I think, as an ex-chronic acne sufferer, that after you have for a while you start becoming slightly… “anal” about keeping things “off” your face.
In the beginning, it may not be that bad and you can lean on your face when you’re tired in class or in a theatre. You don’t mind other people or objects accidentally brushing up against your face.
But somewhere along the line, as the years ago on and if your acne continues to get worse and worse, you start becoming more and more “paranoid” about all the “enemies” and objects that can cause to have another pimple on your cheek the next day.
So you used to lean your head on your hand when you were tired or bored in class. But not anymore because you’re so self conscious about not letting anything touch your face that you’d rather not risk it. Maybe your hair gets into your face and it’s a little bit greasy or dirty, or maybe you just “feel” like it’s not that clean, but you just don’t want anything touching your face!
It makes you uncomfortable. It makes you paranoid.
This was me. Maybe you’ve experienced something similar?
I had to make sure my skin was NOT dirty and that my hair on my forehead stayed as far away from my skin as possible.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THIS THINKING?
The problem with my thinking was that I thought external circumstances had a lot to do with the causes of acne. The fact is that the outside environment can do things that may affect your acne but I placed WAY too much emphasis on dirty skin and things that may have accidentally touched my face like my hair.
CAUSE: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
This was probably caused by years of acne and breaking out without any explanation. In Ancient times, the Greeks could not explain a lot of the phenomenon that happened in their worlds such as storms, earthquakes and other mysterious wonders of the world. So what did they think?
“Oh, it must be Zeus because we made him angry.”
Then someone brilliantly suggested, “Well, we should sacrifice to make the Gods happy.”
And they did.
On a logical level, did this really make sense? Not so much. But I’m not really trying to get into the philosophical, historical, religious, or any of those kind of debates. I’m not saying anything about whether or not God exists, I’m just saying that sometimes irrational thoughts in our heads and we have to go back and manually untie those knots.
It’s kind of like the theory of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Albert Ellis, grandfather of cognitive behavior therapy and creator of Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy REBT, believed that irrational thoughts sometimes are linked even though they have no actual connection, only in our minds.
So it’s our job to notice them and go back and untangle those connected thought strings.
After years of having acne, I made the connection that because acne was on the surface of my body, it must be associated with my skin being dirty. Just like a wound can get infected from the outside, my skin must be becoming infected from the outside.
Therefore, I made the logical (or what I thought was logical) conclusion that limiting contact would decrease the level of bacteria which would decrease the level of acne.
Bacteria = Dirt
Dirt + Touch = Dirty Skin = Acne
So if I eliminate dirt from my skin then I would have clean skin and therefore have NO acne.
It made sense, but there was just ONE flaw in my thinking though…
THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT WAS “ACTUALLY” HAPPENING
And that flaw was that the “dirt” that was CAUSING my acne wasn’t actually coming from the outside environment.
The dirt that was causing my acne, or ACNE DIRT, was actually coming from INSIDE my body. My body was producing conditions that would cause acne, it wasn’t the touching of my skin, the dirty face, or the oily hair that was causing acne.
Don’t get me wrong, these can IRRITATE or AGGRAVATE your acne, but they don’t CAUSE acne.
There’s a big difference here.
If you don’t have acne, you’re not suddenly going to get it just because your rub your face in the dirt or your hair falls into your face all the time. This is because acne is not CAUSED by dirty skin or hair.
However, if you already have the conditions of acne or ACNE DIRT coming from “inside” your body and then you rub your face in dirt and your hair always touches your face, you may AGGRAVATE your acne and make it worse.
THE WHOLE CONCEPT RIGHT HERE
So, during that time, when my face was dirty, when my hair continued to touch my face, or when my hands would accidentally touch my face, it probably did “lead” to acne. Then I made the connection, “Oh, it’s because of dirty skin and my hair so I just have to keep my face clean on the outside so I won’t have acne.” But really, my body was already low on health points, I was suffering from acne, and the extra external factors just made it worse.
I CAN TOUCH MY FACE ALL I WANT NOW
After I cured my acne from the inside, I barely have to use any facial products. I can barely even wash my face for days at a time and not get a single pimple! This was so different from what it used to be like when I used to wash my face 2-3 times a day and still seem to have a new red mark every morning. These days, I touch my face, I lean on it when I’m bored at a seminar or getting sleepy, I put my face on random tables when I’m tired but there’s nowhere to lie down, and I can be… well… NOT “paranoid” anymore about where my face can and can’t touch.
SO WHAT SHOULD I DO, RAY?
It’s about the inside. It’s not about some cream you can just put on your face. One little cream is not going to be strong enough to battle ALL the complicated processes that you have going on inside your body.
You have to take care of your body, you have to set up an environment where you KICK ACNE OUT!
And it all starts with a spoon, a fork, and a plate: how you eat.
So what’s an acne free diet?
Allow me to show you =)
10 Steps to Cure Acne
10 Things Every Acne Sufferer Must Know for Clear Skin. A must have basic foundation for any beginner.
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