I have had acne since I was in the fifth grade. Considering that I am a month away from turning 21, and I am still battling with it on a day to day basis, that’s a long time to be dealing with it’s hell. Granted, my skin has been looking better than ever, but I had to really take a look at the ingredients in my skincare/makeup, and see how my eating and day to day routine made an impact on my skin. Once I figured out what some of the main culprits were, my skin changed for the better. Here’s some helpful tips to help you stop hating your skin, and start loving it.
1. I know how hard acne is to get rid of. I’ve gone through everything to get rid of it. You can name any acne medication there is-I’ve been on it. Even the dreaded Accutane. But you know what? It worked. Even through the long months I suffered while I was on it through getting bouts of eczema, rashes and horribly chapped lips and skin, my skin did change. I no longer get as many cysts as I did. I will however note that getting on Accutane is an extremely personal decision and you don’t have to do it. If you want to go on a more gentle route, I have a few more ideas for you.
2. This goes for all skin types. If you’ve been experiencing clogged pores along your jawline, and especially if you have been getting those hard cysts that just don’t seem to go away on your cheeks and jawline, get rid of the dairy in your diet. I went through a period of time where I couldn’t figure out why my jaw was the only part of my face breaking out. Turns out it was directly related to hormones and even though I was on birth control it wasn’t enough. Dairy has hormones in it, and those hormones can make your skin go completely crazy. I cut it out completely for two weeks and ate no cheese (I hated my life for 3 days since I love cheese so much and then I was fine) and switched out dairy milk for Almond milk. You know what? My cysts went away. Not only that, but I had less clogged pores overall and my face had no new acne for weeks. So do yourself a favor. Do a test for two weeks and cut out dairy from your diet. If your clogged pores and acne reduce, find ways to cut dairy out of your diet. I promise that Almond Milk is just as tasty as milk and has even more healthy benefits for you without the added hormones. It doesn’t have as much protein though, so be sure to get your protein from another source.
3. Check the ingredients on everything you put on your face and hair. I exclusively use LUSH skincare along with a medicated topical acne treatment for my face prescribed by my dermatologist and I love how my skin is starting to look. I stay away from silicones in my makeup whenever possible, but I know which few my skin can handle. Same goes for hair, I stay away from silicones, sulfates (Including Sodium Lauryl and Sodium Laureth) and harsh ingredients in general. I also stay away from putting cocoa butter or coconut oil on my skin. While it has a great hydrating effect, it’s a nightmare for people who have acne. Never get a moisturizer or conditioner that has coconut oil or cocoa butter in it. Your skin will thank you.
4. Get rid of the junk. Candy, fast and processed foods, soda and refined carbs all just wreak havoc on your skin. All of it just turns to sugar, raises your insulin levels and consequently makes your skin oilier . Fast food just has too much oil, which gets around your mouth and when you wipe it with a napkin, it still stays on your skin and can be spread out. Once all of that oil gets trapped in your pores, they becomes clogged. It’s very easy to undo this damage though. Simply switch to whole grains foods;whole wheat bread and pasta, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, drinking water instead of soda and eating less processed foods and fast food overall. Also switching out butter for more healthier oils (Olive oil, Grapeseed oil, etc) overall will help with acne around your mouth, as well as make your heart healthier. Win win!
5. For the love of all things holy, wash your makeup brushes. Use a gentle shampoo or brush cleaner (check ingredients on both) and get at it.
6. Always wear sunscreen. Acne marks that aren’t properly protected will turn into dark marks once they heal. Do you really want to deal with that? Plus, it will help keep your skin healthy and wrinkle free much longer than all of those tan addicts out there. Two words-leather skin. Don’t do it.
7. Even if your skin is oily, it needs moisture. You cannot skip moisturizer because your skin will overcompensate for the lack of moisture and produce more oil. Get an oil free moisturizer with sunblock for the day, and a light moisturizer at night to keep your skin balanced.
8. Work out! Sweat! It may seem counter intuitive, but your body purges all of the gross stuff out when you sweat. Plus, exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.
I’ll regularly be doing skincare posts like these, and I will try to incorporate more posts that help with other skincare issues such as dryness and sensitivity. Since everyone suffers from acne at some point in their lives, I wanted to touch base on this really quick. If you have any questions or if there is anything I missed, please let me know!