Natural remedies for acne

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: acne, dairy, health news

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(NaturalNews) Acne sucks. But you don't need antibiotics or harsh chemicals to treat it. In addition to altering your diet so that you consume fewer acne-producing foods (dairy products and fried foods, mostly), there are some effective natural remedies that are also useful for clearing up your skin.

Below, we've compiled a few of these recommendations from some of the top authors in natural health. Enjoy this short collection, and feel free to share it with others (please give appropriate credit to the original author as well as this NaturalNews page, thank you).

Natural remedies for acne

Brazilian school kids have acne. There's far less acne in Kenya, Zambia, Malaysia, and rural Japan than is common in Western societies. But if there was any doubt left about the diet-acne connection it should have been erased by the seminal research paper published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2002 by respected Natural Prescription for Acne Paleo Diet: No grains, dairy, beans, or soy; high in protein (fish, grass-fed meats), vegetables, fruits (especially berries), nuts, and omega fats.
- The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Acne may develop due to an allergic reaction to dairy products, and the fat content of the dairy products can worsen the condition. Modern dairy and other animal products often contain hormones and steroids that can upset the body's natural hormonal balance. Q If you are not allergic to dairy products, eat plenty of soured products, such as low-fat yogurt, to maintain healthy intestinal flora. Q Avoid all forms of sugar. Sugar impairs immune function. In addition, biopsies of individuals with acne have shown their tissues' glucose tolerance to be seriously flawed.
- Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC

Your skin is an organ that can excrete waste products, and acne is one way that your body is actually excreting internal toxins through your skin to get rid of them. The classic model and explanation for acne is really incomplete. The classic model says that acne is simply caused by bacteria - but that's not entirely true. It's often caused by the body trying to get rid of something. The number-one cause of acne is the consumption of milk - milk from cows. Any dairy products - but especially liquid milk including cheese, butter and things like ice cream - promote acne.
- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams

The result is an allergic reaction, which can produce acne. Processed foods are another cause of acne, and include all junk foods, refined foods (white flour, white sugar, and other refined sugars), processed meats (deli foods), unsaturated fats, margarine and other fake foods, and commercial meat, poultry, and dairy products which contain chemicals and hormones. Sometimes, simply treating any food allergies and avoiding junk or processed foods will prevent acne. However, if you have hormonal problems, changing your diet will not be sufficient to heal the acne.
- The Enzyme Cure: How Plant Enzymes Can Help You Relieve 36 Health Problems by Lita Lee, Lisa Turner and Burton Goldberg

As much as this link between pubescent hormonal changes and acne is true, the skin disorder is unfortunately not confined to the teenage years. Many adults suffer from acne, as well. Some adult acne sufferers have elevated levels of male hormones that stimulate sebum production. Genetic factors may be the cause of these elevated androgen levels, or as Dr. Frank A. Oski believes, consumption of cow's milk may also be to blame. About 80 percent of milked dairy cows are pregnant, which causes the hormone progesterone to appear in their milk.
- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams

Dietary clean-up is the basis of natural therapy for acne. Excess saturated fat and hydrogenated oils must be eliminated. Certain foods trigger acne in susceptible people. For some, it is sugar or chocolate; for others, dairy products. Still others react to iodine in shellfish or excess iodized salt. Some experience exacerbations with spicy foods. With a little experimentation and self-observation you can find out for yourself what foods trigger or exacerbate your acne.
- Intelligent Medicine: A Guide to Optimizing Health and Preventing Illness for the Baby-Boomer Generation by Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.

In another of his books, The Dietary Cure for Acne, he lays out some tasty options for a diet based on whole foods - salmon, sirloin, strawberries, walnuts, carrots, and the like - which may well be the cornerstone of a natural prescription for getting rid of acne. (The Paleo Diet is absent of grains and dairy and high in grass-fed meats, vegetables, fruits, and omegas.) Cordain hypothesizes that a diet that produces high levels of the hormone insulin is partly the culprit when it comes to acne.
- The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

It is not the fattening aspect of chocolate that concerns us here but the chemical stimulants it contains, especially phenylethylamine and theobromine that imitate our hormones; and the caffeine and sugar chocolate contains make it doubly bad for acne. For some people, cutting out dairy products, especially cream and hard cheese, helps enormously. Fruits, surprisingly perhaps, do not help acne because of their high sugar content, but vegetables do.
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

A daily intake of 50,000 units of vitamin A and 50 mg of zinc has reportedly cleared some forms of acne, and a version of vitamin A - retinoic acid (RA), also called vitamin A acid (which is classified as a drug) - has been used as a topical acne treatment as well, though some people are allergic to it. It's also been used to treat aging skin (RA causes the shedding of skin cells). Vitamin A can be obtained from fish liver oil, liver, carrots, green and yellow vegetables, eggs, milk and dairy products, margarine and yellow fruits.
- The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

There are many approaches to acne treatment; if self-care does not prove effective, a dermatologist should be able to prescribe a therapy that will help. • Change your diet. A low-glycemic-index diet with very little sugar and other refined carbohydrates might improve skin significantly, and it will have other health benefits as well. Other things to avoid: milk and trans fatty acids, which are found in margarine and shortening. A study of dairy products and acne is currently under way. • Facial masks of clay may remove excess oil and help clear the skin.
- Best Choices From the People's Pharmacy by Joe Graedon, M.S. and Teresa Graedon, Ph.D.

Ask any number of dermatologists if poor digestion is a cause of acne, and you're likely to get the same answer from each: No. This is precisely why dermatologists don't always cure acne, says Andrew Rubman, N.D., a naturopathic physician and founder of the Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicine in Connecticut. "Acne has generated an entire industry of high-priced dermatologists and an incredible laundry list of very potent and expensive medications, including topical and oral antibiotics," he says.
- Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems by Bill Gottlieb

A constitutional remedy usually helps acne, but if I can't determine this, sometimes I give Kali bromatum, which is known to be helpful in treating acne. If, in addition to itchy acne, your teenager is restless during sleep and has unpleasant dreams, these are further indications for Kali brom. Sulphur is a good remedy for the teenager with chronic acne characterized by a rough, hard skin that gets worse from washing. This same person is often warm blooded, perspires freely, and suffers from constipation.
- Homeopathic Medicine at Home: Natural Remedies for Everyday Ailments and Minor Injuries by Maesimund B. Panos, M.D. and Jane Heimlich

The bane of every American teenager is the dreaded problem of acne. Now there is an effective remedy for alleviating much of this. All a teen needs to do is wash his or her face morning, noon and night with the pod tea of green beans. For chronic acne, add 3 tbsps. of dried chamomile flowers to the pod tea after it's been removed from the stove. Cover and let it steep until the tea becomes cool, then strain and bottle. Wash the face every 3 hrs. if possible with the tea. A cup should also be drunk each day as well.
- Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs by John Heinerman

Birch is practically unexcelled in the tree bark remedies for successfully treating psoriasis, eczema, herpes, acne and similar chronic skin diseases. A tea was once made by boiling the bark which eastern U.S. Indians used on the skin either as a poultice or ash to treat burns, wounds, bruises, eczema and sores. A similar tea can be made by bringing 1 quart of water to a boil, reducing the heat, adding 3 tbsp. dried bark, covering and simmering for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for an additional hour.
- Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs by John Heinerman

Most adults cannot tolerate the teenage acne products. They're too harsh and drying. Some natural products can act as alternatives to treat mild acne," says Marcey Shapiro, M.D., a family doctor in Albany, California, who combines natural healing with conventional medicine. Ideally, though, you want to stop acne before it starts, says Dr. Shapiro.
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II: Over 1,200 New Doctor-Tested Tips and Techniques Anyone Can Use to Heal Hundreds of Everyday Health Problems by the Editors of PREVENTION

Salicylic acid, sulfur, and resorcinol are nonprescription lotions, creams, and gels that are used to treat mild acne. Although they can't prevent new pimples, they can cause existing ones to dry and peel. Stronger antibiotic solutions or lotions and oral antibiotics are available by prescription and can inhibit bacterial growth and decrease the number of inflamed pimples. In many cases, natural remedies should help reduce the signs of acne but if they don't, your doctor can tell you about other options. There are several supplements that can help to keep acne under control.
- Earl Mindell's Secret Remedies by Earl Mindell

Most cases of acne can be resolved through hygiene and nutrition. Remedies may be helpful during flare-ups, but a constitutional remedy, prescribed by an experienced homeopath, is the most appropriate way to deal with severe or persistent skin problems. Antimonium tartaricum - this remedy may be helpful for acne with large pustules that are tender to touch, with bluish-red marks that remain on the skin after active infection has passed. The person may be irritable, with low resistance to illness.
- The Natural Pharmacy: Complete Home Reference to Natural Medicine by Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC

The claim that "diet has nothing to do with acne" was born and remains the "conventional wisdom" to this day. But don't get me started. I hate to be cynical, but one reason that doctors and dermatologists say that diet doesn't cause acne is because they can't sell a healthy diet. In addition, they were trained to believe that there's no connection between what you eat and what your face looks like. Plus, there's constant pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to prescribe creams, drugs, and other "remedies."
- The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Pregnant women should not take more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A a day - a dosage that may be too low to treat acne. Vitamin E (taken at 400 IU daily) increases the benefits of vitamin A and selenium. Selenium (taken at 200 mcg daily) works with vitamin E to reduce inflammation. Topical treatment: Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Apply 5 drops of a 5-15% solution in diluted water to a cotton ball and dab on the affected area.
- 1000 Cures for 200 Ailments: Integrated Alternative and Conventional Treatments for the Most Common Illnesses by Marshall Editions

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

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