Natural Approach Acne:

A Natural Approach to Curing and Preventing Acne

By Dr. Ben Kim

Of the many health challenges that I help people overcome through natural methods, one of my favorites is acne. Itís a favorite because I have yet to meet a person who hasnít recovered from acne, no matter how severe the case, with appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle. Once a person identifies and addresses the root causes of acne, it predictability melts away.

There is nothing quite like seeing the relief and happiness that people experience as they recover from acne that they have suffered with for months or years. I will never forget one gentleman Ė a professor at a top naturopathic school Ė whose chronic acne completely disappeared within two weeks of following my suggestions. Tears filled his eyes as he spoke about the many years he suffered with acne despite trying numerous creams, cleansers, nutritional supplements, and oral drugs.

Many people in developed countries suffer with acne at some point in their lives. Rather than identify and address the root causes of acne, many people turn to creams, cleansers, and sometimes drugs to relieve their symptoms. While these approaches may produce temporary results for some, they rarely lead to lasting improvement because they do not take into account dietary and lifestyle factors that cause acne to begin with.

These symptom-based approaches reminds me of a time when my kitchen faucet broke off and a powerful geyser of water exploded upward, taking a bite out of the ceiling. My first reaction was to cram the broken faucet in place. It took every last bit of my strength to hold this faucet down against the upward force of water. If I budged even a bit, water would shoot out in all directions with incredible force. Being the quick thinker that I am, I stood there for about five minutes, growing exhausted from holding this faucet down. It finally dawned on me that I had to reach down underneath the sink and turn off the water supply. During the few seconds it took for me to let go of the broken faucet and reach down to turn off the water supply, it was like having an open fire hydrant in my kitchen. The kitchen and I ended up soaked, but it sure felt great to know that no more water would come flying out of the broken faucet!

When I see people use creams, cleansers, and drugs to deal with acne, I canít help but think that they are trying awfully hard to solve their problem, just as I struggled to hold the water down with the broken faucet, when a more effective and permanent solution exists. You can use creams, cleansers and drugs to deal with acne with temporary and limited success, but wouldnít it be way better to keep acne from developing in the first place? Iím sure that once you identify and address the root causes of acne, you will feel just as relieved and happy as I did when I made that final turn on the water supply valve.

Here are my guidelines to solving acne naturally:

  1. Avoid the worst triggers of acne; pasteurized dairy products, fried and deep-fried foods, hydrogenated oils, sugar, salty snacks, preservatives like sulphates, and highly processed foods that contain gluten.

  2. Eat mainly whole, unprocessed foods, with vegetables making up at least 50% of the total volume of your diet. Specifics of your ideal diet depend on a variety of factors, including your body type, ethnic background, health history, and current health status.

  3. Get enough sleep to feel refreshed when you wake up. It is during deep, restful sleep that your body is able to most efficiently repair damaged skin.

  4. Do not rub your acne with abrasive towels or loofahs. Aggressively rubbing your acne can cause the underlying infection to spread, which can result in new spots. Sometimes, abrasive rubbing can create enough irritation to cause an infection that leads to acne. Instead of rubbing your face dry after washing, make it a habit to pat dry or even air dry.

  5. Use as little soap and make-up as possible. Using soap on a daily basis is only necessary if you work with gas, coal, or oil. For most people who donít wear make up, washing with cold water is enough to have clean and healthy skin. Washing with only cold water is what people have done through most of world history.

  6. If your weather allows, expose your skin to sunshine each day, even if itís for a few minutes. Just be sure not to burn yourself. Natural sunlight has remarkable healing and recuperative powers for your skin.

  7. Consider taking a high quality probiotic. Having lots of good bacteria living in your intestines will provide protection against toxins that can contribute to acne formation. Lots of good bacteria in your intestines is also helpful for your immune system, which plays a significant role in maintaining healthy skin. My wife and I use Dr. Ben Kim's Greens.

  8. If you are not seeing changes as quickly as you would like, consider doing a short water or juice fast, which can accelerate healing of your skin.

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