Breakouts as a topic is very close to me, as unfortunately I am also prone to them and for many years I have struggled with them on a more serious level. Finally, after about 15 years of seemingly hopeless research – spending a lot of money and trying out all the anti-blemish products in the world – I found out what’s causing them ( I wrote about it here ) , but I also figured that it is a very very complex topic. Because of this, I’m not going to be able to touch upon on everything in one post. Plus the truth is, no one can save you on figuring out the mechanism of your own skin, its sensitivities, its organ ailments, and so on.
What is certain, however, is that there is always a reason for acne and there is always a solution as well! You do not have to accept that you will get old this way. I am not saying that once you have the key, you will never ever have breakouts in your life, but you will be able to keep it under control and that is a huge!
The skin is a secretory organ
The first and most important thing to be aware of is that the skin is one of our excretory organs (such as the liver or kidneys). So if you have any skin problem eg. acne, it indicates that your body is trying to get rid of something. The unfortunate part is that there are some lucky gals out there whose skin seems to be always clear. They are the ones we envy so much as they can eat heaps of french fries and peanuts, and they wake up the next day with just as fresh and clear skin as the day before. Damn.
I will tell you that while they are seemingly enviable, in fact their bodies are struggling with accumulated, hardly digestible fats and scraps as well, only they will have to face a different kind of problem later on. They may have hormonal or stomach problems for years to come. But for us acne sufferers, our body is spectacularly signaled before it gets into serious trouble – which is why it’s more worthwhile to be grateful (of course, I am also constantly trying to warn myself about a change of attitude).
Many people have asked on Instagram about acne to suggest a solution or products. The bad news is that in most cases there are no 1-2 tips to solve the problem, and obviously no miracle product either. Unless your acne is really caused by the fact that your skin care routine is very bad and you are not using products that are right for your skin. However, this would require individual consultation. Therefore, now I would prefer to shed some light on those less obvious reasons that may help to find the root cause of the problem. Because in the long run, ‘that’s where the dog lies buried.’
Many times, acne is formed and regularly caused by the fact that the liver is unable to digest certain foods and cannot get rid of toxins. Thus, they must be cleared from the bloodstream by other means. It may be completely individual, what kind of food or drink your liver is struggling with, but a high percentage can be suspected of: oily / fatty / fried, fried foods, oil seeds, too much gluten (bread, pasta), white sugary foods / sugary soft drinks, too much salt, too much alcohol / coffee, too much dairy, and not enough water consumption. If you know for a fact that you are eating a lot of any of mentioned above, then it is worth reducing it.
TIP: Drink peppermint and nettle tea every day! These two herbs are legendarily good for blood and liver cleansing. There are also special liver cleansing foods like celery, beetroot, lemon, spinach, broccoli, green tea, matcha, turmeric, porridge, spirulina. Eat more of these!
I’ve written a full post about it (you can read it here) , but I still think it’s important to mention it. If you do not have regular bowel movements (on a daily basis), this may indicate a problem. Also, if you are often bloated, you have stomach cramps or you are constantly hungry. The balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut is also important for skin cleanliness. It is worth getting a check because certain illnesses or food allergies can cause such symptoms as well, including acne.
TIP: Eat foods containing more fiber and pre- and probiotics (eg pickled cucumbers, sauerkraut). Avoid raw salad, instead steam or slightly cook your vegetables. Indian Psyllium husk, taken in the morning on an empty stomach (a tablespoon in a big glass of lukewarm water) can also help a lot.
There are clearly detectable hormonal diseases, such as PCOS or endometriosis, but acne may be due to mild hormonal imbalances. This is definitely worth checking via blood test (you can ask for a referral from a private or public doc, but it is not for free unfortunately).
If you have very strong pain before your period, often have migraines, mood changes, too strong or poor bleeding, irregular cycle or you suddenly started to gain weight / lose weight, you most likely have some kind of hormonal imbalance in your body. This topic is also super complex and complicated, so I won’t go into details now. Rather, I suggest you to read Hormone Power by Marjolein Dubbers which has lots of useful, interesting tips (I’m reading it for the second time, it is so great!)
TIP: Avoid non-fermented soy products (eg soy milk). I also drank this for a long time because I liked the froth I could make with it, but I have already quit. Exclude refined sugar, take in more B vitamins, magnesium, folic acid. Eat well and regularly throughout the day! Perhaps try taking chaste tree or evening primrose as a supplement. And drumroll… stop taking the pill!
The lymphatic system is the “sewage disposal system” of the body, so it is very important for the lymph to flow properly also from aspect of clear skin. If you often wake up with a bloated, puffy face and eyes in the morning, this is a typical symptom (with the appearance of acne) of sluggish lymphatic circulation. But similarly, pale, greyish skin reveals this too. A malfunctioning lymphatic system can also cause stagnation of toxins and the appearance of acne, which is why it is necessary to occasionally assist the flow.
TIP: Do face massage at least 2-3 times a week. Always start with a smoothing motion downwards the sides of your neck, toward the clavicle – to stimulate the lymph nodes found here. You can use your hands to do this, or a beautiful and extremely effective jade roller or gua sha . If you feel like it, you can order these massage tools from me via Instagram! 😉 Otherwise you do not need to massage it strongly, as the surface lymphatic vessels are located directly under the skin. You can also stimulate the lymphatic system on your body, which for I recommend using a dry brush before showering. Avoid consuming a lot of salt and move your body more often!
MENTAL, PSYCHOLOGIAL ISSUES
Last but not least, if nothing helps and you are completely hopeless, you may have a psychological reason for your acne. Did you know that in the embryonic stage, the same tissue formed the skin and nerve tissue? That is why there is such a close connection between our state of mind and the state of our skin. Otherwise, it can be a serious psychiatric symptom as well when you often feel the urge to scratch or pick your pimples and therfore give yourself new wounds where there really was nothing.
TIP: Don’t be ashamed to talk about your problems! Open up, dig deep, try to see what really pushes your soul. Can’t relieve stress? Do you suppress anger? Crying? Ther is too much weight on your shoulders? Are you scared of the future? Or is there a childhood trauma you’ve been carrying since you were little? Of course, you don’t have to fight this alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Going to a psychologist is not uncommon or something to be embarrassed about at all. We also need to nurture our souls. But sure you can go to a kinesiologist, a Bach flower therapist, a family constellation or any other alternative helper as well if you feel that it is calling you more right now. The point is to start dealing with it.
I hope these tips and less stated reasons will help you get a little closer to healing your skin. I send a lot of strength on your way and especially hugs! ♡ I know how hard it is, but believe me, there is a way out. In the meantime, strive to love yourself, to love your skin for it being so enthusiastic about helping, signaling, and alerting you about the imbalances in your body! Our body is a miracle, be grateful for it.