By: Spencer Raymond Madden
In a society that values beauty, dealing with skin issues can be frustrating and downright defeating. So try a few of these natural remedies to heal your skin!
Ever since I can remember, I have had extremely sensitive skin that was prone to redness, breakouts, and sunburn. In a society that values beauty, dealing with skin issues can be frustrating and downright defeating. Thanks to mainstream media, there is often the prevalent idea that only women deal with skin issues, but as a male in his twenties, I’ve had my own fair share.
Spending more time than I care to admit agonizing over my skin—still guilty of doing it occasionally—I have spent a lot of money, time, and effort experimenting in order to heal my skin. Below I will detail a number of important tips that I slowly unearthed, which helped guide me to better, healthier skin. In advance, I would like to note that no one solution is right for everyone—a quick Google search will reveal millions of posts on healing skin. That said, I have found success with this list and recommend experimenting with the following points.
1. Avocado Oil
This is one of my more recent discoveries. Organic avocado oil has the right ratio of omega 3 and 6 oils, which can help clear skin. I cook extensively with this oil as it has a high smoking point; it is also great on salads. It is the only shaving product I use. Every few days, I apply it on my face overnight to let the nutritional benefits soak in. It can also be used for the oil cleansing method. Overall, avocado oil is truly a skin superfood.
2. Clay Masks
Masks can be an awesome way to pull out dead cells and dirt from the pores. While everyone is different, I’ve found that using it once a week is enough. Masks can be drying and tend to cause redness if you have hypersensitive skin. Make sure to do it in the evening and allow your face time to calm down overnight. I use green clay, but there is a host of different kinds and combination to experiment with. Start at your natural foods store.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is one amazing product. I’ve found it to be the perfect toner to swab the skin before applying a moisturizer. Many men have never been educated regarding the purpose of a skin toner; however, it is an essential part of keeping skin healthy. Keep in mind that it is important to experiment with ACV/water dilution so your skin doesn’t flare angrily. Be sure to shake the bottle every time you apply.
4. Spring Water
Water is such an integral part of our daily skin routine, so why settle for anything but the best? I always go straight to the local fresh water spring and fill up large containers. Not only is your water no longer sterilized, zapped, and pumped through plastic piping, it doesn’t cost anything. Store your water in sealed containers in a dark, cool space and use within a month. Visit www.findaspring.com to see where you can obtain your fresh water. Be sure to drink your bodyweight divided by two in ounces every day.
5. Single Razor Blades
I would always get fiery razor burn from the latest and greatest quadruple smooth ultra-razor. I could never figure out the reasoning because my technique was good. Then I switched to single blade razors and never looked back. It is much easier on your skin and leaves a close, smooth shave just like my grandpa. Plus, it is significantly cheaper.
6. No Gluten
You will find individuals in both camps: gluten isn’t a factor for people who don’t have celiac disease, and those who believe we shouldn’t have gluten in our diets. I am of the opinion you should do what works for you; however, try cutting out gluten for two weeks as an experiment. I did it on a dare and my skin never looked better—as soon as I start into gluten again, my acne came back with a vengeance. I only wish I had known this in high school!
This amazing fungus is harvested off of birch trees. I brew it on low heat on my stove for multiple days and then drink it warm, or cold with lemon mixed it. Not only does it help draw toxins from the blood stream, it can help calm inflammation. I love to take cold chaga mixed with a scoop of Sunwarrior Warrior Blend vanilla protein in my water bottle when I practice hot yoga—you can feel the detox effect on your skin! Be sure to research sustainable chaga practices.
Just say no unless your condition is life threatening. I was prescribed a multitude of antibiotics as a teenager for my skin and took them for years. I kept asking my dermatologist if these pills were a long term solution and was told that they were. This is big pharmacy corporations talking. The result? My gut bacterium was destroyed, and my skin issues actually got worse. I still have lingering effects five years later. We’re already experiencing antibiotic resistance, so don’t use them for skin issues unless it is truly life threatening.
9. Reduce Skin Stress
One of the big ways to reduce skin issues is not to focus on it extensively. Get a plan together, experiment, monitor it as a scientist would and modify as necessary. Agonizing about it is only going to pump cortisol into your blood stream with the end result being more skin issues. Try deep breathing, yoga, and not staring at a mirror extensively, and train your mind to realize you are working to find a solution. Be patient!
10. Vitamin D
I use to get back acne quite a bit. I attributed it partially to sweating and my shirt rubbing. I have since realized that the lack of vitamin D on my skin was an issue. While I don’t recommend standing shirtless all day, get outside for a dose of real vitamin D with your skin exposed. After a short time, add protection. I recommend talking to your naturopathic doctor about vitamin D supplementation, as this can be an easy fix for many people’s skin issues.
Skin issues can be the bane of one’s existence. I’ve been there through the highs and lows and still struggle with my skin. However, with patience and experimentation, it is possible to drastically clear-up and heal your skin. Take it slowly, track your results, and practice loving your skin. Always remember: your skin condition doesn’t define you as a human being.