Natural Acne Treatments

                                                           Kingslea Moore, DNP, FNP-C

Daily we hear, “I am not a teenager anymore, why am I having breakouts”. Adult Female Acne can be tender bumps along the jawline or clogged pores and congestion in the skin, and tends to appear or gets worse before menstruation and during ovulation. Some women experience clear skin month long then struggle with cyclical breakouts.

If you’re noticing an imbalance in your skin, lifestyle improvements can make a difference. Lifestyle adjustments include clean eating (avoiding dairy, gluten and processed foods), getting eight consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep, being gentle with your skin (avoiding harsh scrubs, acids, and picking).

If you suffer from constipation (you should have at least one good bowel movement per day), then that needs to be addressed. We suggest MD prescriptives Bowel cleanse tablets, smooth move tea, or magnesium supplements.


Exercise and diet improvements will help, more food colors and drinking half your body weight in ounces daily. Constipation can be caused by sensitivities to certain foods, like gluten or dairy for example (although could be caused by any food, really). If you care not having a bowel movement every day, all of the toxins and hormones get reabsorbed and recirculated in the body. So take note here if you suffer from a sluggish gut, constipation, and irregular bowel movements. Stress is another huge factor with constipation and belly pain that is often overlooked.


cruciferous veggies

Diindolylmethaneis (DIM) an extract of cruciferious vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale. DIM works to optimize your estrogen, and combat estrogen driven acne or other estrogen driven conditions such as polycycstic ovarian syndrome. We suggest 200mg every day!

Berberine is very well known in holistic medicine. It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, but also has an effect on the sebaceous glands. Research suggest it could be employed as an anti-acne agent. One clinical study found that berberine improved acne by 45% after just four weeks. It also improves your endocrine function and reduces androgens (male hormones that cause acne). Berberine is very helpful in the treatment of polycycstic ovarian syndrome as well!

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Slow Down, Just Breathe

While Dr. Sheperd and I were at SaJune Medical Center for our last preceptorship, we discussed nutrition as part of an integrative approach to offer our patients.

Margaret, the director of nutrition, gave us many tips that we will continue to incorporate in our daily practice. From adding spirulina, lemon and pink salt to water to checking your daily pH, we discussed small steps to take to allow for metabolic balance and general well-being.


Margaret certainly has a realistic approach to nutrition as a mother herself. She said, “you can have a root beer, but then measure your pH.” Remember which foods are acidic, including coffee, white flour, sugar, wine, alcohol, etc.


Along the lines of alkalizing the body, we also discussed the breath. Margaret feels that we are not taught in this country how to breathe. Most of us breathe with the upper 1/3 of our chest only.

She suggested, make yourself a note:



note to self to breathe

Think of breathing exercises as working-out your lungs.



“Less is more.”

Some people stress out about getting to the gym at 5am to run. But what if their cortisol (stress hormone) is already out of whack? It may be more beneficial to do 5 minutes of deep breathing when already stressed out. If you are experiencing stress or hair loss, this may mean that your adrenal glands need a rest.

slow down

In this case, she said, consider uncommiting your time for 3 weeks. Learn how to say “no.”



“If man made it, try not to eat it.”

This can be a good motto when starting to make dietary changes. Think about eating from the plant kingdom instead. Eliminate anything that you can’t pronounce. Remember,

“We’re not perfect.”


If you drink a lot of coffee, try slowly replacing it with ChyaPro. (an ayurvedic tea-like formula). Cut back on hydrogenated oils.

Congratulate yourself for passing up fast food today.

If you drink soda, switch to Zevia drinks flavored with Stevia.

Sometimes people may want to consider undergoing a cleanse. Before doing so, it is important to make sure your energy level is good, as a cleanse takes planning and prepping.

Margaret went on to say,

“Focus on what you can have, not what you can’t have.”


Try nutritional flakes. You can flavor your foods withs cilantro, lime, pink salt, olive oil, and hemp seeds. Think about ways to get superfoods into the diet. Adding pink salt to water softens the water molecules and allows them to absorb more intracellularly.

We carry a variety of supplements at our office that facilitate bowel cleanses. Premier cleanse and galactan powder work by regulating the water in the bowel. Adding fiber, they will make you more regular. Patients with acne should consider a bowel cleanse as there is a direct link of the skin to the gut.

For constipation, Bowel I and II can be helpful.

Think of a cleanse as taking the junk out of the bowel. If the intestinal wall is covered with mucoid plaque, then it is not absorbing.

Acne patients will also benefit from a Purebiotic, which is a probiotic supplement that we offer.

Alternatively, one can consider a 5-7 day veggie cleanse. Start with meatless Mondays and go from there!

Instead of a snickers bar, grab an apple!


Margaret taught us that is important to talk to patients about their bowels. It will open-up dialogue that is important for getting them feeling their best!

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Glutathione – The Major Detox Antioxidant of the Body

Glutathione - The Major Detox Antioxidant of the Body

Glutathione helps you stay healthy and prevents disease. It is the most powerful naturally occurring antioxidant. Glutathione is found in practically all human cells and is important in detoxification processes in the body. The highest amount of glutathione is found in the liver. It is essential for a good immune system.

We are fortunate that this antioxidant is produced naturally in the body. Glutathione protects the skin, lens, cornea, and retina. But, stress, poor diet, aging, medications, toxins, infections and radiation can lower glutathione levels. When the levels are low, you are more susceptible to infections.

Aging, viral infections, atherosclerosis, arthritis, cancer, and pulmonary diseases are all made worse by free radicals. Glutathione works along with other antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E to decrease the free radicals. Glutathione lowers LDL, helps the body respond to inflammation, and detoxifies carcinogens. It is helpful both mentally and physically.

To take glutathione effectively, a supplement of N-Actely-L-Cysteine (another form of glutathione) daily is safe.

Our office offers IV glutathione, which can help treat Alzheimer’s, cancer, COPD, Diabetes, HIV, Lyme disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Autism, Chronic Fatigue, Cystic Fibrosis, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Acetaminophen Toxicity, and is anti-aging and restorative. IV nutrient therapy can improve levels quicker than oral supplements. It is safe and effective. It is also better tolerated.

Glutathione is key to preventing disease.

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The Redness of Rosacea

By: Amy Murphy, PA-C


Whether you’re flushing, breaking out from food triggers, seeing redness in and around the eyes, or are sun-sensitive, you may have a form of rosacea. It is a common condition that can take on many forms.


Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder. It comes and goes as an inflammatory issue. You will see this on the central face (nose and cheeks) primarily. Sometimes thickening of these areas along with the forehead and chin, accompanied by enlarged oil glands may develop. We will see this more in fair-skinned people. It is more common in middle-aged people. More women than men have rosacea. Men experience more of the skin thickening of the nose. Unfortunately, like acne, there is no cure, but there are many tools to treat the symptoms.


Some first step treatments are avoiding your triggers, using gentle skin care products and good sun protection. General sensitive skin may be an issue, but using the right products and altering dietary choices can make a big difference. Many find alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, hot-temperature foods, exercise, humidity and stress common triggers.


lite lytic tx Some great products for treating redness and rosacea include: Lite Lytic Tx by Epionce. This is a gentle-strength treatment product that targets cleaning pores and smoothing skin texture. It will improve irritation and inflammation. It is good for sensitive skin and contains salicylic acid 0.5% and azelaic acid.


redness neutralizer



Redness Neutralizer by Skin Ceuticals protects the skin’s barrier from environmental triggers like wind, cold or hot exposure. This product can also cool the skin. It smoothes the skin and is paraben-free. There are peptides and botanical ingredients such as bark extract.


Palomar_IconLaser or intense pulsed light therapy is another great option for combatting the redness of rosacea. The vessels we see at the skin’s surface respond well to the laser. Light energy is absorbed by hemoglobin in the vessels at the skin’s surface. We see fast results with this type of treatment. Retreatment periodically can keep this condition at bay.

We can also treat rosacea with prescription topical medicines and oral medicines when it becomes persistent. The acne that comes with rosacea may especially need these stronger treatment options. Fortunately, rosacea rarely leaves scars, unlike acne.


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Transformation Tuesday: A journey to clear completion

Kingslea Moore, DNP, FNP-C

I was drawn to the dermatology profession for many reasons, but the number one reason was having difficult skin and a close relationship with dermatologists growing up. Not to divulge too much information, but I struggled through many quirky skin conditions; including severe cystic scaring acne requiring accutane, eczema, warts, rosacea and a strange rash requiring biopsy, WHEW. My dermatologist was near and dear to my heart, and I knew I wanted to help people in the same way she helped me. During my undergrad, masters, and doctoral programs, I was encouraged to focus on family medicine with a broad base, and after a residency in family medicine I was still hopeful to land a job in Dermatology. Meeting Dr. Sheperd and joining her team is my equivalent to winning the lottery! Now I am able to compassionately and empathetically aid people with any level of skin care. So here it is, my no makeup selfie taken just after my first anniversary with Sheperd Integrative Dermatology.



Needless to say it has been a long journey, and I have never been happier in my skin. Now, I want to share a few “game changers” for your skin! #nomakeupselfie is obtainable for everyone.

#1. Diet: Refer to Amy Murphy, PA’s anti- inflammatory alkaline diet. Two personal triggers are dairy and gluten. Dairy is huge in flaring acne and rosacea, and gluten irritates eczema and allergies

The typical Western diet is comprised of foods, which lower the pH in the body (wrong direction!). Sugar, meat, coffee, tea and sodas sugar, alcohol, white flour, dairy, and packaged & processed foods can worsen inflammatory conditions of the skin and may even cause a bad mood. Increase

Think plants! Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, seeds… Eat fruits in moderation because they are high in sugar. Berries are best! It is important to understand that alkaline promoting foods may actually be acidic —- but their effect in the body raises the pH.  Try keeping fresh lemons and limes on hand to squeeze into every glass of water that you drink – this is the quickest ticket to a more alkaline diet!

EltaMD Physical Clear

EltaMD Physical Clear


Elta MD Physical Tinted

#2. Sunscreen: Every. Day. You get a certain amount of sun for free, and most of us have reached that amount. If you are noticing irregular pigmentation (brown spots and broken capillaries) or fine lines, that is a direct result from too much sun. Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, that is a physical protection that is much different than traditional SPF. My favorite is the Elta MD physical, tinted or clear, per personal preference.  Minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are anti-inflammatory and calming to rosacea and acne. Our La Bella Donna powder is comprised of minerals that calm acne, rosacea, and protect from sun’s harmful rays (SPF 20).

If you are already in the great habit of a daily sunscreen, then the next step is a daily antioxidant serum. An antioxidant combination delivers environmental protection against aging by neutralizing free radicals that cause accelerated signs of aging. It provides advanced environmental protection against damaging free radicals induced by UVA, UVB, and infrared radiation A (while protecting your collagen!). Once absorbed, this serum can’t be washed or rubbed off. It remains effective for a minimum of 72 hours, making it an excellent addition to sunscreen


Daily Antioxidant Serum


59280683-9bd0-4ed8-89ca-b064290fe4ad_bio eye cream.jpg.ashx

Neocutis Lumiere Eye GAME CHANGER

#3. Hydration: Hydrate your inner health by drinking half your body weight in ounces daily, which is about 2-3 liters a day. Soak up a great renewal moisturizer at night, which is based on skin type. You can not go wrong with hydration packed Neocutis Lumiere bio-restorative eye- cream, with much needed growth factors. This gamechanger reduces the appearance of puffiness, under eye darkness, and skin aging.


#4. Rest and Exercise: Goes without saying!namaste

Sleeping eight CONSECTIVE hours nightly will not only make your skin look and feel better, but will increase your free radical fighters and overall positivity. 30 minutes of walking daily activates your immune system and calms the mind.


#5. Retinols: There is not one size fits all for retinols!

Retinols will increase skin cell SCretinolturnover, which encourages healthy skin growth while creating a more youthful appearance and keeping pore size small. It will also take care of those pesky blackheads. We will find one that is correct for your skin type with NO peeling.



#6. Laser Treatments: GAME CHANGER!

IPL Photofacial is key for pink tones of rosacea, broken capillaries, and dark spots from sun exposure growing up here in Charleston and going out on the water.

Resurfacing laser for acne scarring, the picture says it all!


I challenge you to take a #nomakeupselfie! In a perfect world, Kingslea’s Game Changer list is the ideal timeline for your journey to perfect skin. We will customize for you and work within your budget.


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