5-Step Holistic Acne Treatment: Getting Back my Smooth Skin Naturally

Earlier this year, I was unfortunate enough to suffer my first bout with 2011’s acne attack solely on my nose. Even my mother was horrified seeing cystic pus-filled pimples eagerly taking turns to rent the tip of my nose. Then, finally, after all the nose pimples cleared off (which took about two months), tiny dark pimples started to form on my forehead and that’s where the rest of my sudden acne breakout story took off. For every pimple that healed, two to three more took its place. Until finally, in July 2011,  I just found myself saying, “Enough is enough.”

Before we leave 2011 behind, let me share with you my most monumental beauty challenge of the year which was to cure my acne naturally. In summary, here are five steps I took to bring back my smooth skin:

1. I Sought Expert Holistic Opinion
In my desperation to cure my acne, I went ahead and consulted a Naturopath-Nutritionist to confirm my suspicion that my acne was definitely caused by internal issues. After asking me lots of questions and looking through my most recent blood test results, she told me my liver could be causing my problems. My liver might have weakened or gotten stressed out due to my naturally weak digestive system. She explained to me how a weak liver can cause hormonal imbalance because it’s not able to get rid of the extra hormones stuck in the body–this liver-hormone connection was something new and surprising to me but it definitely made more sense after I did further research on my own.

2. I Went on a 1-Month Detox
Since we were worried that any drastic detox might cause my weight to plummet to that of an 8-year old (I’m already underweight at 92lbs, 5’3), my nutritionist suggested for me to try the relatively easier Blood Type Diet for 3-4 weeks. Having an A+ blood type, my recommended diet was mostly vegetarian although chicken and certain types of fish like salmon were allowed. I painfully eliminated a lot of stuff from my diet like chocolates, dairies, white/brown sugar, honey, red meat and white rice. I survived on other types of grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat. [Blood Type Diet review]

3. I Took Lots of Supplements
My nutritionist recommended lots of supplements to supercharge my digestion and my liver. I took digestive enzymes, probiotics and liver supplements among other supplements to aid my detox and digestion. I also had to take Vit C 3x a day, made sure I was taking multivitamins once a day and 2 capsules of Omega 3 supplements each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is the part I hated the most ’cause not only did it cost me a lot of money, I had to remember taking everything at the right time. Hubby had to print a schedule table for me to post on the fridge and near my work station since my memory is just a tad better than a goldfish.

4. I Stabilized my Skincare Routine
Out of all the things I needed to do to cure my acne, surprisingly, this was the easiest because I didn’t have to change much. I just had to make sure I cleaned my face thoroughly and used skin detox products like GoW Anti-Aging Pomegranate Serum and GoW Some Kind of Wonderful Detox Serum. Whenever the oiliness of my face got out of hand, I switched back to Living Nature products for day time care as their toner and moisturizer gave me a more matte finish.

5. I Persevered and Never Lost Hope
LOL, I just have to include this. Imagine, I had to take LOTS of supplements and cook my own food just to make sure I was eating what was in my detox program. I was forced to buy a steamer to place in the office so I could prepare my raw food at home. I seasoned and marinated raw ingredients, packed them in no-spill lunch boxes and brought them to the office to cook while I was doing my work. I have to give special credits to my colleagues who had to withstand aromatherapy (onion/garlic style) every 11 AM – 1 PM during weekdays.

Currently, although I still get the lone zit once in a while especially when I fail to get my dirty hands off my face, my skin had recovered dramatically. It’s not so obvious on the pictures but I was left with some post acne pigmentations, too.

Out of all the tips above, I think #2 and #3 made the most difference although #1 gave me the much needed jump start. Before consulting a nutritionist, I was like a blindfolded gunslinger shooting aimlessly. However, the most important was #5 because it kept me right on track as the entire process was definitely not an overnight miracle. In fact, on the second week, I even suffered a bit of purging. It took about a month for me to see results but the sacrifices and lifestyle changes definitely gave me more than just pimple-free skin. It gave me better health.

I will cover each of the pointers above on separate posts from my experience in consulting a holistic expert for the first time to my review of and thoughts on the controversial Blood Type Diet. Any of the steps above you’re most interested to learn more about? 

P.S. As for those of you e-mailing me about Pantothen, hold on tight! My sister is currently taking it and a review with before-and-after photos should be up in about a month.

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  • marilena

    Hi, thank you for this post, your skin now looks amazing. I have the same problem with my skin and i would so love if you could elaborate on each point, especially #2 and #3.

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      hi marilena, thank you. It has indeed improved a lot, especially my forehead and nose area. Although due to the severity of acne on my nose, I was left with a bit of scarring. I will definitely write more about #2 and #3 come January 2012. :)

  • Linh

    Hi Vivi, thank you so much for this imformative post. I’ve also been struggling with acne for quite some time now. I tried so many different methods, mostly holistic, with little to no luck. If I remeber correctly, you live in Singapore right? Since I’m coming to Singapore in 2 days, I would truly appriciate it if you can tell me more about this particular Naturopath-Nutritionist that you visited, so I can go and have a consultation too. Hopefully I will receive results like you did. Thanks :)

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Linh, I’m sorry but as of now, I don’t feel comfortable and confident in recommending her because I think she (I’m not sure whether it’s intentional on her part so I don’t want to judge) overcharged me “significantly” on some of the supplements which I found to be just about a third of the price elsewhere. She’s good, yes, but I haven’t gone back to her ever since. And if you are not planning to stay in Singapore, it might not be practical for you to consult with her since holistic treatments involve a long-term relationship (numerous visits). It would also be nice to get a blood test done before visiting which would at least provide basic info about the state of your health. If you’re still very keen to visit her, please drop me an email at “info at ecobeautysecrets dot com” and I’ll share her contact details privately.

      • Linh

        Hi Vivi, thanks for the quick reply. Now I think I will just try out the Blood Type diet first to see if it works for me. Can you kindly tell me where to get a copy of the book in the photo you posted? Thanks a lot 😀

        • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

          Hi Linh, I got it from this store:

          My Type Store
          252 North Bridge Road ,#B2-15 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103

          Ops Hrs: Mon to Fri (1030am to 9pm)
          Sat & Eve of PH (1030am to 10pm)
          Sun & PH (1030am to 930pm)

          It’s the Blood Type book by D’Adamo. You might also find it in other specialized bookstores here in Singapore.

  • heather

    hi, may i know where did you go to consult the naturopath nutritionist?

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Heather, kindly read my reply to Linh above. I hope you won’t think that I’m being selfish by not giving the contact details of my Naturopath to both of you right away. It’s just that I have some reservations due to my experience.

  • http://www.kira-ramirez.com Kira

    Oh my, what a huge difference! Good job on the detox!

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Thanks, Kira. It took lots of internal wrestling with my sugar-loving self. :p
      Happy New Year!

  • lemon

    WOW…what a difference in a short amount of time! I assumed such changes would take at least 6 months! I used to have same cystic acne on my nose when I was a pre-teen…it was tough and embarrassing since kids easily made fun of me. Your experience is a wonderful example that one doesn’t have to resort to buying numerous gimmicky acne products. I also believe a lot of internal and external health concerns stem from one’s diet and one’s digestive system.
    I actually altered my diet due to stomach issues (I self-diagnosed myself with having acid reflux or IBS). But my diet was pretty much like your detox diet (alkaline foods, vegetarian, gluten-free stuff and and chicken breast). So the past few weeks I’ve been living off of steamed vegetables, brown rice, quinoa, blackstrap molasses and raw honey. Though I’ve been cheating a lot this week. I also added supplements like a multivitamin with probiotics and enzymes, PepZin GI, MSM and Calcium-Magnesium with Vitamin D. These vitamins are supposed to strengthen and heal the digestive system.
    I do see improvements in my skin and have had less acne growth. But if I want better results like you, I admit that I must try harder to stick to this lifestyle change without cheating, without temptation to pick acne, and without getting lazy. I also just bought a humidifier since dehydration could also promote acne.
    Anyway, kudos to you for your commitment! And Happy 2012!!

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Lemon, make sure that you’re not taking any medications which might clash with your supplements. I would also suggest that you get a special probitioc and enzyme supplement as the ones that come with multivitamins might not be strong enough.
      Haha, don’t worry. I had a lot of “slip ups”, too, during my first 1-2 weeks on the detox diet. I even took a chocolate cake on the second day, I think, ’cause I felt like I was about to faint. Just focus on your goal and I hope you’ll see more results in about a month or two. :) Don’t forget your Vit C, at least 1000 mg a day. 500mg in the morning and 500 at night. Happy 2012 to you, too! May this year bring us better health–and better skin! :)

  • http://goinggreenglamorously.blogspot.com Susan

    Wow, what a difference! I respect you for being faithful to your detox diet; I don’t know if I could ever have the self control to stay away from sugar!

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Thanks, Susan. :) It was very tough but it’s worth it ’cause it helped me get rid of acne naturally.

  • Albeirta

    Getting back with he old times way of treating acne and any other skin irregularities. It is indeed true that the holistic approach way of treatment is a lot more better and safe for all types of skin rather than those of the market. Natural herbs has speak of it’s efficacy even before the ancient times.

  • http://AllNaturalAnnie.com Annie

    Wow, what an incredible transformation! I’m so happy for you. I’m super curious about the blood type diet.. I really need to find out my type asap so I can experiment with the recommendations!

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Thanks, Annie. :) I think the Blood Type Diet is just okay. I’m doubtful of the science behind it but it’s a good diet plan for people who are clueless where to begin. In my case, it gave me a sense of direction when it comes to my eating habits. It was also positively coincidental that my blood type called for a more vegetarian diet which I’ve always been wanting to try.
      Vivi recently blogged..Did V&M A Hair Story Emu Shampoo Save me from Oily Scalp and Dandruff?

  • Sandra


    Great blog!

    Can you please tell me if Pantothen works?

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Sandra, thanks! My sister took pantothen. It helped her acne while she took it–didn’t really stop the acne but it made them heal faster and minimized them.

  • Juniper

    This is amazing. I m desperately looking for help on my adult acne skim. Can share more on the supplements that you are taking eg what liver supplements? Can share the contact of your Naturopath-Nutritionist?

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Juniper, regarding my nutritionist, please read my reply to Linh above.

      For the liver supplement, I took Solgar Liver Support. Quite good. :)

  • Juniper

    Will eating pineapples cause acne as they are acidic in nature? Somehow, I can painful acne when I eat it..and backache as well.

    • http://www.ecobeautysecrets.com Vivi

      Hi Juniper, that’s an odd reaction! I don’t think it’s int he acidity because most fruits turn alkaline once ingested. Maybe there is something in pineapple (like an enzyme) that you’re allergic to. I get big painful pimples when I take too much dairy although it’s pretty common.

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