Hey Laura, how do I get rid of adult acne?

Kat writes:

I’m an almost 30 year old mom to two little girls.  And for some reason, I still get breakouts! Wasn’t that supposed to end in highschool???  Anyways, any perscription medication always said to ask a doctor if pregnant or nursing- I’m not pregnant, yet, but plan on having at least one more baby.  Plus, I’m trying to do everything a little more naturally.  Any tips on what to do with my blemishes?

Before you try anything else, a simple (if not easy) and safe solution may be to clean up your diet. We all know that what we put into our bodies affects what our bodies look like, and this rule includes the skin, not just the waistline!

Don’t be SAD
The Standard American Diet (SAD) This observational study found zero cases of acne (adolescent or adult) in two non-westernized cultures. The discussion suggests that their diet has a huge part to play in the quality of their complexions. Their intake of minimally processed plant and animal foods, with a low-glycemic index, seems to be the dietary key to their lack of acne (as well as overall superior health). 

Choose a low-grain diet, and make sure what grains you do eat are whole grains, and particularly low-gluten grains. (This article helps explain the grain thing, in more detail.) Fresh fruits and veggies are your friends: High in fiber and antioxidants, they keep your body clean. Add nuts and seeds and a good organic/grass-fed/pastured source of lean protein, and you have the essentials for a very healthy diet.

Milk does not do a body good
If you’ve read this website for long, you’ve heard me harping on milk time and again. Often the culprit in issues like ear infections, hyperactivity, and arthritis, it also appears to increase the severity of acne.

Drink more water!
Keeping up with your water intake will help flush toxins from your body that will otherwise try to seep out of your pores.

Improve your gut health
Probiotics are another remedy I highly recommend. Your gut is the foundation of your immune system. If it’s not properly eliminating the toxins you encounter, the next exit is through your skin, which can cause breakouts.

This can be really hard when you’re a busy mama, but getting good rest, regular exercise, and lowering your stress levels can also be very beneficial in clearing up your breakouts. I have very little useful advice when it comes to getting more sleep (haha), but exercising with kids is doable (even if you have to be creative) and taking a moment or two during the day to just take 10 enormous deep breaths can really help to center you!

Go Natural
Have you considered the cosmetics you’re wearing, or the soaps and lotions you use? They could be blocking your pores, or exacerbating the existing acne. Try going makeup free, and switching to a natural organic soap and lotion regimen.

My favorite!
On that note, I have a very exciting offer from my favorite local purveyor of organic, artisanal skincare products, Angelina Skincare.

I have been gradually switching over to Angelina’s products in the past year and have noticed a huge improvement in my skin. Furthermore, when I switched back to Aveeno recently on a trip (I had some little trial sized tubes of face cream in my toiletry bag, so just decided to use them up), I got chemical burns on the sensitive skin under my nose! Never again will I put something on my face that has ingredients I can’t pronounce!

I emailed Angelina and let her know I was writing this article, and she recommended the following for acne-prone skin:

Tea Tree Toner - Tea Tree oil balances sebum production, soothes inflammation and its anti-microbial properties fight infection. Fresh aloe vera juice and wildcrafted witch hazel extract gently tone and tighten pores, while reducing inflammation and redness. Rose hip seed oil, vitamin C, vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract nourish skin with their rich blend of antioxidants and vitamins. Kosher vegetable glycerine draws moisture from the air to hydrate skin all day.

Undaria Seaweed & Mint Foaming Face Wash - Cleanses without drying. Ground luffa and rosehips gently exfoliate. Hand harvested sea grasses are rich in essential minerals, trace elements, proteins and vitamins. Raw organic honey and cold pressed hemp seed oil moisturize, soften and soothe rough dry skin. Grapefruit seed extract provides antioxidants that help reverse environmental and sun damage.

Kapha Ayurvedic Facial Oil - A therapeutic facial oil carefully formulated under the instruction of Indian Ayurvedic doctors and skin care experts using both Indian and locally grown (in Oregon) botanicals and oils. A special blend of astringent oils helps clear blemishes and balance face oil production while Indian sandalwood and jasmine essential oils calm inflammation. 

Neem & Sandalwood Purifying Face Mask - Ayurvedic mask made with French green clay, neem and sandalwood soaks up excess oils and draws out impurities. It’s an effective treatment for skin that is slightly to very oily.

An inexpensive way to try all the Oily/Combination products is to buy the Daily Facial Care Kit. That way, you can try 6 different products for a week or so and see how your skin responds. The kit comes with product descriptions, full ingredients lists and instructions.

The HeyLauraWhat Reader Coupon!
Angelina is graciously offering my readers a 25% off coupon code for use on their next purchase (either online or in-store), good through the end of September! Just use the code “HeyLauraWhat” in the space provided during checkout, or mention it at her magical, sumptuously-scented Herbarium at 525 Hill Street in Bend, Oregon.


Hey Laura, I think... Hey Laura, how do I get rid of adult acne?

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