I have tried over-the-counter creams, and they get rid of my pimples. But how do I prevent acne? How do I stop new pimples from popping up? Unfortunately, western-trained medical doctors do not seem to have any answer. Their common response seems to be a prescription of antibiotics. Eastern-trained doctors, for example the Indian Ayurvedic doctors or the Chinese physicians, tend to prescribe a change of lifestyle instead. Neither way is acceptable to most people.
Here are some tips which seem to work for myself and for my friends:
- Wash your face more often. Most experts recommend just washing your face twice a day. But I found that my acne cleared up when I washed my face 4 times a day. Of course, I had to use a non-soap cleanser. I have to admit that I suffer from oily skin, so that may be a factor.
- Avoid oily foods, fried foods and barbecued foods. In general, avoid any food cooked in very high temperatures. Overseas Chinese friends tell me these foods are known as “heaty” foods, which are known to cause acne and other problems. A western-trained immunologist or nutritionist would probably have his own explanation for this. All I know is: the time when I frequently ate out at Kentucky Fried Chicken, my acne became much, much worse. When I switched to eating pasta, noodles and sandwiches, my pimples started disappearing. Then I went to celebrate by eating barbecued chicken at Kenny Roger’s, and the acne came back.
- Get more sleep. Many of my friends and myself suffer more from acne when we do not have enough rest. I do not know why for sure, but I would guess that it is tied to our immune system. It has been proven that people who suffer from exhaustion have weakened immune systems. And since acne is partially caused or aggravated by bacteria, a weakened immune system allows more bacteria to grow and spread in the skin, thus causing more pimples to pop up.
- Reduce stress. Some of my colleagues suffer outbreaks of acne when they come under more pressure at work. Their acne seems to disappear once things cool down at work again. I would suppose that this is linked to stress and the immune system. A good way to relieve stress would be to go for a massage. Or you could go play with your neighbor’s pet dog or cat instead.
- Turn off your air-conditioner. One of my friends told me he no longer sleeps with the air-conditioner on because it causes his skin condition to become worse. I have not noticed this problem myself, so your mileage may vary…
- Change of climate. An ex-colleague who suffered badly from acne went for an Alaskan cruise for his honeymoon. He came back with clear, smooth skin. He told me: “Yeah, after a few days on the ship admiring the icebergs, my skin started peeling. Hurt like hell at first. But all my pimples disappeared after that.”
- Get a facial, or use a masque. My kid sister also suffered from acne. Once she started going for facials, her acne started clearing up. It seems that the deep cleansing and exfoliation and what-not gets rid of the dead skin, dirt and bacteria which eventually cause pimples to pop up.
Not every tip works for everyone. But if you do not try them, you will never know if it will help to prevent your acne.