I’ve suffered from acne pretty much since the moment I hit puberty. I always assumed that it was going to be something that I would grow out of once I stumbled out of my teen years. But now, as a 23-year-old, I cannot get it to go away. If anything, with the scarring from all of the acne I’ve had, it looks even worse. I had pretty much all but accepted that this was going to be my skin – acne-ridden and red forever. At least, that’s how I felt until I read The Complete Acne Health & Diet Guide by Dr. Makoto Trotter. When they say that The Complete Acne Health & Diet Guide is complete, they really do mean it. It provides the anatomy and psychology of acne – the how and the why of it – and tells you how to deal with the aftermath of scarring. And unlike most books on acne, Dr. Trotter not only explains what affects the skin and why, but also provides a diet plan that eliminates foods that harm the skin and cause breakouts. The diet is also filled with low-glycemic, anti-acne foods that can be eaten all the time. The author, Dr. Makoto Trotter, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a special interest in digestion, hormones, and skin conditions. He has specialized in these areas for over a decade and is passionate about holistic medicine, which makes him an expert in the field of diet and acne. To understand exactly how and why acne happens, and how we can all prevent it, I spoke to Dr. Trotter: Skin always seems to react to one’s diet, especially someone who is prone to acne. What is it about food that causes breakouts? Eating foods that disrupt our body’s natural rhythm and consequently cause “blips” in our natural metabolism lead to the development of acne. Certain foods can trigger our body to over secrete hormones and increase inflammation as a compensatory response. Both of these reactions lead to the development of pimples. In my book, we look at the foods that are the most likely culprits to contribute to breakouts and the mechanisms by which they can do this. There is a comprehensive vibrant skin diet program included to settle your flare ups once and for all. It helps you achieve clear skin without having to resort to medication that often have adverse effects and work temporarily. What foods are going to help my skin, rather than hurt it? Foods that support clear skin are those that help to maintain stable blood sugars. Additionally, they contribute to reducing the inflammatory response in your body and at the same time improve hydration of your skin. The ideal diet is comprised of whole unprocessed foods. You will also want to reduce your exposure to both sugars and dairy products, which are common triggers of acne. Choose meals with ample protein, lots of vegetables and ensure that you have plenty of foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fats. So we’re keeping what we eat in check – what else can we do to help prevent acne? Besides a healthy diet, we need to support our body’s natural balance by having a healthy lifestyle. Getting adequate sleep is often very underrated, but if we don’t it leads to the release of stress hormones, which contribute to acne. Keeping stress levels in check is also important; chronic stress can worsen the quality of your skin and lead to breakouts. Exercise is also paramount to normalizing hormones and has the bonus of improving your stress response. In my book, I devote a good portion of it to explaining how stresses and certain unhealthy emotions can lead to acne, and what you can do about it. Essentially, having balance in your diet and lifestyle creates balance in your internal health, which reflects on your skin. Once we’ve seriously reduced our acne, there’s usually still some scarring. How do we help our skin recover from that? Patients often ask me about treatment options for scarring while they still have active acne. The priority is to resolve the breakouts first because there is no point in treating existing scarring when new pimples will just lead to more new scars. Once the skin has settled then scarring can be addressed. Acne can lead to discolored skin, which can be reduced by limiting sun exposure and protecting the skin with a good quality sunscreen. Topical vitamin E may help to some degree to help prevent scarring, but the most important variable is time. Given enough time, the skin turns over and pigmentation may normalize. In situations where pigmentation does not even out or if there are scars that leave depressions in the skin, then resurfacing methods can be considered. Resurfacing can include topical retinoids, chemical peels, laser or light treatment. These essentially remove the top layers of the epidermis such that the younger skin underneath takes its place. This can helps with smoothening skin texture and evening skin tone. Dr. Trotter understands that sometimes your skin needs an extra little boost. With the cold winter months drying the skin and irritating it further, he’s shared his Soothing Oatmeal Mask, which you can make yourself at home! Try it out: Soothing Oatmeal Mask Oats help soothe irritated, itchy and inflamed skin because they contain colloidal proteins that hold water. Be sure you do not have an allergy to oats before using this mask. In a food processor, blend 1 cup (250 mL) organic oats to a fine powder. Transfer 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oat powder to a clean bowl and slowly stir in enough warm water to make a smooth paste. Apply to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Apply moisturizer. Store remaining powdered oats in an airtight container for future use. Courtesy of The Complete Acne Health & Diet Guide by Dr. Makoto Trotter © 2015 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold. To see more ways to take care of your beautiful skin, head to our Beauty page. What’s the healthiest thing you do for your skin? Congratulations! You found one of the secret questions for our Wellness From the Inside Out giveaway! Answer in the comments section below for one entry to win this week’s prize. Then, make sure to keep searching our latest stories for more chances to win. PS: We’ll be posting hints about the stories containing our hidden questions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so don’t forget to follow us and check those feeds daily. 119 Responses Pam Scott January 31, 2016 I drink lots of water and get 8 hours of sleep. Reply Lisa Dion January 29, 2016 I try to drink lots of water and to keep my face well moisturized Reply adina weinstein January 28, 2016 keep it hydrated Reply Jenny Eubank January 28, 2016 I keep my skin moisturized and wash off my makeup every night! Reply Meenakshi Nichani January 27, 2016 Drink lots of water daily and always take off makeup. Regular exfoliating helps too! Reply Gaye McGill January 25, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is keep it clean with gentle soap or cleanser and moisturize. Reply alison k January 24, 2016 the healthiest thing I do for my skin is drink more to keep me hydrated Reply Kathleen Gereg January 24, 2016 I limit sugar and eat whole fruits and lightly steamed vegetables. Reply Jennifer Gibson January 24, 2016 I always wash my face with a good scrub and remove makeup daily Reply michelle January 24, 2016 moisturize and you must stay hydrated wiht water! Reply Robert January 23, 2016 I shave my face. Many people don’t realize that shaving is an exfoliation process. Reply Carolsue January 22, 2016 I moisturize it a lot and I wear a big brimmed hat to keep the sun from damaging my skin Reply Tamme Booth January 22, 2016 I always wash all my makeup off before going to bed Reply Dunia Goncalves January 22, 2016 Water and exfoliate Reply Kay B January 22, 2016 avoid makeup and stay out of the sun Reply sandy weinstein January 22, 2016 wearing sunscreen everyday, even on cloudy days, washing my face everyday and night, using serums, eye cream, etc Reply Christina C. January 21, 2016 I use spf daily to ensure it doesn’t get too much sun exposure. Reply Dorothea Collington January 21, 2016 Nothing really – I drink water and cleanse but, I know there’s so much more I should , could be doing. Reply adrienne z January 21, 2016 healthiest thing I do for my skin is to drink alot of water, moisturize as often as I can and I quit smoking. On day 21 Reply Laura Royal January 21, 2016 I eat real food and exercise daily! Reply Jo R. January 21, 2016 Due to health concerns I have a fairly strict regimen for early bedtime, moderation and portion control with foods, following the Canada Food Guide for Healthy Eating, regular exercise each day of at least 30 minutes per day. Keeping well hydrated, avoiding processed, artificial and infalammatory-inducing foods as well as little sodium. Whole foods, complex carbs over simple ones, sweet fruits over sugary foods and limited caffeine and alcohol round out what keeps me feeling energetic and young without blood sugar swings. Reply Lester Soper January 21, 2016 I work outside a lot so the healthiest thing I do is keep covered as much as possible. Reply vianetia jimenez January 21, 2016 the healthiest thing i do for my skin is drink lots of water. I dont really like juice or soda. I prefer to eat my calories rather than drink them so I always drink water with my meals. Reply Nicole Margrif January 20, 2016 Moisture and lots of water and daily cleaning. Reply CHARITY JAMES January 20, 2016 Water, lots of water (with lemon) and SUNBLOCK! Reply Kat January 20, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is to drink water. Even if I’ve had a busy day I make sure to drink a full glass of water when I wake up and another when I go to bed. Reply Angela L. January 20, 2016 I drink lots of water! Reply Sharon January 20, 2016 The best thing I do is eat a fair amount of veggies and fruits. Reply karen January 20, 2016 I drink lots of water! Reply Katie McBride January 20, 2016 I wear sunblock or a hat to protect my skin. Reply Sonya January 20, 2016 I try to drink plenty of water, hydrate with rich moisturizers, and drown my skin in yummy face masks. Reply Heidi January 20, 2016 I drink a ton of water and never leave makeup on my face when I go to bed, and wash with a creamy cleanser. Reply Karen Kerr January 19, 2016 Being consistent with removing my make up, cleansing my face and moisturize. Reply Leah Allen January 19, 2016 I drink lots of water to detoxify and by sweating and flushing out the toxins in my body. I, also, take very good care of my skin by moisturizing and applying sunscreen all the time. Reply Daniela Plume January 19, 2016 i rub sweet almond oil on my face and body daily Reply Randi C. January 19, 2016 I use an organic moisturizer with green tea, it calms my skin and my rosacea. Reply Ruth January 19, 2016 I wear a moisturizing sunscreen and use a hat, umbrella and sunglasses as appropriate Reply Linda Peters January 19, 2016 I always wash my face before bedtime, wear sunblock, and drink lots of water. Reply David January 19, 2016 The healthiest thing to do is drink water, eat healthy and exercise. Reply Julie January 19, 2016 Eating healthy! And getting a good night’s sleep always makes my skin look and feel more refreshed. Reply Stephanie Parker January 19, 2016 Moisturize, eye cream and SPF 35. Reply Marlene V. January 19, 2016 Drink lots of water! Reply MIchaela January 19, 2016 moisturize, exfoliate, use a face mask every week. Reply Charu January 19, 2016 Drinking lots of water ,moisturizing and sunscreen are great for healthy skin Reply Brianna Beers January 19, 2016 I wash and moisturize my face every night before bed and drink plenty of water throughout the day Reply Deb January 19, 2016 Drink lots of water, moisturize, and IPL Reply San January 19, 2016 I’d like to make a mask of turmeric , milk, lemon and rice flour . My face is glowing after that ( Indian secret) Reply Kim B January 19, 2016 Be happy on the inside – a smile always makes your outside look better! Reply Staci Z. January 19, 2016 I like to cleanse with Raw Honey, it has great antibacterial and antifungal properties. Reply Shirley January 19, 2016 Keep it cleannand use SPF. Reply Britney Kluhsman January 19, 2016 Never wear makeup to bed, use a good exfoliater, use a sun protector in my base foundation. Reply Marsha January 19, 2016 I drink lots of water and use a really good moisturizer with spf. Reply Debbie Garrett January 19, 2016 I use moisturizer daily!! Reply Nina January 19, 2016 I don’t smoke or drink alcohol. Reply Joyce January 19, 2016 Cleansing it and hydration Reply Audrey January 19, 2016 Drink lots of water and sunscreen EVERY DAY. Reply Linda January 19, 2016 Water with cucumber for me Reply Carrie January 19, 2016 Moisturizing! I need to be better about some other aspects of taking care of my skin though. :/ Reply Lindsay January 19, 2016 Diy face wash, astringent & moisturizer am & pm. Reply Liz C. January 19, 2016 I wear sunscreen every day! Reply Sharday L. January 19, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and I drink a lot of water. Reply Nicole Nigro Speyer January 19, 2016 Drink lots of water! Sunscreen, not smoking, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables are also great! Reply Laurie W. January 19, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is to stay well hydrated and to try to eat healthy. Reply Mary Kathryn Apholt January 19, 2016 Hydrafacials are amazing, and of course always wear sunscreen. Reply Ora January 19, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is to wash twice a day, moisturize, and drink water. Reply Pam Flynn January 19, 2016 The healthies thing I do for my skin is to make sure I wash it nightly with a goats milk soap & then moisturize it with a light moisturizer. Reply Kirsten C January 19, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is to always make sure to wear serum and moisturizer! Reply HAYDEE DELGADO January 19, 2016 I follow a skincare regimen every day; I cleanse, tone, & moisturize. I drink lots of water & wear sunscreen. Reply evans s January 19, 2016 I apply moisturizer and sunscreen every morning before leaving the house Reply Teresa January 19, 2016 I drink lots of water, exercise, and sleep well! Reply Alana January 19, 2016 I do not suntan and use Lush angels on bareskin on my face every day. Reply Ann January 19, 2016 Its living healthy through a combination of healthy food, hydration, exercise and moderation in life. Reply Kelly January 19, 2016 Water, sleep, no alcohol, a thick moisturizer before bed, spf, and a healthy diet. It’s amazing the difference you see when you focus on what you’re putting in your body! Reply katie January 19, 2016 Water, blueberries and sunscreen Reply Ellie January 19, 2016 I wash my face every single night before I go to bed no matter how tired I am… I call it “washing off my day”. Reply Janee Denney January 19, 2016 I drink a lot of water and wash my face with gentle soap and moisturize every night. Reply Tamara Zeller January 19, 2016 Water and vitamin E lotion. Reply Megan January 19, 2016 I have always had very sensitive skin, so I apply a sunscreen moisturizer and Vitamin C serum in the morning, and a gentle retinol at night. I’ve also found that eliminating dairy from my diet clears up my skin a lot. Reply Elsie January 19, 2016 Drink lots of water Reply Ashley B. January 19, 2016 I try to stay hydrated throughout the day. I also drink an apple cider vinegar, lemon juice & honey concoction once a day, I hear those are all good for your skin and body. Reply Sylvana B January 19, 2016 I make sure that I drink a lot of water, and do not put any harsh chemicals on my skin. Reply Jaime January 19, 2016 I’ve done two healthy things for my skin… I quit smoking and I protect my skin from the sun. Reply Jennifer P January 19, 2016 Hydation, and sunscreen! Reply Alysha M. January 19, 2016 I drink lots of water everyday. Reply Jessica January 19, 2016 Water-that’s the healthiest thing I do for my skin. I drink A LOT of water. Reply latanya January 19, 2016 I wear sunscreen Reply Diane Franchek January 19, 2016 I’m obsessed with using face masks. I am waiting to try a new black mineral mud mask by Avon. Reply Michele Mitchell January 19, 2016 Moisturize! Reply deborah b January 19, 2016 drink water a lot and never sleep with my makeup on! Reply Dana January 19, 2016 I get 8 hours of sleep a night. That gives my skin the necessary time to heal itself and I wake up without bags under my eyes which is always a huge plus Reply Heather Oswald January 19, 2016 Lots of water, sunscreen, remove eye makeup with coconut oil, and moisturize with a clean moisturizer. Reply LDC January 19, 2016 sunscreen! always sunscreen! Reply Patricia January 19, 2016 I love to dry skin body brush. It benefits the whole body, not just the skin. Reply Jennifer Gibson January 19, 2016 I usually use a good scrub at night to remove make up and clear my pores. Reply saegan anderson January 19, 2016 I drink about 80 oz of water a day, wash it morning and night, use toner, and moisturize. Reply Angie W January 18, 2016 Drink lots of water and wear a moisturizer with SPF! Reply brenda disimone January 18, 2016 i drink lots of water and stay out of the sun ! Reply Barbara B January 18, 2016 Drink lots of water Reply Nancy H January 18, 2016 Hydration, well balanced diet, including exercise and maintaining balance. Reply Chelsea January 18, 2016 I am a total girly girl and have a ton of skin care products. But some of the healthiest things I DO for my skin is drink tons of water (including daily tea with lemon), take fish oil supplements and daily use of an aha moisturizer! Reply Tracy S January 18, 2016 Healthy thing I do for my skin is moisturize with SPF Reply Emily Geary January 18, 2016 Wearing sunscreen everyday to avoid getting skin cancer! Reply sana January 18, 2016 Drinking lots of water! Reply Amber Stovall January 17, 2016 I drink lots of water and protect my skin with a moisturizing SPF Reply Patty January 15, 2016 I use aloe Reply Dana L January 13, 2016 I drink A lot of water and go to the dermatologist at least once a month. and at home I exfoliate and moisturize. Reply Carrie January 19, 2016 Doesoing to the dermatologist monthly benefit your regular skin regimen? What do they do for you monthly? Do you get skin treatments there like at a spa? Just curious. I go several times a year just to get prescriptions for my acne. Reply Christa January 13, 2016 I use sunscreen and I moisturize twice a day and drink plenty of water and a couple times a week I use a good body scrub. Reply Sara Rotolo January 13, 2016 Drinking water, exercise, sleep, but I still need this book. Reply Kathleen DiMartino January 13, 2016 I drink lemon water all day long Reply Dorothy spitzock January 12, 2016 Sunscreen Reply Sarah January 12, 2016 Getting more sleep and staying hydrated! Reply patricia January 12, 2016 Using sunscreen is the healthiest thing I do for my skin. I wish I would have been smarter when I was younger! Reply Jennifer Essad January 11, 2016 aside from cleansing/moisturizing it’s using a mask that’s right for my skin at the time, of year. I benefit from a calming mask after all the stress from the holiday Reply Patty Diamond January 11, 2016 I use Aloe. Reply Alexia January 11, 2016 Drink water! Reply Susan P. January 11, 2016 The healthiest thing I do for my skin is to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Reply amy stonger January 11, 2016 I drink plenty of water each day and never go to sleep bed with my makeup on. Reply Adrienne V Williamson January 11, 2016 Lots and lots of water! Staying hydrated is essential for good skin! 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