When suffering from acne and looking for a solution, many people look into acne products. Topical creams, antibiotics, acne gels, antibacterial cleansers…no one could ever say that there is a shortage of over-the-counter or prescribed acne products these days! With so many treatments advertised in magazines and on television, it is easy to overlook the less conventional forms of acne treatment. However, it may make sense to start with less chemically-intensive acne products, such as these alternative acne treatments described below.
The most basic chemical-free treatment for acne is an enhancement of one’s diet, which should be rich in vegetables and fruits, and high in fiber and whole grains. It is often recommended that trans and saturated fats be minimized or restricted, and foods containing omega-3 essential fatty acids (such as avocados, sesame seeds, walnuts, and sardines) increased instead. If your diet is lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, nutritional supplements may be a good idea. Important vitamins include vitamin A, which is important for decreasing sebum production, vitamin B6 which can help diminish the skin’s sensitivity to testosterone, and zinc, which reduces inflammation and speeds the healing of damaged skin. Should you decide to look into vitamin and mineral supplements, it is strongly suggested that you see a physician or a naturopath to ensure that you take the right amount for your age and weight.
Herbal remedies are another type of alternative acne treatment that hasn’t yet become mainstream. There are many different combinations of herbs that have been recommended for their acne-minimizing effects. One such combo that is taken orally includes sarsaparilla, yellow dock, and burdock. The root of sarsaparilla is supposed to help keep hormones in balance. Yellow dock is iron-rich, and can help to detoxify the digestive system. Burdock is a good antibacterial herb that may also reduce inflammation. Together these herbs are known to function as blood and lymph cleaners, in addition to their acne-fighting properties. Other herbal remedies for acne include lavender or chamomile tea to help one relax and reduce stress, the Chinese remedies of cnidium seed or honeysuckle flower, and blackcurrant seed or evening primrose oils, which the body is thought to change into a new product with anti-inflammatory effects. Herbalists or naturopaths can provide more information about the doses and preparations of these herbs.
Not all herbal acne treatments need to be taken orally. For instance, tea tree oil is growing in popularity as a natural antiseptic that, when applied externally to a blemish on the skin, is reputed to prevent infection and scarring. Other essential oils that can help heal or prevent acne include bergamot oil, lavender oil, and clove oil. In addition to being taken orally, evening primrose oil can also be applied directly to the skin as an emollient. Basil leaves and sandalwood are often combined or used individually as a cool face mask to reduce inflammation and for their antibacterial effects. And witch hazel is very well known astringent that can be applied after cleansing one’s face in order to shrink pores and soothe irritated skin.
When looking for a solution to acne problems, it is easy to get pulled into mainstream, more chemically-intensive acne products. They certainly have their place, and they have proven helpful to many thousands of people. However, it may not always be necessary to go to such lengths to help heal and prevent acne. There are many alternative acne treatments that are less extreme, with fewer side-effects and yet great reviews. Watching your diet, considering vitamin and mineral supplements to correct deficiencies, and using or taking herbs and essential oils are all valuable, time-proven ways to help ease an acne problem, and naturopaths can help you pursue these methods safely.
Author C. L. Jackson wishes the topic of acne was simply an academic interest… but unfortunately that’s not the case! You’ll find much more information on this topic at the author’s website acne-infosource.info/c-acne-products.php [http://acne-infosource.info/c-acne-products.php]