Top 5 treatments for Acne and Breakouts

Acne and Breakouts

When do people get acne? 

Acne is one of the most troublesome issues in both men and women and we hear you, no one wants to have acne long-term. 

Acne and breakouts commonly begin in the teenage years, more dominantly in boys as their hormones change, but can also persist later in life. Some people also experience the onset of acne in their adult life, even if they haven’t had acne before.

Because acne affects your physical appearance, we understand that it can really bother you and lead to issues with self-confidence. This can cause stress, which then can further exacerbate the problem with your skin. It is a vicious cycle! More severe acne can also be quite uncomfortable and can lead to scarring, which we want to try and avoid.

Read on to understand what causes acne and what you can do to improve your skin. 

What causes acne?

Acne is usually a multifaceted problem which is why it can be tricky to pinpoint one cause. Most often your hormones are involved – acne that begins in the teenage years is due to the fluctuations in sex hormones that occur. Other factors can also be at play, including eating the wrong type of diet, stress and digestive issues.

Which part of the face identifies the cause of the acne?

Acne can occur on the face, upper back and chest. From a naturopathic perspective, different parts of the face give clues as to the underlying cause of the breakouts. Breakouts around the mouth and chin-line are usually due to hormonal issues. Breakouts between your brows are normally liver-related and the forehead often reflects compromised gut function.

Can you cure acne naturally?

The good news is YES, you can cure acne naturally! In our experience acne can be treated very successfully with natural therapies. The key is to uncover all of the underlying causes – usually, we find there is more than one factor. For example, it is very common for people to have acne that is affected by stress, which disrupts their hormones, but is also affected by their diet. If we take a holistic approach to healing the acne both externally and internally then we have an excellent chance of success and improving your acne for good. 

How do you treat acne?

There are two main areas of treatment that need to be covered for the best results. You need to look at topical treatment (your skin care) as well as internal treatment that will address the underlying causes of your acne and breakouts. 

Topical treatments for acne

What you put on your skin can make a huge difference to your acne. Most people that have had acne have tried everything under the sun – the issue is that most products do not help to balance and heal the skin; rather they are very stripping and encourage scarring. 

Here at Shift at Brisbane Natural Health, we stock a range of natural and organic skincare lines that are designed to heal your skin and reduce scarring. Rather than using strong antibacterial agents, we recommend cleansers that help to make the skin slightly acidic, which stops the bacteria from populating. Organic facials are also a great way to facilitate healing and break up scarring in acne sufferers.

Internal treatments for acne

Internal treatment for acne and breakouts is individualised to suit what is going on for you. Here are some of the ways that our naturopaths can treat acne.

  1. Stress management

    In nearly all cases of acne, there is a stress component. Our naturopaths use herbal adaptogens – herbs that help your body cope with stress better as well as nutritional support.

  2. Hormonal support

    We work on helping your body regulate hormones as well as detoxify excess hormones that can be causing acne. Our naturopaths can specifically work on issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which can contribute to acne.

  3. Detoxification

    Improving your detoxification pathways always helps with skin conditions. Detoxification and elimination of toxins from the body happen through the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, the gut (especially the bowels) and the skin. This includes improving digestive function, improving your liver function so it can eliminate hormones properly and using herbal medicines that help to purify the blood.

  4. Sebum control

    For cystic acne, working internally on sebum control can be very effective. Our naturopaths use specific nutrients that help to reduce the production of excess sebum as well as herbs that remove congestion in the skin to prevent blind pimples.

  5. Digestive support

    It is important to clear any constipation as this can lead to more toxins building up in the system. Our naturopaths also look at your levels of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut as this can impact your skin as well.

Modifying your diet to reduce inflammation in your body

Most people need a combination of these approaches to fix their acne. Our naturopaths are experts in finding the underlying cause of acne and will be able to give you an idea of what might be the issue after your initial consultation.

How long does acne take to treat?

Unfortunately, acne is not a quick fix and most patients find that they need a good six to 12 months of treatment to resolve it. Significant improvements can be made in the first few months though – and often within 4 weeks, you will see some reduction in severity. Combining naturopathy with our recommended skincare regime can take the severity of your acne and breakouts down a notch pretty quickly.

Can acupuncture help acne?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are another effective way that you can treat acne. Acne treatment from a Chinese medicine perspective is quite different to a naturopathic approach – it will depend on the type of acne, location and your concurrent symptoms as to what your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis is. Acupuncture should still also be combined with a good topical therapy on your skin for best results.

If you’d like more information about how we can help your skin at Shift Clinics or would like to make an initial appointment with our naturopath team, please call us on 07 3367 0337 or email 


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