2 Habits that Make Acne Worse

Acne is never your fault. Come on, no one would ever do anything that they knew gave them acne. There is nothing you are doing in particular that is giving you acne. Acne is the result of various things happening inside your body. Various factors come together to make your skin break out. The breakout which is the most visible is the last of a chain of events taking place in your body. However, once you have it there are habits that make acne worse.

  1. Touching Your Face

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A sure fire way to make your acne worse is to touch your face constantly. Keep feeling around to see how many bumps are forming and you can bet that you will get more active acne forming. This happens as the constant touching and picking spread the bacteria which is in the pores around and more acne form. The touching and picking will also ensure that you are left with a scar, one that will be difficult to remove.

One of the best things you can do for your acne is to leave your face alone. Unless your fingers have magical powers that heal, no touching and no popping. Leave your skin alone to do its thing and heal itself.

2. Sugary Drinks

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Many people have the habit of drinking loads of soda, tea and coffee throughout the day especially when they are working. Tea and coffee on their own, in limited quantities, may not be a problem. The problem is the sugar that is added.

I have heard people tell me “Come on, it’s just one glass” while trying to get me to drink something sweet. The problem with this is that the drink has to go into my system and having acne prone skin I know what this will do few days down the line. Unfortunately, we do not live in a Sci-Fi book where we have bodies that will bypass certain foods that are not good for us.

So make sure you are the person adding sugar to the tea, coffee or any drink and restrict it to 2-3 cups a day. Rest of the time keep a bottle of water that you can constantly sip from. Your skin and body will thank you for it.

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How to Get Rid of Acne Quickly

Acne is a condition that even though not life threatening is something that  will severely crush your self-esteem. It even prevents you from going about your normal daily activities as you feel you have to cover up your face with make-up. If you do not use make-up you’ll be worried about what people will say. So I’m going to give you a few tips how to get rid of acne. These are ways that have worked well for me and that have also worked for some of the women I have worked with.

These are minor changes in different areas that will help get rid of the acne quickly. Try and do all of them to see results.

  1. Diet

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Diet is one of the quickest ways to start seeing changes in your skin. It’s also one of the hardest to implement as changing your diet requires dedication and planning. In good news even small changes can result in big changes. To see changes very quickly start small by removing sugar from your diet.

2. Water

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Yup, I guess you’ve heard this one often enough. People have even stopped me on the street when I had severe acne and told me to drink a lot of water to cure my acne. So, does drinking water help? Alone, no. Combined with other changes, yes. Along with diet changes, you need to be drinking at least 2 litres of water to keep your skin hydrated and to facilitate healing.

3. Don’t Touch your Face

Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one too!! Well, there is a lot of truth in it as I have discovered. One of the quickest ways to get rid of acne quickly is to leave your face alone. When I say leave it alone, I mean alone. No touching to see how big the acne is. No touching to see how many more are coming in. As someone who had acne, I used to do this too. However, all you are doing is irritating your skin. I can sit here and explain to you what else happens or I can tell you that since the day I stopped touching my face my acne started healing faster and I got much less acne. Try this for yourself and see the results.

4. Drink Lemon or Lime Water

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Limes or lemons contains loads of Vitamin C which helps in healing skin quickly. It will bring down the redness in your skin and helps the acne heal faster. You can squeeze the juice of one full lime or lemon into a glass of water and drink it. Or you can add it to a bottle of water. Don’t like the taste of lemons? You can eat one orange or any other fruit or vegetable rich in vitamin C.

5. Use honey to heal faster

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Honey is a powerful antibacterial agent and it helps heal acne gently without drying the skin. Apply a thin layer of honey either as a spot treatment or as a face mask. Keep it on for half an hour or more. The quicker you want the healing to happen the longer you have to let the honey sit on your face. Just make sure you use organic honey.

6. Sleep

Finally, try and get a good night’s sleep to give your skin the time it needs to heal itself. You’ll look and feel better after 8 hours of sleep. If you can get a 20 minute nap during the day, even better.

Try all these changes for at least a week and you’ll see a definite improvement in your skin.

What food do you need to give up for clear skin?

“Don’t eat so many chocolates!” is something I am pretty sure those of us suffering from acne have heard countless times. The “so many” part seems to imply that you are standing there in front of them with a bag full of chocolates and stuffing your face with them. It comes quite close to the other favourite advice “Wash your face more often”.

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While being insulting and rude and not to mention irritating, these statements have no basis. First, they do not know if you do eat or do not eat “so many” chocolates. Second, it is none of their business. Third, there is no conclusive proof that chocolates make you break out. From my personal experience the people I know who eat a lot of chocolate have clear skin. They may have weight issues but their skin is clear. So chocolates on their own do not make a person break out.

So to answer the question, what food do you need to give up for clear skin, my answer is, whatever makes you break out. If your acne is not caused by food then you can eat whatever on earth it is that you want. 🙂 In moderation of course. My acne is caused by sugar so I have cut it out. However, my skin does not react to dairy, so I continue to keep it in my diet. The same may not apply to someone else with acne. In fact, the opposite may be true, dairy may make them break out while sugar is ok. You have no idea what food may cause you to break out until you keep track of what you eat and your breakouts.

I am a firm believer in enjoying all foods if they don’t cause you any problems. However, this does not mean that you should fill your diet with junk and processed foods, even if none of them causes your acne. A healthy diet will go a long way in keeping your skin and body healthy.

So what should you be eating?

Most of the skin care books I have read recommend eating salmon as it contains omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your skin. However, where I live I do not get salmon. Also, add this to the fact that you may not eat fish or simply not like salmon. So does this mean you are doomed to have bad skin? NO!!! Since I have never had clear skin and it is something I have always chased, I have looked at and spoken to a lot of people whose skin is flawless. I have found no particular pattern in their diet. And trust me when I say that some of their diets are absolutely terrible! Not fair, but that’s the way it is.

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Look around you. People eat a variety of things. Some of these people will have acne and some will not. Acne is caused by a unique set of circumstances in your body, which is unique to you. What you need to do is find one trigger for these set of circumstances. And then avoid that trigger. If it is something in your diet, you may need to avoid it or cut it out completely for a while, so your acne can heal. You can find out what breaks you out by keeping a food journal and a skin journal. The food journal documents what you eat while the skin journal documents the state of your skin and what you put on it. Looking at both you can then figure out the food causing your acne.

Other than the food that breaks you out, you can eat your normal, local diet. Any diet, from anywhere in the world, can be easily tweaked to make it more skin-friendly. There are literally loads of fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs locally available to you that can be added to most dishes to make your everyday meals skin friendly. You do not need to overhaul your whole diet for beautiful, glowing skin.

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7 Habits of People with Clear Skin

First, let me be clear, acne is NOT your fault. You are not doing things differently than your clear skinned friend. The 7 habits of people with clear skin are things that a large group or community of people do. All the people in that group eat a similar diet and have the same lifestyle. All the people in the group or community tend to have good skin. Now we have to be practical here and consider the fact that we cannot live like them completely. However, we can try to incorporate some of their habits into our daily lives.

1. Their Diet is largely unprocessed

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These people tend to eat meals they make from scratch. They do not eat anything that comes in a packet and tend to be highly suspicious of foods they have not seen in its original form. You can bet that even the fish they eat has been caught on the same day.

The takeaway : It does not take much time to put together a nutritious meal from scratch. A stir fry does not take much time to make. If a meal is tedious to make, plan ahead so you can have leftovers. The cuisine of most cultures can be simplified these days to suit time constraints.

2. They leave their skin alone. 

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You would never find these people putting commercially available products on their face. Their policy tends to be that their body will take care of itself. You would not find them fussing over their faces or bothering about using sunscreen. In fact, I doubt many of them have heard of sunscreen. When the sun is too hot they just go home to take a nap or sit in the shade.

The takeaway : Ditch the multitude of products, especially the ones for acne, and just stick to the basics. Maybe just use moisturizer.  Most of us don’t have the luxury of going home in the afternoon, so just make sure you use a good sunscreen.

3. They lead a natural life

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These people follow the natural rhythm of life followed by our caveman ancestors. They sleep when they are sleepy and eat when they are hungry. There are no iPhones or iPads that keep them awake late into the night. They sleep when it gets dark. Diet consists of fruits, vegetables and protein available locally.

The takeaway : Ok, let’s be realistic. None of us can give up our phones and neither should we have to. We cannot sleep within an hour of sunset. However please make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep at night and eat when you feel hungry.

4. They sleep early. 

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People in villages are generally asleep within an hour or 2 of sunset. With no strong artificial lights or phones to keep them awake, they fall asleep early. They are up the next morning at 4 or 5.

The takeaway : Your skin needs you to get at least 8 hours of sleep in a cool, dark environment. It uses this time to repair itself of the damages caused during the day. Skimp on sleep and it will show up on your face. Lack of sleep causes increased levels of inflammation which again makes acne worse.

5. They use natural remedies

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For cold and other minor ailments local herbs and spices are ground up or boiled, to provide relief from the symptoms. The body is given all the things it needs to fight off the infection.

The takeaway : Next time you get a cold or a fever or any minor ailment try using spices like ginger and turmeric to bring down inflammation. They work so much better than antibiotics and cause almost no harm. Of course, my suggestion is only for minor ailments that are easily treated at home.

6. They get their daily dose of sunshine

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People living in villages are up by 5 in the morning to finish their chores for the day. They are out and about enjoying the early morning sunshine. However, come afternoon with its hot sun, they either go home to take a nap or sit under the shade of a tree. They are back when the sun has lost its intensity.

The takeaway : Today we are told to use sunscreen each time we even step out of our homes. Some people are inside offices the whole day and hardly get exposed to sunlight. As a result of which a lot of people in cities are suffering from a deficiency of vitamin D. Get some sunshine every day preferably early in the morning, else your skin will look dull.

7. Their stress levels are low

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Drive through a village in India and you will see groups of people just standing around and chatting. Or you will see a man just squatting under a shady tree, enjoying the shade. No, he is not on his phone. And yes he is doing absolutely nothing. He is just enjoying being. They believe in letting life happen to them.

The takeaway : If you are stressed it IS going to show up in your skin. If you suffer from acne, stress is going to increase the inflammation levels in your body making your acne worse. Set aside a block of time during the day when you can do anything that makes you happy. Even if you do absolutely nothing it is fine. If you can set aside several small blocks of time where you do something you love. If all else fails try meditation or a yoga class. Note that these will take you at least a month to notice results with this, but you will feel much less stressed.

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