Acne affects about 60 million Americans, 20 percent of which are adults. It’s a skin disease that doesn’t discriminate–it affects people regardless of their race, gender or age. Though it’s a major problem for so many people, it is a preventable–and curable–disease. And there’s a natural solution to answer the question of how to clear up acne. But it starts with identifying the cause of acne.
What is acne?
Acne develops when the pores of the skin get clogged with dead skin. In response, fatty materials called sebum collect within the blocked pore producing oily skin. The now overstuffed pore becomes infected by bacteria which results in inflammation, also known as a pimple.
To stay alive, the bacteria feasts on the sebum and thrives. To treat and prevent acne from developing, it’s important to focus on unblocking the pore, reducing the amount of sebum that collects, lessening the inflammation and killing the bacteria.
So what causes the pores to become clogged?
Hormonal changes in the body are certainly one major cause of the development of acne. But diet also plays a big part. Eating a rich, Western diet of processed foods, oils and fats is a major cause of acne.
While various medications and prescriptions can help, a better way to cure acne is with a healthy diet.
Ways your diet causes acne
It’s been proven that what we eat can cause acne. According to Dr. McDougall, diet causes acne in the following ways:
1) A high-fat diet increases the amounts of fats in and on the skin (sebum). With extreme changes in food intake such as almost total avoidance of fat (like the McDougall diet) or inclusion of fat as the sole source of food the amount of sebum production has been found to be greatly altered. Please note that it does not take much fat on the skin to plug the pores, feed the bacteria, and cause acne in susceptible people. Also note the bacteria eat vegetable oil as well as animal fats.
2) The rich Western diet increases sex hormones causing precocious puberty (girls mature at 12 rather than 16 – boys mature earlier too). Earlier maturation of women is known to be associated with more severe acne. Excess male hormones (androgens) in men and women are well known to cause acne and increase production of sebum.
3) Growth hormones adversely affect the sebaceous glands causing them to become easily plugged. Insulin-like growth hormone-1 (IGF-1) is known to be increased by dietary protein (meat, poultry, etc.), and especially by dairy products. Research shows elevated IGF-1 levels are associated with more acne.
How to clear up acne fast
Treating and preventing acne involves following a very low-fat diet; keeping your skin free of dirt, oils, and oil-based cosmetics; and washing your face several times a day with a mild soap and a “buff pad.”
After changing your diet to plant-based, low-fat foods, you can expect to see the oiliness of your skin to lessen within 5-7 days. Shortly after, any active acne begins to heal and the face becomes clear, smooth and radiant.
Not sure it can work? Watch the story of twin sisters, Nina and Randa, who suffered from embarrassing acne and found a cure:
Following the diet strictly is essential to clearing the skin. This means your diet should consist of starches, fruits, and vegetables. Along with this, you need to avoid all added fats, including seeds, nuts, avocados, vegetable oils, olives, and soybeans.
Though you’ll see less oil on your skin within a week, it can take up to four to six weeks before you see completely clear skin.