Acne vulgaris is a common and chronic disorder of the sebaceous glands. It can occur at any time in life but is often related to times of hormonal shifts like those in puberty. During puberty, hormones called androgens increase the size of the skin’s oil glands. These glands start making more oil, which can clog pores. Genetic factors and the overall foundational health of the individual have a role in how an individual will respond to hormonal shifts. Another cause for adult acne is a stagnant lymphatic system or medications they are on, so we would discuss these and other root factors.

Consumption of milk, sugary beverages, bad fats, and sugary products appear to be associated with acne. Movement and exercise are essential as muscles compress on lymphatic vessels, pushing the lymph toward the liver. Drinking plenty of water also supports lymph and overall health. Stress is also a factor in acne, so I’d share ways to reduce and relieve stress.

After moving away from the SAD diet, I would focus on Zinc, a pivotal mineral to check for deficiencies with acne. I would MRT and discuss the benefits of supplementation or adding zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds and eggs. High levels of EPA and DHA can decrease inflammatory factors, which may reduce the risk of acne, so I would MRT for a supplement and discuss adding in foods like salmon, sardines, and walnuts.

I would have them switch to a nontoxic face wash containing a safe hydroxy acid like salicylic acid and apply safe, nontoxic gels to the outbreaks. I would share links to safe brands of both.

I’d share recipes for apple cider vinegar wash, honey cinnamon mask, tea tree oil spot treatment, and green tea for home remedies.


Ameling, L. (N.D.) Integumentary System. Retrieved on October 6, 2022. From:  Week 2 Lecture 1 Integumentary System: HP110 Body Structures and Functions (

Julianti, E., Rajah, K. K., & Fidrianny, I. (2017). Antibacterial Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Cinnamon Bark, Honey, and Their Combination Effects against Acne-Causing Bacteria. Scientia pharmaceutica, 85(2), 19. to an external site.

Kendall AC, Pilkington SM, Murphy SA, Del Carratore F, Sunarwidhi AL, Kiezel-Tsugunova M, Urquhart P, Watson REB, Breitling R, Rhodes LE, Nicolaou A. Dynamics of the human skin mediator lipidome in response to dietary ω-3 fatty acid supplementation. FASEB J. 2019 Nov;33(11):13014-13027. doi: 10.1096/fj.201901501R. Epub 2019 Sep 13. PMID: 31518521; PMCID: PMC6902719.

Lubtikulthum P, Kamanamool N, Udompataikul M. A comparative study on the effectiveness of herbal extracts vs 2.5% benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of mild to moderate acne vulgaris. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Dec;18(6):1767-1775. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12962. Epub 2019 Apr 23. PMID: 31012999.

Pappas A. (2009). The relationship of diet and acne: A review. Dermato-endocrinology, 1(5), 262–267. to an external site.

Penso L, Touvier M, Deschasaux M, et al. Association Between Adult Acne and Dietary Behaviors: Findings From the NutriNet-Santé Prospective Cohort Study. JAMA Dermatol. 2020;156(8):854–862. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2020.1602

Sutaria AH, Masood S, Schlessinger J. Acne Vulgaris. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: to an external site.