When it comes to clearing acne, there’s a massive blind spot which many people are overlooking. It’s all well and good to eat tons of acne nutrients, tailor your diet with healthy foods, get more exercise and sun and reduce stress. Those strategies will clear your acne superbly.
Nevertheless, if you don’t follow strategies to remove the endless acne-causing chemicals in factories, drinking water, food, raising agents, and personal care products, you are always limiting your progress. In fact, if you take a supplement like grass-fed gelatin but are touching paper receipts and absorbing tons of inflammatory BPA into your body, you’re not getting your money’s worth for acne either.
The US database chemicals now contains 5 million chemicals. Many are believed to cause cancer, diabetes, hormone problems and acne, and many are downright near proven to. The problem is that with such a mind boggling array of chemicals which we’ve invented so far, it’s impossible to study whether they all cause acne.
One fact is certain however. Some of these additives have been researched extensively and are far more notorious than others, and one of the worst for acne is aluminum.
Aluminum is a heavy metal found in the earth’s crust and soil. Unlike BPA, which infiltrated tap water way back in beginning in 1890, aluminum has only sprung up in force over the last 50 years or so.
In the 1960s the average human only ingested minute quantities of aluminum from tap water and foods. Natural and safe quantities are absorbed from the soil into plants by their roots. Now companies have found a variety of uses for aluminium and it can be found in dangerous levels in tap water, foods, cookware, soy baby formulas and most notoriously antiperspirants.
The problem with this regarding acne? Aluminum has no biological role in the human body. It has many acne causing powers on a similar scale to other heavy metals like mercury and the pore-blocking arsenic. Furthermore, it’s almost certainly a big player behind the deadly epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease. Despite that it’s found in almost every human being and person with acne living on Earth today .
Aluminum depletes antioxidants and gives birth to acne
As we just discussed, one of the premier sources of aluminum exposure is the aluminum chloride, aluminium chlorohydrate, or aluminum-zirconium added to antiperspirants as the chief sweat-blocking ingredient.
Recently there’s been a ton of media scare stories suggesting that antiperspirants are strongly linked to breast cancer among women and men. The whole point of aluminium is that it gets absorbed into skin pores, where it then swells and blocks sweat output.
This study did not rule out aluminum having deadly powers; they noted a phenomenon of disproportionately high levels of cancerous mutations in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. The scientists were worried enough to investigate aluminum further.
The statistics are also telling; Britain has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world. Almost 13,000 British women die from it every year, and Britons are also among the heaviest users of antiperspirant deodorants, consuming roughly £300 million worth each year.
Scientists have noted before that high concentrations of aluminium is found in cancerous breast tissue, and they’re particularly worried because cases of breast cancer among men have doubled over the past three decades to almost 300 cases per year, in correlation to a rise in chemical deodorant usage. The fear is so widespread that the UK’s cancer.gov page has an entire article about it.
Why’s the link to cancer interesting for acne? Many forms of cancer are linked to oxidative stress, or in other words, a massive depletion of antioxidants (critical for acne) and increase in free radicals.
This suggests that aluminium exposure can do the same and indeed, tons of studies have suggested that aluminum can crush your levels of the acne-clearing antioxidant glutathione.
- This Pakistani study analysed the effect of aluminum on blood antioxidants and found that a “time dependent effect of aluminium on Glutathione level in whole blood was also checked and decrease was observed”.
- This study on male rats analysed the effect of aluminium on oxidative stress in the small intestine (important for nutrient absorption). Aluminium produced a “significant reduction of glutathione content”. Oxidative stress was massively increased; lipid peroxides, the single worst type of free radical for causing acne, were increased by 52%. Levels of glutathione synthase in the intestine were slashed by 26%.
How does aluminium achieve this deadly result? As well as being a potent acne antioxidant, glutathione has a dual function as a stage 2 detoxifying agent. Glutathione transferase transfers itself to unhealthy heavy metals and other toxins and reduces them into a less toxic form that the body can remove easily. Glutathione performs this role with mercury and it performs this role with aluminium as well.
Therefore ingesting copious amounts of aluminum each day will slowly but surely deplete your glutathione levels and your defences against acne.
The same is true for mercury, arsenic, nickel, BPA, fluoride and many pesticides. Hence why I advise acne patients to avoid those environmental contaminants like the plague…
…but what makes aluminum doubly potent at causing acne is its power to prevent glutathione from being manufactured by your body in the first place. According to new evidence, aluminum inhibits a compound called NADPH which your body uses as a precursor to glutathione. Hence, aluminium can cause free radical overload and acne by preventing the regeneration of glutathione after it’s already lowered levels.
Glutathione, as I wrote about in this article, is the number one acne antioxidant which humans make themselves. Antioxidants are needed to prevent the sebum (oil) on your face from oxidising and going on a pore-blocking, acne-causing spree of mayhem. One study even found that acne prone skin contains 20% less glutathione than average. Any chemical or additive that lowers glutathione should be minimised as much as humanly possible.
Furthermore, depleting glutathione also depletes a major detoxifying agent; therefore your skin gets left at the mercy of BPA, fluoride and other acne-causing invaders. Each heavy metal seem to have a unique acne-causing power. Aluminium expertly suppresses glutathione levels, arsenic leads to massive hyperkeratosis, and mercury is notoriously linked to insulin resistance.
Finally, aluminium’s main power might be to increase free radicals and lower acne antioxidants, but it also has a strong link to chronic inflammation, the most deadly condition for acne prone skin.
This study found that aluminium activates inflammatory proteins in humans, and led to increases in pro-inflammatory chemicals behind acne such as interleukin 1-beta, interleukin-6 and TNF-a. This study found that aluminium triggers inflammatory reactions upon contact with human cells. This study found that aluminium increased intestinal inflammation and decreased intestinal healing in mice, which is also bad news for gut health and proper absorption of acne nutrients.
Similarly to arsenic, aluminium may also bind to any new collagen proteins that your skin manufactures and warp their structure, leaving them and your skin weaker against acne overall. Aluminium poisoning even has a minor link to seborrheic keratosis, a skin condition characterised by a non-cancerous growth of skin warts and discolouring. Seborrheic keratosis is caused by an overgrowth of the skin protein keratin.
What’s also caused by too much keratin? Acne is, due to keratin binding to dead skin cells and blocking your pores in giant clumps. In fact, during the Camelford aluminium disaster of 1988, one of the main short term problems reported was disfiguring blotches and rashes on everybody’s skin. More on that in a second…
In summary, aluminium is not something a highly driven acne-clearing fanatic wants anywhere near their skin.
Aluminum is strongly linked to brain defects!
Back in 1988, one of the UK’s most notorious industrial accidents at Camelford in Cornwall happened when a lorry driver mistakenly placed 20 tonnes of aluminium sulphate into the water supply. That night the residents complained of foul metallic tasting water, but it wasn’t for three weeks that the local water authority dealt with the aluminium. By then it was too late. In the short term, residents complained of joint pain, stomach cramps, and (interestingly for acne patients) skin problems.
The long term results were the worst. In 2004, a Camelford resident who was present at the time of the disaster called Carole Cross died of a rare and aggressive form of Alzheimer’s called congophilic amyloid angiopathy. This type of Alzheimer’s was vicious and near unheard of for a woman of 58 years old. A medical report found that she had extremely high levels of aluminium in her brain.
Furthermore, a 1999 study found that residents of Camelford went on to experience “considerable damage” to their mental and brain function. Amid accusations and reports to the police of a government cover up, there were loud demands for an inquiry into the death of Carole Cross.
Whether aluminium directly caused her Alzheimer’s will never be proven, but the fact is that the evidence elsewhere is nearly overwhelming now.
Recently, scientists have been startled to observe that even bees are getting Alzheimer’s disease. Bee colonies all over the world have been suffering lately due to pesticides such as glyphosate; honeybee numbers in the UK have fallen by a third each year since 2006 due to “colony collapse disorder”. Hence bees are closely watched and scientists analysed the bodies of all these bees with signs of mental sluggishness and confusion.
The result was that the bees with Alzheimer’s all had substantially higher levels of aluminium in their brains. Apparently the bees were heavily contaminated with aluminium levels of between 13 and nearly 200 ppm. Meanwhile the toxic level in human brain tissue is 3ppm.
The fact is that given how insidious aluminium is today, it’s highly likely that this acne-causing heavy metal is a hidden cause of the modern epidemic in Alzheimer’s. If your detoxification systems are not working correctly, or if there’s simply too much aluminium pouring in to handle, then the metal will be deposited in the body. The brain seems to get preferential treatment for this, as shown by studies on Camelford residents, bees and endless other studies.
Many studies have examined the aluminium/Alzheimer’s question directly. This study examined the aluminium intake caused by geography and individual dietary habits of many French people. In the 15 year follow-up period, those with a higher aluminium intake were far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
This review confirmed that aluminium deposits in the brain increase the formation of amyloid plagues, protein deposits which are constantly associated with the formation of Alzheimer’s. Quote: “excess, insoluble amyloid beta protein (A beta) contributes to AD. Aluminium promotes formation and accumulation of insoluble A beta”.
A couple of other studies have found similar links. Aluminium doesn’t just cause Alzheimer’s either. This study found that aluminium found in common vaccines may lead to the development of autism.
The truth is clear: aluminium is a menace for both your acne, skin and brain!
But there is good news however; studies have shown that lowering levels of aluminium in the body can reverse some of the damage to brain tissue, and by extension, acne. Alzheimer’s is commonly thought to be irreversible, but it is definitely not that simple. A study which fed mineral water to patients with dementia found that the silica rich water increased aluminium levels in the urine, showing that the minerals were flushing the metal out the body…
…and the scientists observed that after 13 weeks, 3 out of 15 patients scored better on cognitive function tests, which included memory tests and the task of drawing a clock face.
Aluminium does not remain in the body forever either. Another study documented a woman who had used an aluminium-containing antiperspirant for 4 years. She had toxic blood levels of aluminium, but the problem resolved a mere 8 months after discontinuing her usage of the antiperspirant. Her symptoms of fatigue and severe bone agony also vanished.
If you give your detoxification systems enough power, and avoid all the main sources, you can slowly remove the metal stored in your brain and body and prevent further acne. Find out how to do so below…
How to ruthlessly eliminate aluminum (and hence acne)
You don’t have to bring your aluminium intake entirely down to zero to clear acne. Aluminium is a natural element in the earth’s soil and crust. It has always been found in water. We don’t need it for any function but unlike mercury, low levels are safe.
However, most people alive today do not just consume low levels. Follow this guide and you will lower the amount of aluminium inside your body and hence lower the amount of acne…
Avoid all the major sources – firstly, it’s a smart idea to use a natural antiperspirant or deodorant. Find a an acne safe alternative or simply use coconut oil mixed with baking soda to provide a deodorant that properly sticks to your armpits and smells decent.
Only about half of the pungent smell of sweat is because the sweat itself; the other half is due to armpit bacteria consuming that sweat and churning out by-products. A combination of baking soda and coconut oil is highly antibacterial and will keep the colonies under control.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are tons of other natural, acne-friendly options on the internet. Additionally, eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will make your sweat smell more pleasant anyway by altering your pheromones.
Water – another big problem because rain washes aluminium particles out of pollution in the air from factories and into our water supply, where they tend to accumulate. Hence, for drinking water, look into your water supply and buy mineral water if necessary. We’ve discussed elsewhere on this website how healthy water is necessary to avoid acne from fluoride anyway. If you live in an industrial area, the aluminium in your water is almost certainly higher than average.
Cosmetics – generally, an acne patient should opt for natural personal care products. Aluminium can pop up everywhere, whether as aluminium oxyhydroxide in toothpaste or other forms in sunscreen and makeup.
Cookware – avoiding aluminium cookware is always a must for acne-free skin. The quantity of aluminium absorbed from aluminium foil, pots, pans and trays varies depending on the food. However, acidic foods such as oranges and tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables tend to absorb massive quantities of aluminium. Cooking meats in aluminium foil is also known to increase their aluminium levels massively. In one study scientists concluded that “eating meals prepared in aluminium foil may carry a health risk by adding to other aluminium sources”.
According to one 2006 study, cooking meat in aluminium foil increased aluminium levels substantially:
- Red meats cooked in aluminium foil experienced an increase in aluminium levels from 89 to 378 percent.
- Poultry aluminium levels increased from 76 to 214 percent.
Cooking these foods in aluminium foil and eating them every day will not turn you into a aluminum-ridden acne factory instantly, but regular consumption over many years will. The solution for clearing acne is simple: say no to aluminium cookware.
Endless other products – aluminium is found in a gigantic amount of foods and consumer products. Many different foods have been tested for their aluminum levels as awareness of the metal’s horrific consequences grow.
Some items which commonly contain aluminum include baking powder, cheap table salt, baby formula, coffee creamers, many baked goods, processed foods, magnesium stearate in vitamin supplements, food colourings, caking agents, and self-rising flour. In addition to other cooking equipment, cans and water bottles may also contain aluminium.
Those are the main sources you need to avoid – now here are some other ways to strengthen your body against aluminium:
Avoid fluoride – sodium fluoride, a dangerous acne causing chemical itself, alters the molecular structure of aluminium and allows the body to absorb it better, according to this study. The main sources of fluoride are toothpaste, mouthwash, and drinking water.
Take curcumin – curcumin is an extraordinary powerful curcuminoid antioxidant found in turmeric. Antioxidant functioning will relieve glutathione and allow it to detoxify aluminium, but curcumin also has its own ability to chelate heavy metals. Either eat turmeric in food or take a curcumin supplement, combined with piperine to enhance the absorption.
Also, other specific antioxidants have the power to bind to aluminium, including quercetin according to this study. Could more of the thousands of antioxidant types found in different foods do the same? The answer remains a mystery, but eating more fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices is a great idea for acne.
Increase your glutathione levels – aluminium depletes glutathione but glutathione is also needed to bind to and excrete aluminium in the first place.
This article tells you all you need to know, but in brief you should 1) get the three super glutathione boosting nutrients, zinc, selenium and magnesium, 2) get enough sulphur and the amino acids cysteine, glycine and l-glutamine, and 3) take some special supplements and foods which increase glutathione such as grass fed gelatin.
Do some intermittent fasting – there are so many detox kits and miracle supplements promising to detoxify stored heavy metals and toxins from your body these days. In reality, you have all the detoxification functioning you ever need.
All you have to do is cut off the flow of new toxins entering your body, and provide the key detoxification nutrients and the toxins stored in your brain, muscles and fat cells will slowly be excreted. One extra strategy that is excellent, however, is intermittent fasting. That’s when you go for a lengthy period each day without eating; for instance you have two large meals eight hours apart, and eat no food for the other 16 hours of a day.
When your body goes for roughly twelve hours without calories, it enters a state of autophagy, a heightened state of detoxification. Most of us these days eat constantly like grazing cows in a field rather than lion so we never enter autophagy, but it’s a great idea if you want to supercharge your aluminium removal systems.
Drink some silica water – the study discussed above found that mineral water rich in silica caused a huge reduction in blood aluminium levels of 50, 60 and 70%. Many mineral water brands are rich in silica but the best is Fiji water since it’s sourced from volcanic slopes which are naturally high in silica. Fiji bottles are also free from BPA, a common cause of acne in plastic bottled water.
Other mineral water brands high in silica include Spritzer and Volvic. Drinking mineral water will give you acne minerals like magnesium and is a smart way to avoid aluminium anyway.
Get more magnesium – when you’re deficient in the minerals you need, your body instead absorbs toxic heavy metals into the receptors in its place. Manganese is replaced with nickel, zinc is replaced with cadmium, and magnesium is replaced with aluminium. So get more magnesium and aluminium will remain in the bloodstream where it can be detoxified. The best magnesium supplement for clearing acne is Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil.
Conclusion – aluminum is likely contributing to your acne
Avoid aluminium all you can and you’ll hence avoid acne too.
To recap, aluminium is potent at reducing your acne antioxidant levels and to top it off, can increase acne inflammation and give you Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re worried about getting dementia or any cognitive decline as you age, this is one acne strategy you definitely should follow.
What’s interesting is that very few acne patients full-stop know or take action against acne-causing contaminants like aluminium. They think they’ve reached the limit of health or acne-free skin for their age by eating fruits and vegetables and getting their acne vitamins. But the abundance of acne chemicals we’re exposed to daily means there’s far greater room for improvement than acne patients realise.
The same applies to you, whether for acne, fitness, and energy, muscle mass, or mental function. Basically, eliminate aluminium and other contaminants and you can push your skin and life to the very limit of physics.
Thanks for reading!