Do High Protein Diets Cause Acne?

I wanted to gain muscle, so I knew I “needed” to get about 200+ grams of protein per day. I consumed about a pound and a half of animal meat per day, along with eggs and protein powder. Not only did I not gain much weight, but I found myself feeling sluggish.

I also noticed that it could be that high protein diets cause acne. My logic behind that was because after graduating school I moved back home with my family. I was forced to give up my high protein diet and settle for what mom was cooking. While my diet was not as clean as it was before, my skin started to clear up significantly. It had to be the protein.

Why Excessive Protein May Cause Acne

I was convinced that sugar and grains were the causes of acne, and while that may be true, large amounts of meat are probably worse. This is because our bodies were not meant to handle absurd amounts of meat. Sure, cavemen probably chowed down on some prehistoric beasts, but they weren’t eating it every day. They likely stuck to nuts, seeds, tubers and vegetables etc. and would chow down when meat came along.

There’s not much science on this, but from how I understand it is that excessive protein puts a lot of pressure on the digestive system. Essentially:

If huge quantities of protein are ingested, the body’s digestive system, from the liver to the kidneys and into the intestines and colon, will become extremely burdened trying to break down these proteins into usable material. This extreme stress on valuable cleansing organs will create adverse reactions within other parts of the body. Whenever an organ or system within the body is burdened or stressed, the body will naturally respond through elimination of toxins through the skin. As this is the largest organ, it will become a necessary avenue of toxic elimination as the liver and colon can recover and restore balance internally. (Live Strong)

What You Must Do Instead of Eating a High-Protein Diet

If you’re into bodybuilding and fitness and you think that your high protein diet may be causing acne, then you’re juts going to have to cut back on protein. Don’t worry, you wont go into atrophy. High protein diets are highly touted in the bodybuilding community, and while they would be ideal, they don’t work for everyone. In my opinion, I don’t believe your body needs  more than 1g of protein per/lb of bodyweight, and .8g per/lb isprobably healthier.

So if you’re going to cut back 50-100g of protein per day, you’re going to need to find a way to replace those calories. The obvious solution is to replace the calories from protein with carbohydrates and fat. You do want to make sure that the foods that you add are not going to be detrimental to your skin. This means instead of trans fats or sugar (which you know better than to eat anyway!), eat healthy whole foods like rice and coconut oil.

An Excellent Choice for Meeting Your Protein Needs

To meet your daily protein requirements you can use protein powders that won’t cause digestive issues. My favorite choice is Sunwarrior Protein. This delicious plant-based protein will help give you the protein you need, but not cause any adverse issues.

Click here to get your Sunwarrior Blend today from Amazon.

Review of the Acne.org Regimen

When you have acne, you do whatever it takes to clear your skin. That means scouring the internet for the ‘Holy Grail’ of skin care products and routines. On this search, you’ll inevitably stumble upon Acne.org, one of, if the not the largest websites on skin care.

Acne.org is a fantastic resource for people who suffer from acne. Some of the features include personalized skin care routines, tons of product reviews, an entire forum of people dedicated to clearing their own skin and helping others do the same, and of course, their famous acne.org regimen.

The routine is quite simple at only 3 steps. Here it is directly from their website:

3 steps of The Acne.org Regimen:

  1. Acne.org Gentle Cleanser
  2. Acne.org Treatment (Benzoyl Peroxide – 2.5%)
  3. Acne.org Moisturizer

The Acne.org Regimen should be performed both in the morning and in the evening, about 10-12 hours apart.

Easy enough right?

This routine makes getting rid of acne so simple in a world of a bazillion acne products, but before you jump into the regimen, you have to ask Does it even work?

If you’ve read any of my other articles, you probably know that I am not a fan of this routine for obvious reasons. The products used only target the external symptoms of acne and do nothing to fix the root causes of acne.

Let’s break it down further:

1.) There’s Too Much Emphasis on External Products

To the naïve pimply teenager, it may seem like a good idea to use as many different products as possible and lather them on your face; this is a big non-no.  I’ve written before about how putting too many products on your face may be contributing to acne.

Our bodies are well designed machines. The surface of our skin regulates itself with the amount of oil it secretes, the ph. balance of the mantle and more. This is a natural balance that can easily be disturbed. When we wash our face, especially with products, we disrupt that balance, and the more products we use that balance becomes even worse.

For the acne.org regimen, it prescribes washing one’s face twice daily with a cleanser. For me this is too much. There’s really no reason to wash your face twice a day, let alone with a cleanser, unless you sleep in mud or work in a coal mine.

The same goes for moisturizer, however, the moisturizer here is there for a reason, and that is to moisturize the skin after the Benzoyl Peroxide (BP) is used. BP really dries out the skin, and using it twice a day every day will make it significantly dry, which necessitate the use of moisturizer.

However, this does not mean that either are a good idea.

While I do own and recommend you own Benzoyl Peroxide and moisturizer, they are not to be used nearly as often as they are prescribed in this regimen.

BP should only be used to stop a large pimple that is about to surface, or one that already has. It is ti be used sparingly, and if you find yourself using it often, than you need to regulate your skin care regimen and overall lifestyle.

Moisturizer is not as powerful as BP. You can be a lot more liberal with moisturizer than with BP, but there is no need to lather it on. While they say moisturizer is effective at preventing wrinkles and skin cancer, it may be causing breakouts. This is why it is important to find a happy medium between your skin care products.

2.) They’re Selling Their Own Products

There’s nothing wrong with people advertising their own products, especially at a site like Acne.org where there is a wealth of free information. However, the problem I have is that all three products acne.org recommends they also sell.

Notice they don’t push products like Cod Liver Oil or fruits and vegetables, because obviously they would have difficult time selling those, but getting their hands on skin care products is easy. I don’t think it’s fair to exclude fundamentally important aspects of a proper acne regimen because one doesn’t sell those products.

Conclusion

There are definitely better regimens out there. When you look for one, find one that focuses on the internal and root causes of acne, not ones that push a Band-Aid approach to acne.

People who use this routine are in the same situation as Proactiv users. They become slaves to their skin care products, because once they go off their skin will breakout because not only were there skins reliant on the BP, but also the natural balance of their skin was thrown off.

For an effective program, check out my Quick Start Guide to tart your journey to clear skin today.

 

Why Proactiv is a Scam!

If you didn’t know any better, you would think that Proactiv products are the Holy Grail of skin care products. I mean look at all those commercials with celebrities and other people with clear skin.

In reality, Proactiv is a scam. A farce. A lie.

If you think about it, if a company that needs to spend millions of dollars more than it’s competitors advertising it’s products, there is probably something suspect about that company. Take for example Cetaphil products. My family and I have used them for years, and I’ve never seen a commercial for their products. Their products sell themselves on their quality.

What is Proactiv?

Here’s brief overview of what Proactiv consists of:

Proactiv’s primary product is a three-part acne treatment kit that includes a cleanser, toner, and treatment. The kit’s only active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide, is a common compound used for acne treatment that kills acne-causing bacteria dries out whiteheads and has anti-inflammation properties... The toner contains witch hazel, which reduces facial oil… (Wikipedia)

To me there are two things that stick out right away:

  1. These products and ingredients can be found in any drug store or pharmacy, and
  2. These products do nothing to solve the root causes of acne (i.e. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, poor digestive health etc.)

A Further Look

Let’s take a look at the actual Proactiv Products. Let’s go with the Proactiv+ 3 step kit. For the price of $29.95, you get the following:

  • Skin Smoothing Exfoliator
  • Pore Targeting Treatment
  • Complexion Perfecting Hydrator

If you look at the composition of these items, you’ll notice that the first two items have Benzoyl Peroxide as the active ingredient, and the third one uses Salicylic acid. We already know that Proactiv does nothing to treat the root causes of acne, but by taking an in depth look at the actual products you will notice that:

  1. You are being overcharged for typical over the counter skin care products and,
  2. There is a heavy dependence on Benzoyl Peroxide which I recommend you only use in moderation.

Why Proactiv is a Scam

The definition of a scam is a “dishonest scheme”, and I believe the Proactiv system fits that definition for a few reasons

  1. They charge excessive amounts: There 3 step kit listed above costs $29.95. You can walk into a pharmacy and find similar products for half the price. They charge so much because their marketing is so good they can sucker people into buying it.
  2. It’s on a subscription basis: If the products are so good, people should be running back for more and shouldn’t be forced to buy a subscription. This is simply a way to trap people into shelling out tons of money for their inferior products.
  3. Causes a dependence on the products: My recommendations for Benzoyl Peroxide are to only use it when a large blemish will or has surfaced. Otherwise, it’s pointless to use because it doesn’t solve the root problems of acne, it only treats the problems on the surface as a band-aid fix.
  4. Exaggerate claims and results: If you look at commercials, it’s oly people with mild acne that are shown in ‘before and after’ shots. The photos are often digitally enhanced and he actors in the commercials appear with makeup.

Professional Endorsements

I’m sure you’ve heard the Colgate ads that say “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Colgate”. While I’ll take that with a grain of salt, I don’t doubt it entirely as my dad was a dentist and recommends Colgate.

If you talk to any dermatologist, I can almost guarantee they will say Proactiv is bologna. While Western medicine, specifically skin care, has its shortcomings, I’ll take my advice from a licensed, practicing dermatologist than an A-List Hollywood celebrity any day.

I was fortunate to have a good dermatologist who told me this years back. Now, of course dermatologists wouldn’t recommend Proactiv anyway because they make no money from it, but regardless I believe their opinion is still valid.

So what does work?

I have my free Quick Start Guide laid out for you. It’s short and concise, but will walk you through everything you need to know about getting rid of acne step by step.

Also, if you ever have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

How To Get Girls Even If You Have Acne

I don’t have to tell you how much acne sucks. This site is called ‘Screw You Acne’ for a reason. Acne is so tough because it hold us back from living life to the fullest, especially when it comes to socializing.

If you’re a young man who suffers from acne, then I’m sure you’ve been frustrated because you feel like acne is preventing you from getting girls. Today, I want to discuss the steps to first get rid of your acne, and then how to create the mentality and personality of a bona fide lady killer.

Step 1: Plan To Get Rid of Acne

The best way to meet girls with acne is to not have it in the first place. Easier said than done, I know. However, this entire site is dedicated to helping people get clear skin. If you follow the Quick Start Guide to a T, and stay consistent and patient, your skin will eventually clear up.

Yes, you can still have a dating life with acne but it would be easier to do it with a clear face. This is going to take a bit of time though, so in the meantime we’re going to discuss what steps you can take to meet girls.

Step 2: Give Yourself Permission

If you think about it, it sounds silly to have an article dedicated to meeting girls if you have acne. While it’s a major problem guys face, it’s a problem of their own creation.

Remember this:

“You don’t need permission from anyone but yourself to flirt and date girls.”

You are the gatekeeper to meeting women. You control your actions and fate.

Guys assume that no girls will like them with acne, but there’s no explanation for that. It’s just an assumption.

Sure, girls probably don’t find guys with blemishes more attractive than they would that same guy with clear skin, but if it bothers them that’s their problem. If you think a girl is cute and want to talk to her or ask her out, do it.

What’s holding you back is the perception that she will automatically reject you because of your skin. You don’t know that, and you shouldn’t assume that. You should assume that she thinks your the most handsome and desirable man in the world. If you don’t feel comfortable thinking that then you need to work on boosting your self esteem.

In the event a girl does reject you, you won’t likely find out why. Girls don’t often give explanations for rejecting a guy or breaking up with him, and if they do, they’re probably making an excuse. Don’t assume your skin was the only reason though.

Step 3: Prep For Success

While there are myriad of factors that women find attractive in men, one of the most significant, if not the most significant is looks. This is why acne has such a powerful perception on guys because they assume that it automatically disqualifies them from the dating game.

Okay, so your skin isn’t perfect, but that’s only a small part of the whole package. There’s still so much more to looking good. Here’s a few ways to improve your looks:

  • Get a good haircut and style it
  • Buy some new clothes
  • Get a cool pair of shoes
  • Whiten your teeth
  • Hit he gym and put on some muscle

When you think about it, a few red dots on your face are actually pretty insignificant to who you are.

Step 4: Learn How To Talk To Girls

Most of you reading this are probably in your late teens or early 20’s. This is the time in most guys lives when they first start seriously dating and sleeping with women. When acne comes in to the picture, it makes things a whole lot worse.

I never even kissed a girl until I went to college. I had terrible social anxiety, and acne only made things worse. I had a hard time looking people in the eye and holding lengthy conversations because all I could think about was that they were staring at my skin.

How ridiculous does that sound?

Unfortunately, that’s how it was for me, and it’s how i suspect it is for a lot of other guys. That’s why I wrote this article.

If you follow the steps above, now the only thing that is left is talking to girls. This is a complex subject, one that can easily fill an entire website. What I want to refer you to are some websites I think are good for guys looking to learn how to meet girls:

It will probably take more time to learn how to get good with girls, than it will to clear your skin if you follow the quick start guide. Nonetheless, there’s no reason to delay.

Step 5: Just Do It

There’s nothing left to say here. The only thing you can do at this point is to take action. No one is going to hold your hand through this process, it’s all up to you.

You can do it.

Conclusion

I wrote this article because while girls can be bitchy and frustrating, life is definitely better with them then without them.

Dating girls is irreplaceable, and there’s no reason to deny yourself those experiences because of some blemishes.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post them below.

Best of luck!

P.S. Do you use Tinder?

Tinder is one of the hottest dating apps out there. It also allows you to meet girls through the phone instead of approaching them. This makes things easy if you still have some anxiety about your skin.

So, if you are looking to meet girls on Tinder, check out How to Get Laid on Tinder, the best book I’ve read on the subject!!

Does Accutane Work? My Thoughts and Experience

I was at a friends graduation party back in high school. We were standing outside and someone was talking about acne. The topic of Accutane came up and the person said:

“Seth used Accutane, and his skin looks great!”

It was the first compliment I ever got on my skin; I’ll never forget it.

While I remember having a  few blemishes at that party, my skin was clearer than it had been in years, all thanks to Accutane. I really wish my dermatologist had prescribed it sooner, but it is a [powerful drug that is only to be used in certain cases. If I had to do it over again, I would have used my current methods of skincare first, but if that didn’t work out than I’d have no problem using Accutane.

I want to share with you my thoughts and experiences on this drug, but first please note:

The medical information on this site is provided for informative purposes only, and is not to be used for any diagnostic purposes. This information is not a professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before considering the use of Accutane and similar drugs.

What Is Accutane?

Accutane, which is the name commonly attributed to Isotretinoin is a retinoid, which is “a class of chemical compounds that are related chemically to vitamin A.” Accutane is “used primarily for severe cystic acne and acne that has not responded to other treatments” (Wikipedia).

As you may know, I’m a big fan of vitamin A when it comes to treating your acne. Whether it’s Cod Liver Oil or Carrot juice, vitamin A is the way to go when it comes to skin care. Vitamin A is so important when it comes to skin care because of the role it plays in the growth and repair of skin cells.

How Does It Work?

The means by which Accutane accomplishes its goals are still not totally understood, but there are several ways it is believed to help clear up skin:

1. It dramatically reduces the size of the skin’s oil glands (35%-58%) and even more dramatically reduces the amount of oil these glands produce (around 80%).8-9

2. Acne bacteria (P. acnes) live in skin oil. Since oil is dramatically reduced, so is the amount of acne bacteria in the skin.9

3. It slows down how fast the skin produces skin cells inside the pore, which helps pores from becoming clogged in the first place.10

4. It has anti-inflammatory properties.  (Acne.org)

Who Should Take It?

Again, I am not a doctor, and only a dermatologist knows who should and can take Accutane or similar drugs. In my opinion, people suffering fro moderate to severe acne may consider using it. Consult with a doctor, and see if it’s right for you.

What To Expect

You can expect that by the end of the duration of your Accutane cycle, your acne should almost entirely have subsided. With the exception of a few blemishes, your skin will likely be entirely clear.

This process  does take about 4-5 months depending on the time frame your dermatologist has set up for you. Be patient, because Accutane is usually incredibly effective.

In the first few weeks, however, you may experience an initial worsening of acne. This is a result of the sebaceous glands going into overdrive, pumping out more sebum (or oil) which is what causes acne. This usually subsides within the first month after initial use.

Side Effects

When the topic of Accutane comes up, people are always quick to point out the side effects, as they should be. People should be well aware of the effects of a drug before taking them.

The only side effect I personally experienced were chapped lips. Many complain of joint pain, while others state that suicide or thoughts of suicide may be a result of taking this drug.

Instead of theorizing what the truth is, I’ll let data do the talking:

chart of accutane side effects

(Penn State)

As  you can see, dryness of the lips and skin are really the only side effects to be expected. The rest are outliers that exist with taking other prescription drugs as well.

My Experience

It was probably around my Junior year of high school when I started Accutane. My acne had reached a point where I was unwilling to keep trying mediocre antibiotics and topicals; I wanted the good stuff.

Accutane didn’t dissapoint. It took about two months before the results started becoming noticeable, and by the fifth month my skin was looking better than it had in 5 years.

Unfortuanely, that didn’t last. Like all acne treatments, they only last for as long as you use them. When it comes to natural treatments like Cod Liver Oil and juicing, you can, and should be consuming those for the rest of your life, whereas with Accutane it can only be used for a few months.

Thus is the great drawback with Accutane. My acne post-Accutane was much more mild then before, but it was still frustrating nonetheless.

I can’t tell you what the right decision is, but I hope that you use this article to weigh your decision. Post any questions or comments below.

Good Luck.

 

Should Men Wear Makeup to Cover Up Acne?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was some sort of magic cream that you could rub on your face to make your acne magically disappear before your eyes? Well, something like that does exist: It’s called makeup.

You may notice that girls with bad skin will have their faces caked in makeup to cover up their acne. This supposedly makes them look good (not in my opinion), but I guess it is better than nothing.

It’s okay for them to cake on makeup, because that’s what girls do right? And while it may not look great as an ‘au natural’ look, it’s okay because their girls.

Guys, however, do not have that luxury of wearing makeup. It would be great if guys could have the same thing to use, but that’s not the case. To be blunt: Makeup is for women. It was designed as a means for women to look more youthful, which increases their sex appeal. While it does hide blemishes, it’s just not the same for guys to use it.

Regardless, I’ve used it in the past.

My Experience

When I was in high school my acne was pretty unbearable. I wanted a way to make it look better and be willing to go out in public. My mom introduced me to concealer and it was a game changer. I could not dab a little on my worst blemishes and it would blend pretty well into my skin.

That only lasted for a short while though. What ended up happening is that, despite the fact that the cover up did its job, I started to become anxious about people finding out I was wearing makeup as opposed to being anxious about my acne.

When it comes to skincare, remember: There are no shortcuts.

Wearing makeup is only a temporary solution to cover up acne. In fact, it may even be detrimental as it may irritate your skin and clog pores. Instead of trying to use concealer as a band-aid, work on attacking the root causes of your acne (i.e. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies, Hormonal Imbalances, Digestive Issues).

It’s probably okay to have a little tube of makeup on hand just in case you get a blemish and you need to cover it for a big event, but don’t rely on it. If you find yourself using it often, than you need to go back and get those root issues addressed.

What type of makeup should I get?

Unfortunately,  I can’t really help you here. Ask a female family member, or just go to a department store and chat up the girl working the counter and they’ll help you out.

But I’m Too Embarrassed?

If you’re too embarrassed to ask about buying makeup then you’re probably going to be too anxious to wear it. In that case just avoid it altogether.

How to Get Rid Of Oily Skin

Oily skin was never really a priority for me. In fact, in my younger years with acne I don’t think I ever suffered from oily skin, and if I did I didn’t notice: Acne was my number one priority, no oily skin.

In the last year or two, however, once my acne began to clear, I started to notice the ‘sheen’ on my face that seemed to be there every waking moment. It was still an afterthought.

I was so concerned about the few spots on my face, that I ignored that extra layer of moisture on my face. It never occurred to me that layer could be what’s actually causing my acne. We’re going to go over how to get rid of oily skin, but first, ask yourself:

Do You Actually Have Oily Skin?

Instead of my skin being oily, I believe that the sheen coming from my face was just a perpetual state of my moisturizer siting on my skin. Since I used it twice a day, morning and night, it would always be there. There was no way this was good for my skin.

Since I stopped using moisturizer so often, this sheen has ‘miraculously’ disappeared. My skin is also the best it’s ever been. Coincidence? I think not.

If this sounds like it may be you than think twice about your products you’re using.  But maybe that’s not you, maybe your skin really is excessively oily.

What Causes Oily Skin

Oily skin is common among those who suffer from acne and teenagers in general. Oily skin:

… is caused by excess skin oil (sebum). During puberty, increased androgen levels, which are male hormones present in both males and females, signal the oil glands of the skin to mature. At this time the body begins producing much more skin oil. For some people, oil glands go into overdrive and the skin takes on an oily look. This oily appearance normally subsides to some degree after puberty, but can persist into adulthood, and is often seasonal, coinciding with humid weather. (Acne.org)

So in order to get oily skin under control, you need to get your hormones under control. The best way to do this is to see a dermatologist and have them prescribe you something that will calm these hormones down. Following this, check out the quick start guide and go from there.

While that should solve the problem for many, there are a lot of other factors at play here. Here’s a few other ways to get rid of excess oil beyond hormonal imbalances:

Use Cold Water

I take what are called contrast showers. You start out with hot water, and then switch to cold. Rinse, wash, repeat.

You don’t have to punish yourself with ice cold showers, but you should know that hot water is bad for your skin. It strips away your skin’s natural oils and can irritate your skin and further inflame acne.

So while I do use hot water in m showers, I never let it touch my face or hair. Only cold water.

Eliminate Any Outside Hormones

You may have heard that steroid use is associated with acne. This is a result of excessive androgens in the body, which manifests itself as acne on the skin. As you may know, dairy may cause acne, as a result of the hormones found in dairy.

Eliminating dairy is step one, but also try to eliminate anything that may influence hormones. This includes things like plastic water bottles and BPA products.

Stop Washing Your Face So Much

You may not be familiar with the ‘No Poo’ movement, but I’ve been doing it some time. What many people notice when first undergoing this is that their hair gets super oily. This is because when people normally shampoo it washes away the oils naturally secreted by the scalp, and forces the scalp to produce excess oil because of the oil always being stripped away by shampoo.

The same thing goes for washing your face. The more you wash it, the more you’re stripping away the natural oils and throwing off the delicate balance. I rarely use my Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser, usually only post workout or pre shave.

Conclusion

Let’s recap:

  1. Find out if your skin is actually oily, and not just a buildup of acne and/or skincare products,
  2. Because hormones are the main cause of oily skin, see a dermatologist and follow my guide for additional advice,
  3. Take additional steps:
    • Use cold water, avoid hot water
    • Eliminate any additional outside/exogenous hormones
    • Stop washing your face so much

There you have it. Post any questions or comments below!

Juicing Carrots For Acne

Juicing fruits and vegetables had become a staple in my skin care routine. If you don’t own a juicer, I strongly urge you to consider getting one.

The number one food I juice is carrots, by far. I never juice without carrots, and there are a few reasons for that:

They’re Cheap

Juicing can be pretty pricey, but carrots are cheap. You can get a huge 5 pound bag of organic carrots for only a few dollars at most local grocery stores.

Vitamin A=Good Skin

As you know I’m a huge fan of vitamin A and believe that a deficiency in it is one of the leading causes of acne. Carrots are chock full of vitamin A and therefore make a perfect ingredient to your juice.

Juicing carrots, however, is not enough to fulfill your vitamin A requirements. Carrots contain beta-carotene a for of vitamin A, but not actual retinoids which is the superior form in my opinion. Nonetheless beta-caratne is stil great for the skin.Carotenoids are:

“…an antioxidant responsible for the red colouring found in, for instance, tomatoes, peppers, plums and carrots. That redness eventually imbues the human skin with yellowness, or rather a healthy-looking golden glow.” (The Guardian)

Remember Cod liver oil is an essential ingredient to acne, but juicing carrots does help a great deal.

Vitamin C Content

Carrots don’t have the highest vitamin C content of fruits and vegetables, but when you’re juicing a bunch of them, it’s a good amount.

Why is Vitamin C important for skin?

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and its role in collagensynthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Dietary and topicalascorbic acid have beneficial effects on skin cells, and some studies have shown that vitamin C may help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage. However, the effects of vitamin C in the skin are not well understood due to limited research. This article discusses the potential roles of vitamin C in the skin and summarizes the current knowledge about vitamin C in skin health. (Oregon State)

Biotin

If you’re not familiar with biotin (vitamin B7), it is well reputed for its importance in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails.

… biotin is necessary to build healthy fats in the skin. These fats keep the skin supple and moist, and when they are gone, the skin becomes flaky and irritated. (WH Foods)

Mixes Well 

Carrots are a great ingredient for any juice. They not only mix well with other fruits and vegetables, but they’re also easy for any juicer to grind up.

Juicing Your Carrots

I don’t get too caught up in recipes and serving sizes. My juices are mostly composed of what I have in my fridge. I do however, have “templates” for my juices. Here’s an example:

IMG_20141002_180052_492

As you can see I have:

  1. A ton of carrots,
  2. 1 small serving of fruit for taste (1/2 an orange)
  3. 1/2 lemon

Lemons are great for juicing, but that’s for another article.

How Does it Taste?

I’m not really too concerned about the taste of my juices. My number one priority is getting the nutrients into my body, and if that means the juice will tastebad that’s fine by me. My juices rarely taste bad though, this one wasn’t too bad.

What Kind of Juicer Do You Use?

I use the Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus for juicing and haven’t looked back. I chose this one because it’s affordable and does everything it needs to. This model is about $150, which is on the lower end for juicers. However, buying a juicer is still an investment. Do some research before you plunk your money down.

As you can see though, juicing fruits is vegetables is great for skin. Even more importantly it’s great for overall health.

Let me know how your juicing goes!

How to Use Benzoyl Peroxide to Fight Acne

Benzoyl Peroxide is one of the most commonly used treatments for acne. Because of its wide availability over the counter and cheap price, it is the top choice for many looking for clearer skin.

But how effective is Benzoyl Peroxide?

Its effectiveness depends entirely on what it is being used for. If it is being used for a spot treatment, then yes. If it being used as a standalone to treat acne then no.

It’s hard to deny that Benzoyl Peroxide does work at reducing blemishes. I personally use it if I see a blemish coming to the surface, but that’s the only time I use it.

How Benzoyl Peroxide Works

BP works by attacking acne bacteria on and beneath the skin. It does this by forcing air into skin pores and “oxidizing” the skin to help flush out bacteria. It’s also an anti-inflammatory that reduces the redness that accompanies lesions.

What you’ll notice about BP is that it is effective at treating blemishes that already exist. This means that it is simply a Band-Aid treatment to acne, in that it does nothing to solve the underlying issues that cause acne.

I personally use Benzoyl Peroxide, but only on rare occasions. You shouldn’t have to use it frequently either. It should only be used as a spot treatment, and if you find yourself using it more than 2-3 times a month than you’re going to need to reevaluate your approach to fighting acne.

There are people that suggest you use it all the time. One such site is ‘acne.org’ where their routine consists entirely of Benzoyl Peroxide (I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that they sell their own brand of BP???). This may “treat” acne, but it will never solve the root causes (i.e. vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, poor digestive health). Therefore, it is a fool’s errand to use BP as the sole treatment to acne, and if a person or site recommends you do so than I suggest you take their advice with a grain of salt.

Like I said I do use BP on occasion. I recommend that you get some Benzoyl peroxide for those occasions when a blemish arises.

What Concentration of BP Should I Use?

There are 3 commonly used concentrations of BP: 2.5%, 5%, and 10%.

According to this study, there is no significant difference in the effectiveness of the varying concetrations of BP. Yet, for some reason 10% seems to work well for me. That makes sense because 10% is the strongest, but that may just be the case for me.

If I were to recommend a strength it would be 10%. In fact, I here’s what I like to use:

Acnefree Terminator Maximum Strength BP, 1 Ounce.

Again, keep in mind that you can’t use this stuff all the time. If you do you’re skin is going to get sensitive and flaky. I personally use 10% although studies show that the different concentrations are equally effective.

I hope that clears everything up. Post any questions or comments below.

Does Stress Cause Acne?

If you asked me not too long ago whether or not stress could cause acne I would’ve laughed in your face. I would’ve then told you to see a dermatologist, take some Cod Liver Oil along with a chill pill twice daily.

It was a bit shortsighted of me to think that seeing that there was a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence on the matter. However, when it comes to acne, there is so much that relies on anecdotal evidence so it’s hard to tell when someone is bullshitting or not.

The best way to understand skin and the human body as a whole is to do research for yourself. And as a man who hates science, I went to seek out science to help me settle the score of whether or not stress causes acne.

What the Studies Say

I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were indeed several studies/articles written on the topic from various sources. Let’s go over them one by one:

National Center for Biotechnology

“The aims of this study were to determine: (i) if psychological stress in adolescents is associated with increased sebum production; and (ii) if stress is associated with increased acne severity independent of, or in conjunction with, increased sebum production. “

“For the study population as a whole, we observed a statistically significant positive correlation (r=0.23, p=0.029) between stress levels and severity of acne papulopustulosa. In adolescents, psychological stress does not appear to affect the quantity of sebum production. The study suggests a significant association between stress and severity of acne papulopustulosa, especially in males. Increased acne severity associated with stress may result from factors other than sebum quantity.”

WebMD

“It’s probably not just your imagination, says Lisa A. Garner, MD, FAAD, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “When you already have acne and you get into a stressful situation that seems to be when your acne really flares up.”

In other words, emotional stress won’t trigger a new case of acne, but it may worsen matters in someone who already has the skin disorder.

In 2003, a Stanford University study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that college students had acne flare-ups during exams, a period in which they reported more stress, compared to periods without testing. Acne severity correlated highly with increasing stress, the researchers concluded.

These researchers hypothesized that the increase in acne might be due to higher levels of sebum produced during stressful times. However, they found that psychological stress didn’t increase sebum production significantly in the teens, leading them to suggest that that acne linked to stress may involve other root causes.

These researchers hypothesized that the increase in acne might be due to higher levels of sebum produced during stressful times. However, they found that psychological stress didn’t increase sebum production significantly in the teens, leading them to suggest that that acne linked to stress may involve other root causes.”

The New York Times

“The study, conducted by researchers at Wake Forest, followed 94 high school students with mild or moderate acne for several months. Acne is generally associated with high levels of sebum, the oily substance that coats the skin and protects the hair. Because sebum levels are known to wax and wane with variations in weather, the study was conducted where the temperature and humidity rarely change, Singapore.

Using a standard measure of stress, the researchers showed that in periods of high emotional strain, like before major exams, the students were 23 percent more likely to experience breakouts. At the same time, their sebum production did not vary much whether they were experiencing high or low stress, indicating that levels of the substance had little or no role. Instead, the results may have more to do with inflammation. Other studies have shown that stress can provoke inflammation, and acne is an inflammatory disease.”

Putting it All Together

Based on the sources and studies provided above, the link between stress and acne can’t be denied. What can be argued though is the extent to which stress affects acne levels.

From what I can see, the findings show that stress is usually only responsible for periodic breakouts at times of heightened stress levels. It is unlikely that people who are suffering from chronic acne as a result of full time stress.

Possible? Yes.

Likely? Not so much.

The causes of acne can always be traced back to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and digestive and gut health. Stress likely falls into the hormonal camp, but again, its extent seems to be limited.

Despite this, occasional breakouts are nothing to scoff at, and these harsh breakouts can cause a lot of frustration. It is therefore important that we keep our stress levels as low as possible.

How to Keep Stress Levels Low

Stress is something that affects millions upon millions of people. It is usually a result of heightened anxiety regarding an important aspect of our lives. From the examples above, students who were focusing on exams had heightened stress levels. This comes from anxiety about the potential to fail said test. Whether it be work, family, relationships, money etc. all of these can cause us stress because of the perceived potential to fail or fall short at something.

Tackling this problem is beyond the scope of this article, let alone this website, but I will share some ways to lower stress levels that I have used personally:

Exercise

Nothing bets stress better than physical activity. A lot of people have excess stress bottled up because over time stress can manifest itself physically in our muscles and it create tension. If we don’t use our muscles to exercise than that stress will get nice and cozy in our bodies which is terrible.

I personally lift weights four times per week, do  yoga at least once a week, stretch and do mobility drills multiple times a week, walk all the time, and take an occasional jog. As you can see I like to move around.

Our bodies were meant to move, and when you don’t use it for what it was designed for our bodies, to borrow a tech phrase, “short circuit”. Not only does exercise help reduce stress levels, but it has numerous other health benefits for skin.

Eat Healthy

It’s simple: When you eat well, you feel well.

How do you feel when you scarf down half a pizza? Awful.

Do you know how I feel after drinking a big glass of fresh fruit and vegetable juice? FANTASTIC!

Sure, junk food tastes good and it’s fun to indulge occasionally, but it’s terrible for our health.

When it comes to stress levels, diet is important for several reasons. One reason pertains to body image. Overweight an obese people are not likely to be pleased with the way they look. This will turn into anger and frustration, and in turn stress.

Eating healthy can also clear our minds and make our joints feel great, all of which contribute t overall health and stress levels.

Meditate

IT’s rare that people today just… stop.

Think about it: With smartphones, laptops, MP3 players etc. our minds never get a break. This is not how our brains were designed. When we meditate, we allow our minds to rest and take a break.

Not only that, but by meditating we can clear our minds. We can forget about the past and anything that may be troubling us and simply focus on the present moment.

Healthy Relationships

One of the saddest, and in my opinion pathetic, behaviors is to knowingly be involved in an unhealthy relationship. It’s truly amazing to see both men and women devote themselves to someone who has no respect for them and treats them with little dignity. On top of all that, this person is usually head over heels for their significant other and feels that the other is not reciprocating.

Or it could be that they are jealous of their partner. Or always worrying about what their up to.

Whatever it may be, nothing good comes from unhealthy, unstable and immature relationships. If you’re in one, it’s not likely that a few paragraphs will convince you to jump ship, but it’s something to think about.

Also, sex. Sex is good. Sex is great! Have a lot of sex because it’s hard to be stressed out after having sex. It also does a good job of balancing out hormones, which is essential for clear skin.

Therapy

There is an entire medical profession focused on helping people with their emotional and mental issues. If you feel like you need help then I suggest you seek out a professional as they will do more than a website can.

Quit!!

Do you dislike your job? Then quit. I did and it felt fantastic!

I was in a situation where I could afford to quit, but if that’s not your case then no, keep your job. But if it’s causing you that much stress consider other lines of work, or other places of employment.

Fun

Have fun, enjoy life. That’s what gives our life meaning.

Closing

So there you have it. I went off on a little tangent there, but a healthy mind is something that’s important to me, and important when it comes to dealing with acne.

Acne can torture us. It can cause anxiety, depression, stress and more. In order to overcome acne and fight it head on you need a clear mind. I hope you put into practice the methods above.

I hope that helps! Post any questions or comments below.