Our skin is the mirror to our internal health and is your body’s way of telling when something is not quite right. At the core, skin eruptions - whether eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or acne - are due to inflammation, showing up on the body's largest organ, the skin.
Acne is a very common skin condition affecting both genders and can present itself at any age. It is a complex medical condition that is driven by inflammation. When the root causes of inflammation are addressed, acne will clear because it is an outward expression of inner inflammation.
Beautiful glowing skin really does begin working from the inside, finishing with a topical product that is going to nourish & support your skin integrity. Supporting skin integrity means that your skin just needs to be cleansed well and moisturised to remain balanced & help inflammation. Versus bombarding it or aggravating it with too many topical treatments that will strip the beneficial bacteria that lives on your skin.
Emotionally, acne can be challenging because it is a visible condition that can have a huge impact on a person’s self-esteem and emotional health. It is not uncommon for those with acne to feel self-conscious, anxious and depressed due to the physical aspects of the condition.
There are so many contributing factors attributed to the onset and progression of acne. For some individuals, it can be a poor diet, while for others there may be a combination of elements that could include:
Sex hormone imbalance
It’s not just a teenage issue and many women are confronted with congestion and cystic acne in their 20s, 30s, 40s - right through to menopause. Sex hormones, when balanced, are like an intricate symphony each playing specific roles within the body that can make you feel alive, vital and glowing. When unbalanced they wreak havoc on the body and can cause - to name a few: acne, anxiety, infertility and weight gain.
Hormonal acne normally presents itself around the jaw line, chin and neck and may be associated with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis.
The main female sex hormones are estrogen (dominant in the first half of a woman’s cycle) and progesterone (dominant in the second half of a woman’s cycle). Women also produce small amounts of testosterone. Too much testosterone stimulates oil production in the skin… hello pimples!
Not enough progesterone can also cause skin to breakout. Progesterone hormone peaks as a result from ovulation, which is a big topic in itself but to simplify it we ideally want to ovulate as many times as we can from puberty to menopause so that we get a big juicy dose of progesterone each month. Ovulation can be shut down due to contraceptive methods, stress, anxiety, over exercising, under eating or cutting food groups.
Overactive Nervous System
Stress is a big one when it comes to acne. It creates inflammation in the body, impairs blood sugar regulation and it takes away our beautiful production of progesterone. Your body will not ovulate if it is stressed.
Stress on the body can be: trauma, rushing, overwhelm, over exercising, lack of nutrients, lack of sleep, too much coffee and so on.
All of these things can contribute to increased cortisol, poor blood sugar regulation, increased prolactin and high androgens (male hormones).
Stress management requires lifestyle-based intervention; I encourage every single person to create slow self-care practices like meditation, acupuncture, breath work, yoga, exercise & proper sleep.
Poor blood sugar regulation & insulin resistance is a result from a diet that is high in processed foods, simple carbohydrates & sugar. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to insulin dysregulation and can disrupt the gut's microbiome - which is closely connected to the skin's microbiome.
In fact it has been so well researched gut-brain-skin axis has been linked to the immunobiology of acne by researchers, hence the rise of microbiome-based acne treatments.
Healing the gut is a crucial part of treatment plans when working with a natural health practitioner, food really can be used as medicine. "Certain foods can aggravate existing inflammation in the body [that exacerbates acne] - especially sugar, dairy, and gluten. Other foods are protective against skin inflammation - cod liver oil, nuts, seeds, proteins etc.
Numerous studies confirm that nutrition (glycemic index, dairy content, dietary fats, and probiotics) play a significant role in the expression and treatment of acne.
Liver & lymphatic detoxification
Plays a huge role in skin health, these systems help rid the body of toxins like heavy metals as well as excess hormones. If your bloodstream is overloaded with toxins - such as food chemicals, environmental pollutants, drugs, or alcohol - the results may show on your skin.
Wonderful herbs and nutrients to support liver detoxification are milk thistle, dandelion root, artichoke extract & NAC; which is a precursor to glutathione your main antioxidant. Use these under the guidance of your natural health practitioner. Nutrition by Gina Rose
Nutrient depletion particularly vitamin A & zinc play a role in the development and therefore the treatment of acne.
With the help of a health professional you can determine the underlying cause of your acne. We are all unique and what may be contributing to another’s acne could be very different to your own. Hence, the many different treatment options.
While there are specific treatment options and supplements dependent on the underlying cause, there are some fundamental nutrients the skin relies on to function. Collagen, omega-3, amino acids, zinc, vitamin A & vitamin C to name a few.
Topically you can support and nourish your skin with the CORBIN RD. range. The botanical oils will work to reduce inflammation, protect the microbiome on the skin, and restore balance with optimal hydration with healing. CORBIN RD. contains kawakawa, rosemary and sesame seed oil, these have been chosen for their antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that fight infection and aid in the healing process.
The emotional aspects of acne can be overwhelming and people can go from disliking the acne to completely disliking themselves. Getting to the heart of the health issue is where the magic lies.
Appreciating how amazing the body is, and how it communicates when something is not right, is a gift.