Protect Sensitive/Blemished Skin with the Best Natural Sunscreen

I’ll start this post out by saying that I’m a huge fan of Botanic Organic skin care. Today I’m going to give Nancy Newsom (founder of Botanic Organic) the floor to share how best to protect troubled skin (acne, sensitive, blemished) during the sunny summer months with the best natural sunscreen. I met Nancy at a women’s entrepreneur event in San Francisco over a year ago, and after trying out a few sample products, I was hooked. We discussed my years of skin drama (and my eventual cure), the scarring that resulted, and the best ingredients to use for topical skin care to help keep my acne-prone skin looking its best. In fact, we’re working together to get my favorite products to you at a discount, but more on that at the bottom of this post.

Mineral Sunscreen (Natural Sunscreen)

One thing Nancy insisted on without giving me even an inch of leeway was the need for a daily facial sunscreen. The word “natural,” as in “natural sunscreen” is implied here, because BO products are among the cleanest you’ll find out there. I make that distinction, because some of the chemical sunscreens (even those designed for sensitive skin) are so questionable that you might actually be better off without them — wear a hat and call it a day. I haven’t done enough research on my own to draft a solid post about this topic, but here’s a quick reference from the Environmental Working Group that explains some of the risks of chemical sunscreen, including endocrine issues (something women with PCOS certainly don’t need). 

I’ve always hated putting sunscreen on my face. I hate that gross slick, that heavy feeling, that non-breathable gross glue that passes for natural sunscreen that you find on the shelves at Whole Foods (and I used to work there, so I’ve tried a LOT of them). Remember that stuff from the 80’s that was made in fluorescent colors trying to make slathering straight zinc oxide all over your face seem cool by making it pink or green or orange? I think it was called Zinc. Or Zinka. I can’t tell if this awesome picture I found is actually from the 80’s or if this is a new product that’s trying to be as “cool” as the one from the 80’s I’m thinking of.

best natural sunscreen

photo source linked

ANYWAY, you get the idea. But in the spirit of practicing sun safety as we approach what will likely be our warmest summer on record, I asked Nancy to write a guest post showcasing her “Toni-friendly” sunscreen options. Hilariously, she starts off right away with the ingredient I just complained about — zinc oxide. And I’m happy she did — I actually learned something about how and why it’s good for problem skin, and I bet you will too. 

Both of natural sunscreen products she shares are great — I use them without complaint, which is definitely saying something. In fact, I’ve already written a review about the Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense Moisturizer as part of my Summer Travel Skin Care strategy. It’s my favorite facial sunscreen of all time. 

Take it away, Nancy!

Zinc Oxide for Sun Care and Acne-Prone Skin

nancy newsom botanic organic best natural sunscreen

– Nancy Newsom, Founder and CEO of Botanic Organic

At Botanic Organic, we’re big fans of zinc oxide for skin care because of its ability to both protect and repair skin. Zinc oxide is an inorganic compound that can prevent sunlight and ultraviolet rays from penetrating the skin and can also act as a barrier to protect skin from outside irritants. As a sunscreen, zinc oxide reflects ultraviolet rays away from the skin and provides protection against sun damage. It is particularly effective against long-wave UVA rays and appears to block out the harmful rays without actually penetrating the skin. (The two choices for sunscreen on the market are chemical barriers and physical barriers. Zinc Oxide is a physical (mineral) barrier and doesn’t pose the potential health risks mentioned in the EWG article linked above.) 

Sun Exposure for Acne-prone Skin

Why should acne sufferers be particularly careful about wearing a sunscreen? Tanning appears to cover up redness and dry up the surface of your skin, making some blemishes fade away temporarily. In reality, tanning causes skin irritation, especially if you stay out a bit too long and burn yourself. This adds to redness and leads to peeling, both of which may later aggravate the appearance of acne. Tanning also breaks down collagen. Collagen is one of your prime defenses against wrinkles because it keeps your skin elastic. When skin loses collagen, not only are you more likely to see wrinkles but your pores may appear larger as well.

Sun Exposure for Acne Scars

Those who are dealing with discoloration or scarring from acne may be tempted to sit in the sun to “even out” the dark marks or “camouflage” them with a tan. Unfortunately, sun is the last thing your scars need. Scar tissue is different from normal skin. Scars are less resistant to ultraviolet rays and much more prone to sunburn, especially if they are fresh. Prolonged sun exposure can also permanently darken a scar, especially in people with darker skin complexions. Therefore, scars should be protected from prolonged, direct sun exposure year round, not just during the warmer summer months. Using a sunblock on your face every single day is extremely important for this reason.

A sunblock containing zinc oxide may help to prevent scarring and hyper-pigmentation with moderate acne. Additionally, some potential scarring from severe acne might also be avoided with regular use. By reducing inflammation and encouraging proper collagen growth, the skin is able to repair itself and prevent future damage. Please remember that you may be at risk for increased sun sensitivity if you’re using an acne treatments. Products such as Accutane, Retin-A, and even over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide ointments recommend avoiding sun exposure due to an increased sensitivity.

 botanic organic best natural sunscreen

Natural Sunscreen, Antiseptic, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant … 

Sun blocking benefits aside, zinc oxide has mild astringent and antiseptic properties making it useful for acne and wound care. It is suggested that zinc for acne is effective because it can kill bacteria that causes red bumps during breakouts. By killing bacteria, the inflammation is reduced and pores can then be easily cleaned. It may also reduce overall inflammation and its antioxidant properties can help reduce skin damage during breakouts. Zinc oxide has been used for a number of dermatological conditions beyond acne, including infections, rosacea, pigmentary disorders (melasma), and basal cell carcinoma. [1]

High SPF zinc sunscreens can feel a bit thick and chalky for daily wear on face and neck. With this in mind Botanic Organic developed Raspberry & Green Tea Daily Defense Moisturizer. We designed this formula to encourage everyday use and included 11% zinc-oxide to provide a significant physical barrier to reflect UVA/UVB rays. Our customers who suffer from blemished skin find that it helps to control oiliness and acne without feeling heavy on the skin. Additionally, vitamin and antioxidant rich oils which are good for acne, provide organic nutrients to replenish skin and guard against environmental depletion. Green tea extract and sea buckthorn oil soothe redness and promote skin cell regeneration to aid in repairing UV damage. Shea butter, raspberry seed, buriti fruit and hemp seed oils have the natural ability to absorb a spectrum of UV radiation and therefore provide an extra degree of sun protection.

Read other Botanic Organic product reviews

Simplify Your Skin Care: Double Cleansing with Botanic Organic

Summer Travel Skin Care Made Easy with Botanic Organic


BO + CWB = <3

Great news! Nancy and I are joining forces to offer you an exclusive discount on all of my favorite Botanic Organic products! As soon as the page is built, you’ll be able to go straight to the products I use to help keep my skin looking great, and try them out for yourself. They’re all natural, organic, pure, and gentle — so clean you can eat them. We’ve been talking about doing this together for quite a while, and I’m so happy it’s finally happening! Stay tuned!


Resources

1. Mrinal Gupta, et al., “Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review,” Dermatology Research and Practice, July 10, 2014; http://www.hindawi.com/journals/drp/2014/709152/.

5 Key Nutrients for Healthy Skin [INFOGRAPHIC]

I’m excited to share a guest post today, featuring an infographic that focuses on nutrients for healthy skin created by Samantha Thayer. Samantha is a Health Educator and blogger in the health and wellness space, and we met on the interwebs because of a shared passion for holistic health and wellness.

Acne Cure

CWB covers a wide swath of topics (because I have a wide swath of interests) but one of the biggest reasons people are drawn to this site is for skin health information — specifically acne remedies. I had some seriously miraculous luck in clearing up my lifelong acne a couple of years ago, and since sharing my experience and some science behind why it worked, I’ve made connections with readers and bloggers across the globe who have either experienced similar results or are looking for answers for themselves. From time to time, I come across someone like Samantha who has a simple, easy-to-implement message that I think would be helpful to my readers in their quest for healthy, clear skin.

Heal from the Inside Out

The most important message I want those of you suffering with skin issues to receive is that healing starts from within. No amount of creams or potions will work topically if you aren’t providing your body with the right nutrients for healthy skin. What you eat matters, and this infographic is a great depiction of how to take care of your skin by feeding yourself properly.* 

*If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know that I’m not a big fan of low-fat dairy. I still chose to share this infographic instead of asking Samantha to redo it for my audience, so I’m making this brief caveat and offering a suggestion in its place. You can find my personal views on low-fat or skim milk in my post 7 Foods you Think Are Healthy But Aren’t.

I wouldn’t be sharing this post from Samantha if I didn’t stand behind the claims she makes.

Samantha shares vitamin A as one of the key nutrients for healthy skin. I agree with her on the importance of vitamin A; but there are other, more ideal food sources of vitamin A than dairy of any kind (which frankly I think shouldn’t be consumed at all if you have acne), such as fermented cod liver oil and organ meats.

If you want to consume dairy, I recommend full-fat dairy that comes from organic, pasture-raised animals, preferably raw. Even then, if you have acne, something as insulinogenic as dairy should be limited if not totally avoided until you get your skin under control, and from there I’d recommend proceeding with caution.

Eat Healthy Look Healthy: 5 Key Nutrients for Healthy Skin

– Samantha Thayer, B.S, CHES

nutrients for healthy skin

It might surprise you that what we consume is just as important as the products we use topically when it comes to keeping our skin healthy.  It’s important to get the nourishing nutrients we need in order to look and feel our best.  

So, what are the most vital nutrients for healthy skin? And how do we find them in the foods we eat? 

  1. Eat foods rich in Vitamin A.  This vitamin is important for overall skin health.  Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots, organ meats, cod liver oil, and dairy products.
  2. To help prevent age related issues caused by sun exposure, make sure you get plenty of Lycopene in your diet. Some foods that contain Lycopene are tomatoes, guava, and watermelon! 
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids help nourish the skin and regulate oil production. Fish, flax seeds, and eggs are all examples of foods high in Omega-3s.
  4. Vitamin C. This vitamin can help fight wrinkles. Some foods that are rich in Vitamin C are sweet potatoes, squash, melons, and citrus fruits.
  5. Vitamin E helps repair damaged cells. Get the benefits by eating nuts and seeds.

Supplements for Healthy Skin

It’s also very important to have a healthy digestive tract to keep your skin looking great. (Learn about the connection between gut health and skin health.) Here are some additional nutrients to include in your diet to help keep your gut and skin healthy:

Fiber – Foods rich in fiber will help your digestive system remove waste and cleanse from within. Fiber also feeds the good bacteria living in your gut that protect your gut lining, preventing the skin and other health issues caused by leaky gut.

Probiotics – These healthy bacteria will help balance the flora your digestive tract, keeping less helpful bacteria and yeast in check. Probiotics are also helpful in supporting a healthy immune system and keeping inflammation in check. 

Digestive Enzymes – Enzymes assist in the breakdown of the foods you’re eating. While the human body is capable of producing its own enzymes, it’s sometimes helpful to supplement if you find you’re having particular absorption issues that could be manifesting in your skin. 

Check out the infographic below that illustrates the importance of proper nutrition and a healthy gut to help keep your skin healthy!

nutrients for healthy skin   

This article was contributed by Samantha Thayer, B.S., CHES, who is an online education and outreach specialist for USANA Health Sciences.  Infographic design is by Taylor Romney and used with permission.  For more information on health and wellness, feel free to visit us at her blog, What’s Up, USANA?.

Partnering with Bone Broths Co to Bring You the Best Bone Broth on the Market

Editor’s Note (3/20/16): Since writing this post, Bone Broths Co. has changed names to Kettle and Fire. This post has been updated to reflect the changes. The product is still the same top quality.


The questions I get most often at CWB are about my Bone Broth Acne Cure — how to make it, how it works, and will it work for this or that type of skin condition, allergy, or gut problem. I also hear a lot of reservations about actually taking the time to make the bone broth itself.

Over the course of the last two years since sharing my own gut-healing story, I’ve learned that asking people to spend time in the kitchen when they’re not used to it; to leave their stove on low all night or all day while they’re fast asleep or away at work; to buy a bunch of jars and clear space in their freezer — these requests can be pretty uncomfortable for some.

As someone who loves to cook (and someone who suffered long and hard for years with gut and skin problems), it never occurred to me just how big these barriers to entry might be. To those of you who love making your own bone broth, by all means, keep on keeping on; but if you have been curious about bone broth but haven’t tried it because it seemed like a hassle or too much work, I’m talking directly to you for the remainder of this post. 

Shortcut to success with the Bone Broth Acne Cure

Today, I’m offering the ultimate shortcut to getting this nourishing, gut-healing elixir into your belly, so that it can do the important work of sealing your gut lining and clearing your skin. 

I’ve hinted at this collaboration for long enough, and it’s finally time for me to announce that I’ve officially found a pre-made, slow-cooked bone broth that’s up to my quality standards and nutritional snuff — one that I can stand behind and feel good about offering to you with a full vote of confidence. 

bone broth acne cure kettle and fire
Believe it or not, there is a lot of high-quality bone broth companies to choose from, and I’ve tried quite a few. But a big problem lies in the packaging and the shelf life. Not a single one of the high-quality brands I’ve tried comes shelf-stable.

Kettle & Fire reduces waste with minimal packaging (and no ice packs, which saves you money on shipping) and uses only top quality bones from grass-fed cows and organic veggies, and they slow-cook the broth just like I do at home. 

Bone Broths Co partnership acne cure

The box on the left shipped two cartons of Kettle & Fire product. The box on the left shipped two freezer bags of the same size from a competitor.

Does it gel?

This is an important question. It might be THE question in fact. 

For the past 6 months, I’ve been on a mission to find the right company to work with in my quest to offer YOU, my readers, an excellent pre-made bone broth solution. Upon gently turning down one of the frozen brands I’d sampled, they responded back to me that I’d be sacrificing quality by choosing a shelf-stable bone broth. They said that the broths you find in tetra-packs aren’t cooked long enough, use fewer bones, and don’t gel. While that’s true for one brand I’ve tried that shall remain nameless — and flavorless — it’s patently false about Kettle & Fire

Their product is the absolute exception to this rule. They cook their broth for at least 24 hours to ensure that all the important healing constituents in the bone matrix make it into the liquid. Otherwise, it would be a bland, watery mess like some of their competitors.

Does it gel? YES it gels. Here’s proof: 
Bone Broths Gel

Bone Broth for Travel

The box in the picture above was pulled out of my suitcase, not out of the refrigerator. One of the beauties of having a shelf-stable product (in addition to sparing the environment, skipping the waste, and saving on shipping costs), is that you can now travel with your bone broth. This summer on my 10-day vacation, I packed two of these little boxes in my luggage so that I could enjoy my morning ritual away from home.

And honestly, traveling could be when you need bone broth most — the immune-boosting qualities can protect you when you’re on an airplane breathing recycled air and touching everything that everyone else is touching. 

I’ve tried a number of the pre-made bone broths on the market right now, and I can honestly say that this one not only tastes the best, but is of the absolute highest quality. And the portability is basically priceless — especially for someone like me who likes to escape to the van from time to time and go adventuring. 

Bone Broths Co partnership acne cure

photo credit: Loren Rothman

The CWB/Kettle & Fire Affiliate Partnership

If you’ve been struggling with gut issues or skin problems and haven’t found the time to make homemade bone broth yet, this is your chance to try it without spending more than 1 minute in the kitchen to warm up the mug. 

The Bone Broth Acne Cure

I won’t pretend to know how every individual will react to adding this healing liquid gold into their diet, but as most of you have read, it took just two weeks of drinking the stuff for 20 years of acne to disappear from my face

curing acne naturally

These little boxes make two servings each, so if you want to guarantee that you’ll have enough for two weeks straight, I suggest you start with 7 boxes. Your other option is to get the subscription package (which I happen to see as more of a maintenance plan). Either way, you save 15% by using my affiliate link, and you get free shipping too!

bone broth acne cure kettle and fire
If you have any questions before you purchase, feel free to hit me up. I love helping you guys out, so don’t hesitate to ask!

I can’t wait to hear how you like this bone broth! I love it and have already placed my order for my Thanksgiving travels and a few recipes I plan to feature right here between now and the end of the year.


Addendum #1: Two weeks ago, in an effort to answer the flood of questions that come in about the BBAC, I announced the launch of my new YouTube Channel: Bone Broth Acne Cure: Question and Answer, where I address your burning questions about this amazing remedy. New episodes drop every Thursday at 2pm PST. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss anything, and if you have a question of your own, please reach out to me directly so I can get it answered on a future show. 

Addendum #2: If you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, it’s high time you did. You’ll get a free eBook just in time for the fall season. It’s filled with amazing pumpkin recipes that range from sweet to savory, even spicy — and they’re all simple to make! You’ll also have your pick of some of my other clear skin resources, including how to take your skin to the next level: Vibrantly Healthy Skin. Just reply to your welcome email to let me know you want my Bone Broth Acne Cure Resources and I’ll shoot them right over to you as soon as humanly possible.   Subscribe Now
 


FTC DISCLOSURE: This is not a sponsored post but I will receive compensation if you use the links in this post to purchase Bone Broths Co. bone broth. I’m proud to call this company a partner and work with them to bring bone broth to as many people as possible. All opinions are my own.

Announcing The Bone Broth Acne Cure: My New YouTube Series

Almost two years ago, I discovered a secret to clear skin that literally changed my life. After years of struggling with acne, trying everything a doctor would give me and anything I could find on the web — even late-night infomercial products — I had all but resigned myself to having bumpy, acne-ridden skin for the rest of my life. In fact, I even had a naturopathic doctor tell me that some people are just acne-prone, and no matter what they do, they just don’t have good skin. That was certainly a deflating day! (And also not true!)

In my grad school study, I learned about the healing benefits of bone broth, but up until January of 2014, I had only used it to make soup every once in a while. I’d never consistently consumed it as part of my daily routine until I decided to use it as digestive support to a sugar cleanse I was doing. After just two weeks of drinking this healing elixir, 20 years of acne disappeared. It’s a magical story that I wouldn’t have believed if it hadn’t happened to me. In fact I waited two months to share it on the blog, because I thought for sure it was a fluke, and that my skin could go back to terrible any minute. 

The Bone Broth Acne Cure Question and Answer

Any excuse to include a puppy picture of Dexter! Look at those wrinkles! (and those zits!) The picture on the right was taken today in a bathroom at work under fluorescent lights. I wanted it to be as recent as humanly possible! 

The Power of a Story

Through the experience of sharing my story, I’ve discovered just how many people struggle with acne. I always knew I wasn’t the only one, but sometimes it can feel that way — especially when you don’t see the type of acne I had on very many people. The effect of having bad skin reaches far beyond the surface — seeing your face in the mirror is a constant source of stress and negative self-talk. It can feel like a barrier between you and the rest of the world, constantly occupying your thoughts as you ask yourself if it’s the first thing people notice when they look at you. It’s demoralizing and can wreak havoc on your self-esteem.

I’ve read hundreds of personal stories and answered questions from readers going through exactly what I did, and the feeling I get when I see that my story has given them hope again is indescribable. I’ve had people come back to the site after trying bone broth and rave about their new skin, they themselves eager to help people writing in achieve these amazing results. I love sharing my journey, because in doing so, I’ve learned that one person’s experience can change the lives of many. Sounds cheesy and trite, but it’s true. I’ve been trying to find a way to spread the word about the healing power of bone broth and the importance of gut health on the journey to clear skin, and I’ve finally taken the next step.

The Bone Broth Acne Cure Question and Answer

These are just a few of the testimonials I’ve received. There are so many more people writing in with success stories and at various stages in this process, and I’m thrilled to keep sharing more success stories along the way!

Click here to download the Bone Broth Acne Cure Guide

The Bone Broth Acne Cure: Question and Answer

I’m thrilled to share that I’ve launched my first YouTube series called The Bone Broth Acne Cure: Question and Answer! Sure, I’ve made videos for this blog from time to time, but this series is going to work like a TV show — it will air once a week on the same day at the same time, and you’ll need to subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get notified every time an episode drops. I’ll read questions submitted by my readers — whether through email, this blog, or social media — and answer them as thoughtfully as possible. I’ll also encourage conversation right there in the comments section under each video, so please join in! 

If you haven’t already, have a look at my Bone Broth Acne Cure Guide. It will provide a list of everything you’ll need to get started making your own bone broth at home, including links to purchase through my affiliate site at Amazon. 

I couldn’t be more excited/nervous/curious/eager to get this show off the ground, and I hope you’ll join me! Please share this (as tactfully and compassionately as possible) with anyone you think would benefit from the Bone Broth Acne Cure. In the meantime, here’s the intro video! I’ll drop the official first episode TOMORROW at 2pm!!!

 

Taking Clear Skin to the Next Level: Vibrantly Healthy Skin

My journey to clear skin included years of twists and turns before I finally got to the root cause and healed my skin for good. I learned through education and personal experimentation that problem skin — acne, eczema, rosacea, sensitivity — is a reflection of what’s happening inside our bodies, specifically what’s happening in our gut.

What we eat, how we handle stress, how much alcohol we drink, how much we sleep, our life experience with prescription drugs (especially antibiotics), all of these things affect not just the health of our internal landscape but also our skin. What’s happening inside our bodies is reflected on the outside, and when we have skin, that can become a disastrous feedback loop.

For me personally, it went like this: get zits –> pick them and make them worse –> be upset and stressed about my skin –> eat garbage food because I feel bad about myself –> try to dry out my skin with harsh topicals –> try to cover it up with cheap makeup –> get more zits –>repeat.

No one was there to tell me that my attempts at resolving pubescent acne with a barrage of antibiotics and creams that dried me out to the point of painful peeling wasn’t going to work. No one was there to tell me that the harsh cleansers and apricot scrubs I was using were just making my skin worse. I tried everything, and when I finally healed my gut, 20 years of acne disappeared completely — in just two weeks! 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

What’s Next After Clear Skin?

Today, almost 2 years after I discovered my “miracle” acne cure (not a miracle at all!), I’ve had the freedom to experiment with all manner of topical skin care. I say “freedom,” because when my skin was terrible, all the topical products I purchased were “acne” products. I didn’t dare choose something for normal skin, for fear that it would make my face greasy or exacerbate my already inflamed, bumpy cheeks. The last thing I needed was more clogged pores.

And while my skin has never returned to the “flesh-toned-brail-look” I was sporting for so long, it’s ranged in clarity, shine, and glow over the course of the last two years. As I said up top, personal experimentation has been a part of this journey from the beginning, and even though I’ve achieved my goals as far as ridding the acne for good, one problem is always replaced by another, right? 

Scars, Pockmarks, and Sun Damage, Oh My!

Most people have a little gap of happiness between puberty and aging, where they enjoy the blessing of young, clear, beautiful skin. But for people like me who get adult acne, that gap shrinks to nothing. Now, at age 33 (which is NOT old!), I’m contending with scarring and sun damage — and still, the occasional zit (SINGULAR!!! — major victory).

As a lifetime athlete, I’ve spent years outside playing softball, beach volleyball, running, hiking, and now climbing. As a kid I was absolutely terrible about wearing sunscreen, and as a young adult, I tanned regularly (mostly outside, but sometimes in the beds too — I actually thought it might help with the acne!). And as a result, I have some dark spots and acne scars that became much more noticeable once the acne was gone. I’ve used a number of natural products to try and fade the spots. And while some of them have helped a bit (especially the Botanic Organic products I’ve used), what’s made the biggest difference in evening out my skin tone, refining the surface of my face, and achieving that “natural glow” we hear about in the commercials wasn’t in my medicine cabinet at all.

It was in the kitchen!

Vibrantly Healthy Skin

They say that you should never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. My skin regimen right now really drives that point home. I found a way to take my clear skin to the next level, and now it’s even softer than it was before, my pores even smaller.

So what am I using? 

My morning routine includes a spoon and a jar.

Can you guess what’s in the jar?

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

Click here to buy top quality raw honey (affiliate link)

Raw honey. 

That’s right, before I get in the shower in the morning, I scoop a dime-sized dollop of raw honey onto the pads of my fingers and massage it into my dry face. I focus on areas that might feel a little rougher, the areas that need extra exfoliating, and especially any active zit that might be lingering. This usually takes about a minute. Then I turn on the shower, and while washing up, I avoid getting my face wet. This allows the steam from the shower to really penetrate my skin and let all the goodness from the raw honey really sink in. At the end of the shower, I gently rinse.

I’d cleansed with raw honey in the past with great results, but this new “dry application + steam” has really taken it to the next level. 

When I get out of the shower, I do a quick spray with this toner and then this oil, both of which are great for healing damaged skin. (If you haven’t seen my reviews of Botanic Organic products, here’s the first one and here’s the second one. Both were written before I started this new routine.)

The Benefits of Cleansing with Raw Honey

Raw honey is not only antimicrobial (protecting the skin from harmful invaders), it’s also a natural, gentle exfoliator. The stickiness removes dead cells on its own, but if you can find a jar with some sugar crystals in it, it will feel somewhat like a traditional exfoliator as well — just be gentle! We’ve trained ourselves to think that we have to SCRUB OUR SKIN OFF to get results. We do not! Trust me, throw your apricot scrub in the garbage (or use it on your feet only).

Raw honey is also chock-full of vitamins and minerals (B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese) that penetrate the skin with that lovely steam bath you give yourself in the shower. Magnesium specifically is calming to any irritated spots you might have. You won’t believe how wonderful and supple your skin feels after just one session of this routine. 

My evening routine includes a jar and a clean wash cloth.

It’s something different, but definitely something I’ve raved about on this blog. Any guesses on what’s in the jar? 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

Click here to buy the coconut oil I use (affiliate link)

Coconut oil.

Some of you might not be surprised at this, as coconut oil is a staple for all kinds of uses in the CWB household, but what you might not have heard me talk about before is Oil Cleansing. Oil Cleansing is more than just removing your eye make up with coconut oil (which works great, by the way). It’s actually capitalizing on the healing properties of the oil itself and allowing those elements to penetrate the skin.

In the case of coconut oil, those properties include antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties (from lauric acid), in addition to deep moisturizing without leaving the skin oily. The type of oil you use will change based on your goals and your skin type, and for me, coconut oil has been perfect. I’ve also done the same method using this Botanic Organic product with great results.

Those who still contend with a bit of acne might try adding a bit of castor oil (a natural astringent) to a lighter carrier oil like olive oil at a 1 to 2 ratio (1 part castor oil, 2 parts carrier oil). Carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil — anything natural and organic. Some users find that just plain coconut oil is too drying — yes, oil can be drying! — but for me it’s perfect. I encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you.

Why Does Oil Cleansing Work?

Oil cleansing is just about as unintuitive as juggling knives. How would rubbing oil all over your face clean it? And why on earth would you add to the pile if you already have oily skin? Doesn’t the dermatologist recommend oil-free moisturizers and harsh cleansers and topicals to dry everything out?

Forget everything your dermatologist ever told you (well, let’s be safe and say forget everything any of my many dermatologists ever told me. I won’t presume to know anything about your doctor).

Drying out acne-prone skin doesn’t work. It further irritates already inflamed skin and strips the natural oils, prompting your oil glands to overcompensate with more oil, thus creating a vicious cycle. Using the right oil(s) for your skin type — which is where the experimentation comes in — can yield amazing results, because you’re promoting balance in the skin, not wringing it dry and creating more irritation and sensitivity. 

An important disclaimer: I can’t say this method helped me when I actually had bad acne, because I never tried oil cleansing back then. There are some seriously scathing reviews of this method on acne.org, none of which I’ve personally experienced — I just want to make you aware of the argument on the other side. My guess is that the majority of these folks have internal (gut) issues that have yet to be remedied, and a dramatic change on the outside without any dramatic changes on the inside yielded terrible results for them. I hate seeing people with nightmare skin stories. I feel for them, and I wish they would talk to a doctor that would ask the right questions instead of thinking you can heal your skin from the outside. 

How to Oil Cleanse

  • Massage a dime-size amount of oil into your face while soaking your clean wash cloth with hot (not scalding, but hot) water.
  • Wring out the wash cloth and place over your face for a short steam bath.
  • Leave the wash cloth on for about a minute or until the cloth cools and is no longer producing steam.
  • Repeat if you want to (I usually don’t), and then use the wash cloth to gently remove the oil from your face.
  • Use the wash cloth to remove any remaining eye make up
  • Gently pat dry, leaving a very thin layer of oil on overnight to keep the moisture in

My Results

After doing this routine consistently for a couple of months, I can now say that not only is my skin clear, it’s also polished with a nice, even tone and small pores. It’s not perfect, but considering all I’ve been through, I’m basically in heaven with these results. I took these pictures this morning right after washing my face:

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin

The dark spots on the left near that little mole are the remnants of something tiny that I picked and made huge. I try really hard not to pick — but no one’s perfect! I’m lucky now that there’s nothing left to pick most of the time.

Final Thoughts

Just like with our bodies, there’s a difference between the absence of disease and vibrant health in our skin — nourished skin that glows and radiates health is an indicator of a nourished, healthy body, inside and out. What we put in our bodies and on our skin will make all the difference. 

Click here to download your own Guide for Vibrantly Healthy Skin 

clear skin vibrantly healthy skin


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.

Simplify Your Skincare: Double Cleansing with Botanic Organic [GIVEAWAY]

How do you choose your skincare products?

In the sea of choices on the shelves at Ulta or even Walgreens, where do you begin? How do you know what will work for you, what could irritate, what could trigger a breakout, what could be too drying, too oily, what could be the magic elixir? This is a challenging question even for those with perfect skin. And if you have skin problems like I did growing up, then you’ve also seen the sea of products at the aesthetician’s office AND the dermatologist’s office. Could these expensive potions be the answer to your troubles? What about all the choices at a natural store like Whole Foods? Their Whole Body section displays hundreds of products you won’t find at any beauty supply or pharmacy. The possibilities are endless — and overwhelming!

Botanic Organic Skincare

A New Challenge

As someone who’s struggled with my skin for the larger part of my life, I can safely say I’ve tried just about everything at all of those places I mentioned in hopes of curing my acne. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on products and treatments, and in the end my solution was to heal my skin from the inside out

Once I cleared my acne, I had a whole new conundrum in the beauty aisle. What products should I choose to actually nourish my skin now that I can focus on something other than clearing the acne? Did I really have sensitive skin, or had it just been so inflamed for so long that I had to choose products to accommodate that? What will help with the scarring? With the sun spots? What will smooth out the few remaining rough patches and keep my skin supple and hydrated? 

I was back to square one with way too many choices, but I knew one thing for sure. I wanted my next skincare products to be super clean and organic with simple, nourishing ingredients. Most natural foods advocates live by this advice: “Don’t eat anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce.” In living by that rule for food and skincare, I take it one step further.

Don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.

Our skin is our biggest organ. It protects us from the outside world, but it also absorbs what we slather onto it. When we expose our skin to lotions and potions, we’re inviting all of those ingredients to seep in. Doesn’t it make sense that we should want the best for our bodies and our skin? 

Simplify by Going Natural

My first step was to pare down to the bare minimum. For about a year, I used a gentle vitamin C foaming cleanser, raw honey, witch hazel, and coconut oil. It was a fine regimen, but I found that the honey got messy and sticky when I didn’t use it in the shower, and sometimes the coconut oil got a bit greasy, which made me want to skip it in the mornings, leaving my skin a bit tight from the cleanser. For a while I tried oil cleansing with the coconut oil. It works great for removing eye makeup, but I found myself using twice as many face towels (and I already use a lot!), and I just got tired of doing it after a while. I wasn’t dissatisfied with my skincare regimen, but I wasn’t raving about it either. Now I’m ready to rave.

Botanic Organic Skincare

Botanic Organic: So Clean You Could Eat It

These seemingly simple products found me more than I found them, it seems. I was invited to a San Francisco women’s entrepreneur event in February, and Nancy Newsom had a table there where she was peddling her thoughtfully packaged skincare wares. We got to talking, and when I mentioned my blog, she offered me a few free samples to try. A week into using them, I knew I’d found my new favorite skincare line and purchased full-sized products so I wouldn’t miss a day.

Nancy has created products that fit my needs perfectly, but it turns out, that’s by design. Here’s a quote from Nancy: 

Based on the theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, the organic compounds found in raw, plant-based ingredients create amazingly complex whole foods for skin. They are as beneficial in helping balance young, blemish prone skin as they are in nourishing and repairing mature, environmentally damaged skin.

Botanic Organic’s skin care philosophy is to calm the skin using anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich, plant-based ingredients that will gently coax your skin back into balance. With your skin back in balance, it can continue its natural process of self-healing. It’s pretty incredible to witness how the same ingredients can help seemingly very different skin conditions. 

Double Cleansing

The two products I’m sharing with you today are the Tangerine and Lemon Facial Cleansing Oil and the Honey & Licorice Daily Cleansing Grains. Using the double cleansing method with these two products has revolutionized my evening routine, and the effects on my skin are obvious not only to me but to the people who see me every day.

Botanic Organic Skincare

The cleansing grains double as an exfoliator/cleanser but are gentle enough to use every day — and they include the benefits of honey without the mess. Licorice is great for calming inflammation and evening out skin tone — something my skin surely needs after years of abuse and sun damage. You can also use the grains as a mask, which I do in my morning shower. I pour a little pile of grains into the palm of my hand, add a few drops of water, mix into a paste, and massage into my face. Instead of rinsing right away, I do my whole shower routine with the grains on my face, and then rinse them off before I get out. It’s a perfect system!

The one thing I’d change about the packaging would be to add some sort of plastic barrier to slow the grains down when you pour them into your hand. With the big opening, you run the risk of dumping out too much, and once it’s wet, you really should use it right away. 

The cleansing oil has really been a game changer for me though. It’s a fantastic makeup remover, but it also feels deeply nourishing when I massage it into my skin. When I’ve oil cleansed in the past with coconut oil or even olive oil, I’ve always felt a little grimy afterwards, but this rinses off cleanly while leaving enough moisture behind to still feel soft and hydrated. I love it. 

Botanic Organic Discount AND Giveaway!

In fact, I love these products so much I want to share the wealth! To receive a 20% discount on all your purchases through the end of April, sign up for my newsletter and get a coupon right in your inbox once you confirm your email! Everyone who’s already subscribed will receive an email with the coupon code TODAY, so be on the lookout!

Nancy at Botanic Organic has also agreed to raffle off 2 sets of these glorious products in their largest sizes (a $39 value)!! All you have to do is give us your first-born child. Just kidding! We just want you to spread the love through social media. Check out the Rafflecopter below to learn how to enter to win.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE RAFFLE! FOR SOME REASON RAFFLECOPTER AND WORDPRESS AREN’T GETTING ALONG

Everyone who enters will also receive a coupon for 20% off on all your purchases at Botanic Organic through April 30, 2015 via email.

Why Gut Health Matters: Your Skin

Ahh acne. We meet again, my nemesis! But this time, I’ve cracked the code, and I’m ready to share it with the world. In this next segment of Why Gut Health Matters, I’m going to address the link between gut health and skin disorders. My personal skin issue has always been acne, but that’s not the only one affected by poor gut health. There’s also rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and many, many more. While those last two have an auto-immune component (which we briefly covered in this segment of the series), all can be traced back to gut health — or lack thereof — even if they diverge in physical expression. 

Myopia in Specialized Medicine

Unfortunately, most dermatologists aren’t trained to ask their patients about their digestion or even consider the possibility of a link between gut health and skin disorders (a connection first scientifically documented in the early 18th century!). I know from personal experience that in my 20 years of battling acne, never once did any physician or aesthetician I saw for my skin troubles ask me about my digestion or my diet. Nor did any of them see a problem with prescribing me round after round of antibiotics along with a Diflucan prescription, knowing that yeast infections would result from the constant antibiotic assault. This was normal — a standard course of dermatological treatment. 

Today, if you walked into a psychiatrist’s office presenting with anxiety, you likely wouldn’t mention your constant gas and bloating or your eczema — nor would your doctor ask. You wouldn’t mention your psoriasis or depression to your GI specialist either. But the fact is, most if not all patients with skin disorders also have digestive disorders and mental health challenges. Specialized medicine has cordoned off our bodies into separate parts, ignoring the very real and very documented relationship between certain conditions. Conventional medicine no longer sees us as a complete system, much to the detriment of the whole-person patient.

gut health and skin disorders

Bugs Bugs and More Bugs

As I’ve mentioned in all of the previous segments of this series (especially the one addressing the gut as gate keeper), the living bacteria in the gut are integral to our overall health, and that includes skin health. When we take round after round of antibiotics, we aren’t just killing the “bad” bacteria — we’re killing nearly all the bacteria, giving fungi like candida a chance to run rampant in the system. Candida overgrowth results in a whole host of symptoms I don’t have time to go into today, but check out this extensive list to find out if they apply to you. I’ll give you a hint: skin problems is on the list.

Not only is gut bacteria crucial to maintaining healthy skin, so is the bacteria living right on the surface of our bodies. Like those found in the gut, the bugs on our skin protect us from the outside world of potential invaders, and when we kill them all off, it’s open season for everything else in the environment. When skin disorders are treated with antibiotics, the problem might seem to temporarily subside, but at best, it’s a band-aid solution. The cumulative effects of antibiotic use is a net negative, with gut dysbiosis as a common consequence.  

Where They Don’t Belong: SIBO and Leaky Gut

SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) occurs when the bugs that belong in our large intestine start migrating up into our small intestine. It can also result when bugs from our food don’t get neutralized by the hydrochloric acid (HCl) in our stomachs — inadequate HCl is a major factor in SIBO.

While a very small number of bacteria naturally (and healthily) live in the small intestine, it’s supposed to be a nearly sterile environment. These microscopic interlopers can cause some major problems, one of which is gas. Lots of gas. Most patients with SIBO feel bloated and gassy after meals, especially meals rich in carbohydrates, because those bugs that don’t belong are breaking down their dinner before it gets where it’s supposed to be going. Other symptoms of SIBO include diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption of nutrients, and fatigue. Want to know another type of patient that often has SIBO? Patients with rosacea. 

You might be asking what causes low stomach acid. A major cause of low stomach acid will be the topic of the last segment in this series: STRESS.

Let’s connect the dots:
Stress => Low Stomach Acid => SIBO => Rosacea

I’ll delve more deeply into how stress affects the gut next week, but this note from a recent paper should paint the picture for you nicely:

“Experimental studies show that psychological stress stagnates normal small intestinal transit time, encourages overgrowth of bacteria, and compromises the intestinal barrier.” (source)

… which leads me to …

Leaky Gut, which we’ve discussed extensively throughout this series. Leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability) is both the chicken and the egg when it comes to systemic inflammation in the body. A leaky gut allows partially digested food particles into the system, setting off an inflammatory immune response, and the resulting inflammation causes further leaky gut — a destructive cycle that can lead to autoimmune disease if gone unmitigated. (And as I mentioned at the top of the page, psoriasis and eczema are increasingly being seen and treated as autoimmune disease.) As we talked about in the segment on gut health and mood disorders, a leaky gut => a leaky brain => depression. But what I didn’t mention in that segment was this:

Stress => Leaky gut => ACNE

As many as 40% of acne patients also complain of constipation (or other digestive distress). A growing body of research is showing that acne patients have a larger variety of “bad” bacteria in their stool, a greater sensitivity to “bad bugs” (like e. coli) and a higher level of systemic inflammation resulting from leaky gut. If you’ve been following along with this series, you know we’ve come full circle to Your Gut as Your Gate Keeper. Fix the leaks, fix the skin. 

gut health and skin disorders

Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria, magnified 10,000 times.
Photo by Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU.
Image released by the Agricultural Research Service, ID K11077-1

Fix it! 

How to fix a leaky gut? How to clear up SIBO? It turns out, the answer is the same: reduce systemic inflammation by healing the gut wall and increasing the good guys. Stokes and Pillsbury, the pioneering researchers who discovered the gut-brain-skin connection in the early 1900’s, suggested probiotics and cod liver oil to do just that. 

Sorry, did you read that whole sentence? IN THE EARLY 1900’S RESEARCHERS WERE RECOMMENDING PROBIOTICS AND COD LIVER OIL FOR SKIN DISORDERS. I’m not one for all caps, but I felt that deserved the emphasis. Imagine me yelling when you read that. WHY don’t conventional medical doctors use this and the subsequent studies supporting this work to inform how they treat their patients?

Probiotics help restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut, thereby booting out the bad guys that create inflammation and toxins that harm the gut wall.

Cod liver oil is not only rich in Omega 3’s with potent anti-inflammatory and healing properties, it’s also rich in vitamin A, an important nutrient for healthy skin (which you know if you ever took Accutane for your acne). 

Enteric-coated peppermint oil, an herbal remedy scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of IBS, is also being explored with promising findings for mitigating SIBO. 

And while the research from Stokes and Pillsbury doesn’t cover this last ancient gut-healing solution, I’m going to cite my own anecdotal evidence and add bone broth to the list of tools to heal your gut. Rich in minerals, collagen (aka gelatin), and cartilage, bone broth is the ultimate gut- and skin-healing superfood. You’ve probably seen cosmetics products that boast collagen as a topical ingredient to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and create healthier looking skin. When ingested in the form of bone broth, collagen does a lot more than that.

  • It promotes a healthy level of stomach acid
  • It aids in digestion of problematic foods like dairy, legumes, meats, and grains
  • It coats the lining of the gut to reduce permeability, reduce inflammation, and fill the leaks
  • It supports a healthy immune system, including white blood cell production
  • It provides amino acids — the building blocks of muscle in our bodies
  • It promotes the absorption of minerals, including those already present in the broth, for skeletal support and bone health (source)

My personal success story with bone broth has reached more readers than anything else I’ve posted in a year of writing this blog. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to about bone broth, encouraging them to try it and celebrating with them when they’ve seen results. In combination with a diet rich in probiotic foods and eliminating the trigger foods that create inflammation (for me that was mainly gluten), bone broth changed my life. I’ve recently experimented with adding this fermented cod liver oil and this enteric-coated peppermint oil into my diet out of curiosity (affiliate link).  (I like to use myself as a guinea pig from time to time.)

gut health and skin disorders

“My worst” didn’t just mean my skin. I was more depressed and heavier than I’d ever been before or since.

What’s Next?

Next week is the last segment of this series on Why Gut Health Matters, where I’ll not only wrap up this discussion but also challenge you to get started in healing your own gut. The end of this series doesn’t have to mean the end of the discussion for you — I’m happy to answer any questions you might have on the topic — just send me a note and we can keep the ball rolling to get your gut health where it needs to be.  


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.


Sources for this segment of the series include a 6-credit continuing education seminar presented by Merrily Kuhn, RN, CCRN (r), PhD, ND, PhD and the Institute of Brain Potential (bibliography and references can be viewed here), and information from the following articles, journals, and experts:

Stokes JH, Pillsbury DH (1930) The effect on the skin of emotional and nervous states: theoretical and practical consideration of a gastrointestinal mechanism. Arch Dermatol Syphilol 1930, 22:962-93

Ketron LW, King JH: Gastrointestinal findings in acne vulgaris. JAMA 1916, 60:671-75 

http://www.consultantnutritionist.com/General-Health-Nutrition/Traditional-Bone-Broth-in-Modern-Health-and-Disease.html

http://chriskresser.com/naturally-get-rid-of-acne-by-fixing-your-gut

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1757-4749-3-1.pdf

http://wageningenacademic.metapress.com/content/0u3x16807123w358/#.VNq_SrB4qXw

http://healthandstyle.com/health/gut-may-causing-bad-skin/

http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/ansinet/jms/0000/57615-57615.pdf

http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/7/5/410.pdf

http://journals.lww.com/jcge/Abstract/2014/11001/Skin_Microbiome_and_Skin_Disease__The_Example_of.23.aspx

http://www.thecandidadiet.com/candidasymptoms.htm

6 Surprising Natural Acne Remedies You Already Have at Home

As a woman, I’m the target of ad campaigns for every beauty product under the sun. From the aisles of Walgreen’s all the way to the fancy counters at Macy’s, I’m being sold moisturizers, cleansers, masks, balms, spot treatments, scrubs, and the list goes on and on. There are products for every imperfection I could possibly have – especially the ones on my face. One time, I even had someone at one of those kiosks in the mall grab me by the arm and spray something on me before I even had a chance to protest, promising that it would clear up my skin. That seriously happened.

Stop the madness!

Stop buying all those expensive products that promise you the world. Remember, you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. You’d be surprised to learn how many remedies are already at your disposal right now that can replace all the fancy skin care products you’re told you need to buy. 

In the bathroom/medicine cabinet:

1. Toothpaste (the paste, not the gel)

acne remedies

affiliate link

While I wouldn’t recommend putting toothpaste all over your face, you’d be surprised how effective it can be for an occasional spot treatment. Be careful of super minty flavors though, which can be irritating to some skin types. The effective ingredient is baking soda, so you could always create your own paste with the baking soda in your kitchen for a similar effect. (source)  

How to use it: dab a small amount on the affected area at bed time and rinse in the morning using warm water.

 

2. Pepto Bismol (liquid)

acne remedies

affiliate link

Pepto has two active ingredients in it that are similar to ingredients found in over the counter acne treatments: salicylate (similar to salicylic acid) and benzoic acid (similar to benzoyl peroxide) (source). Salicylate works to reduce inflammation than can cause redness and pain on the skin. It’s also a gentle exfoliator to help clear the skin of dead cells that could clog pores. Benzoic acid is antimicrobial and works to remove any microbes that could cause infection on the skin. (source)

How to use it: swab a cotton pad of Pepto over the affected area at night and rinse with warm water in the morning. It’s fine to use Pepto on your entire face.

3. Milk of Magnesia (liquid)

acne remedies

affiliate link

Traditionally used as a gentle laxative and bowel soother, milk of magnesia (MoM) can also work as a facial mask for acne prone and oily skin. Magnesium hydroxide is the main ingredient, but MoM also contains zinc, a natural acne fighter. The soothing effects that MoM have on the bowels can take place on the face in the form of reducing inflammation and excess oil. (source)

How to use it: using your fingers or a cotton pad, apply a thin layer to the skin. Let sit for 10 minutes and remove gently with warm water.

 

In the kitchen:

4. Coconut Oil

acne remedies

affiliate link

I’m sure you’ve heard and read so much about the healing properties of coconut oil at this point that nothing would surprise you about this miracle oil. Use it as a daily moisturizer, and wait for the magic to happen. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic. It works to create a healthy barrier for your skin that doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. Just use a tiny bit – it goes a long way. For me personally (and for a few folks who’ve shared their stories with me, including my sister), coconut oil helps bring blackheads to the surface, loosen the pores, and allow for extraction and eventual elimination.

How to use it: as a daily moisturizer (either in the morning, at night, or both), apply a tiny amount to the entire surface of your face. Coconut oil also works GREAT as a make up remover.

5. Bone Broth

acne remedies

click the image for a link to my bone broth recipe and more info about why it’s great for your skin

If you’re familiar with my personal acne saga, then you knew this acne remedy would be on this list. You might not have homemade bone broth laying around in your kitchen, but I can assure you that it’s worth every minute of time it takes to make if your ultimate goal is clear skin and a healthy gut. There’s a very real physiological connection between the health of the gut and the health of the skin.

How to use it: drink a coffee mug full of warm bone broth every morning for two weeks. After two weeks, assess your progress and consider dropping back to 4 times per week based on the health of your skin and digestion.

6. Raw Honey

acne remedies

affiliate link

I love this one and use it very regularly. When used as natural facial cleanser or mask, raw honey can do wonders for the health of your skin. It works well to keep the pores clear and offers natural bacteria-fighting properties to combat the bacteria that causes and inflames acne. Raw honey is fantastic for daily use as a cleanser and can even be used as a gentle exfoliator if you use one with sugar crystals in it. (source)

How to use it: as a daily cleanser (I find that it’s best to use in the shower to avoid unwanted stickiness dripping down your arms), take about two teaspoons into your fingers and apply to damp skin as you would any other cleanser. Rinse with warm water. As a mask, apply to dry or freshly toned skin, covering the affected area and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

 

7. Plain Yogurt

acne remedies

affiliate link

You’ve likely heard about the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt. These bacteria aid in digestive health by replacing potentially harmful bacteria that could be causing problems in your gut (and therefore your skin). They help restore a proper balance in your gut flora. Similar (if not the same) bacteria are also found in other places in and on your body, including your face. Applying a yogurt mask to your face can help restore the proper balance of healthy bacteria on your face as well. Restoring this balance can reduce the inflammation caused by “bad” bacteria and improve the health of you skin. It also works as a gentle exfoliator, removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, which can clog pores. (source) Using plain yogurt ensures that you aren’t adding any unnecessary sugars, flavors, or additives to your skin that could be irritating. 

How to use it: apply a small amount of plain yogurt to the surface of clean skin and let dry for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

BONUS: A great way to combine remedies and increase your effectiveness is to make a mask with yogurt AND raw honey together. You can mix them with each use or create a batch to keep in your fridge for a few weeks. Use between 2 and 3 times as much yogurt as you do honey in your mixture, and either whisk with a fork or mix in a blender.

 

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