I am in my 40's with a mild case of PCOS and have dealt with acne since I was 19. In the past 16 months I've found things that help.
Eating raw carrots OR carrot juice can help with acne considerably. According to Ray Peat (Google him), carrot fiber reduces amounts of toxins in the gut that contribute to hormonal acne. He also suggests that activated charcoal has the same effect. So, in this case, it's the fiber, and not the carotenoids that do the trick. On the other hand, we all know that vitamin A has an impact on acne, so carrots may help in that way too.
I've recently read a post by Ted that drinking carrot juice before meals lowers the blood sugar, which is interesting because carrots are a high sugar food. There is a strong correlation between high sugar levels in the blood and acne, so this might be the triple whammy. I keep a bag of organic baby carrots in the fridge and munch on them in the mornings (4-7 baby carrots - equivalent, I suppose, to one large carrot. ) Doing so has considerable improved my acne.
When I get sick of eating carrots, I take a few activated charcoal caps in the morning instead.
Lastly, when I've neglected to do those things, and I break out terribly, I (after immediately incorporating those back into the diet) have had success in clearing up the acne quickly by rubbing a lemon over the breakout after washing my face, and before I go to sleep. (I have fair skin - the first night doing this, my face turns bright red.)
Another thing that really helps me is drinking peppermint tea regulalry. Don't know why it works. I avoid soap, except for liquid castille. Coconut oil internally and externally did not help whatsoever.
Liver support helped quite a bit - detoxing, N-A-C (600 mg day) and Milk Thistle (1, 000 mg 4 x day during breakouts) and this is another thing I do when I get the occassional bad breakout (usually after neglecting my carrots.) In my case, there is a strong gut/liver health component to my breakouts. Keep in mind that there are different causes. Middle aged women with hormonal acne may have a cause different from a teenage boy.
I eat a low sugar diet, and that also helps. When I have bread (less than once per week), I usually get a zit within a few days. Rice doesn't seem to have this effect. I think that tomatoes could be a problem, still experimenting with that. Peanuts are a huge problem, as are any nut or seed oils that are mostly polyunsaturated fats. Eliminating those from my diet helped many things, including acne.
Zinc helps, and I take it a few times per week. Rubbing the face with calamine lotion provides zinc and also dries out the pimples. And ice cube on a zit, held there for as long as possible, breaks down the tissue, and allows the body to remove the debris. I read this in an acne book a decade ago, and all I know is that it does help.
That said, I have not completely cleared my acne but I also drink milk and coffee daily, so those may be contributing. Carrots (or charcoal), some zinc, avoiding polyunsatrated fats, drinking peppermint tea, and liver support vitamins have improved the condition by about 90%. Iodine makes my acne worse, and I am aware of the protocols to increase salt and other nutrients to reduce acne while on Lugol's.
Things that haven't worked:
- Magnesium applied topically (but I think this works for teenage boys)
- Face masks
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Coconut oil
- Castor oil (made acne much, much worse)
- tea tree oil applied topically
- B vitamins (but they work for other things)
I'd just say yes to carrots first thing in the morning, or on an empty stomach, as a first step if you're dealing with adult acne.
I have been an avid reader of Earth Clinic since finding a great sore throat cure here in desperation last winter.
I suffer from moderate adult acne and I wanted to share with you my results from drinking freshly made carrot juice, blended with fresh parsley, apple and ginger.
Anecdotal evidence (my own) suggests that the Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) in carrots is helping heal my skin. Parsley contains high amounts of chlorophyll and Vitamin C, and Apples also contain vitamin C. Ginger is a potent herb known for it's curative properties.
To get the full benefits of this regimen, use ORGANIC produce.
I recommend starting on the juice regimen as a daily practice.
NB: You will need a juicer, NOT a blender! I use the Breville brand of juicers, they are the absolute best and easy to clean.
The recipe I use:
12 organic carrots - do NOT juice the greens - they are toxic
2 organic apples (do NOT juice the apple seeds. They contain a trace amount of cyanide)
1 very large bunch of fresh organic parsley
1 hunk of fresh ginger (about 1 - 2 inches long)
Carefully clean and rinse produce. Chop off the top and tip of the carrots. Leave the peel ON.
Divide the apple into four quarters. Chop off the part where the seeds are.
Wash the parsley and place on a paper towel.
Scrub the ginger well with a vegetable brush. Cut off any dead looking areas.
Carefully inspect the juicer and turn it on.
S-L-O-W-L-Y feed the parsley into the juicer with the safety pusher
then slowly feed your apples through
then slowly feed the ginger through
then slowly feed the carrots through.
STIR THE FINISHED JUICE WELL BEFORE POURING.
DRINK IMMEDIATELY! Juice starts to lose it's vitamins on contact with air. If you do make too much juice, refrigerate it in a GLASS CONTAINER and use it within 24 hours.
I had tried everything as a teenager to get rid of acne and finally took accutane for a couple months and it totally worked and changed my life. I have since been trying to find a natural alternative to recommend to friends. Recently my facialist told me that her great grandmother in Finland or something had a cure that worked (probably for the same reason that accutane- a very strong form of vitamin A- worked). The remedy is this: Eat and drink nothing but fresh carrot juice for 3 straight days... acne will be GONE. wondering if anyone has heard of this before?
Also- this is just cosmetic... but have always used hydrocortisone and Visine to dab on a freshly-picked zit. the Visine constricts blood vessels to take away redness and the hydrocortisone cream dramatically decreases swelling almost immediately.
I notice drinking pure carrot juice everyday works to clear acne.. Also eating/drinking watermelon juice does the same... Now I incorporate these two fruits into my diet for healthy looking skin...