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

habits that make acne worse

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

habits that make acne worse

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

how to get rid of acne

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

how to get rid of acne

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”.

food for clear skin

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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5 Common Myths about Acne dispelled

I have suffered from acne for a significant length of time, putting me in the unique position of having heard a lot of nonsense about what causes acne, why I suffer from it and how to get rid of it. When I had acne, suddenly everyone I met was a qualified dermatologist, who knew exactly what was causing my acne and of course they had a cure for me. The cure usually ranged from stupid to utterly ridiculous.

As a result of these ridiculous myths, I wasted a lot of time and did do some permanent damage to my skin. During my time trying to cure my acne, I have carefully documented my diet, skin care and my daily activity. What I figured out from this was that none of these myths were remotely true. In addition to not being true, they just make people who suffer from acne feel bad about themselves.

So let’s get started with some of these myths

1. Acne is caused by dust and pollution

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I have cured my acne while living in a very polluted city in India. My acne was actually at its worst when I lived in the very clean countryside in the UK. Acne has nothing to do with dust and pollution, if that were true everyone living in cities would have acne. I’m not saying that pollution is good for skin but it is not the cause of your acne. I used to make the mistake of washing my face with a face wash each time I went out, as a result of which my skin got red, dry and itchy.

If you live in a polluted or dusty city, or both, try and wash your face with plain water when you get back at the end of the day, but do not stress about it causing your acne.

2. Acne is caused by oily foods

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Oily foods do not cause acne. Acne is caused by excess oil in your pores, but that does not mean that the oil you ingest travels directly to your skin. Acne is an inflammation in the body. If you eat things that increase this inflammation your acne will get worse, as simple as that. The common culprits for increasing inflammation are sugar and dairy.

Fried foods in general, are not great for skin and overall health, but eating non-sugary fried foods once in a while does not cause acne.

3. Chocolate causes Acne

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“Don’t eat so many chocolates”, is one phrase I have heard a lot from strangers regarding my acne. The phrasing suggests that I am actually stuffing my face with chocolates in front of them. The very funny part here is that I am one of those weird people who hates chocolates. I always have and always will.Again, it is not the chocolate but rather the sugar and dairy added to the chocolate which causes acne. If you like chocolate stick to eating dark chocolate.

If you like chocolate stick to eating dark chocolate.

4. You’ll grow out of it

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Never happened to me and if you’re in your twenties or older and reading this you probably understand it best. Adult acne is not something that you will certainly grow out of. And if you waste time waiting around to grow out of it, it will get worse and you may damage your skin.

There is no good time or age to grow out of acne. Acne at any age needs to be dealt with in a proper manner but not in a way that will affect your general health.

5. Makeup causes Acne

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Since acne starts out with a clogged pore in your skin, it is generally assumed that anything you apply on your face will clog your pores. The skin of people who have acne does not shed as well as a person with clear skin. This leads to the dead cells hanging around and clogging your pores.

However, note that applying heavy makeup when you have active, cystic acne is probably not a good idea. When you are removing the makeup, you’ll have to clean your face a lot more, which will cause it some irritation. Stick to light makeup until the time your acne is healed or healing.

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What sugar really does to your skin

sugar and acne

 

I just realized that there is not one article on the effects of sugar on my site, which is strange considering that quitting sugar was the first step in clearing my skin of acne.

I have always been a big fan of sweets and desserts. Baking my own cakes and making desserts became my passion, as I thought the commercially available ones tasted awful. Cake and dessert recipes were bookmarked and no time was wasted in trying them out. Among my friends and family, I am known as the person who makes the best cakes.

Who ate the most of the cakes I made at home? Well ME!! It was no coincidence that at the time my forehead had loads of tiny bumps, which would not budge. My face was also full of acne. I tried all possible treatments for them. Medical peels, tea tree oil, benzoyl peroxide, drugstore products. Nothing worked.

Here is what I looked like. And to be honest this picture is not that bad. My acne was far worse.

sugar and acne

In May 2012, I went into a state of depression because of my acne. I was undergoing treatment at the time, at a very reputed skin clinic and the technician had just sent me home because she could not do the laser treatment that day as my acne was bad. Effectively, to me, what she was saying was that my acne was so bad, that nothing would work for me. Long story short, I decided I was never again seeing another medical professional about my acne.

I researched for days about what causes acne and what works and what doesn’t. One big eye-opener was the fact that diet has a lot to do with acne. I always knew sugar was not great for anyone, but I thought the only thing excessive sugar can cause is diabetes.

So how does sugar cause acne? The truth is sugar alone does not cause acne. If that was the case everyone who ate any form of sugar would get acne. We all know that is not true. I know people who eat massive amounts of sugar and have the clearest skin. Unfair as it seems, that is just how it is. Some people like you and me are just predisposed to acne. Again unfair, but let’s just focus on what happens when we eat sugar and what can be done about it.

So say you are predisposed to acne. Your facial skin does not shed the same as a person with clear skin. So the dead skin cells stick around on your face leading to blocked pores. The oil builds up in the pores. Now if your body is in a state of inflammation, the acne bacteria, which are present in everyone’s skin, take this oil build up, as a breeding ground thereby making the hair follicle get inflamed and a cyst to form. So we have inflamed nodules on our face.

So what causes this inflammation? Sugar!! Sugar makes the body’s insulin levels rise which leads to increased inflammation in the body. This increased inflammation is in no way good for acne. Digested sugar also permanently attaches itself to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. This not only ages a person faster but makes skin conditions like acne and rosacea worse. If you keep eating more and more sugar you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can result in excess hair growth on the face in women, bald patches on the scalp and dark patches on the neck and body.

So what can we do? Simple. Give up sugar. I’ll be honest, giving up sugar was torture, but the pain and depression that I suffered when I had acne, was much much worse. This is what I looked like 4 weeks after giving up sugar.

sugar and acne

 

So how do you give up sugar? Start small by cutting out obviously sweet things like cakes, biscuits, fizzy sweet drinks. Use your taste buds as a guide, if it tastes sweet you are better off not eating it. Fruits in moderation are ok, but not fruit juices. Replace sweet treats with nuts, dry fruit, cheese, savory snacks. Even if the savory snacks are unhealthy it’s ok to eat them when you’re trying to cut out sugar. Cutting out sugar is really really hard. Deprive yourself of everything all in one shot and you are sure to fall off the wagon.

If you drink tea and coffee with sugar, just cut down the amount. So instead of 2 teaspoons, cut down to 1 3/4, then 1 1/2, then lesser as you get used to the reduced amount. You don’t have to cut this out completely. One teaspoon of sugar in your tea is ok.

As your body detoxes from the sugar you’ll feel better. During the time you’re starting your sugar detox, plan to watch movies or go on long walks with friends. When you start craving sugar, do something you love. Each time I had a sugar craving, I watched funny serials that I liked. Another way to counteract the sugar craving was to brush my teeth. For some reason, this worked really well.

Everyone’s body is different so the time it takes to see a change might vary from 1 week to a month, but do stick to it as I can assure you the results will be great.