The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Do you suffer from acne? If the answer is yes, then this post is for you. I know, I sound like a PSA, but acne is a serious issue that plagues so many women (including me) and the idea of a flawless complexion seems like a far off dream. But managing acne is attainable, you just need to know why you break out and how to fix it. I asked one of my favorite facialists, the talented Susan Ciminelli, to break down the breakout process: from determining the cause of your acne to eating your way to healthy, breakout free skin.

The different types of acne:
“Some acne is hormonal; an endocrinologist along with a holistic practitioner like myself can really help somebody’s health and wellness. Some acne is a result of diet – garbage in, garbage out – because the skin is an illuminative organ, one of the four organs that your skin uses to push waste out through. Some acne is hygienic; sometimes people don’t understand how to care for their skin properly.

When I’m with a client, I look at where they breakout on their face. For instance, if they breakout straight across their upper forehead area, that’s linked to the small intestines. I’ll ask that person, “do you eat after 8 o’clock at night” or “do you eat too quickly.” If they answer yes to either of those, I teach them about the best times to eat and about breathing techniques to calm their nervous system down and get them to “rest and digest” instead of “fight and flight” mode. When you eat during “fight and flight mode, your body doesn’t recognize that there’s food coming to the esophagus and that food rots in the stomach and then leaves the body and causes breakouts across the forehead.”

Where you breakout and what it means:
“If you breakout in between the eyebrows or on the eyelids, that has to do with the liver. At the temples is gallbladder, under the eyes is kidney, either side of the nose is stomach and spleen, the chin is endocrine [female organs], around the mouth is large intestines, base of the cheekbones is lungs.

If you smoke, if you eat dairy, if you live in too polluted an area, if you’re not exercising, this will all show in the cheekbones because of the lungs. Dairy is hard for humans to digest. If you are going to eat dairy, don’t eat it every day and try to eat cheese that is from goat or sheep before cow’s milk cheese. The protein chain in cow’s milk is bigger making it harder for humans to break it down. Ginger increases digestive enzymes and eating radishes, radish sprouts – anything in the radish family – will help get rid of the waste accumulation from dairy.

A lot of women breakout on their chin every month around their period. If you were to take one Evening Primrose Vitamin a day, that would balance the hormones.

If you breakout between your eyebrows, it is liver related. Milk thistle is great for the liver [you can buy milk thistle in pill form here]. It’s so powerful for the liver that it helps to repair the liver, which is ideal for someone who enjoys a few alcoholic beverages.”

Why does working out cause breakouts?
“Toxins are stored in fat cells. When you’re exercising and burning fat, the toxins are released into your blood stream. Since your kidney’s filter your blood, you need to make sure that they are very clean. The blood is going through all of the cleansing organs faster so you need to make sure that your cleansing organs are clean, otherwise the toxins will come out from your skin in the form of pimple. If your liver is clean, if you’re eating a green diet – lots of kale, spinach, broccoli, leafy dark green vegetables – your liver will be healthy and you won’t be as prone to breakouts.”

Caring for acne-prone skin:
“The right cleanser is very important. If your cleansing step is overlooked, whatever you put on afterwards won’t do you much good. Always wash with warm water and rinse with cool water. Always use a clean towel when you dry your face because bacteria grows. I have two great cleansers for acne-prone skin in my line: Algae Deep Cleanse and Bamboo Ginger Scrub.

The next step from my Susan Ciminelli line is an essential oil blend to tighten the pores and kill bacteria and viral infection on the skin. Essential oils have a bad wrap. They’re actually good for acne prone skin types as essential oil is essentially the blood of the plant. They have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. For example, if you take a lemon and you twist the rind, you’ll see an oil spray out – that’s the essential oil. I have two essential oil blends for acne prone skin – it really depends how severe your acne is. For less severe acne, try the Toning Formula. For more stubborn acne, try the Oil Control Formula.

Seawater, which is the next step in my line, is a natural antiseptic. It naturally drives good moisture into the skin. It also has Pine Bark in it which is ten times stronger than Vitamin C as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. The problem with Vitamin C is that it evaporates very quickly from a product, that’s why Pine Bark Extract works better in skincare.

Even with acne, you still need to lightly moisturize your skin. If you dry out your skin, you cause wrinkles, you lose elasticity and can prematurely age. You can even make your body think that it needs to produce more oil.”

Foods To Eat For Acne:
“It all depends on what type of acne a person has. But keeping to a Mediterranean diet will help. Eat dark green leafy vegetables, lean proteins like chicken and white meat fish. It’s imperative to eat one apple a day. Apples have malic acid and they are also very nourishing for the body. They clean out your organs in a very gentle way. If your body has too much fat in it, radishes are necessary. Shiitake mushrooms get rid of excess toxicity from eating beef.”

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  1. Jana
    March 21, 2014

    This is a very good article. I break out around my chin every month and now I know why!
    Thank you for you good work.

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    what about accutane? i’d love if you wrote an article about that.

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