6 Spices to Eat for Clear Skin

Are you looking for a quick, easy way to reduce acne and improve skin health? Then look no further than your spice cabinet!

Spices aren’t just for flavoring food, they hold acne fighting power too! Adding more spices into your life may reduce the acne breakouts and improve skin clarity. They accomplish this with their anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Here are the spices:

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is great for reducing blood sugar and insulin levels. High level of blood sugar and insulin will promote acne breakouts by increasing oil production and cell turnover which leads to clogged pores. Adding cinnamon into your daily diet could result in less oily and clearer skin.

Cumin

Cumin helps skin a couple ways. It’s loaded with vitamin E which is essential for healthy skin and it contains anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which help eliminate acne. Adding cumin to your diet may help keep skin clear and as an added bonus it helps with premature aging.

Chamomile

Chamomile has amazing anti-inflammatory and calming properties which reduces redness and swelling. Not only does it reduce inflammation, but it speeds up healing and clears the infection. Adding a cup of chamomile tea to your day may help rid your skin of those pesky cystic acne bumps.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is an anti-acne powerhouse! It has antiviral and antibacterial properties which may help reduce inflammation and infection. It also can help with reducing post acne marks and assisting in exfoliation. Adding nutmeg to your diet may help you reduce inflammation and clogged pores.

Ginger

Ginger is filled with anti-inflammatory compounds and anti-aging antioxidants. It has been used for years in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat arthritis (an inflammatory disease). It prevents acne by lowering blood sugar (like cinnamon) and reducing oil production. Add ginger to your diet to improve skin tone and fight acne.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an effective anti-inflammatory agent. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease acne bacteria. It has properties that speed up the healing process and reduces clogged pores. It does this be reducing skin cell growth and the amount of oil produced. Adding turmeric to your diet could lead to less breakouts and inflammation.

How to Add Them to Your Day

Incorporating spices into your diet may seem challenging, so I came up with an easy plan to get more spices in our life.

  1. Start your day with ginger and lemon water – Soak ¼ t of minced ginger root in warm water for 10 minutes and then squirt with lemon juice
  2. Add cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice (no sugar) to your morning coffee or breakfast
  3. Eat a leafy green salad for lunch or dinner with a dressing of lemon, olive oil and acne fighting spices such as turmeric and cumin or a combination spice such as Hot Madras Curry Powder
  4. End you day with a cup of chamomile tea before bed

There you have it. An easy-peasy way to get more acne fighting spices in your life!

There are many more spices that offer amazing skin benefits. What is your favorite skin spice and why? Please share with me; I would love to know! Thanks!

Does Milk Cause Acne?

There’s nothing I love more than a snuggly cup of coffee loaded with heavy cream first thing in the morning. I wake up every morning to write and drink my coffee in blessed silence as the rest of the house is sleeping. It’s therapeutic, but could my morning habit be contributing to my skin breakouts?

The other morning, I decided to research the link between diet and acne. Hoping to figure out the next piece of the acne puzzle.

I believe that there is an internal and external component to acne. In a recent post, I offered advice for the external piece. Now it’s time to focus on the internal piece.

In my research, dairy came up over and over again as causing acne. I looked at my cup and thought, “oh no! not my coffee!” I decided to dive deeper into dairy and acne.

According to the medical community, there is a definite link between acne and milk. Milk in this instance refers to milk from cows.

There have been many studies conducted to prove the link between milk and acne. They all have proved that there is a definite link. Meaning if you have acne, you would benefit from removing dairy from your diet.

Why Does Milk Cause Acne?

Milk comes from pregnant cows. It contains hormones which helps the baby cows grow. These hormones are ingested by us when we drink milk or eat dairy products.

How does this cause acne? The hormones passed through the cow’s milk contains androgens or male sex hormones specifically testosterone. It’s a small amount of hormones, but most people with acne seem to react to the extra hormones.

How does our skin react? By producing more oil. The increased oil production promotes clogged pores which in turn become inflamed pimples.

Here is a link from the study if you are interested.

Ok, so dairy is out. Now what?

More importantly, am I ever going to enjoy another cup of coffee again!?

I decided to remove all dairy from my diet to see if there is a difference. It’s been about a week and I haven’t had any new pimples pop up, so I’m thinking that there may be something to the dairy causing acne thing.

Could your acne be caused by dairy? The easiest way to test this theory yourself, is to remove dairy for a month and see how it goes.

How do you do this? Replace milk with a milk alternative like almond milk. I don’t recommend soy milk because there is a hormone component there too that may cause breakouts.

In the interest of full disclosure (and so I don’t feel like a hypocrite) I will admit, I didn’t remove dairy creamer from my daily cup of joy. I tried almond milk and it just didn’t do it for me.

After some research, I decided to try goat milk. Goat milk contains less hormones than cow milk. It is much tangier which I actually enjoy. If I notice that my acne gets worse I will stop using it.

Have you tried removing dairy from your diet? Did it help? I’d love to hear your experience! Please leave your comments and thoughts below. As always you can email me at acneveteran@gmail.com and I’ll be sure to respond and help you out anyway I can!

Thanks for reading!

The 2 Ingredients Required for Your Acne Skincare System

After much research and testing, I found an acne system that works great! I believe it will work well for most people.

It contains the basic acne fighting ingredients required for clear skin. They are the unsexy ingredients that we all know and may or may not love.

I call them unsexy because they are the boring, basic ingredients. They aren’t sexy or exotic, but they are proven to work time and time again.

They are:

Salicylic Acid – a mild exfoliant that clear pores

Benzoyl Peroxide – an antibacterial agent that kills the P. acnes bacteria that inflames acne

In fact, they are 2 out of the 4, FDA approved over the counter ingredients for treating acne. The other two are sulfur and sulfur with resorcinol.

Together they create an effective acne system. They work together to fight acne and cannot be used interchangeably.

They are so effective because they are lipid soluble which means they cut through oil and get deep down into the follicle to stop a pimple before it starts.

The system that I use is Paula’s Choice Clear Skin System. It contains the both Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide and is gentle of the skin.

The system includes 3 steps:

  1. Gentle cleanser
  2. 2% Salicylic acid toner
  3. 2.5% Benzoyl peroxide lotion

The system is a bit pricey, but worth it if you can afford it.

If not, I also researched and tried the following drugstore brands. They are less expensive and proven by me to be effective.

  1. Clean and Clear Sensitive Skin Face Wash
  2. Neutrogena On the Spot Benzoyl Peroxide cream (this one tends to be a bit more drying that the PC BP cream)

The only item I can’t find a replacement for is the Salicylic Acid toner by Paula’s Choice. It is such a great product and doesn’t contain alcohol so it’s gentle and not drying.

All the toners I find in the store seem to contain alcohol. I’m going to try some out to see if I can find a comparable product.

If you have any recommendations for Salicylic Acid toners, please pass them along and I will check them out! Thanks!

Acne at Work

Facing others at work every day when your skin is broken out can be difficult. I know because most of my working life I’ve had terrible skin. I’ve found out over the years that I made a bigger deal out of it than actually was though.

Here’s the truth – no one at work has ever treated me differently or mentioned my skin issues. It’s like they don’t notice.

I think the reason for this is that every person battles some part of them that they don’t like.

Think about it, it’s human nature. No one person is completely happy with every part of them. Whether it is being overweight, having a lisp, a crooked smile, a bald head…you get the point. Everyone has something.

Sure, ours may be more obvious, but most people are so focused on their own flaws ours is but a blip on their radar. So, it’s really not a huge deal.

Also, who cares what others may think about our skin? If it bothers them, then that’s their problem not ours. They can think whatever they want.

I think there comes a point in your life where you just admit and embrace your flaws. Stop hiding who you are and own it. That’s what I did.

I went through a massive breakout when I went off birth control. I was doing everything I could to improve my skin’s condition, but nothing helped.

The only thing I could do was wait it out and let my hormones settle down. I covered up the break outs with makeup and soldiered through work.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard. Some days were rough and there were many days that I cried and felt depressed.

But one day, I thought to myself I can defeat acne or let it defeat me.

I decided to start acting with more confidence and ignoring my acne. I embraced my skin and learned to not focus on it. It was empowering! And it worked!

My skin cleared up and I had a new-found confidence! Acne no longer had power over me. I even stopped covering up pimples as they popped up. I was finally over it.

I want this for you too. Embrace this part of yourself and make the decision not to let it hold you back.

Please leave your questions and comments below! As always you can reach me at acneveteran@gmail.com! Thanks!

The Positive Impact of Acne

Sometimes I think that we give acne more power than it deserves. There’s no denying that acne sucks, but it’s not as bad as it is made out to be by ourselves and others.

It’s hard to think about positives associates with acne seeing as we are bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards and told repeatedly how acne is embarrassing, No wonder our self esteem takes a hit.

Acne related websites, treatments and advertisements are the worst offenders. They use emotional manipulation tactics to make you feel worse about your acne, so you will buy whatever they are selling.

The best thing to do is stop listening to marketers and remember they are salesmen. They are trying to get you to feel bad about your skin, so you buy what they are selling.

They do it because it works. It worked on me for years. I was embarrassed and ashamed of my skin, so I bought whatever acne “cure” they were promoting.

After years of listening to them and feeling bad, I started to think about if it was true or not. Was acne really negatively impacting my life or was I just listening to people tell that it should be?

Truth is, I haven’t been terribly impacted by it. I mean sure it is annoying and can be embarrassing, but that’s it.

Growing up, I’ve always had friends and didn’t have trouble dating. As I got older, I got married and have been successful in my career. No one has treated me differently.

How about you? Have you ever reflected on acne’s real impact to your life? Did you realize the same thing I did?

I feel my life is strikingly similar to those without acne. In fact, I may be even better off than others since acne has had positive impacts on my life too.

In my quest to find clear skin, I’ve tried everything under the sun to cure my acne and along the way picked up healthy habits.

First habit was eating healthy. I have tried various diets to improve my skin health – all of which are pretty much the same. And eventually eating a clean, healthy diet became my norm.

The second habit I picked up was working out. I learned that I could control what my body looked like even if I couldn’t control my break outs. It was a way to bring some control over my appearance which increased my self-confidence, reduced stress and improved my mood.

And last but not least, I am a caring and humble person. I treat other with kindness and compassion. This may not be skin related, maybe I was just born this way. But I was also just born with acne too and it is part of who I am, so I choose to embrace it and live life like normal. How about you?

Can you think of any ways that acne how positively impacted your life? Please share your thoughts with us and help someone else see acne is not as bad as it may seem! Thanks!

My Acne Story

Hi I’m Jennifer. I am 37 years old and I have acne. I have dealt with acne since the age of fourteen. I have never had perfectly clear skin. My acne is not severe just persistent.

It has been this way since childhood. It started in 1995 when I was in sixth grade. I had my first three pimples pop up on my face – one on my forehead, chin and cheek. I was a bit self-conscious, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

That was until my crush pointed out that they were arranged in a triangle shape and placed his fingers in the exact spots where my pimples were.

That’s how my battle began.

I wish I could tell you that I grew out of it, but I didn’t. Eventually it got worse and my whole t-zone broke out on a regular basis. I was upset and embarrassed. I tried various drugstore products, but nothing seemed to help.

My father noticed and helped by buying Proactiv. (It was new at the time and he saw it late at night on an infomercial.)

I was ecstatic! Finally, something that would solve my skin problems! I used it religiously and it helped calm thing down a bit, but wasn’t the total solution.

In 1997, my older sister got pregnant. My mom was upset since my sister was still in high school and she told me that I was going on birth control. I was fifteen at the time and hopeful that birth control was the extra boost I needed to get clear skin once and for all.

And it worked! The combination of Proactiv and Ortho-Tricyclen birth control cleared my skin about 90%. I finished up high school with pretty clear skin and things started looking up.

Things were going well until I decided to switch up my regimen and try prescriptions.

It was now the year 2000 and I was eighteen. I joined the military out of high school and had access to free healthcare. I still had occasional breakouts, so I decided to see what prescriptions had to offer in the way of combating acne. I was looking for the 100% solution!

I went to the doctor and he prescribed Retin-A. What a mistake! He forgot to mention that your skin gets worse before it gets better. My skin broke out. I was upset but thought that if I kept it up my skin would clear up. Eventually it did clear, but it was not 100% effective either.

A year later, I decided to try a new birth control due to some of the side effects from Ortho-Tricyclen. My skin erupted again. I had acne all over. I went to the doctor and he started me on a different birth control and oral antibiotic. Neither of which helped.

Things just snowballed from there. My skin got worse and, in an effort, to get clear skin I tried every prescription for acne available with the exception of Accutane. Nothing worked.

Eventually in 2006, I accepted defeat and went back to what I knew worked once: Ortho-Tricyclen and Proactiv. Things calmed down and I settled for this combination.

I never stopped searching for the 100% solution though. I tried various “acne cures.” Everything from natural remedies to the latest and greatest acne products. Most made things worse whereas others had no impact at all.

In the year 2007, I learned of a new birth control which was hailed for giving women clear skin called Yaz. I immediately went to the doctor and switched to it.

Yaz contains an ingredient that reduces the amount of testosterone in your system thereby reducing breakouts. After a couple months of use my skin was near perfect.

You think that the story would end there, but life goes on and things change, so of course I couldn’t stay on Yaz and use Proactiv forever.

Eventually in 2013, I went off of birth control to start a family and my skin reacted badly. In fact, it was worse than it had even been. I had a beard of acne.  I vowed to never use birth control again.

I also lost faith in Proactiv because it wasn’t controlling my skin situation and started looking for better skincare options. I found an acne system through Paula’s Choice and it helped my skin clear. It took about a year after getting off of birth control though.

I still have occasional pimples, so I’m still on the search for my 100% solution.