Growing Facial Hair With Acne

So I realized that I haven’t shaved for the last few days. My facial hair is starting to get itchy and scraggly. If you’re a guy you know how that is.

I thought above shaving it, but my sister reminded me it’s No Shave November. If you’re not familiar with No Shave November, this month men across America will be growing out their facial hair across the country to raise awareness for cancer. Those who have had cancer and have gone through chemotherapy lose their hair, so by growing out ours, it makes us more appreciate of what we do have.

I wanted to write an article about the benefits and drawbacks of growing facial hair with acne. I’ve heard people say that bears can cause acne to worsen, but I have yet to experience that. Let’s look at the pros and cons of growing facial hair with acne a little more in depth.

Pros

Facial Hair Covers Up Acne

The most obvious benefit of growing out facial hair is that it covers up your acne. Your beard will cover up acne on your chin and jaw line, which is where acne is often prevalent.

Another added benefit of covering up your acne is that it allows you to experiment with different routines, products, medicines, diets etc. while not having to worry about your breakouts. While this is by no means a long term solution, it is something to consider if you want to buy time for a few weeks, if not a few months.

No Razors, Bumps, and Chemicals

Shaving your face brings on a lot of unwanted drawbacks. Every time you shave, you drag a sharp razor across your face, often end up with razor burns and bumps, and put chemicals on your face that probably aren’t doing you any good.

As if having acne isn’t bad enough, having increased redness and inflammation is the last thing someone without acne needs.

Balances the Skin

Some people say that growing out facial hair causes break outs. This is apparently a result of increased sebum production. I definitely disagree with this idea.

In my experience, growing out facial hair seems to actually reduce breakouts and balance the skin’s ph. levels and oil production. When you’re constantly adding products and razors to your face, it throws the skin off balance. By going “Caveman” with your facial hair, everything can take its natural course.

Cons

It Doesn’t Always Look Good

Really, the only drawback I can think of is the aesthetic standpoint of facial hair for some. On many people, facial hair does simply not look good.

This is especially true for younger guys. Unfortunately, the people with the worse acne have the hardest time growing out facial hair. If you can only grow a few whiskers, then there’s no point in letting it grow out if you think it looks bad.

The Only Way to Know is to Take Action

While I think growing out facial hair is a good idea, others may have different results. Remember, we’re all different. Our bodies react differently to different stimuli, and therefore I can’t entirely predict what will happen.

However, if you don’t try you’ll never know. And it’s not like you have much to lose anyway with growing outa beard.

I would highly recommend giving this a try. Especially now as it is No Shave November. Plus a bear keeps your face warm.

If you give this a try, let me know how it goes. Good luck!

Does Red Meat Cause Acne?

Red meat is a staple in many American diets: Burgers, steaks and of course meatloaf. Most of us grew up eating these things, and likely still eat them today. I sure do.

Could it be possible though that the red meat we are consuming could be causing acne? To understand this we must first understand what causes acne.

Everybody wants to know what may be causing their acne. I’ve narrowed it down to a few main causes:

  1. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
  2. Hormonal Imbalances
  3. Excessive inflammation (especially the gut)

Let’s go through these step by step:

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Having a deficiency in something like vitamin A, D, or Zinc are things that may cause acne. Having one of these deficiencies won’t come from eating foods; rather they come about because of a lack thereof.

While it is true that our food supply today is devoid of many nutrients compared to the past, red meat itself won’t cause deficiencies unless you eat nothing but read meat.

Hormonal Imbalances

We know that hormonal imbalances are one of the main causes of acne. It’s why it is so prevalent in teenagers.

So what’s red meat got to do with hormones?

If you’re not familiar with the process of raising cattle in America, cattle are injected with hormones and antibiotics as a means to make them grow and “stay healthy”. While this is not ideal from a consumer standpoint, it makes the most sense economically for meat producers. That’s just the way it is…

There is however another option and that is organic, grass fed beef. These cows are not treated with hormones or antibiotics and their diets consist of grass, as opposed to traditional feeds given to cattle.

While grass fed beef is definitely the better option, I firmly believe that consuming red meat a few times a week is unlikely causing your hormones to go crazy.

Excessive inflammation (especially the gut)

Inflammation is such an elusive concept for me. People like to throw around the term inflammation a lot, but the term is often used incorrectly.

However, it does seem the best way to describe what red meat may do to the body.

About a year ago I was on a high protein diet. While my diet was devoid of junk food, I kept breaking out. I was stumped.

I eventually switched up diets and ditched the excessive protein, which was consumed via meat such as chicken breasts and ground beef. Lo and behold my skin looked significantly better. It took me a while to pinpoint what had actually happened, but I came to the conclusion that my body was having a hard time tolerating my excessive meat consumption, which in turn manifested itself in acne.

The Great Red Meat Debate

There have been numerous studies about the effects of red meat on colon cancer. The mainstream medical community tells us to limit consumption of red meat to bite size amounts. On the other hand you have a growing movement of “Paleo” eaters who scarf red meat down like their cattle are going to be struck with a plague.

Like everything in life, we need to come to a happy medium. While red meat is tough for the body to digest, and excessive consumption of it may lead to inflammation, it cannot be denied that red meat is rich in nutrients like zinc and B-12 that may in face help acne.

The only way to know for sure whether or not red meat causes acne is to test it for yourself. Go at least a week without red meat and keep close tabs on your skin. Then add it back in and track any changes.

Resources

No Red Meat Diet Reviews from Acne.org

Red Meat and Colon Cancer from Harvard Medical School

Hormones in Food: Should You Worry? from the Huffington Post

Read Next: Why Dairy May Cause Acne

How To Stop a Pimple In Its tracks

If you have a face full of pimples, then you probably won’t be overly concerned with a single, solitary spot. Rather, you should be concerned with tackling the underlying causes of the problem. Check out my Quick Start guide to get your skin in top shape ASAP.

For many people however, a single pimple is enough to give them a cause for concern. In this instance there are certain steps to take to prevent that pimple from becoming a monstrosity and a bane to your existence.

The most important mantra to remember is that:

“The best offense is a good defense.”

While that pertains more to sports, it does hold value when it comes to skincare. In order to prevent pimples from surfacing, you have to make sure you’re doing everything right in the first place to stop them from coming into existence.

This includes following the routine your dermatologist laid out for you, eating a healthy diet, taking the proper vitamins and minerals, additional health supplements, juicing fruits and vegetables, getting adequate sunshine and more. If you fail to follow these with consistency and persistence, then you can guarantee you will have many breakouts in the future.

I used to fall into this trap. My skin would look great for a few days, I’d slack off on my health and skin regimens, and then like clockwork I’d notice a few blemishes. I’d then furiously hop back on my routine, and within a few days my skin would clear up. I would then slack off again, I’d breakout and the vicious cycle would continue.

It is CRUCIAL that you follow this program to a T day in and day out if you want your skin to look its best every day. I know it’s tough, but if you make it a top priority it won’t be difficult for long.

Now, let’s get down to business.

The Routine

I’m going to assume that you woke up one morning and you noticed a pimple getting ready to surface. Usually a spot won’t op up without fair warning. The biggest ad gnarliest bastards tease you and slowly surface.

For the entire day you should limit, if not entirely avoid, and foods that may exacerbate your skin. More importantly though, you want to eat foods that help reduce inflammation. I say that because from what I noticed, consuming particular fruits and vegetables do more to help my skin than junk food does to hurt my skin.

Does that make sense?

I have a juicer and what I’ll do is make one with at least half a dozen organic carrots. While Cod Liver Oil provides the lion’s share of vitamin A, juiced carrots give my body a ton of vitamin A in the form of Beta-Carotene. I’ll also add in some leafy greens and a little fruit to taste.

My skin is noticeably better the day after one of these juices. If you don’t have a juicer, it’s something I would urge you to look into. Check out my recommendation.

In addition to a juice, you want to consume additional whole fruits and vegetables. You should also seek to limit excessive carbohydrates, and eat healthy fats like almonds, avocados and fish.

The next step is to make sure you’re supplementing properly. If you notice a blemish(es) surfacing then you’re going to want to bump up your typical dosages. Here’s my recommendations:

  1. Cod Liver Oil: 3 tsps.
  2. Vitamin D: 10000 IU
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar: 3 tbsps.
  4. Coconut Oil: 3 tbsps.
  5. Zinc: 60 mg

These are by no means dangerous amounts to consume, but not amounts you need to consume every day. For a few days though it’s what I would follow to stop a breakout.

Hopefully it’s a nice day outside, if so, spend as much time outside as possible, almost to the point where you’re going to get a sunburn. What this will do is to make sure your body I getting more than enough vitamin D. While excessive sun is bad for your skin long term, in my opinion it’s fantastic for helping to get rid of spots.

I’ll put it this way: My acne has never been worse the day after I’ve spent a ton of time in the sun. That’s just anecdotal evidence, but I stand by it. Now, if you do get a ton of sun, there is no need to take any vitamin D that day. However, if it’s winter or a gray day outside, then stick with the 10000 IU I recommend.

To cap it all off, at night, use the 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. I don’t recommend this often, but when you feel a spot surfacing, or after it already has surfaced, then is the time to use it.

Additional Words of Wisdom

Make sure to through the day without worrying and obsessing over one spot. That won’t help you physically or mentally. Remember that all spots will go away eventually, so there’s no point in obsessing over it.

A few other things to keep in mind: No hot showers (at least on your face) and there is no need for cleansers (“cleaning” a blemish is pointless since it’s already there). Also, try to avoid makeup and for God’s sake stop putting crap on your face!

The Next Day

The day after you follow this routine I can guarantee your skin is going to look a whole lot better. There’s one little problem though…

Following a routine like this means that your immune system is going to be functioning at full capacity, which in turn means that white blood cells will be on the hunt for nasty bacteria. These white blood cells will make their way to the blemish you’ve been trying to get rid of and camp out there. This is the ‘head’ of the pimple.

Most people like to pop these; dont. Don’t!

DO NOT POP THE PIMPLE!!!

Sure, popping it gets rid of the whitehead, but only temporarily. And even so, you’re going to be left with a bright, red spot.

My suggestion is to just suck it up and deal with the whitehead. It’s just a little speck, it’s not the end of the world. It should subside within another day or two.

On the other hand, sometimes the pimple will actually subside altogether, depending on how early you caught it. Regardless, if you follow the routine, these types of things won’t happen much in the future.

I mentioned quite a few products I use, so if you want to learn more about them check out this page.