Help for Hidradenitis Suppurativa and the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack

Feb 8, 2017

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We recently received an email from a customer who buys the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack on amazon.com and she asked us to share her review on our website so others may benefit from her experience. Here is her review as we received it:

I would like to start this email off by thanking you for developing the amazing Clear Skin Vitamin Pack. I realize it was developed to treat acne but it has done amazing things for my Hidradenitis suppurativa which is in stage 1 to stage 2.

I first heard about your vitamins and their benefits to hidradenitis suppurativa on a facebook group that I am part of. A few people there were talking about it and how it had helped them. I was skeptical at first, didn’t think vitamins and herbs could do what drugs and doctors have not been able to do. I was diagnosed with hs 10 years ago when I was 21, but I have had it since I was around 13, but always thought it was cystic acne showing up in weird places.

2 months after starting your vitamins (I buy them from amazon.com) I stopped getting new outbreaks all together, where before I always seemed to have several going at one time. The infection of the current outbreaks I had started going away and the swelling went down and away, no more draining!  Now I just have some scars there but the pain is gone which is a miracle.

I tell anyone with hs about your product. I have a cousin and an aunt with it as well and have been trying to convince them to try it out but some people don’t know whats good for them. My aunt is also stage 3 so not sure if they would help her or not, but I keep telling her to try. She is in so much pain.

If I wasn’t soo embarrassed about having this disease I would shout about your vitamins from the rooftops, but instead I thought I would write you a review and ask you to post it on your website. Please only use my first name and you can mention that I live in Georgia.

BTW, why are you not advertising the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack as a natural treatment for Hidradenitis Suppurativa? It has done for me what the doctors never could do.

Katy from Georgia.

 

Response from Innate Skin: Thank you so much for taking the time to write us Katy! We always love to hear from our customers and their success stories. To answer your question, we are not allowed to advertise the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack as a treatment for Hidradenitis suppurativa according to FDA regulations. According to the FDA, only approved drugs are allowed to treat any disease, and Hidradenitis suppurativa is categorized as a disease. Natural supplements are not allowed to make any claims, regardless of whether they work or not.

The Different Types of Acne: Which One Do You Have?

Apr 27, 2016

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Different types of acne can sometimes require different treatments.

Knowing the different types of acne you may have can be a key piece of the puzzle towards clear skin.  In general, acne and all of its variations are caused by oxidized sebum and clogged pores.

Here is a list of the main types of acne and a little bit of information on what causes them.

Whiteheads:

Whiteheads, also known as closed comedones, appear in the form of slightly whitish, flesh-colored bumps or dots. They form when sebum (your skin’s natural oil), dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped in your pores— they’re basically clogged pores that aren’t inflamed. Because whiteheads are clogged below the surface of the skin, they remain closed and flesh-colored, the top looking more white, thus called a whitehead. They look just like little bumps under the skin, sometimes a little more whitish than your skin color. Whiteheads are a fairly mild form of acne, and can be easily treated, though they can be stubborn sometimes.

Blackheads:

Blackheads are another acne type and are almost identical to whiteheads in that they are non-inflamed clogged pores. The only difference is that with blackheads, the blocked pore remains open instead of closed. If a blocked pore’s top is open, the pore is exposed to air where the lodged sebum and keratin are oxidized, turning the whole thing black. Like whiteheads, blackheads are caused by trapped oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria in pores.

Papules:

Papules are clogged pores that are inflamed. They appear as tender red bumps, but they’re hard when you touch them. They’re usually fairly small and are somewhat raised. Papules form when a clogged pore (a blackhead or whitehead) gets irritated, swelling up, turning red, and becoming painful. This is what inflammation is. The defining factor of papules is that they are not filled with pus, though they may get filled up with pus later. To avoid getting papules, leave blackheads and whiteheads alone — fingers off! You should also avoid irritating or harsh cleansers.

Pustules:

Pustules are what we’ve come to know as zits. Like papules, they are inflamed clogged pores with the exception of the pus that fills their centers. You can tell if you have pustules if you can see yellowy or whitish heads on your pimples, which feel like blisters. Pustules are essentially even more irritated papules.

Nodules / Cysts:

Nodules and cysts are severe forms of acne and are much larger than papules and pustules. When blocked pores get even more irritated, they get even bigger, and can go deeper into your skin. Nodules and cysts appear in the form of painful bumps under the skin. They’re usually really stubborn and can take forever to go away, possibly leaving behind scars in the process. Nodules are the hard ones which aren’t usually filled with pus, whereas cysts are filled with pus and are softer, feeling like fluid-filled sacs underneath the skin. You can tell if your acne is nodules or cysts by the size and severity of inflammation. Nodules and cysts are very painful, large, and protruding. You couldn’t mistake ‘em.

Cysts are filled with pus and are softer, feeling like fluid-filled sacs underneath the skin and are also larger than papules/pustules.

There are other types of acne as well, but this covers the most common types you are likely to encounter. Most acne can be helped if not completely cleared up using a more natural approach than your doctor or dermatologist would recommend. Despite common belief, diet does play a big role in acne. So does genetics, stress and hormones. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and if it is unhappy, there is a reason for it. Most acne treatments today try and treat the symptom (the actual pimple) or bacteria, and not the problem that is causing the acne. Acne is not caused by a dirty face! Many acne sufferers of all types of acne have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Some of the common deficiencies are vitamin A, C, D, E, zinc and magnesium. By supplementing with the proper amounts and ratios of vitamins and minerals you can have a dramatic effect on your acne and overall skin health.

The Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ can be purchased on amazon.com by clicking here

How to Get Clear Skin with Vitamins

In the last few years, experts have finally been recognizing vitamins for their importance in dealing with acne. As more and more studies come out showing that acne sufferers are deficient in various vitamins, the more clout that vitamins are given as a viable alternative in the treatment of acne. Combine that with all of the acne sufferers who have cleared up their skin using the right combination of vitamins, vitamins are something that must be looked at seriously in the treatment of your acne. This article shows you how to get clear skin with vitamins.

Here is a list of the most beneficial vitamins in the treatment of acne:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for growing new skin cells, strengthening your skin’s protective tissue, and reducing the amount of oil your skin produces. This means that when you don’t have enough Vitamin A in your diet, dead skin cells, bacteria and oil (from the sebaceous gland) can build up in your skin. According to studies, a large percentage of those who suffer from acne problems have vitamin A deficiencies.

An important antioxidant, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s, but as drugs have become the favorite of most doctors, vitamin A is used less and less.

The best type of vitamin A for treating acne comes from fish liver oil. This type is a retinoid and is biologically active in the body. The other kind of vitamin A available is beta-carotene, which is a much cheaper form. However, it is not true vitamin A, it is a precursor to vitamin A and needs to be converted into vitamin A by your body.

This study shows a relationship between acne and low levels of vitamin A:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic acid helps metabolize skin oils, counteracts hormonal imbalances, increases your blood circulation and reduces your stress levels! All four of these things can cause acne breakouts when they’re out of whack. Most acne supplements contain pantothenic acid, just watch out for the ones that are basically only pantothenic acid without much else.

Here are two studies relating pantothenic acid and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7476595

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831048

Vitamin D3

Popularly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D3 actually acts as a defense system for your skin by activating a special kind of white blood cell called macrophages. These macrophages directly attack acne-causing bacteria, making them a kind of ‘knight in shining armor’ for your skin.

Vitamin D3 helps with insulin response, reduces inflammation, helps to boost your immune system, and helps to improve your mood. Vitamin D3 also works cohesively with vitamin A, and taking vitamin D3 increases the amount of vitamin A your body can tolerate. Vitamin D3 deficiency is very common in North America, and if you have acne, you are probably deficient in vitamin D3 as well.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps defend your skin from free radicals, helps prevent damage to cell membranes, and helps keep your skin soft and moisturized. Vitamin E also supports your immune system, and it helps fight against acne bacteria too.

Some studies have shown vitamin E helps the skin recover from and reduce the appearance of acne scars. This study shows a relationship between a vitamin E deficiency and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, which means it slows the rate of free radical damage to your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules and cause damage to collagen, which is an amino acid that keeps your skin smooth and supple. When too much free radical damage occurs, you get dry skin, fine wrinkles and lines.

Taking Vitamin C not only helps halt and reverse free radical damage, it also speeds up tissue growth and repair, and reduces your risk of developing skin cancer from long-term sun exposure.

 

We will now looks at some of the minerals and herbs that have shown great results with acne, followed by how to get clear skin with some more vitamins that have beneficial effects.

Zinc

Several scientific studies show that acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Zinc helps regulate the activity of your oil glands, so when you don’t have enough zinc, the oil glands can get out of control and produce too much sebum, which can lead to acne. Zinc also helps heal wounds and strengthens your skin tissue to prevent scarring. It is important to take a form of zinc that is highly bioavailable to your body. Most studies on zinc and acne have been done using zinc picolinate.

Turmeric

This yellow-orange spice is most commonly known for its use in curries and other Southeastern Asian dishes, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory, so turmeric plays a role in reducing redness as well as killing off acne-causing bacteria for a clear, smooth complexion. It is also thought to be a blood purifier in Ayurvedic medicine.

Magnesium

It’s been estimated that around half of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to constipation, which causes acne breakouts because your digestive system isn’t ridding your body of toxins the way it’s supposed to. A lack of magnesium can also cause skin inflammation, which doesn’t do anything to help your complexion!

Getting enough magnesium into your diet will not only handle these things, but also lower your stress level, which also affects acne breakouts.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is rich in GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid that balances the hormones responsible for your acne breakouts and inflammation. It also helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and promotes skin elasticity. Translation: it’s anti- acne AND anti-aging!

Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry)

Commonly used by herbalists to treat hormonal acne. Vitex contains no hormonal compounds but acts on the pituitary gland to help normalize and regulate hormones. Also widely used to treat PMS symptoms. Vitex has been used for centuries to treat acne and inflammation.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. It helps improve digestive health, plays an important part in growth and energy levels, and is a stress reducer. High stress levels can cause breakouts due to hormonal imbalances, and acne can be a symptom of B2 deficiency, so it’s important that you have enough vitamin B2 in your diet.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is one of the body’s crucial antioxidants and it is helpful with acne due to protection from free radical damage and inflammation. Two separate studies have shown lipoic acid to be twice as low in the blood of acne sufferers as those without acne. Alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to help the body control its levels of sugar and insulin as well.

Vitamin K2

This once-obscure vitamin has been getting a lot of attention for all kinds of health benefits, including fighting cancer and heart disease. But one of the lesser-known facts about Vitamin K2 is that vitamin A doesn’t work properly without it. This means that even if your Vitamin A levels are normal, you could still have acne problems if you don’t have enough Vitamin K2. There are no studies showing a direct relationship between vitamin K2 and acne, however it is an extremely important vitamin to consider for overall health. In addition to its supportive relationship with Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 prevents our skin from calcifying (hardening) so it stays smooth and elastic, and is also potentially beneficial for smoothing out lines and wrinkles.

Biotin (Vitamin B7) – *Not recommended*

Biotin is a tough one. It is touted for it’s benefits to hair and nails, and often for the skin as well, but there is not any strong evidence that it helps with acne. Biotin is necessary for cell growth and the metabolism of fats and amino acids and it may help with maintaining a steady blood sugar level. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in biotin as it is produced in excess of our body’s daily requirements by our intestinal bacteria. Many cases have been reported of people’s acne getting worse when supplementing with biotin so we do not recommend it as an acne treatment, and it really should be avoided if you suffer from acne.

In all cases, increasing the intake and absorption of certain vitamins through diet and/or supplements can eliminate the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency. Supplements can provide a more immediate reversal of symptoms because they deliver the needed vitamins in high doses. Vitamins are important to skin health, they are needed for the production of collagen, for the maintenance of the protective barrier, for the nourishing of the skin cells, and for reducing oxidative stress on the skin.

So if you’re wondering if you should look into vitamins for acne, then the answer is yes!

One supplement available that has been specially formulated to get you the clear skin you want is the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™. It uses only the highest quality ingredients and covers all the bases listed in this article. For more info click HERE.

11 Ways to Help Keep Your Skin from Aging

Apr 4, 2016

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As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that certainly applies when it comes to aging of the skin. Here are some ways you can prevent and reverse the signs of aging on your skin.

Let’s look at each one in turn….

Topical Vitamins/Antioxidants

Wrinkles are caused by our skin losing it’s elasticity, thinning out, and free radical or oxidant damage. One of the best ways we can stop the effects of oxidation is to apply antioxidants to our skin. Many skincare products contain antioxidants, here are some that you want to look for:

Vitamin E Vitamin B3 (niacinamide) Vitamin C (SAP is the most stable) Green Tea extract Grape Seed extract/oil Diet

Similar to the topical application of vitamins and antioxidants, you can fight skin oxidation and free radicals by properly nourishing your body.

Foods rich in EFA’s are great, and lots of green leafy vegetables. Some of the best topically applied vitamins are also the best ones to look for in your food. Vitamins C, E, A, D, B3 (niacinamide) and zinc. Fruits like blueberries and strawberries are great as well as being lower on the glycemic index.

Sugary foods and high glycemic foods can trigger inflammation in the body. It’s often easy to tell how healthy a person is by looking at their skin. If it’s dry and rough that is a good indicator that they have some health issues.

Also….gaining and losing weight can cause aging of the skin, just stay slim and don’t yoyo!

Watch Your Sun Exposure

Getting some sun is good for your health, just don’t over do it. While a nice tanned face may look gorgeous, most experts agree that sun is also the #1 cause of aging to the skin. Wear a sunscreen with a higher SPF on your face, but check the ingredients. Many different brands of makeup and lotions come with built in SPF.

Vitamin Supplements

Our food just doesn’t have the nutrients in it that it once did, even if it’s organic. That’s why everyone should be taking vitamin supplements, and if you can find one that has benefits for the skin, that’s even better.

Antioxidants such as green tea extract, vitamins C and E have all been found to offer a protective effect from sun damage as well as their other qualities.

Also look for a higher dose of vitamin A as it is one of the most widely acknowledged nutrients for healthy skin. It helps with cell turnover and moderating sebaceous gland activity. Lack of vitamin A can cause skin to become rough, dry, and scaly.

Vitamin D is extremely important as well. If vitamin D levels are low, your epidermal cells don’t differentiate optimally and your skin’s outer layer can start to sag.

Zinc can improve wound healing, has anti-inflammatory properties, and helps protect agains UV radiation.

Vitamin B3 (niacinamide), pantothenic acid, vitamin D3, grape seed extract and turmeric all have also shown to have properties that promote anti-aging of the skin.

There are a few supplements available that cover all these bases and are a multivitamin. The one we recommend is available on amazon.com and was specifically designed for women, view it on amazon.com here: Multivitamin with Anti-Aging Skin Support.

Do Not Smoke

This is one area that all dermatologists seem to agree on. The free radical damage from smoking will make your skin age a lot quicker. There have even been studies done on twins where one smoked and the other did not to back this up.

Exercise

What’s good for the body is good for the skin. The increased blood flow from exercise will help nourish the skin cells and carry away waste products (and free radicals). This will also give you that ‘post workout glow’. Exercise supports the production of collagen and reduces stress levels which can cause collagen in the skin to break down.

There was even a study done at McMaster University showing the effects of exercising on the skin. 3 months of exercise on the ‘over 40 year old’ participants had the effect of giving them a thicker dermis layer and making their skin much closer in composition to that of a 20-30 year old.

You can read more about the study here: NYT: Younger Skin Through Exercise

Get Enough Sleep

In the short term, lack of sleep causes sallow skin and puffy eyes with dark circles underneath them which makes you look older and tired. In the longer term, chronic sleep loss can lead to bland skin, fine lines, and constant dark circles.

If you regularly don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol, which can break down your collagen which is needed for smooth and elastic skin. Your body also produces less growth hormone which helps with tissue repair.

Don’t Stress

They don’t call them worry lines for nothing! Stress won’t just age your skin, it will age you. Some scientists say that too much stress can age your skin by a decade. So relax, go and have a cup of green tea for a double benefit to your skin.

Don’t Let Your Skin Dry Out

While there is no evidence that dry skin causes wrinkles (despite popular belief), dry skin looks more wrinkled. Applying a moisturizer to dry skin will plump up fine lines and wrinkles to give the appearance of less wrinkles. A moisturized face will also help protect our skin’s natural barrier which helps protect against aging.

Stop Ditching New Products so Quickly

Many skin products and especially anti-aging products can take months to show their effects on your skin. If you are constantly switching products you may never find out what really works for you.

Don’t Over Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin can be an important step in keeping a youthful look, but do it gently and not too often.

However, over exfoliating can cause premature aging of the skin. You face has a natural barrier called the acid mantle, when you destroy that barrier your skin is exposed to environmental toxins and is extra sensitive to the sun. A damaged skin barrier is also more susceptible to wrinkles.

 

Beauty Secrets for Acne Prone Skin

Feb 16, 2016

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If you have acne prone skin you need this easy to read guide covering all aspects of your skin. You will be able to identify what type of acne you have, what foods are best to avoid, how to clear up your acne, how to cover it up when necessary, and the correct way to pop that zit when you just have to.

This guide is available for free and it will change the way you treat your skin forever.

Here is a breakdown of the book’s chapters and the areas it covers:

What Causes Acne Different Types of Acne Eating to Avoid Acne Nine Ways to Clear up Your Acne Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs for Acne The Best, Non Pore Clogging Oils for Acne Prone Skin How to Exfoliate, Cleanse, and Moisturize the Skin Do-it-Yourself Acne Remedies & Prevention Techniques Emergency Measures

To receive your Beauty Secrets for Acne Prone Skin book for FREE, just fill out the form below so we know where to send it. We value your privacy and will not spam you.

Email Address First Name Download Now!

What Foods Can Trigger Acne?

Nov 25, 2015

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The link between food and acne is growing stronger as more studies come out confirming certain foods connection to acne. Here’s a look at some surprising ways foods may affect your skin and trigger acne, and how you can cut down on them.

The Acne-Food Connection: Foods that can trigger acne

Dairy: Dairy is a common acne causing trigger that most people tend to ignore because from a young age we were taught that calcium is critical to building strong bones to grow. While that is true, dairy contains an abundance of the hormone IGF-1, which is created for infant cows and not humans to consume. Infant cows grow up drinking their mother’s milk and this produces big, strong cows while it causes acne on the surface of our skin. The milk we drink that makes up the majority of our daily dairy intake is created by cows containing high levels of hormones that can push the oil glands in our bodies into overdrive. The growth factor IGF-1, which is an insulin-like growth factor is passed to the milk, aggravating acne and worsening it.

Dairy also causes our skin to produce excess sebum (oil), which leads to irritated skin, clogged pores, and bacteria. Milk and dairy products also leads to an insulin spike in humans that cause the liver to produce even more IGF-1, leading to an increase in acne. A number of studies have documented the strong link between the consumption of dairy and an increased occurrence of acne. The dairy effect is well documented in recent studies. In the last decade or so, a number of studies have found a strong link between the consumption of milk and increased occurrence of acne. For example, one such study analyzed the diets of 47,355 women and found a strong connection between milk and milk products intake and breakouts. Another study of 4,273 teenage boys who drank milk broke out more often, and more severely, than those who didn’t drink milk. At least five other studies have confirmed that, in general, the more milk you drink, the worse acne you’ll get. Gradually cutting out dairy and milk products can seem difficult at first, but working on cutting back by one meal at a time can be worth it in the long run when you are seeing clear skin!

Processed Foods: Additives, preservatives and synthetic colors in preserved foods may contain toxins that can trigger acne breakouts. Eating this food excessively can stress the liver and the superfluous toxins unfiltered by the liver can add to the aggravation of the acne.

Peanuts: Peanuts contain an androgen, which can make acne worse by increasing sebum production. Consuming too many peanuts means an increase in omega-6 fat in your body. This can cause your body to have trouble stopping inflammation because omega-3s are required to halt inflammation. Acne-safe alternatives to peanuts include other nuts such as almonds and cashews, which don’t affect androgen levels.

Soy: Are you experiencing breakouts along your jawline and mouth? This might be due to your consumption of soy. Studies have shown that the natural estrogens found in soybeans mimic natural estrogen levels, throwing off your hormones. Soy is also a common allergen.

Sugar: Everyone has probably heard that sugar can be a culprit of acne production, but are there studies that back this claim? It’s been proven that sugar aggravates hormonal acne to some degree, but it’s important to understand hormonal genetics first to understand this claim. Acne prone skin is highly sensitive to male sex hormones. They increase sebum production and skin cell growth. Along with this natural hormone, IGF-1 (the insulin like factor found in milk) is another hormone linked to acne. IGF-1 has been found to increase acne severity, increase sebum production, and increase pore size. You’re probably wondering how this has a connection with sugar? Well, both IGF-1 and insulin are linked to blood sugar levels. So as you eat carbohydrates, and especially sugar, your blood sugar levels increase. These elevated insulin levels increase IGF-1, the insulin like factor.

Sugar also promotes inflammation. Studies have shown acne patients have higher levels of inflammation than those with healthy skin. This depletes antioxidants and leaves the skin vulnerable to inflammation, making it more likely that you get acne. Increase in inflammation is the reason food allergies, gut problems, and some foods aggravate acne. In one recent study 29 young, healthy males were given 2, 12oz cans of soda per day for 2 weeks. After 3 weeks, their inflammation levels went up 105%. Another way sugar can cause acne breakouts is through Candida, a type of yeast that lives in the skin and digestive track that can grow out of control with the intake of sugar. Candida overgrowth can cause gut problems and indirectly contribute to acne.

Night Shade Vegetables: Vegetables such as eggplant, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes all belong to the same botanical family of plants that are shown to cause an inflammation and even allergic reaction for many people to the skin. The reason why nightshades are problematic for many people is due to the glycoalkaloid content. Overconsumption of these edible species can actually be poisonous to anyone, and it is possible that the low-level toxic properties of nightshade vegetables contribute to a variety of skin irritations over time.

Gluten: Gluten can be a huge factor contributing to acne flare ups. This is because we all create a substance called zonulin in the intestine in response to gluten. Glutinous proteins, found in wheat, barley, and rye, known as prolamines can make your gut more permeable, which allows partially digested proteins to get into your bloodstream that would otherwise have been excluded, any of which can sensitize your immune system and promote inflammation, which can contribute to worsening acne. Once gluten sensitizes your gut, it then becomes more permeable and all manner of gut bacterial components have direct access to your bloodstream, thereby further challenging your immune system.

Eggs: Eggs are one of the most common allergens. Egg yolk contains large amount of protein that is usually the primary irritant to the body. High levels of a certain protein found in eggs produces more sebum, more androgen and too much keratin in the body which are among the major factors that cause acne breakouts.

Omega 6 Oils: Different fatty acids in the foods we eat can support inflammation or dampen it and too much inflammation inside your body can show up on your skin. Ages ago, omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3s were evenly represented in the human diet. But we tend to get a lot more omega-6’s now. You can address this imbalance by not using vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, and canola oil, buying beef and eggs from animals that ate while roaming in pastures, eating more fish rich in omega-3s, and even taking fish-oil supplements.

Additional studies have looked at whether the common Western diet may contribute to acne. Many people in Western cultures eat large amounts of refined carbohydrates and smaller amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Researchers have found that in countries where people ate low-glycemic diets — consisting of vegetables, fruits and quality proteins — acne presented little or no problem.

Still, other studies show that eating foods high in vitamin A and beta-carotene can increase your resistance to bacteria and improve the overall health of your skin. Such foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, kale and spinach [source: WebMD]. However, more research is needed to determine if eating such foods really promotes clear skin. Knowing what your acne trigger is can be difficult to discover, but removed one food group at a time can be helpful in the journey to clear skin in the long run.

Remove foods? No way!

Now that we have identified different types of acne-triggering foods (and hopefully you know which ones are specific to you), we want to give you a few tips on how to help eliminate it from/cut it back in your diet. Here we will be focusing on two of the larger tasks. Tips from both of these can be applied to a majority of the trigger foods we mentioned earlier.

Weaning off dairy

Dairy is a tough food to cut out, due to it being so familiar to most of us. If your acne is caused by dairy, your best chance is to wean off of it using replacements. Butter is another difficult dairy to let go of, but actually can be replaced quite easily. When cooking, use coconut oil instead of butter.

To replace milk, drink water instead! You can also try almond milk, coconut milk, or even soy milk if soy is not a trigger for you. Just watch the sugar content of these milk substitutes, some can be high in sugar.

Instead of directly replacing your dairies, try new recipes all together. Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to replicate a creamy or cheesy flavor without dairy, which is why we recommend researching some popular vegan recipes for dishes and sauces. You’d be surprised how easy it is to cut out dairy with a few go-to meals.

Cutting out processed foods

Processed foods have become a normal piece of today’s diet. In fact, most of us wouldn’t know what is processed and what isn’t. Let’s take a look through some specific cases of how you can get rid of the processed in your diet.

First let’s start with breakfast. Cereal is one the biggest offender in our mornings, loaded with preservatives. If you need some type of breakfast bowl, try some cut oats that are minimally processed. Or if you’re bold, move into an entirely non-processed breakfast with an omelet, fruit, or veggies. Coffee is part of our breakfast too, and creamers/artificial sweeteners are to blame for it being on this list. Replace these processed add-ons and drink your coffee black.

Moving into lunch, stay away from sandwiches, burgers, fries etc. A large salad with a protein such as chicken, fish or beef is a great way to go. Make a homemade salad dressing with olive oil, coconut oil and a vinegar and you’ll get enough fat to stave off your hunger till dinner time. 

Lastly for dinner, we have a few suggestions. The first is to move away from processed oils like Crisco or other canolas. Instead, use cooking fats. Olive, coconut, and even lard are a great replacement for processed oils. Try eating a freshly cooked protein (fish, chicken, beef, etc.) and a large serving of vegetables and salad. Stay away from the pasta! Rather than boiling up a huge bowl of processed whole wheat or white pasta, grab a pasta slicer and a ripe squash or zucchini  to hand cut some veggie-pasta. For sauce, rather than using the pre-made, processed sauce, mix in some olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Try cooking enough dinner to has some left over for your lunch the next day.

The key to removing processed foods is just putting in a little extra work into preparation and finding the right ingredients. Doing so will help you take a step towards healthy, clear skin. Keeping a food diary is another way of staying on track to pinpointing what might be triggering your acne. Eliminating one food group a month and writing down the noticeable changes of texture and irritation to your skin can help narrow down the possibilities of what food groups are causing your skin trouble. We hope you found these tips helpful, if so leave a comment below!

Sources:

http://www.acnemilk.com/the_no_milk_acne_diet

http://www.clearskinforever.net/peanut-butter-acne/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/94/2/479.long

https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/easy-ways-to-wean-yourself-off-dairy/

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/teen-acne-13/10-tips-for-preventing-pimples

http://www.eatthis.com/how-to-cut-processed-foods-from-your-diet

Acne Vitamins: How & Why They Work

Sep 29, 2015

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If you suffer from acne you may feel reassured to know that you are not alone and that it is one of the most common skin conditions. Although it commonly affects teenagers, 51% of adults aged 20-29 report still having acne. The good news is that for most people acne can be straightforward to treat.

Along with diet and fitness, vitamins play a vital role in overall skin health. They are involved with reducing inflammation in the body, replenishing vitamin deficiencies, the maintenance of the protective barrier of our skin, and for the nourishment of our skin cells. In general, they are needed in the body for essential biochemical reactions and processes, but in relation to acne, vitamins are extremely important for maintaining a healthy complexion.

In the last few years, experts are recognizing vitamins as a relevant treatment for acne. As more and more studies come out showing that acne sufferers are deficient in various vitamins, the more clout that vitamins are given as a viable alternative in the treatment of acne. Combine that with all of the acne sufferers who have cleared up their skin using the right combination of vitamins, vitamins are something that must be looked at seriously in the treatment of your acne.

Here is a list of the most beneficial vitamins in the treatment of acne:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is responsible for growing new skin cells, strengthening your skin’s protective tissue, and reducing the amount of oil your skin produces. This means that when you don’t have enough Vitamin A in your diet, dead skin cells, bacteria and oil (from the sebaceous gland) can build up in your skin. According to studies, a large percentage of those who suffer from acne problems have vitamin A deficiencies.

An important antioxidant, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s, but as drugs have become the favorite of most doctors, vitamin A is used less and less.

The best type of vitamin A for treating acne comes from fish liver oil. This type is a retinoid and is biologically active in the body. The other kind of vitamin A available is beta-carotene, which is a much cheaper form. However, it is not true vitamin A, it is a precursor to vitamin A and needs to be converted into vitamin A by your body.

This study shows a relationship between acne and low levels of vitamin A:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. It helps improve digestive health, plays an important part in growth and energy levels, and is a stress reducer. High stress levels can cause breakouts due to hormonal imbalances, and acne can be a symptom of B2 deficiency, so it’s important that you have enough vitamin B2 in your diet.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5 is truly the juggernaut of acne vitamins! It helps metabolize skin oils, counteracts hormonal imbalances, increases your blood circulation and reduces your stress levels! All four of these things cause acne breakouts when they’re out of whack. Most acne supplements contain pantothenic acid, just watch out for the ones that are basically only pantothenic acid without much else.

Here are two studies relating pantothenic acid and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7476595

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24831048

Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)

Vitamin B12 boosts your metabolism as well as your red blood cells and nerve cell count. It also happens to improve your blood circulation, which helps regenerate your skin cells to give your skin that glowing, healthy look.

Biotin (Vitamin B7) – Not recommended

Biotin is a tough one. It is touted for it’s benefits to hair and nails, and often for the skin as well, but there is not any strong evidence that it helps with acne. Biotin is necessary for cell growth and the metabolism of fats and amino acids and it may help with maintaining a steady blood sugar level. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in biotin as it is produced in excess of our body’s daily requirements by our intestinal bacteria. Many cases have been reported of people’s acne getting worse when supplementing with biotin so we do not recommend it as an acne treatment, and it really should be avoided if you suffer from acne. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, which means it slows the rate of free radical damage to your body. Free radicals are unstable molecules and cause damage to collagen, which is an amino acid that keeps your skin smooth and supple. When too much free radical damage occurs, you get dry skin, fine wrinkles and lines.

Taking Vitamin C not only helps halt and reverse free radical damage, it also speeds up tissue growth and repair, and reduces your risk of developing skin cancer from long-term sun exposure.

Vitamin D3

Popularly referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D3 actually acts as a defense system for your skin by activating a special kind of white blood cell called macrophages. These macrophages directly attack acne-causing bacteria, making them a kind of ‘knight in shining armor’ for your skin.

Vitamin D3 helps with insulin response, reduces inflammation, helps to boost your immune system, and helps to improve your mood. Vitamin D3 also works cohesively with vitamin A, and taking vitamin D3 increases the amount of vitamin A your body can tolerate. Vitamin D3 deficiency is very common in North America, and if you have acne, you are probably deficient in vitamin D3 as well.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps defend your skin from free radicals, helps prevent damage to cell membranes, and helps keep your skin soft and moisturized. Vitamin E also supports your immune system, and it helps fight against acne bacteria too.

Some studies have shown vitamin E helps the skin recover and reduce the appearance of acne scars. This study shows a relationship between a vitamin E deficiency and acne:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826827

Vitamin K2

This once-obscure vitamin has been getting a lot of attention for all kinds of health benefits, including fighting cancer and heart disease. But one of the lesser-known facts about Vitamin K2 is that vitamin A doesn’t work properly without it. This means that even if your Vitamin A levels are normal, you could still have acne problems if you don’t have enough Vitamin K2. There are no studies showing a direct relationship between vitamin K2 and acne, however it is an extremely important vitamin to consider for overall health. In addition to its supportive relationship with Vitamin A, Vitamin K2 prevents our skin from calcifying (hardening) so it stays smooth and elastic, and is also potentially beneficial for smoothing out lines and wrinkles.

Zinc

Several scientific studies show that acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Zinc helps regulate the activity of your oil glands, so when you don’t have enough zinc, the oil glands can get out of control and produce too much sebum, which can lead to acne. Zinc also helps heal wounds and strengthens your skin tissue to prevent scarring.

Turmeric

This yellow-orange spice is most commonly known for its use in curries and other Southeastern Asian dishes, and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains curcumin, which is an anti-inflammatory, so turmeric plays a role in reducing redness as well as killing off acne-causing bacteria for a clear, smooth complexion.

Magnesium

It’s been estimated that around half of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to constipation, which causes acne breakouts because your digestive system isn’t ridding your body of toxins the way it’s supposed to. A lack of magnesium can also cause skin inflammation, which doesn’t do anything to help your complexion!

Getting enough magnesium into your diet will not only handle these things, but also lower your stress level, which also affects acne breakouts.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil is rich in GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid that balances the hormones responsible for your acne breakouts and inflammation. It also helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines, and promotes skin elasticity. Translation: it’s anti- acne AND anti-aging!

Vitex (Chaste Tree Berry)

Commonly used by herbalists to treat hormonal acne. Vitex contains no hormonal compounds but acts on the pituitary gland to help normalize and regulate hormones. Also widely used to treat PMS symptoms. Vitex has been used for centuries to treat acne and inflammation.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Lipoic Acid is one of the body’s crucial antioxidants and it is helpful with acne due to protection from free radical damage and inflammation. Two separate studies have shown lipoic acid to be twice as low in the blood of acne sufferers as those without acne. Alpha lipoic acid has also been shown to help the body control its levels of sugar and insulin as well.

In all cases, increasing the intake and absorption of certain vitamins through diet and/or supplements can eliminate the symptoms of a vitamin deficiency. Supplements can provide a more immediate reversal of symptoms because they deliver the needed vitamins in high doses. Vitamins are important to skin health, they are needed for the production of collagen, for the maintenance of the protective barrier, for the nourishing of the skin cells, and for reducing oxidative stress on the skin.

So if you’re wondering if you should look into vitamins for acne, then the answer is yes!

 

Caveman Regimen For Skincare

May 15, 2015

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caveman-regimen

There are numerous skincare regimens that center around the theory that “less is more”. We’ve discussed the Oil Cleansing Method here, showing that most of us use far too many products in our daily skincare regime that strip the skin of its natural oils and encourage breakouts. But what happens when you don’t use any skincare at all on a daily basis? That theory is referred to as the caveman approach to skincare and we’re here to explain what it is, how you implement it, and the results many people are receiving.

What is the Caveman Regimen?

Most people have heard about the Paleo diet, where people are choosing to eat like our ancestors (natural food of the Earth) and this diet is also associated with the caveman approach to skincare that focuses not on what you put on your face, rather what you don’t put on your face. The Caveman Regimen is a skincare routine that isn’t much of a routine at all. The idea that “less is more” is the basis on which those that use this method practice the maintenance of their skin. By not washing the skin or applying any serums, creams, or topical treatments, this is said to allow your skin to ‘heal’ and ‘rebalance’ naturally, without interrupting it’s pH and oil balance with products that weaken and dry out the skin. Since we can’t know for sure how exactly caveman looked, this theory considers that perhaps they never struggled with acne. In present day, we are faced with an abundance of ointments, treatments, and literature on how to keep our skin clear, but what if these chemicals and face creams are the exact reason why modern day man has a problem with acne? There’s only one way to know for sure and testing the “caveman approach” to skincare is exactly what we wanted to discover.

How To Implement the “Caveman Approach” to Skincare?

Much like this blog post discusses, this approach centers around our skin’s “acid mantle”, which is essentially our skin’s protective barrier. This is made up of an acidic film that keeps bacteria out of our skin cells and contains a mixture of secretions and inoffensive bacteria. Modern day man has been encouraged to strip the skin of its natural oils with drying agents and oil fighting cleansers advertised at most drugstores. If the skins outer layer, or acid mantle, is temporarily removed by harsh soaps, the skin then becomes susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and infection. Instead of treating your skin with wipes, creams, and ointments to prevent acne, you’d literally leave your skin alone to take care of itself. We know what you’re thinking “Gross! So I just let all the dirt and bacteria sit on my skin?” Essentially in this method, yes.

Does It Actually Work?

The Caveman Routine is practiced in many different ways. Some believers in this method think that splashing water on the face is an acceptable form of skincare maintenance, while others don’t allow anything to touch their face since water is said to dry out the skin. That means no makeup, no shaving (except beard trimming is allowed), and anything else that touches the skin that can disrupt its acid mantle. It is said that not allowing water to touch the face builds up dead skin cells over time and that acts as a protective mask to heal and restore the skin. There are two problems with this approach. The first is that not everyone’s skin is the same and the second is that we aren’t living in an age where environmental influencers are identical to cavemen’s time. Cavemen lived in entirely different climates without dealing with pollution. They also didn’t sleep on pillows or use cell phones, some of which can attribute to acne in today’s society. They also didn’t wear makeup.

Although some fads go to extremes, the caveman approach is on the right track. While most people run to their drugstore to find an instant cure in the form of topical treatments for acne, the caveman approach suggests that these options only dry out and weaken our skin, opening us up to more breakouts. Using a simple, chemical free oil cleanser and moisturizer is often enough to maintain clear and healthy skin.

*See testimonials here.

Sources:

http://theclearskinproject.com/does-the-caveman-approach-to-skincare-actually-work/

http://www.holistichealthherbalist.com/caveman-regimen-crazy-regimen/

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/312055-how-the-caveman-regimen-is-working-for-me-and-some-personal-theories/

http://thelovevitamin.com/13795/modified-caveman-regimen/#more-13795

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner For Acne

May 4, 2015

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After reading hundreds of reviews about apple cider vinegar toners for acne, we decided to put it to the test and see if what people were saying rings true. Apple cider vinegar is said to improve your overall complexion and reduce irritations to the skin due to it containing malic and lactic acids that are found in vinegar. These acids help soften and exfoliate the skin’s tissue, tone your skin to the proper pH level, and treat acne on the face and body. But isn’t that what most toners are said to do? We will explain why this unusual ingredient that’s often found in your kitchen pantry is a beauty secret used around the world to help maintain glowing, blemish free skin.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar Works

ACV not only has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, but it’s main benefit for acne prone skin is that it helps balance a person’s pH levels. Like we described in our  acid mantle article, the protective acid mantle is the most important component to keeping your skin clear. The skin’s surface is made up of a thin layer of oil, which if stripped with harsh oil fighting cleansers or over cleansing, can disrupt the acid mantle and cause the pH levels of your skin to be disturbed. Under normal circumstances, healthy skin will revert back and rebalance on its own, but when your acid mantle is disturbed regularly, your skin becomes vulnerable to infections and other irritations, causing redness, blemishes, and dryness. This is where the ACV toner comes into play. ACV has a pH level of 3 and when diluted with water, the acidity from the toner helps restore your skin’s pH level back to normal. By restoring your skin’s levels, ACV helps your skin function optimally, warding off bacteria and shedding dead skin cells at the proper rate so pores are unblocked and skin remains healthy.

Here Are Some Pros and Cons to ACV:

Pros:

Decreases the amount of pimples on the skin Give your body and hair a natural shine Regulates the pH balance of your face Encourages hair growth Targets age spots Soothes sunburns

Cons:

The less diluted the vinegar is, the stronger the smell ACV can burn if used in strong concentrations People may experience purging-aka, your skin can get worse before it gets better

How To Make An Apple Cider Vinegar Toner At Home

Purchase your apple cider vinegar. Make sure it’s unfiltered, organic, and unpasteurized. We recommend Bragg’s. Depending on your skin, you will then need to dilute the ACV. A ratio of one part apple cider vinegar to two or three parts water is most common but, if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to use a little more water. To use your apple cider vinegar toner, pour some onto a cotton pad and apply it to your skin after cleansing. Wait until the toner has dried and then use any moisturizers or creams that you have in your routine. Do this once a day.

Apple cider vinegar works for clearing acne because it returns the acidity to your skin and revitalizes the acid mantle. It also kills bacteria, removes excess dirt, oil and makeup and dissolves dead skin cells. If you’re looking for a cheap, easy to make acne treatment, apple cider vinegar is one of the better at-home remedies out there.

 Sources:

http://www.positivehealthwellness.com/beauty-aging/how-to-get-rid-of-acne-with-apple-cider-vinegar/

http://www.makeupalley.com/product/showreview.asp/ItemId=52238/Bragg-s-Apple-Cider-Vinegar/Unlisted-Brand/Toners

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13304/how-i-cured-my-acne-with-apple-cider-vinegar.html

http://www.stylelist.com/read/apple-cider-vinegar-and-its-magical-benefits/

Do Antibiotics Really Work For Acne?

Apr 8, 2015

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After topical treatments, antibiotics are often the second stage of acne prevention. The real question when considering if antibiotics really work for acne is what happens after you finish treatment? Acne forums are filled with posts explaining how acne flared back up after the last round of antibiotics. Is this a sign that antibiotics may make us more prone to future breakouts? Recent studies have shown that acne bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotic treatment so that old medications don’t work and the risk of complications from antibiotic treatment is real. Discovering the truth about antibiotics and acne may be the solution to fighting off acne for good and maintaining clear, blemish free skin as a result.

Although the short term results are that antibiotics help kill acne bacteria and reduce inflammation, the long term effects are that they only work for about half of the population and often times only for a short period of time. Just like the body builds up an immunity to certain drugs if taken over a long period of time, acne becomes accustom to both oral and topical antibiotic treatments.

How Antibiotics Work 

Antibiotics, also known as antibacterials, are types of medications that destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. They are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, which are microscopic organisms, some of which may cause illness. Antibiotics shut down the metabolic machinery of bacteria and while some antibiotics kill acne on contact, others just cause them to go dormant.

There are two ways antibiotics work in our bodies:

1. A bactericidal antibiotic kills bacteria directly by interfering with the formation of the bacterium’s cell wall or its cell contents.

2. A bacteriostatic antibiotic stops bacteria from multiplying or slows their growth by interfering with bacterial protein production (DNA replication). These antibiotics must work together with the immune system to remove the microorganisms from the body.

How Antibiotics Initially Work For Acne

In the short term, antibiotics work in severals ways. The most important is to decrease the number of bacteria in and around the follicle. They also work by reducing the irritating chemicals produced by white blood cells and reduce the concentration of free fatty acids in the sebum, which decreases inflammation.

*Most frequent antibiotics used for acne: Clindamycin,Doxycycline, Minocycline, Erythromycin, and Tetracycline.

Why Antibiotics Do Not Work Long Term

The phenomenon of antibiotic resistance is the main reason why antibiotics do not work long term. Many times individual bacteria can develop a resistance to an antibiotic by whats called “random mutation”. While most times mutations kill bacteria avoiding reproduction, other times they give a single bacterium the ability to resist a medication. This wouldn’t be a problem if bacteria didn’t reproduce as often as every 20 minutes, giving the bacteria in your body the ability to swap genetic material through the horizontal gene transfer process. Since a bacterium can share its mutation with its neighbors through direct transfer of DNA, one resistant bacterium can become millions or billions and spread from person to person, unhindered by treatment with the antibiotic to which it has acquired resistance.

The Harmful, Long-term Effects of Antibiotics

Short and simple: Antibiotics kill the beneficial, or probiotic, bacteria from your gut. How do they do that? The digestive system is colonized by billions of bacteria that are call gut microflora. This type of probiotic bacteria in your gut is beneficial in the digestion and creation of nutrients. That’s why the biggest long term effect of antibiotics are that they indiscriminately kill both harmful and probiotic bacteria. The damage done in the gut varies from person to person and also the length of the treatment. However, most antibiotics are said to cause some damage to the beneficial bacteria and since most probiotic bacteria can’t resist antibiotics, it’s a very serious aspect of antibiotics to consider.

The Natural Solution To Acne

Antibiotics are effective short-term treatments, but in the majority of cases acne comes back with a vengeance. That is why Innate Skin focuses on these three main factors when preventing and fighting acne:

1. Taking care of the skin’s surface layer. Often times this can be the sole reason your skin is inflamed and irritated. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is upset the pH balance of your acid mantle when using products that are too alkaline for the healthy function of the skin. We suggest trying out the oil cleansing method (read how here) that helps balance the amount of oil on the top layer of your skin.

2. Focusing on vitamin deficiencies within your body. Taking supplements like our Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ with a combination of vitamins, minerals, and herbs known for their benefits to the skin can fight off unwanted blemishes from the inside out. Read more about the vitamins inside our supplements here.

3. Leading a healthy lifestyle. Reducing stress levels, eating natural, unprocessed foods, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and avoiding dairy are a few areas to focus on that can have a huge impact when it comes to preventing blemishes. Read more here.

The bottom line is taking antibiotics only sets yourself up for the potential of getting more acne in the future because it increases the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut. Taking antibiotics are a short term cure with long term harm. Doctors prescribe antibiotics and those that suffer from acne use it until their skin is clear, not until all the bacteria has been killed. The antibiotic just wipes out the most susceptible bacteria and leaves the resistant bacteria. When the patient stops taking the antibiotic, the resistant bacteria are free to multiply unchecked by competition from other microbes, and acne can be worse than it was before treatment. Clear skin is nice for a few weeks, but after the treatments come to a halt, you’ll be faced with inflammation and infection.

*It’s important that if you are currently on a long term antibiotic prescription that you do not stop your course before consulting with your doctor. If you are taking an antibiotic do not take other medicines or herbal remedies without telling your doctor first. OTC (over the counter, non-prescription) medicines might also clash with your antibiotic.

Sources:

http://www.acne.org/antibiotic-resistance.html

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/skinandhair/201632.html

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread56802.html

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Dermatology/Minocycline-100mg-not-working/show/239769

http://www.curezone.org/forums/am.asp?i=945628

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/29605-antibiotics-not-working-anymore/

http://www.acneeinstein.com/acne-antibiotics-short-term-gain-with-long-term-harm/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-51466/Why-antibiotics-answer-acne.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19658