I am a licensed Naturopathic Doctor registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.




Acne is a common skin condition, due to clogging and inflammation of the skin’s oil glands leading to a blackhead or worse, a pimple. Although acne appears on the outer surface of our skin, there are many internal factors that can cause acne. A fundamental question that should be asked is, “what is going on inside?”

Determining the root cause of acne is essential in understanding why acne is happening and how to stop it. Every person is unique and one person’s root cause of acne is different from another. However, the are many common factors that can be addressed to decrease acne and to stop it in its tracks!


“Acne is the diabetes of the skin” meaning carbohydrates, like bread, pasta, rice, and refined sugar, like cookies, cakes, and pastries, can cause and perpetuate acne. Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt, have also been linked to acne and removing this food group has shown to be beneficial.


Another key to clear skin is optimizing elimination. The 3 main pathways of elimination are through the bowels, kidneys and the skin. Optimal bowel and kidney function is important for healthy skin. Why’s that? Because a vast majority of elimination happens through these two pathways, and if it stops working, the skin takes over and eliminates by sweating, which can clog the oil glands and result in acne.


Not only is it important to eat a healthy diet, digesting foods needs to be optimal so all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals can be absorbed well. Also, if there are issues with digestion there will be issues with elimination as well. Improper digestion can lead to chronic inflammation. Digestion can be impacted by consuming foods that are too sensitive for the body, and symptoms of this are (but not limited to), bloating, excessive burping &/or farting, heartburn, headaches, nausea and more. Gluten and dairy are common food sensitivities. Further testing and investigation are required to determine what food sensitivities are occurring. Learn more


Hormonal changes and fluctuations can cause acne too. For women, hormonal changes during “that time of month” can result in zits and pimples. An even better example is teenage boys and girls, going through hormonal changes, and often having to deal with acne for the first time. A hormonal transition phase during puberty is common and most adults will overcome it, but 40% of adults still get hormonal acne. Certain hormonal imbalances are linked to acne. For instance, oil glands are sensitive to testosterone, meaning increased testosterone in the system can activate oil glands to overproduce oil, which is known to cause acne. To determine which hormones are imbalanced any by how much, I recommend hormonal testing. Learn more


Last but not least, what we put on the skin can impact skin health. Soaps, abrasive scrubs and pore-clogging creams can wreak havoc on the skin. From stripping the skin of its natural moisture and changing the pH of the skin, some skincare products are more harmful than beneficial. A thorough skin analysis needs to happen even before a skin regiment can be determined.
Interesting in a natural approach to acne management or experiencing acne that has been unresponsive?

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