Acne, texture, and unwanted breakouts: three common annoyances we face when dealing with our skin. While these things may feel like the end of the world, it’s important to note that our skin will always be imperfectly perfect, and the goal of airbrushed skin is inherently unrealistic. That being said, the following are a few tips you can implement to show your skin some love.
*Note that following these steps won’t necessarily lead to clear skin, and in cases of problematic skin, such as acne, texture, rosacea, etc., the wise thing to do is to get in contact with a dermatologist or a licensed aesthetician.
#1: Keep your hair off your face
Dirty hair, due to the pollution and the dirt it attracts from constantly touching it, along with natural oil production, might not be the smartest thing to keep on your face, and here’s why:
For people with both acne-prone skin and long hair, not tying your hair back when you go to sleep makes your skin more susceptible to these breakouts, considering it’s bound to fall on your forehead (and all over your face in general) while you’re tossing and turning.
Make sure to wash your hair at least two times a week and limit your product use in general. Hair products (especially oil-based) can cause major breakouts if your hair is constantly touching your face. You can still keep your hair hydrated and your face clear by using headbands, creating cute hairstyles, or just making sure it doesn’t get in your face.
#2: Watch your diet
Skincare is not just creams, gels, masks, and facial washes. For most people, food is a major cause of skin problems. In an interview with Forbes, Licensed Dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face, Dr. Jessica Wu, says, “I tell my patients that what they put in their mouths is as important as the products they apply on their skin,” suggesting that restricting the consumption of sugar, grains, dairy, fast food, and chocolate can genuinely have a positive effect on your skin.
A vital thing to keep in mind is that a pimple takes 1-2 weeks to form and it’s important to watch your alimentation in the long-run. Pay attention to how your skin and body reacts to different foods such as sweets, dairy, carbs, etc. Everybody’s body is different so your “problem” food might not necessarily be the same as other people’s. No food is a bad food so everything consumed in moderation is the way to go.
Also, water intake is something crucial that most people neglect, with water being a huge factor in keeping your skin hydrated. So make sure you drink enough water every day as per your body type!
“2 litres per day, helps the body to flush out toxins and keeps skin hydrated.”—Nutritionist Daisy Whitbread, Beauty & Go.
#3: Keep your hands off your face
This may be difficult, as a study published in USA Today states that the average person touches their face 23 times per hour! But, keeping your hands off your face is key to clearer skin. Your hands easily carry and transport bacteria with them at all times, and every time you touch your face that bacteria will end up in your pores, causing infections.
If you always touch your face unconsciously like me, you should try and find the root of that problem. It may be trying to keep your hair out of your face or just your face itching. But do not touch that beautiful gem sitting on top of your neck! Instead, you could try sitting on your hands or something less extreme, like have something to fiddle with to distract you. However, if you absolutely must touch your face, make sure your hands are clean: either wash them in the nearest sink or use some hand sanitiser.
#4: Wash your face
This is a simple one. Washing your face is a key step to clearing your skin, as by doing so, you are washing all the bacteria and build-up away.
If your face is oily, you might want to wash your face twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. For normal and dry skin types, once a day is enough (before you go to sleep), and in the morning, you could also use some micellar water or a neutral toner, if it suits your skin! Washing your face at night is essential for each and every skin type, as during the day, makeup and other particles mixed with the sebum your skin naturally produces will clog your pores, thus leading to breakouts and other issues.
Which leads me to my next point: NEVER GO TO SLEEP WITH MAKEUP ON and ALWAYS WASH YOUR FACE AFTER WORKING OUT!
Makeup has already been addressed, but you also need to wash your face after working out since sweat does linger on your face and can easily cause breakouts!
“Never go to sleep with makeup on. You need to let your skin breathe.”—François Nars, Founder of incredibly well-known makeup brand, Nars.
#5: NEVER pop your pimples
Although some people might see popping pimples as really satisfying, doing this causes bacteria to spread or go deeper into your skin. Not only this, but the healing process is delayed. In case you can’t resist the urge, it is recommended to go to a professional. It takes around 3-6 days for a pimple to disappear, so be patient.
Pimples should only ever get popped if they’ve developed what’s called ‘a head’ and is looking yellow/white-ish. If you don’t usually go to a cosmetologist or can’t reach one, a safe method would be opening your pores by steaming your face and with the use of cotton pads gently press on the surface. Beware that popping pimples that aren’t ready for popping might lead to the apparition of other pimples. Note that you should NEVER use household products as skincare such as toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, coconut oil, homemade face masks, etc.
#6: Always wear sunscreen
Sunscreen is a very important step to your skincare, as it can prevent wrinkles and slow down the aging process of your skin. If you have acne scars, it’s also strongly recommended to wear it as the Sun can make them appear darker.
You want to specifically use a face sunscreen as the skin on your face is more sensitive compared to the skin on the rest of your body. Using regular sunscreen may be too harsh.
And while a common misconception is that “sunscreen causes cancer”, that myth has been repeatedly debunked, and even more so, there is medical evidence that tanning beds and UV rays are leading causes of skin cancers, so make sure you wear sunscreen everyday, rainy or sunny!
Remember: you are beautiful whether you have 100 pimples on your face or your skin is perfectly clear. As long as you’re confident in yourself, others perceptions and opinions of you should not matter and you can continue living your beauty queen or king life.
Tell us: what are your favorite skin secrets?