Acne is a modern affliction. To most people living traditional rural lifestyles, the disease is completely unknown. Now more than 80% of teens and 4% of adults suffer from this inflammatory skin condition.
We see Acne as a mismatch disease. In the last few hundred years, our lifestyles have shifted too fast for our genes to keep up. We have evolved for active outdoor lifestyles as hunter-gatherers. Our modern lifestyles are much more sedentary, and have distanced us from the natural world. This, combined with the use of chemicals that strip our skin, synthetic products and harsh cleansers, has left our skin in a state of chronic sub-clinical inflammation, and its microbiome in a state of imbalance. Acne is one of the resulting conditions.
The conventional approach to acne uses treatments that do not prioritise the microbiome; removing sebum from skin with harsh cleansers and retinoids, and waging war on microbial communities with antibiotics. We take a different approach. We believe in using biotechnology and new discoveries in microbiome science to help your skin naturally mimic the conditions for which it has evolved.
- Take a good quality oral live probiotic supplement. Aim to include fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi to improve microbial diversity in your gut.
- Spend at least 15 minutes in the sun each day without sunscreen, to allowing your skin to synthesise Vitamin D. Acne severity is quite tightly linked to vitamin D deficiency.
- Avoid foaming cleaners and drying products with alcohol – both can impact on the health of your skin’s natural microflora.
- Aim to maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) and avoid sugar and other high glycemic load foods. There is a link between increased BMI and acne. Obese and overweight individuals tend to have higher glycemic loads and higher androgen levels, which can increase sebum production and increase the risk of acne.
- Exercise regularly and get sweat on the surface of your skin. Physical exercise has been found to reduce acne severity.
- Get sufficient sleep and reduce stress. Both poor sleep and elevated stress are associated with acne.
- Make contact with nature as much as possible. Our immune systems expect a constant flow of benign, natural microbes. However, in a modern lifestyle we get no feedback, except from microbes of mostly human origin in our homes and workplaces.
- Many of the risk factors above are simply linked with health. Eating food with a low glycemic load is recommended whether you’re treating acne or not. Same for exercising, getting enough sleep and avoiding chronic stress. These factors are all linked with health because they fit well with what we have evolved for.