I suffered from severe acne for many years and thus am educated on the harsh and ineffective products that are often used to address the condition. There are many contributors to acne, such as stress, hormonal imbalance, digestive issues, poor diet, topical irritants, inadequate hygiene, etc. This is why it can be so difficult to treat. In Traditional Chines Medicine (TCM) we use herbal medicine and acupuncture to get to the root of the problem. Additionally, we recommend important diet and lifestyle changes patients can do at home which form the basis of healthy skin. Natural skincare does not just mean clean ingredients. It means approaching the skin in a holistic way. It means using a variety of tools to increase the health and resilience of the skin over time.
No matter the cause of acne, Heat (inflammation) is always a factor. Stress, anxiety, and frustration all generate Heat in the body. Most of us need to schedule time for regular relaxation (like meditation, yoga, massage).
Is important to minimize heating foods in the diet: such as sugar (white bread, fruit juice, soda, ice cream), fried foods, processed foods, garlic, spices, alcohol, and lamb. If you have food sensitivities these foods will also generate Heat in the body. Common culprits include: gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, and shellfish. Drinking ample water and eating a high proportion of vegetables helps to cool the body and promotes regular bowel movements. Particularly helpful foods for acneic conditions include coix seed (Chinese barley, yi yi ren), biter melon, daikon radish, fennel bulb, and honeysuckle (jin yin hua) tea.
Topical skincare should most importantly be void of irritants, harsh chemicals, and pore-clogging agents. Inappropriate moisturizers, cleansers, and sun protection can sabotage your efforts. Liquid makeup used to cover blemishes only contribute to more inflammation and should be avoided. As a general rule you want to include an anti-inflammatory, an anti-bacterial, an enzyme exfoliant, and a Vitamin A into your regimen. I do not believe in using acids in homecare regimens as frequent acid exfoliation weakens the epidermis and contributes to inflammation. The following are some of my favorite acne-clearing products: