Acne, the unwelcome visitor that shows up at the worst possible time.   It doesn’t care about age, race or gender and loves to ruin special occasions.     Many times acne is treated by over the counter medications or prescriptions, but those option can cause more harm than good.  

Prescription Treatments & Side Effects

The side effects of this type of medication are staggering.    Here are a few of the common treatment options and the side effects that can occur.

Accutane (Isotretinion):

  • Causes Fetal death (yes DEATH) and/or severe birth defects.
  • Lip inflammation
  • Dry/peeling skin
  • Eczema
  • Hair Loss

Tretinoin (Retin-A)

  • Peeling and itching of treated area
  • Skin Tone changes on impacted area (can be lighter or darker)
  • Skin Sensitivity (especially when exposed to the sun)
  • Crusted/Blisteredskin

Over The Counter Options

Over the counter options ((Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide) – brands suchas Proactiv, Clearasil etc, may seem to be a safer alternative,and compared to some of the prescriptions options, they certainly can be.  However, there are health issues with these options as well.  One of the more concerning impacts of the over the counter options are the side effects that are not on listed the label.   The FDA submitted a consumer update regarding these ingredients.  You can view it here:  https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm402441.htm

“Forty percent of these reports described severe allergy symptoms such as throat tightness, shortness of breath,wheezing, low blood pressure, fainting or collapse. Isolated instances of hives, itching of face or body (even of parts of the body where the person did not apply the medication), and swelling of eyes, face and lips were also reported.  44% of those cases reported required hospitalization”

Natural Alternatives 

Acne is caused by an imbalance of the Oleic and Linoleic acids in the outer layer of your skin.  The Oleic acids are thick and clog pores, which causes bacteria to grow, which in turn causes an excess production of sebum, which causes acne.    It’s a long list of cause and effect and reminds me of the game “Clue” 😊

The over the counter options are designed to remove bacteria and dry skin theoretically so excess sebum is no longer produced, but they actually can trigger additional sebum production because the gland that secretes it is fooled into thinking that there isn’t enough to maintain the skin health.   

The key to Acne Prevention is treating the source of the problem, which is an imbalance of Oleic and Linoleic Acids.   This will prevent the clogging of pores, and when combined with natural antibacterial ingredients provide quick results that can be maintained without the side effects.    Here are 5 ingredients that are included in our Essentials Collection that address this naturally

  • Activated Charcoal  (included in our activated charcoal cleanser).  Absorbs contaminates that are in the skin including bacteria created when pores are clogged.   Available from different sources.  The most common source is hardwood, which can  be a bit rough on skin due to it’s larger particle size.   Other option are sourced from Coconut or Bamboo.   We use Activated Charcoal sourced from coconut as it is the finest grade available and the only type that is activated using heat instead of solvents.
  • Volcanic Ash Clay – (Included in both the cleanser and the moisturizer).  Shrinks pores and has a natural negative charge, so it attracts contaminates in your skin (such as heavy metals & chemicals).   The clay will “eat” the toxin and release the minerals that are left into your skin, which are beneficial.
  • Lemongrass Oil – (Included in Cleanser) – Strong antibacterial properties to kill existing acne-causing bacteria
  • Spearmint Oil – (Included in our Fresh Face Moisturizer) – Milder than peppermint oil and gentler on skin it is not only has antibacterial properties, but also has antiseptic properties.  This will help with cystic acne, which is uncommon but very painful form of acne that forms in the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Egg (from happy & healthy birds- included in both the cleanser & the
    moisturizer ) – Eggs have incredibly high amounts of Linoleic acid(up to 48%).  The lack of Linoleic acids are the source of acne.  These acids will have a balancing effect, sending messages to glands to produce the correct amount of sebum for glowing skin, without clogging pores.    The egg is the secret ingredient to overall skin balance and health.   (source https://bit.ly/2rxBJ8K).  Interestingly eggs that come from factory farms contain significantly lower amounts of these nutrients.    (source – https://bit.ly/2Uz6Pdr)

Summary

In summary, there are several ways to treat acne, but in my opinion mother nature has always provided safe and effective alternatives.   Often the treatment for acne can be worse than the affliction.   It is important to understand safer alternatives so that consumers can make informed decisions when it comes to the care of their skin. 

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