I am always thrilled to see mainstream publications publish articles that feature a truly natural lifestyle. Huge shoutout to Teen Vogue for doing just that with this piece about acne solutions that really do work. I share my tips and go-to products as the magazine's 'eco expert!'
by Tina Ferraro
Between the giant selection of pimple-fighting products at your local CVS and the home remedies (we're talking about you, toothpaste) that are supposedly effective at battling breakouts, treating acne can be a long, dizzying experience. What's more: taking the all-natural route to spot-freeness proves even more difficult without knowing what really works.
The first step to clear skin — the natural way — is avoiding any type of home solution not directly proven effective by experts, says Dr. Julia Tzu, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Wall Street Dermatology. Stay out of the kitchen — though ingredients like garlic, apple cider vinegar, and green tea extract do have anti-inflammatory properties, slathering a DIY spot treatment on your skin in hopes of eliminating redness won't necessarily work.
And keep in mind that naturally banishing breakouts — forever — requires you to take an all-or-nothing approach. "Acne responds to healthy lifestyle changes," says Dr. Tzu. "Decreasing stress levels, getting adequate rest and regular sleep, and maintaining a balanced diet all play a huge role in your skin's health." Not getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis (aka daily) can ultimately exacerbate acne by sending the adrenal glands into oil-production overdrive. Coupled with slower skin cell turnover from lack of sleep, this can lead to excessive oiliness and clogged pores — exactly what you want to put an end to.
It's also important to be aware of what you're fueling your body with. Think of it this way: your skin uses nutrients from your diet to repair itself and fend off breakouts. In other words, if you feed your body crap, your skin will reflect that. "I can trace every single breakout to something that I eat," says Erin Schrode, cofounder of Turning Green, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices. Schrode suggests avoiding eating processed foods, which tend to be high in fat and carbohydrates, as much as possible — these can aggravate acne by causing internal imbalances in the body that can also boost action in your oil-producing glands. Instead, up your intake of fresh fruits and veggies for a noticeably clearer complexion.
Finally, in your quest for spot-free skin, you may also want to swap out the chemical concoctions you've been using for more natural acne-fighting solutions. Schrode swears by Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Toner Pads, made from 100% bamboo and formulated with salicylic acid found in willow bark, for keeping oily pores in check. Then, ensure skin stays hydrated with a pure, nourishing, restorative oil like Acure Organics Marula Oil. Before bed, remove all traces of makeup with Natracare Organic Make-Up Removal Wipes (the very first wipes to receive the COSMOS-certification for safety and effectiveness in organic and natural cosmetics). Beautiful skin — the natural way — is all but guaranteed.
Get all the details from Teen Vogue here.