Acne

Acne – Simple overview of what acne is and ways to manage it.

Myth – chocolate and fatty foods cause acne …….. Reality – dermatologist say NO, but eating a healthy well balanced diet can help improve skin.

Your skin is made up of three layers; epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Sebaceous glands or more commonly known as oil glands, are located in the dermis. In simple terms the sebaceous gland produces an excess of oil (sebum) that blocks pores. The oil (sebum) removes dead skin cells, and when this blocks the pores irritation occurs, causing the pore to become inflamed and at times rupture.

What increases the oil production in the sebaceous gland?

Stress, changes in sex hormones and low levels of vitamins and minerals. These three key causes are usually at their highest during puberty early adolescence and young adulthood, which is why we often see acne on younger faces.

Ways to manage and reduce acne.

Stress

Firstly, everyone will experience episodes of stress at sometime during their life, we are born with the internal response flight or fight. Whilst this is a natural mechanism, excessive emotional stress can have damaging effects on our bodies.

What happens to our body during stress?

There are multiple changes that occur in the body both in the mind (psychological) and the body (physical). Here are the more common ones:

  • You become short of breath, you start taking rapid short breaths, this may make you feel light headed and dizzy.
  • You may have a headache, or neck pain
  • You may experience diarrhoea or constipation
  • You may experience abdominal cramps
  • You may find it difficult to concentrate or remember things
  • You may be extra tired and or unable to sleep
  • You may experience extreme emotional outbursts

How we handle stress varies for each individual, though there are three key strategies that will help lower your stress levels –  Well balanced diet, Relaxation, Talking.

Well balanced diet

I am sure you are tired of reading what you should or shouldn’t be eating, but here is a very basic summary of the foods that help manage acne and also stress.

ZINC – Research carried out by scientists have identified a link between Zinc and acne, showing that those with acne were low in zinc. You can find zinc in food such as nuts, skinless poultry, red meat and yogurt.

Vitamin A – This vitamin helps skin remain healthy; found in eggs, salmon and liver. Beta carotene in plant foods are found in yellow and green fruits and vegetables. (Do not increase your vitamin A intake if you are pregnant)

Vitamin B – This vitamin is water soluble and comes in several different types including B3, B5, B6 and believed to leave the skin less greasy, which may help prevent blackheads.

Vitamin C – Can help fight infection, found in citrus fruits.

Vitamin E – helps to the skin heal and can be found in eggs and pressed oils.

Relaxation

Allowing your body to relax is a skill that many of us find difficult. Turning off mobile phones, ignoring the chores that need to be done require self discipline. You don’t need hours, just 15 minutes a day with no distractions will benefit you.

If you find it difficult to switch off, close your eyes and think of times you were happy and felt calm, or imagine you are walking in open fields or along a white sandy beach.

Talking

Sharing how you feel is a great way to de-stress. Talking to friends is free, but you may prefer to speak to someone you don’t know, so seeing a counsellor might be your best option. Acne isn’t going to vanish over night but sharing how you feel can help you become less tense and reduce your stress levels.

Although this advice is aimed at those suffering with acne, parents can help support their adolescent by encouraging plenty of nutritious meals, relaxation time and talking. The ideal scenario is where an evening meal becomes a social event. The meal is eaten at the dining table; conversation is focused around the week’s events with encouragement to share feelings. Finish off the evening with a board game or a walk. You may receive a negative reception, though if you remain positive and focused you may be able to make this a regular occurrence and everyone will benefit from valuable family time.

Why not arrange for your teenager young adult to attend a consultation to learn the benefits of a balanced diet and alternative therapies in acne management.

Malini White has produced a super book specifically focusing on natural treatment of acne. Acne Cure: A Practical Guide to Natural Cure for Acne : Through Herbs, Salves, Essential Oils and Other Natural Remedies’ . 

Click here to purchase your book. 

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas can be refreshing, therapeutic and or stimulating, whichever you chose your body will benefit greatly from the herbal properties.

Herbal teas freshly brewed emit aromas that tantalise the taste buds. The wonderful thing about making your own herbal tea is that you know its fresh and the exact contents.

For those who have limited time, visit the shop to purchase organic teas.

If you wish to dry your own herbs, berries or flowers:

  1. Collect leaves, berries, or blossoms in mid-morning. If there is dust or soil on the leaves wash in cool water and shake off excess water.
  2. Lay out your selection on to either a tea towel/paper towel/drying sheet/cheesecloth and place out of direct sunlight. A warm dry place such as an airing cupboard is ideal. Don’t layer- place in single depth.
  3. The drying time can be between 7-15 days. When the herbs,flowers, berries are dried, they will crumble. Store in clean glass jars with air tight lids.

For immediate fresh brews, simply select your chosen herb, flower, berry and place into a teapot. Pour on freshly boiled water and allow to steep for approximately 10 minutes. Kick off your shoes, sit back and savour the magical taste of your own freshly made brew.

Once you feel confident in brewing why not try mixing different herbs, flowers and berries together to find some wonderful aromatic and healing brews.