Wilder Nature

Nutrition & Health

Why Generic Dietary Advice Won’t Cure Your Acne

How do I heal my acne? Just drink more water.

Founder & Nutritional Therapist

I’m in the midst of creating my online acne programme The Clear Skin Journey, and I have to say – I’m sick to death of reading things like ‘drink more water’, ‘eat more leafy greens’, and ‘cut out dairy’. Why? Because this is the type of advice that isn’t actually useful for anyone. It’s so generic that it’s basically useless – drink more water? What if you already drink 3 litres of water a day?! And I’m sure many of you have cut out dairy and found it did nothing for your acne.

My point is, any ‘off the cuff’ advice like this is mostly just a waste of time and energy. Making changes to your diet is hard work, so why bother if there’s no guarantee it’s even going to work? And if you’ve got acne, I’m betting you’ve tried almost everything at this point anyway (coffee grounds as face scrub… just don’t, yeah?).

This begs the question: when it comes to the causes of acne, how do we ever know what will work and what won’t work..?

Look at it this way. If you have a headache, there are a number of possible causes. Some of them more probable than others. It could be dehydration, it could be slipped vertebrae in your neck, it could be a brain tumour, it could be that you walked into a glass door (we’ve all done it). In this case, would it be a good idea to:

  1. see a doctor and get their professional opinion
  2. see doctor google and decide you’ve got a brain tumour and immediately start a round of chemotherapy
  3. double your water intake even though you’re already drinking 3 litres a day
  4. remove all glass doors from your house

I think you get my point. Self-diagnosis is rarely a good idea – it’s often misguided can cause more harm than good. Even as a nutritionist, I go to see a nutritionist myself, as we need an objective point of view when it comes to our own health. I encourage you to get support – acne is complex, and you don’t have to figure this out on your own.

That’s not to say you should ignore your own intuition about your health – you are the expert of your own experience, after all – but combining this with the expertise of an acne practitioner is a much more effective way to get to the bottom of your acne. Unless you’d rather spend the next 5 years trying absolutely everything under the sun and figuring it out yourself, like I did 😉 (note: would highly not recommend).

Acne is a complex chronic condition with many possible causes. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I talk about ‘root causes’ all the time – these are the things that are causing your acne. Some common ones include hormonal imbalances, gut health problems, and liver detoxification issues. That’s why in The CSJ, everyone goes through these three modules, tailored to address your individual needs. No generic advice here.

This is important because the causes of acne are different for each person. What worked for your friend or that well-meaning stranger in the Facebook group may not work for you.

I had one client recently who’s acne was a result of poor digestion – she wasn’t producing enough stomach acid to properly digest her food, to start with. Our stomach acid also keeps our gut bacteria in balance, so when our stomach acid is too low, the bacteria can get overgrown, setting the stage for bloating and gas, rampant inflammation (cue the brain fog and background anxiety), and of course, breakouts galore.

Another client had a gluten sensitivity, which we discovered after running a careful elimination and reintroduction process. Those of us with gluten sensitivity can sometimes also struggle with coffee – the protein in coffee is the most common cross-reactor to gluten. He was sure he’d be devastated to quit drinking coffee, but actually he was just so relieved to finally have the clear skin he’d always wanted (not to mention better energy levels, no more random headaches, and his anxiety disappeared) that he didn’t miss coffee at all (well, maybe a little).

These are just a couple of examples of the way we get to the root causes of acne in The Clear Skin Journey. 

Generic advice will only get you so far. We need to get into the details. There is no ‘magic cure’, but you can cure you acne. Will it take some work? YES! But then, anything worth having takes some time and effort. And, clear skin…? Totally worth it.

If you’re ready for some next-level support to clear your skin, book a free mini-consult here.

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The Clear Skin Solution

A Functional Medicine guide to healing your acne from the inside.

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ebook cover The Clear Skin Solution