Holistic Acne Support

Holistic Acne Support

Holistic Acne Support

In the first part of the acne blog we looked at the mechanisms that drive the progression of acne. In this second part I wanted to look at what steps we can take to address these mechanisms, restoring balance to the body and support healing of the skin.

Hormones and Inflammation

Reducing Insulin and IGF-1
~ follow a low Glycemic Load diet, this essentially means avoiding sugar, refined and simple carbohydrate
~ eat more plant protein and less animal protein (or organic meat)
~lots of fibre, slows release of IGF-1
~ low/ moderate ‘good’ fats.

Up-regulate SHBG (decreased with high levels of insulin, see above)
~ increase phytoestrogens
natural plant oestrogen’s can have a balancing effect on our own natural hormones and they can up-regulate the production of SHBG. Linseed (milled), oats, lentils, mung beans, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, sesame seeds, are all good sources.

Reduce Inflammation
~ avoid excess oils, especially trans-fats, hydrogenated fats and oxidised, fats
~ avoid processed and refined carbohydrate
These both initiate a cascade of free radicals and inflammation.

Supporting Detoxification and Digestion

To support liver eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables- broccoli, cabbage, brussels, pak-choy, kale etc).

Eat quality protein, particularly plant protein.

Include plenty of vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables, including, peppers, broccoli, celery, citrus fruits and berries.

Drink at least 2 litres of water per day.

Fibre supports the movement of food through the digestive tract. It also provides food for the beneficial microflora, while sugar and refined carbohydrate provide food for the ‘bad’ bacteria.

Eating pro-biotic and prebiotic foods to support a diverse and healthy intestinal microbiome. Probiotic foods contain live bacteria to replenish our microbiota, pre-biotics are non-digestible foods that stimulate growth of the microbiota.

So in summary, what to eat
Follow a Low GI diet, reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates

Eat high fibre foods, (to slow release of insulin and support healthy microbiome) wholegrains, oats, vegetables, fruit (pears and berries), beans and pulses, nuts and seeds.

Include probiotic foods such as live natural yogurt, fermented vegetables and keffir, and prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, bananas, apples, oats, flaxseed

Eat quality protein, think about plant protein, tofu, soy, lentils, chickpeas, edamame beans, nuts, quinoa, organic grass fed meat and plenty of fish.

Whole-plant foods - wholegrains, brown rice, beans, nuts, seeds, fruit and lots of vegetables.

Avoid trans-fats, hydrogenated fats and oxidised fats. Cook with olive oil and coconut oil, use unrefined seed and nut oils sparingly for dressings etc.

Limit processed and ready made meals and include as much unprocessed and fresh foods as possible.

Topical Preparations

So we’ve looked at supporting acne from an internal perspective, what about externally. Since acne has an internal root cause, can topical products actually help acne? Well yes they can support healing and alleviate symptoms.

Conventional treatments and products usually focus on astringent cleansers and products that dry the skin out. These disrupt our naturally occurring lipids and compromise the integrity of our acid mantle which is the invisible outer layer of our skin that provides protection against pathogens, harmful bacteria, environmental elements and pollution.

Stripping this layer with harsh products sets us up for infection and inflammation. In addition to try and protect and repair itself the skin will naturally produce more lipids to replace the lipids which have been removed, so the skin then becomes oilier!!

Acne skin is in a state of inflammation, it is stressed and vulnerable and rather than ‘attacking’ it with harsh products we want to nurture and care for it and guide it back to a state of balance.
disruption, offering a real therapeutic treatment to address the redness and swelling associated with breakouts.