Often I hear my kids talking of how big they are and keep wanting to grow and try different and new things. This reminds me of our days too when we could not wait to grow out of school and then grow out of college to start work and so on. As a mom this growing phase is like a catch 22 – while it is fun to see them grow and develop, one part also wishes they stay small and cuddly.
I hear from friends with teenagers on how difficult it is as a parent to maintain a balance for the kids. From the teens perspective – “Parents sometimes expect us to behave all grown up and take responsibilities on the other hand when we want to go out overnight, try adventures etc. we’re too small for it.” As a parent – “It is so difficult to let go, we still want to be around them so that we can help them prevent mistakes”.
With this age old struggle also comes the raging hormones which cause a lot of physical changes in the kids. Pimples and acne are one of the most common occurrences during this phase but not limited to only teens. Often during periods, pregnancy or post pregnancy too pimples and acne occur. Weather changes and humidity too can be a trigger for pimples and so can faulty eating and sleeping habits.
Here are a few home remedies to reduce pimples and acne occurrences as well as the marks that come along with it. A combination of face packs, a good diet and some exercises work wonders.
In 2010, researchers surprised some people when they reported that diet could indeed, affect acne outbreaks. Some foods cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, triggering a boost in insulin. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can trigger changes in your body that can lead to the growth of pore-clogging cells. It can also boost action in your oil glands.
Food that should be avoided or consumed in small portions if you are prone to pimples and acne are Sugar, milk, high glycemic foods (These are foods that break down quickly in the body, triggering an insulin spike and raising blood sugar levels. They trigger hormonal fluctuations and inflammation—both of which encourage acne. Foods like white bread, processed breakfast cereals, white rice, pretzels, potato chips, cookies and cakes come under this) and too much of fried food.
If you are already eating and taking the above mentioned precautions, then include the following in your diet to help prevent and get rid of pimples and acne faster.
- Eating more omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseed, and the like, can help tame inflammation and improve acne breakouts.
- Studies show that green tea helps fight acne. Drink more green tea throughout the day, and try applying cooled tea bags or a cloth dipped in cooled green tea to acne-prone areas of your face for 10-15 minutes
- Probiotics have been found to reduce inflammation in the gut, which may help reduce acne. According to a 2011 study, intestinal microflora may affect inflammation throughout the body, which in turn, can affect acne breakouts. Since pre and probiotics can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, scientists believe they may help reduce acne breakouts.
- Fruits and vegetables can naturally help clear up acne. Many contain beta-carotenes, which naturally help reduce skin oils, and all are naturally anti-inflammatory. Dark, leafy greens also help clear toxins from the body, which can encourage acne.
Multani mitti (fullers earth) face mask: Of all the DIY face masks, parlour facials and spas, this simple face pack is my most favorite one. Super soothing and relaxing and equally easy to make
Ingredients: Multani mitti, rose water, lemon juice
Make a paste using 1 tbsp multani mitti with ½ tsp of cold rose water and a few drops of lemon. Apply on the face and leave it till it dries. Using ice cube rub off the face mask and then wash it off with regular water.
Multani mitti has an inherent property of absorbing oil from the skin and dries off the pimples. Lemon juice acts as a bleaching agent and helps reducing the scars while rose water helps refresh the skin.
Cucumber face mask: This one again is super simple and very effective.
Ingredients: Cucumber, curd
Grate ½ a cucumber and strain the juice from it so that you have separate juice and pulp. Refrigerate this pulp before use. When the pulp is cold enough use a small quantity of the pulp, dip it in the juice and apply it directly on the pimple. Leave it on till it becomes warm and repeat 2-3 times. Then mix ½ tbsp. of yogurt in the remaining pulp and apply it to the face and leave it on for 15-20 mins.
Cucumber extracts heat from the body and reduces the inflammation of the pimples. Yogurt is a natural bleaching agent and helps reduce the scars caused by the pimples and acne.
Neem face mask: This mask takes some time to prepare but once prepared you can store the same and use as per your convenience.
Ingredients: Neem, multani mitti, rose water
Take 40-50 neem leaves and wash them thoroughly. Dab these on a kitchen towel till they are dry and then spread them on a towel and keep them to air dry. This drying might take 2-4 days depending on the humidity in the air and temperatures. Once the leaves are completely crisp and dried, mix 3 -4 tbsp of multani mitti in this and grind to a fine powder. Now this powder can be stored in an airtight container for multiple uses. Mix 1/s tsp of powder with rose water to make a paste, apply and wash similar to the multani mitti pack explained above.
Neem has amazing antibacterial properties and along with multani mitti helps in reducing existing pimples and also if used regularly helps in preventing reoccurrence too.
Exercise, sleep and water
Along with taking care of our diet and using these packs, exercises and sleep also play an important role in prevention of breakouts and pimples. Physical activity helps our skin by increasing the blood circulation, which sends more oxygen to skin cells and carries cell waste away. But keep in mind that sweat from exercise can also lead to breakouts by irritating your skin. So it’s important to shower right after a workout.
“Stress increases glucocorticoid production, which can lead to abnormalities in skin structure and function,” says Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, a dermatologist in Danville, CA. And that can make conditions like acne worse. Thus make sure you get your minimum hours of peaceful sleep and avoid all likds of stress. Click here for some pointers to reduce stress
Increasing the amount of drinking water is a great way to flush out internal toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out and thus helping in reducing the chances of causing pimples and acne.
A combination of all of the above will surely help in reducing pimples and breakouts as well as the scars that come along with it. It takes at least 3-4 weeks of regular application, diet and lifestyle changes to observe visible results. Also you would need to do some trials to see what works best for you. Small changes will take you a long way in having a nice soft and supple skin.
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