I'm all cleared up and am almost bare faced as far as foundation is concerned.
There is a little applied around my nose, chin, and jaw. So that's my real skin!
There is a little applied around my nose, chin, and jaw. So that's my real skin!
What was it that was causing my skin problems? Well my lifestyle choices of course, and I had no idea that I was doing anything wrong. I remember it vividly, like it was yesterday. I was in LA for E3, and the company took us out to Morton's The Steakhouse. I was having a blast and I ate my fill of crap that night. Well, when I got back to the hotel my face was covered in new spots. I couldn't believe it, and I was very upset. My body was so overburdened by my bad choices that it was breaking out within hours of consuming these foods.
When I got home after the vacation I started researching it right away and found that it was mostly my diet. The last thing I wanted to hear was that I had to give up some of the yummy foods that I liked; but it was time to fight the addictions, and my body would be better off overall.
So no, it's not genetics. Sure, one might be more susceptible than others because of genes, but it's not the cause. Also, for us ladies, our "emo week" is that lovely time right before you-know-what starts that can make hormones go mad if we're not taking care of ourselves properly, but again it's not the hormones that cause it either. This can exacerbate the problem during this time though, so we best be mindful of that. I don't breakout if I'm behaving myself by eating right, drinking water, sleeping correctly, exercising, and not stressing. I can touch my face all I want, press my cell phone to my cheek, wear makeup, forget to wash my pillowcase, and do all of those things that "supposedly" cause breakouts all while being on my emo week. It all doesn't matter as long as I'm taking care of myself. My skin will stay clear, because the immune system is strong and can handle it. Lifestyle is key! I spent too many nights crying, and staying in during the day because I didn't want anyone to see me. I know how helpless one can feel and how depressing it is, but now it's time to get on with life. It truly is so easy to fix.
Here's my breakdown on acne causes
What causes acne:
- Bad foods. This is important! These foods induce acne because they're acid/mucus forming and cause the immune system to become weakened. The body does not know how to digest and utilize them properly, so instead, it pushes the toxins out through the skin causing buildup and then spots. One must eliminate ALL of these foods if one wants beautiful clear skin. There is NO exception. If I eat these things I breakout, and I'm absolutely positive that others that suffer with acne do as well. It's that simple. So here they are: Dairy, meat, gluten, processed sugar, too many nuts, alcohol, caffeine, fried foods, and processed foods.
- Lack of water. I never drank water the way I do now, and that was a big problem. The body cannot function correctly without proper amounts of water, specifically the organs. So of course this affects the skin, which is the largest organ of them all.
- Lack of sleep. Not just enough sleep, but quality sleep. I didn't know that it was so important, and that it's the most critical time for healing. So without this sleep the body cannot, and will not, heal properly. Evening gaming, late-night movies, school work, or unfinished art projects are never worth staying up for. I found this out the hard way, so get it done during the day.
- Stress. This can be the cause of almost any issue, including breakouts. Stress actually irritates the skin which can lead to redness, blotchiness, and even more sebum production which then can cause acne. It truly affects every cell in your body. I spent way too much time fretting in front of the mirror, which only made matters worse.
- Lack of exercise. Not moving is one of the most taxing things on the body. Unhealthy individuals actually have less blood vessels in the skin and therefore the body doesn't get it's much needed oxygen. Not going outside in the sun too is problematic because insufficient sun makes skin dull and takes longer to heal.
- Environment. Over showering daily with hot water, touching one's face, sports gear, cell phones, makeup, dirty pillowcases, etc. are all things that may actually cause breakouts if the preceding issues haven't been addressed. A weak body may not be able to handle these things. So they could also become a problem, but are not a definite cause like the other factors listed over.
So now that we know that we're not doomed by genes, age, or gender, here are some things to help combat acne and get rid of it for good.
How to stop acne:
- Start eating right. If there's one thing above all else that helped clear up my skin it's getting rid of those bad foods listed above. It's more about what one does not eat, than what one does eat in this case. I will breakout if I eat those food, period, and if you suffer from acne you probably do too. They must be eliminated completely for the skin to heal. Replacing them with fresh fruits and veggies is the way to go.
- Get in the habit of drinking water continuously. I've always got a glass or tea cup next to me these days. Water helps cleanse the cells and clear away toxins from the body, skin included. Water fasting helped me understand the amazing healing powers it has. Something so simple is so important. The photo above was actually taken right after my fast was completed and my skin was just glowing!
- Go to bed early and on an empty stomach. It's crucial to sleep properly. Not only 6-8 hours every night, one also has to sleep during the optimal hours between 10pm-2am for maximum healing, and make sure that all food is out of the system while sleeping. Why is it so important to go to bed on an empty stomach? Well so that the body can heal; not digest all night long. If there's food in the stomach, that's what the body will do. It will spend it's energy on digestion, and healing will come second. Do not eat four hours before going to bed. Besides, large meals at meant for the mornings and afternoon when we need the most fuel, not the evening right before bed. There's no point, and dinner should always be the smallest one.
- Stop stressing and back away from the mirror. Acne is about the mindset too, and mirrors don't help. I've actually learned that if the brain knows that a spot is there then it doesn't heal fast or at all. I'm reminded of learning about phantom limb pain from one of the TEDtalks, where the brain actually tells the body it's in pain even though nothing is there. The same can be said about wounds and healing. If one focus on how terrible the spots are, then they just stay there and don't heal properly. On top of that, I probably picked and prodded them inevitably making them worse. Eventually, I forced myself to stop looking in mirrors. If my brain didn't see the spot, then I didn't even know it was there and this helped so much.
- Start exercising outside daily. So I would exercise, but not daily, and definitely not outside because I was afraid of the sun. Sunlight actually helps to heel wounds faster by speeding up the process, acne included. That, and the combination of the much needed oxygen from exercise works wonders for the body. It's important to never wear makeup or other cosmetics on the skin while excising. Toxins are secreted through the skin to help clean out the body and the actual act of sweating helps to clean pores as well. That's why it's vital not to have makeup or other substances blocking the pores, which can make matters worse.
- Try to improve hygiene. One thing I did was switch over to a natural skin care regime, because chemicals didn't help and they're terrible for you anyway. That, and they bleached all of my stuff. I also started to shower less, and with warm water instead of hot. No, I'm not mad. Showering daily dries out the skin too much and disrupts the horny layer exposing the more sensitive epidermis beneath. Then this messes with the natural pH balance of the skin, because we wash away that much needed sebum that nourishes and moisturizes it. Showering too much makes skin issues worse; dry skin becomes drier because sebum is washed away and oily skin becomes more oily because when the sebum (oil) is washed off the body just keeps producing more of it to try to help. That, and never use any type of soap on the face, it's too harsh and filled with chemicals. I've noticed that if I'm doing good with all of the tips listed above I don't even need to use products on my skin at all, because nowadays I have normal skin. Which I'm loving and getting spoiled by.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm here to help and have lived through this personally. I know what it's like, but remember, our health is in our hands.