How to Keep Your Skin Clear
You're Not Alone!
I wrote this hub because I have personally suffered from acne for the majority of my teen years and well into my adulthood. I was always told that I would "grow out of it." That did not happen. I was told to try so many things, birth control, Proactiv, and other medications. Most of the oral treatments made me sick in one way or another, my face would get very dry and I would be nauseated after taking them. I bought extremely expensive products with the mindset that "You get what you pay for" but the reality is that it only burned a hole in my pocket and did nothing for my acne.
Below, I will share with you the key changes I have made in my life that have helped me overcome what I consider to be a huge obstacle. Not too many people understand how skin problems can affect your self esteem, your relationships, and sometimes even your ability to acquire work! Believe me when I say, I understand and I'd like to help!
I'm sure you've heard this over and over, but it is the truth.
Major Indicators that your skin is thirsty:
- Redness- when I haven't had water in awhile I start to notice that my overall complexion seems to become very red and irritated. Not just the acne, but the old scars become more noticeable as well.
- Dryness- If your skin is flaky and itchy, you may need to drink more water, but don't pick at your face.
- Angry/irritated pimples and sebaceous cysts- A serious sign that I need to drink more water is when I get the very deep, hardened pimples or cysts that become very large and painful. Occasionally they get infected and balloon up, at this point I will wait it out and try home remedies to reduce the size before lancing it, but most people will go to a doctor and have it done professionally.
Keep In Mind: Not all skin problems are acne related, if you notice a scale like rash with redness and peeling you may have another problem. Skin conditions such as Psoriasis and Eczema can sometimes be confused for acne. Other allergies caused by dyes and materials in jeans, especially the Rayon in "Jeggings" can cause acne like outbreaks all over your body. See a Dermatologist if you are unsure.
Cut Back On Dairy Products
Two years ago, I tried to go vegan. I haven't fully committed, but I have cut cow milk, cheese, non-vegan ice cream and basically any kind of dairy out of my every day diet. Initially the reason behind my decision was because of the research I have done on commercial factory slaughterhouses and dairy production. There are 6 different kinds of hormones approved by the FDA and USDA. They are used to make mother cows produce excess milk for customers across the country, however none of the milk goes to the babies. They are taken from their mothers, fed a watered down version and are then slaughtered as veal, but not before they are also injected with hormones to make them fatter. As you can see, this production is neither healthy nor humane, and I made a personal choice to change my health choices and reduce my impact on the Earth.
What I did not know was that it would nearly cure my skin problems.
Alternatives to Dairy Products...
- Almond Milk
- Vegan Cheese
- Coconut Yogurt
If you look around your area you should be able to find a few grocery stores that sell things like vegan ice cream, milk, and cheese that are made with soy, coconut, almonds, and other plant based products. I like going to Sprouts because they have a variety of products and its a little bit cheaper than Whole Foods, and they have paper bags. I am so happy that I made this change in my diet, it has improved my complexion and I've lost weight.
People touch their faces on an average of 3.6 times per hour.
- Stop Touching Yourself, Flu Researchers Say
To avoid getting sick during flu season, avoiding touching your nose and mouth is just as important as washing your hands.
Take a peek at what's on your hands.
Stop Touching Your Face!
We use our hands for EVERYTHING, and because of this we pick up thousands of bacteria 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I very much regret the years I spent picking at blackheads, using my nails to scrape away scabs and dig into the painful pimples because I wanted to get rid of them so badly. I never believed that I would have lasting scars, and I always though that they would disappear over time, they don't. No matter how badly you want to, no matter how much it irritates you or how noticeable it may be, DON'T PICK AT IT.
I promise that unless you have excellent genetics, you will do permanent damage and it will take expensive treatments to fix it. This is the biggest, strongest piece of advice I can give to anyone with acne. Do your future self a favor and keep your dirty hands off your face.
Take a Daily Multi-Vitamin
When I suggest this to people, most of the time the response is
"Does that actually work?"
To which I respond yes! While there is an ongoing debate as to whether vitamins provide any real benefits, I can only go by personal experience. Everyone is different, but for me taking a plant based multivitamin keeps my skin balanced. I notice that when I stop taking it, after a few weeks my skin sometimes becomes erratic, going from oily to dry to red to a complete breakout. If you haven't, give it a try, and again I would recommend plant based vitamins.
Eat More Bananas
If you don't like multivitamins or would like to have some extra nutrients on hand, eat lots of bananas! I began to crave bananas out of nowhere one day, and after a couple weeks of eating them I noticed a vast improvement in my complexion. Bananas are packed with vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin C and vitamin E. If you check out my post on Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Oil I describe why Vitamin E is essential for your skin.
Exfoliate and Moisturize
Your skin needs to be rubbed away of dead cells and dirt buildup, exfoliating 2 to 3 times per week can help to stop acne and promote skin cell turnover. I use my own facial scrub daily, it is grainy enough to slough away the dirt and dead cells but also light and gentle so that it does not scrape or leave marks. Be sure not to overdo it when using face scrubs, you don't want to dry yourself out.
Moisturize daily to ensure your skin does not become over dry, as this will cause excess production of sebum and create more acne.
- Fruit of the Earth Vitamin E Oil
A quick review on Vitamin E Oil, its properties, and how it works on the skin
Try DIY or Home Made Skin Care
Tea Tree Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic Honey in the Raw
Don't Be Afraid To Try New Things
It may seem ridiculous at first, because we've been told all our lives that we need to buy medicines and harsh chemicals to treat our problems. I believe holistic treatment options can work for issues with the epidermis.
For example, I've taken my dog to the vet because he would chew the pads of his paws raw until they bled. The vet put a mixture of honey and sugar over the wounds and wrapped them up. We left the bandages on for a week and once removed, the pads of his feet had healed. If something so simple can heal woulds, why not use it for the skin on our bodies as well?
Thank you for reading, and I genuinely hope that these tips work for you.
Did this article make you want to try holistic skin care?
© 2016 clovisj