The path to clear skin is often paved with false marketing ploys, misinformation, and confusing rhetoric that leaves the reader wondering how to achieve lasting, flawless skin. Starting the day with a fresh, blemish-free face can be a huge boost to our mental health. Not to mention, a healthy, natural skin barrier protects us from unwanted bacteria, viruses, and pollutants that constantly bombard us.
Random breakouts are incredibly frustrating, especially when they creep up before a big event or special day. Certain factors that contribute to breakouts can be managed. Washing your pillowcase, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding certain foods are just a few ways to minimize the potential for breakouts.
However, acne has many causes both genetic and environmental. Those with acne-prone skin, have oily skin, or experience large hormonal fluctuations may only be able to mitigate pimples, blackheads, and blemishes instead of banishing them completely. According to Johns Hopkins, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million people. Acne is most prevalent in people ages 12 to 24, however, some 12% of women will experience acne well into their 40s.
The first line of defense against acne - and a nonnegotiable step on the path to clear skin - is establishing a standard skin care routine. Create a plan for cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Once this is set, you can add additional steps that utilize other products - like a vitamin C brightening serum or dark spot corrector - as needed.
A nighttime skin care practice removes impurities like makeup, dirt, and grime that get caked on throughout the day. A morning routine removes sweat and oil that accumulated at night and provides a clean palette for moisturizer, sunscreen, and makeup. Committing to these two cleansing routines and using natural skin care products is the first place to start when trying to get clear skin fast.
Fighting breakouts when they occur won’t benefit the skin if the natural foundation is compromised. The skin is a complex ecosystem of good bacteria that creates a natural barrier. The current world we live in is constantly bombarding this barrier with pollution including free radicals, smoke, exhaust fumes, and more.
Choosing products that nurture this natural barrier instead of breaking it down even more is essential when creating a new skin care routine. Here are the most essential steps of a good skincare routine:
It’s tempting to use an intense cleanser to remove excess oil, but this can be counterproductive for oily skin. Stripping the skin of its natural lubricant can ramp up oil production, leading to an increase in breakouts. Choose a mild cleanser designed for oily skin that gently removes excess oil without damaging the natural barrier.
Start double cleansing if you use makeup or have acne-prone skin. An essential step for anyone who wears makeup daily, double cleansing pairs a micellar or oil-based cleanser with a foaming one. The micellar water cleanser lifts sediment like dead skin cells buried in pores while the foaming cleanser washes them away.
Don’t just opt for any toner. Many contain a high-alcohol content that can leave skin dry and fragile. Pick a toner with Glycolic Acid or Salicylic Acid that calms irritated skin. Toning doesn’t have to strip the skin, but instead, can be a soothing step that restores balance to the skin’s pH level.
Locking in moisture and hydrating tired skin mitigates the skin’s natural response to keep itself lubricated. For those with oily skin, choose a lightweight day time moisturizer and a non comedogenic hydrating cream to apply before bed.
Despite our best efforts, breakouts are a fact of life for most. Following your established skincare routine is a wonderful preventative measure and fosters glowing skin. Here are additional steps to take when combating an annoying breakout:
Avoid touching your face and using products that come into direct contact with your skin like hats, headbands, scarfs, or even your cell phone. Wash your face in the middle of the day if need be and especially after a workout.
If you can, skip the foundation and other full-coverage makeup to allow skin to breathe. It’s tempting to want to cover up breakouts and if you absolutely must, opt for a light-weight, high-quality concealer that matches your skin tone while allowing the wound underneath to breathe.
Refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, dairy products, and foods high in saturated fat can increase our propensity to develop whiteheads and produce excess sebum. Stick to whole foods, natural sugars found in fruits and honey, leafy greens, lean proteins, and complex carbs.
Drink plenty of water - at least 64 ounces a day - and stay away from dehydrating beverages like alcohol, excess coffee, and soda.
Get 8 hours of sleep a night when experiencing an acne flare up or a breakout due to hormonal fluctuations. Adequate sleep can regulate our immune system, appetite, and energy levels.
Certain behaviors, habits, and lifestyle factors can hinder our progress towards clear skin, even when we are taking the steps to foster a clean, blemish free face. Here’s what not to do when trying to get clear skin fast.
This can lead to overeating, overuse of alcohol or other substances, and the inability to sleep well. All of these factors can drastically hinder our skin’s natural ability to heal itself.
Cigarette smoke can irritate the skin and cause premature aging. Cutting back or quitting this habit entirely will definitely help your skin get back to its natural, healthy state.
Many products are loaded with harmful agents that skin care companies claim to be helpful in combating acne. Simpler is always best when it comes to applying products on our skin.
It’s tempting to want to squeeze whiteheads or dig black heads out but this can create massive scarring and irritate an already inflamed breakout zone. Avoid touching and picking zits and pimples at all costs. If you must get rid of an unsightly whitehead, clean the area well, wash your hands, and use a hot compress to gently work the puss out of the blemish.
Our bodies are made up of complex systems that work together and rely on the health of one another to perform appropriately. Our skin is the largest organ and as such, often reflects what is going on internally, both mentally and physically. Stress, inadequate nutrition, and the use of unhealthy substances can often be seen on our faces.
Clear skin is not only beautiful but also reflects our health and wellbeing. Attaining clear skin is a practice in eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, and nurturing our mental health. Practicing self-care, including morning and evening cleansing routines, lays a solid foundation for a blemish free complexion.
Feed your skin foods with antioxidants and use natural products that contain ingredients straight from the earth. Our skin is designed to protect us and can do its job only when we are kind and gentle to it. [ comfort zone ] provides a variety of expertly-crafted products based on research done by dermatologists. The entire line includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing products you can use to reset the skin’s natural system.