How I became acne-free in six months by living healthier (and with a little help from apple cider vinegar)Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 12:01AM
Only half a year ago, my forehead was plastered with pimples. Throughout high school (2007-2011), I lived happily with a pizza face. Some weeks were better than others, but none could be classified as good, or even decent, complexion. For the most part, I never let it affect me. To be quite honest, I never thought much of it; emotionally, it didn’t hinder me. I was quite social, and nobody ever said anything.
Physically, though, it hurt quite a bit. Even though I never saw a dermatologist, it was quite clear that my acne was cystic: anyone with this type knows how painful a burst pimple can be. Although I tried getting rid of it through soaps, lotions and masks, nothing worked. If anything, those products aggravated my acne.
It’s important to note that I’ve never been a healthy fellow. Always a finicky eater, my height was tall but weight low, giving me a slender structure. That’s why, on my nineteenth birthday, I decided to better my lifestyle. My motivation wasn’t to rid myself of acne (it didn’t affect me much) but instead to become muscular, fit, and healthy.
Without further ado, I present my technique.
- The weather turned warmer. I’m from the norther midwest, where the winters go negative and the summers reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I know this can’t be controlled (without moving), but I feel as though my acne is less-severe in mid-July.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. I’ve kept a strict schedule of riding my bike 24 miles every other day. On those days I don’t bike, I lift weights for twenty minutes.
- Keep a clean face. Every few hours, when my face gets noticeably oily, I splash some water on it and gently pat it dry. A convenient time to do this is whenever my hands need to be washed.
- Don’t let your hair touch your face. Between showers, my hair becomes greasy. To prevent my bangs from touching my forehead, I use forming cream to style it out of the way. Hair gel is wet and starchy, so I avoid it.
- Ditch the pillow. I stopped using a pillow completely. I just have a mattress with clean sheets, and a single blanket. With a pillow, I slept on my face. Now that I’ve gotten rid of it, my head rests on my arm, greatly reducing the surface area where my face is touched, or I sleep on my back.
- Diet. Before changing my lifestyle, I ate less than 1500 calories per day. Now, I eat more than 3000. Do I want to? No, but I stuff the food down my gullet anyway. My diet now is very high in nuts and fruits (trail mix is a favorite) with at least one undressed salad every day. For example, for breakfast I might eat a four-egg cheese omelet, toasted bagel with butter, peanut butter sandwich, banana, and glass of milk.
- Take a multivitamin. – It’s important not to miss any nutrients, even if you think you’re eating enough food groups. I use One-A-Day Men’s.
- Cut the sugar, entirely. I haven’t had any candy since April (save for some black licorice once every couple months) and haven’t touched a soda.
- Drink plenty of water. When biking, I drink a liter of Gatorade. When sitting, I always have a glass of water nearby to sip from.
- Quit drinking alcohol. Before, I partied often. I still party, but not as much and I’ve stopped drinking (except for a few occasions, after which some pimples appeared). When you get drunk and pee like a racehorse, your body becomes quite dehydrated. Not only does your body get a nasty hangover, but your skin also dries out.
- Abstain from sex and masturbating. I know, it sounds unrelated, but since I started ignoring my manly urges my facial hair is far more abundant and faster-growing. This could just be a coincidence with my age, but I felt it was worth mentioning. (Side-note: good luck keeping a girlfriend.) Amazingly, I feel sharper mentally, just like George Costanza in that one episode of Seinfeld.
After all these things, most of my acne disappeared. Still, a few pimples persisted, which leads me to my final point.
- Apply a 1:1 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water with a cotton ball. After my morning shower I moisten my face with this, and after brushing my teeth (before bed) I paint it on. It’s a little pungent for five minutes, but it is so worth doing. This is the final punch I’ve used over the past few weeks to get a completely blemish-free face.
I still have mild scarring from all those years with acne, but I’m sure those will go away with time.
My acne was mostly a symptom to my bad habits. By changing the way I live my complexion has never been clearer, or my spirits livelier! Not to mention all the health benefits (short-term and long-term) that go along with living healthy.
PS: Don’t forget, this has a sample size of one, so your milage may vary. Just remember that living healthier has no drawbacks.