Breakouts are tricky to trace. Is it hormones? A reaction to a topical? Something we ate? Stress? Lack of sleep? Compulsively touching our face? The answer is yes. If that didn’t make any sense, exactly.
When suffering a particularly offensive breakout that just won’t quit, the plan of action is to do an elimination practice. Think of it like an elimination diet for your face … and one that doesn’t necessarily start, or end, with food. Here are some ideas of what to avoid:
All used fabrics
Constantly swap out pillowcases and towels after using them to avoid spreading infection. You don’t need a huge supply of both, just wash them as frequently as possible, even if that means hand-washing in the sink. Be thorough, though.
Processed sugars cause our insulin to spike, which in turn creates a cascade of other hormone responses. If hormones are a concern, we want to do our best to keep things calm, cool, and collected from the inside out. Natural sugars are fine in moderation, but maybe skip the cookies until things chill out.
Touching the face
Thou shalt not, under any condition (unless washing said face or applying crucial products and/or makeup), touch thine face. Our fingers are insanely gross from touching our phones, door handles, keys, laptops … etc. It’s never good.
This isn’t the same for everyone, but for most people, the whey protein, sugars, and hormones in commercial dairy milk will cause hormonal fluctuations as well. Skip it if uncertain.
It’s vital to moisturize—we absolutely don’t want to skip this step when breaking out, because dry skin will overcompensate by producing more sebum, exacerbating the issue. We just don’t want to weigh down already stressed skin with heavy oils that may clog pores. Stick to something light.
Too much sun
UV damage can worsen redness and inflammation, so be sure to wear a hat or a light sunscreen when exposed to the sun for long periods of time.
Dehydrated skin creates a compromised barrier that has a harder time keeping out bacteria and debris. We want to be sure to hydrate, keeping our barrier supple and vibrant, making sure we get not just enough water but electrolytes as well.
While a glass or two of wine won’t do you in, overconsumption of alcohol does hinder our liver’s ability to detox. It’s also inflammatory, typically high in sugar (wine, beer, cocktails), and dehydrates the body of essential water, electrolytes, and trace minerals.
Deep, restorative rest is synonymous with skin healing. Our bodies go into major repair mode when we are resting, so the more beauty z’s, the smoother the skin. If suffering a breakout, be sure to tone down the screen time long before bed, and get that shut-eye ASAP.
These modified oils are found in most preserved and packaged foods, because the addition of hydrogen makes the oils very shelf-stable. As one can imagine, this isn’t good or natural for the body. Not only are they inflammatory, but these oils are associated with concentrations of insulin growth factor, which stimulates the production of hormones that can cause acne.
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