As promised in my last beauty post, I’m back with my top tips on how to manage your acne. I’m saying ‘manage’ rather than ‘cure’ as there are plenty of factors that contribute to having acne and many of them (such as genetics) cannot be helped. I am not implying that if you follow all of these tips that your skin will be perfect. They are simply just ten guidelines that, when I follow, keep my acne at bay.
Here are a few things that have worked for me:
- 1) Hydrate
I’m sure you have heard it a thousand times already but drinking water really is one of the most efficient ways to keep your skin clear. Drinking water helps to clear toxins from the body and transports oxygen and nutrients to skin cells helping to keep it nice and hydrated.
- 2) Eat the Rainbow
I’m a strong believer that what you put into your body is just as important as what topical products you use when it comes to how your skin looks. You can have the best skincare routine in the world but have a rubbish diet (or vice versa) and it will tell on your skin.
Yet another tip that you will have heard before. Fruit and veg contain skin soothing vitamins and help to clear toxins (often the cause of acne) from the body. They are also high in antioxidants which kill bacteria and fight free radicles. Eat an array of different coloured fruits and vegetables as different colours carry different benefits. Not everything has to be bland or green 😊
- 3) Get Tested
Often times we are eating foods that we are intolerant to without even realising it. Unfortunately for us, our skin knows all too well that our body isn’t breaking these food items down. Studies show that roughly 65% of the population are lactose intolerant but only 12% are aware of it. Cutting out dairy was the biggest factor that led to me having clearer skin.
Dream is an amazing dairy free milk brand that is available in supermarkets all over Ireland and is a great substitute for cow/goat milk.
A trip to your GP/Allergist could be very beneficial if you have tried everything to clear your skin but nothing has worked. It could also be of benefit to have a hormone test done as unbalanced hormones often make themselves known in the form of spots.
- 4) Hands Off
As tempting as it is to squeeze that bugger on your face, don’t do it! When you pop a pimple you actually spread bacteria and the wound is left open to all sorts of nasty infections. Not only does this cause even more spots but you are also increasing the risk of scarring and pigmentation (I got many scars before I learned my lesson). When you touch a blemish, you are not only pushing the bacteria further into the skin but you are also causing it to become even more inflamed. The only time you should be touching your face is when you wash it in the morning and evening.
- 5) Stay Sanitised
If you are someone who gets spots on your cheeks, your phone may be the cause of the problem. We are all in the habit of having our phones attached to us 24/7 which means that whatever bacteria our hands come into contact with are then transferred to our phone screens. Keep a bottle of hand sanitiser and some disinfectant wipes in your bag at all times to prevent spots from developing.
- 6) Make it Personal
Just because your favourite celebrity says that a certain skin care product cleared their acne doesn’t mean it will work for you. Whether it’s a beautician, a makeup artist or dermatologist, ask a professional to examine your skin and tell you your skin type. This will make it ten times easier for you to find products that work for you. Most brands write what skin type a product is suited to on the packaging so you have no excuse!
- 7) Have a Routine
It’s no good having a press full of skincare products if you’re not going to use them. Make sure to wash you face when you wake up and again before you go to bed. Having a routine means you are less likely to forget to look after your skin and allows for any unwanted bacteria to be washed away on a regular basis. I tend to wash my face as soon as I get up (with clean warm water) and again before I go to bed.
- 8) Get Pampered
I noticed a huge improvement in my skin once I started going for facials. Getting a facial every two months unclogs any blocked pores and allows for your skin to breathe again. The girls at Beauty by the Beach (the local beauty salon in Ballybunion) always made sure to use products that were suited to the condition of my acne each time I payed a visit and this made a massive difference in the look and texture of my skin. They also recommended products that would be suited to my skin which was extremely helpful.
- 9) Keep it Simple
You don’t need to splash out on expensive products to have clear skin. The majority of my skincare products are made with natural ingredients that have healing properties and they seem to be working a charm.
Face washes and spot creams containing tea tree oil are very efficient in reducing acne because of its antibacterial properties. You can make a simple toner out of rose water and apple cider vinegar to remove bacteria from your pores. Face masks are often most effective when made with products from your kitchen. Avocados, honey, cinnamon, lemon and cucumber are just a few food items that have amazing healing power.
Companies such as Lush and The Body Shop have amazing moisturisers and other products that are cruelty free and made from natural ingredients so it may be worth your while investing in a few if you don’t feel like making them at home.
- 10) Don’t Forget to Moisturise
If you are anything like me, your skin can sometimes be so greasy that you could fry an egg on it. When you have combination or oily skin it can be so tempting to skip the moisturiser once you have washed your face but I’m telling you now that that is a HUGE no-no!
When you use a cleanser and toner on your face, all of its natural oils are stripped away and your skin then needs a way to re-hydrate. If you choose to forego moisturiser, your skin will produce a lot more oil than it usually does to compensate for the oil that was removed. There are plenty of moisturisers out there that are made for oily skin that hydrate the skin without leaving a greasy residue. So there are simply NO EXCUSES to skip the moisturiser.
- 11) (Sneaky Extra Tip) Relax
Stress and sleep deprivation are two huge factors in the development of pimples. Try to get to bed a few hours earlier each night with a book and a cup of tea, take some time to unwind after a busy day and catch a few extra Z’s before you start a new day.
I know that dealing with acne can be very stressful but the more you stress, the longer it will take for your skin to improve. Try to embrace the skin you are in and love yourself and your body will start to love you too!
I hope that these tips might be of help to anybody who is trying to manage their acne. I will be posting my skincare routine and the products that I’m loving right now in a few weeks once I am sure that they are the products that work best for me. Until then, try to keep a skin diary and keep track of your breakouts. This can help to pinpoint the cause of your acne.
Keep an eye out for a new blog post in the coming days 😊