Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans, including many adults. Working to address the root causes of acne takes patience. Over-the-counter and prescription treatments may help, though some can cause serious side effects.
In my book Clean Skin From Within, I discuss how what we put INSIDE our bodies can dramatically impact our skin’s health. However, there are still tips and tricks you can use to help with certain skin issues. If traditional treatments have been unsuccessful and you want to try something more natural, herbal remedies may help.
Herbal remedies were used to clear up acne and other skin conditions well before modern treatments existed. Despite the lack of research on many herbal solutions, anecdotal evidence has shown that herbal remedies tend to have fewer side effects than other treatments.
Some herbs have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. These properties may help reduce acne-causing bacteria and inflammation, which can help to heal blemishes.
Herbs for Internal Use
Herbs added to meals and smoothies have tremendous benefits for your skin, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidants to support healthy, clean skin. Use fresh, high-quality herbs for the most benefit.
Basil – is one of the best herbs to eat to promote overall health. For the skin specifically, it combats bacteria from the inside out, and keeps free radicals at bay, which reduces inflammation and redness, and acne. Use it in any of your savory dishes, or feel free to throw a few fresh basil leaves in a salad, and even a smoothie.
Oregano – is terrific in relieving an upset stomach, low appetite, depression, and yes, even reducing acne. Oregano contains antibacterial properties and chlorophyll to help fight inflammation that leads to breakouts and acne. Add it to salads, homemade dressings — or any savory dish, and sprinkle a few fresh leaves into your next cup of herbal tea for a beautiful, uplifting drink.
Cilantro – is a detoxifying herb to support your liver, which is vital to preventing illness, acne, and even weight gain. Cilantro is one of the largest sources of chlorophyll of any plant. Chlorophyll is great for the skin because it helps to fight acidity in the body — inducing cleansing, promoting healing, and even combating low blood sugar. Add it to your salads, and even your smoothies. Juice with it, cook savory dishes with it, or try it in new and different ways.
Parsley – is another top detoxifying herb because (like cilantro) it is one of the highest sources of chlorophyll. Parsley is especially rich in Vitamin C. Healthy skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C. So parsley can help support essential functions, like stimulating collagen synthesis or assisting in antioxidant protection to produce healthy barrier protection and combat acne. Eat parsley shredded in salads, juice with it, cook with it, and even use it in smoothies.
Herbs For Topical Use
Tea Tree – Is an herb that can be used to treat skin issues, including acne. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory abilities that may reduce the number of acne lesions. A study on the topical use of 5% tea tree oil compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide, tea tree, was just as effective at reducing acne lesions.
Calendula – The marigold flower is an herb useful for wound healing, soothing eczema, relieving diaper rash, and addressing acne. It has antimicrobial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. A study found calendula may be useful in treating and preventing acne vulgaris, giving it the potential to help in some acne cases.
Licorice – produces both glycyrrhetinic acid and licochalcone, which are rich sources of antioxidants and have shown to be useful in treating atopic dermatitis. Glycyrrhetinic acid and Licochalcone have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and also offer skin lightening and anti-aging benefits.
Moor Mud – is a therapeutic Austrian peat produced through the natural decomposition of approximately 300 different medicinal species of herbs, flowers, and reeds and is a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Moor mud is known to have several beneficial properties for oilier skin – including detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, purifying, nourishing, and sebum-balancing.
Grapeseed – contains Linoleic acid and vitamin E, which can help even skin tone and heal blemishes, and repair the skin’s natural barrier. Grapeseed or vitis vinifera extract is rich in polyphenols, such as oligomeric proanthocyanidin and carotenoids. Polyphenols are a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent agents — which means grapeseed can help clean pores and prevent dead skin build-up.
Herbs For Both Internal and External Use
Roman Chamomile – is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herb that can help calm the inflammation caused by acne. For internal use, the chamomile in The Spa Dr.® Skin & Gut Restore contains azulene, an ingredient known for its calming, anti-inflammatory, and refreshing benefits. For external use, the overall antioxidative effect of using chamomile has shown to be beneficial as a therapeutic use for many ailments, including acne — and it will leave the skin looking soothed and toned!
Green Tea Extract – contains EGCg (epigallocatechin gallate) is a polyphenol compound that gets a lot of attention for its potential positive impact on health. EGCg modulates hormonal activity, helping to support hormonal-related acne by attacking free radicals and can improve acne and oily skin by clearing excess sebum that clogs pores. For internal use, the green tea extract in The Spa Dr.® Skin, Hair & Nails Support provides building blocks necessary to support healthy skin. For external use, the green tea extract in The Spa Dr.® RENEW: Enriched Moisturizer blend will naturally restore your skin and protects against oxidative damage.
Dandelion Extract – For internal use, dandelion tea has antiseptic, packed with antioxidants and diuretic properties that can be a powerful weapon in maintaining healthy skin. For topical use, dandelion is high in Vitamin C, making it a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals. It also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which a study found to help treat acne in adult women.
Turmeric – For internal use, turmeric is a South Indian herb with long-standing uses as a spice for medicinal and beautifying effects. It contains anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help relieve inflammation, redness, and itchiness. For topical use, turmeric helps manage microorganism growth on the skin, which helps ward off acne-causing bacteria and prevents other infections from spreading.
Milk Thistle Extract – contains flavonoids that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for acne-prone skin, by helping to balance sebum produced in the skin. For internal use, Milk Thistle can support the liver’s detoxification pathways. For external use, The Spa Dr.®Purifying Mud Mask is suitable for all skin types because it is not drying. This mask is infused with milk thistle extract making it ideal for revealing radiant, healthy-looking skin.
Incorporating Herbs For Skin Care
With herbal skin care, it’s best to start with just a few herbs at a time. Add a few herbs in your recipes for a delicious way to incorporate them internally. For external use, start with a DIY mask or toner, or better yet — look for pure botanical skin care products like these:
The Spa Dr.® Skinflam-Ease contains highly bioavailable curcuminoids that support vibrant health. Curcuminoids have antioxidant properties. A proprietary manufacturing process optimizes the absorption rate with natural, skin-friendly ingredients, including herbal ingredients like sunflower lecithin and turmeric oil.**
The Spa Dr.® Microbiome Builder 60 Capsules supports healthy gut microorganisms to balance the GI microflora and support healthy GI, skin, and immune function.**
At The Spa Dr. – our approach is to help shine the light on skin care information to offer guidance and nurture your skin care journey. We believe the information we provide will help support your self-care and healing, and we want you to feel safe and cared for within our community!
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.