How Does Intestinal Cleansing Help Prevent Acne?
To understand the relationship between detox cleansing and prevention of acne, we must first understand the relationship between our skin, the digestive system, and excretory system.
Many of the foods we eat everyday contain inadequate nutrients and toxic substances, especially refined preprocessed foods with preservatives, artificial colors and artificial flavors. We often add additional "free radicals" (i.e. unstable molecules that attack our cells) to our food by unhealthy cooking methods, such as grilling on open fire or deep frying in oil. In addition, many of us intentionally ingest other toxic substances, such as alcohol, nicotine and stimulants, such as caffeine and other drugs with various adverse effects. After these foods are digested, our liver has to work overtime to detoxify all the foreign toxic substances so they can be excreted through our kidneys and skin. Some of the toxic substances escape the detox cleanse process of the liver, especially for people who have compromised liver functions.
When we put greasy food, excessive dairy products, meats and other foods with toxic substances into our intestinal tract, food residues build up. Food residues, combined with mucous secreted by mucous membranes in the colon, form layers of gluey feces, which will build up in pockets and may pile up along the entire length of the colon and small intestines as well, year after year. constipation becomes normal. People have been known to carry up to 40-50 lb. of old dried up fecal matter in their intestines. Old feces do not pass from the body with ordinary bowel movements. They need special chronic constipation remedies to dissolve the glue which binds them to the intestinal wall. This also explains why many elderly people have bowel obstruction, toxic colon, polyps, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, rectal bleeding or perforation, colon cancer and other intestinal problems.
If you let these decayed food residues accumulate in your intestines, you will suffer from "Autointoxication" (also known as autotoxicosis, enterotoxication, intestinal intoxication, intestinal toxemia or self-poisoning) which means the toxins released by the decay process, brought on by bacteria, pass into the blood stream and travel to all parts of the body. Every cell in the body can be affected and many forms of sickness can result from it, including acne and other skin eruptions.
Acne reflects the accumulation of toxic substances in our bodies. Lean-N-Clean¬¨√Ü is a mixture of water soluble natural fibers with cleansing herbs that can absorb more than 14 times its weight when mixed with water. This water fiber mesh, together with the cleansing herbs is similar to a large sponge and detergent. Together, they soak up and clean away your body's waste and impurities. The intestinal cleanser speeds up the removal of toxic waste and prevents the toxins from being absorbed into the blood stream and distributed to every part of the body, including the skin. The vitamin B-5 and the chlorophyll in the alfalfa leaf help repair the damaged cells. Body detox reduces the chance of developing acne.
Constipation is an enemy of acne control. The first step to acne control is to avoid constipation. Take Lean-N-Clean¬¨√Ü 2-3 times a day until active acne disappears, then take it 1-2 times a day for maintenance. If you are interested in thorough body detox, refer to WHY IS INTESTINAL CLEANSING IMPORTANT? , and Probiotics.
Proper Diet to Help Control Acne (avoid the following):
- Grilled, roasted, or B-B-Q meats on open fire. In 1976, Takashi Sugimura, manager of the national Cancer Research Institute of Japan, found that charred residues of fish or meat we eat everyday contain a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance. This carcinogenic substance causes a change in human gene DNA, and acts as trigger for its growth into cancer cells.
- Food or meat high in fat, especially animal fat. Examples: sausage, fatty ground meat, chocolate deserts or pastries high in fat, such as pecan pie, croissants and donuts.
- Fried foods
- Certain seafood: oyster, herring & shrimp.
- Food with preservatives. Examples: preserved meats which do not need refrigeration, such as sausages, (especially Summer Sausage), beef or pork jerky, hot dogs, bacon, deli meats.
- Iodized salt, if you eat seafood. It has been found that excessive iodine can aggravate acne condition. Most "junk foods" contain too much iodine because they are generally made with iodized salt.
- Tobacco use.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Junk Foods, especially the fried kind. Typically, they contain cottonseed oil, which is the cheapest oil on the market. Cotton is the most heavily sprayed cultivated plants with insecticides. Cotton seed oil must be detoxified before it is used for human consumption. It is uncertain how good a job manufacturers do to detoxify the cotton seed oil before it is sold. Toxins from cotton seed oil can cause toxicity in the liver and inhibits normal fatty acid metabolism. Examples: potato chips and corn chips.
- Fatty nuts, especially the roasted nuts. Examples: roasted peanuts or cashew nuts. Peanuts must be avoided because they often contain the carcinogenic compound aflatoxin, a toxic substance from some strains of fungi.
- Caffeinated beverages
- Excessive cheese and dairy products. Excessive cheese and dairy products are very mucous forming foods. They cause constipation. Milk protein allergy can be manifested as acne.
- Excessive concentrated sweets, especially if you are overweight. Examples: candies, sugar cookies.
Tip: Read labels to determine the nutritional values of foods. If you‚Äö√Ñ√¥re not sure of its contents or nutritional values, don't buy it.
Eat/Drink More Of The Following Foods:
- A variety of fruits and vegetables. Variety is important for you to get all the nutrients good for your body from whole food. Apples are one of the best fruits. Other than vitamins, they also contain plenty of pectin (a water soluble fiber), which helps to detox cleanse your intestinal tract, lower the cholesterol level and improve your skin complexion.
- Whole grain foods such as whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Soybean products such as tofu, and fresh soy protein fruit drinks.
- Seaweed (different kinds are usually available in Asian grocery stores)
- Mung beans (usually available in Asian grocery stores)
- Fish (especially fresh salt water fish)
- Natural spring water or tap water with additional filtration (6-8 glasses a day).
Cooking Oils In Order Of Preference:
- Olive oil.
- Canola oil or flaxseed oil.
- Sesame seed oil.
Avoid: butter or lard, coconut oil, palm oil, corn oil and cotton seed oil, which is in most snack foods. Read ingredients on labels before you eat.
Cooking Methods In Order Of Preference:
- Raw (for suitable foods). Eat plenty of green salads and fruits. Cooking destroys a considerable amount of vitamins and enzymes in raw food, which help with digestion and metabolism of nutrients from food.
- Simmering or boiling in water.
- Slow cooking such as in crockpot.
- Baking or broiling.
- Stir fry with small amount of oil.
- Roasting or grilling on an open fire.
- Deep-frying in any kind of fat or oil.
Dietary Supplements to Help Control Acne:
- Vitamin B complex (B-50) - especially helpful to people with acne prone skin.
- Vitamin C (rose hip) 500 mg - An important antioxidant.
- Zinc, chelated, 100 mg - deficiency will lead to acne development.
- Multiple vitamins with minerals - important for all biochemical reactions in our body and to maintain a healthy immune system.
- Soya Lecithin 1,200 mg - A lipotropic (fat emulsifier), helps the body utilize fats and cholesterol.
Additional Detoxification Measures
DRY SKIN BRUSHING
Dry skin brushing for the whole body, with brush made with natural vegetable fibers will stimulate the lymph movement, remove dry, dead skin cells, and to stimulate new cell growth. NOTE: Do not brush areas with inflamed acne or sores.
DIRECTIONS FOR DRY SKIN BRUSHING: Take a shower before brushing the skin. Lie down in bed and relax. Brush skin with gentle motions. For arms and legs, brush with an upward motion towards your trunk. For the shoulders and back, brush from side to the center. Brush down the neck and trunk towards the lower abdominal area. Brush 5 minutes each day.
USE OF TOPICAL PRODUCTS & OTHER CHEMICAL AGENTS
The skin is our body's largest organ. It has been estimated that every square centimeter (cm) of the skin contains 70 cm of blood vessels, 55 cm of nerves, 100 sweat glands, 15 oil glands, 230 sensory receptors and about half a million cells that are constantly dying and being replaced. Along with our kidneys and intestines, our skin is responsible for eliminating cellular waste and is also our body's first line of defense against invaders such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, molds and fungus. Without our skin, we would quickly perish from water and heat loss. Most people have the wrong impression that what we apply to our skin, even if it is toxin, does not cause as much damage as something we ingest. In reality, our skin can absorb drugs and chemicals quite well. Many herbal remedies were made in various topical dosage forms. In recent years, various drugs are made into topical patches including female hormones, pain medications (such as morphine and nitroglycerin for chest pains), nicotine (anti-smoking), and medications for hypertension. More are on the horizon. In other words, we must not underestimate the absorbing power of our skin.
Therefore, choose carefully what you apply to your skin, especially products such as cosmetics, lotions, fragrances that will stay on your skin for a long time. Read product labels. Price is not a reflection of the product's safety and efficacy, especially when it comes to skin care products and fragrances. Consumers are often paying dearly for expensive packaging and advertisement.
Avoid the following:
- Antiperspirants. Antiperspirants block the sweat glands, which play an important part in body detox. Instead, use deodorant with natural ingredients. If you feel you must use antiperspirant, use it only during work hours or social functions. Definitely avoid using it during exercise and while you sleep.
- Petroleum byproducts. Mineral oils, petroleum jelly, PEGs, propylene glycol, butylene glycol and acrylic polymers. These ingredients are good vehicles for drugs and other active ingredients. However, applying these ingredients in topical products to your skin is equivalent to wrapping your skin with plastic wrap. They inhibit the skin's ability to breathe and eliminate waste products. Avoid applying products with these ingredients to a large surface area on your skin. It is healthier to use natural oil-based skin care products.
- Chemical solvents. Isopropyl alcohol, (SD40), propylene glycol, butane, propane and butylene glycol. These solvents can break down the skin's protective barrier, causing the skin to lose its elasticity and become more vulnerable to toxins.
- Artificial Fragrances. Apply perfume or cologne on clothing instead of on your skin. These fragrances can be very irritating to nasal mucous membrane and lung tissues. Something people are not aware that they are allergic to the fragrances (including the natural fragrances) they use. If you have allergy symptoms often, try not to use products with fragrance to find out if that might be the cause. Alcohol is a typical ingredient in synthetic fragrance. It dries out the skin and strips sway its natural protection. Essential oils are healthier alternatives.
- Paints, paint thinners, insecticides and household cleaners. Avoid direct contact with these agents. These agents usually contain skin irritants or known carcinogens. Use gloves when you must handle these chemicals. If the chemicals are volatile, wear protective goggles and mask.
Use environmentally friendly products whenever possible. Some of the most inexpensive and safe agents to use for cleaning are baking soda and vinegar. You can use baking soda to brush your teeth, clean dishes, bathtub, toilet and even clothes. You can use vinegar to remove soap scum, coffee and tea stains. Since vinegar is an acid, it is a good final, neutralizing rinse after using alkaline cleaning solutions such as detergents and soaps (including dishwasher soaps).
Exercise often and to the degree of sweating, which is a good way to detox cleanse. Contractions of muscles during exercises help to move the lymph along the lymphatic vessels with one-way valves opening towards the heart, which is an important step in the self-defense mechanism of the body against invading microorganisms and toxic substances.
Learn to relax in all situations. Try to control your anger. Stress can create toxins, leading to aggravation of acne and bring on other diseases.
All these benefits add up to a younger looking appearance and a longer life span.
Pitfalls Of Antibiotic Treatments For Acne
It is a common medical practice for dermatologists to prescribe antibiotics for acne. First of all, acne is not caused by bacteria on the skin. If it is, with the powerful antibiotics we have today, no acne sufferer would need to take antibiotics more than 14 days. Most infections, including many systemic infections (infections related to internal organs or the entire body), except tuberculosis and HIV, normally do not need antibiotic therapy more than 14 days. Antibiotics are absolutely ineffective in preventing future acne problems. The only time they might be of limited use is when there is secondary infections due to over manipulation of the acne lesions with contaminated fingers or sharp objects.
Many acne sufferers are subjected to long-term antibiotic therapy (months or even years) by dermatologists just to acquire the side effects of antibiotics, such as tetracyclines and clindamycins, not to mention the waste of money. Side effects of tetracylines include photosensitivity, leading to exaggerated sunburn reaction, and the weakening of liver and kidney functions. In addition, long term antibiotic therapy can lower the ability of your immune system to fight other infections. Bacteria or viruses, after being subjected to certain antibiotics for a long period of time can mutate genetically (changing their genetic makeup) and develop resistance to the antibiotics and render them ineffective.
The biggest danger of using low dose antibiotics for long term, such as the case with antibiotic treatment for acne, is that when you really need the antibiotics in situations of serious infections, they become absolutely useless.
The following are topical acne products available on the market:
- Tretinon (Retinoic Acid, Vitamin A acid): Brand name: Retin-A, available in cream, gel and liquid. Warnings: photosensitivity; increase the tumor causing potential of ultraviolet light. Use sunscreen products and protective clothing over treated areas. Tretinoin may induce severe local skin redness and peeling at the application site. Interacts with Sulfur, resorcinol, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Do not use tretinoin together with these agents, otherwise severe skin irritation may result.
- Benzoyl peroxide: Its action is mainly antibacterial. Adverse reactions: excessive drying (manifested by marked peeling, skin redness and possible edema), allergic contact sensitization. Available as cleansers, gel and lotion under numerous brand names such as: Clear By Design, Desquam, PanOxyl AQ, Benzac, Persa-Gel, Xerac BP5, Zeroxin-5, Ben-Aqua-10, Buf-oxal 10, Del Aqua-10, Fostex 10% BPO. Brands in combination with sulfur: Suloxyl, regular or strong.
- Sulfur preparations: provides antibacterial, peeling and drying actions. Available as cream, gel, lotion, soap and powder. Brands names: Fostex Medicated Cover-up, Transact, Xerac, Liquidmat, Sulpho-Lac and Bensulfoid.
- Metronidazole (brand name: MetroGel): an antiprotozoal and antibacterial agent.
- Erythromycin, Topical: antibacterial and anti-inflammatory for topical control of acne vulgaris. Available as topical solution. Brand names: Akine-mycin, A/T/S. C-Solve 2, Erycette, Eryderm, Erymax, E-Solve 2, ETS-2%, T-Stat 2%, Staticin. Brand name in combination with benzoyl peroxide: Benzamycin
- Clindamycin, Topical: Antibacterial for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Brand name: Cleocin T Gel
- Combination Topical Acne products: usually a combination of sulfur, salicylic acid and resorcinol in various concentrations, available as creams, lotions and gels. Examples: Clearasil, Propa PH Medicated Acne Cream & Stick, Acnormel Cream, Sebasorb Liquid.
- Miscellaneous Acne products: A combination of sulfa, salicylic acid, colloidal oatmeal, bentonite, surfactants and others soap ingredients.
- Medicated Bar Cleansers: Examples: Clearasil soap, Fostex medicated cleansing Bar, Aveeno Cleansing Bar.
- Abrasive Cleansers: Permox Scrub, Brasivol, Ionax.
- Liquid Cleansers: Acno Cleanser, Clearasil Medicated Astrigent
- Soap Free Cleansers: Examples: Aveeno Cleansing Bar, PhisoDerm, Cetaphil Cream & Lotion
- Modified Bar Soaps: Examples: Neutrogena Soap, Alpha Keri Moisturizing Soap, Nivea Creme Soap.
- The functions of these topical cleansers are to wash away surface dirt and bacteria on the skin.
A Look at Other Treatment Methods:
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA):
Some dermatologists are treating acne, especially acne complicated by sun damage, with glycolic acid which is one of the alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs help to unclog the pores and exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin and therefore supposed to help prevent an acne outbreak.
My own experience with AHAs has been very disappointing. AHAs made my skin itchy and red and did very little in improving my acne condition of my skin. AHA cream did help to remove my surface layer of dead skin cells but it was at the expense of enduring ugly peeling skin on top of the pimples for at least two weeks.
Most chemical peels involve the application of a mild peeling agent called trichloroacetic acid (TCA). This acid, used alone or with carbon dioxide or resorcinol, dissolves the uppermost layer of the skin. The chemicals actually burn the skin (also known as chemical exfoliation). The chemical phenol is used for deeper chemical peels. The main function of the chemical peel is to remove the outer layer of skin and stimulate the growth of new fresh skin. This procedure may help to improve the scars of acne skin but does nothing to irradicate the acne condition. Chemical peels are cosmetic symptomatic treatments.
Chemical peels may cause skin blotches for people with medium or dark skin.
Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is a method that achieves the same kind of results as chemical peels with mechanical means. Contemporary dermabrasion is performed using either a diamond fraise or a wire brush rotating at high speeds from the power-driven instruments. Like the chemical peel, its function is to remove the outermost layer of skin and stimulate the growth of a new layer of skin cells. This procedure also helps to improve scars resulting from acne, but does nothing to prevent future acne outbreaks.