I thought I would make a blog post about some changes I have made to my skin routine/life style that have really helped in clearing my acne up. Now, I am not brave enough to post a before and after picture, but trust me, there HAS been a significant improvement in my skin. (I will link all products so you can check them out!)
First, I have started drinking more water and less sugary/soda-like drinks. This isn't rocket science, guys and gals. Sugary drinks like soda can make some people, including myself, break out. That's not to mention all the other chemicals and bad crap they put in soft drinks and all. Bottom line, they just aren't good for you. And besides, water is, in most cases, free. So drink as much as you can, daily! You can even add lemon, frozen berries, mint, etc to water to make it a little different. Or, try carbonated water, just make sure there is no added sodium.
Something I find interesting is that when I was 18 I saw a dermatologist who basically told me that diet has nothing to do with breakouts. Can you believe it?! Of course diet has a hand in breakouts! You are what you eat! I still do drink soda occasionally, but it is now about once every 2-4 months rather than having 2-3 sodas in a day, 3 or more times a week. Also, working out has helped clear my skin as well. Since a lot of my acne is caused by stress, working out regularly helps to better release my stress so it doesn't cause as many breakouts :)
Second, I have switched my actual skin care routine. Before (about 2-3 years ago), I would have a face full of make up and just use an acne cleanser at night to remove everything. WRONG. There is so much gunk that stays in your pores when you do that! Instead, I now use baby wipes or make up removing wipes to remove not only my eye makeup, but my face make up as well. You'd be surprised how great baby wipes work, and how inexpensive they are when compared to makeup removing wipes!
After I remove my make up, I cleanse my face with Lush's Fresh Farmacy. It is the ONLY acne cleanser that has ever truly worked for my skin. It's also a lot more natural than a lot of over the counter/prescription acne cleansers out there. It also helps to balance out my skin and I have noticed my skin has become a lot less red over the time I have used this product. It has also, in my opinion, helped to fade some of my acne marks. So, go Lush!
I then treat any acne bumps/breakouts I have. I use Say Yes to Tomatoes Treatment Spot Stick or Burts Bee's Herbal Blemish Stick. Both work equally as well, it just depends on which store I am purchasing an acne spot treatment at. Unfortunately, a lot of stores by me have stopped carrying the Say Yes to Tomatoes Spot Stick.
At night, if I feel my skin is dry, I apply my moisturizer, but most nights I do not. I do, however, use my Palmer's Coco Butter Formula Daily Facial Lotion every day, whether I am applying makeup over it or not. Although it does not smell the best, this stuff really does work well with my skin. It isn't greasy, yet it moisturizes my skin enough. I was using Aveeno's Positively Radiant Moisturizer, but 15 bucks every 2 months for a moisturizer was a bit too steep for my wallet.
Finally, the largest improvement in my skin is most likely because I have been on a birth control pill for over 2 years now. At first, it caused me to break out worse than I had in years, as well as making me gain about 3-5 pounds. My body simply needed to get used to having all of the hormones of the pill and after about 6 months, I saw a dramatic improvement in my skin. I no longer get the huge, painful, cystic acne break outs; the ones that were responsible for a lot of my acne marks and scars. (I also lost the weight I gained from introducing the pill). Whenever I break out now, it is less frequent, and I can almost always tell when I am going to have a break out because my hormones are now regulated. The actual blemishes are a lot smaller and a lot easier to shrink or get rid of, as well. I know there is a bit of controversy over 'The Pill' and whatnot, but this is just what has worked for me in my life and for my own body.
The pill was a last resort for me, really. I had already used every single proactiv, murad, clearasil, and so on product. I know enough about acne products to know what I am allergic to and what will definitely make me break out. I had already seen a dermatologist, who in the end, basically told me I would 'grow out' of my acne (which never happened, by the way).
My skin, as of now, is not perfect by any means but no one really has perfect skin. I still occasionally break out and I still have acne marks and scars. To me, I don't really care as much what others think about my skin. I know that it has come a long way from where it was and I have to say I am happy with how my skin is right now!
- Wash your makeup brushes and pillow cases regularly
- Remove your makeup before washing with a cleanser
- Drink less sugary/soda-like beverages
- Workout to relieve stress hormones
- Consider birth control, after speaking with your doctor
- Drink more water!
- Be careful of what makeup/topical products you use; read the ingredients!
- Don't strive for 'perfect' skin, strive for 'clearer' skin
- Try more natural-based products and see what happens
I hope this was helpful to those of you who are struggling with acne! Hang in there, and don't forget to breathe :)