The highlight of my recent trip to New York was a talk I gave at Landmark High School, a public high school near Columbus Circle. The students paid close attention. Afterwards, a student named John Cortez told me what he’d figured out about what causes his acne. His skin was clear so I had to believe he knew what he was talking about.
He has three rules: 1. Eat less greasy food. 2. Work out hard. 3. Wash face extremely well, especially after working out. The last rule is surprising because one of Allen Neuringer’s students found that acne got better when she stopped washing her face. John explained his reasoning like this:
When I was little I got something because of the lack of hand washing. Nothing serious — it went away — but it caused me to become sort of a neat freak. When i started to get pimples I thought it was because i didn’t wash my face well. When i started to wash my face better, my acne stopped getting worse. One day i got lazy and from there on I stopped washing. Then I noticed that I was almost covered with pimples. When I got in a gym I realized that when i sweat and as soon as possible, washed my face got less pimples and prevented those nasty huge acne.
Amount JC figured out about acne while in high school: A lot. Amount SR figured about acne while in high school: Zero.
Addendum. Another unexpected aftereffect of my talk was that Shangri-La Diet forum traffic went way up. That evening, at one point there were 307 people simultaneously reading the forums, a new record. The average daily maximum during the days just before was about 150. There were about 50 people at my talk. Go figure.