Category Archives: Clear your acne fast

Acne and Sugar – does eating sugar cause acne?

acne and sugarAcne and sugar.

This is a tough one, my love.

I’ve got quite the long standing relationship with sugar myself – and to be completely honest with you – it hasn’t always been easy.

I’ve been known to struggle with an oreo addiction and/or have one too many sour patch kids on a bad day.

And I know you might struggle with the same thing – and I can’t blame you!

The abundance of sugar in our daily life; sodas, fruit juices, ice cream, cake, cookies, bread, ketchup, the list goes on… makes it really hard to remove all together.

However, I know you might suspect that it’s really impacting your skin, so I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve learned about how to slowly remove it from your diet, and also, what happens, exactly, when you eat sugar.

But first, because a dear reader (thank you Yelena!) asked me to clarify a bit for you, I wanted to go over what I mean when I say “sugar”, below.

I do NOT mean naturally occurring sugars that you’d find in fruit. I mean artificial sugar – the white sugar found in all of our processed foods, white breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, chips, etc.

The bad type:)

NOW. While I’m giving you the following overview of what exactly happens when your body ingests sugar – do NOT, by any wild stretch of the imagination – think that I am “sugar shaming” you if you happen to have a doughnut today.

That is SO not the goal here. Making big food changes like removing sugar is HARD and it takes TIME and oh, you just happen to be a human, in the meantime, so, immediate change is usually quite impossible and quite unrealistic.

One day at a time:)

(If you’re on the #healyourfacewithfood challenge you are “technically” off sugar for the next 30 days, but again, you’re human, I get it, buh-LIEVE me.)

SO. Without further ado, let’s discuss Acne and Sugar – and what exactly happens when sugar enters your blood stream:

  • The second you take a big bite out of a doughnut – aka glucose – your body sends a signal to your pancreas that it will need to be on “insulin duty”. Meaning, very soon, your blood sugar is going to rise (a little or a lot, depending on how big that doughnut was) and your pancreas will need to secrete insulin to manage your rising blood sugar levels.
  • Once insulin has successfully performed its job, your blood sugar levels will slowly lower and stabilize. Now. This process is all well and good – and kinda beautiful if you think about it – but where we can get into trouble is if and when we ingest TOO much sugar, too quickly – too often.
  • If and when you continue to eat a ton of sugar over a long period of time (think: decades, not, months) you can start to develop “insulin resistance”. This means that your cells may not be able to use insulin correctly anymore and as a result – your blood sugar rises – a lot, and dangerously. As insulin struggles to be absorbed by your blood, your pancreas naturally gets tempted to produce more insulin (because its getting signals that its not being used properly and knows there is a problem…) and the circle goes around and around until you get into some serious trouble.

Have you ever had a big plate of pasta/bread/cookies, etc. and felt exhausted afterwards? That’s your blood sugar/insulin at work.

  • This cycle of spiking your blood sugar (by eating a ton of sugar) and then drastically dropping your blood sugar (your pancreas releasing insulin), is what creates that feeling of exhaustion and depletion.
  • Your liver also plays a role in regulating your blood sugar levels. It stores excess glucose from the bloodstream to be used later (let’s say you go on a long run tonight, you’ll need some “reserves”). But, like any other organ, the liver also has a limited storage capacity.
  • Having excess sugar in your blood is an overall-bad-thing; it even affect tiny blood vessels in many of your body’s organs like your heart, brain, kidneys and eyes.

NOW. How does this chain reaction of sugar-insulin impact your acne? I talk about it in depth in my Clear Skin, My Way Program (coming soon!) but here are just a few of the ways it impacts your skin:

  • The spike in blood sugar levels leads to skin inflammation and acne breakouts. It increases other hormone levels of insulin – specifically Insulin Growth Factor 1 – that encourage an overgrowth of cells in your body. This is NOT good because having an overgrowth of cells at your pore is usually the first step in a breakout – without too many cells at the pore – you’re less likely to have a zit. MUY importante, mi amor.
  • Excess sugar in your blood stream also depletes the collagen in your skin on the cellular level. Collagen is essential for “aging gracefully” (notice I didn’t say “not aging” because I think you can be stunningly beautiful at any age) and it allows your skin to stay supple, elastic and vibrant.
  • The imbalance in blood sugar levels can make you a bit moody; kinda like when you feel super anxious in the morning and then exhausted in the afternoon? That’s most likely due to imbalanced blood sugar levels and believe me – this up and down moodiness is happening on a cellular level – which deeply impacts your hormones. (For more info on how to treat acne after stopping birth control, head here).
  • Studies have shown that there’s a relationship between high-sugar diets and free radicals in the body. Free radicals are not good as they’re responsible for creating cellular inflammation. To ward these babies off, try to always opt for fruits and/or veggies instead.
  • Too much sugar can also lead to an overgrowth of yeast in your body – which can cause a candida problem – which can cause rashes and redness on the skin.

SO. What can you do if you’re completely-utterly-totally addicted to sugar and really want to stop eating it?

Well, my first advice is to always take things day by day – but after that, I’d recommend starting to substitute fruits in for artificial sugars – as it’s been the most pain-less way for me to remove sugar from my diet.

What do you think – will you remove sugar from your diet completely? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

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7 low sugar fruits for your worst sugar cravings!

low sugar fruitsIf you’re doing the #healyourfacewithfood challenge with us, I wanted to offer you some good choices of low sugar fruits that you can grab if you’re having any bad sugar cravings – they usually hit around 5-7 days in!

I’ve talked about this about, oh, five gajillion times, but fruit played an integral role in my healing my acne naturally because it helped me remove artificial sugar from my diet. This completely changed my skin. I can’t stress it enough.

Now. There are a lot of people on this vast and beautiful interwebs that don’t always advocate for fruit – but I think it can be a really great way to start to wean yourself off artificial sugars aka – crap-ola.

Without further ado…

Here are 7 low sugar fruits you can grab if you’re having any bad sugar cravings:

Olives

low sugar fruits

Crazy news flash for you: olives are considered a fruit!  (I did not know this. This was a shock.)

Olives develop from the flowers of olive trees and contain seeds in themselves; some of my fav olives are niçoise and kalamata.

While there are almost zero grams of sugar per 1/2 cup of olives, they’re really great for your skin because they help to cleanse your bod, and therefore your skin, of cell-damaging free radicals and they also protect against a large number of diseases and give you a huge antioxidant boost.

How to eat ’em: Olives can spice up the flavor and the nutritional content when you add them to salads, white fish, pasta, and frittatas. #yum

Avocados

low sugar fruits

Like olives, avocados might not strike instantly while thinking about fruits, but botany has classified it as a fruit and we’ve included it in our coveted list due to its remarkably low sugar content.

Generally, there’s almost 1 gram of sugar present in a single avocado and it’s loaded with numerous essential minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and fiber.

Consumption of avocados with veggies like carrots has been shown to improve overall vitamin A content in the body, which is excellent for vision, cell growth and build-up of a healthy immune system. (For more on what vitamins are good for acne, head here:)

How to eat ’em: Mashed avocados are a nutritious substitute to mayo for dressing in salads, burritos, and tacos. These can also be blended into smoothies to achieve that thick and creamy texture – um YES please. (For a few more avocado recipes, head here for my favorite green smoothie for acne healing.)

Rhubarbs

low sugar fruits

One cup of rhubarb is made up of a little more than 1 gram of sugar. It adds a healthy proportion of vitamin K to your god pod; which has been known to enhance cognitive abilities in a significant manner – which – um, yes, hello, yes. (For more on what vitamins are good for acne, head here!)

How to eat ’em: Rhubarbs possess a tart flavor and work best when stewed with red wine and made into a paste to be sprinkled over meat. These can also be used to make sauces in a combination with raspberries, lemon, and honey. Yum, yum, yum.

Cranberries

low sugar fruits

Packed with high doses of antioxidants, cranberries have a low sugar content with only 4 grams sugar per cup.

Cranberries are great; good cranberry juice (from a health food store NOT the super sugary type:) can help curtail the risk of cardiovascular diseases and keep triglyceride and cholesterol levels in check; they’re also filled with vitamin C and fiber.

How to eat ’em: Cranberries can be used to add a dash of flavor in yogurt, stews, oatmeal etc. You can grab them to make yummy sauces with other healthy ingredients like apples, oranges, and apricots.

Raspberries

low sugar fruits

Raspberries have the least amount of sugar out of all of the berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.); they’re also rich in fiber and may help to prevent heart disease.

They’re also filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – which is key when you’re clearing your acne naturally. 

How to eat ’em: Add these babies to salads, pancakes (be careful here, not too much sugar though!), and/or yogurts or to boost up the nutritious content of protein shakes.

Kiwi

low sugar fruits

Kiwis are great because they’re super low in sugar and also have a ton of vitamin C.

I love kiwis because I feel like you have to really “sit down” and take a minute when you eat them – which helps you eat a bit more slowly and thoughtfully – always good for the soul:)

How to eat ’em: You can cut the kiwi in half and eat the skin + the inside OR peel it and add it to smoothies to make them super healthy. These can also be added into fruit salads and mixed with ingredients such as lime juice, jalapenos, bell pepper and mint to make salsa.

Casaba Melon

low sugar fruits

Casaba melons have a ton of vitamin A, C and potassium. All of these vitamins have a ton of skin-healing and skin-soothing properties like antioxidants, so the more you can load up, the better. 

How to eat ’em: Casaba Melon puree adds flavor to cold soups, sauces, cocktails, and smoothies. Their sweet taste pairs amazingly well and is combined well with ingredients like cucumber, mint, coconut milk, curry and basil.  

 

What do you think? Are any of these fruits new to you and/or do you eat them on a daily basis? (I.e. maybe casaba melon and/or rhubarb?!) Let me know in the comments below!!

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Manuka Honey and Acne: Does Manuka Honey Help Acne?

manuka honey and acne(Sign up for the 30 day acne healing #healyourfacewithfood challenge here!)

I’ve been hearing about “manuka honey and acne” foreverrrrrrrrr. And to be honest, I was always VERY confused by the whole thing – do I put it on my FACE? Am I supposed to EAT it? I didn’t get it.

So I’ve done some research for you, my dear, and it turns out that manuka honey can be pretty powerful – topically – for acne healing, so I wanted to share what I learned with you.

First things first, #nerdalert – here are the amazing “roots” of Manuka Honey and all of it’s amazingness:

Manuka Honey is a special class of medicinal honey made by the bees that collect the nectar of Manuka trees, found specifically in New Zealand.

Its medicinal use dates back to the 19th century when its antibacterial properties were first discovered. Methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone are the two chemicals other than hydrogen peroxide that are responsible for its antibacterial potency.

The antibacterial properties and quality of the honey are gauged by a parameter called Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), which is a measure of non-peroxide antibacterial potency – which also means that there are strict guidelines for what honey you’ll get the most benefits from! (For best results on the skin, a UMF of more than 16 is preferable, more on this later!)

Manuka honey is a powerhouse of nutrients that can heal scars & acne, and brighten and hydrate the skin.

So, what else can manuka honey do, you ask?

Here are 6 ways manuka honey may help to heal your acne naturally:

manuka honey and acne

1. It helps to promote a brighter skin tone and texture by nourishing, hydrating and moisturizing the skin thoroughly. It also helps in *speedy* healing of pigmentation marks (aka scarring:().

2. It has a germicidal effect – it attacks the bacteria present in the area of acne breakout, and “kills it” completely. (Say WHAT?!)

3. It helps to prevent the possibility of any future breakouts by keeping the skin pores unclogged and preventing the bacteria from getting trapped in your pores.

4. It works as a great anti-irritant for sensitive skin and can be a great break from other cosmetic products that cause skin irritation.

5. The cleansing properties of manuka honey may reduce the appearance of large pores.

6. Manuka honey has also been known to improve eczema by acting as a moisturizing layer and protecting the-already-damaged-derma.

Now that we’re fully “schooled” on all of the amazing aspects of manuka honey, here are 4 topical treatments for you to try out!

manuka honey and acne

Manuka Honey as a Face Mask:

I love a good mask:) This mask recipe is the basically the easiest mask recipe I’ve ever used in my life AND it helps restores cells naturally and promotes anti-aging (um, YAH, yes please, thankyouverymuch). Use UMF 10+ for best results.

How to apply:

  • Wash your face thoroughly.
  • Apply a thick layer of honey to your face.
  • Massage it in a bit, and leave it on for 30 minutes.
  • Gently wash with warm water.

Yes. It’s that easy! Here is another mask recipe with manuka honey in it and a few other masks in general:)

Manuka Honey as a Cleanser:

If you are not a huge fan of the amount of stickiness that the above causes, this is a better option for you – it’s also a great option if your skin gets irritated easily.

How to apply: 

  • Wash your face, thoroughly.
  • Massage a tablespoon of honey, slowly, over your face.
  • Keep it on for 30 seconds.
  • Gently wash with warm water.
  • Pat skin dry and apply moisturizer.

Manuka Honey as an Overnight Treatment:

This overnight “mask” of sorts can really help to soften and brighten your skin, giving you a ***resplendent*** glow when you wake up in the morning. This overnight treatment is also an excellent option for healing scars and highly recommended for dry skin types.

How to apply: 

  • Wash your face, thoroughly.
  • Massage a thin layer of honey on your face.
  • Use a towel to protect your pillow from stickiness.
  • Leave the “mask” on overnight and wash with warm water in the morning.

Manuka Honey as an Antibacterial Face Pack:

You can whip this recipe up very easily at home and it’s very effective in treating conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc.

Ingredients: 

  • Ground cinnamon, 2 pinches
  • Manuka honey (UMF, 10+), 3 tbsp

How to apply: 

  • Mix both the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Apply the mixture on your face, covering all areas and avoiding your eyes.
  • Leave it on for 25 minutes.
  • Gently wash with warm water

Ok my dear, by now you may be convinced of the powers of manuka honey and might be heading to the supermarket to buy some, so here is a quick checklist for you in case you need some guidance on what type of manuka honey to buy (it’s always good to know the very best type!)

Manuka honey buying checklist:

  • Not all Manuka Honey has antibacterial properties, so buy only those which have UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), MGO (Methylglyoxal) or OMA (Organic Manuka active) written on top of the jars, since these determine the medicinal and acne healing properties of the honey.
  • Buy the brand that says ”Active” on it and has the product manufactured in New Zealand.
  • It has a UMF or OMA rating of 15+ or a MGO rating of 250+.
  • If you are allergic to bees, then there are very high chances that you will also be allergic to Manuka Honey. Do NOT use this.***
  • Keep it out of reach of children less than 1 years of age as it can lead to botulism poisoning.***
  • If you’re experimenting with Manuka Honey for the first time, it’s advisable to get a patch test done to know about any undesirable allergic reactions in advance.***

What do you think? Will you try manuka honey for your acne soon? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

 

 

**** Also, please always keep in mind and read the disclaimer here, I am NOT a doctor and nothing your read here should be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor.***

 

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2017 Heal Your Face With Food New Years Eve Skin-Reset Challenge

2017-jan-challenge-2_page_1
Page 1, click the image to download the entire starter guide.

I’ve mentioned this a few times but 2016 was definitely a year of immense surprises and intense, unexpected changes for me.

That being said, I’ve had a lot of “water-shed” moments this year where I had to find my “anchor” and/or the thing that truly grounded me, and I will say that those things have been quite simple;

A few things that have been incredibly important during these interesting times have been: excellent nutrition, self care, and rest.

…and I wanted to hold a #healyourfacewithfood challenge just for this reason.

These food/body/mind choices have been absolutely transformative for me (more than usual) and I want to help you have the same type of experience – right at the beginning of The New Year.

Eating well, nourishing my skin and, as a result, my soul, have been incredibly important to me as I’ve gone through these past bizarrely-unexpected-completely-unplanned-for-and-totally-surprising-months.

I want to help you do the same thing.

So, for the next 30 days, please feel free to join me here, over on instagram, pinterest and here on the blog of course, where we’ll go through the #healyourfacewithfood challenge that will include 30 days of acne clearing recipes, smoothies, no alcohol, and hopefully…. A whole lot of joy. Super simple, and super powerful.

I know there are so many #healyourfacewithfood warriors already with us, but just to make sure you’re in, head to the link here and download your starter guide

The challenge starts on Monday, January 16th, so be on the lookout for more details before then so that we’re ready to go for the day of!

I’ll be sending more details along as we go along, so in the meantime, keep an eye out on your inbox:)

30 days of acne clearing recipes, super foods, amazing tips and tricks, inspiring stories from other #healyourfacewithfoodies that have totally transformed their skin through naturally… and a lot more. Can’t wait to see you there:) 

Sign up here.

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I got a zit today, and I didn’t flip my *&H*. Here’s why.

the day of said "zit finding".
the day of said “zit finding”.
I remember waking up in middle school, high school, my early 20s…. And the FIRST thing I’d do was search my face with my hand, in the dark, feeling for new breakouts.

Usually I’d wake up with 2-3 new “hot spots” and it was so. Freaking. Frustrating.

So you can imagine my feelings the other day when I turned my head to the side and saw a little red spot on my jawline…..

Or can you?

My first thought was…. “Hmmmmmmm that doesn’t belong there!!!”

And my second thought was… “Meh, oh well. I’m ovulating, I’ve been working a TON (I’m verging on exhausted) and I exfoliated yesterday, so that’s why that’s happening! Acne isn’t an “issue” that I have anymore”. 

And I went on my merry way and POOF! the next morning, I could barely see it.

I have a feeeeeeeling you do the EXACT same thing I used to do – the “wake-up-and-check” routine, a routine that is INCREDIBLY discouraging.

I GET it – I did it for 15 years.

And while I can’t “clear your acne” right now, today, in this current moment, I can give you some action steps that you can take, now, to start to heal, from the inside out, and point you to my gajillion and one resources.

NOW, if you’ve read about my acne journey here, you know that I had gone through quite a few different “tries” at healing my acne.

I tried a vegan diet, first. It was, an epic fail, quite frankly. I was STARVING all of the time, I lost a ton of weight, and it didn’t impact my skin in the slightest. If anything, it made it 10X worse.

I tried a paleo diet too, which actually wasn’t THAT bad, except for the fact that, again, I was starving all of the time.

Also, keep in mind, sometimes your body needs a minute to adjust to new diet changes and that’s totally fine, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about starving for months at a time, crazy low energy… we’re talking HANGRY people; it just didn’t work for my bod.

Here’s what DID work to heal my acne naturally:

I balanced my blood sugar.
I healed my tummy bacteria.
I added in 10 fruits and veggies a day.
I started working out and meditating, daily.

Now, if reading that list simultaneously excites you AND makes you feel overwhelmed, no problem.

I am here to help you on your natural acne healing journey!!

Today is a “check out all of my resources day” because there are so many items on the blog that can help you, but you’ve got to know where to look:)

First things first, if you think you might be struggling a bit with blood sugar management issues, head over to the why do I still have acne post and start to assess some blood sugar stuff.

If you want information on how the bacteria in your belly impacts your skin, read here for all about how the bacteria in your belly could be causing your acne.

If you want some recipes on adding in fruits and veggies, grab 5 acne clearing food recipes here.

If you’re looking for a SUPER simple meditation routine, grab my favorite meditation for acne, here.

IF you’re looking for a little Acne Clearing Detox plan that we did in the Spring, head here (free!) for more details and join us over on the ‘gram.

Does alcohol affect acne? A Happier Hour for your skin

You LOVE your social life. You like partying and going out and meeting people…. you organize the happy hours for work. But, I know you’re having trouble with your skin and I think you might feel a teeny bit of guilt every time you do go out and party a bit. What if what you’re eating and… Read More

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5 acne clearing food recipes

I LOVE sharing my favorite acne clearing food recipes – because changing how I ate truly and completely transformed my skin. SO, I wanted to share even more acne clearing recipes that I know are good for your skin! Below you’ll find 2 green juices, 1 sandwich, 1 salad and 1 dinner recipe, all with ingredients… Read More

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Adult acne triggers – my favorite clear skin tool

Back when I was trying to heal my adult acne naturally, I used to get really angry. WHAT’S causing it? I would wonder and stress and basically get hives over eating ANYTHING. Do you struggle with that too? Trying to figure out what’s even causing your breakouts? I hear you, and I get it, so… Read More

Download a face mapping guide today to start to discover what your unique acne triggers are!