According to Howard Murad, MD, FAAD, “Healthy skin is a reflection of overall wellness.” When the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit. Through a three-pillar approach, Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health philosophy focuses on internal, external and emotional elements. For an acne-free complexion, Dr. Murad recommends looking at skincare as full body care.
Eat Your Water
When you eat your water through raw fruits and vegetables – Goji berries and pomegranates are particularly good – you not only hydrate your cells, you also feed your complexion with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Consuming greasy foods or chocolate will not cause acne, but overall proper nutrition is important for healthy skin. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A to help normalize the production of dead skin cells, a key factor in acne breakouts.”
Consume Healthy Oils
Many people who suffer from acne, try to avoid grease at all costs. But, the skin needs healthy oils. Foods such as eggs, salmon, black cod, and walnuts contain healthy oils that keep the complexion well-nourished and prevent the skin from drying out and breaking out. Many people with acne think that drying out their skin is the best way to prevent oil overproduction. But that’s a myth. Oily skin needs moisture – just the right kind. When you dry out your skin it actually creates and overproduction of oil, making acne worse.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Increase your intake of these foods during colder months as a preventative measure to avoid dry, unbalanced skin that’s often associated with seasonal changes and can lead to breakouts.”
Carefully Select Topical Products
Teenage acne is most often caused by overly active sebaceous (oil) glands triggered by androgen hormones. Young adults should choose treatment products that are free of pore clogging oils. Look for moisturizers that provide oil-free hydration and contain ingredients like Queen of Meadow and Algae Extract to clear pores and reduce sensitivity.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Teens should read labels and select products that contain botanical extracts and essential oils, such as Lemon Peel Oil, Lime Oil, Tangerine Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil. These provide excellent antioxidant benefits which help protect the skin from environmental damage but do not clog pores and cause additional breakouts.”
Practice Conscientious Hygiene
Many people put thought into selecting the best cleanser, moisturizer and treatments for their face but forget about other products that constantly touch the skin.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Frequently change your pillowcases and towels, replace makeup sponges and sterilize powder brushes to prevent bacteria from flourishing.”
Get Plenty of Rest
Eight hours of sleep a night is the best medicine for skin. When you are sleeping, the skin goes into a much- needed repair cycle.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “’The concept of beauty sleep’ is real. At night, your body refreshes cells, restores skin elasticity, and even helps you maintain an ideal weight.”
Creating a regular exercise routine is as good for the complexion as it is for the rest of the body. Sweating is a great way to flush out toxins trapped in the skin and the movement helps bring oxygen to the top layers of your skin.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Exercising regularly nourishes the skin with oxygen, fresh blood and nutrients and improves the body’s endocrine function, leaving the skin looking and feeling better.”
Engage In a Strong Emotional Health Routine
Both teenage and adult acne are often caused and exacerbated by Cultural Stress (generated by a fast-paced, hectic lifestyle), diet and genetics. These factors contribute to the nervous and endocrine systems becoming over-stimulated, increasing the prevalence of acne symptoms. Additionally, hormone fluctuations lead to increased acne breakouts, as experienced during the teen years or for women who are pre, post and menopausal. Stress is a major cause of acne, which is why it’s so important to maintain a healthy connection to yourself, your loved ones and your friends.
Dr. Murad’s advice: “Surround yourself with a positive social environment and tune out negativity. These efforts will nurture the psyche and in turn, affect your skin’s outward appearance.”