Get Rid of Acne Naturally Through Dietary Changes

Hoping to get rid of acne naturally? Yes, it is possible. But no, there are no short-cuts, and dietary and lifestyle changes are necessary.

In this article, we cover the dietary changes will make a big difference to your acne condition.

Why dietary changes?

There is a seemingly endless debate over the issue of whether or not diet affects acne.

And to a person who is unfamiliar with natural health and healing, you might be wondering why this emphasis on diet when it comes to acne.

But think again - why should the materials that you input into your body on a daily basis not have an effect on it? It seems rather common sense that there is a link, does it not?

Acne, a form of unhealthy skin, is actually a manifestation of an unhealthy body trying hard to expel toxins within. And your daily diet definitely determines the amounts of toxins you input into your body daily, as well as how much support you provide your body with in terms of detoxifying itself.

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A note about how to Get Rid of Acne Naturally Through Dietary Changes

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Comparing the past and now

We recommend that you make a simple observation by looking at any indigenous population, or any culture, that still eats a diet of natural whole foods. In these societies, acne is virtually non-existent.

If indigenous peoples are a bit too unfamiliar, simply look at our own youth during the 40s, 50s, and 60s - before McDonalds became an American (the epidemic is spreading) staple. During those times, people's diets consisted of home cooked meals made from much more wholesome foods and fresh produce from the market. A few generations ago, acne was extremely rare; compared to present times, it was virtually non existent [6].

Compare this with the average teen of today, whose diet consists of pepperoni pizza, fast foods, drinks laden with refined sugar, candy bars, popcorn, microwave TV dinners, Gatorade instead of water, more pizza, more fast food, soda pop, and sugar filled snacks. Oh, and did I mention pizza? A "wholesome" meal in many households today consists of "home-cooked" hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, and mountain dew.

And look at the incidences of acne problems of our youths (and adults) today?

Proper nutrition is key

The link between foods and acne is not just an arbitrary observation. Studies have been done to understand the link [6].

It seems that the high simple sugar content of modern diets increases the production of insulin, which in excess can promote inflammation of the skin and overproduction of oil and skin cells in your skin pores [6]. The excess oil and skin cells in your hair follicle in turn encourage the growth of bacteria on your skin, giving rise to acne problems.

The modern diet also increases our body's growth factors and other hormones such as testosterone, which also contribute to acne by increasing sebum production and keratin buildup in your skin pores [1, 6].

In addition, deficiency in nutrients like Omega 3 and zinc (discussed below) can also be the cause of acne breakouts.

That is why it cannot be over-emphasized that proper nutrition should form the foundation of all natural acne treatments. Any supposed cure for adult acne which fails to take this into account is unlikely to be long-lasting and permanent.

Hence, in this article, we will touch on aspects of proper nutrition that are particularly relevant for acne issues. And if you are suffering from acne problems, we suggest that you make the necessary changes to your diet, so as to experience freedom from your acne problems soon, and for good.

Drinking enough water

The first step you can take to get rid of acne naturally is to drink more water. Water is helped to keep your skin hydrated, and the additional fluid in skin cells helps to keep the pores open [1].

The importance of water cannot be emphasized enough. At least two thirds of your body consists of water. Water is essential for virtually every bodily process, function, and organ. Without enough water, almost every aspect of bodily function suffers, including your skin's health.

Drink at least a quart (about one liter) of water spread out throughout the day. Ideally, you should be drinking half a gallon (about two liters), or 8 full cups per day. On hot days, or after strenuous physical activity, you should obviously be drinking more. You need to drink water, not Gatorade, tea, coffee, or soda pop.

Start consuming good fats

When you are dealing with acne or simply trying to stay healthy, you should generally seek to reduce your consumption of fatty foods, especially foods containing trans-fats.

Nonetheless, there are some fatty acids that are essential for health and survival. These fats are known as essential fatty acids (EFA), and they can only be obtained through your diet. One of the essential fatty acids that is lacking in most modern diets today is Omega-3.

Besides contributing to heart health, Omega-3 is essential for numerous bodily functions, including hormonal production and balance, and skin health.

So it is not surprising that Omega 3 supplementation has helped some sufferers of acne problems deal with their condition, especially those who often experience premenstrual breakouts.. In addition, the nutrient has gone further to improve digestive function, hair and nail strength, sleep, libido levels and the regularity of periods. [2].

So if you are trying to deal with your acne problem, be sure to address your dietary deficiency in Omega 3.

To do so, you could make use of Omega 3 supplementation. Flax Oil and Fish Oil are some of the best sources of supplementary Omega-3 EFA.

One of the best products for getting the ideal quantity and balance of essential fatty acids is called Udo's Choice Blend oil. This is a supplement that everyone can benefit from using, especially people with acne.

Reducing your intake of acne-triggering foods

Besides increasing your intake of foods that are beneficial for fighting acne, you will also need to reduce or eliminate your intake of acne-triggering foods.

Foods that can increase the risk of acne outbreaks include refined sugars, fatty foods, stressor foods and allergy-causing foods. Read more about these foods that trigger acne.

Consuming more fruits and vegetables

One more step in attempting to get rid of acne naturally is to consume more fruits and vegetables, especially raw and organic ones.

Fruits and vegetables are vital for providing essential nutrients, as well as valuable phytochemicals (plant chemicals).

They are also a good source of fiber, which helps to absorb waste testosterone in the intestines, preventing excessive levels of the hormone (one of the causes of acne) from being absorbed through the intestinal wall. [1]

Fruits and vegetables in the diet are also key to countering the un-balancing effects of the average diet and lifestyle today. Most people's diets today are extremely acid forming within the body. When the body starts to become acidic, it makes the body more susceptible to countless health conditions and issues. You can be sure that having an overly acidic body will affect your skin health in a negative way, be it directly or indirectly.

Raw foods like almonds, beets and cashews contain oxalic acid and help the skin to clear and healer faster. [1]

Using juices

Juices have also been found to be useful for those with acne problems.

Try two glasses of raw juices daily, using mainly carrot juice, together with beet, celery, cucumber, lettuce, spinach and a bit of ginger. [3]

Using detoxification or cleansing diets

Cleansing diets can be used to detoxify or rid the body of toxins that are causing the acnes. Note that at the start of your cleansing diet, your acne condition may worsen for a while as your body eliminates toxins from your skin at a faster rate. However, once the toxins are expelled, your acne would be reduced or eliminated.

One popular cleansing diet for dealing with acne is a 3-day vegetable juice fast. While you could take a variety of juices (in place of food) during these 3 days, the best fruits and vegetables for an acne cleanse are carrots, apples, beets, spirulina, wheatgrass, barley grass and chlorella. [7]

Alternatively, you could adopt mono-cleansing diets (where you rely on a single food) for 1 or 2 days a week, for several consecutive months, as a means of detoxification. Foods that you can use for the mono-cleansing diets include steamed vegetables, brown rice, fresh vegetable juices, filtered water, lemon and honey water, or water from wheatberries soaked for 12 hours. [3]

Note however that such cleansing diets may not be suitable for those with hypoglycemia (i.e. low blood sugar), are debilitated or need to use much physical strength for work. [3]

Watching out for your vitamins and minerals


One of nutrients that play roles in acne control is zinc.

Zinc is needed in the proper metabolism of testosterone, which is very much implicated in the development of acne. When zinc levels are low in the body (especially in adolescents around 13 to 14 years old), testosterone stimulates the production of sebum and keratin (which can block the passage of sebum from the pores), giving rise to acnes [4].

In addition, zinc is also involved in stimulating the immune system, tissue regeneration and wound healing, inflammation control and vitamin A function [4].

In fact, it has been found in research to be as effective as antibiotic tetracycline when it comes to relieving acne. [1]

As such, you could take about 45mg of zinc picolinate daily for 6 to 12 weeks for your acne problem. [1]

Alternatively, if your acne problem is not too serious, you could rely on food sources of zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, pecans, green peas, brazil nuts, rye, oats, almonds, walnuts, etc. [5]

Other vitamins and minerals

The other vitamins and minerals that may be useful to you when dealing with acne problems include:

  • Beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, can help protect your skin from bacteria infection [2], as well as reduce sebum production and keratin build-up in your hair folicles [4]. You can use about 50,000 IU daily for a month, then reduce to 25,000 IU daily [3]. However, dosages above 5,000 IU per day is not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing [6].
  • B-complex vitamins can help you cope better with stress, which can in turn contribute to acne problems. It is suggested that you take a high potency b-complex supplement that supplies 100mg of most of the B vitamins on a daily basis [2].
  • Vitamin C is essential for the health of collagen, a component of your skin, as well as your overall immunity and health. You can take about 1000mg to 3000mg of this vitamin daily. [2]
  • Vitamin E helps your body assimilate vitamin A. It is suggested that you take 400 IU - 800 IU of this vitamin daily [2, 3], in its dry form for better absorption (as recommended by Dr Mindell [2]).

Summing up the use of natural treatments for acne

Dietary changes (especially in avoiding foods that trigger acne breakouts) are an absolute must if you want to get rid of your acne naturally, and permanently.

Of course, you could strengthen and speed up the process of your recovery by making use of herbs, both taken orally and applied topically.

Effective stress management on a daily basis can also help to keep acne breakouts at bay, since stress can trigger acne breakouts. There are also other lifestyle tips you could adopt to deal with your acne effectively.

But it cannot be over-emphasized that proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle must come first if you are to see good and permanent results with your acne problem.

You may think that the steps for getting rid of acne naturally sounds too similar to the basic steps of attaining good health.

Indeed they are! You see, unhealthy skin is a manifestation of an unhealthy body. Unhealthy skin is one sign of an unclean body trying to purge excess toxins which it is unable to remove in other ways.

Thus, to deal with your acne problem effectively, it is imperative for you to get the house in order, and make sure that the body which the skin surrounds is itself clean and healthy.

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Do you have any experiences, knowledge and information on acne which would be useful to our other readers? These could include natural remedies and alternative treatments; lifestyle habits; herbs and herbal remedies; supplements; foods, diets and nutrition; as well as other related topics. We invite you to share your natural health knowledge and experiences on acne here.

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[1] Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-to-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies. New York, NY: Avery, 2002. Print.

[2] Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Rodale, 2000. Print.

[3] Trivieri, Jr., Larry, and Anderson, John W. Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. 2nd ed. New York, USA: Celestial Arts, 2002. Print.

[4] Murray, Michael, ND, and Pizzorno, Joseph, ND. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1998. Print.

[5] Murray, Michael T., ND. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements: The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 1996. Print.

[6] Balch, James F., MD, Stengler, Mark, ND, and Balch, Robin Young, ND. Prescription for Drug Alternatives: All-Natural Options for Better Health without the Side Effects. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2008. Print.

[7] Balch, James F., MD, and Stengler, Mark, ND. Prescription for Natural Cures: A Self-Care Guide for Treating Health Problems with Natural Remedies Including Diet and Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements, Bodywork, and More. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2004. Print.

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