Well, you don't have to be a teenager to see a pimple on your face as the first thing in the morning when you see a mirror. Unfortunately, it's not just a teenage curse; it can happen at any age. When the oil glands present in the skin (sebaceous glands) get clogged, the process of acne formation sets up.
Under certain circumstances, the oil glands start producing excess oil which gets mixed up with dirt or dead cells and form a hard plug (whitehead/blackhead). It is very common to see girls developing pimples at the age of 11-12 and most boys start by 13 due to the large amount of hormone androgen being produced by the adolescents. Also the acne is much more common in boys than girls because boys produce about 8-10 times as much androgen as girls. Although acne problem can be inherited to the next generation from either of the parents, other possible triggers could be stress, hormones, chemicals, cosmetic products (not the right type for your skin) faulty eating habits, etc.
A healthful solution
Believe it or not, what you put in your cart while shopping and later in your mouth — can affect how long and healthy your life and your skin will be. It has become a gospel truth now that the vitamins and minerals in foods play an important role in the health and vigour of every part of the body, including your skin. And consuming these nutrient rich foods will not only keep your skin and body beautiful but will also prevent from common skin problems on a daily basis.
Antioxidants — including beta- carotene, selenium, zinc, and vitamins E and C
— are some of the most important skin-friendly nutrients. When your body performs normal processes such as metabolism and detoxification, your cells give off by products called free radicals which cause damage to the healthy cells.
Enter the antioxidants to save the day — and your skin and body. These dietary heroes are nutrients that help you slow down or prevent the free radicals from wreaking their havoc on your healthy cells. Each antioxidant seems to work in a different way to counteract free radical damage so they all are equally important.
How to fight acne naturally
To get rid of those nefarious effects of acne, follow these simple tips:
• Keep your skin clean and clear by washing it with water and mild soap once or twice a day and avoid using any strong, perfumed or harsh soaps on your face (discuss with your dermatologist to find out the best for your skin).
• Avoid over doing the makeup (foundations, etc., blocks the skin pores leading to pimples), apply as less as possible and remove the makeup with water and soap before going to bed.
• Don't rest your chin, neck and face on your arms while you study, read or sit in front of TV.
• Try to avoid stressful situations that might trigger the acne attack and try to deal these circumstances by practicing stress relief measures like exercising, meditation, etc.
• Avoid foods and drinks that might seem to trigger your acne attack (there is no fixed food known to cause acne; different people respond to different foods in different ways).
• Drink plenty of water throughout the day as this extra liquid helps to flush out those harmful toxins from your body and helps prevent pimple formation.
Monika Seth/Nutritionist and diet consultant specialising in weight loss at Al Raffah Hospital