Happy Sunday! Today I thought I would talk about what I do to keep my skin consistently clear, as ‘problem’ skin is something that so many people struggle with. I put problem in quotations because I personally think that all skin is beautiful and is something we should all cherish. However, I realize that problematic skin can be an insecurity for many people, and so I want share my favourite tips and tricks I have learned over the years to maintaining healthy, clear skin as a skincare consultant and in experimenting with my own skin’s reactions.
There are so many different types of skin, and each of these have different needs and solutions to achieving healthy looking skin. However, regardless of if your skin is dry, normal, oily or combination, there are certain things that everyone can do to clear up their skin. I have dry skin in the winter and normal skin in the summer, so my skin usually wants as much moisture as it can get or it starts to look dull. I also usually get a few breakouts a week before my period starts, which is normal for any women. Unfortunately, there is not much stopping hormonal breakouts, but there are ways to shrink them.
Please take into consideration that these tips may not work for you. Every person’s skin is unique and reacts differently. These tips are just things that work for me and a lot of people I know. I recommend these tips to customers because there is no harm in trying them; they won’t do damage to your skin at all if your skin doesn’t react well to them. So without any further ado, here are my favourite tips on how I keep my skin clear!
Sleep – long and well
Sleep is so important for maintaining clear skin. When you sleep, your skin works hard to heal itself from the previous day. Sleeping helps to heal blemishes, acne scars, hyper-pigmentation and reveals bright, glowing, healthy skin. I make sleep a priority and try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. I know this can be difficult for some people, but I can not recommend this enough. I notice a huge difference in the appearance of my skin when I get less than 7 hours of sleep a night consistently. My skin looks dull and dry; the glow is completely gone. I have also heard so many dermatologists and estheticians recommend getting enough sleep to clear up your skin.
Eat healthy, clean, whole foods
I am sure you have heard the saying ‘you are what you eat.’ Yes, it sounds cliche but this saying is so true in terms of the health of your skin. If you are eating healthy, nourishing food, you are nourishing your skin from the inside out. If you are feeling your body with toxic foods, you will see the toxins effect your skin. I eat a very clean diet and so processed foods act quickly when they are in my system. For example, every once in a while I will eat something greasy, fatty or loaded in sugar. Almost immediately, my skin reacts negatively. The next day, I will have at least one zit, if not more, and my skin will look greasy. If you are someone who struggles with acne and eats a lot of processed foods, the cause of your acne is probably your diet. I recommend cutting out processed foods for a week and see how your skin changes. I am almost positive you will see some sort of change!
NEVER go to sleep with makeup on
My friends always tease me about this, but I seriously never go to sleep with my makeup on. I can be stumbling home at 2am drunk with my friends and I still wash my face before going to sleep. Some will say this isn’t a big deal, but think about what happens to your skin when you sleep with your makeup on from the previous day. One, your skin hasn’t breathed in hours and hours. The makeup is sinking deeper into your pores, which can result in a severe breakout. Letting your skin breathe is so important in avoiding breakouts. Also, blackheads are a huge nuisance to get rid of, so why add to that problem by sleeping with makeup on? Second of all, sleeping with your makeup on can result in oily skin. By leaving foundation, concealer and powder on for an extending period of time, your skin is going to be lacking moisture (from your moisturizer) and then begin to over produce oils to make up for it. I can guarantee if you sleep with your makeup on, you will wake up with greasy, dull skin.
Don’t rely on salicylic acid to clear your breakouts
Salicylic acid is not the be-all-end-all for clearing breakouts. In fact, salicylic acid doesn’t do anything for a lot of people. Like I have said before, everyone has different skin, so the standard acne solution may not work for you. I always recommend experimenting with other acne treatments to discover what works best for you. I use tea tree oil because it doesn’t try out the infected area like other treatments do. Benzyl peroxide is also a great acne solution and often works for a lot of people who don’t react to salicylic acid. You can find tea tree oil at all health food store (mine is from The Body Shop) and benzyl peroxide at any drugstore. Acne treatments don’t have to expensive. Shop around to see what works for you!
Exfoliating on a consistent basis helps to remove dead skin, shrink pores, clear pores and acne and reveal luminous skin. I use a gentle exfoliating wash every morning and use a more intense exfoliator about two times a week. If I don’t exfoliate, my skin looks absolutely lifeless. I love to experiment with different exfoliators (currently loving Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate) but I do try to avoid scrubbing beads that are harmful to the environment – these are often found in drugstore exfoliators such as Clean & Clear. I can wash my face, use toner and moisturize but nothing will do as much for my skin as an exfoliator will. Do you want smaller pores? Acne free skin? A glowy, damage free look? EXFOLIATE.
These are my top tips for achieving clear, healthy skin. I am always looking for new tips so leave yours in the comments! What works for you and what doesn’t?