There are many causes and contributing factors to the development of acne which can include, but are not limited to, hormone imbalance, blood sugar dysregulation, liver dysfunction, vitamin and mineral deficiencies (ie. zinc, vitamin A, selenium), omega 3 deficiency, gut dysbiosis, dairy and other food sensitivities. Diet/Lifestyle treatments that can help include: balancing protein with carbohydrates, eliminating refined carbohydrates (ie. white bread, white pasta, white and brown sugars), eating foods rich in vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and other leafy greens) and omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, herring, sardines), daily exercise, cow dairy and other food sensitivity elimination, increasing fiber intake (oats, lentils, legumes, beans, avocado, nuts, seeds especially flax seeds and brazil nuts), adequate water intake (1.5-2 L daily), organic green tea daily, changing the pillow case every night, wiping your phone with alcohol before using. It is also important to try to consume organic foods which include a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (juicing, smoothies) and non-factory farmed meats as this lowers the exposure to androgenic hormones. Topically I recommend only washing the face once daily or once every other day in a homemade herbal cleanser which contains ingredients like organic green tea, calendula and tea tree oil. I find too much face washing decreases the healthy oils on the skin which then subsequently increases the amount produced to compensate for the lack of hydration in the skin leading to more acne. I also recommend compounded niacinamide gel which is a form of Vitamin B3 that has been researched to be as effective (if not more effective clinically) than the conventional recommended prescription benzoyl peroxide. Supplements can include: chromium, B complex (higher B5 or B6), buffered Vitamin C, zinc/copper, omega 3, vitamin D, probiotics, L-glutamine and evening prim rose oil. Herbal medicines can include: green tea extract (EGCG), milk thistle, turmeric, globe artichoke, chaste tree, dong quai and saw palmetto.
Although there are many different treatment options, it is important to identify and treat the root cause of your individual case. It is essential to remember that skin takes time to heal and treatments should be maintained consistently for several months to see the maximum benefit.