Acne can be a very stubborn and distressing condition--just ask anyone who's struggled with it! What used to be a short-lived struggle as a teenager has become an extended struggle for many women filled with decades of frustration from trying numerous treatments with minor results that don’t last.
As much as we’d like to think if we use the right skin products or take the right medication acne will go away, it just doesn't work that way. These treatments are often ineffective, provide temporary relief and/or even come with unwanted side effects. In order to experience long term relief, you have to go after the root cause, which isn't the same for everyone.
The first step in getting to the bottom of acne is realizing that acne is an external expression of an internal imbalance that can be caused by a variety of factors that have to be addressed and kept in balance in order to achieve and maintain clear skin. This means acne is not something that should be brushed off as a cosmetic issue but looked into further.
Tackling these factors can work wonders for controlling acne:
Get on top of your nutrition
The role of healthy eating and nutritional status in acne is underestimated.
Optimize digestive health
Adopt lifestyle habits that promote healthy digestion and a healthy microbiome
Work with your health care team to identify imbalances in your hormones
Stress can have profound effects on skin health affecting impacting hormone balance, digestive health and even vitamin/mineral deficiencies.
Minimize toxin exposure
Reduce your exposure to toxins especially from skin care and personal care products as they can be absorbed through the skin directly into the bloodstream.
Addressing the above factors can work in tandem to keep breakouts at bay. A holistic approach can improve acne with the side effect of improved health. We have to shift our mindset from thinking the same treatment will work for everyone with the same condition. Treatment approaches to acne sometimes have to be as individual as the person.
On your journey toward clear skin, its important give acne and give it a positive spin. A visible alarm that something is off can be better than an invisible alarm. If you listen, you'll have the opportunity to experience better health than you ever thought possible. Above all, in your journey toward clear skin, the goal should be health not perfection.
Written By: Shayna Peter NMD, CNS, LDN
Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctor | Holistic Dermatology Expert