Acne can be an incredibly difficult thing to get ahold of. Here you are, trying everything in your power to get rid of these pimples, and yet they still remain.
Over the years I’ve learned that acne results because of a multitude of different factors. The main players include diet, rest, exercise and stress reduction.
I could give you some generic advice about how to improve these things, but you’re much more likely to actually do something if you come up with it. It’s like the movie Inception. You come up with the solution and figure it out on your own.
Here’s an exercise you can do right now that might give you some insight and actually help you to clear your skin naturally by addressing 4 critically important components of your life.
Doing this exercise can help shed some light on areas you might not have thought about, and can help you create a personalized healing plan all on your own!
What you’ll need.
- A few sheets of paper (You can type this into a word document too)
- A pen or pencil
- A few minutes
How To Evaluate Your Habits To Improve Your Health
Take out a piece of paper right now and write down DIET. Underneath, write down what you typically eat and drink, then think and ask yourself if what you are eating is contributing to your health or is taking away from your health and contributing to your acne. If it’s obvious to you that what you are eating is not healthy, write down healthy alternatives such as vegetables or fruit to replace the unhealthy choices. An example would be switching out cow’s milk for almond milk, whey protein for hemp protein, or breads for salads. If you are eating a pristine diet already, you might not be able to come up with healthier replacements. That’s OK. We’ll cover more in depth things later on. Also ask yourself about what you are drinking. Switch out what you’re drinking for water and teas.
Under your list of foods, write REST. How much are you getting? Seriously? We need a minimum of 7 hours. Many people need more. I need at least 8. Our bodies repair themselves while we are resting. If you’re not getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, how can you expect your body to heal itself and for your acne to get better naturally? Write down how much sleep you’re getting and if it’s below 7 hours (preferably 8), write out how you can get it up to that number. Does it mean going to bed earlier? Does it mean getting things done earlier in the day so that you can actually get to bed at a reasonable hour? Does it mean leaving your job that makes you wake up at 4 in the morning and disrupts your circadian rhythm? Figure it out. This isn’t just about acne. It’s about your health and your life.
Beneath that, write out EXERCISE. What are you doing for exercise? This one is tricky because there isn’t much science behind working out and acne. There is one correlation that I’ve been able to make though. Being a guy, I’ve been interested in building muscle for a while now. Unfortunately, bodybuilding and acne seem to go hand in hand. One correlation that I’ve made is that lifting heavy weights on a consistent basis (3-5 times a week) increases mTOR levels. mTOR is a protein that regulates cell growth. It’s neither “good” or “bad” but it may cause over-proliferation of cells and increase sebum production. Both benzoyl peroxide and isotretinoin have mechanisms for inhibiting mTOR, which can reduce cell proliferation and decrease sebum production. This can help explain why they can be effective at preventing acne and comedogenesis in many people. So I may have some bad news if you’re into bodybuilding. I’m not saying that you have to stop working out, but lifting extremely heavy things (and eating a tremendous amount of food) isn’t helping out when it comes to healing acne. The best form of exercise for acne is actually yoga. It brings your heart rate up, tones the body and helps with breathing without overly activating your “fight-or-flight” nervous system. For exercise, doing yoga or lightening the load at the gym tends to be better for the skin, although we all have our unique circumstances.
This is what I would consider a good exercise routine for acne – Yoga one to three times a week. Walking every day. Running on the beach once a week. Do pushups and pullups and bodyweight exercises once or twice a week. It provides variety to get you toned without forcing you to put down massive amounts of calories to sustain growth and repair.
Finally, under all of that, put down STRESS REDUCTION. What are ways that you can reduce stress in your life? Does it mean you’ll need to spend more time by yourself? Maybe start meditating? (Try headspace.com to learn how to meditate). Do you need to go for walks outside? Take up yoga? Are you surrounded by negativity, gossip or drama? Can you get away from that? Is the news always on? Get these things out of your life. You don’t need to be surrounded by negativity and have stress fill your life. When it comes to stress reduction we need to do two things. The first is to reduce the amount of stress that we’re under as much as possible. The second is to respond to the stressors of life in the best way possible. Meditation can help with the latter.
And there you have it.
4 ways you can help your skin and health naturally.
Now it’s up to you if you’re going to literally get out a piece of paper and do this, or if you’re just going to continue on without doing anything…
The choice is yours.
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