5 natural remedies for a clearer complexion


I've never had great skin.  Well, not since I was maybe 10.  And recently it was especially dull, dry, broken-out and red.  Before I called the dermatologist, I decided to go the all natural route and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Let me start by saying this is anecdotal, but it's working pretty well for me and there's some decent rational behind why.

Step 1
The probiotic

Recent studies have discovered that clear skin contains a type of "good" bacteria that's lacking in acne-prone skin.  We all have good and bad bacteria in and on our bodies.  Depending on your genetics, diet, lifestyle etc, you might have more or less of some.  A probiotic is a natural way to get your bacteria back in balance and can even help the "good" face bacteria out might the "bad".  Ask your pharmacist for a probiotic that's right for you.  I take 1 tablet every other day.

Step 2
The omega 3 supplement

Omega-3 supplements (fish oils) are known to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidants that can actually help prevent and repair collagen damage.  I use the liquid form which doesn't taste great, but is more effective and cheaper than the capsules.  Nordic Naturals is a well respected brand available online or at Whole Foods.  I take 1 tsp every other day.

Step 3
Chlorophyll

I got this idea from a magazine featuring Reese Witherspoon's skin secrets.  Apparently when her skin is less than clear, she takes a tablespoon of liquid Chlorophyll for a few days and her skin clears up.  I've been trying this for a while now and it seems to work.  Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plants that gives them their green color.  It helps plants trap light and make energy.  It's also known to increase red blood cells and thus improve oxygen transport.  It's also thought to help detox the body and can thus clear the skin.  While this last part isn't exactly scientifically proven, I'm liking the results I'm getting.  I use World Organic Liquid Chlorophyll.  Aim to take 1 Tbsp daily or as often as you remember.

Step 4
The fragrance-free lotion

When I was in my early teens, I had pretty bad skin.  I was using so many random things in an effort to get rid of the acne.  When I saw a dermatologist, her advice was to get back to the basics.  So I started using Purpose and Cetaphil and got good results.  As time went on, my experimental nature took over and I started trying to get rid of this century's issue: wrinkles.  My skin starting getting red and blotchy.  After a little research I realized that fragrance (which definitely irritates my nose) was also irritating my skin making it red and blotchy.  If you have sensitive skin, fragrance-free just might be the way to go.  I've had great success with La Roche-Posay Toleraine Ultra.

Step 5
Grapefruit

The antioxidants, including vitamin C, and high water content of grapefruit make it a great protective hydrator of our skin that also promotes collagen production thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles.  These 3 attributes make it an easy and delicious anti-aging addition to your diet.  Grapefruit also has anti-bacterial properties that help fight off those nasty acne causing bacteria.  Try combining the leftover juice from your morning grapefruit with a splash of green tea applied as a toner (just make sure to use sunscreen after and skip if you have sensitive skin).  Grapefruit also contains a diuretic helping to rid our bodies of excess water and toxins…the perfect remedy for those bags that appear under our eyes the morning after imbibing.

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