Hello Acne, My Old Friend

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Stress. Sleep Deprivation. Coffee. Junk food.

These were the things that were so common once I entered into the world of college. They also happened to be the things that commonly cause acne. Needless to say, they caused my acne as well.

Acne is such a human problem, but it made me feel less than human. I ended up doing a fair amount of research to see how I could get rid of it. I began my research on YouTube, ended up on reddit, acne.org, the deep web (not really), and back to YouTube. I found that I should try the following: tea tree oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, almond oil, eating less oil, not eating dairy, not eating peanuts, eating foods high in vitamin A, taking vitamin K, D, and Zinc, taking more time to scrub my face, not scrubbing my face, washing my face only with water, washing my face only with oil, washing my face with African soap, charcoal soap, baking soda, silicic acid face wash, applying glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and Proactive. I have tried all of these things. I’ve tried everything short of Accutane. And acne still stops by to say hello.

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While I may still have little bumps on my face reminding me of my own human-ness, I did significantly reduce my acne.

Here is what worked for me:

     1.       Exercise regularly.

               Get that lymphatic system moving!

     2.       Wash your face after you work out.

               The most obvious and the most effective. Do it today. Do it yesterday.

     3.       Get regular hours of sleep.

               This is easier said than done, but for the sake of my mental health and for the clarity of my skin, I make the effort to go to bed at 12:30 to 1:00 every


     4.       Drink lots of water.  

               Drink lots of water. All the water. Only water.

     5.       Reduce the stress.

     6.       Use the oil cleansing method.

               Regular face washes and even plain water can strip your face of too much oil. I use a combination of 2-parts almond oil and 1-part castor oil to wash

               my face. If your face is oily, use more castor oil. If it’s dry, use less castor oil.

     7.       Use 2 different face washing methods.

               Because I have oily/dry skin combo, I need to use some sort of face soap on my forehead (it doesn’t matter, whatever is cheapest) and the oil

               cleansing method on my cheeks.

     8.       Use benzoyl peroxide for spots that need it.

               Depending on your skin type, glycolic acid or silicic acid may work better.

     9.       Watch your diet.

               Certain foods can cause excess sebum production and inflammation in the face. Because of this, I avoid eating too much dairy, sugar, and peanuts.

     10.     Detox.

               This is sort of the opposite of the last tip, but to avoid the inflammation, detox with green tea.

Even if none of these work for you, remember that there are so many other things to try. Even if you don’t have the time, patience, or the means to try any or all of these, sometimes all you need to do is let nature run its course and accept what you have. Who knows, maybe acne will be the next clear skin.