Acne is an evil, pesky, irritating, and probably the most repulsive nuisance a human can know (besides Donald Trump). Many of us know it all too well. It tampers with your self-esteem, causes pain and inflammation on our delicate skin, and can even leave behind permanent damage! It ends up costing people hundreds to even thousands of dollars to treat with numerous dermatologist visits and a million and one products that either happen to work or just puts a huge whole in your pocket. Needless to say, it can be quite inconvenient and challenging to deal with.
Personally, my acne has been severe since the start of middle school. I’m now 19 and I suffer from adult cystic acne and am on four different prescribed medications to treat it. I’ve lived with severe cystic acne for EIGHT years! It damaged my self esteem for a long time.
Eventually I learned that it’s just something that everyone may have to deal with, whether it’s just a few zits here and there from time to time (I envy you if that’s your situation) or it has to be medically treated. I have learned to accept it as a part of life, and I am very grateful that I have a wonderful dermatologist that has helped me come so far with controlling my acne and healing my skin. It may not be as flawless as a baby yet, but I plan to get close to it soon with taking all my medications correctly along with maintaining these healthy tips in my lifestyle and taking these precautions.
Here’s how you can combat your acne, whether mild to severe, in simple yet effective ways.
Eat and Drink A Healthy Diet
I know, I know. I’m stating the obvious, preaching to the choir, restating something that’s drilled in our heads everywhere you go, from the doctor’s office to magazines to your health nut friends and family members. Yes it gets on my nerves to hear sometimes too. Not because I don’t want to do it, but because I am very aware that some people have to do much more than simply “Just eat healthy and drink more water!”
I’m one of those people.
In fact, I kind of have the urge to throw water in face of every preppy cardio bunny blonde who lives in sports bras and leggings and only shop at Whole Foods, whose only advice regarding keeping healthy skin is just this! There are more factors in the reasons behind why we have acne: it could be hormones imbalance, a side affect of certain medications, allergic reactions to foods or substances, other underlying conditions or diseases we don’t know about. My best advice is to consult a doctor immediately if you’re having trouble with breakouts consistently. You truly never know what could be causing it until you get an answer from a professional.
At the same time it’s still very important to eat an appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables and get all the vital nutrients and antioxidants you need. I do happen to notice a difference in my skin when I choose to eat potato chips and sour cream dip instead of a fruit salad. I feel a lot better after drinking a green smoothie than after eating a Chicken McNuggets combo from McDonald’s. Eat foods that make you feel energized and productive rather than ones that please your taste buds and then make you not want to get off the couch a few minutes later.
While the concept of detoxification diets are still controversial in modern science, it is true that your body is capable of detoxifying itself on its own to a degree. This means that all those fast foods, highly processed foods and sugary sweets will end up showing up on your face because your body has to release all that extra stuff you put in it that it didn’t need. Just do the right thing and avoid a few extra zits by sticking to the guidelines of the food pyramid.
Do Not Touch Your Face!
Who hasn’t heard of this one before? Constant touching and feeling on your face is a terrible habit because it leads the way for germs and bacteria to make direct contact to your skin. We all know what germs and bacteria do to our skin: they breakk us out, creating an inflamed, irritated, and horrible disaster!
Avoid touching on your face or resting your face in your hand, and try not to put your cell phone to your ear often. Wipe your phone down with a disinfectant wipe frequently and use the speaker or your earbuds if you can.
Before your skin care regimen, wash your hands every time without fail. Try to stick products that are inside containers and jars that have pumps or are in squeeze tubes to prevent transfer of germs from your hands to the product. Plus it significantly diminishes any chance of any growth of bacteria (or even mildew in some cases) in your product.
Change Your Pillow Case Weekly
Raise your hand if you religiously change your bed sheets and pillow cases every single week. If you’re not one of those people, hop to it, immediately!
You must switch out your bed linens weekly, as you shed dead skin cells on a daily basis (and probably slob on your pillow too. Come on, be honest). Over time those dead skin cells and that bacteria growth will irritate your skin and cause breakouts. To avoid that, make sure to have a fresh, clean pillow case on your pillow every new week. You can also try placing a new freshly washed and warm towel over your pillow every night for better protection and TLC of your precious face.
Avoid Over-drying Your Skin
Toners have become all the rage in the beauty community when it comes to skin care. Needless to say, everybody’s now running to the local CVS or Sephora in search of the best toner to solve whatever their skin issues they’re having. Notice that many of these toners contain alcohol, an ingredient that can be super drying for the skin.
You may believe that dousing on the alcohol and witch hazel will do good, but over time it will wreak havoc on your skin by creating more irritation due to over-stripping of the natural oils your skin produces. Your skin will start to become dry and tight, creating excess peeling, flaking, and further irritation of your skin. Try not to use toners that are heavily concentrated with alcohol, witch hazel, or other extremely drying ingredients, especially if you’re already on acne treatments that contain salicylic acid or retin-a. Here’s a simple and super affordable recipe for a DIY toner that has worked well for my skin. It’s alcohol free and is perfect for the harsh summer and winter weather and after a workout!
Exfoliating your face once a week when you have acne works wonders. It scrubs away the dead skin cells that lay on the surface of your skin along with those pesky little blackheads and whiteheads that pop up around the nose, chin, forehead, cheeks…. ears…. the list can on actually. I know mine does.
I notice a significant difference in my face when I exfoliate once a week. It’s much softer and smoother right after, the hard little acne bumps have been scrubbed away and my skin produces a radiant glow.
If you have sensitive skin, look for exfoliates that have tiny granules or particles in them instead of larger, harsher ones. There are quite a few exfoliates on the market specifically for those with sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin and it was hard finding a good exfoliating treatment that didn’t cause severe redness and further irritation.
Luckily I recently tried The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion. I love anything Vitamin C because of it’s brightening and illuminating effect on the skin. It feels like a cream mixed with baking soda, but less harsh tan plain baking soda. It smells like oranges too.
Incorporate these simple methods into your lifestyle and dealing with acne surely won’t be as hard.
Here’s to healthy skin!
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