I’m sure many of us can relate to battling with acne and the scarring that often comes along with it. Chris Gibson, natural skin care expert, holistic health coach and bestselling author of “Acne Free in 3 Days,” knows this feeling all too well.
His acne struggles began like many of ours. He was 11 years old when breakouts first started showing up – and it worsened during his teen years. When red and purple colored cystic acne appeared on his face, it affected his self-confidence. Gibson began seeing a dermatologist regularly and tried medications such as tetracycline, benzoyl peroxide and other prescriptions. He also underwent two rounds of Accutane, which worsened his skin and resulted in an eyebrow falling out.
“I had all of the issues that go along with being a teenager, along with [acne],” Gibson recalled, “and held onto the hope that it would just go away on its own. Well, it didn’t.”
At 23, he decided to take charge of the problem. He began researching holistic methods, as prior medical approaches hadn’t worked out. Gibson taught himself about diet, sugar, yeast, and chemicals in products in order to get to the bottom of his skin issue.
As it turned out, sugar was the main culprit for his skin problem.
So he went on a three-day apple fast, first introduced by Edgar Cayce in the 1940s.
“I was a huge candidate for candida problems,” Gibson said. By “starving” the natural yeast in his system, the good bacteria was able to take over. “I have never had problems with acne since.”
So what are Chris Gibson’s top 4 expert tips? Here’s the breakdown:
1. MONITOR YOUR DIET
“You want to limit as much refined sugar as possible, because there’s plenty of evidence that it’s aging your skin if it’s not causing you other problems.” Gibson suggests trying natural alternatives like Truvia and Stevia. If you notice something doesn’t make you feel good, “cut it out and measure for yourself.” For instance, aspartame doesn’t bother all people, but we should stay away from saccharin, Gibson noted. Last but not least, he recommends taking a multivitamin that contains vitamins A,C and E to support skin health. It’s also better to eat whole dairy instead of altered dairy, drink plenty of water and eat fruits and leafy green veggies.
2. USE NATURAL PRODUCTS
“You want to try to use products that are more naturally-based that use olive oil [and] glycerin from vegetables.” Gibson explained that with many acne products, people will see results for a couple of weeks but then breakouts reappear due to blocked pores. “Most of the things designed to treat acne dry the skin out too much,” he said, adding that the oil, debris and dirt are difficult to remove. Gibson urges people to stay away from ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzyl peroxide and any sulfides or sulfates. Instead try products with alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy “which are plant and fruit-based natural acids that do not harm or over-dry the skin.”
“This is the biggest thing: exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Everywhere, everything, every couple of days,” Gibson emphasized. Incorporating an exfoliation routine helped him with scarring (not to mention, it’s good for anti-aging). Gibson likes using a loofah sponge or a Buf-Puf for face washing. He also reminded us of important skin health tips that we may overlook every now and then such as removing makeup before bed, moisturizing and using a naturally-based SPF (his tip: choose one with a base of safflower oil and zinc).
4. DO NOT TOUCH
Picking is a big no-no. When there is an infection in the soft tissue, the pore itself also becomes infected, inflamed and pushed out, Gibson said. “In the case of cystic acne, the boil itself becomes so large that it breaks the collagen cells around the pore. Sometimes when the collagen doesn’t come back into place, it leaves an indentation or scar.” He advises using a very warm to hot wash cloth on the skin for about 10 to 15 minutes to open pores naturally and “let them begin to breathe and push out the contents that are blocked in there.” For scars that look like red pock marks (scars that didn’t completely heal), Gibson suggests massaging with natural oil on a nightly basis to improve the circulation in the area and repair the capillaries. Other remedies and techniques for scarring include collagen injection, skin peels, exfoliation, alpha hydroxy-based products and glycolic gels that “speed up skin turnover and bring your skin forward faster.”
How can you be sure Chris Gibson’s methods will work for you?
Because the skin heals fast, Gibson points out you will notice whether the changes you’re making are working within the first seven to 10 days. “Often times there are things we can do to our habits that will change — entirely change — our reality around our health.”
– Michelle Weiss