Originally published March 23 2008
Diet, Specifically Zinc, Plays a Key Role in Acne
by Ellen Holder
(NaturalNews) There is nothing worse than owning a skin care store full of wonderful, natural products and getting a horrible bout of adult acne. I now sympathize with thousands of people that have to deal with this terrible skin affliction. Thank goodness, after some trials and tribulations, I was able to identify the culprit and, as they say, heal thyself.
In short, here were the wrong answers to my acne problem:
* "Your skin is reacting to all the different products you keep trying."
* "Maybe you need to go back to using skin care with chemicals."
* "Have you tried ProActive? It worked for someone I know."
* "It's probably perimenopausal hormones."
* "Try using facial oil on your skin to help balance your own oil production."
* "Try washing your face more, or maybe wash your face less."
When your face is erupting more than Old Faithful, most of us will try anything and everything to get it under control. The idea that going chemical-free made my face break out is ridiculous. Out of desperation, I tried ProActive at one point. It does dry up blemishes but it also oxidizes your skin, adding to wrinkles and does nothing to keep new blemishes from forming under the skin (those enormous zits I like to call "undergrounders"). The worst idea of all was that the zits were the result of hormones gone crazy, which leaves you feeling helpless. Furthermore nothing, nothing, I put on or left off my face made any difference.
It was this realization that led me to my personal cure. I knew it had to be something I was putting in my body or in my case not putting in. I researched extensively and saw some people were having success taking mega-doses of B vitamins, while others showed no improvement or worried about the long term effects. It didn't seem "natural" to overdose on supplements in order to make my skin healthy again. But why had it suddenly turned unhealthy?
I looked at my eating habits of late. I was prone to the occasional chocolate craving, but after all these years I doubted that the sweet confection had turned against me. Besides, I was buying organic, dark chocolate now; nothing sinister there. In fact, I had improved my diet greatly over the years and recently tried to go vegan.
Hum? Then I ran across an article by my favorite health advocate, Mike Adams of NaturalNews. He mentions in the article how a zinc deficiency may be a cause of acne. Maybe my feeble attempt at a new vegan lifestyle was leaving me a bit short in the zinc department? After reading up on the signs of zinc deficiency, I decided to pump up my intake of oysters and pumpkin seeds to see if it would help. Results? Enough of a difference in my skin to look deeper into zinc.
There are subtle signs to zinc deficiency. Acne can be just one of them. Other signs can be white spots on the fingernails, dry, brittle hair, slow wound healing and a decreased sense of taste and smell. I had all of these. Zinc plays an important role in our overall immune function and is important for our general health. In addition to adding zinc-rich foods to my diet, I've also added purifying green tea (both the drink and a green tea mask), vitamin A rich carrot juice (mixed with orange to make it taste better), lots of delicious berries, foods rich in omega-3 and other great-for-the-skin goodies. A simple, all-natural cleanser and oil-free moisturizer, both with tea tree oil, help keep blemishes at bay.
I'm now happy to report my face is smooth and clear once again! Now, I realize that my situation may not be the the same for other acne sufferers, but the story seems worth telling for the purpose of looking at our diet first in solving health issues of any kind. The next time your body starts to change in a way that is displeasing, steer clear of the quick chemical fixes and look to nature to solve all ill wills!
About the authorEllen Holder is a health advocate, blogger and co-founder of Caren, an online store for natural, organic and synthetic chemical free skin care products. http://www.carenonline.com and http://www.carensblog.com
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