Adios Acne

People often say that there's more to health than how you look. That's honestly true; I fully agree with that. But I'll go in a slightly different direction for this post: there's so much more to looking good than just your muscle mass and body fat.

What's the point of having 20 inch arms if you have hardly any hair left on your head? Is it worth being shredded to the bone if every vein on your face looks like it's about to burst? Appearance is important and there's so much more to it than your body composition.

One important area is the skin on your face. Bad acne looks bad to everyone: your boss, your lover, your friends, and even strangers.

Eventually, if you don't get rid of these zits, they might be the first thing people associate with you. Like that kid on "The Fairly Oddparents" with the nasty boil:

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What's his name again? I don't even know honestly and that's my point: his acne suddenly supersedes his actual name.

Let's go over a few ways to avoid getting those nasty zits on your face.

1) Eat Clean

I've noticed that the food I eat has a huge impact on my acne. Normally I eat healthy food throughout the day, but sometimes I slip up and pig out. Recently I ordered a large milkshake and box of large fries from McDonald's; I quickly regretted the decision once I noticed the pimples it caused the day after.

Greasy foods are probably the worst for causing acne. Pizza, french fries, burgers, and fried chicken are such tasty foods, but they're the worst for your acne. It's almost like the grease just transfers right from the food to your face when you eat it. Try to have them in small quantities.

Dairy can produce problematic pimples (say that 3 times fast) as well. Consuming high amounts of milk, yogurt, and protein shakes will have devastating effects on your face. I swore off protein shakes for good once my dermatologist told me it was contributing to my acne and I haven't looked back since. Some people completely swear off dairy from their diet for various reasons. I personally don't condone this (I still have 16 oz of milk and a yogurt everyday), but it would definitely help if you're suffering from bad acne.

Inflammation in general is bad for acne as well, and processed foods are notorious for this. Eating bags of chips and cookies all day will just make your acne worse. Furthermore, some foods are fantastic for preventing inflammation. Kale and other dark leafy greens are a must for keeping inflammation to a minimum. Also, a good fish oil supplement could go a long way in reducing those zits.

2) Chill Out

Stress can have a huge impact on your acne as well. Whenever I freaked out over a test I had coming up like the CPA exam, I always noticed my pimples get nasty and grow beyond my control.

I've noticed some people stress about the smallest things in life too. Someone shifts in front of you on the highway and you suddenly start yelling every swear word that you've ever heard. Why? What is that even accomplishing? I understand that in the moment it's hard to resist the frustration, but if you catch yourself from now on, you'll get to a point where traffic doesn't bother you much at all.

Virtually nothing is worth stressing about. Nothing! The next time something is about to stress you out, simply breathe deeply and slowly. While you're at it, keep in mind that there's a much bigger picture to life; whatever's annoying you at the moment won't matter 10 years or maybe even 10 days from now.

Unless someone is holding a gun to your face or a car is about to smash into you, there isn't really anything you should lose your mind over. I used to stress about the dumbest things in the world and it did nothing for me.

3) Wipe It Off

I've noticed that myself, and others as well, tend to get a lot of moisture and dirt on their face as the day goes on. Be sure to take a clean cloth or tissue to wipe your face a couple times each day; leaving that grease unaddressed could lead to future skin problems on your face.

It might seem out of the ordinary, but I've found Chipotle napkins to be especially good at this. I crave Chipotle's food more than almost anything, so knowing that I can bring a few of their napkins home to keep my face clean is yet another reason to love that food company.

Worst case you could always use your hands. Go to the restroom to wash your hands thoroughly, dry them, then gently wipe your face. Wash your hands again and you've successfully removed all the oil that could have led to nasty zits.

4) Buy Topical Treatments

I'm all for natural causes, but sometimes the aforementioned tricks won't fully get rid of the acne. In that case, you should turn to some topical remedy to apply to your face.

Also, be sure to use a cleansing lotion for your face when you shower. Neutrogena has some great stuff that I use. This product is relatively cheap and really seems to work well. Feel free to rub it on your shoulders and back if acne pops up there as well.

The simplest thing you can do is keep trying different brands until you find one that works. Talk to your relatives: bad acne sometimes has a genetic component and there's a good chance someone in your family has found a product that does the trick.

5) Hydrate

Skimping on your water intake can lead to a variety of health problems, including your acne. Water influences nearly every process in your body, including those related to your skin.

I personally drink about a gallon each day on my rest days, and on my workout days, that number is probably closer to 1.5 gallons. The amount varies from person to person, but you should be drinking enough water so that you urinate every 1 - 2 hours throughout the day.

Wrap Up

There you go! Some great ways to fight off acne and keep your skin clean.

Oh, and apparently Elmer was the name of the kid from "The Fairly Oddparents" I referenced above; who knew?