Acne: A Natural Cure? The Hidden Cause of Acne (Book Review)

A natural cure for acne — does it exist? It does! Melissa Gallico, author of the book, The Hidden Cause of Acne: How Toxic Water Is Affecting Your Health and What You Can Do about It, has found that cure.

The Hidden Cause of Acne Book Review

Is There a Natural Cure for Acne?

If you have stubborn acne, you’re not alone.

And it’s not just for teenagers anymore. Over 25% of women aged 30-40 have clinical acne.

What if there was something right under our noses that was a natural cure for acne?

But it’s not just acne. This is the cure for cysts in your breasts or ovaries, melasma, arthritis, hypothyroidism, thyroid disease, diabetes, PMS, PCOS, tooth decay, osteoporosis, hormonal imbalances or endocrine disruption, heart disease, breast cancer, infertility or migraines, you need to read the new book, The Hidden Cause of Acne, by Melissa Gallico. All of these conditions are caused by fluoride, a toxic waste product that has been added to our American water supply since the 1960s.

Fluoride is in 70% of drinking water in the United States. It’s also in most of our food, especially in processed and packaged foods and restaurant foods, soft drinks, tea, wine, juice, fruits and vegetables, and more. In fact, you are consuming 100-200 times more fluoride in your food than in drinking water.

In the first of my new series of book reviews, I talk about this revolutionary new book, The Hidden Cause of Acne by author Melissa Gallico, Fulbright scholar and FBI analyst. (Yeah, she’s smart.)

Gallico was a “canary in the coal mine”. She spent 20 years living with cystic acne — a natural cure was something she was always looking for.

After traveling around the world, she realized her acne totally cleared up whenever she traveled to places that did not have fluoride in the water.

She also connects the dots between fluoride and iodine, and explains how avoiding fluoride and supplementing with iodine (the right way), can cure diseases caused by iodine deficiency and exposure to fluoride.

Video Book Review: The Hidden Cause of Acne

If you liked the video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos like this.

(Note: In the video, at around 8:40, I mentioned wine from areas with fluoridated water. I misspoke. Wine isn’t affected by fluoridated water. It is only high in fluoride if the grapes are sprayed with a fluoride-based pesticide called cryolite. Cryolite is only used in San Joaquin Valley outside of Fresno, the self-proclaimed “raisin capital of the world.”)

Buy the Book: The Hidden Cause of Acne

Get a copy of The Hidden Cause of Acne by Melissa Gallico on Kindle or paperback

The Hidden Cause of Acne is life-changing not just for me but I believe this book is going to be life-changing for hundreds of thousands of people and potentially millions of people when the word spreads about what this book teaches.

I’ve been online friends with Melissa for years. She wrote a blog called The Cellulite Investigation. I was very interested in what she was writing about because it made sense to me that cellulite is not something that is normal. It’s not something that historically people ever had.

But nowadays cellulite is impacting a lot of people. Most people have cellulite — even thin people.

When Melissa contacted me to tell me about her new book, I was surprised to see that she had written a book about a natural cure for acne but it turns out the same time Melissa was struggling with looking into cellulite, she was also experiencing problems with acne.

Acne: Is There a Natural Cure?

Melissa suffered from acne from the time she was a teenager end what’s really interesting about her journey is she works for the government. She is a Fulbright scholar and an analyst for the FBI, and so as a result she was had to do a lot of traveling around the world. She lived in a lot of different places, including Europe and Africa.

Acne: A Natural Cure Before and After

When she was living in these other locations, she would find that her skin would totally clear up and her acne would be gone. This was very interesting to me because I had a friend I had a friend in college from Germany who was studying abroad in the United States.

The exact same thing happened to her, a sort of “natural acne cure”. When she would come the United States each fall, her skin would break out. And then when she would go home to visit her family in Germany, her skin would totally clear up for the whole summer, and then she’d come back and the cycle would start again.

Melissa finally realized what was causing her acne was fluoride. About 70% of the water in the United States is fluoridated. Meanwhile, the water in Europe is 97% fluoride free. She had the same experience in Senegal, West Africa. Her skin miraculously, effortlessly cleared up. Every time she came back to the United States, her acne came back within days.

It’s Not Just Acne We Need a Natural Cure For

While reading The Hidden Cause of Acne, I was spending the weekend with a couple of my best girlfriends. They both have health problems that will not go away, no matter how healthy they eat. They’re both eating mostly home-cooked meals, and organic food as much as possible. One of them drinks homemade kombucha.

But these two friends both suffer from frequent debilitating migraine headaches, painful cysts (one has cysts in her ovaries, the other in her breasts), and extreme PMS and bad cramping. And they both have acne, even though one is 25 and the other is my age (late 40s).

It also occurred to me that some of the most popular posts on my blog are the ones about women’s health, particularly hormones. I watched two of my friends get breast cancer. One of my good friends died from breast cancer. She was my age; it was just a few years ago.

This friend of mine who died? She was eating all organic food, on a very restricted diet since she was allergic to everything. She was gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free… yet her health was in the toilet. And the next thing I knew she was dead from breast cancer.

What is going on?

A Natural Cure for Acne: The Paleo Diet?

Because so many of us are experiencing these health problems that we can’t solve, I think this is why so many of us are trying things like the Paleo diet or the vegan diet because were trying to fix something.

In the beginning of The Hidden Cause of Acne, Melissa talks about the grandfather of the Paleo diet, Loren Cordain.

He was invited to speak at the Society for Investigative Dermatology at their 65th annual meeting, to talk about the article he had published about his research on acne and traditional cultures in the 2002 Archives of Dermatology.

In 2006, Cordain went on to publish a book called The Dietary Cure for Acne.

Cordain believed sugar and refined flour and starchy foods were the cause of acne. He believed a “low-glycemic diet” was the answer, which is what caused him to create his Paleo Diet.

Founder of The Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon Morell, as much as she seems to rail against the Paleo folks, agrees with Cordain on this point… white flour and sugar are the enemy.

According to Fallon Morell, it is the white flour, sugar, jam, soft drinks, and other empty-calorie processed foods that are displacing the more “nutrient-dense” foods from our diet. And this is what is making us sick, screwing up our hormones, causing cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. And yes, causing acne.

It Doesn’t Add Up

But then how do you explain friends of mine who are eating a good diet, some are eating a perfect diet, who are still sick and suffering from everything from acne to migraines to breast cancer.

Also, how do you explain the healthy vegans? I have a few friends who are vegans and they are extremely healthy. Granted, these vegans don’t eat soy or processed foods or junk foods. They eat whole grains, properly soaked and fermented. But they are eating a ton of high-glycemic foods.

It reminds me of that story about the elephant and the blind men. Everyone thinks they have the answer. But in reality, nobody understands what’s really going on.

My Experience with the WAPF Diet and Melasma

About halfway through the book, Melissa mentioned melasma. That’s when a lightbulb went on in my brain.

When I started on the Weston Price (WAPF) diet almost a decade ago, I had pretty obvious melasma (hyper-pigmentation of the skin) on my face. This had started in my mid-30s. I also had dental decay. I had a couple root canals and pretty much every time I saw the dentist, I had new cavities.

After a couple years on the WAPF diet, my melasma completely cleared up. And I never got another cavity. I thought switching to raw milk and cod liver oil and eating more butter had solved these problems.

When I read Melissa’s book, I realized that one of the very first things I did when I started on the Weston Price diet was I stopped drinking tap water. I had read in Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, that in order to make kombucha and sourdough bread, I needed filtered water. Sally also said you shouldn’t cook with tap water.

So I started going to the local reverse osmosis store and bought huge jugs of reverse osmosis water. Reverse osmosis is a process filtration process the filters out fluoride as well as many other chemicals.

When Melissa mentioned melasma in her book, I realized maybe it wasn’t so much the cod liver oil and raw milk, but maybe it was just getting off fluoride that did the trick.

After all, there are lots of vegans who claim that the were able to cure their cystic acne with a vegan diet and they aren’t consuming cod liver oil or milk. But they are definitely avoiding fluoride, since they are eating organic foods and drinking filtered water.

My melasma recently coming back
My melasma recently coming back

Interestingly, my melasma has started to come back in the last couple years. It’s slight but it is there. I’ve been eating an 80/20 WAPF diet… mostly organic, mostly home-cooked, but I’ve allowed a number of processed foods to creep back in such as cereal and store-bought breads and crackers.

I figured it wouldn’t matter since I was eating mostly healthy, real foods… but it turns out, store-bought cereal and bread and crackers are some of the very highest food sources of fluoride.

It’s the Fluoride, Stupid

Talk about a face palm. As I neared the end of the book, I was like, OMG! It’s the fluoride!

It doesn’t matter if you eat Paleo or WAPF, vegan or SAD or GAPS, high-glycemic or ketogenic. None of that matters. If you don’t get fluoride out of your diet, you will continue to have health problems.

Melissa explains in The Hidden Cause of Acne that fluoridated water and toothpaste are the least of our problems. As I said above, some of the worst sources of fluoride come from processed and packaged foods. Because these foods are processed with fluoridated water.

So it’s not enough to make a home-cooked meal of beans and rice, even if you cook your rice in reverse-osmosis water. If the beans are canned, they’ve likely been steeping in fluoridated water for a long time.

Furthermore, unless you are eating all organic fruits and vegetables, fresh produce is one of the worst things you can eat. So funny how we all think we are being healthy eating fresh salads, but in reality, unless the produce is organic, it’s sprayed with a fluoride-based pesticide called cryolite.

Grapes and raisins get sprayed with a huge amount of cryolite. So those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches your kid is eating with grape jelly could be one of the main causes of his cavities.

Tea is also very high in fluoride. Think you’re healthy because you’re drinking tea? Even if it’s organic tea, or green tea, it’s very high in fluoride.

I could go on and on… but you just need to read the book. The Hidden Cause of Acne goes through all the sources of fluoride. Melissa knows firsthand, because whenever she got exposed to fluoride, her skin would break out.

The Fluoride and Iodine Connection

Before I wrap up this book review, I need to talk about the end of the book, which is truly the most fascinating part.

Melissa explains how she used iodine supplementation to detox from fluoride and get it out of her system. I have been very interested in iodine deficiency and supplementation for years as many of my readers know.

If you’re not familiar, iodine is a trace mineral we all need, and it’s very important when it comes to hormonal balance and preventing certain diseases. The body stores iodine in the thyroid gland, the breasts, and the ovaries (and for men, the prostate).

And isn’t it interesting that this is where we are all getting cancer? In our breasts, in our ovaries, in our prostate? Cysts in the breasts and ovaries are caused by iodine deficiency.

Acne and melasma are caused by a hormonal imbalance. As are migraine headaches. And diabetes. And infertility.

OK, so we need iodine. That’s clear. Now let’s talk about fluoride.

Fluoride is a halide, like bromide, which blocks the absorption of iodine in the body. Did you get that? Fluoride blocks iodine absorption. Not only that, but the body takes fluoride and stores it in place of iodine.

No one has ever connected all the dots between fluoride and iodine like Melissa did in The Hidden Cause of Acne. She explains that the traditional populations Dr. Weston Price studied that were so healthy were all eating iodine-rich diets.

In fact, she says, Dr. Price recognized that the healthiest people were the ones eating primarily seafood and seaweed. These foods are very rich in iodine.

The second healthiest groups, according to Price, were the ones eating loads of dairy, like we’re talking bowls of cream, which is the world’s second-best source of iodine.

The groups who lived the farthest from the ocean and did not have dairy animals went out of their way to eat iodine-rich glands and organs from animals, and to trade with other groups who had fish eggs.

Of course Dr. Price never put the pieces together re: iodine… nor did Sally Fallon Morell. And nor did Loren Cordain.

Even the modern-day “iodine doctors” like Jorges Flechas and David Brownstein aren’t making a big stink about fluoride.

I consulted with Dr. Flechas nearly a decade ago… I was supplementing with iodine and I was filtering the fluoride out of our water, but I didn’t know about all the worst sources of fluoride including non-organic fruits and vegetables, cereal, tea, etc.

Getting the Fluoride Out

Melissa goes into great detail in The Hidden Cause of Acne about not only how to avoid fluoride, but also how to supplement with iodine in order to help get the fluoride out of our bodies.

Fluoride has a 20-year half life, which means, if you stopped consuming all fluoride right now, you would still have half the fluoride in your system 20 years from now.

I have a lot more to say but this is getting very long… I will be writing more posts on this topic in the coming weeks. And I am going to go through and rid my kitchen of all of the fluoride, thanks to Melissa’s book.

Buy the Book: The Hidden Cause of Acne

Get a copy of The Hidden Cause of Acne by Melissa Gallico on Kindle or paperback.

Also, for help with iodine supplementation, get The Iodine Crisis: What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life by Lynne Farrow on Kindle or paperback.

Questions? Please Comment Below

Please comment below with your questions or ideas or anything you’d like to share. I love hearing from you!

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

12 thoughts on “Acne: A Natural Cure? The Hidden Cause of Acne (Book Review)

  1. I had acne which was caused by fluoride. At its worst I had severe acne all over my back and the back of my neck, as well as some on my face. I also had a bunch of other symptoms, but the worst of all has been joint pain due to skeletal fluorosis, which can be irreversible and which I still haven’t completely recovered from after more than 10 years of trying to avoid fluoride as much as I can.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that! In Melissa’s book, she explains how iodine supplementation works to get the fluoride out. I am going to start the protocol and start blogging and making videos about it. Otherwise it’s very hard to get the fluoride out as it has a 20-year half life!

  2. Hi Anna Marie! I find this interesting but I’m not totally convinced. I suffered cystic acne from age 13 to around 19. It was all over my body and it would not go away, even with the cleanest diet/detox/every advice under the sun. I was put on Accutane one year and didn’t finish it (it came back) and the next year and it disappeared. My skin was baby soft and just perfect. I am 25 now and the only pimples that appear seem to be linked to stress and fatigue. They are easily managed with the occasional charcoal mask and Burt’s Bees spotting acne treatment. There’s only one other person in my family that suffered from cystic acne and it was my aunt. Everyone else had/has close to perfect skin and literally no other conditions mentioned in this article except for my uncle who has diabetes d/t unfit lifestyle. We all drank fluorinated water on and off (had a fresh water mnt. well at one point) up until maybe 4 years ago when my husband and I decided to gift a few families a propur water filter. As much as I want to blame fluorine for my acne woes, there aren’t enough dots in my timeline. Appreciate your review though, I’ll try to get my hands on the book anyway.

  3. I will be very curious to hear about using iodine. I have tried in the past to supplement with it and I get a very bad reaction.Thanks for your post!

  4. so, how do you safely sub with iodine and get away from flouride? how about teenagers? how come only one child of mine is suffering from the most from acne?

    1. I’m working on new posts about all of this. I am writing a comprehensive post on how to avoid fluoride, including all the sources of fluoride and the amounts they contain. I also started the “iodine protocol” recommended in Melissa’s book and will be blogging about that as well.

  5. I’ve known about the problems with fluoride for a long time and have avoided it as much as possible. I don’t order soups when I’m eating out, I never order soda or drink water at restaurants and I certainly don’t use unfiltered tap water for any of my cooking at home. I have thought about fluoride in processed foods but it never occurred to me that canned beans would have fluoridated water. I do question the fluoride in tea. I have asked in various places over the years whether the fluoride that is naturally occurring in tea is as harmful as the fluoride that is dumped into our water supply and ultimately makes it into those processed foods. Nobody seems to have an answer for me because I’ve never received a single response to any of my questions anywhere. What you shared about Melissa’s experience traveling overseas and another student who would travel to study here in the States not having problems except here in the States seems to reinforce my question and support my thinking that naturally occurring fluoride in tea is not as problematic as the toxic waste used in our water supplies. Were they avoiding drinking tea everywhere else except here? I can’t believe that to be the case. I don’t know the answer to my question…I just keep asking, hoping I eventually find somebody who does.

    1. Yes calcium fluoride in tea is as bad as sodium fluoride. Both cause bone loss and hormone disruption.

      I think we probably haven't seen as many health problems over the centuries because we have never had so much exposure to fluoride. We have multiple sources now — it's added to the water, and so it's also in all the packaged and processed foods; cooking with Teflon adds 3x more fluoride to food; and one of the biggest sources is cryolite which is a fluoride based pesticide sprayed on crops, including fruits and vegetables and grains that are given to animals for feed.

  6. Hi, thanks for the great read!

    I am wondering if Mellisa Gardner discussed any research regarding fluoride and acne in the book? It would be interesting to understand if fluroide is the main cuprit in many acne cases, as I wish to share this information to inform readers at my own blog: <a href="">Blackhead Expert</a>


  7. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me lunch because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this subject here on your
    web site.

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