Adult Acne can feel like an impossible puzzle to solve. Those who suffer from a chronic case know the headache of booking appointments ad nauseam, cycling through endless products and banking on suggested solutions to finally provide relief. Holistic facialist, Hayley Wood, aka the Therapeutic Skin Coach, has a deep grasp on what’s going on with your skin from the inside out. We asked the Hollywood-based skin genius to share some ideas for home remedies for acne and she really delivered. These ideas address your skin’s needs on all levels – and if you haven’t hopped on the celery juice bandwagon yet, Hayley’s tips might just tip you over the edge…
For the longest time acne has been considered one of – if not the most – frustrating inflammatory skin conditions. It can take a toll on your emotional well-being and leave you feeling helpless.
In actuality, acne is common because there are a multitude of root causes that can stir up within us for years when our detoxification systems are overworked. I got into the profession of esthetics thirteen years ago because of my own personal battle with acne. It was a tumultuous decade. I dreamt of a time in which I would wake up poreless and confident in my skin. I equated clear skin with healthy skin because that’s how I was marketed to as a teen.
At the time, I was chronically stressed and anxious. I had a hormonal imbalance (I was deficient in B and D vitamins) and ate mostly packaged foods. Once I entered beauty school and finally understood the true biological functions of skin, I realized that my acne was communicating a deeper problem internally. That’s when my skin journey took a turn for the better.
What I’d love to share with you are some simple home remedies for acne to help you navigate acne according to the essential functions of the skin.
“Your skin is a filter.” | Drink celery juice
Supporting the detoxification system is key for any skincare condition. As an organ that plays a part in our detoxification system, the skin tends to overcompensate when other detox organs are working overtime. In most cases, the liver needs support!
One of my favorite home remedies for acne isn’t topical but involves the holistic benefits of celery. I’ve suggested celery juice to my clients for years because of how easy it is to make and implement in your diet. Once you add this into your daily routine, your skin may feel less likely to take on additional detoxing — your liver can naturally work through the toxins with much more support. Plus, the mineral-rich juice will do wonders for your skin’s hydration.
“your skin responds to stress.” | Gentle neck stretches
If you find that your skin is still not recovering after implementing celery juice, then add in gentle neck stretches. This will help unblock any tension that could be holding toxins back from flushing through the lymphatic passageways. You can implement a gua sha stone or simply use a light hand touch to help promote better alignment in the skin for proper flow. Just remember to drink lots of water (or celery juice!) after this self-care practice and avoid any existing areas of breakouts. Work outside of the breakouts to allow the flow to open up.
“Your skin is a barrier.” | Simplify your skincare ingredients
Most skincare formulated for acne prone skin is rich in actives and acids. At some point we began to believe that if we just turnover skin cells faster we’ll erase breakouts. Exfoliation is essential to healthy skin to an extent, but most of my clients show up with a routine that involves nothing but turnover and nothing for nourishment.
The skin holds its own very important function as a barrier from external elements. If we deplete the barrier function too much it perpetuates the cycle of inflammation for potential long-term harm. The skin’s microbiome is important to nurture in order to have a healthy barrier. If you are using too many acids or introducing too many nutrient-dense products, the immunity of the skin could experience a healing crisis. So, it’s valuable to strip back all excess products and start with simpler solutions.
Just like with an aggravated stomach, it’s not ideal to eat processed foods or even foods that are difficult to digest. Building the skin barrier back will include single-ingredient products. This could include organic jojoba oil, organic olive oil, organic avocados, organic aloe and organic rose water. You can do a skin patch test to see what feels best to construct a skin calming routine. Once the inflammation is down, the skin barrier will be working hard again by protecting you from the free radicals in the environment.
Feeling really inflamed? Another one of my favorite home remedies for acne is this:
Make a small batch of organic oats and mix it with a spoonful of Manuka honey. Gently press the mixture on the area of concern and use a warm towel compress to remove after five to ten minutes.
“Your skin is a temperature regulator.” | Try chamomile ice cubes
Depending on the type of acne that you may be experiencing, the level of heat in the skin can be uncomfortable. This is because skin is a temperature regulator as well. It’s the reason we sweat through our skin and also get goosebumps when we’re cold. Heat can get trapped in the skin if your lymphatic system is backed-up — it’s ideal to look at the whole body for the answers. Most of the time, heat back-up is from acidity in the gut. It can also be caused by using too many alkaline-rich products on the skin. Introducing a more alkaline diet, as well as monitoring tensions in the body through movement and massage, are great ways to start to heal the root cause.
I also look at skin from a yin perspective or a yang perspective. Typically, if you have an excess of yang or depletion of yin you will feel the heat. Yang is our masculine energy which is the do-er side to most of us. Yin is our feminine energy which allows us to be present. Many of us treat our skin with a yang approach by overcompensating, over-washing, overthinking. However, a more yin approach can help you surrender to its process and trust that the healing is already underway. Silencing the excess can often lead us to simple solutions much more clearly.
Need immediate heat relief? Chamomile ice cubes are a great way to soothe the skin by helping it release any excess heat.
Simply brew 2-4 cups of organic chamomile tea and cool. Once the tea is close to room temperature, pour in an ice cube tray. Use within the week if possible — wrap individual cubes in a soft cloth or paper towel for massaging on the skin. Use it for the whole face if needed, or to just help a pesky blemish calm down. This technique has helped many of my clients give up their skin picking habits by replacing the habit with a much more useful technique.
“Your skin is a reflection of internal health and emotional wellbeing.” | Self-care is the best care
At the end of the day, any grade of acne can add stress. Acne is an unpredictable and painful condition. It forces us to take a deeper look at the habits and lifestyle we live. It was very difficult for me to admit that I didn’t really know how to eat healthily, or that I really was exhausted all the time. Luckily, my industry has incredible healers that have helped me learn what my body was communicating. I learned to appreciate what my skin was telling me. Without my breakouts, I wouldn’t have discovered the deeper issues that needed my attention.
All of it started to turn around for me when I decided I was worthy of a healthy complexion. I needed to have gratitude for the discoveries my skin was telling me along the way. It wasn’t easy but I started to practice daily gratitude acknowledgments. I did this by finding three things about my skin that I loved without looking in the mirror. Stepping away from my reflection made me realize that I don’t always see exactly what’s in front of me. I often see a skewed view of what I think I’m supposed to look like and the disappointment that things didn’t turn around overnight.
It would bring me back to being a 10-year-old with pimples and slowly I realized that if I didn’t actively rewire my brain to see differently, I would always see that same girl reflecting back. Before you even step into your bathroom, say out loud three things you love about your skin. Once you see yourself, the breakouts will not feel as big or as scary. You’re essence will be taking over and you’ll just see the bad ass that you are instead. Muting the potential for negative self-talk will help you tune into the conversation your skin is actually having with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll be guided to be gentle with yourself or book that nourishing facial you were curious about.
At the end of the day, skincare is an individual practice. Don’t feel pressured into trying anything suggested without connecting with holistic health practitioners first.