To effectively deal with any
problem, you must first understand and eliminate the root cause
of the problem. To tackle and obliterate the acne problem,
we must understand what exactly causes acne in the first
Oil glands are located deep in
the skin. They are also known as sebaceous glands.
- Each oil gland is connected
to a tiny canal that contains a hair. The canal with its
contained hair is called a follicle.
- The glands produce oil (also
known as sebum) that flows to the surface of the skin through
these canals to lubricate the hair follicles and the
- The opening of the canal
with the attached hair (follicle) onto the skin is the skin
Oily skin occurs when an
overactive oil gland enlarges and overproduces oil. Acne
develops when some of the pores (through which oil normally
flows from the oil gland to reach the skin surface) become
blocked, resulting in trapping of oil within the skin pores. The
pores are blocked by skin cells that have been shed from the
lining of the skin pore and have bunched together. A blackhead
or whitehead will develop from this skin pore blockage.
the sebaceous glands to overproduce, resulting in acne?
According to Randall Neustaedter,
OMD, the androgenic hormones, particularly testosterone, that
increase at puberty, and the surge of premenstrual hormones,
trigger increased production of sebum. The pores become clogged
with both sebum and dead skin cells creating a prime breeding
ground for bacteria. These bacteria and the breakdown products
of sebum cause irritation and inflammation in the pores. The
result is acne – blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, and cysts in
Karen Jessett, author of
Clear Skin, says that food is also a factor. She
states there is recent research pointing the finger at diet —
eating refined carbohydrates and sugar leads to a surge in
insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1. This in
turn leads to an excess of male hormones, which encourage the
skin to excrete large amounts of sebum. This grease-like
substance encourages the growth of bacteria responsible for
Then there's the issue of
hygiene. Generally speaking, acne is not caused by poor
hygiene. Exceptions to this statement would be people such
as auto mechanics who are often in contact this skin damaging
toxins. But for most people, the problem is not poor
hygiene. In fact, vigorous scrubbing of the face does more
harm than good. It can actually stimulate the sebaceous
glands to overproduce, thus exacerbating the problem!
So now that
we understand what causes it, how do we get rid of it?
We highly recommend a tight two
fisted approach. First, use a Hydrated Clay mask daily
for two weeks, then scale back to twice a week. The
best clay for this is a pure Calcium Bentonite Clay. Its amazing drawing power will help to open and clean out the pores. It removes
excess sebum and is an excellent exfoliant. Calcium
Bentonite Clay has
natural antibacterial properties as well, and will dramatically
speed the healing of the pimples. Many times, when people
begin using clay masks to combat acne, they notice that
their acne appears to worsen before it improves. Don't
panic if this happens to you! This is a good thing!
It means that the clay is doing its job, and is pulling the
toxins from your skin. Also, your face may show some
redness when you remove the clay. This is very normal.
The Calcium Bentonite Clay increases the blood circulation to
the skin, which aids in the healing process.
But, that's only half the
battle. Ran Knishinsky, author of The Clay Cure,
recommends using clay internally as well. The following is
an excerpt from his book:
"The condition of the skin is a
good indication of what is happening inside the body. Most
people are not aware that the skin is the largest organ and a
means of eliminating waste; each day waste passes through the
pores of the skin. Everything that affects the body in
turn affects the skin. When the body is full of toxic
wastes and cannot eliminate them properly, various skin ailments
may result. The only effective way to get rid of these
conditions is by cleaning the body inside and out.
Most acne is relatively easy to
treat with the right methods--usually, a good diet and the daily
ingestion of clay. My younger teenage brother got rid of
bad acne within one week of eating clay. At first he said
it wasn't doing too much for his skin. Then, out of the
blue, he called me and frantically asked me to bring over
another jar of "dirt." He had run out of the clay for a
couple of days, and his pimples returned.
The clay enriches and cleanses the
blood, prompting better circulation and allowing the skin to get
rid of waste."
essential to battle the acne at its source, which is INSIDE the
body. Dr. James Meschine, DC, writes:
"To understand the relationship
between detoxification, intestinal cleansing and prevention of
acne, we must first understand the relationship between our
skin, the digestive system and excretory system.
( 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. Detoxification is a normal body process of
eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver,
kidneys, lungs, lymph and skin."
So, in addition to the
masks, we highly recommend using clay internally -- either in
liquid or hydrated form. In liquid form, we suggest taking
2-3 ounces twice a day for two weeks, then scaling back to 1
ounce twice a day. In hydrated form, we suggest taking 2
tablespoons twice a day for two weeks, then tapering off to 1
tablespoon twice daily. Ran
Knishinsky recommends taking the clay on an empty stomach.
And if you're taking any medication, it is recommended to wait
1-3 hours before ingesting clay, but please check with your
physician, as medications vary in time release and content.