“Acne is not caused by how you wash your face. Sleeping on a dirty pillowcase, spreading germs by touching your face or occasionally eating a candy bar are also myths, suggesting that you are doing “something wrong” and therefore responsible for this problem. Acne is not, and never will be, your fault.” – Proactiv.com — On Causes of Acne
The idea that acne is outside of our control is nonsense. The thought is comforting because it means we don’t have to blame ourselves, but it has a serious consequence. When we believe we are genetically destined to have acne, we become complacent—we accept it as inevitable. We turn to dermatologists and over-the-counter creams to cure acne outbreaks. But is this the best way? I will show you evidence that humans do not naturally have acne and that there is reason to believe we can be rid of it naturally too.
Do Humans Normally Get Acne?
I don’t have to tell you that acne is common. A study of a New Zealand high school found at least 84% of the teens there suffer from it . It is so common we assume that it’s the norm. But it isn’t. An anthropological study—Acne Vulgaris: A Disease of Western Civilization —sought to answer a seemingly silly question: do humans normally get acne?
The conventional answer: “Yes. Tons of people have it. It is clearly genetic.”
Their answer? “No.”
They looked at two nonwesternized groups: the Kitavans of New Guinea and the Aché of Paraguay. After observing 1,200 Kitavans for 7 weeks, they found absolutely no occurrences of acne. They also studied 115 Aché over a period of 834 days . Again, no acne whatsoever. In two distinct indigenous populations, acne is unheard of.
Here is a side by side comparison to let that sink in.
Weird… Is it Genetic?
I know what you’re probably thinking. “They must not have the acne genes.” However, the Kitavans and Aché are not alone. There are several other reports of the same pattern. One researcher observed that the Inuit (Eskimo) living their traditional lifestyle had no acne. Upon adopting the Western lifestyle, the disease began to surface among them . Their genes certainly didn’t change by moving into cities, but their environment did. Researchers in Okinawa found that they also didn’t suffer from acne , and further research found that rural Peruvians, Brazilians, Bantu, and Zulu had dramatically less acne than urban populations [5-8]. And what about the genes of our friends the Kitavans and Aché? Other genetically similar groups, ethnic Pacific Islanders [1,9] and South Americans , still have acne when eating a westernized diet.
These acne-resistant groups are scattered across the globe. It is unreasonable to claim they all independently developed acne resistance by chance. Furthermore, seemingly acne-resistant populations and their ethnic cousins—the Inuit, Aché, and Kitavans—become vulnerable to acne if they adopt a Western lifestyle. This is not to discount the role of genetics. They do matter. People are more likely to have acne if their relatives did  and several genetic factors have been connected to acne severity [12-14]. But diet and lifestyle seem to override genetics and it would be naive to say acne is merely a genetic condition.
Reversing Acne with Diet — A Case Study
I’ve had persistent acne since puberty. I’ve never had miraculous results with any OTC treatment. Changing my diet however, produced powerful lasting results. Here’s the outcome of eating a diet based off of the Aché and Kitavan diet for 45 days. During this time I used no soap, facial cleanser, or any other acne treatment—just food and vitamins.
My results were striking. It’s a promising sign that we all may be able to use food to restore and maintain our skin health.
Humans are meant to have clear,healthy skin. The solution doesn’t have to be high tech. The tools required to have perfect skin were available to ancient hunter-gatherers. Acne isn’t simply our genetic destiny, but a product of how we live.
So don’t resign yourself to living with this disease. Starting today, controlling your acne can be in your hands.
 Park RG The age distribution of common skin disorders in the Bantu of Pretoria, Transvaal. Br J Dermatol. 1968; 80 758- 761
 Cunliffe WJ Cotterill JA The acnes: clinical features, pathogenesis and treatment. Rook Aed. Major Problems in Dermatology Philadelphia, Pa WB Saunders Co 1975; 13- 14
 Fleischer AB Feldman SR Bradham DD Office-based physician services provided by dermatologists in the United States in 1990. J Invest Dermatol. 1994; 10 293- 97
 Approximate geographic distribution
Map Adapted from wiki.alternatehistory.com