How to Form a Natural, Holistic Approach to Acne + Key Tips

These days, your newsfeed might be consumed with tips for acne: expensive treatments, topical formulas, and the latest pills guaranteed to solve your acne woes.

But do they really help? 

In most cases, no. Or not fully. You may find temporary relief, but stringent acne regimens + formulas are often laden with other side effects and a long battle back and forth with breakouts. That’s why we wholeheartedly believe in a holistic approach to acne as a long-term solution for clear skin.

We’ve seen proof in our own community + even in our office among our team. Taking a holistic approach to acne works. But how? 

Traditional acne approaches look at purely physical, surface-level factors. They fail to miss the deeper signals + imbalances below the surface. A holistic approach to acne, on the other hand, incorporates practices + products that encourage regenerative healing throughout the body. 

→ The result? Better health, better skin. 

The external body reflects the health of the internal body. So taking a holistic approach to acne supports deeper-seated healing + longer-lasting results. 
In other words, it’s not just a bandaid fix. 

There are three main categories to focus on to start forming your own mindset + a holistic approach to acne: Full-body care, mental health, and topical solutions.
Let’s start with the most important holistic approach to acne: prioritizing full-body health.

1. Full-Body Health as a Holistic Acne Treatment

A critical component in acne is often overlooked by dermatologists, traditional estheticians, + doctors: are systems within the body healthy? 

When the body functions optimally, it supports natural healing for acne in a magnitude of small ways – that seriously add up. These are a few of our top methods for listening to + caring for your body – from the inside out.

Focus On Gut Health

Clean up your diet + detox from foods that are harmful to your gut lining. Studies show your gut health is directly related to the health of your skin. Here are a few ways to boost gut health.

→ Choose healthy fats – unhealthy fats like seed oils cause inflammation in the body and damage your cells. Healthy fats build strong cells + support proper digestion. And when your body can process food better, your skin receives more nutrients.

→ Balanced blood sugar – healthy blood sugar is critical. But not only for providing balanced energy to your body. Balanced blood sugar also prevents premature aging, hormonal imbalances, and excess oil production – all of which affect your skin.

→ Probiotics (food and supplements) – eat more fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, and kombucha to encourage a diverse gut microbiome and strong lining. You can also supplement with probiotics but be sure to find a high-quality brand.

→ Avoid gluten, alcohol, and sugar as much as possible, stay away from these inflammatory items that have a negative effect on your gut health. 
Prioritizing your gut health will go a long way for your bodily health and as a holistic approach to acne. 

Activate Your Lymphatic System

Taking care of your lymphatic system is another excellent holistic approach to acne. The lymphatic system needs some stimulation, but once it’s activated, it prioritizes the movement of essential nutrients + fluids that your skin needs to thrive. Plus, it pushes toxins out of the body.

It’s even linked to overall immunity, which your body needs to fight off acne. Here are a few options to activate your lymphatic system.

→ Manual stimulation – use holistic tools designed to gently move lymphatic fluid and provide nourishment to the body + skin. Bringing more nutrients to the skin is an easy holistic approach to acne that heals the skin from within. We love:

→ Daily practices that encourage drainage/flow –  try rebounding on a small trampoline, rubbing your ears, or stretching regularly throughout the day. Hydration also helps fluids move through the body, increases circulation, and aids in balanced moisture levels in the skin.

*Tip: Incorporate gel water for increased hydration absorption.

When the lymphatic system is active, your skin receives all the nutrients + healing pathways are reopened. Many of our tools use this holistic approach to acne – utilizing lymphatic stimulation for skin-healing goodness. 

Movement + Sweat

Similar to lymphatic practices, movement encourages circulation, better blood flow, digestion, and a healthy body. If the movement makes you sweat, even better! Sweat helps detox your body – including acne-causing bacteria you don’t want hanging around. 

There are no rules for how you move, but here are a few suggestions:

→ Pilates – builds core strength with low-impact bodyweight exercises. 
Yogaeases tension, builds strength, adds stress relief, and deep breathing practice.
→ Hiking – walk along your favorite trail with a friend or family member. 
→ Swimming – especially during pregnancy, it’s a great low-impact workout + easy on joints.

However you enjoy moving, make it a priority. It will help a lot more than just your skin. ;)

Quality Sleep 

Sleep is when our bodies do the most restorative work, so this is a no-brainer as a holistic approach to acne.

→ Create an intentional sleep routine + environment. Consider your hygiene and winding down early with a book instead of blue light devices.

→ Circadian rhythms help regulate your body + sleep, but it requires some effort on your part too. You can help regulate your circadian rhythm by sticking to consistent sleep and wake patterns.

Give your skin the gift of pure, uninterrupted sleep. Zzzz.  

Product Purge

The products you use affect your entire body on a deeper level than you may realize. Aside from the obvious skincare products for your face, you want to ditch the toxins in every area so your body can function optimally.

→ Avoid “Fragrance” on ingredient lists. Items like deodorant, shampoo, hairspray, shaving cream – you name it. “Fragrance” is everywhere. Many “fragrances” in products contain what we call an unknown “chemical cocktail” that you don’t want to expose yourself to. With no regulations on the term, it’s not worth the risk.

→ Pay attention to household products. Even many unsuspecting household products have toxic ingredients or additives. Many items like room spray, cleaning products, and candles contain endocrine disruptors that throw off your hormonal cycles and can damage your reproductive system.

Doing a product purge is a step you don’t want to skip. It may feel unrelated to acne, but everything in + around your body is important to consider in a holistic approach to acne.

Minimize Inflammation

We know inflammation in the body is not only the root cause of almost all diseases but also the root cause of acne. Here’s how to address inflammation in your body:

→ Eat more anti-inflammatory foods. One of the best places to start reducing inflammation is with your diet. A simple way to start is to focus on eating more anti-inflammatory foods like:

  • Fatty fish
  • Fruits 
  • Green veggies 
  • Nuts 

→ Reduce stress. This also ties into mental health, but stress puts your body into fight or flight mode, increasing inflammatory markers. Aside from just feeling better, stress management is critical to the state of your skin.

→ Practice grounding/earthing. Whether it seems too good to be true or not, the earth can literally help reset your body for the better. The negative charge of the earth balances out your “positive” charge from all the electronic devices you’re surrounded by.

We all have inflammation in our bodies to some level. But once you know how to minimize it, there are easy steps to take. Let’s look at one last way to support full-body health.

Face Mapping 

The ancient practice of face mapping follows TCM principles. Face mapping shows that external signs on your body (skin) can signal imbalances within your body. Addressing those imbalances contributes to natural healing for acne.

Our bodies work as a unit. If one part is out of balance, it can cascade + affect every other body area over time. Taking a holistic approach to acne lets us heal acne at its root – and heal our bodies in the process too. 

Another powerful holistic approach to acne? Prioritizing your mental health.

2. Taking Care of Your Mental Health = Natural Healing for Acne

Though mental health gets more attention than it used to (thank goodness!), it’s not something you should overlook. We all need to do the healing work of taking gentle, intentional care of our minds. Your skin will thank you.

There are three main practices for a holistic approach to acne through prioritizing mental health:

Manage Stress

Learning to manage stress in healthy, uniquely personal ways is invaluable. Here are a few tried and true methods for stress management to get your wheels turning. You may like these or want to try something different – there’s no wrong answer. :) 

Vagus nerve exercises the vagus nerve runs through the center of your body. It’s directly connected to every major organ in your body. It sends signals + signs to the brain. Gently stimulating the vagus nerve sends parasympathetic (calming) activity throughout the body. It’s a beautiful ripple effect that leaves you peaceful + grounded. 

Self-health making time for yourself is SO essential because you can show up better for those around you. It’s not selfish to prioritize yourself for a few minutes each day – in our opinion, it’s 100% necessary. The positive effect (yes, even on your skin) will amaze you. 

Nose breathing nose breathing is an excellent way to build strong lungs, calm your senses, and quiet your mind. Try it out! (Plus, it has proven benefits for your skin + even your facial structure.)

We all have different preferences in HOW we relieve stress, but the important part is to make time for it. Through all of life’s ups and downs.

Spend More Time Outside

The healing power of nature is a real thing. Embrace the outdoors – no crunchy granola activities required – unless that’s your vibe. ;) Here are our favorite ways to spend time outdoors:

Forest bathingthe sounds, smells, + sights of nature are proven to positively impact mental health + bodily health.

→ Sunshine and Vitamin D – regular, responsible exposure to the sun (yes, direct skin contact!) is beneficial for your mood, energy, + skin health.

→ Meet a friend at the park – instead of a restaurant, choose an outside location where you can soak in the benefits of a mood-boosting conversation and a little extra time outdoors.

Spending time outside helps you slow down and remember to breathe deeply. Speaking of slowing down, our next topic is all about slowing down + being intentional with your thoughts.

Practice Gratitude

Similar to the effects of nature and stress relief – gratitude has a profound impact on your overall health – skin included. When you’re intentional with your mindset, your life changes for the better.

→ Try reframing your mindset –  resetting your gratitude for skin is a powerful way to build confidence + ground yourself.

→ Journal or meditate – let your thoughts flow freely through journaling, or tune into your inner quiet with a meditation or prayer session. It will go a long way in healing – from the inside out. 

Though this holistic approach to acne may feel far-fetched to some people, rest assured. There are strong connections between your skin and the attention you give to your mental health each day. 

Taking care of your mental health keeps hormones balanced and body systems functioning normally – allowing healing energy to be sent to your skin.

But a holistic approach to acne wouldn’t be complete without discussing some of the best topical solutions to heal acne.

3. Topical Solutions + Best Ingredients for a Holistic Approach to Acne

This is a topic we could talk about allll day long. But we’ll stick with the biggest hitters you need to know about when it comes to a holistic approach to healing acne – topically.

It starts with simplifying your skincare routine.

Simplify Your Skin Care

There’s something to be said about a simple skincare routine. Sometimes we overcomplicate what the skin truly needs. Our opinion: most of us need to take it back to the basics, listening to ancestral wisdom + simplifying the number of ingredients in our products. A great place to start: cleansing.

Swap for Oil Cleansing 

Oil cleansing is one of the best ways to provide gentle + natural healing for acne. Why? Oil dissolves and balances excess oil production for a clearer complexion. Instead of stripping the skin with surfactants, it gently cleanses + retains the protective moisture barrier. All while providing potent nutrients to the skin.

*Tip: Our Cleansing Oil comes in skin-specific formulations to match your skin state.

Essential Oils

Many essential oils are powerfully anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory – and can speed up the healing process for your skin. Medicinal therapeutic oils provide a customized, holistic approach to acne within your regimen. Acne responds well to essential oils like: 
  • Tea tree
  • Lavender
  • Turmeric 
*Find these essential oils in: our Everything Spray or Clarifying Serum.

Incorporate Animal Fats

We believe in the power of ethically-sourced, sustainable animal fats to nourish and heal the skin. They provide healing on a level that plants just can’t accomplish. These are two of our biggest heroes in healing acne naturally:

Tallow full of vitamins and minerals that are bio-compatible with our skin due to the similar structure of the molecules. In other words, easily absorbed + make an impact on your skin.

Emu oil similar to tallow, emu oil has a structure comparable to the sebum our skin produces. It also contains many nutrients that deeply absorb into the skin to heal + soothe. This makes it especially effective for acne and inflamed skin conditions.

*Find animal fats in: all our Skin-Specific Creams or our Baby Balm

It’s a holistic approach to acne that may offend some, but respectfully, we feel confident that these are key in healing acne naturally. And rest assured, we only source ethical + sustainable ingredients.

Use More Products With Honey

Honey is a powerhouse for your skin. It helps improve oxygenation and heal acne naturally. It’s also a(n):
  • Humectant (aka attracts hydration into the skin)
  • Enzymatic exfoliant
  • pH balancer 
  • Antioxidant-rich ingredient that repairs/prevents damage
  • Anti-inflammatory ingredient that calms inflammation
*Find Honey in: all our Skin-Specific Masks.

Replace Retinol With Bakuchiol

Bakuchiol is a gentler alternative to retinol and retinoids. This plant-based ingredient is shown to work just as well as traditional retinoids prescribed for acne treatment.

*Find bakuchiol in: our Plumping Mask.

Strengthen Skin With CBD-Infused Skincare

CBD is a skin superfood containing the perfect ratio of fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids. It strengthens the skin + collagen production, minimizes inflammation, and prevents the buildup of dead skin cells. P.S. CBD is our Holistic Esthetician’s top pick for calming hormonal acne!
*Find CBD in: our entire CBD lineup.

Calm + Repair Inflammation With Turmeric

Turmeric calms, heals, + repairs the skin, promoting collagen production. It also reduces inflammation and even has cancer-fighting properties!

*Find turmeric in: our Clarifying Line.

Harness the Power of Green Tea

Green tea contains polyphenols and chlorophyll that protect from oxidative stress, UV damage, and free radicals. It supports skin cell turnover, boosts moisture and balances oil production, decreases redness, and detoxifies inflamed skin like acne.

*Find green tea in: our Clarifying Serum.

Soothe With Blue Tansy

Blue tansy has anti-inflammatory properties, speeds up healing, and contains powerful soothing properties – making it the perfect complement to healing acne naturally. 

*Find blue tansy in: our soothing line.

Replace Salicylic Acid With White Willow Bark

White willow bark is a holistic acne treatment alternative to salicylic acid (a traditional acne-fighting ingredient). It’s much gentler for skin that’s acne-prone and experiencing inflammation. 

*Find white willow bark in: our Clarifying Mask.

 Addressing Acne on a Holistic Level

Though your body has many complex systems that are constantly working together, taking care of your skin becomes second nature when you realize the skin is part of the bigger picture of health. 

So if you’ve tirelessly tried every acne regimen out there and you’re feeling defeated and burned out, maybe a holistic approach to acne is just what you need. 

It could change everything for you. You’ll never know until you try.

Here’s to clearer skin + confidence in the beauty you carry – no matter your skin state. 



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 If you feel defeated by acne, don’t give up hope yet. Maybe a holistic approach to acne is what you need. This is your personalized acne guide. | Primally Pure Skincare

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