Part 1 of this post discusses how you can clear your skin holistically by identifying the root cause of your acne and understanding the right approach to healing it. Thanks to Julie Doan, a pharmacist and Holistic Skin & Health Coach, we’re bringing you part two. In this post, you’ll find a guide to “acne-healing” foods and we will settle the debate between medication vs. holistic habits when it comes to clearing acne.
So, let’s begin!
There’s a common saying that “you are what you eat.” Doan likes to say, “your skin shows you what you eat.” Certain foods are amazing for your skin and are powerful in healing acne. And, of course, all these foods are also amazing for general health and overall disease protection.
- Foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon and walnuts, are anti-inflammatory; therefore, they fight the inflammation that acne promotes in the body. Salmon and walnuts are also “both a good source of vitamin A and zinc, two nutrients that contribute to good skin.”
- Green tea is another option for decreasing the inflammation as it is “rich in catechins. Catechins are potent antioxidants with significant anti-inflammatory properties.” Chemicals that are involved in acne, like cytokines and prostaglandins, are supressed with catechins.
- Healthy fats keep the skin supple and hydrated, so incorporating foods like avocados can help contribute to good skin health, especially since they’re loaded with vitamin E and vitamin C.
- Up your zinc intake! Zinc “contributes to cell production making it a key mineral to a clear complexion.” Zinc can be found in foods like hemp, pumpkin, squash and sesame seeds, and in an abundance of whole grains.
- Beta-carotene will give your skin a smooth surface! This powerful antioxidant is found in richly colored vegetables, such as dark orange and red vegetable, and leafy greens. This antioxidant “converts to vitamin A which regulates cell production and turnover” making your skin smooth and even!
If you incorporate more of these foods and avoid your “trigger foods” (refer to part one of this post to know more about those), you may begin to see a real difference! Though, be mindful that the results won’t be immediate; improving acne through a holistic approach takes patience and consistency. Doan explains that it takes approximately one month to see an improvement, and around 3 months to see a significant difference. That said, once the results are apparent, they will last because the root cause is being addressed.
One question remains - it is evident that Doan believes in natural medicine, but what are her thoughts on treating acne with medication? She is a pharmacist, after all. Doan elucidates that she respects anyone who decides to continue the use of the birth control, antibiotics and Accutane, but she’ll also encourage optimizing lifestyle habits in the domains of nutrition, stress management, physical activity and sleep patterns. Medication alone can only do so much, and it poses a potential risk for long-term consequences with several side effects. For someone who wishes to stop their medication (under the supervision of a doctor), Doan suggests “starting the holistic process at least three months before stopping the drug.”
So there you have it! After reading part one and part two of this mini “acne series,” my hope is that you have a better understanding of the root causes of acne and how to identify them, are inspired to eat more of the “acne-healing” foods on a daily basis, and know that there is always room to implement a holistic approach, even if you take medication.
My name is Melissa Migueis and I am a student at Dawson College in the profile Cinema-Communications. I love to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating clean, being active and keeping a healthy mindset! Oh, and you can always find me somewhere in nature.