Posts Tagged ‘innate skin’

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!

 

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

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 toner for acne:

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/

https://www.healthambition.com/best-foods-to-clear-acne/

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/