For whatever reason, I feel like I've solved a bunch of life problems, big and small, over the last year. Some of this stuff I feel compelled to share, because I know so many other people struggle with the same issues.
So here it is: my quick list of life hacks and solutions:
1) Sulfur soap and sulfur balm really does cure acne, even adult hormonal cystic acne, like the kind I've been dealing with off and on for the last 5-10 years (and prior to that, just your standard teenage acne). I used to be on spironolactone, a drug which also cures hormonal acne really well, but when I turned 29, I decided I wanted to get off it in case I got pregnant (spironolactone works by blocking testosterone receptors, so you really cannot take it if you are thinking about having a kid). Since then, I've tried a few different methods of curing my acne (low glycemic index diet, zero-dairy diet, the eating nothing but salad and meat diet, honey masks, zinc supplements, salicylic acid/benzoyl peroxide combo, etc.) and absolutely none of it worked. Then I tried the sulfur balm, and boom, my acne was gone. Even the red marks from my past acne are fading really rapidly - I've never seen anything like it.
Sure, it dries out my face a bit, but not too bad. And frankly, I don't care. I'd rather have a few flakes here and there than deal with the constant monthly flux of acne.
So as someone who has had acne problems since she was 12, please trust me when I say you should try sulfur soap or sulfur balm. It's cheap, and I think it will work for you, because I was one of those people who thought nothing could cure my acne except serious internal medication - and now I stand corrected. (None of these links are affiliated, by the way.)
2) A great way to avoid getting embarrassingly drunk and then hung over the next day is to alternate your alcoholic beverage with flavored seltzer water. I know, this isn't groundbreaking, but I'm late to the seltzer water game. I never liked the stuff before, but I finally tried those flavored La Croix drinks and found they weren't half-bad. Then I switched to generic flavored seltzer water, and though it's not quite as good as La Croix, it's still pretty refreshing (and about half as expensive). We've been swimming at our friend's pool at his apartment complex a lot this summer, which has been awesome, but it's also meant we've been generally drinking too much. So these past few weekends, I just replaced half the beer we brought with flavored seltzer water. Now I'm drinking a reasonable amount (2-3 beers), and staying hydrated (I realized thirst was the primary reason I was drinking too much). Plus, you still feel like part of the party when you're drinking seltzer water. I think it's something psychological about holding the can.
3) I've gotten back into running again this summer, after a long hiatus since we got our dog. I'm one of those runners who has plantar fasciitis problems (a pain across the sole of the foot, concentrated more so beneath the arch/heel area). It happens when the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot gets damaged and inflamed from overuse (usually from running too much). Several years ago, I had plantar fasciitis so bad that I had to stop running for over a year in order to let it heal (at the time, I was a really serious runner, it was by far my favorite activity, so that year was really hard). I eventually got over it, but it's always been close to coming back. I can feel the pain kind of tugging at the base of my heel sometimes, especially when I've taken a long break from running and then started back up again straight into my former mileage rather than slowly increasing it like you should.
And then I learned a stretch that keeps the plantar fasciitis from developing. Basically it's a wall calf stretch, except you bend your knee a little so you feel the stretch more at the base of your calf. You can see how it's done here. Apparently, tightness along the back of your leg, and particularly your lower calf, pulls the foot's connective tissue (the fascia) too tight, which leaves it prone to micro-tears. The fascia are notoriously hard to stretch, but stretching those leg muscles that are indirectly connected to the bottom of the foot can keep everything flexible, so you won't inadvertently damage the fascia.
Now whenever I'm feeling that familiar tightness along the bottom of my foot, I just stop running for a day and do these lower calf stretches (I believe it's the soleus muscle) and the plantar fasciitis doesn't develop any further. It just disappears. What I don't know is how effective this stretch is if you already have full-blown plantar fasciitis, but it can't hurt to try.
So there you go, three life hacks for acne, over-drinking, and plantar fasciitis. I know I've spent many hours googling for answers to these problems, particularly about my skin and feet issues, and it can be so hard to find accounts of people finding solutions that work for them. Way too much of the internet is one big echo chamber of the same non-helpful information. For example, I don't ever want to hear again how my "bad diet" is the cause of my acne. There's no realistic way I could have "improved" my diet more without developing an eating disorder (seriously, I already eat really well), so I'm tired of hearing that's why I have bad skin. I just don't think it's healthy to eat nothing but vegetables and meat - you'll go crazy and binge on junk, plus, as far as I can tell - it doesn't actually cure acne to eat so restrictively! I've come to the conclusion that bad skin is just genetic, and that there are topical treatments and pharmaceuticals which can get rid of it, but you wouldn't know that based on what you can typically find on the internet.
Therefore here's my account, and I hope it can help you.
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