For some reason my Twitter feed is always loaded with silly posts by women who have boldly announced they’ve accepted and “embraced” their problems with acne and pimples. I’ve read about women struggling with finding treatments that eliminate acne, and about women who’ve accepted that acne is “part of who they are.” This is BS, because there’s no reason anyone should ever have to live with acne problems.
Contrary to the popular belief that acne is hereditary and nothing can be done about it, acne can actually be prevented and eliminated through clean, healthy lifestyle habits. That means eating a diet comprised of healthy whole foods, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and practicing good hygiene, among other things.
You don’t necessarily need birth control pills to prevent acne breakouts (a healthy lifestyle can naturally help regulate your hormones), and you definitely don’t need to invest in acne products or treatments loaded with chemicals, which could only worsen your health.
If you’ve been struggling with pimples and acne breakouts, consider making a few healthy lifestyle changes to improve your skin.
Here are 8 natural ways to prevent pimples and acne breakouts! They work for me, and they can work for you, too.
1. Eat clean to maintain clean skin
Have you ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat?” It certainly sounds silly, but it’s true. Your skin reflects what you put into your body. If you want healthy skin, put healthy things into your body. Period, end of story. If you eat foods that lack vitamins and nutrients, your skin will tend to look sallow and unhealthy.
Clear skin really does start from the inside out. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other whole foods, and avoid eating processed foods loaded with chemicals, including fast food, red meat, and sugar.
2. Stop consuming dairy products
Numerous studies show a direct link between dairy products and acne. ALL dairy is loaded with hormones, even if it comes from free-range cows. Remember that milk comes from pregnant or nursing cows, which are already loaded with natural hormones since they’re producing milk for their young (technically). These excess hormones you’re putting into your body are piling on top of all your other hormones to result in major hormonal imbalance — thus triggering acne.
Also, cow’s milk is intended for baby cows — not humans. The human body has an extremely difficult time digesting milk because it simply isn’t intended for human consumption. Any toxins from milk that your body cannot digest can trigger acne.
3. Drink more water
Caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate your body and skin, while sugary drinks such as sodas cause higher blood sugar levels, hormonal imbalance, and acne breakouts. Water keeps your skin healthy and hydrated, and flushes toxins and waste from your body. Make a conscious effort to swap out all your usual daily beverages for water.
4. Get more sleep
If you’re lacking the proper amount of shut-eye, your chances of experiencing acne breakouts are even higher. First, sleep helps reduce stress. Stress causes acne because it disrupts your natural hormonal balance (are you starting to notice a pattern here?). When you’re stressed, your body’s adrenal glands produce more cortisol, which makes your skin more oily and prone to acne.
Second, your body repairs itself during sleep, so if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body is lacking the time it needs to repair itself. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise makes you sweat, and sweat cleans out your pores. Exercise is also naturally effective at reducing stress, regulating hormones, and increasing your metabolism — all of which are factors that can eliminate and prevent acne. If you’re not breaking a sweat and boosting your heart rate during your exercise routine, you’re probably not doing what it takes to prevent acne. Start challenging yourself more on a physical level so your skin looks great!
6. Stop wearing so much makeup!
Lipstick, mascara, and eyeliner don’t count — I’m referring to the primer, foundation, powder, and blush you might be putting all over the rest of your face. Heavy makeup clogs pores, especially if you’re using commercial makeup brands loaded with chemicals.
Here’s what I’ve learned about makeup over the years: the healthier you are, the less makeup you’ll need. If you’re eating clean and exercising on a regular basis, your skin will maintain a natural, rosy glow, and you actually won’t NEED makeup or blush. I wore more makeup during my teen years than I do now in my late 30s, thanks to a much cleaner diet and more exercise. I’m always being asked about the type of makeup I use, and my answer is always “exercise and a clean diet.” Yep, roll your eyes, I’m that girl.
8. Chill out and stop stressing
As mentioned earlier in tip #4, stress forces your adrenal glands into overdrive and causes you to produce more cortisol, resulting in oily, shiny skin. Hormone imbalance in general often leads to acne breakouts, which is why some women specifically take birth control pills for the sake of regulating hormones and preventing acne. If you’re feeling stressed, find new, healthy ways to manage stress more effectively.
Go for a walk or run (exercise naturally reduces stress, remember?), or hide out in a quiet, happy place with your iPod or favorite book. Do whatever it takes for you to relax, wind down, and stop stressing. The less stressed you are, the fewer pimples you’ll have.
What natural methods do you have for preventing pimples? Share your comments below — I’d love to hear your feedback!