How to Get Clear Skin Naturally

Contributor: Primally Pure
Photographer: Primally Pure
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We’ll cut straight to the chase: to achieve a naturally clear complexion, it’s essential to take a holistic approach. 

Our skin is our largest organ and is connected to other organs and other tissues and other cells. It’s also brilliant at revealing imbalances within the body. So there’s absolutely no way we can properly or effectively care for the skin if we isolate it from every other part of us. 

From the products we apply to our skin, to the food we put on our plate, to the way we cope with stress, here’s how to get clear skin naturally.

NUTRITION

If you’re serious about clearing up your skin for good, you’re going to have to be mindful of more than just marketing claims on your food. “Healthy” or even “organic” options may have an ingredient list that contains low quality oils, sugar and other acne-inducing ingredients. So we encourage you to become a label reader – or better yet, opt for real, whole foods that aren’t found in a package.

Acne can be indicative of inflammation in the body, and processed foods are often the culprit.Here are a few foods you’ll want to avoid to help minimize the appearance of acne:

  • Gluten: When giving up gluten, focus on eating real food carbs such as sweet potatoes, plantains, and root vegetables, as opposed to gluten-free junk food.

  • Dairy: Dairy isn’t an inherently “bad” or unhealthy food, but many are sensitive to it and there’s definitely a close link to dairy intake + increased acne. Try opting for a milk alternative (like almond or coconut milk) for your lattes and look for coconut-based ice cream options that are delicious and dairy-free!

  • Low Quality Fats: Canola oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, and soybean oil are all highly processed, harmful to your health and should be avoided at all costs. Your skin is mainly comprised of fats so it’s essential to feed your skin with nourishing, hiqh quality fats and oils (which we’ll talk more about in a minute!) – inside and out.

  • Refined Sugar: Yes, that includes even organic cane sugar. Just because the word “organic” is in front of the word “sugar”, doesn’t mean it’s off the hook. Consuming sugar is literally like a burst of inflammation throughout your body – and acne is an inflammatory response. While there are sweet alternatives to refined sugar, such as raw honey or coconut sugar, we still suggest keeping your intake of natural sugars to a minimum for consistently clear skin.

Just as certain foods can make acne worse, some can also improve it. Nutrient-rich foods not only help to resolve the hormonal fluctuations and vitamin deficiencies that often cause acne, but they can also bring LIFE to tired, dull skin.

Here are some of our favorite foods to eat for a healthy + balanced complexion:

  • Vegetables: It’s important to eat a variety of veggies for radiant skin. Not only are they rich in vitamins, but they can also help to detox the body by flushing out excess hormones that can be responsible for acne.

  • Healthy Fats: Healthy fats can stabilize blood sugar + hormones and also build strong, resilient cells (unlike their processed counterparts), so it’s important to pick good ones. Some of our top picks include coconut oil, tallow, ghee, olive oil and avocado oil.

  • Fermented Foods: These foods contain probiotics that can help boost beneficial bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut = healthy skin. Add sauerkraut to your veggie bowl or sip kombucha to help strengthen your gut + your skin.

  • Pasture-Raised Meats: In order to get the most nutrients + least amount of toxins, always choose meat that comes from happy animals raised outside and fed a diet they were designed to consume.

  • Bone Broth: This nourishing beverage is bursting with gut-healing + collagen-boosting gelatin and is also an abundant source of vital minerals. Make bone broth your new nightcap for clear, radiant skin (and try adding a teaspoon of turmeric for even more anti-inflammatory benefits!). Another way we love boosting collagen in the body is by adding in collagen peptides to our diet daily.

Food is such a powerful factor in how we feel on the inside + look on the outside and consistently making better food choices can play a huge role in saying goodbye to bothersome acne once and for all

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NATURAL INGREDIENTS

Our anti-acne skincare strategy? To work with the skin. To incorporate ingredients that nourish, strengthen and protect, instead of breaking down skin health with harsh chemicals, toxins and treatments that ultimately create inflammation, premature aging and depletion of essential nutrients.

Unfortunately, the majority of products on the market are misleading as their labels promise one thing but their ingredient list proves another. Many contain synthetic ingredients + harmful chemicals known to disrupt hormones which can actually cause acne to worsen. 

We talk a lot about dangerous ingredients to avoid for truly healthy skin in this post and this post – so today we’re going to focus on a few natural + non-toxic ingredients that we believe make a big difference in banishing breakouts.

  • Essential Oils: Extracted from plants, essential oils are potent and powerful in helping to heal the skin and promote overall health. Rather than using synthetic fragrances, experience the pure aromas as well as the added benefits of essential oils. Try blue tansy, lavender, palmarosa and tea tree to help detoxify, soothe + calm, balance oil production and minimize scarring.

  • Nourishing Carrier Oils: These oils regenerate and supply the skin with nutrients + essential fats while carrying the beauty benefits of essential oils into the skin. For anti-inflammatory benefits, restoring balance, and helping to heal the skin on a cellular level, look for tamanu oil, baobab oil, rosehip oil, pumpkin seed oil or jojoba oil.

  • Hydrosols: These floral mists are pure botanical extracts created from steam distilling plant materials that offer multiple benefits in restoring + balancing skin. Unlike harsh astringents and harmful alcohols, hydrosols hydrate and replenish the skin’s protective barrier. We love these hydrosols to help calm inflammation, reduce redness and rebuild hydration.

  • Animal Fats: Acne can often occur because of a nutrient deficiency or imbalance. When we only use plant-based products on our skin, we’re missing out on a slew of nutrients only found abundantly in animal fats. Tallow from grass-fed cows (high in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K) gives skin the nutrients it needs to stay healthy + balanced, and emu oil (known for its robust anti-inflammatory properties) can be extremely effective in fighting acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Which is why we formulated both of our Beauty Creamswith these skin-loving, acne-fighting animal fats.

Acne doesn’t have to be something you just accept as your skin’s fate or an issue you have to fight with intensity or aggression. Pure, non-toxic skincare is a simple and effective way to support acne-prone skin

LIFESTYLE

By now you’ve created a clear skin meal plan and know what to look for on your skincare labels, so next we’re going to look at lifestyle. The decisions we make daily really do impact the health + appearance of our skin and it’s so important to set aside intentional time in your day-to-day to help support a full skin healing protocol. 

  • Sleep: Minimal sleep can actually make cortisol rise – causing inflammation to increase and acne to flare up. So clearly sleep is essential for clear skin. When our bodies are given the time they need to truly rest and slow down, they’re able to focus healing energy and restorative function on repairing + rebuilding the body. Some of sleep’s beauty benefits include increased circulation, restored moisture balance, reduced effects of inflammation, and collagen stimulation.

  • Move Your Body: One of the skin’s main functions is excretion (releasing waste products through the skin’s surface) and exercise is a powerful way to support the healthy, natural removal of toxins in the body. Plus, it helps to expel trapped dirt and oil while minimizing inflammation and irritation in the skin caused by bacteria buildup. Getting active regularly has even been proven to improve sleep, alleviate stress levels + anxiety, strengthen the immune system and most importantly, increase self confidence. Sounds like a win/win to us.

  • Sunshine: While overexposure can certainly be detrimental to our health, the sun is actually a natural element that can improve our mood, immune system and skin. Being intentional about getting short bursts of sunshine to receive its benefits (which include the suppression of acne-causing bacteria), rather than abusing time in the sun (causing free radical damage), can create glowing + healthy skin without compromising skin integrity or incurring long term damage.

  • Pure Water: This is one of the most powerful – and yet so simple – lifestyle shifts that you can make to improve the appearance of your skin. Similar to sleep, some of water’s benefits include improved digestion, blood circulation, hydration, nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins. Water intake helps to keep the natural detoxification process on track, maintaining a healthy flow of the excretory system + lymphatic system to move out toxins and cleanse cells of built-up waste.

  • Just Breathe: Take a deep, slow breath in… and out. Feel your shoulders drop, your heartbeat slow down, your furrowed brow relaxed. The benefits are immense and immediate. Deep breathing calms inflammation in the skin and body, boosts immunity, provides much needed oxygen to nourish and replenish vital nutrients to our blood and brain. It’s a sweet and simple reminder to remain present, and in the process, keeps the skin clear and your whole self radiant. 

  • Stress Less: Chronic stress is serious stuff – overexposure to stress severely attacks the health of our skin + self. It’s a massive issue and a way of life that, sadly, many have become accustomed to. When our bodies undergo prolonged stress, the hormone cortisol is increased which can contribute to inflammation and make our skin more susceptible to breakouts. The effects of stress on the skin can appear differently depending on the individual (rashes, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis can all be stress-induced skin conditions).

Prioritizing self-care and creating habits that help minimize stress levels + promote a healthy lifestyle are some of the most powerful healing approaches to skincare.

Once we start to view acne as an invitation to do some inner healing, we can seek out solutions that are beneficial – both inside and out. We hope you’ve found these food-based solutions, simple lifestyle switches and natural skin-healing ingredients to be powerful ways to support your clear skin protocol.