I love when my skin is soft and acne free. It's a good sign that everything on the inside is functioning properly. When it flairs up with those little, red, sometimes painful bumps we call acne, it may be a symptom of something wrong on the inside.

Here are 5 things you can do naturally to clear up acne:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. The anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and vitamins found in healthy, unprocessed foods will help clear up your skin. Avoid junk food, sugar (especially), and sugary drinks.

2. Do not use harsh chemicals on your skin. Chemicals found in toners, moisturizers, and makeup will more than likely increase inflammation and contribute to the problem. Rule of thumb: if you can't pronounce or recognize the ingredients on the label, it probably isn't good for you. Wash your face in the morning and right before bed with tepid water and an all-natural soap.

• Use aluminum-free baking soda mixed with a little water (to form a paste) as a gentle exfoliator.
• Tea tree oil is a great at fighting acne. Apply with a Q-tip directly to problem area
• A homemade apple-cider vinegar facial toner is wonderful at absorbing oil and kills bacteria that may cause acne.

3. Get adequate sleep and de-stress. If your body is tired and/or stressed, it may show signs of distress through your skin.

4. Keep your hands away from your face. I have a habit of resting my cheeks in my hands or rubbing my face mid-day. Dirt and bacteria that gets onto hands will transfer to your face if you touch it. Keeping hands washed and away from your face will prevent dirt and bacteria from getting trapped in your pores. Also, keep hair clean and free of product with chemicals that can get into your pores.

5. Wash pillows and pillowcases often in a chemical-free detergent to avoid irritation and dirt transferring to your skin overnight.