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Acne occurs when the overproduction of sebum blocks the pores of the skin, leading to inflammation or infection within the pores and hair follicles. Hormonal imbalances, stress, and food sensitivities or allergies are the main causes. Low levels of Vitamin A and D, as well as an overall poor diet, may aggravate outbreaks.

(See a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for blood testing to assess hormone levels and how to get them back in balance)

Dr. Nelson's Core Protocol for Acne

  1. AcneFree Herbal Formula Buy Now
  2. LiverTone Herbal Formula Buy Now
  3. Vitamin D Buy Now
  4. Vitamin A capsules Buy Now or Vitamin A Mulsion liquid Buy Now
  5. Natural Beauty Cleansing Bar Buy Now
  6. Silymarin Buy Now
  7. Milk Thistle Buy Now

More information on why and how to use the products listed above:

AcneFree Formula

AcneFree Formula by Exodus Herbs supports skin health, hormonal balance and reduces acne outbreaks during times of stress. [Liquid tincture 1/2 to 1 tsp 3x daily or 3 caps 3x daily]

LiverTone Formula

LiverTone Formula by Exodus Herbs is a combination of herbs specifically selected to stimulate the production of bile, regulates metabolic function, and improve the body's ability to detoxify, critical for fighting acne. [Liquid tincture 1/2 to 1 tsp 3x daily or 3 caps 3x daily.] LiverTone works best when combined with either Milk Thistle or Silymarin.

Silymarin 80% Standardized extract

Silymarin 80% Standardized extract by Exodus Herbs provides liver protection, and is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, toxin-blocking, and helps prevent tissue scarring. [3 capsules 3x daily]

Milk Thistle tincture or capsules

Milk Thistle tincture or capsules by Exodus Herbs. Some benefits of Milk Thistle and Silymarin are liver protection, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, toxin-blocking, and helps prevent tissue scarring. [Liquid tincture 1/2 to 1 tsp 3x daily or 3 caps 3x daily.]

Vitamin D

Vitamin D by Pure Encapsulations directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. It is essential in keeping the body healthy and studies show that most people are deficient, giving rise to devastating negative health effects. If you prefer a liquid Vitamin D, Vitamin D-Mulsion by Genestra is available and is great for children and people who have trouble swallowing capsules. [Vit D 5,000 iu/day]

Vitamin A

Vitamin A capsules by Thorne is a potent antiviral/antibacterial agent. Vitamin A can be toxic if taken at high doses, but only if you are deficient in Vit D. Therefore, I always take (and also recommend) a Vitamin D capsule with each dose of Vitamin A. Also available is Vitamin A Mulsion liquid by Professional Formulas, which is great for children and people who have trouble swallowing capsules. [Vit A 100,000 iu/day with Vit D 5,000 iu/day]

Natural Beauty Cleansing Bar

Natural Beauty Cleansing Bar by Nature's Plus. The low pH of this cleansing bar ensures a "self-sterilization" of the skin and an environment which will inhibit infection. Always wash your face at the end of the day and after sweating or soiling the face. Wash your skin with WARM but never hot water and end by rinsing your face in COLD water. DO NOT USE REGULAR SOAP.

Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors such as proper hydration, stress management, eliminating or decreasing processed foods, are vitally important as well.

Dr. Nelson’s personal note:
Silymarin is the main active component of the herb Milk Thistle. By separating out and concentrating this active ingredient, more of this constituent can be put into a capsule, increasing the capsule’s potency. However, many herbalists believe that using whole herbs rather than just separating out one active ingredient is best. The idea is that the other constituents of the herb may be working synergistically with the main active ingredients. Common sense and a review of the research and many clinical trials, makes me give this theory credence. Therefore, it is my belief that if you use silymarin, taking the whole herb milk thistle along with it will give the best results. This way you get the benefit of the extra potency and the synergistic components as well. Of course, the best solution is to take the liquid tincture of Milk Thistle as it can be as potent as the Silymarin Powdered Extract capsules, and it absorbs better and acts more quickly than capsules!

See What Dose of Herbal Medicine do I take and how much do I need to buy? and to help choose between liquid herbal tinctures or herbal capsules, see  When should use Liquid herbal tinctures or herbal capsules and what's the difference?

The information presented here is based on scientific studies, clinical experience or traditional usage.

The products, and the information provided about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

You should consult with a healthcare professional before taking ANY medication or supplements, especially if you are pregnant or nursing or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Please use the products as they are intended; always seek the advice of a qualified licensed health care provider.

These products are intended to provide whole food nutrition to the body which may result in the benefit of tissue building, repair and enhancement of the normal structure and function of the body.