Acne is a pain for any girl, but adult acne is a whole separate beast. In her new book, Cured by Nature, author and blogger, Tara Mackey details how she healed herself—and her skin—from the inside out when medications, creams and birth control failed. If you're leery of pharmaceuticals or if you've heard or witnessed horror stories of women who've battled painful acne that never seems to go away, then going the natural route may be your best bet.
As someone who quit her acne meds cold-turkey and dropped her dependency of pharmaceuticals in search a more natural route and succeeded, Tara shared four tips that helped lead her to better, acne-free skin and a better life.
1. Cleansing with purified water
A recent article in Marie Claire magazine revealed "hard water [tap water] with a high mineral content—which is found in 85 percent of the United States— can be responsible for skin ailments and dryness." Mackey advises that a key sign that you have hard water is the appearance of dry, itchy, flaky or filmy skin and hair post-shower. Because unfiltered water is very acidic and contains irritating minerals and metals like magnesium, calcium and iron, Mackey recommends that you add a water filter to your shower head. We recommend the Sprite Universal Shower Filter with Dial-A-Date Indicator ($24.99, at bedbathandbeyond.com)
2. Ditch Caffeine for Herbal Tea
While ground coffee beans can have great effects on the skin (hello, they reduce they appearance of cellulite!) Drinking heavily caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda is very dehydrating, which never bodes well for the skin. Mackey also advises "when ingested, caffeine can cause disruption to your gut, which is where the start of clear skin truly begins." Try changing your coffee habit into an herbal tea habit, focusing on calming and healing herbs like mint, lavender and even cinnamon.
3. Try herbal supplements and vitamins
Mackey dealt with terrible cystic acne and insists that the primary issue with medication and prescription drugs like steroids and antibiotics are that they "skin over the one thing that truly does need to change for clear skin to stick: your body needs to be in balance." Instead of relying on pharmaceuticals, Mackey opted to take the natural route and rely on herbal supplements and vitamins instead, namely DIM, a natural estrogen regulator, which balances hormones and skin. She also favors vitamin D, vitex, fish oils and evening primrose oil.
4. Opt to use green beauty products
Because makeup and skincare ingredients can sometimes be packed with ingredients that are hard for the body to process or simply just not good for the body, Mackey recommends opting to use green beauty products. "If you can' pronounce it or wouldn't eat it, don't buy it; and, don't put it in your body!" she states, advising that the skin absorbs at least 75% of what we put on it. Lastly, she recommends ditching alcohol based toners and products in favor of apple cider vinegar.
If you're going green—or you already live a green lifestyle and want more green beauty tips, check out Mackey's book, Cured by Nature.