When you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you notice? Most people observe their skin, their dark circles and the blackheads. So, when you observe your skin, and notice acne like eruptions, what do you make out of it? And more importantly, what can you do about it?
You must have heard from the advertisements over television that acne come from bacterial infection. Well, all of it is not true. Also, it is true that acne occurs more during the adolescent phase of one's life. But, no worries! You can fix it.
Below the 7 layers of skin is a thin fat layer which is called sub-cutaneous fat. This fat layer is maintained by the body’s metabolism.
The processes that produce acne and pimples are due to an imbalance of Pitta (fire) and Kapha (balance of water and earth elements) in the body. When this metabolism its altered, mainly due to our lifestyle, the composition of fat layer also changes, causing acne and pimples to form.
Here are some of the main reasons of the imbalance:
1. Adolescence - is a phase when the reproductive system begins to prepare the body for reproduction. The tissue that forms during this phase is called in Sanskrit as Shukra (reproductive and regenerative tissue). The person who is entering into adolescence experiences several feelings. Some of these feelings excite the person. If the person chooses to indulge into the feeling of excitation, production of Shukra increases and they excite the skin tissue. Our skin, during these phases becomes over-sensitive to touch and we are easily aroused. This is when you see acne form on the skin.
Remedy - Keep your thoughts clean. Your subconscious is like a child which picks up what you give it and treasures it very dearly. So, give your mind only that which is good. Your senses act as receptors. So, receive and share only that which is good. You will naturally have less acne and pimples.
Add 1tsp Triphala churna and a pinch of turmeric powder to a glass of water and leave it overnight. You can also add 1-2 soap nuts to the water so when you scrub you the soap nut will create lather. Next morning, strain the water and wash your face with it. You can repeat the same practice in the evening before you retire for the day.
2. Staying up late into the night and waking up late - the outcomes of this habit is one of the main reasons for acne to form. When you sleep late, the body’s metabolism and the mind are forced to be active. Gastric secretions and hormonal secretions are forced to secrete in the body, and hunger causes you to munch on one snack or the other. The body, though active cannot digest what you eat or drink and so, the food in your gut is converted into wastes and expelled through urine, faeces and sweat glands. Large pimples with pus form when too much waste is thrown out.
Remedy - The body naturally craves for food at certain times which is governed by its metabolic activity. A kick start drink is required just after sunrise, which is followed by a meal craving between 8-11 am. This is the first nutritious meal you must have. This is your lunch. After the foods are metabolised by the liver, a hunger craving occurs around 2:30-3 pm. This is the time for you to have a fruit snack. And dinner must be early and before 8 pm. You body will then be able to digest foods well and wastes are less dense and will not harm your skin. Sleep by 9:30 pm and wake up before sunrise. The body copes well when we tune our habits to nature’s clock.
Some people with more fire in their belly may feel hungry at 1pm. Do address your hunger if you need to. Do not override your body's demand for nutrition.
3. The body is a dynamic and active organism. The process of converting food into energy and the process of converting soluble fats into glucose by the liver gives the body its nourishment, strength, endurance and immunity. Water intake is required for all of these processes to happen smoothly. Water also acts as a vehicle to effectively eliminate wastes from the body by way of sweat, urine and stools and helps maintain adequate humidity and moisture in the body. When water intake reduces, the body experiences more heat due to the process of conversion of energy and with water being inadequate, the wastes don't get flushed. Wastes are then carried in blood and lymphatic channels to the extremities of our body from where they are expelled.
Remedy - Ayurveda prescribes a practice called Ushapaana. This is a practice of drinking 8 hand fills of water measuring upto 450 ml on waking up and after brushing your teeth without the use of a toothpaste. Subsequently, hydrate the body with quantity of water that causes you to urinate 6 times daily. This is the optimum quantity of water to consume per day.
4. Certain raw and unhealthy foods like chaats and other junk foods such as pizzaz, burgers, bakery foods, kulcha and naan that contain refined flour harm the digestive system. These foods absorb more moisture and clog our intestines causing waste matter to accumulate. When not eliminated, they are coated with alkaline mucus secretions in the intestines to breakdown the foods further. They are then absorbed by the liver and the wastes, after assimilation have to be eliminated. The excess alkaline mucus secretions that have combined with the skin come out through pores of the skin causing pimples that ooze with pus.
Remedy - Do not mix aerated drinks, natural and artificial fruit drinks with junk foods. Drink hot water while eating your junk foods (if you must eat them), so you can help the body eliminate it easily.
Soak 1 harad (terminalia chebula) in a glass of water overnight and drink the water early morning. This is a stool softener and will help eliminate wastes from the body and will also rejuvenate your skin.
5. Bottled, tetra packed fruit and non-fruit juices contain artificial sugars that are difficult to breakdown. The body increases its digestive and metabolic secretions which causes an imbalance in Pitta. The fire in the body gone out of balance, causes the sub-cutaneous fat to ooze out of the pores of the skin and the skin becomes oily and the sweat glands are temporarily closed. This causes small acne which are most visible on the forehead.
Remedy - Avoid drinking artificial juices.
6. Emotions are critical to our expression. When we misuse our emotions, hormones are released in quantities far more than required. These hormones find their way to the skin to trigger feelings of such as anger and lust through the sense of touch. Anger and lust release hormones that cause the sub-cutaneous fat to ooze out through the pores of the skin turning it oily and this causes sweat pores to close resulting in acne and pimples that create a sharp pain and burn when touched.
Remedy - Practice daily sitting in meditation. Meditation is a process of being a witness to the world and the body’s and mind’s interaction through action and reaction. With regular practice, you can become the observer and this helps you to respond to situations and circumstances instead of reacting to them.
Another practice that helps you heal - hug yourself and tell yourself over and over again “I love me”. This practice fills you with love and you feel light. With regular practice, you will stop identifying with heavier emotions and feelings. Remember, your emotions can make your face clean and can also scar your face. Choose the practice that will make you forget acne forever.