SPOTS – Let’s talk about spots, spots spots, those pesky pimples that make our lives a bit of a misery and in some cases a huge misery. Why do we get them? What do we do to get rid of them? Are some foods causing them? Are some products irritating them? SO many questions to which there seem to be so many conflicting answers.
If you are reading this, it is probably because you, or someone close to you suffers from spots. Let’s just get straight down to some honest answers. Firstly, it is not your fault. Most of the reason why we have spots, are that we inherited some overactive sebum producing genes from one, or both of our parents. I must quickly add, it’s not their fault either, they inherited it and so on and so on… What we need to find out is how to tackle the problem and keep it under control until age brings about the natural settling of our hormones and a reduction or lessening of skin secretions. Sadly, adult acne is real too, but for most people it passes.
The first bit of detective work begins within. Are there times when you have noticed that your skin gets worse, other than just before your menstrual cycle, if you are female (proving the hormone theory!)? What did you eat a few days before? Is it always after the same foods? The main culprits to look out for are dairy and sugar. Both of these foods affect your sebum producing hormones and create an inflammatory response. I could almost guarantee that if you cut these two foods out, you would see the most enormous difference. If you think of a bar of everyday creamy, sugary chocolate, you can suddenly understand why it may wreak havoc internally and leave you bearing the external evidence, of your momentary enjoyment, a few days later. There are some great chocolate alternatives on the market, so you don’t have to go without and it is surprising how good it feels to eat differently when you see a spot free face looking back at you in the mirror.
Some suggestions for sugar alternatives, are, xylitol, and coconut sugar which don’t interfere with blood sugar levels; both taste really good and can be used in baking too. Don’t forget maple syrup and honey, but consume these in moderation. There are a number of milk alternatives as well, like; almond milk, rice milk, oat milk and soya milk. Some taste better in tea and others with a bowl of sugar free cereal. Worth a browse in a health food shop or “free from” section of your local supermarket. The best way of sticking to a change like this, is to find some recipes of things you love and adapt them with your supplement choices. There are some really fantastic recipes on the internet, so whatever you do, just make sure eating is still a joy.
An acidic gut environment is often a factor in acne causing digestive problems, so if possible try and add some alkaline fibre to your diet. Buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa are fairly easy to find in health food shops and simple to cook.; all happen to be gluten free too. I have just made some buckwheat pancakes with berries topped with a little maple syrup, which I had with a delicious green spinach and avocado salad and lemon dressing for lunch. Sweet potatoes are a real favourite, either steamed or roasted – they are sticky, sweet and scrumptious. All of these alkaline foods create a balanced environment for your good gut bacteria to multiply and go to work repairing your intestinal wall. It is not necessary to cut out gluten, it is only that some of the gluten containing grains that we are familiar with are acid forming. I would suggest that you try and cut out refined starches, like white bread and white rice and opt for wholemeal bread or even better sourdough, which has no yeast; another factor for some who suffer from candidiasis. Refined grains interfere with blood sugar levels and as mentioned earlier these can put hormones under stress and trigger sebum secretions to cause spots.
Always remember to drink lots of bottled water with a low salt content too. The other fantastic drink is green tea, which is easy to find in the supermarkets and fabulous for clearing spots and acne. White tea, which is a lesser known is marginally purer and in my mind it is the nicest of the varying teas to consume without milk. A little bit of science behind green tea… It contains a polyphenol EGCG, which has acne fighting benefits, including increasing insulin sensitivity and it also blocks androgens from creating too much sebum and clogging pores. Bring it on!
A little bit about topical health too – go natural and go non-pore-clogging and I really do mean be careful what you use. There are so many ingredients to watch out for that block pores, even some natural ingredients. You can find lists on-line. Adam and Eve Skincare really have researched all this and avoided everything whilst formulating our products that we knew to cause a problem. We really don’t believe in exfoliators and over scrubbing, because this just irritates and spreads infection. A gentle muslin cloth that is washed regularly is the answer when removing your cleanser – your skin will thank you and feel and look fantastic. We also don’t believe in over-stripping the skin with aggressive products, because it just forces your body to respond by producing more sebum, just the thing you are trying to avoid. RESPECT is the key word. Oil removes oil, so opt for an oil based cleanser and follow up with a wash as your second cleanse, which will tone your skin at the same time. Follow up with a serum or moisturiser or both, it is up to the individual. Do keep any dry patches moisturised though.
The other ingredient that I want to give a quick mention is aloe vera, an awesome plant extract with extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties. We include it in all our products and it really is a bit of a miracle. It contains 75 biologically active compounds including glucomannan, a polysaccharide with healing properties. It is thought that the interaction of all 75 compounds including saponin, which has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal actives, gives it its magical healing ability. Studies have been done on its topical benefits, which have proven that it really does reduce inflammation and repair the skin.
We know it is possible to clear all skins naturally, but it does take a little detective work and patience and it does in most cases have to be tackled holistically. We cannot stress enough that avoiding harsh skin-stripping products and exfoliators is your greatest weapon in your clear skin quest.
GOOD LUCK .