Acne-prone skin - why it happens and WHAT to do about it!

Do you remember back in health class, as a pre-adolescent, where we we told that acne was a thing of teenagers?  Oh, and that is isn't caused by diet or stress but most likely...hormones or genetics?  If you went to middle or high school in the 90s, that is likely what you were taught.  As a 14-year old, I remember seeing a dermatologist that told me "nothing you eat affects acne on your face.  Not chocolate, not french fries, unless you slather the oil on your face because our skin does NOT like oils."  

Luckily for us and today's kids, we now know a bit more and skin experts and dermatologists are more exploratory when it comes to diagnosing our skin.  We also know that what you eat DOES matter, as does what stress you have, along with hormones, genetics, and more.  We also know the acne doesn't end when you are 20, especially for women.  So now that we know it is a reality, how do we deal with it?

Skin is a reflection of what's going on, inside and out

Stress, what you eat and overall, what is going on inside you absolutely DOES show on your skin.  And unfortunately, it is different for everyone so there isn't a hard and fast list of foods to avoid.  Some people break out with gluten, others with chocolate, dairy or nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes) and more.  

Many breakouts can be a response to stress.  So stop stressing!  Easier said than done, right?  Before you know it, you are stressing about stressing.  That said, try a few stress relief activities - outdoor walks, yoga, meditation, art, music, acupuncture, massage...find something that works for you. At the same time, see some of the below recommendations and try to come up with a plan that works for you. 


First of all, let's address some of the more known causes of acne. Lack of water or hydration is huge here.  If skin is dehydrated and thirsty, it tries to compensate by producing oil.  So your skin seems oily, when really it may be craving deeper hydration. 

You can fix this in a few ways - we recommend using all of these. The easiest (and cheapest!) is to drink water.  I know, I feel like a broken record saying it with my kids, but I'll say it here too.  Water satiates you, inside and out.  Keeping your body and skin hydrated helps your skin stay healthy and smooth.  Oh, AND it makes skin more resistant to breakouts and irritation.  Amazing, right?  For those of you that don't like water.... Try herbal tea, preferably without a ton of added sugars. 

Sometimes water may not be enough. Most skin needs some topical love as well.  For hydration, we love a good hyaluronic acid.  Our body makes it but sometimes we need a bit more.  Its primary function is to retain and hold water, keeping skin and tissues plump and moist.  The Hibiscus Beauty Booster is made up primarily of hyaluronic acid, along with antioxidants hibiscus and astaxanthin (more on antioxidants later).  Just one pea-sized drop of this booster will add the needed hydration your skin craves.  This serum penetrates, moisturizing skin at a deeper level than most traditional moisturizers.  When choosing your hyaluronic acid, try to find one where sodium hyaluronate (the scientific name of hyaluronic acid) is near the top of the ingredients so you know it is enough to make an impact.  


We finish the hydration routine with 'Ōlena Beauty Oil, our turmeric-infused powerhouse.  This blend of Hawaiian oils adds intense surface hydration and is perfect for all skin types, especially acne-prone.  It penetrates quickly, so doesn't your face doesn't feel like an oil slick just hit it.  The turmeric focuses on inflammation, attacking acne at the source and nourishing skin at a cellular level.  Clients with acne-prone skin just love it, once they get over the fear of adding oil to what seems like oily or acne-prone skin.

Just ask Reyna, a Honua client that found 'Ōlena Beauty Oil several months ago.

"It’s only been a week or so and my skin is glowing! I’ve struggled with acne since I was 13 years old and have tried so many things, this is definitely at the top of my favorites list! My acne is already minimal, my skin looks younger and dewy, and my eyebrows and eyelashes even look more healthy." - Reyna (April 2021). 

Several years ago, our founder, Kapua Browning, created the 'Āina Detoxifying Mask to combat acne treatment.  She blends fine clays with bamboo charcoal and ni'oi (Hawaiian chili pepper) to stimulate circulation and draw out impurities.  Attracting blood flow improves your circulation and helps it heal faster.  She then mixes in turmeric and kalo (Hawaiian taro root) to soothe skin, leaving it detoxed and refreshed, but soft.  'Āina is a healing treatment for all skin types, especially acne.  

Overall, trying to find some balance for skin while not overwhelming it with a ton of chemical treatments will pay off in the long run.  


Still looking for more advice?  Schedule a 1:1 with our team to discuss specifics. We are happy to help.  You can schedule a complimentary consultation via this link


Photo credit:  Matt Moloney on Unsplash  

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