Friday, May 30, 2008

Acme of Acne

I have been thinking about this one since quite some time, more than a year actually. I still remember the days in 2002-2003 when S and I used to discuss our daily issues of pepperoni-pizza-like faces and necks and backs and get frustrated. I remember we both were using Proactiv stuff regularly. And one would think that if something was making Jessica Simpson, Vanessa Williams and Jennifer Love Hewitt look like they were, it must be awesome!! Bad news was, it wasn't doing it for me or for him and I was sure there were many people in the same boat.

We would talk about the woes of using products that caused so many other side effects, dry skin, every day of applying something on your face/body with no significant results to get rid of the ever-crazy-acne, and not to mention waste of money, time and energy. He was so frustrated he actually went on to try the heavy-duty accutane (antibiotic) too! I had a coworker who had tried it too and I didn't like what I saw as a result of this product. Moreover, the side effects were dreadful. I didn't want to give it a try. I gave up on this whole thing altogether. R would come up with suggestions every once in a while, do this do that but I didn't want to do anything any more. I had had enough. I was sick and tired of it.

Until P aunty came over to visit us that summer... She was like "why don't you try some of the haldi-water thing that I suggested to D. She tried it and now is looking so pretty with clear skin. You should give it a try." I didn't like the idea of drinking a glass full of water with a tea-spoon or two of turmeric added in there every single morning, not for the taste, I can chew on the Zandu sudarshan ghanvati like a jolly rancher, but just the required dedication was holding me. I truly had given up on it. But since R convinced me, I decided to give it a try. There were days when I just felt like giving up again and I wouldn't drink it at all. There were days when I thought "I drink a huge glass of water as soon as I wake up any ways, and to top that I have to drink another one with turmeric in it? Nah! too much water." But R was very persistent and would remind me of it before I had that glass of milk.

After about one and a half years, I started seeing it. I was so pleasantly surprised what that daily dose of turmeric did, it was amazing! I did stop the regime after some two years as I didn't need to continue it any more, but I was happy and thankful to the lovely ladies I know who suggested and helped me keep up with this routine to help myself and the best part is, now I get to share the secret with everyone after my first hand experience. So the answer to getting rid of nasty acne is here! I also recommended it to S as soon as I saw my face glowing fair and bright with no pizza-like symptoms. Best part is, when people come up to you and ask you "wow! what did you do to your face?" in a pleasantly surprised tone. That brings a huge smile on me face. :D

Over the years I've learned that acne is caused by totally random reasons and they differ from person to person. There's too many of them but here are some of them:

  • too much stress/frustration (I think that's #1).
  • upset stomach/constipation.
  • oily skin.
  • hormonal imbalance.
  • lack of exercise.
  • lack of good sleep (7-8 hours every night).
  • ...

    (list continues)

    But the answer to the problem is: patience, dedication and a daily dose of little bit of turmeric powder with water first thing in the morning. Indeed, any cleansing starts from the inside.

    PS. I forgot to mention that in between, I also tried drinking like a gallon of water a day, which I have reduced to half a gallon now, but that helps a lot in general. Remember though, drinking too much water can cause life-threating conditions so do it in moderation and as much as your body can take.

    Solitaire said...

    I swear by Vicco Turmeric for anything and everything!

    Kanan said...

    Solitaire, I have used Vicco Turmeric and Boroline (dark green colored tubie thing) for years too. What I realized is that with those you have to keep using them regularly for them to work.

    I even tried the Homeopathic medicines and gave up on garlic, onion, chocolates, caffeine (which now I have quit entirely for various other reasons) and many other foods for years. Same story, you have to continue their use. I feel even Proactiv requires the same.

    I am not a fan of this idea so I really liked the turmeric regime. And the best part is, it's natural antibiotic so helps in many other ways. :)

    Thanks for your comment.

    priti said...

    Oye Kanan, it's me Pitu from Aspi's Drift. Lovely blog!! Regarding acne, I have tried it all. Antibiotics (Minocyline, Tetracycline), steroid creams (it made me put on weight!), and last resort was Spironolactone (that landed me in the ER - I couldn't breathe!- and I have been off it since December). Now I am off any medications whatsover and am following the diet outlined in Nicholas Perricone's The Acne Prescription. I drink pomegrante jucie and blueberry jucie everyday, use Vicco turmeric and have sworn off high glycemic foods. *Sigh*

    priti said...

    Definitely gonna try the paani-haldi thing, thanks for the tip!! Oh, another thing, this is corny but I have stopped making disparaging remarks about my skin and I try to compliment myself when I look in the mirror. So it's not "Yuck, another %&**@ pimple", it's "Arre wah what lovely big eyes you have!" Yeah, it's cheesy but it helps :-p

    Kanan said...

    Hey Priti, welcome to my blog & thanks for your comments. :) Nice to see you on here.

    Oh my! you seem to have tried a lot of medications. I think medications only help temporarily and have quite a lot of long term side effects. I'm not a fan of them any more.

    Hmm never heard of the diet you mentioned. What all do they exclude? Do the juices and Vicco turmeric help? Do share more info about this regime.

    So cute @ self-compliments. :) That helps regardless of having a new pimple or not. ;)

    priti said...

    Arre Kanan, in the US these stupid dermats will prescribe anything and everything and the crap they give you has some really severe side-effects. As I said, the Spironolactone even put me in the ER for 4 hrs. I cannot even explain how frightening it was to not be able to breathe!!! It was Dec and I had one window open and I was taking big gulps of air :-( and my dog was freaking out!!

    The Acne Prescription is an AMAZING book which you shd get from a bookstore or library and definitely read even if you dont have acne anymore. He explains all the aspects of acne in a rly simple way so you understand why you have acne.

    Currently, my regimen is-

    1)eating plenty of antioxidants (regular sabzis, pomegranate juice, any kind of berries daily),

    2) avoiding high glycemic triggers (I discovered that rice seems to make me breakout, whereas peanuts, soy and wheat do not), in my case that is rice.

    3)Consuming Omega fatty acids daily (I am vegetarian so my only source is flaxseeds, I add 1 tsp flaxseeds on top of any dal or sabzi daily)

    4) drinking plenty of water

    5) eating turmeric in food everyday and applying Vicco turmeric on acne prone areas every nite

    6) Keeping stress low and complimenting muyself daily :-)

    These simple steps and more importantly figuring out *my* acne triggers helped my skin a lot. You shd have seen my skin like 4 months ago, it was awful and now its amazing!!! :-D

    Kanan said...

    Wow! thanks for sharing the story. I will surely check out the book you've suggested. Actually, mine's also much better than what it was a few years ago but if there's diet to keep it like that, I'd love to know of it. Thanks. :)

    Shrooms said...

    I can't believe I didn't see this earlier! I may just have to try this. I don't have the typical acne problems, but my skin is not great and like everyone else, I'm frustrated by the various things dermos prescribe. While I don't think its necessarily just a US thing or that all homeopathic remedies are actually effective, I think a combination of both can be effective. For those with real skin conditions, no amount of haldi or berries will do - many of these things are genetic and truly not diet/lifestyle related. Anyway, I guess my point is - thanks for the tip - I love experimenting so maybe I will grin and bear it...I would love more beauty tips from you!

    Kanan said...

    Shrooms, you're right. There's multiple factors and this is just one of the things that helps internally cleanse the skin. You should also check out this post by Pitu for some interesting info and her story. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Neha said...

    Hey Kanan I just stumbled into your blog somehow and saw this post. I'm glad I did because this is so interesting! I've always suffered with acne and I think this might help me too. I was just wondering how long it took for the turmeric to work on your skin and did you take turmeric powder or the actual plant? Thanks!

    Kanan said...

    Neha, hey, thanks for stopping by. It took about a year and a half for me to see the results. I took the turmeric powder, the regular stuff we use in the kitchen. Good luck to you. Hope it helps you as well.