If you’re like me and you’re dealing with acne beyond the teenage years and through adulthood, it can be safe to say that in most cases, hormones aren’t the problem. Many people deal with acne in their adult years, but a lot of those may not realize that your diet and lifestyle has a huge impact on the presence of acne. An unhealthy diet or lifestyle can lead to a world of trouble for your skin. If it seems like you’ve tried just about every over-the-counter cream, wash, pad, and scrub, even prescription drugs with little or no results, perhaps a diet or lifestyle change is in order. Diet and lifestyle change may not totally eradicate chronic acne in all cases, but it can still make a big difference, and hey, isn’t some improvement better than none? It could end up saving you a lot of money on harsh chemicals and expensive doctor visits. Here are some tips and tricks for acne sufferers.
A healthy diet. Acne can be the result of many different things, but what a lot of people neglect to recognize as a problem is their diet. A healthy and balanced diet is essential for clear, healthy skin. A diet high in fatty foods (like fried foods, fatty meats, and cheese), processed pre-frozen foods, high salt foods, high sugar foods, even breads and pasta can worsen the effects of acne. Little-known fact: pastas and breads take longer to digest. When a person has a diet high in these, their system can become backed up, and the result of this can ruin clear skin (as well as other unpleasant side-effects, like weight gain). Try to decrease the amount of pastas and breads you eat by replacing some of them with lean meats, fruits and veggies, healthy snack bars, yogurt, and healthy cereals, like Special K. Caffeine is another no-go, because among all the other negative effects associated with this drug, acne is one of them. Avoid coffee and energy sodas. If you depend on caffeinated beverages to get you through the day, now is the time to find a more healthy herbal or vitamin supplement to give you the energy you need. Ginseng and Vitamin B-12 supplements are a healthy alternative to caffeine. Anti-oxidants, which fight off harmful substances in your body, help keep your skin clear. An easy place to find anti-oxidants are in teas. White tea has the largest amount, green tea has slightly less, and black tea has even less. Black tea has a lot of caffeine though, so if you go with black tea, get decaf. Many fruits and veggies contain anti-oxidants, but pomegranate is packed with them. Doctors suggest eating a little dark chocolate every now and again, as it contains anti-oxidants as well. Not to be confused with regular milk chocolate, and be careful to consume in moderation.
Healthy habits: skincare. Taking proper care of your skin is necessary to cut down on breakouts. Sweat, dirt, oil, makeup, and pollution collects on your skin’s surface every day, and needs to be cleaned regularly. This includes in the morning after you wake up, at night before you go to bed, and after exercising. When you exercise, your sweat contains salts and other substances that if left there, can clog pores and cause pimples. Make sure you wash with warm water and a mild soap after your workout. Avoid harsh, perfumed soaps, these can irritate the skin and when skin gets irritated, pimples can form. Use your hands to wash your face, no scrubbing and no cloths to irritate skin. Rinse thoroughly, be careful not to leave soap behind which can clog pores. And finally, pat dry with a soft towel to avoid skin irritation. If you swim, make sure to wash the water off of you to avoid dirt, oil and chemicals building up in your pores. When washing your face, always use a soap, only using water can just push oils and other substances into the pores without washing them out. Avoid using harsh chemicals on the face. Also, your hands can pick up a lot of bacteria in-between washings, without you being aware of it. Avoid touching your face a lot, because the bacteria on your hands can transfer to your face. And, picking is an absolute no-no. Not only can it cause permanent scarring, it can make current acne worse.
Healthy habits: lifestyle. Your lifestyle impacts your complexion in a big way. In addition to regular washing and maintenance, getting proper amounts of exercise and sunlight is helpful to keeping your skin clear. You don’t have to run a marathon every day, just 20 minutes of excercise a few times a week will not only keep you in shape, but your skin in good shape also. Be sure to do some outdoor activities every now and again, the sunlight is good for your skin, in proper amounts. Stress is another thing that can make acne worse, as the chemical reaction in your body creates harmful substances that are bad for your skin. Be sure to practice de-stressing techniques regularly, and don’t allow your life to become bogged down with too much stress. And finally, don’t drink or smoke. Drinking and smoking wreaks havoc on your skin and can worsen the effects of acne. If you need something to take the edge off, try St. John’s Wort, an herbal supplement that naturally fights anxiety and stress and is a natural mood enhancer. If you’re looking for something to calm you down before bed try some lavender and chamomile rather than going for a beer. On the other hand, red wine is actually said to have some health benefits, when consumed in moderation.