In a previous post about my experience with acne, I talked about the expensive prescription acne medications that I tried but failed to work for me. I wasn’t getting the permanent results I was looking for and I was spending a lot of unnecessary hard earned dollars on acne prescriptions each month for mediocre results.
In this post today, I will show you the natural remedies that made the biggest difference in my skin and how I used them to completely heal my acne. You’ll finally be able to skip those expensive prescription drugs at last!
Now, let’s get on to the good stuff.
Just to be clear, all the natural remedies that I talk about in this post are not a quick fix that will solve your acne issues in an instant. It will require a total lifestyle change depending on your current diet, lots of experimentation to find out what works for you, and willpower to keep it up for long-term results.
Natural Remedies To Heal Acne
I was tired of having to always pay for expensive prescriptions that seemed to only work when I was taking them. This led me to research about natural remedies to cure acne. I was interested in trying a more natural route because my body needed a break from pharmaceutical products and I wanted to save some money.
After taking my first and last round of Accutane, I learned that the pill contained a large dose of synthetic vitamin A called retinoids, which was the main component that helped improve acne. As I didn’t want to take a second cycle of Accutane, I looked into just taking vitamin A supplements. However, I found that it can be toxic to the body to overdose on vitamin A. This led me to look for another solution.
Inflammation Leads To Acne
Acne is largely triggered by inflammation. I started to ask myself if there was actually some truth when they say that you are what you eat because certain foods can cause more inflammation in the body compared to others. Many traditional Western doctors advise that your diet doesn’t affect acne but I started to question that.
To test this, I actively kept a food log for a few months and found that my skin glowed and looked more clear when I ate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and less red meat. I also took note that I would break out a lot more when I indulged in sugary foods like candy, chocolate, as well as fried foods. After my experiment, I concluded that it appeared that food definitely was somehow correlated with the condition of my skin. I was pretty sure that the food I was ingesting was causing inflammation within my body.
The Natural Remedies I Used That Cured My Acne
Clear skin is achievable with natural remedies and I’m now a true believer in that! It took a very long time for me to accept this idea. All of my life, I believed that using prescription medication was the only definite way to get rid of my acne. Figuring out that natural remedies were actually the answer to my problems and deciding what to change in my diet was the major turning point of my skin journey. Skin care starts from the inside out, not just what you slather on top of your skin on the outside!
1. Dairy-Free Diet
My skin really took a positive turn when I stumbled upon the idea of a dairy-free diet. There were lots of people testifying that eliminating all dairy products drastically helped clear their skin. I immediately experimented with this and stopped consuming anything related to milk, cheese, cream, and yogurt.
It was hard to adapt to this new lifestyle choice at first because I had been so used to having dairy products all my life. After a difficult few months of going dairy-free, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin, most noticeably with my cystic acne.
I continued to experiment with this diet and found that if I slipped up and introduced dairy products back into my diet, I would get cystic breakouts all over my cheeks, temples, jawline, and neck. From there, I learned that this diet was definitely not a short-term fix and was more of a lifestyle change that needed to be continuously maintained in order to see long-term results.
Now you may be wondering what I eat in place of dairy. Luckily, there are a whole variety of substitutes that are similar in taste and texture that you can choose from! Of course, they aren’t exact substitutes and will cost a little more in price.
Soy, Almond, or Coconut Milk
The main thing that I missed while being on a dairy-free diet was the cream that I normally mixed into my daily morning tea or coffee. Drinking tea black with no cream was fine but I absolutely needed cream to mix into my coffee. I’m sure some of you can relate!
My first choice of substitution that I reach for now is soy milk. At coffee establishments, I will ask for soy instead of 2% milk or cream for my coffee, tea, or frappucino’s if I am given a choice. When I’m at home, I will mix soy milk or a soy-based coffee creamer into my drinks. The texture and taste are different but I’ve learned to enjoy the distinct taste it brings.
You can also add almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk or any other kind of non-dairy milk of your choice if those are what you prefer.
If you’re looking for a substitute for ice cream, you can also try non-diary, tofu, or coconut ice cream. I’m not a super big fan of these but they are available for those who miss having regular ice cream.
2. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Another important contributor to inflammation in today’s Western diet is sugar. I found that when I significantly reduced the amount of sugar I ingested, my skin was much clearer.
I used to be the type of person who needed a “double double” coffee or tea (which is 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 shots of cream for those of you who aren’t from Canada). As well, sugary drinks alongside food with extremely high sugar content (like candy, donuts, cake, and cookies) were my go-to pick-me-ups.
Every time I would indulge in these foods, I was guaranteed a small breakout of pustules the very next day. Nowadays, I’ve cut down my sugar intake by more than half and it has made a drastically, positive change in my skin.
Here are some ways that I would suggest to reduce your sugar intake:
- Constantly monitor nutritional content labels on product packaging and choose products with fewer grams of sugar.
- Take the reduction process one day at a time. You will most likely need a few weeks to gradually reduce the amount of sugar from your diet.
- Find substitutes for sugar when you have a craving (I talk about this below).
Over time, I noticed gradually that the less sugar I had in my diet, the less I started to crave for sugary foods and drinks.
Here are some sugar alternatives that I use myself and highly recommend:
Honey: Organic or manuka honey is a great natural sugar alternative. I like to put 2 teaspoons of honey in my iced or hot tea whenever I want a little bit of sweetness.
Raw Cane Sugar: Although raw cane sugar is still sugar, I like to use this when I’m really craving for something really sweet. It’s a much healthier alternative to processed white sugar.
Fruits: Instead of adding sugar, you can put different fruits in your recipes because they naturally contain sucrose. I like to include fruits such as bananas, strawberries, and blueberries to add some flavor and sweetness to my smoothies.
3. Supplements & Vitamins
Another way to reduce your body’s inflammation is to take natural supplements and vitamins to counteract it. There is a combination of 3 supplements that I like to take on a daily basis. After many years of experimenting, I’ve found that these really complement each other and they have changed my skin condition drastically alongside my diet.
Omega-3 Fish Oils
I take around 1500 mg of EPA on a daily basis and find that this one step makes a significant difference in my complexion. If I have a small pimple on my face at night, the pimple will flatten out when I wake up the next day. For larger cystic acne, it takes about 1-2 days to completely flatten out, depending on the size.
Because there are a variety of brands for omega-3 supplements available and they vary in price depending on how much filler they put in the product, you have to be picky about which brand to buy. There are different ways that fish oil is derived so you want to choose a product that has a label stating that the fish oil has been molecularly distilled, which is the process where the toxins are removed. This is very important!
When choosing a product, you can also decide on whether you want to purchase the oil in softgel or liquid form. This is a personal preference because some people don’t like to swallow huge pills while others don’t like the fishy taste of liquid fish oil.
One of my favorite products is the Eukonic Triple Strength Omega-3 Fish Oil Softgels. It has a high amount of EPA and DHA compared to a lot of other brands for a great price.
You can also increase the amount of fish or other foods high in omega-3’s to get your omega-3’s fatty acids. If you’re a person who avoids seafood or doesn’t like the taste of fish, try sticking to omega-3 supplements that state on the bottle that they are burpless and don’t have a fishy taste.
Another supplement that I like to add daily to complement my omega-3 supplements is zinc (my favorite brand is the NOW 50mg Zinc Gluconate Tablets). It’s a great supplement that helps boost your body’s immune system. When I take 50 mg of zinc daily in conjunction with the omega-3’s softgels, I get noticeably clearer and more glowy skin. The only thing to remember when you take zinc supplements is to always take it with food. If you take it on an empty stomach, you’ll end up having a really bad stomach ache.
The third supplement I like to take daily is 1000 mg of vitamin C. It not only boosts your body’s immune system, but it’s also an antioxidant and is vital to heal existing acne marks due to the promotion of collagen and elastin production in the body.
4. Eat More Healthy, Whole Foods
Instead of eating processed, fried, or junk food, opt to eat whole foods that contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- Stick to buying foods situated around the perimeter of supermarkets and avoid the middle aisles which contain packaged, processed foods.
- Add a variety of fruits to your diet. Fruits naturally contain a large amount of vitamin C.
- Choose whole grains instead of white bread.
- Choose dark leafy greens when buying vegetables. The darker the color, the more nutrients the vegetable contains. I like to add lots of broccoli, kale, and spinach in my diet.
- Eat less red meat because they are often linked to cancer and disruptions in the body’s hormones. Instead, choose to eat poultry that is pasture-raised and antibiotic-free. Also, opt to eat more fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
After experimenting and finding the perfect combination of natural remedies to cure my acne, I’ve been happily acne-free for more than 2 years now. My skin still breaks out here and there when I don’t eat well or when Aunt Flo visits me. However, I’ve definitely learned how to control my skin most of the time using these natural remedies along with good habits, lots of determination, and willpower to keep focused and disciplined.
All of the things that I listed are not a one-time, easy fix and will forever be a lifestyle change for me. But just being able to see a constantly clear face is what motivates me to keep doing what has been working for me. There is hope at the end of the tunnel if you’re an acne sufferer like me.
If you constantly deal with breakouts and want to desperately find a way to clear your skin, I hope you will be able to benefit from my experiences of using natural remedies and know that pharmaceutical and over-the-counter products are not the only options out there for acne sufferers!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of my acne series here:
- How To Effectively Cure Back Acne
- Deep Cleansing Masks For Acne-Prone Skin
- Affordable & Effective Acne Products That Won’t Break The Bank
- Over-The-Counter Acne Products You Need To Avoid That Just Don’t Work
- My Experience With Prescription Acne Medication And How They Didn’t Work For Me
Have you tried using natural remedies to heal your acne? Feel free to share!