Juicing for Acne

by Charlie Rose, Nutrition Researcher

Juicing has a whole range of incredible benefits to transform your body as well as your skin, making it an essential habit to include in your daily skincare routine. New to it? Start slowly- you will soon discover the potency of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables to completely revitalise.

So why juice? Since watching the documentary film ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,’ I have felt incredibly inspired by the power of juicing. Juicing can help to shed excess weight as well as clear up acne prone skin. Raw fruit and vegetables are incredibly nutrient dense (meaning they contain a high level of nutrients compared to their low calorie content) and as they get broken down and blended up in the juicer, the many nutrients they have become readily available to the body. Acne prone skin can be due to a body that is deficient in specific vitamins and minerals- fresh juices combat this problem head on.  Juices are a quick and easy way to renew the body. They also taste delicious- but if you are not used to them, you may need to take some time to adjust to these new flavours. You may also find that you need to go to the toilet more often - don’t let this put you off as the benefits of juicing whilst maintaining a healthy diet are extraordinary. 

How to Juice: You will need a high-powered juicer to get the most squeeze from your produce. You will also need significant amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables (ideally organic) because some do not produce much juice. They should be well washed and scrubbed if necessary, if you do this the evening before then everything is ready to go in the morning.  
I would advise you juice first thing in the morning (and drink it immediately) as juices digest very quickly and you don’t want other food getting in the way of this digestion process. If you work a lot you could try juicing in the mornings of your days off or take a juice on your commute. Even juicing the night before and storing it in the fridge is an option, although the juice will lose some of its potency as enzymes start to degrade very quickly and they contain a lot of the extra health benefits.

Skin-Friendly Ingredients

Lemons are potent cleansers. They flush out toxins, help digestion and reduce inflammation by decreasing acidity within the body. They are full of antioxidants that aid in the elimination of blemishes and they are a good source of Vitamin C- aiding in the production of collagen and therefore a more youthful appearance.

Beetroot is a powerful antioxidant that fights the free radicals intent on destroying the skin. It has the ability to stabilise blood sugar and it is also full of Iron- necessary for skin health and combating fatigue.

Leafy greens are known for their skin-friendly properties and Spinach is no exception. It has a wide range of benefits including boosting immunity, reducing stress (due to its magnesium content), minimizing and healing acne, improving skin tone (it is a good source of Vitamin A), repairing cells and aiding the growth of new ones. It is a source of Iron, has anti-inflammatory properties and it helps fight dry skin.

Carrots are known for their Vitamin A content- or rather Beta-Carotene that the body converts into Vitamin A within the body. Vitamin A helps protect skin from sun damage and heals sunburn. Carrots are a source of Potassium- a deficiency can result in dry skin.

Chard is a good source of Beta-Carotene, Zinc, Vitamin C and E. Swiss Chard will contribute towards healthy skin.

Kale is a good source of Sulphur, (a magnificent skin nutrient that aids in detoxification) it contains more Vitamin C that oranges and is full of Vitamin K- which is needed for normal blood clotting and aids in the elimination of dark circles. A source of Vitamin A- Kale fights dry, flaky skin and aids in tissue repair. It also contains Omega 3 and 6.

Ginger is known for its digestive benefits and good digestion is essential for great skin. It helps with the absorption and assimilation of nutrients and aids in the breakdown of proteins, (needed for skin repair and renewal) as well as being an anti-inflammatory, boosting immunity and containing antioxidant properties that help protect against aging skin. It also stimulates circulation, improves elasticity, and is a powerful antiseptic and cleanser- keeping the skin acne free (by killing the potential acne causing bacteria) and keeping the skin toned.

Celery is high in antioxidants (containing Vitamins A, C and E) and is a powerful high water content ingredient to add to your juice. It also contains Omega 6, (helping with the elasticity and luminosity of your skin) and Calcium, Selenium, Magnesium and Potassium.

Cucumber is ideal to juice due to its extremely high-water content. It is also high in Potassium and contains Lutein and Zeaxanthin which help the skin fight free radicals.

Watercress is particularly powerful in healing inflammatory skin conditions such as Rosacea and acne because of its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is a natural diuretic- aiding in the elimination of waste and toxins. It is also high in Chlorophyll and contains Iodine. By weight, Watercress has more iron than Spinach, more Calcium than cow’s milk and more Vitamin C than Oranges.

Rocket is high in Vitamin A, (eliminating dry skin and promoting eye health) Vitamin K (encouraging healing) and it contains a good amount of Folic Acid.

 

Tips for the Beginner

  • Apples are often recommended as a palatable mixer for those new to the juicing game. For example: juice an Apple with Carrots or Leafy Greens that might be hard to stomach such as Watercress or Rocket.
     
  • You will find that some vegetables will juice incredibly well and others will not. In other words, some fruit and vegetables have a high-water content while others do not. To get the most out of all of your produce, it is best to ‘sandwich’ the ones that don’t juice as well (low-water content) between those that do. This way you don’t end up with as much waste, so remember juice high-water, low, then back to high in that order.
     
  • Make the majority percentage of your juices from sweet fruit such as Apples, Oranges and Pineapple. Ease yourself into the dark and bitter vegetables gradually.
     
  • Have fun experimenting with different flavours and combinations. The best way to truly enjoy and benefit from this new healthy habit is to get excited!
     

Some Recipes to help cleanse acne 

Nourish: Acne Juice Recipe #1

1 bunch/pack of watercress

3 kiwi fruit

3 celery sticks

1 small bunch thyme

1/2 lemon (peeled)

 

Cool: Acne Juice Recipe #2

4 large carrots

2 green apples

1 cucumber

1 bunch/pack spinach leaves

1 small bunch coriander (cilantro)

1 lime (peeled)

 

Zing: Acne Juice Recipe #3

1 large beetroot

4 large carrots

1 bunch/pack rocket

1 golf-ball sized ginger root

1 lemon (peeled)

 

© Napiers Herbals Ltd 2014 • Edinburgh and Glasgow • Herbalists and Medical Botanists since 1860
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