There sure are alot of myths out there about what acne is, what causes it, and how to treat it. I set up a Google alert for acne treatment, just to see what’s out there and if I could learn anything new. And you know what? It’s been several weeks, and all I’ve learned so far is that there are alot of people out there trying to sell alot of garbage. I’ve been told to rub a banana peel on my skin, that fluoride toothpaste causes (and cures) acne, and the most popular of all is that I need to detoxify my internal organs.
So what’s real? First of all, let me say that I’m all for detoxifying. I’ve been giving people detox body treatments for years, and fully believe in the value of cleansing the system. But one of the recurring themes I’ve noticed online is an emphasis on internal cleansing as a solution for acne, and there’s more to the story…
A balanced diet, lots of water and exercise are all important for health. And if you haven’t had a bowel movement in three months, there is a good chance you’ll see signs of that imbalance in your skin. The skin does reflect our internal health, and I’m not arguing with that. But many people with clean lifestyles suffer from breakouts, so where does that leave them? What is acne, anyway?
Acne is an inherited condition of the pore, where skin cells are shed at a higher rate than normal. Because the body can’t keep up with the excess, a plug of dead skin cells and oil will form in the pore. Normal bacteria then feeds on this plug, causing an overgrowth, which sometimes results in an inflamed infection. If someone has the predisposition for acne, there are factors that can trigger breakouts.
Acne can be brought on by hormonal fluctuation, stress (which is any change, even happy change), pore clogging ingredients in products (very common, watch out for this!) and certain drugs and foods that aggravate acne. The Clear Skin Therapy section of my website, purespatherapies.com goes into great detail about what foods to avoid (salt, kelp, dairy, peanuts and peanut products, among others) and has a list of pore clogging ingredients to watch out for. Pore cloggers are really common, even in products marketed for acne. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are clogging as well. So, avoiding all of the above is very important in getting clear. Topically applied treatments to keep the pores clear are also crucial. If you want to know more about that, check out the website.
Alot of theories about getting clear aren’t really malicious. Acne isn’t curable, but at some point it usually ‘burns out’, meaning that for the most part, it stops being a major problem. Whatever the sufferer was doing at the time usually gets the credit. So if Joe Blow was rubbing banana peels on his skin one day and suddenly his skin cleared up, we can’t really blame him for crediting the banana peels, right? It made sense to him. It’s just too bad that he’s now selling banana peels online and swearing to God about it.
Suffice it to say there is alot of bull out there. There are also good, science based treatments and information that can really improve acne. Being the living organ that it is, skin is complicated. There are no blanket approaches that work for everyone. That’s why working with a pro who can guide you through the process (and make adjustments along the way) will give you the best chance of getting clear. As for banana peels, I read online they can get rid of warts, too. Let me know if it works!