Healthy Life: A holistic approach to healing acne with Julie Doan – Part 1

Acne, the most common skin condition in teens and young adults, can have a huge impact on the self-esteem and confidence of the individual. Often, those who struggle with acne will try a myriad of topical agents and prescription pills to control their breakouts, redness and inflammation; however, these methods never fully work as they don’t treat the root cause.

After struggling with severe acne, pharmacist and Holistic Skin & Health Coach Julie Doan has found that understanding the impact of food on her skin has been an important step towards clearing it. Through a holistic approach, Doan is dedicated to helping others clear their skin, and she’s here to share all her knowledge!

It is believed that acne is only caused by the products we use and reproductive hormonal imbalances. These are two major contributing factors, but there are also four others: “an imbalance in our blood sugar level, poor gut health, impaired liver detoxication, and high stress levels.” According to Doan, the most vital step to healing your skin is to find out which one, or two, of these is these six factors is the biggest contributor to your acne. In doing so, with the help of your Holistic Skin Specialist, you’ll be able to formulate a “customized action plan targeted to your specific needs.” This means no more countless online remedies, and no more pricey products that never show results!

You may be wondering - but how can I determine the root cause? Doan explains that keeping a food and mood journal for three weeks can help you better understand the cause of your acne. If you notice a pattern with certain foods irritating or affecting your skin, try omitting them from your diet for the following weeks and note any visible improvements. Then, reintroduce them into your diet. If they impact your skin, they are likely a “trigger food,” and you’ll be aware to stop consuming them. That said, it’s still important to keep a healthy relationship with these foods - consuming them on occasion will not cause a breakout! Doan is constantly reminding her clients that food should not feel limiting or fearful as often “people can develop “food anxiety” when they’re given the message that certain foods should be avoided.”

As mentioned before, other than food, stress can have a huge impact on your skin. In this situation, you can perform an experiment by trying to keep your stress levels low. Doan recommends doing breathing exercises by focusing on your inhalations and exhalations for 5 minutes or going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break to relax after a stressful work morning. After a few weeks, evaluate your skin and note any improvements!

This process may seem long, but it is extremely empowering as you gain a great deal of valuable information about your own body. Plus, it’s the most effective way of finding the perfect formula to heal your acne holistically, so it’s all worth it! 

The takeaway: rather than trying all the face cleansers and creams on the market, dig down deep and find the root cause of your acne; it’s the most crucial step of the process. From there, with proper assistance and direction, the healing can begin!

Stay tuned for part 2: we will discuss “acne-healing” foods and get to know Doan’s thoughts about acne-treating medication!

For more information about events and recipes, visit or follow @juliedoanhealth for daily tips and tricks!

My name is Melissa Migueis and I am a student at Dawson College in the profile Cinema-Communications. I love to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating clean, being active and keeping a healthy mindset! Oh, and you can always find me somewhere in nature!