June is Acne Awareness Month, which might normally prompt me to trot out a roundup of blemish-busting products. But while topicals have their place, years of interviewing skincare experts, polling readers, and test-driving zit-zappers has lead me to realize acne is best treated from the inside out.
Disclaimer: I don't have acne, nor have I ever suffered from much more than the occasional hormonal eruption, but you don't have to take just my word for it. Last summer, Well + Good NYC reported on a study confirming the long-suspected link between dairy products and acne.
If that doesn't surprise you, then consider this: Even Dr. Howard Murad, founder of the eponymous skincare line, follows an inclusive health philosophy. "When the body is at optimal health, the skin will follow suit," says Dr. Murad, who recommends full body care—healthy diet, exercise, sleep, stress management and carefully selected topicals—for an acne-free complexion.
One of the most popular Beauty Bets posts of all-time is a recipe from esthetician Sara Mattson for a raw apple cider vinegar concoction known to clear up complexions in a matter of days. ACV promotes alkalinity in the body, which inhibits inflammation, a contributor everything from skin disorders, to cancer, to the common cold.
Try it for yourself:
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR "COCKTAIL"
2 tbsp Braggs apple cider vinegar (raw/organic)
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp honey (optional)
12 oz. water
Combine all ingredients. Sip throughout the day, preferably before meals, or chug the whole thing if you can't stand the taste.
Got a tried-and-true acne solution? We'd love to hear what's worked for you.
Elizabeth Dehn is the editor-in-chief of Beauty Bets, an award-winning blog chock-full of product reviews, wellness tips, and DIY ideas.