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
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.
Read this article on eating for better skin.
2. They leave their skin alone.
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.
Read this article on how you can get rid of 50% of your acne by leaving your skin alone.
3. They lead a natural life
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 here. 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.
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
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
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
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.