The story of our Battle with Acne
“Oh my gosh! Is this a….. PIMPLE?!?!” I had to laugh at my daughters horror as she pointed to the tiny blemish on her face. As a mom and long time acne sufferer myself, acne is a horror I am well acquainted with… but no longer afraid of.
When I was my daughter‘s age (we will just forget how long ago THAT was) I too was initiated into the world of acne. My initiation did not start with one pimple…but with HUNDREDS. My parents purchased every acne cleanser under the sun. I tried everything from scrubby, sand laden gels to chemicals that burned holes in the towels I dried my face with. Despite the disappearance of my towels, my acne flourished. By my late teens, I was covered. My face was scarred, my bra straps caused my back and shoulders to bleed through my shirts, and it wasn’t uncommon to have painful welts the size of a quarter littering my body. Time to see the dermatologist! More creams, cleaners, and antibiotics burned my skin, and wrecked havoc on my GI tract. Still the acne marched unfazed into my twenties.
What causes acne?
There are several contributors to acne. Hormones, oil production, bacteria, and even diet can affect acne.
Hormones: Did you know that the excess hormones and androgens created during puberty and times of stress are actually eliminated through the skin? Their method of escape… you guessed it…cystic breakouts: aka pimples! While there are other causes, this is the one that is to blame for many of those teen year woes.
Hygiene and bacteria: Stress, exercise, and hormones can cause increased oil gland production making our faces produce that coveted shine… or not. This extra sheen on the skin causes the dead skin cells to stick, along with anything else that might happen to be on your skin. The result is a feeding ground for bacteria and infection. They set up shop and your skin responds with the dreaded pimple.
Diet and pollutants: The normal American life and diet is riddled with trash. Preservatives, chemicals, trans fats, sugars, hormones, and hormone disrupters are just a few things the body has to filter. Everything you eat must be broken down by the GI tract and when it isn’t functioning well with proper gut floras it starts to miss things. Those toxins end up in the bloodstream to be filtered by the liver.But it too can be overloaded and miss things. The last line of defense? Skin and sweat…which means all that trash ends up released in…you guessed it…pimples!
It’s not just what you eat either. Your skin takes just 26 seconds to absorb chemicals into you bloodstream. Ever read the ingredient panel on your body lotion, soap, deodorant or even that acne treatment gel? If you can’t pronounce it, your body is probably going to have a hard time eliminating it!
A note on food allergies: It’s important to note that even people who eat well can still struggle with digestive related acne. Food allergies to even good foods can cause inflammation of the GI tract. An inflamed GI tract can’t sort through waste materials efficiently. This can cause backups that result in acne.
The answer that finally worked for me
By my late twenties I finally gave up on all the conventional treatments. It was time to start seeking my own answers. First, I eliminated the junk switching to natural deodorant, chemical free laundry soaps, a diet low in processed foods, and a custom soap. Even in my late twenties, I still over produced oil. It was then that I learned all those oil stripping cleansers can actually cause your skin to make more oil! I started working on a soap to balance clean and moisture but without the chemicals. I found it in Earth and Sky goat milk soap. The goat milk lightly moisturized my skin causing overall oil production to shift out of hyper–drive. The clean ingredients meant less for my body to eliminate. Plus, the tea tree and lemongrass essential oils helped to clean the oils off my skin without stripping it. There are also studies that show tea tree oil to be effective against pimple brewing bacteria.
My skin started to respond and within a few months my face was clear for the first time in almost 20 years!
Others with acne have also had success with our Clean Zit bar. It’s the same great goat milk moisture and tea tree essential oil with the added benefit of activated charcoal. Others swear by our Poison Ivy Soap. It is also made with tea tree and goat milk with additions of several skin loving herbs, and good old fashioned pine tar.
The bottom line? Acne is a beast with a multi–faced set of causes and the solution won’t be the same for everyone. But cutting your body a break from the junk it needs to filter, supporting it with cleansers like tea tree oil, and feeding it with goat milk and other herbs just might make all the difference.
Disclaimer: this article is intended to be informational and biographical in content and is not intended to be used as medical advice. All medical decisions should be made using the advice of your medical professional. The FDA has not reviewed or approved statements regarding the efficacy of any listed products or ingredients to treat or diagnose any disease or medical conditions.