Acne-Friendly Exercise: How to Get Healthy and De-Stress the Right Way

Quick and strenuous exercises are all the rage right now, but these types of exercises, along with too  many hours spent in the gym or on the track, may not be the best option for those with acne. Instead, if you have acne-prone skin, you'll do better with moderate exercise as part of a healthy, less stressful lifestyle.

Exercise, especially intense exercise, is known to stimulate production of testosterone in both women and men. This will help you to build lean muscle mass, but it may also overstimulate your sebaceous glands, which can result in the overproduction of sebum and more clogged pores, leading to more acne breakouts. So the trick is to find a healthy balance between exercising enough to help your body destress and oxygenate, but not so much in a way that may promote inflammation and hormonal imbalances, which may lead to a worsening of your acne.

How to Have a Breakout-Free 12 Days Before Christmas

The holiday season is a time for beauty but also for stress and cutting corners on proper skincare, eating habits, and a healthy lifestyle (including getting regular sleep and exercise). It's no surprise that this is the time for acne to flare up.

So to make it up to your skin for slacking in these areas, here's a 12-day guide to keeping breakouts away:

Clean and exfoliate naturally

Before exfoliating naturally with a papaya mask, try holding your face over a sink full of steaming hot water for a few minutes. This will open your pores and prep the skin for effective but gentle exfoliation. 

Does "Natural" Really Mean "Natural"?

How to Become a Pro at Reading Product LabelsHow to Become a Pro at Reading Product Labels

Everything we put into and on our bodies affects our health and the health of our skin. And everything that goes into our bodies can be classified as either natural or artificial. These days, believe it or not, when a product is labeled "natural," some or many of the listed ingredients may actually be artificial or, contain an insignificant amount of a natural ingredient which may do not provide any real benefits. Just because something says it's natural, doesn't mean it is. It also does not mean that it is good for you. Using the word "natural" has become a marketing gimmick, and as a result, you may often be lead down the wrong path.

A product labelled "natural" might not mean what you think it means. And you might be paying extra for a product that isn't much better than the one that's not labelled "natural."

What does "natural" even mean?

The common definition of "natural": means derived from or made by nature. The FDA defines natural ingredients as those derived from natural sources, such as lecithin derived from soybeans and corn. But did you know the majority of soybeans and corn are genetically modified here in the US?

Do You Have Androgen-Induced Acne?

How to deal with and treat androgenal acne

When we try to understand the etiology (causes) of acne, hormonal imbalance is cited as one of the most common culprits for this skin problem.

Both women and men produce all three sex hormones: estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Of course, depending on whether you are a woman or man, your glands produce more estrogen or testosterone, respectively. When a woman's body produces too much testosterone (androgens), this overproduction may result in concerns like acne, too much facial or body hair, and sometimes even changes in menstruation cycle or infertility.

The Scoop on Sugar: Acne-Friendly Sugar Substitutes

If you have acne, you've likely been told to stay away from sugar, and you've likely been confused. Does that mean you can't even have fruit? That you should consume sugar substitutes? That you can't make any of your favorite recipes this holiday season?

Allow us to help you clear the confusion in time for your next holiday party.

First, check out your refrigerator. Any mayo or Canadian bacon or soda in there? Now check your pantry. Is it full of cookies and other packaged goodies? Yes? Then it's full of sugar, too-and probably not the good kind. The sad truth is that sugar can be found in almost every food these days. When you combine all this sugar with foods that easily and rapidly convert into sugar like potatoes, pasta, crackers and potato chips, your skin may suffer the consequences.

Why You Can Be Thankful for Your Struggle with Acne
These thoughts come to you as a message from the heart of our team to each and every one of our clients and potential clients fighting for clear skin right now. It also comes with our pledge that we are with you every step of the way so together we may turn a promise of clear skin into a reality. Stress is a horrible feeling no matter what time of year it is, but it's especially horrible around the holidays when it tends to creep up on us and keep us from getting the most out of family time.  Read on to turn your thought process around, and get the most out of this holiday season.
7 Easy Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress & Avoid Acne Flare-ups

Stress is a horrible feeling no matter what time of year it is, but it's especially horrible around the holidays, when it tends to creep up on us and keep us from getting the most out of family time.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that stress is more than just a feeling. No matter what kind of stress you're experiencing, your body will respond in the same way: Adrenaline, the number one stress hormone, speeds up the heartbeat, breathing and metabolic rate to give you a necessary rush of extra energy. Adrenaline is produced and stored in our two adrenal glands, which are situated on top of the kidneys. With long-term stress, these glands will deplete.

Too much stress on our systems releases excess stress-related hormones, enzymes and other chemicals that leave us anxious and tense--and also with overstimulated sebaceous glands, which leads to more acne.

4 Tips to Keep Acne Skin Healthy This Winter

When winter brings cold air, harsh winds and falling snow our way, we're quick to trade in our summer T-shirts and fall jackets for heavier coats, fluffy scarves and warm gloves. But did you know you should be changing more than just the clothes you wear on your body? It's very possible you need to change the products you use on your body, as well.

If you have acne-prone skin, winter calls for a different skincare regimen than the one that got you through the warmer months. Failing to adjust your skincare routine could result in dry, flaky skin that will only make acne worse.

Follow these 4 tips to keep your skin healthy this winter, and come this spring you'll find your skin is as fresh as the blooming flowers.
Acne Skin-Friendly Halloween Makeup. Treat - Don't Trick - Your Skin This Halloween

Who doesn't want to go a bit overboard with makeup on Halloween? Though this is the time to get away with it, you still may want to do it in a way that does not exasperate your acne.  

Here are some Halloween tips to look crazy-good but let your acne-prone skin survive the night.

1. Accentuate - Do Not Experiment

Acne is a result of your pores being stuffed with too much sebum (skin oil) mixed with dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and, of course, bacteria.

The Power of Pumpkins & Your Acne - Menu Ideas & Mask Included!
Pumpkins. We can't get enough of them during the Halloween and Thanksgiving season.

We carve them, we stick them on our porches, we wait on line for once-a-year lattes, we make pies and soups and then we forget about pumpkins until next year.

So let's talk about why pumpkins should be on our minds all year round if you have acne.

Pumpkins are rich in nutrients and microelements that our skin and body can benefit from:

  • Like carrots, sweet potatoes or oranges, pumpkins have an antioxidant power and are loaded with beta-carotene (arytenoids), which neutralize free radicals. This helps keep our skin healthy and young and may prevent cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in amino acids and Vitamin B that are great for the skin. They are also rich in a special amino acid called tryptophan - that is important in the production of serotonin (our good mood player) so you don't only get healthy skin but are also happy!
  • Feel a cold coming on? Rich in Vitamin C, pumpkins may help to boost your immune system. One cup of pumpkin soup has 20% or 60 mg of the daily-recommended dose of Vitamin C (15% of the amount recommended for men as they need 75 mg).
  • The generous amount of fiber in pumpkin helps your GI system to keep healthy and helps in controlling sugar levels and a healthy weight.
What's Happening

The latest skincare tips & tricks that keep you informed.

Webinar Back By Popular Demand:  8/24, 7:30pm EST

If you missed the first webinar (which was overbooked so we had to schedule it again!) on how to create your own ACTION® plan on how to treat your acne, you won't want to miss it this time!  For anyone with acne, no matter how long you've had it for, you will be able to walk away from this webinar not only with an ACTION® plan, but Dr. Agnes Olszewski, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine specialist, will also share with you her secrets that have helped hundreds of thousands on not only breaking the cycle of acne, but how to overcome the emotional effects of having this skincare issue. SIGN UP TODAY!
6 Quick Tips to Save Your Acne-Prone Skin

1. Do Not Go to Sleep With Makeup

Acne-prone skin is usually a victim of too much sebum (skin oil) being produced by your sebaceous glands. It clogs your pores, and together with dirt, dead skin cells and of course bacteria will produce inflammation that manifests itself as pimples, comedones or cysts. Even the best makeup staying on your face overnight will add to this inflammation. Wash it out religiously each night.

2. Do Not Exercise With Makeup

When you exercise, you sweat... and sweat is a mixture of water and your skin oils. Adding makeup to this mix will clog your pores more and cause breakouts and enlarged pores, possibly perpetuating the acne cycle. 

Checklist of Questions to Ask Before Choosing an Acne Treatment

An educated consumer is a smart consumer!

You certainly want to make sure that what you use will get rid of or at least contain your acne breakouts. So before you reach out for a bottle, cream or pill, read this.

Acne is actually a rather complex disease, even though the clinical manifestation is rather simple: pimples!  The driving force behind the formation of pimples is what is more complex. For instance, some women have an over-secretion of the adrenal glands that leads to elevated levels of testosterone (and androgen) in their blood, which is the cause of acne. For some, during adolescence, there may be a large growth spurt with very high levels of hormones. For others, acne is linked to their menstrual cycle. Genetic variation is also a large contributing factor; if parents had acne, it is likely their children will also have acne.

Can You Over-Clean Your Acne-Prone Skin?
Beating acne is not really about what we put on our skin, but about the right treatment that will address the causes of acne (hyperactive sebaceous glands and the inflammation cascade that follows sebum-clogged pores). Since acne is the result of what happens inside of your body, topical products have only a miniscule impact on getting acne under control. Nevertheless, even though the treatment needs to come from the inside, what we do to our skin on the outside may either help or impede the treatment.

Cleaning your skin appropriately is recognized as potentially one of the most important "helpers" in acne treatment, as it can help remove bacteria-attracting dirt and extra, clogging dead skin cells from the pores. Unfortunately, if done inappropriately cleaning may actually hurt your acne-prone skin.

5 Rules for Cleaning Your Acne-Prone Skin

Acne-Friendly Kitchen: Foods that can help to keep your skin clear

Although diet is not the cause of skin problems like acne, it plays an important role in their treatment. A poor diet can exacerbate acne, even if you do everything else right, but a good diet can help fight it. Since acne is an external manifestation of an internal disorder, the right foods can heal, cleanse and nourish your skin from within.

Here is the perfect menu to keep your kitchen acne-friendly:

Acne-Friendly Breakfast: Kiwi-flaxseed oatmeal and a skin-cleansing raspberry-pineapple-ginger smoothie

Why? If you don’t have wheat allergies, whole grains are great for you. They’re an excellent source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, iron, beta-glucan (which may help regulate blood sugar), vitamin B6, and the antioxidants known as avenanthramides (which may help promote healthy circulation). Flaxseed provides a good dose of vitamins E and B6 as well as essential fatty acids (EFAs). Kiwi is rich in many microelements including zinc, which is great for acne-prone skin and also contains a load of antioxidants. A skin-cleansing raspberry-pineapple-ginger smoothie is a great healing drink that will reduce inflammation, provide a healthy dose of antioxidants and help your skin, and body, to regain a healthy balance.

FREE WEBINAR: 10/8, 8pm EST Break the Cycle of Acne - Overcome the Emotional Aspects with an ACTION® plan


AcnEase® is launching its FIRST EVER WEBINAR, AND IT IS GOING TO KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! We've been working very hard over the past month to create something that would be well worth your while. 

Tuesday, 10/8, 8pm EST get ready to learn from Dr. Agnes how to Break the Cycle of Acne and get an ACTION® plan on how to do it.

Dr. Agnes Olszewski, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert, has NEVER shared this information before and will provide you with an ACTION plan on how to do the following:

  • Break the cycle of acne
  • Overcome the emotional effects of having acne
  • Treat acne long term 

You won't want to miss this! Share with your friends too!  


With a promise of clear skin,
Dr. A

11 Small Changes That Can Make a Big Difference in Caring for Acne-Prone Skin

Acne breakouts do not come from what you put on your skin, so they cannot be treated by topical products. In short-most acne may be traced to fluctuations in hormone levels, especially androgens (male hormones, also known as testosterone), and their power to over-stimulate sebaceous glands. As acne results from inflammation caused by sebum-clogged hair follicles (pores) and bacteria, routing out the factors that cause overproduction of sebum is very important. So if you want to break the acne cycle, you need to help the body to balance itself and stop over-stimulating the sebaceous glands.

That said, we also need to remember that the skin is the largest organ of our body. Just the top layer of the skin (epidermis) covers about 3000 square inches! This big organ is also a very vulnerable one, and your habits can either help to fight acne or... actually make your breakouts worse.

5 Skincare Bad Habits That Can Cause More Acne Breakouts

Everyone makes an occasional mistake or allows for slip-ups in their skincare routine and until these do not become regular occurrences, we should not worry about them too much.

However when those occasional skincare transgressions become bad habits, they may take a real toll on your skin and increase the frequency or severity of the acne breakouts - and even increase the probability of acne scars.

So take a few minutes every day to take care of your skin, and it will pay you back with a clear complexion, less enlarged pores, less blackheads and whiteheads and even less acne scars.

Here are five of the most damaging bad habits for acne prone skin.

Coconut oil. Does it REALLY help acne?

Although it may sound counterintuitive, some natural oils may help to fight oily skin and improve breakouts. There is much talk about coconut oil and whether or not it's effective in helping acne prone skin, so here are the facts.

Acne and its predecessor, oily skin, are results of over production of sebum (skin oil) by sebaceous glands.  The increase in sebum production can lead to clogged pores (whiteheads and blackheads), which accumulate dead skin cells as well as bacteria.  This combination leads to a local inflammatory response, which if chronic, can lead to damage to the surrounding tissue. Acne and oily skin have to be treated from the inside out by removing the cause of excessive sebum production, the common denominator for both acne and oily skin.
5 Steps for a Fall Skincare Routine for Acne Prone Skin: A Smooth Transition

Even though we still have some time before moving our clocks ahead for the Fall, we want to help make sure you don't fall short on your skincare regimen.

After a Summer spent in the sun sweating and applying lots of sunscreen, our pores get clogged more than usual, our skin can look dull and dry, hyperpigmentation is more profound, and pimples, blackheads and whiteheads may become more aggressive. In addition, the change in our daily routine with back-to-school and back-to-work stress makes acne breakouts even less tolerable while often more frequent.  

What you think may be acne scars, may be this

Acne, especially large and chronic cysts or pimples and blackheads that we squeeze or pop, may damage skin tissue permanently, forming acne scars. The only real way to make sure that you do not get acne scars is to PREVENT acne from forming and to break the acne cycle.

There is however a condition that may follow acne, but is NOT permanent, that sometimes is confused with acne scars; this condition is known as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH).

What is PIH?

PIH is the medical term for skin discoloration resulting from an inflammatory injury to the skin tissue. It is the skin's natural response to inflammation. PIH is a flat area of discoloration on the skin ranging from pink to red, purple, brown or black, depending on your skin tone and depth of the discoloration.

Are your hormones causing your acne?

In short, yes - most acne may be traced to fluctuations in hormone levels, especially androgens (male hormones also known as testosterone), and their power to over stimulate sebaceous glands. As acne results from inflammation caused by sebum clogged hair follicles (pores) and bacteria, ruling out the factors that cause over production of sebum is very important.  

Treatment will help your body to negotiate or even eliminate the hormonal imbalance.

How do I get rid of my blackheads and whiteheads?

Whiteheads and blackheads are known as comedones, and are a certain type of acne.   They are both filled with sebum and dead skin cells, creating the ideal playground for bacteria to grow. The difference between the two is the oxidation of melanin (which gives the follicle a black or white color); the blackheads have a larger opening so the air makes the melanin oxidize, turning black and the whiteheads don't have a large opening, so the air access is limited, making the melanin white.

As popping the whiteheads and blackheads is highly NOT recommended, and may lead to infection and acne scars, the only practical way to deal with whiteheads and blackheads is PREVENTION. Prevention in this case means using an efficient acne treatment that actually helps to regulate the sebum secretion and a consistent, effective cleaning method.

Raspberry Oily Skin Face Mask: Get Less Breakouts and Less Shine

Oils produced by your skin's sebaceous glands are necessary to keep your skin healthy and supple. We would all be scaly and more like alligators without these oils! But as often in life, too much of a good thing is not good either - like the over-production of sebum (skin oil), which may lead to acne. Additionally, being too shiny is also a beauty problem that affects the way we look and our confidence. And since we often use make-up to camoflage blemishes, having very oily skin can interfere with make-up application and coverage.

Dermatologists agree that the most effective way to manage oily skin is to cleanse your face both morning and night, and to use oil absorbing masks. You need to use a gentle cleanser since harsh soaps can trigger the skin's protective reaction, and can increase oil production further. For the same reason, stay away from rubbing and buffing your skin; use a pat and dry system to limit the possibility of stimulating more oil secretion.

Your ALL-NATURAL Acne-Free Daily Skincare Routine

Before you begin to enjoy a daily skin care routine designed to provide you with healthy skin, please note the following general guidelines. 

General Guidelines

  • More is not always better.  Don't apply more than ONE mask daily.
  • Always apply a mask to freshly cleansed skin
  • Cleaning your face with products that suit YOU is a foundation of healthy skin 
  • NEVER go to sleep with your makeup on
  • After you exercise, clean your skin
  • Exfoliation (peeling) should not be done more than once a week
  • Use your sunscreen especially after using any exfoliating/peeling products
  • Alternate the fruit and veggie DIY moisturizing masks; we provide you with many of them on our blog.
  • The best way to use moisturizing and rejuvenating masks is every other day or every two days; especially before big events - not every day.
  • Observe your skin; if you see that some ingredients don't agree with you (ex. make your skin red, sensitized, itchy), stop using the masks and just use the chamomile astringent only.  Even nature isn't always right!
Do you know how serious your acne is?

Just because something says it will treat acne, doesn't mean it is meant for YOUR acne condition.  Some treatments are for mild, and some are for severe - and those facts are not always made clear. Become an educated consumer and do your research! 

Do you know how to tell if you have mild, moderate or severe acne? 

It's EASY to do.  See how by clicking below!

With a promise of clear skin,
Dr. A

Want to Hear The Truth About Acne Scars? BONUS: Acne Scar Softening Mask

It's hard enough to fight acne.  But what is a person to do if these breakouts leave long lasting marks and scars on the skin? Acne scars result from constant damage to the skin due to acne pustules and papules, pimples/zits, cysts etc. Each pimple is associated with an inflammatory reaction, which causes local tissue damage when combating bacteria trapped in the clogged pores of the skin. On top of this, if you squeeze or pop pimples, this damage may be even more substantial.

When you get a cut on your skin, a scab starts to form, which actually helps it to heal. Acne pimples that become inflamed are like little cuts that need to heal; with chronic acne, repeat pimples and inflammation don't give enough time for the skin to heal properly. Therefore, the FIRST thing that must been done to break the cycle of creating new scars and marks (acne marks are also acne scars but less deep) is to PREVENT acne. This will allow collagen production and new tissue to rebuild your skin (at least partially) and as a result, make scars less visible, and marks vanish. So, PREVENTING NEW ACNE FROM FORMING IS THE FIRST CRUCIAL STEP TO GETTING RID OF ACNE SCARS AND MARKS.

An Acne Fighting Machine: The Revealing Story Behind the Innovation of AcnEase®

Natural medicine has been used by people of all cultures for centuries. In some regions (cultures) such as China, India or Japan where natural medicine actually thrived for thousands of years, it has become a well-documented experiential body of knowledge. As different types of grapes have been grown and used on various continents to make different types and different quality of wine, a rich variety of different species of plants and herbs have been used around the world to treat similar ailments.

Modern natural medicine uses natural herbs and plants together with other natural ingredients based on principles and discipline of modern science, using testing, research, analysis, innovation and sophisticated equipment. But a "smart" modern natural medicine does not forget or deny the centuries of experiential knowledge of its grandfather - instead it learns from it, and then confirms it or rejects it based on the scientific data.

Acne and Antibiotics: Important Health Facts to Consider

Ever think about why the most popular acne treatments became so widely used?

Many doctors prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics like Septra, Minocycline, Tetracycline, Doxycycline, Erythromycin and Clindamycin to treat acne. The rationale being that the antibiotic will decrease the growth of bacteria in pores clogged with sebum. This process is designed to control and even decrease the symptoms of acne. And since effects are visible, it easily becomes a product of choice.  The problem is that those results will not last (even the period of improvement is different for each person); and to keep the results going will require long term use of antibiotics that carry different types of short term and long term health concerns and adverse effects.  Additionally, antibiotics really do not treat acne; they do not stop factors influencing the over-production of sebum.  Instead, they only moderate inflammation that would not occur in the first place, without overstimulation of the sebaceous glands.  So again, treating acne (meaning "getting rid of" for longer term) is a whole different matter.

This Green Vegetable's Powerful Effect on Acne Prone Skin

Cucumber has 96% water content that is more nutritious than regular water, which helps in keeping the body hydrated and body temperature regulated. It also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.

Cucumber also contains vitamins A, B and C and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and silica - all are very beneficial for your skin. Facial masks containing cucumber juice can be used for skin tightening. Additionally, the ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumbers can bring down the water retention rate, which in turn diminishes the puffiness and swelling under the eyes and works as a mild exfoliating agent.

Our cucumber mask is a great natural helper for acne prone skin as it works both as an astringent and moisturizer, especially for oily skin. The honey and oats also included in the mask will nourish and revitalize your skin, and will help with dark spots. But since cucumber works as an exfoliator, DO NOT USE THIS MASK BEFORE SUN EXPOSURE!   It is best to use it in the evening before going to bed.

How to Choose Breaking the Vicious Acne Cycle over Zapping the Zit

The Integrated Approach to Treating Acne

Nothing can be more frustrating and exasperating than a chronic problem. It wears us down, and affects our self-perception and special life moments.

Acne is one of such problems that if not addressed properly when it starts, may become chronic, and the scars (emotionally and physically) can even last a lifetime. We don't just say that, but have worked with numerous acne-sufferers who later in life unfortunately will never be able to get rid of the damage to their face. At the same time, since acne directly affects your appearance and the way you see yourself, there is also a strong motivation to just improve the symptoms as fast as possible, forgetting about long term results.

Can Vitamins Help Treat Acne?

The Impact of Vitamins on Skin Health

You know the saying beauty starts from with in? This is not just a reference on morals but a very practical observation about the health of your skin. What we put in our bodies effects how we look, and there are a number of essential vitamins that do wonders for the skin. HOWEVER, they do not TREAT acne.  

Certain vitamins and minerals may be a great adjunct to treating acne, and help your skin to be healthy and glowing.

Acne is a manifestation of an internal imbalance that leads to the overproduction of sebum (skin oil) by the sebaceous glands. This extra sebum together with dirt creates an ideal condition for bacteria, which results in inflammation that presents itself as acne (pimples, cysts etc). The only treatment for acne is to reprogram your sebaceous glands to stop working overtime, which will result in actually PREVENTING new acne from coming. Anything less - topical products and antibiotics - focus on symptoms of acne and address the inflammation rather than the real root cause of acne.