I have had acne for 20 years, ever since puberty. My acne is fairly mild, but chronic ie. I don't have "off" weeks or "breakouts" - just a continuous stream of stubborn pimples, which over time leaves an accumulation of marks and causes my complexion to start looking very bad.
I was controlling it through the use of Oral contraceptives (any brand of combination pill seemed to work for me) but I wanted to stop using drugs and find a natural cure.
First off, I do not believe oily skin causes acne. I personally know at least 2 people with very oily but otherwise beautiful skin. Furthermore, my oily T-zone is LESS prone to breakouts than my cheeks and jawline, and when I was on OCP's my oil production did not change, yet my skin cleared.
What I learned, and this is no thanks to the medical establishment which seems to have a pitiful amount of information on this subject, is that acne is initiated by a process called hyperkeratinization -an overproduction of skin cells in proportion to the number of skin cells being shed. This causes protein buildups and blockages, and this leads to acne.
So the upshot of this is to manage the hormones which trigger these cells into overdrive and this is what I found that worked for me:
1. Peppermint tea. I would not recommend this for everybody, since it increases your estrogen. If you are a female with little to no PMS symptoms, or signs of hirsutism or PCOS then I would say between 1 - 2 cups a day. If you are a female suffering pre-menstrual and menstrual problems then I would probably try a progesterone cream instead.
2. Controlling blood sugar. There is a STRONG link between high insulin production and acne, so the trick here is to never allow your blood sugar levels to rise. There are a number of ways to do this, this includes sticking to a low GI diet. I've found that just cutting out refined sugars (no sweets!) and a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon just before I eat (cinnamon lowers blood sugar) is having a positive effect. Also chromium polynicotinate supplementation helps with glucose metabolism and will regulate blood sugar in the long term. Red wine with a meal also lowers blood sugar - so enjoy! Stay away from beer.
3. Not having cows milk. I still eat cheeses, but milk has become a big no no - containing all the wrong hormones. Switch to soy or goat's milk.
I would say right now I am 95% clear. I can feel my cheeks are smooth, nothing brewing under the surface and for me that is an absolute miracle. I have only recently introduced the cinnamon and chromium (about 2 weeks now), but at the rate it's clearing, for the first time ever I am pretty positive that I will be 100% clear in a few weeks - without drugs!
Now all that is left is to deal with my existing marks. Bio-oil, used directly on the marks seems to fade them quickly but I have found this also causes breakouts - so I'd advise careful and sparing use.
I am aware that the same thing doesn't work for everyone, but nevertheless I hope this helps somebody, so good luck!
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