Making the best of the acne years

October 2000

Conquer deep-seated self aversion and see how your face begins to clear.  Easier said than done admittedly. Yes learning to accept life as it is rather than as it should be, is not easy…

THE TEEN IN YOU, RARING TO BECOME your own person, soon realises that with being your own person comes your very own set of problems. Of these, acne seems to be the most troublesome. Mainly because it is very apparent and of course very embarrassing. Although I never experienced this affliction, I now know the feeling via my 18-year-old son.

I wonder if the parent suffers more than the child?  Seeing your child having to go through the first years of socializing with a very unsocial look, can be excruciating for a mother.  

Everyone will suggest cures. You will want to believe each one of them, hoping for that miraculous day when those pimples don’t plague you anymore! Some get lucky while others simply have to wait out their time. Ironically I don’t intend telling you about the do’s and don’ts of eating. Inspite of being a nutritionist I must tell you that rarely is acne simply a food-related problem. More often it is psychosomatic. Often the problem arises from not accepting the self. The fallout of a dislike for yourself.

Conquer this deep-seated self aversion and see how your face begins to clear. Easier said than done admittedly. Yes, learning to accept life as it is, rather than as it should be, is not easy. But begin believing in Divine Will and learn how to  get around it. You will then be able to see yourself in a lighter light too. There is an apposite quote I once read: “angels can fly because they take themselves lightly”.

So loosen up. Remember you have the rest of your life to get serious — if you have to, that is! In the meantime while you work on your emotional well-being, here are some simple natural solutions that will help. But remember these ‘solutions’ are only temporary and will work best when the inner emotions are given their due. 

​Drink as much water as you can. I am not recommending it for any other problem but this.

Wash your face with warm to hot water at least three times a day. Don’t scrub too hard or be too gentle either.

Stop using whatever you are using on your face, including any soap. If you must use a soap, use Pears. Once the problem is resolved I can recommend many good soap alternatives that work, as a preventive.

Take rose water, in it rub some gopichand which will give you a liquid paste. To this add a pinch (as much as a grain of rice) of turmeric (haldi). Apply on affected areas or even on whole face, leaving out the raw areas. Once dry (15-20 minutes) wash it all off. Before retiring to bed take a drop of tea tree oil and apply to face, again not on the raw areas.

Make sure you get enough sunshine (not 12 noon to 3 p.m). Even though you may feel like hiding under the bed, remember everyone knows what it feels like to have acne. Hiding will only make it worse. So get out, get some fresh air, sunshine, and be active. This way your body will have other ways of dealing with stress rather than directing it all into the face.

Don’t read books on how to get rid of acne. Simply listen to your body. Eat a variety of foods. Stay away from refined and highly processed foods and concentrate on fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Develop a taste for brown rice and choose chappati over bread. 

A food point I would like to concentrate on is the eating of fruit on an empty stomach rather than after meals. The poor old mango is usually blamed for being a heat-producing fruit and causing pimples. This is entirely false. Nature did not decree the growth of mangoes in the heat of summer to produce heat, but to make you feel cool. However, being a very sweet fruit, when eaten after a complex meal, when not allowed immediate entry into the intestine for quick digestion, a mango will ferment with the meal just eaten in the stomach. And thus we blame the poor mango for having caused the heat. In fact mangoes contain loads of vitamin A, the very vitamin meant to be great for the skin. 

I DON’T LIKE ISOLATING DIFFERENT FOODS for problems. ​This is just an example I am giving. I will tell you another time why we should not think in terms of isolating one food or a particular nutrient for one ailment. For now just eat simple, eat natural, listen to your body, work on your self and see the magic. Even if you don’t succeed in getting rid of your acne completely, you will have done your best and importantly you will be assured of no scars once the nightmare is over.

With a lot less information at our fingertips, I think we had life and its situations much easier in our times. Nevertheless problems are never without solutions. Nutritionally speaking the teen years will build the foundation of your future health.

On many counts this is your best time physically because the most amount of energy is available to you. Make the best of it. Make the right choices because as you grow you’ll find you can’t take your body for granted. And what you do now will decide the strength your body will have in the face of the pressures of life, both physical and mental.

Finding out what works best for you is the key. My advice comes always from the natural point of view, believing that nature plans only for perfection. Nature knows best what science may take forever to discover. So hitch your hopes onto nature’s many wondrous ways and be nutritiously healthy. Naturally.

Kavita Mukhi

Kavita Mukhi

She is the mentor of The Farmers’ Store and the founder of The Bandra Farmers Market. She is a pioneer, evangelist and an over all inspiration and motivating force of our business. She is actively involved in steering the company up the organic path and also is the qualitative think tank and procurement authority behind all the products sold at The Farmers’ Store. Learn more about her on the About Us Page!

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