Banish the Blemishes

When I was a teenager, I had the occasional bout with acne.  Now that I’m (much) older, I find myself struggling with my skin – yet again.  From what I understand, it’s a common thing that happens to over-30 chicks, but it’s still really, really annoying.  Seriously – I have to worry about wrinkles AND blemishes?  SO not fair.  Anyway, here’s what I’ve figured out to do (so far) to fight breakouts…

Keep Your Skin Clean:  Duh, right?  Yeah.  But, if you’re not very structured when it comes to cleansing, your skin is paying the price.  If you sometimes “cheat” by using wipes, or slack off when you’re not wearing makeup, you’re being inconsistent.  And your skin needs consistency.  Wash your face (at least) twice a day with an oil-free cleanser.  I like Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser.  Adding a Clarisonic machine to your beauty regimen might help, too.  I recommend the “deep pore” or “acne” replacement heads.  (Note:  When you first start using it, all kinds of stuff will come to the surface, so your skin may break out more at first.  Be patient.)

Go Oil-Free:  Look for cleansing and moisturizing products that are oil-free.  Keep in mind, one company’s idea of “oil free” may be different than others’.  Some “oil free” products contain glycerin, which isn’t ideal if you’re breakout-prone.

Banish Fabric Softener:  Fabric softeners/dryer sheets contain some stuff you probably wouldn’t put on your skin.  OK, maybe you like soft clothes, but do you REALLY need fabric-softened washcloths and pillowcases?  Probably not.  Wash these items separately – sans fabric softener.

Speaking of Your Linens…  Change our your pillowcases regularly (every couple days).  Think about it.  Your hair – which has been a magnet for all kinds of gunk throughout the day – is moving all around your pillowcase.  You’re trying to keep your skin clean, so keep the thing you’re laying on all night clean, too.  And NEVER re-use washcloths.  I don’t care how far behind on laundry you are.  Use a hand towel or the corner of a bath towel if you have to.

Hydration:  Drinking lots of water is helpful for treating skin issues (as well as many other things) because it helps flush toxins out of your system.  Try to work more water into your diet.  If (like me) you absolutely hate plain water, try flavored water products like SoBe LifeWater and Vitamin Water.  Both come in varieties that are sweetened with stevia, a natural sugar substitute that contains zero calories.

Exfoliation:  Even with the use of a sonic cleansing system, occasional exfoliation is great for helping to clean out your pores and getting rid of any dull, dry skin (which can also block your pores).

Ask a Doc:  If you have health insurance and/or prescription coverage, get yourself to a dermatologist. Even if you don’t have great coverage, it might be less expensive than Proactiv or other acne treatment solutions.  A dermatologist can prescribe a stronger acne-fighting gel or cream than you can buy in a store.  I’ve seen a great improvement in my skin since I got a retinol-based cream to use on my face each night.  (Bonus – it helps with dark spots and wrinkles!)

The Pill: Low-dose birth control can help with breakouts by normalizing your hormones.  You’ve probably noticed some changes in your skin at different times of the month.  You can help curb some of these fluctuations with birth control pills.

In Summary:  Everyone has to figure out what works best for them.  These are the things that have been working for me.  Feel free to comment with any other tips you have.

 

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2 Comments

  1. eat well as well!

    Reply
    • Yes, that’s also very important. Eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables can really help your skin.

      Reply

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