As I’m typing this, it’s a Sunday afternoon (20th August to be exact) and I’m breaking out again. I may have mentioned briefly that I broke out some weeks ago – quite horrifically. Perhaps the worse breakout I’ve ever had in my adult life. In a way I didn’t know how to deal and the recovery took about two weeks which is really long in my books (but I realise this is different for everybody and for every breakout).
Today, I thought I’d give some advice on this front, as much as I’m still breaking out; though this time, it’s not so serious and I think more linked to ‘that time of the month’. Now, this isn’t a miracle guide by any means, but I think are some crucial steps that I’ve learnt over the years as well as more recently.
If you want, you can share some of your best tips in the comments too and make this a useful discussion for everyone! 🙂 Enjoy!
[See also: My Current Treatments Routine]
You’re not getting any younger, so don’t be lazy!
I know. Harsh. Except it’s so true. In the words of Caroline Hirons, you only get one face so don’t waste it. Do your double-cleanse. Perform your whole skincare routine before you go to bed and after you wake up. Wear your SPF so you don’t end up with hyper-pigmented spots/discolouration. It’s not as high-maintenance as it sounds – it only takes 5 minutes!
Admittedly, I think one of the main reasons I broke out as bad as I did was because I had a lazy skincare week. It’s hard to pinpoint reasons but even this week, I slacked a little in my evening skincare and I guess now my skin is paying for it by breaking out. I can no longer just use micellar water, pray for the best and still wake up with relatively nice, clear skin. So yes, this advice is also to myself. 😅
Don’t use a harsh cleanser
I wish someone could’ve said this to me when I was in high school. But you live, you learn. Like most teenagers, I started breaking out around 12 years old, and also like most teenagers, I tried to sought out the help of a harsh cleanser. I truly believed no pain no gain at that time in my life. I would resort to skincare with benzyl peroxide and/or salicylic acid. If it stung my face and I could tolerate it, then it was worth going through because that’s how it works, right? Wrong.
No matter what your skin type is, or how much acne you have, you should always use a gentle cleanser and alcohol-free toner. Using a harsh cleanser will only aggravate your skin more. It will over-strip your skin too which, if you have oily skin, congratulations by making it more oily! By over-stripping your skin, it thinks it needs more oil so you end up with more sebum production than before. Even if your skin can tolerate harsh chemicals – don’t chance it! There are better, better methods out there that are more sustainable. 🙂
Keep your hair away from your face
To be honest, I don’t tie my hair up 99% of the time. If I do tie my hair up, it is normally because I’m working out (or I’ve gone crazy). 😂 I used to get a lot more spots around my hairline than now, but it is still an issue simply because I don’t follow this simple rule! Why do I make my life harder I wonder…
If you are like me, you can use two other methods. When you are casually at home, you can just put your hair back, away from your face, with a hairband. If you have greasy hair, it’s good to clip the front section back so that it has no contact with your face.
Also – if you have acne-prone, combination/oily skin, then I really suggest you don’t get a fringe cut!
You are what you eat (and drink)
Again, this is something I need to apply more to my lifestyle. I don’t drink enough water for one. I had the BEST skin when I was in university, because I drank a lot of water since there was a water-filling system in school and I would always re-fill my bottle (saved money too 😛). That was the only time in my life that I drank the required amount but now it’s not great. I really need to make the effort.
You should also watch out for your sugar and alcohol intake. These two especially, are very toxic for the body. Our bodies are programmed differently so either it can ‘tolerate’ or is more sensitive; but what doesn’t change is the very little value that alcohol and sugar have. Even if the outside is looking ‘fine’, the inside can’t be looking too good if these components are really high in your life so monitor accordingly.
I even found that cutting back on dairy helped a lot too.
Start recognising ingredients that are good and bad
It wouldn’t be a post by me if I didn’t mention skincare, right?! 😝
Depending on how sensitive, acne-prone or oily your skin is, it may be that your skin cannot handle certain ingredients so it ends up reacting. Next time you breakout and are 99% sure that it’s due to a product, discontinue use, read its ingredients list and do some research – you may find the culprit ingredient that breaks out your skin. Some products are comedogenic so just be wary.
On the other hand, also start recognising the ingredients that are good for spotty, problem skin.
Below, I’ve provided some of my personal favourite ingredients:
- Aloe Vera (I love using Aloe Vera Gel)
- Salicylic Acid
- Retinol (I’d really recommend The Ordinary’s 2% Retinoid)
- Vitamin C
- Hyaluronic Acid
What are some of yours?
So here we have it!
The secret to good, clear skin can sometimes get the better of us, but there really is no other secret than looking after it and keeping with it like we do with our exercise, mind, career…you name it! But I promise it’s worth it, so don’t stress!
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