some dermatologists will tell you that diet doesn’t matter when it comes to acne. But they’re wrong; it absolutely does. Our bodies are complex, interactive systems, and every-thing we put into them affects them as a whole. Therefore, what we eat and drink affects our skin. In order to maintain a healthy complexion, it is important to avoid processed foods, and excessive consumption of dairy, salt, sugar, carbs, and alcohol. In place of these things, it would be wise to substitute any foods containing antioxidants, vitamins, omega 3-fatty ac-ids, or monosaturated fats (the “good” kind of fat). Some choice picks include almonds, yogurt, fish, spinach, whole grains, and, if you feel the need to drink, red wine.
2. Azelaic Acid This acid is an organic compound that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. It has been proven to be effective in treating mild to moderate acne and can be easily consumed daily through whole grains cereals and other similar products. It works to better your com-plexion by simultaneously killing preexisting acne bacteria and decreasing production of ker-atin, a natural substance that causes the growth of acne bacteria.
3. Green Tea Extract Studies have also strongly backed this little gem of a substance in treating mild to moderate acne. It has been shown to reduce acne by up to 50%, and decrease sebum production (an oily substance that lubricates our skin and causes acne) by 70%. It can be used in the form of a 2% lotion, and doesn’t have any known side effects as of yet.
4. Alpha Hydroxy Acid This acid is another acne remedy in the list that is easy to consume dai-ly. It’s naturally found in citrus fruits and many other foods. It can also be directly applied to the skin as a topical treatment where it removes dead skin and unclogs pores. It is recom-mended for those who have dealt with acne in the past, as it is particularly good at improving the appearance of acne scars. Alpha hydroxy acid does, however, have some mild side ef-fects that are commonly associated with topical acne treatments, such as redness, sensitivity to sun, and mild redness and stinging.
5. Aloe Vera As far as acne treatments are concerned, aloe vera and acne go way back. This cactus-like plant contains a thick, clear pulp in its leaves that has great anti-inflammatory properties. And, as we know, anti-inflammatory= anti-acne. Aloe vera contains hormones that kill acne. It is also a natural astringent which squeezes oil, dirt, and dead skin out of your pores. It contains antioxidants, purifies blood, and stimulates cell growth which all con-tribute to the reduction of acne scarring. And obviously, its anti-inflammatory properties re-duce the redness and inflammation which are the quintessential attributes of any pimple. So, yeah, as far as acne is concerned, it’s pretty all-around kick ass.
6. Acupuncture Last but certainly not least, acupuncture has proven time and time again to be effective in treating acne, not only in the short-term, but often in the long-run as well. And this is what positions acupuncture as the most effective way of dealing with and healing the ROOT CAUSE of acne. This is because, unlike most prescribed topical treatments that merely work on the surface of your skin, acupuncture gets to the root of the problem. Instead of resolving a problem that already exists like the creams do, acupuncture can change the flow of the natural energies beneath one’s skin and prevent future breakouts from happening. For many patients, acupuncture is the closest they can get to curing their acne.
It must be kept in mind that, though effective, none of these methods will necessarily cure your acne. Acne is a simple problem, but one that is caused by a surprisingly complex amal-gamation of physiological occurrences. It may take a while to pin down exactly what is causing your acne, and what the best treatment for you is. Just try to remember that even if it’s annoy-ing, acne, for most, does not exceed a superficial concern and will probably not cause you any real problems in the long run. It is more important to treat your body as naturally, and therefore as safely, as possible. And natural treatments for your acne are just one infinitesimal piece of the infinitely complicated puzzle that is you.