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Stages of Acne and How to Treat Them From The Inside Out

The Struggle Against Acne?

Are you tired of using chemicals or concealers to manage your acne? At Complete Balance, we are passionate about a holistic approach to acne and through TCM treatments and life style changes, you can enjoy a clear complexion that addresses the problem both internally and externally.

Acne is the most common skin condition worldwide and can continue to be problematic from the beginning of puberty all the way until adulthood. It is a long-term skin disease that occurs when dead skin cells and oil from the skin clogs up the hair follicles resulting in inflammation. Black/ white heads, pimples, scarring and oily skin are common features that can affect primarily the face, upper chest and the back.

The real culprit behind acne is the propionibacterium acne. This is a type of bacteria found in sebaceous glands. Normally it has a slow growth rate and lives peacefully with us. However, it has anaerobic properties meaning whenever a hair follicle is clogged and there is no oxygen around them anymore, they grow rapidly and start causing inflammation. In summary, these are the four risk factors that needs to be addressed in the stages of acne development:

  1.   Regulate oil production on the face
  2.   Prevent clogging of hair follicles
  3.   Lower inflammation at the onset
  4. Clear inflammation induced infection
A young girl with a problem skin. Photo before and after treatment for acne.

How can TCM help with acne?

Due to the diverse range of products for acne-prone skin, it is difficult to know which one is best to reduce. eliminate and/or prevent acne. So how can we, your Complete Balance team help you in your struggle against acne?

Step 1: Thorough TCM Assessment 
Our TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners will do a full assessment to determine the cause of your acne. Although many acne products promote external treatments such as creams or ointments, most often the cause of acne is related to internal imbalances caused by stress, diet, and lifestyle. Receiving a thorough assessment from a TCM practitioner will help to identify the exact root cause of your acne.

Step 2: Personalized Treatment plan
Once a TCM diagnosis is made, you will receive a treatment plan that is personalized to suit your exact diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, the practitioner can prescribe treatments such as acupuncture, herbal formulas, lymphatic draining and life style changes to help treat the internal imbalances.

Step 3: Medicated Diet
Many already know that the food we eat influences our health, and this includes our skin health. Identifying and eliminating foods that can contribute to your acne is therefore an essential factor alongside the treatments.

Step 4: Healthy Lifestyle
Is it over once your acne gets better? Not at all! Maintaining and preventing future acne breakouts will help manage your acne for many years to come. Involving a physical trainer and psychotherapist to help establish a regular exercise routine and stress management for a healthy lifestyle will provide lasting results.

Young athletic woman in cobra pose practicing Yoga with her dog at home.

What are some simple lifestyle tips that you can apply today?

Due to the structure of our lifestyle, diet, and stress, cases of acne have been on the rise. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and in extreme cases depression. Here are some tips for fighting against acne and to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle:

  • Acne is a problem that involves the mind and the body. Start making small changes in your life to have a positive mindset and keep a healthy lifestyle
  • Any emotional stress, tiredness, staying up late can cause the condition to relapse or worsen
  • Patience. The skin regeneration time is 21-27 days. Treatment for acne will not happen magically but with consistence and patience, you will get better
  • Avoid spicy, oily, and sweats. These food can stimulate oil secretion from sebaceous gland leading to more acne
  • Consume foods that are rich in vitamin A such as carrots, leafy vegetables (they should be consumed cooked and not raw because vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin), and bean products like tofu, soybean milk (full of estrogen)
  •    Eat lots of vegetable to make sure your bowel movement is regular and smooth
  • Choose facial cleansing products according to your skin type. Avoid products that overly control oil secretion which may result in dryness of the facial skin
  • Do not try to squeeze or use invasive products on the face. Give your skin time to go through its healing cycle naturally
  • When using cosmetic products, avoid blocking the pores when possible
  • After sweating or showering, avoid using cold water directly on the face. Instead, use warm water or a warm towel to keep the pores openReady to get started on your journey towards healthy skin? Book your assessment with one of our TCM practitioners! You can call us at 416-901-2873 or email us at For more information about our clinic, visit our website at

Royce Yu Chang Liu (RTCMP, RAc) (Bio)

Royce completed his advanced program in TCM (equivalent to a doctoral degree in Oriental Medicine). He has since then combined various treatment modalities to successfully treat various conditions including gastrointestinal and internal conditions, skin conditions (eczema, acne), and fertility conditions. You can learn more about our team here.

September Highlights

Fungal Ointment

Want to know how to treat your toe fungus easily at home?

Toe and nail fungus is an infection caused by a variety of fungal organisms. They can cause the nails to darken in colour, thicken, produce a foul odour, and distort the shape of the nails.

The Blue Poppy Antifungal Ointment is made from naturally derived ingredients clinically proven to fight toe/nail fungal infection!

Eczema/Psoriasis Ointment

Suffering from itchy eczema or other skin conditions?

Atopic dermatitis, acne, eczema and psoriasis are just some of the most common skin conditions that people struggle with.

Bema Phytotopicals are herb-based botanical topicals that are completely natural and free of steroids, drugs, animal ingredients, preservatives, and artificial fragrances or coloring agents. One size does not fit all! Find the right product for the type of your skin condition to effectively treat your condition.

Atomy Products – Sunscreen, Lotion, Toner, Eye cream

Can’t find products that suit your sensitive skin?

The Atomy skin care line products are clinically tested products based on natural herbal ingredients that have successfully completed Low Irritation Tests in Korea. The toner provides refreshing moisturization and soothing care. The eye cream provides complete wrinkle care especially for sensitive skin around the eyes. The lotion provides an oil and water balance for a good skin balance.

Atomy Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++ is a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. This matte and watery sunscreen is perfect for those who prefer non-sticky sunscreen with maximum protection!

Want to learn more about our clinic or our services? Or need to book your next appointment? Visit our website at or contact us at 416-901-2873 or

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