Top 10 Acne Fighting Tips +Advice Part II
6. Food – There is the common saying, “What you eat is what you are.” Well, sadly that is true. If only it weren’t, eating would be so much easier and more convenient, but this is when reality kicks in and self control and discipline is much needed. Sometimes these unhealthy habits spur on negative outcomes right away, yet often times the unwanted results are over a prolonged period of time. Regardless, both require immediate attention. So, what are these negative outcomes exactly? Well, for every person, these negative results may vary. Some people may suffer from high cholesterol or an unhealthy amount of weight gain. Others may break out in rashes, produce minor to severe acne, or have stomach problems. Nevertheless, all of these undesirable results are not pleasant to deal with on a daily or even weekly basis and it is living proof your body needs direction to a healthier path. Moreover, the constant buildup of inflammatory substances and toxins from unhealthy food can clog your pores and create more acne. The fact of the matter is, the healthier you are internally, the healthier you look externally.
Most of the time, we may not check what ingredients are listed on the Nutrition Facts of different food products, however, taking a few minutes to check, will provide a lot of benefits in understanding what is going into your bloodstreams. As you do this, the ingredients will become more familiar and checking them will become easier and easier. Thus, I always check the ingredients list before buying a product. I was alerted by my skincare clinic to avoid certain types of food that may possibly cause or aggravate acne, so I avoid dairy, gluten, soy, sugar, processed foods, peanuts, spirulina and coffee. Now, clearly everyone is affected differently, so I would recommend doing your own research and testing out the certain types of food I mentioned above, and keep an accurate journal of when you notice more breakouts. Writing down what you eat everyday could probably help you see what parts of your diet may be causing more acne. As frustrating as it can be, acne is always a trial and error process. You just have to get to understand your skin and see what types of food seem to break you out more. As you go through this trial process, you will find what angers or irritates your acne. From my experience, dairy foods do break me out, and soy tends to break me out especially around my lower chin and jawlines. When I eat processed foods, my skin gets itchy and I see irritated bumps on my skin the next day. Thus, the results I have come to see overtime have instilled discipline in avoiding these foods. Specifically, staying away from dairy food, gluten, and soy has really helped to eliminate my acne and stomach problems as well. My body is on the more sensitive side, so you may not need as strict of a diet as mine, however, if your acne is out of control, thorough steps need to be taken to figure out the culprit. Extra Tip:I would recommend trying to cook at home, so you can ultimately control what ingredients you put in your food, however I know that sometimes this can be difficult for people with busy schedules. Nevertheless, a little bit of time dedicated to your health each day will go a long way. When you are eating right, your exhaustion level decreases, and you are able to function better, with a plus of glowing skin!!
A Few Dairy Free Food Brands I Enjoy (GF- means they have gluten free products available):
*Simply Protein (GF),
*Barney Butter (especially their smooth or crunchy almond butter-can be substituted for peanut butter)
*Mary’s Gone Crackers (GF)
*Bob’s Red Mill (GF)
7. Wear your Sunblock, Sun Cream, Sunscreen, or Sun Blocker – Products protecting your skin take many names! Call it whatever you wish, but please do use it!! Ultimately, the job of the sunblock is to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh ultra violet A rays and ultra violet B rays (UVA and UVB). I was informed that UVA rays can penetrate deeper into the skin and damage your skin, cause premature aging, wrinkles, or sun spots and UVB rays can burn the top layers of the skin. Either way, both do not benefit your skin long term, so it is important to wear sunblock. Plus, I recall an old esthetician of mine mentioning how the sun can aggravate acne by drying the skin out, thus leading to excess oil production, and the clogging of pores. Honestly, I do not know if this is true, but I do know that when I am out in the sun for quite a while, my skin feels tight and my acne throbs or itches. As a matter of fact, there was a time when I had not worn sunblock for about a month and I could distinctively see and feel the harmful effects. My acne scars were darker and more visible, and my skin would always itch or look irritated. Personally, I am not out in the sun much and I always wear sunblock, so the sun does not seem to be much of a trigger for my acne, but please keep in mind that everyone is different, so it is crucial to see how your skin reacts to different levels of sun exposure. Here is an extra article from skinSalvation Clinic’s blog for helpful information on sunsblocks, here. Extra Tip: Apply your sunblock at least half an hour before leaving the house, so it has time to set into your skin! Here are some acne-safe sunblocks, Lelexo Sunscreen (here), Solarex MD Matte Zinc (here), and Tizo Sunblock (here or here).
8. Gulp, Gulp, Gulp your Water – Honestly, drinking water shows up everywhere, when it comes to health discussions, articles, or books, the need to drink water seems to be always written down somewhere on the page. Furthermore, the emphasis to drink water and by how much continuously seems to be a pretty controversial discussion. It is actually quite redundant to hear people constantly referring to the necessity of drinking a lot of water that sometimes I cannot even quite understand or grasp the importance of it completely. Nonetheless, reading and hearing about the benefits of drinking water, encouraged me to commit to drinking at least 6-8 cups a day. Plus, I realized that either way when I sweat, or go to the bathroom, I consistently lose fluids, so naturally my body would need to replenish the lost fluid. Thus, I figured that drinking water could not be set aside as a dilemma, but to make it a habitual routine in my lifestyle. When I started drinking 6-8 cups of warm water every day, I could definitely feel the difference in my body. I surprisingly felt more energized, probably due to a good level of hydration, as well as, a decrease in headaches, and I received a lot of compliments for glowing skin. Regardless, I definitely felt better overall, so I kept myself accountable in drinking enough water throughout the day. Extra Tip: Try not to drink cold water unless you need to cool yourself down. Try to drink room temperature or warm water. It feels less harsh on your stomach. I also found a helpful article to refer to for more information by WebMD about the benefits of drinking water, here.
9. Change your Pillow Cases – Getting into my cozy bed every day is one of my favorite parts of the day. I take a nice, warm shower, get into my comfortable pajamas, and into my bed I go! Throughout the week, I rotate washing my hair in the morning or at night, however, most of the time I wash my hair during my showers at night, to keep my pillow cases as clean as possible. Nevertheless, your pillow cases accumulate dust, dead skin cells, or just a build up different bacteria or germs we cannot see. So, it is important to wash your pillow cases at least once a week. I wash my pillow cases every 4-5 days, and I definitely have less break outs. It is just safe to know I am not using dirty pillow cases. If you tend to rub your face on your pillow case a lot while sleeping, or you sleep with your chest facing down towards the bed, I would recommend changing your pillow case every 3 days or so. Especially, if you do not wash up properly, make sure you change your pillow cases more often. Then again, even if you are squeaky clean and wash your hair everyday, it is still important to wash your pillow cases once a week, for there is a buildup of unseen bacteria, shampoo or conditioner residue, and dead skin cells. Personally, changing my pillow cases often has helped to keep my skin less inflamed. I do not expose my skin to uncleanly conditions while sleeping, thus avoiding further inflammation. Hopefully, you can try it out as well, and see if it helps you too!!! Extra Tip: Make sure you are using acne-safe laundry detergent. Here are a few acne-safe detergents recommended by my esthetician and through my personal trial and error process as well, the All Free and Clear detergent (here and here), the Biokleen Laundry Liquid(here and here), and Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder (here).
10. Don’t Touch your Face – Itchy pimples, painful red bumps, and scabs, can all be very tempting to want to touch or pick at, but these are the things to be especially avoided when your face is inflamed with acne or acne-related scars. Throughout the day, you touch the surfaces of many different objects that have an enormous amount of bacteria, dirt, and germs, so touching your face means you are transferring all of that “yuck” to your face. Similarly, when you get a cut on your finger per say, you wrap your finger around with a band-aid to avoid further infection. So, when your face has pustules (pimples with pus), sometimes the infected liquid (pus) from the open pustules may permeate to other parts of the skin’s surface, and rubbing your face with your hands here and there, will only further the spread of the bacteria, causing more inflammation and irritation. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of awareness! It is important to be aware and practice not touching your face. Likewise, it has become a habit for me to not touch my face. I do not ever touch my face unless I am washing my face and the one or two times, I have touched my face, there was nothing positive that ever came out of it. My pimples would either itch or throb, insinuating an inflammatory response. So, it is better not to touch your face. Try to make it a habit!
Thanks for reading, and I know there was a lot of information above, but please feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Please remember everything I wrote is from personal experience, knowledge, and facts I have acquired through my personal estheticians and peers.