The Real Cause Of Your Acne
What is acne really?
Acne can be broken down into different types - whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules and cysts. The sebaceous (oil) glands on the face may produce more oil than normal, which can clog and block your pores. Pores can also get blocked by dead skin cells. When the pore gets plugged, it traps the oil, dead skin cells, and even bacteria inside. This creates an inflammatory reaction and therefore, you get this big inflamed “bump” on your face.
But sometimes, the inflammation happens deep in the skin, which causes a pimple or at the very deepest level, a cyst forms. These larger, deeper pimples and cysts take much longer to heal due to the amount of inflammation. This is usually what we’re talking about when we say “I have acne”.
What’s really causing your pimples to form over and over?
So now that we’ve established that a pimple forms due to excessive oil from our glands, dead skin cells and oil clogging our pores, bacteria being trapped in our pores, which all creates this deep, lasting inflammation…
We can finally find an answer to WHY this is happening in the first place.
say it with me… INFLAMMATION!
What creates inflammation in the body?
The key to unlocking healthy, clear skin is to reduce inflammation in the body.
Acne is an inflammatory condition. Therefore, get rid of the inflammation, get rid of acne.
Now, inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, we need our bodies inflammatory processes to be working optimally to help keep our immune response in tip-top shape.
The problem is that when it comes to acne, this inflammation is chronic and we get stuck in this never ending loop of red, inflamed, hyper-sensitive skin.
Yeah, you’re not alone!
Why You’re Still Dealing With Acne
(aka what is causing all that inflammation)
You may have noticed that when you eat certain things you seem to break out more. If you asked your doctor about this they would tell you “food doesn’t cause acne”. But I disagree and here is why…
Certain foods are KNOWN inflammatories, meaning they cause an immune response or reaction in our body when we eat them. Sugar is one of these foods. So is gluten and yes even dairy!
*Sugar is extremely inflammatory.
It causes big changes in our body in short periods of time. It also provides us with no nutritional value, but yet we use up precious resources to process it. It even steals and depletes important skin healing vitamins and minerals!
Sugar and foods that break down into sugar quickly (like refined and processed carbohydrates), play another role in acne. It all has to do with your blood sugar levels. Unlocking the key to stable blood sugar is huge in regulating hormones, energy levels and healing your acne for good.
*Gluten and grains are also known inflammatories.
Gluten is a protein found in grains, like barley, wheat and rye. Yes, even whole grains contain gluten. People may have a severe allergy to the protein in gluten (this is called celiac disease). But even if you don’t have a true allergic reaction, gluten still creates a serious inflammatory response, especially if our body is already inflamed by other things.
Here’s the thing… the gluten and grains of today are not the same as our grandparents generation. Now, we have new hybrid strains of wheat and ways of processing our grains quickly and cheaply to feed the masses. This all plays a role in the quality. It also means that scientists have figured out a way to use gluten in even more products (even toothpaste and shampoo!).
There are 3 main reasons gluten causes inflammation in the body: 1) gluten causes leaky gut, 2) this leaky gut allows gluten into our blood stream which created an immune response and causes inflammation, and 3) every time your body comes in contact with an invader, your body memorizes it for the future, which means gluten could be creating inflammation over and over again.
This is all linked to gut health, which is another super important piece to healing your acne for good.
Lastly, dairy is a common cause of inflammation too.
Dairy is also highly processed. The cows are fed diets that are not ideal and antibiotics and hormones, which get passed to us through their milk. Milk is also processed for the masses, so the name of the game is quantity not quality. Dairy is also quite often fortified with synthetic vitamins that our body doesn’t know how to process. This again, creates inflammation.
Stress causes inflammation.
Think about it. What happens when your body is “stressed out”?
You go into a “fight or flight” response, your heart rate increases, your breath quickens, your body is preparing for survival. During this response, your adrenal glands secrete hormones like cortisol, which is need to kick our body into action to save us.
The problem is… if this fight or flight, emergency response happens over and over again, your body is constantly in survival mode. It’s using up it’s important resources to keep you going, not heal your skin. It’s also on high alert, which causes inflammation to occur over and over again. Not to mention, when your body is just focusing on getting you out of that dangerous or stressful situation, it’s not concerned with digesting and absorbing nutrients or balancing your hormones for fertility.
Stress kicks you out of healing - every.single.time.
And stress isn’t just emotional. Stress is: over exercising, being dehydrated, not getting enough sleep, eating foods that cause inflammation, and more!
2. HORMONAL IMBALANCES
Hormones definitely have a role to play in the cause of acne.
The most common hormonal imbalances that contribute to acne are: high testosterone, high estrogen or low progesterone (and sometimes all three at once).
Here’s the deal though…
In order to balance your hormones, you need to be eating the right foods to create healthy hormones and you need to be digesting and absorbing those nutrients in order to use them. You also need to be detoxing properly (this does not mean to go on a detox or cleanse, your liver does this for you). A huge piece to this naturally occurring detox process is being able to eliminate excess hormones from the body. For example, if you are not pooping regularly, you are not detoxing!
This is why traditional acne solutions don’t work:
Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections. But as I just pointed out, there is way more to acne than just a bacterial imbalance. Not only that, the longer we are exposed to antibiotics, the more resistant the bacteria becomes. This is why an antibiotic may “work” for a while and then not work the second time you try it.
Also, it’s really important to note that antibiotics are extremely harmful to not only the bad bacteria but the good (especially when we are talking about healthy gut bacteria). We live in a world where we are constantly exposed to foods, chemicals, stresses that degrade the health of our gut. So to throw antibiotics on top of that can completely change our health long term. Not to mention, 70% of our immune system is found within our gut (remember the connection between inflammation, the immune system and your acne??)
Topical Acne Creams & Products:
Harsh chemical products that dry out our skin actually make our acne worse. This is because our body begins to try to overcompensate for the dryness by… producing even more oil! Secondly, whatever we put on our skin is absorbed by our skin… and ends up in the body! If we are using questionable and harsh ingredients on our skin, that will end up in our blood stream and become toxic inside our body. This includes all those steroid creams and topical antibiotics too.
Accutane & Other Acne Medications:
These medications have long-term consequences and don’t get to the root of your acne.
Again, Accutane works by blocking your oil glands from producing oil. While this can help clear up skin in the short term, it does not get to the root cause of why the oil glands are overproducing oil in the first place! It is also known to clear up your skin temporarily because it helps reduce inflammation in the body. But again, this is not a long term solution. The long-term effects are big risks: liver damage, inflammatory bowel disease, depression and more.
Hormonal Birth Control:
The theory behind using birth control to get rid of acne is that birth control “balances your hormones”. But this is simply not true.
Hormonal contraceptives use synthetic hormones to suppress ovulation. This is highly effective in keeping you from getting pregnant, but in the process these synthetic hormones mess up your bodies ability to make and use it’s own hormones. You may stop producing your own supply! So once you come off, your body is super confused as to what is going on and what to do.
Secondly, this constant state of baseline hormones may help decrease your acne symptoms, but again this is a total bandaid fix. It’s not getting to the root cause of your acne!
So where do you even start?
You need a game plan.
No more bandaid fixes.
No more wasting time on methods that aren’t really working.
Stop spending money on the next skin care product that’s supposed to be “the one”.
You’ve tried everything and you’re exhausted and frustrated because you’re putting in so much effort but nothing is working.
I get it. I’ve been there too.
It’s not your fault. You were sold on these temporary fixes and told that they would work (when they actually just made your skin worse). But now that you know your old methods won’t cut it, it’s time to deep dive into how you can heal your acne (for real this time). It’s time to learn HOW to heal your skin naturally.