Contributor: Primally Pure
Photographer: Primally Pure
There’s this myth floating around that acne should end when high school does. The reality? Acne isn’t a skin condition reserved only for our pre-teen or prom days.
If you’re suffering from acne, yet it’s years after graduation day, you’re not alone. The majority of adults (especially women) actually experience breakouts + blemishes. Acne is a complex skin condition with multiple causes – stemming from our external and internal environments.
Since our skin is a reflection of what’s going on beneath the surface, it’s essential to work with the entire body for beautiful, healthy skin. Our tissues, organs and systems are all interconnected, so while it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of an acne flare up, we can trust that our skin is trying to tell us something.
While you may not feel like a hormonal fifteen year old anymore, (or maybe sometimes you still do ?) – hormones continue to play a huge part in the health of our skin. As we age, our endocrine system can often be in flux or become imbalanced, especially with the burden of our toxic diets + environments.
If vital organs (like our liver and kidneys) are being overworked or overloaded with toxins from chemical-laden products, processed foods or artificial hormones, it relies on the skin for support in filtering out waste and toxins. Enter: acne – no matter how old you are.
Taking steps to eliminate toxins, inside and out, is a powerful way to treat acne. Here are 4 solutions to combat adult acne and support clear skin from within.
Sure, high school was stressful. But being an adult? Maybe even more so. Pressures to perform, to produce more, to be perfect, to please the people in our life, to have it all put together… these stressors and lies we live by can take a serious toll on the state of our skin – and mind and body.
Chronic stress is serious stuff and can be one of the biggest contributors to imbalanced skin. When our bodies undergo prolonged stress, it creates a spike of cortisol (our body’s primary stress hormone) which spikes inflammation within the body and not only makes our skin more prone to breakouts, but susceptible to a myriad of other stress-related health issues.
Sadly, this is a way of life many of us have become accustomed to as adults. So one of my main tips to combat adult acne, is to combat stress. Here are a couple simple ways to create more calm in your day-to-day:
Adding in adaptogens to your diet is a powerful way to support your body during times of stress. These powerhouse herbs have adapted to their own wild, difficult climates and in turn, help our bodies to do the same. Supplement your daily diet with adaptogenic herbs to build resilience within the body, bring hormones back into balance and boost overall wellness. We especially love this one and this one for calming inflammation + clear skin support.
Melt away stress, soothe an anxious mind + soften skin texture with a warm epsom salt bath. After you’ve soaked for a while and then toweled off, apply this blue oil with proven benefits to powerfully promote relaxation and relieve tension.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple, powerful practice to help take your mind off of lingering to-do lists and bring you back to what’s most important. Writing down 3 things (big or small) that you’re grateful for serve as meaningful reminders of the blessings + beauty you’re surrounded by on a daily basis. Who would have thought an attitude of gratitude could get rid of adult acne? Yup. Try it.
CLEAN UP YOUR HOME
Having a home that supports your health may not immediately come to mind as a remedy for adult acne, but creating a space that’s free of toxic chemicals, artificial fragrances and other dangerous ingredients that wreak havoc on your skin (and your hormones and your overall health) is a powerful way to build a foundation for healthy, clear skin.
Without even realizing it, the environment we create within the home can significantly add to the toxic buildup in our bodies. Consider all of the products you use in your home on a daily and weekly basis. From cleaning products, laundry detergent, dish soap, air fresheners, artificially scented candles… These conventional products can be loaded with harmful + hazardous chemicals that are inevitably inhaled or absorbed through the skin – leading to several health issues such as hormone disruption, inflammatory diseases, respiratory problems and serious skin conditions. (Quick reminder: our skin reveals of the state of our internal wellness + imbalances.)
While it may seem insignificant, creating a non-toxic home really is an effective + lasting solution for acne relief. Replace toxic cleaning products and improve your air quality with these safe options to positively impact the health of your home, your family and your acne.
SIMPLIFY YOUR SKINCARE
While you may feel like a teenager again when you see a pimple appear, the last thing you want to do is revert back to old habits of treating it. Leave drugstore cleansers, harsh ingredients, aggressive scrubs, picking, and prescriptions in the past. The majority of skincare on the market is made with cheap, toxic ingredients that actually aggravate acne and is one of the biggest contributors to our toxic load.
Skincare products made with real, recognizable + organic ingredients help to support a clear complexion and improve the overall health of the skin while making it less susceptible to acne and inflammation. Look for soothing, anti-inflammatory botanicals (such as blue tansy,calendula and lavender) and healing oils that strengthen the skin’s ability to restore and repair itself (like jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and argan oil).
My tried + true solutions for a clear complexion include this simple, 3-step skincare ritual:
Cleansing Oil: This age-old method of cleansing utilizes skin-loving oils to deeply purify pores + nourish the skin while keeping its natural moisture barrier in-tact. Plus, it’s incredibly restorative + relaxing (the perfect way to wind down from a busy day).
Everything Spray: Instead of spritzing this product, apply it to an organic cotton pad and sweep it across the skin. The organic raw + unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances pH levels and contains powerful healing enzymes, while organic tea tree essential oil disinfects and organic lavender essential oil heals and regenerates.
Blue Tansy Beauty Cream: Deeply nourishes the skin without clogging pores + powerfully soothes troubled skin, calms redness and combats inflammation. Blue tansy essential oil is also proven to relax a stressed mind and minimize tension.
And here’s an optional 4th step: Make a weekly DIY detox mask to support your skin’s purifying and healing process. Mix natural clay from your local health food store (we love pink kaolin clay, french green clay or this clay) with a bit of Everything Spray. Let it sit on the skin for about 7-10 minutes or once it starts to harden. Apply after cleansing and finish with your Everything Spray + Beauty Cream.
DETOX YOUR DIET
Acne can be indicative of inflammation in the body, and processed foods are often the culprit. Some of the most inflammation-inducing foods you want to avoid for calm, clear skin include: gluten, refined sugars, dairy and highly processed oils (aka canola, cottonseed, and soybean).
Focus on adding in more nutrient-dense, whole foods + healthy, healing fats to your daily diet to help resolve hormonal fluctuations, replenish vitamin deficiencies and fight internal inflammation that often cause acne. Food is such a powerful factor in how we feel on the inside + look on the outside and consistently making better food choices can play a huge role in finally saying goodbye to adult acne.
Healthy fats feed our skin – they help to stabilize blood sugar + hormones and also build strong, resilient cells. Some skin loving fats include coconut oil, avocados, tallow from grass-fed cows, walnuts, wild salmon, ghee, and extra virgin olive oil.
Leafy green veggies are rich in vitamins and support the body’s natural detoxification processes, flushing out excess hormones that can cause imbalances + inflammation in the skin. Get your daily greens by adding a handful to your morning smoothie or making a big salad for dinner.
Bone broth is packed with gut-healing (healthy gut = healthy skin) and collagen-boosting gelatin and is also an abundant source of vital minerals. Make this warm, soothing beverage your new nightcap for clear skin (and try adding a teaspoon of turmeric for even more anti-inflammatory benefits!).
I hope these holistic, practical tips have given you hope that you’re not alone in your search for adult acne solutions – and that there are powerful ways to support a clear complexion. Once we start to see problematic skin conditions as a reflection of internal imbalances, we can view acne + inflammation as an invitation to do some inner healing. In my opinion, this is the real secret to discovering lasting remedies for clear, smooth and acne-free skin – especially as adults.