5 Ways to Clear Up Your Skin Naturally

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Hiya Radiant You,

I recently wrote an article for Well+Good on how making some changes to your diet can help clear up your skin naturally, and the topic seemed to really hit home with folks. Since it was such a hit, I wanted to share the info—plus expand on the topic—here, too. I hope you find it helpful.

Now, let me ask you: How are you feeling about the skin you’re in? I hope fantastic, but I know it can be a struggle to feel content with your complexion, particularly when an angry pimple—or, ugh, a full-on breakout—pops up. Adult acne can be a big bummer that leads us to ask, aren’t we supposed to be done with pimples post-puberty? It’s confusing and frustrating.

Luckily, there are things you can do (and be sure to not do) to clear up your skin naturally. Below, I shed some light on why in the world you could be dealing with zits and the easy habits and practices you can work in to get yourself on a blemish-free path.

1. Figure out the best skin care routine for YOU

We are unique little unicorns and as such our nutrition needs, sleeping habits, supplement protocols and so on are as individual as snowflakes. The same is true for skin care routines: What’s effective for me may be a flop for you. Likewise, what’s cleansing for some may be drying for others; what moisturizes one face may transform another into an oil slick.

You could already have an idea of the techniques and products that give you good results, or perhaps you’re still trying to figure it out. If it’s the latter, I suggest the following two-step protocol: 1) learn your skin type. 2) experiment, experiment, experiment!

Even if you’ve been around the skin-care block a time or two, there are always new things to try (oils, coal, you name it). You never know what might help your fabulous face. And if you’re more of a no-frills kind of gal, here’s a wonderful skin care basics overview to guide you.

Bottom line: Find out what works for Y-O-U.

A great place to start is with Annmarie Gianni’s organic, non-toxic skin care sample kits here. More details below…

2. Don’t sleep or work out in makeup

Head straight to the gym from work, or head straight to bed after a night out—without making time to swipe off the day’s makeup? These are big no-nos in the clear-skin department. Even the purest of makeup products don’t belong in your pores for extended periods, which is exactly the scenario when you sleep in your makeup (and you can imagine the nasties that sink into your skin if you use less-than-clean cosmetics. Bleh!).

As for getting your sweat on with a made-up face, you’re creating a “bacterial stew” of makeup and perspiration on your visage—basically a clogged-pore invitation for pimples to set up shop (source). Ew, don’t do it.

3. Keep all the shiz that touches your face clean

This is an easy concept to understand, but it’s just as easy to forget: You can spread all kinds of crap onto your marvelous mug from the many items that come into contact with your face every day. Think about it: your makeup brushes, your phone, your sunglasses, your pillowcase… How often do you clean these things? And how often do they touch your face? Right. Make a habit of wiping them down and washing them out.

For cell phones in particular, explore ways to talk without pressing the phone against your face, like using earbuds or chatting on speakerphone. When you hold your cell to your face for long stretches, you can block or trap oil in your pores (and trapped oil can lead to acne cysts. No thank you!).

4. Balance your hormones

If you’ve ever googled “why is my jawline breaking out?” you’ve likely been referred to an article on hormones. A sudden appearance of jaw blemishes is a classic indicator of fluctuating hormones; it’s a PMS symptom for many women (source). It can be a problem any time of the month, though—from too much testosterone to a thyroid glitch, your skin may freak out if your hormones are on the fritz (source).

If you suspect your hormones are to blame for your skin woes, I’d recommend working with an integrative practitioner to develop a plan for for balancing things out. One thing you can absolutely work on right away, though, is reducing stress. When your nervous system is on edge, you start perceiving no-big-deal happenings as threatening events, which leads to the secretion of excess stress hormones. That’s no bueno for your skin or your overall well-being.

5. Clean up (and power up!) your diet

The wide-ranging impact our diets can have just continuously amazes me. It’s really no surprise, though, that removing problematic foods and adding in beneficial ones can give our skin the help it needs—our outer appearance is often a reflection of our inner health. Some specifics to consider: Dairy and sugar (specifically refined sugar, like you’ll find in many processed foods) are at the top of the list of acne-causing ingredients. There’s been an abundance of anecdotal evidence about these two culprits for years, but the medical community is now nodding in agreement, too. If you haven’t already, try cutting these out of your diet to see if it banishes your breakouts. Other items that cause skin problems for some are gluten and fruits and veggies in the nightshade family (common ones: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant).

Now, what to add: A probiotic is reportedly good for skin, in the sense that it keeps your digestive tract humming along nicely. You can also try incorporating papaya and pineapple into meals and snacks for more digestive support—they’ve got natural digestive enzymes. And elderberry is another ingredient with skin benefits, as well as onions, cacao and plums.

But here’s the thing I—and NYC facialist Joanna Vargas—think is going to make the biggest difference for you: green drinks. The blast of nutrients you get from a green juice or smoothie can brighten, lighten, de-bloat and more—that whole “outer appearance reflects inner health” thing at work again (source). Juicing and blending are the foundation of my wellness practice. These super-beverages are great ways to get in your plant-based nutrition, and the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed into each one are amazing for your skin and immunity. Sip your way to a glowing epidermis, more energy and better health, gorgeous!

Need a little help in the healthy drink department? I gotcha covered. I created over 100 simple, delicious, ultra-nourishing juice, smoothie and nut milk recipes for my book, Crazy Sexy Juice! In it you’ll find everything you need to know about juicing and blending, a gajillion fantastic recipes and even a 3-day cleanse. (And if you haven’t yet invested in a juicer, don’t worry—there are actually more blender-friendly recipes in the book than juices.)

So there you have it, beauty—five things you can do to get a clear complexion naturally. Try them today!

Now I’d love to hear from you: What’s one thing you do—or don’t do—to keep your skin clear?

Peace and confident complexions,

Kris Carr

P.S. Ready to ditch those products in your cabinet that are full of who-knows-what?

Now’s your chance! Annmarie Gianni, an organic, non-toxic skincare line that I adore, is offering a gorgeous sample kit for only $10. The shipping is free, and you’ll get a coupon for a later purchase. Try these natural, wild-crafted products that will really get your skin glowing again! Get your sample kit here.