Vitamins are essential to maintaining good health and proper functioning of the body. One of the most important vitamins our bodies need is Vitamin A. Vitamin A is responsible for red blood cell production, immune system support, healthy skin, normal vision, and overall growth and development of our body. Because it’s necessary for skin maintenance and repair, a healthy amount of vitamin A will help prevent inflammation, acne, and dry skin, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A has tons of benefits for the skin. What vitamin A basically does is it increases our skin cell turnover rate. Not only does vitamin A help our skin rebuild its tissue, it also helps to protect our skin against environmental damages.
Vitamin A helps to form a protective barrier between the interior of the body and the exterior world. Vitamin A activates the genes that cause keratinocytes cells to mature and move to the surface of the skin. We like keratinocytes because they protect the body against environmental damage such as pathogens like bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses, heat, UV radiation, and water loss. These cells do this by releasing inflammatory substances to dissolve germs and keeping toxins from entering the body through the skin, while also sending signals to the immune system for help in killing germs.
The other primary function of vitamin A is regulating the normal shedding of dead skin cells. It does this by stimulating our collagen production, elastin production, and the production of other important connective tissue that makes up the skin. Collagen is the connective tissue that skin is made up of and elastin helps the skin resume its normal shape after being stretched or contacted, and these two proteins have everything to do with wrinkles and sagging. By keeping collagen and elastin proteins plentiful, vitamin A helps to keep skin strong, firm, taut, and smooth.
Another function of vitamin A is reducing the size of sebaceous glands (which are essentially our “oil producers”) and the production of sebum (skin oil). Small glands mean less oil production, and smaller likelihoods of breaking out due to an oily face. When you have acne and you take vitamin A, the antioxidant properties of the vitamin act as an anti-inflammatory for the skin, and help to calm swollen, red, and sore acne breakouts.Where to get it:
Plant food sources of vitamin A include orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, and squash, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Animal food sources of vitamin A can be found in butter, cream, liver, and cod liver oil. Because it takes fewer steps for the human body to use “animal” vitamin A than it takes to use “plant” vitamin A, animal foods have a greater effect on the skin.
The recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for vitamin A, which is currently listed at either 3,000 or 5,000 IU depending on the source, is significantly inadequate. What’s worse is that a large percentage of Americans don’t even consume half of that recommended amount. Native populations like the Greenland Inuit of 1953, prior to contact with the Western world, got much more vitamin A than the average American— about 35,000 IU per day. Such native populations were free of modern, degenerative diseases.
It is easy to see why Americans don’t get enough of vitamin A through their diets alone: the best sources of vitamin A are only found in significant amounts in organ meats, which we don’t usually consume in huge amounts. But this just means that we have to find other ways to get our daily doses of vitamin A.
Preventing vitamin A deficiency is important in preventing acne. Several studies have shown that acne sufferers are often vitamin A deficient compared to non-acne sufferers. It is highly recommended that individuals with inflammatory acne on the face and/or body eat foods high in vitamin A, while taking vitamin A supplements each day as well. Doing something as simple as taking the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ by Innate Skin every day can make a huge difference when it comes to clearer and healthier skin. It will get you your source of vitamin A for acne as well as 15 other vitamins, minerals and herbs for clear skin.
The Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ will go a long ways towards improving the quality of your skin and clearing up any acne/blemishes you may have, and keeping future ones away.
If you want to get the best results possible and really supercharge your way to beautiful skin, we have put together a list of 7 tips to help you attain the best improvement in your skin possible.
1) Remove Dairy Products From Your Diet
It is just not natural for us to drink the milk from a cow. Cows milk is meant for baby calves, not for humans. Milk is full of natural hormones to make those baby calves grow rapidly. Those same hormones can cause your body to produce more sebum (oil). Acne and milk don’t mix.
Whether they know it or not, many people are allergic to whey and casein, which are proteins in milk. Our immune system will attack these foreign proteins which leads to inflammation throughout the body and can result in acne. Many people who have suffered from cystic acne found their acne greatly improved when they went off dairy.
Milk and cream are the worst offenders, followed by other dairy products like butter,cheese and yogurt. To test your own body you can completely omit all dairy products from your diet for 30 days, and then slowly introduce one at a time back into your diet and monitor the results.
2) Food: Eat a Clean, Natural Diet of Unprocessed Foods
There are so many toxins in most of the prepared and processed foods that we eat today. Try to eat all your foods as minimally processed as possible, in as close to its natural form as possible. That means if it comes in a bag or a box, you probably shouldn’t eat it. This is a general statement of course, some ‘clean’ foods are still packaged.
Your diet should mainly consist of vegetables, greens and a protein source such as fish, chicken, grass fed beef, lamb, etc. The protein should be natural and unprocessed, no breaded fish, chicken nuggets, etc.
Stay away from sugar and all foods containing added sugar. Do not be afraid of fats, whether saturated or not.
What you can eat:
Proteins: Fish, beef, chicken, lamb, etc.
Carbohydrates: Leafy greens, vegetables, sweet potatoes, rice (most people) and low glycemic fruits such as blueberries.
Fats: Coconut oil, lard, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, avocados.
Coffee and tea are fine, no sodas, fruit juices, or beverages with added sugar.
A good sweetener is stevia, stay away from artificial sweeteners.
3) Regular Bowel Movements
It is important to have at least one regular, daily bowel movement. There is a correlation between acne sufferers and irregular bowel movements or constipation. Once your body has processed the food you have consumed, the waste needs to be extracted so it is not reabsorbed by your body.
By adding lots of vegetables to your diet, avoiding breads, pastas and other refined foods, you may be able to get yourself regular. Probiotics will also help with this.
If this is not enough, you can solve the problem in the short term by adding fiber to your diet with psyllium husk or a Benefiber type product. Psyllium husk isn’t easy to take for some people, the best way is to mix it up and drink it down quick, if it starts to thicken add some more water, stir, and drink it down quick. We prefer psyllium husk as it is closer to it’s natural form.
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms (such as bacteria, yeast) that may offer a health benefit to their host.
Good bacteria in an adequate quantity is necessary for proper digestive tract function.
A healthy gut is necessary for healthy skin. In a study it was found that over half of the acne patients had alterations to the good bacteria that are present in our intestinal microflora. Taking quality probiotics can increase the good bacteria in your gut.
If you have ever taken antibiotics, (as most of us have) chances are your gut bacteria has been compromised. Or if it is ever necessary to take antibiotics, probiotics should be taken during this time and afterwards for a period to maintain the good gut bacteria.
Taking a quality probiotic can improve your health, immune system, bowel movements, and skin.
5) Green Smoothies
If you have trouble getting enough vegetables and fiber in your diet on a daily basis, adding a daily green smoothie is a great way to do it. Green smoothies offer some great benefits to your health and your skins health.
You’ll want to add lots of greens and vegetables, and only a small amount of fruit in order to keep the sugar content down.
Greens can consist of things like spinach, romaine, kale, various lettuces, green tops from beets, herbs, etc.
Vegetables can be zucchini, cucumber, celery, onion (not too much), radishes, broccoli, beets, etc.
If you want to make it a bit creamier try adding a half or whole avocado.
Green smoothies can work great as a meal in themselves.
A Vitamix style blender works best, but they are expensive! A blender is preferred over a juicer as all the fiber stays in the smoothie this way, but some juicers work okay.
6) Rest, Limit Stress and Exercise
There is a definite mind/body connection. A relaxed, rested body is in a state where it is able to heal itself. A stressed body is in a state of fight or flight and is in survival mode and produces hormones and chemicals to support this, and these can promote acne.
There is an emerging field known as psychodermatology or “skin shrinks” where the mind body connection is looked at and methods such as relaxation, self-hypnosis or psychotherapy are used to treat skin conditions.
According to Dr. Ted Grossbart, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, “An estimated 30 to 60 percent of people who come to a doctor for help with skin problems also have emotional issues that are churning as well.”
The mind/acne connection makes more sense than you might initially think. Consider what happens when you get embarrassed, your face goes red. Your armpits will sweat in some situations. People break out in hives, rashes and cold sores from stress. Why not acne?
At the University of Massachusetts Medical School, it was found that patients suffering from psoriasis who listened to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments had their skin clear up nearly four times faster than those who had the light treatment alone.
Some small studies from Carleton University in Canada demonstrated that half of their patients had their warts disappear after undergoing hypnosis.
We also know that there is a connection between stress and altered gut flora and leaky gut, which in turn, suggests a connection between stress and skin issues. And there are a lot of experimental studies and human studies that have shown that a variety of psychological and physiological stressors can impair the normal gut flora and cause intestinal permeability.
The gut is basically one big nervous system tissue. In fact, some doctors refer to it as the second brain, and there’s way, way more serotonin, (which is a neurotransmitter that most people associate with the brain) in the gut than there is in the brain, and there is 400 times more melatonin in the gut than there is in the pineal gland, where melatonin is produced.
So, the gut is extremely sensitive to stress. This is obvious when you think about it. Consider the ‘butterflies’ or stomach pain you feel in certain stressful situations, or the feeling of wanting to “throw up”.
Bottom Line: Manage your stress.
We all know that exercise is good for the body. And what’s good for the body is good for the skin.
Exercise promotes healthy circulation. By increasing blood flow in the body you are helping nourish your skin cells with oxygen and nutrients. Increased blood flow also helps remove toxins and free radicals from the cells, and remember ‘Exceptional skin starts from the inside!’
Exercise also reduces stress. Stress can be a big cause of acne for some people. One of the ways that exercise is thought to reduce stress is by lowering your cortisol levels. Higher cortisol levels can also stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, potentially leading to more acne.
So get out there and move!
7) Food Journal
Despite what the ‘experts’ say, food definitely plays a role in acne. Anyone that says it does not is quoting some very poorly run studies done in the early 1970s.
The problem is, different people react to different things. You may have an undiagnosed food allergy, or just be sensitive to some foods and not even realize it.
Sometimes a reaction to a food may take a week or two to show up on your skin, and it may take weeks to go away. This is why it can make a big difference documenting what you eat on a daily basis. Even trying it for a month can lead to some amazing discoveries.
Some common food allergies/sensitivities that can lead to an acne breakout are:
-Milk and other dairy products – but not all may affect you. -Gluten (wheat contains gluten) -Peanuts (actually a legume not a nut) -Nuts -Eggs -Alcohol -Soy -Vegetables from the nightshade family (regular potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet and hot peppers are the common ones) -Rice (not that common)
* Note: some customers have identified salsa as a sure fire breakout food, it must be the tomatoes in the salsa, so you really have to pay attention to what you eat.
It is definitely worth keeping a Food Journal if you really want to clear up your acne. Try it for at least a month or two and see what you learn.
Each day, write down everything that you eat, and pay special attention to any of the foods in the Common food allergies/sensitivities section.
Remember, everyone is different, and what may cause an acne breakout for you may not affect the next person at all!
So there you have it, 7 tips to help the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ work its magic!
Ever woken up the day before a big date, only to find a huge zit on your face?
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there at some point, whether it was before a hot date, picture day, or some other important day where you had to look your best.
We’re always told to leave our acne pimples alone, but it’s pretty difficult to resist popping them when they crop up at the most inconvenient times. And it’s all well and good to go out and buy acne products, but they usually don’t work immediately, and if they do, they’re usually expensive.
Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy remedy you can try at home: hydrogen peroxide. And since you likely have a bottle of the stuff in your bathroom cabinet, it won’t cost you anything!How does it work?
First of all, the thing to remember is that hydrogen peroxide is a temporary acne solution. It doesn’t address the root cause of your acne, but only treats the symptom, and in fact using hydrogen peroxide too much will dry out your skin and potentially cause peeling.
Putting that aside, hydrogen peroxide works because it kills the bacteria on your skin that’s fostering those ugly pimples in the first place. It also oxygenates your pores, which helps prevent future pimples by creating an environment where those nasty bacteria can’t live.How do you apply it?
It’s easy! Just follow these four steps:Before applying hydrogen peroxide to your acne, first clean your face with a mild soap or cleanser. Once all dirt and oils have been removed from your skin, pat dry with a towel. Soak a cotton ball or Q-tip in the hydrogen peroxide, and apply it to your individual acne pimples. You can also apply it to the rest of your face to help prevent future breakouts, but be warned—doing this too often can result in drying out your face, and it is NOT a permanent solution. Sit back and let the peroxide do its work! It’ll start bubbling up, killing those bacteria and drying out those pimples. Once the bubbling stops, rinse your face with water. Cautions
Watch the hair. Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so if you have long hair, make sure you’ve pulled it away from your face before you start splashing hydrogen peroxide on it!
Stronger is not better. When buying hydrogen peroxide, you want a bottle that’s diluted to around 3%. Using more highly concentrated versions can burn your skin and increase scarring!
Skin damage. As mentioned earlier, hydrogen peroxide can dry out your skin, which leads to premature aging (wrinkles), so make sure to use sparingly. Purportedly, it’s been said that hydrogen peroxide actually kills skin cells and prevents new ones from forming, which may increase the likelihood of acne scar development.The verdict?
Hydrogen peroxide is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to treat acne if you’re in a bind. But it’s definitely not a permanent solution, and with the harsh effects it can have on your skin its best only to use it in emergencies.
If you’re dealing with regular breakouts, the best thing to do is figure out what’s causing them in order to make them go away. Covering up the symptoms is only temporary—it isn’t a real solution. If you have acne, there is a good chance that you are deficient in a few different vitamins. The best way to deal with vitamin deficiencies that lead to acne is here.
But if you’ve really got that hot date tonight, then bring out the bottle!
What are your thoughts on hydrogen peroxide and acne?
Ever suffer from an acne breakout that wouldn’t go away no matter what you put on your face?
It’s frustrating. You wash your face five times a day, go through twenty skin creams and face washes, and try every skincare mask under the sun.
You cut chocolate out of your diet, go heavy on the concealer, and every day wake up hoping your skin has cleared up… only to find you’ve got a new zit.
We’ve all been there, and I know it’s frustrating and introverting as heck. But instead of putting that bag over your head, locking yourself in your room, or smothering your skin with cover-up and foundation, have you considered taking vitamins for acne relief?
Here at Innate Skin, we’ve discovered that nutrition plays a big role in clear skin. When developing our Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™, we found certain vitamins work wonders on getting rid of your acne.
If you want to be that girl with the clear, glowing skin who turns heads, gets compliments, and laughs when asked what foundation she uses (none, of course!) then read on! These vites will help you make that dream a reality.Vitamin A
Believe it or not, vitamin A has been used to treat acne since the late 1800s! It’s one of those housewife remedies that got swept up under the table as we moved further into the modern world and away from natural remedies.
Vitamin A is what helps your body grow new skin cells, strengthen your skin’s protective tissues and keep your skin from getting oily. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, you end up with layers of dead, oily, bacteria-infested skin on your face. No wonder you’ve got acne issues!
If you’re looking at adding some vitamins for acne to your diet, try picking out some vitamin A-rich foods when you go to the grocery store. There’s a great list of them in this article, Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin A from Health-Alicious-Ness.com.Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another one of those oldie-but-goodie vitamins for acne. It’s great for keeping your skin soft and moisturized and protecting against acne-causing bacteria.
Also, if you’re one of those people who can’t stop themselves from popping their pimples, you can do some damage control by breaking open a vitamin E capsule and smoothing it over your skin to prevent scarring and dark spots.Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
I may have saved this one for last, but if you could only pick one of these vitamins for acne, this is the one you should choose. It reduces stress, makes your skin less oily, counteracts hormonal imbalances, and helps control blood sugar levels!
High stress levels, hormonal imbalances, low-blood circulation and oily skin can all contribute to acne flare-ups, so by adding more vitamin B5 to your diet, you’re handling all four of these issues in one shot.
Keep in mind that it is important to supplement with vitamins in the right amounts when you are trying to treat acne. Too much or too little of a vitamin can even make your acne worse. There are also many other vitamins that help keep your body balanced and skin clear that you need in lesser amounts, so they are hard to supplement with. Using a high quality skin supplement such as the Clear Skin Vitamin Pack™ that has been formulated to keep your skin clear is the best choice.
Milk has often been called nature’s perfect food. And it may be, if you are a calf. But in human beings can milk cause acne?
In the same way that a mother’s breast milk is meant for babies, a cow’s milk is meant for it’s calf. You see, cows only produce milk after they have given birth. The cow will continue to produce milk as long as it is ‘milked’. This can last for 2-3 years until the cow’s milk dries up, then the cow must get pregnant again to produce milk. So is the life of a dairy cow.
Now, a cow’s milk is designed to help a baby cow grow very fast. For this reason it is full of anabolic hormones. If you’ve ever seen anyone who uses steroids, you know that anabolic hormones cause acne. There are over 50 different hormones in your average glass of milk, even in organic and raw milk, as these are natural hormones we are talking about, not the bovine growth hormone some dairy cows are injected with.
There have finally been some large controlled trials that have found a relationship between dairy products and acne. These trials showed an increase in the severity of acne as well as the number of people who got acne. Milk may not cause acne in everyone, but if you have acne, you should experiment with not drinking milk and see if that helps.So how do dairy products and milk cause acne?
There are a few different ways. We will look into the hormone connection as we briefly discussed, as well as inflammation and blood sugar levels.
Hormones and acne
Some of the hormones contained in that glass of milk designed to make a calf grow rapidly are IGF-1 or insulin like growth factor-1. IGF-1 stimulates sebum production. Sebum is the oily/waxy substance secreted by your glands that makes your face and hair oily or greasy.
Milk also contains DHT (dihydrotestosterone) precursors. Once again, DHT causes more sebum production.
Insulin is another factor in the milk/acne problem. Milk contains insulin, which, once again, stimulates the production of sebum. Plasma insulin responses are elevated after drinking milk, and elevated insulin is associated with acne.
Inflammation and acne
Whether they know it or not, many people are allergic, even mildly, to whey and casein which are proteins in milk. Our immune system will attack these foreign proteins which leads to inflammation throughout the body and can result in acne.
Another source of inflammation is all of the bacteria and toxins that can be found in milk. The majority of dairy cows live in less than ideal conditions, eating unnatural food to them that is full of pesticides. Even with organic milk, the cow is still fed a diet that is unnatural to them in most cases, although it is organic. Cow’s are meant to eat grass, not corn, oats, soy, and other manufactured feeds that make them sick.
Because of this unnatural feed and the filthy conditions that most dairy cows are forced to live in, they also get regular shots of antibiotics to try and keep them healthy. How much of these antibiotics are passed on when you drink their milk?
One of the main reasons for pasteurization of milk is to kill off all the bacteria in the milk due to the filthy conditions the cows live in. Pasteurization of milk kills off all the vitamins it contains which then have to be added back in. It also kills off the natural enzymes that help us digest the milk, one of the reasons some people are lactose intolerant.
Blood Sugar Levels and acne
Milk contains sugar, albeit ‘naturally occurring’. The lower the fat content of the milk, the worse it will affect your blood sugar levels (think skim milk or 1%).
Sugar raises insulin levels, which promotes the production of sebum and other hormones such as testosterone in women. Raised blood sugar levels also cause inflammation.
The bottom line on milk and acne
If you drink milk or consume dairy products will you get acne? Not necessarily. Many people’s bodies can handle the effects of cow’s milk. However, if you have acne and you drink milk or consume dairy products, there is a good chance that the milk is making your acne worse. There is some evidence that shows that milk is the worst offender, some people can tolerate cheese and yoghurt and not get breakouts.
Bottom line, cow’s milk is meant to be consumed by cows, not humans. Of the 5000 or so mammals on this earth, humans are the only ones who continue to drink milk after we have been weaned from our mothers. Your body does not require it.Got Milk? Throw it out.
Many people are aware of the benefits of Evening Primrose oil. Yet surprisingly, there are few who realize how well it can help with acne.
Some of the commonly known health benefits of evening primrose oil include:
Heart Health — Comprehensively aids arteries and may help to lower blood pressure and thereby reduce heart attack risk.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — Can provide relief from the combined existence of depression, fever, and aching.
Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Reliever – Evening primrose oil might ease the discomfort of chest pain or rheumatoid arthritis.
Diabetes — Evening primrose oil is believed to reduce the existence of tingling types of pain and numbness which diabetics often experience.
A.D.H.D. — Some improvement may be obtained from attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children.
Menstrual Pain — Lessens the discomforts of menstrual cycles and PMS.
Now let’s look at how Evening Primrose oil supplementation can improve acne conditions, as well as overall skin health.
Evening Primrose oil is one of the best sources of an essential fatty acid known as GLA, or gamma-linolenic acid, which allows skin cells to grow and heal properly. GLA has been shown to act as an anti -inflammatory agent and promote the growth of healthy skin, hair and nails. GLA also plays a role in balancing out hormones in acne sufferers.
The seed of the “Oenothera Biennis” plant, or Evening Primrose, has a long history of usage in Europe and throughout North America. Its components not only help to improve the human immune system, but also promote the reduction of inflammation and redness associated with acne.
Some other sources of GLA are coconut oil and butter from grass fed cows, though both have much smaller quantities of GLA than Evening Primrose Oil. With butter, it has to be from grass fed cows, as the standard supermarket butter from grain fed cows does not have GLA. Cows are supposed to eat grass, not grain!
While Evening Primrose oil will work on its own to help with acne, it works much better when combined with vitamins and minerals that are known to help with acne. Some of these are Vitamin A, C, E, pantothenic acid and zinc.
It is important to combine these vitamins and minerals along with the evening primrose oil in the right amounts, so do your research or buy a product that is already formulated for fighting acne.
Here are some comments found on the web about the benefits of Evening Primrose Oil and acne:
“I’ve only been taking it for a couple of days, but now when I wake up my skin seems to be glowing, soft, and my inflammation and redness has been reduced.”
“It really helps with my hormonal acne.”
“No more acne! It has cleared my skin, is good for hormonal and cystic acne, makes my skin soft”
“Everyone suffering from acne needs to try evening primrose oil. I suffered for 8 years before finally trying it and now I am acne free!”
“I have a 95% improvement on my face. I take EPO, some vitamin E, C, and A on a daily basis. It has literally changed my life!”