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!

Apple Cider Vinegar and Acne: What You need to Know

If you go through any health related message board or blog, one of the supplement recommendations you’re guaranteed to come across is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). People say it will cure anything from a sore throat to warts. A lot of these claims made are quite lofty. People claim that apple cider vinegar can even cure cancer and diabetes.

I always find it hard to believe that one single supplement can have such a dramatic impact on health, and don’t believe that taking Apple Cider Vinegar alone will get rid of acne, rather it plays into a larger picture of overall healthy and lifestyle.

My Story

When I began to take my health seriously a few years ago, ACV was one of the first products I bought. I use it all the time, and have even acquired a taste for it (yes, it is possible).

From personal observations I’ve noticed that ACV has improved my skin slightly, enhanced my libido and blood flow (if you catch my drift), and helped me fight off colds.

Yes, this stuff is good. Really Good.

What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar so Great?

One thing I hate about most health blogs is that don’t tell you why something works, rather they just shove it in your face and tell you to buy it. I guess I fell into that trap when I fist bought it, although it worked out well. To understand the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, especially when it comes to acne, we must understand the nutritional and chemical properties of this substance.

Many say that Apple Cider Vinegar is so great because it is chock full of vitamins and minerals. This is false. In fact, ACV is pretty devoid of nutrients. And even if it was nutrient rich, it would be unlikely that you would get more nutrients from a tablespoon of ACV than a whole glass of freshly made fruit and vegetable juice.

Maybe I’m wrong; If I am please provide a professional research study supporting the opposing viewpoint. The studies I have are posted below.

So we still haven’t found the reason why ACV is so great. I’ll let Dr. Mercola answer that:

“It could be partially related to the fact that vinegar is a diluted acid, specifically acetic acid, which is responsible for its sour taste and pungent smell. The pH changes it induces may contribute to some of its actions.

Some of the dramatic benefits may also be derived from yet-to-be-identified phytochemicals (beneficial compounds in plants) that scientists are now discovering in a number of different foods. In fact, many of your strongest weapons against cancer are the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables.

One thing that apple cider vinegar is high in is acetic acid. Like other acids, acetic acid can increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat. Therefore, it is possible that drinking a mild tonic of vinegar and water just before meals might improve your body’s ability to absorb the essential minerals locked in foods. Apple cider vinegar might help you get more out of your leafy greens!” (Mercola)

So essentially, ACV’s health benefits are derived from helping the body to more effectively absorb nutrients that we get from other foods, as well as possibly being full of phytochemicals, similar to ones found in plants.

How does Apple Cider Vinegar directly fight acne?

Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, ACV fights acne in a few different ways:

  • Phytochemicals
  • Digestion
  • Insulin

Is Anecdotal Evidence Enough?

There aren’t too many studies out there abut Apple Cider Vinegar; that’s just how the health industry works. The problem that arises from this s that when major health organizations fail to study alternative health treatments, people can spout off whatever they want about a substance, because there are no studies to refute their claims.

Is it possible that ACV could cure cancer? Of course, but there isn’t enough evidence out there to prove it entirely.

How to Take ACV

acv1

I do believe in the power of Apple Cider Vinegar and think it should be a staple in people’s health regimen’s, especially for people who suffer from acne. I take it everyday and recommend you do as well.

Here’s what I do:

First you’re going to need some Apple Cider Vinegar, but not any kind will do. It needs to be raw. I use, and always have used, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar  (Affiliate Link). It’s what everyone uses, and they do a great job of manufacturing it.

Once you’ve got a bottle on deck, pour a tablespoon into a large glass. The smaller the glass, the less diluted it will be, which means that it will be easier to palate. If you’re not used to this stuff, it is pungent. As I said earlier, I have an acquired taste for it so I can drink it in a medium sized glass.

If you want, you could put in a teaspoon or two, and use the same glass, but just have two glasses. Or you could find a giant jug and fill it with water. Whatever works, as long as you’re getting around a tablespoon.

Next, fill the glass with lukewarm water. I do this because it aids with digestion, and is easier on the stomach.

Finally, slowly sip it.

Yum!

I prefer to do it after meals, others say do it before. As long as it’s around meal time you should be fine.

Remember folks, this isn’t a miracle suplement. It’s good, but not life saving.

I think that covers it . Try this out, and I think you will be happy with the results.

photos: mindbodygreen; toofullforschool

Further Reading

NCBI: Apple Cider Vinegar

Does Oil Pulling Get Rid of Acne?

If you’re wondering what in the heck oil pulling is, I don’t blame you. It sounds like a process used in the refining process of natural gas.

Of course though, when one is on the path to acne nothing stands in their way of finding a cure. So like a good guinea pig, I bought a jar of coconut oil to really see if oil pulling gets rid of acne. I opened the jar and took out a little less than a tablespoon and licked the spoon clean. I then had a lovely, lumpy, gooey blob of coconut oil on my tongue.

The oil soon melted in my mouth (coconut oil is liquid at room temperature) and I then swished it around for about 10 minutes or so. Throughout that time I forced myself to not swallow any. I also felt on like I was on the verge of vomiting towards the end.

So after the time was up I spit int in the trash can, as the oil can clog drains over time. There was no way to tell if my skin had improved immediately, but my mouth felt incredibly fresh, but we’re not worried about oral hygiene in this article (although it’s important!).

The question is, does oil pulling help get rid of acne?

In my humble opinion, most likely not.

To understand how to get rid of acne, we have to understand what causes it. I believe that two of the main causes of acne are hormonal imbalances and vitamin deficienes. Oil pulling doesn’t directly resolve either of those issues, and therefore its role in curing acne is likely  to be limited.

Don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging. Let’s look a little more in depth at this practice.

What is Oil Pulling?

The practice of oil pulling is a health remedy that has it’s origins in India as part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It was commonly used because:

“Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Its promoters claim it works by pulling out “toxins”, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.” (Wikipedia: Oil Pulling)

How To “Pull Oil”

Take about a tbsp. of either sesame, coconut, or olive oil (I prefer coconut, traditionally sesame was used and is commonly recommended) and gently swish (or ‘pull’)  it around for 15-20 minutes.

That sounds disgusting.

At first, yes… yes it is, but after the first few times you don’t even notice it.

What Are the Benefits?

If your going to swish oil around your mouth for 20 minutes there better damn well be some benefits right?

Well, like I said, I don’t think oil pulling will create any miracles for acne, however, the idea behind oil pulling is that it is supposed to ‘pull out’ toxins lodged in the mouth. These toxins accumulate over time and can have deleterious effects on the body. Oil Pulling is a means for pulling them out. In terms of acne, the logic would be that these toxins contribute to inflammation, and in turn, acne.

Here’s a few answers to some questions you might have:

Where do I spit it out?

Glad you asked. NOT in your pipes and drains. The oils will solidify over time creating some issues. Spit it out in the trash.

Is this difficult?

Oil Pulling is not difficult per se. It’s not like your trekking 100 miles through the Amazon or anything. However, swirling around oil in your mouth is definitely not my favorite pastime. I did experience a bit of nausea, but that faded fairly quick. Plus, since you DON’T want to swallow it, you have to breath carefully.

Do I need to do it for 20 minutes?

Nope. Some say 10-15 minutes is good enough to see results. necessarily.

How many time a week?

I would say at least every other day, so around 4 times a week. I don’t believe doing it everyday is necessary.

Is it worth it?

Like I said, I don’ think oil pulling will revolutionize the complexion of your skin for the better, but it’s worth a try. If not, you’ll still end up with numerous health benefits.

If you’re interested in buying Coconut Oil I recommend Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.