Since I was a teenager, I have been insecure about my skin. Acne, blackheads, and extremely oily skin bothered me daily, and continued to do so into my twenties. Over the past year and a half, my goal has been to finally get control of my acne. This hasn’t been easy for me and was a series of trial and error, but I do think there are a lot of different factors that have helped me with getting my skin closer to how I want it to be. [DISCLAIMER: Everyone’s skin type is different and have different issues. So what may work for me may not work for you. If anything I can recommend seeing a professional that will help you through this process as they are knowledgeable about what is and isn’t good for your skin. But don’t forget underneath the zits, blackheads, dry patches, and acne scars, you are f-ing gorgeous.]
These are all the things I’ve either began incorporating or started doing different that work for me:
I started getting professional facials.
This is actually the most expensive part. At my day job I can get a professional facial at a discounted price, but because it still costs a lot for me so I only get one maybe twice a year. Once in the beginning of summer, and once in the beginning of winter just so I can get ahead of my skin changing how it acts. Doing this helps because I actually have a licensed aesthetician talk to me about what is going on with my skin and about what may not be working. It also helps that I work with that same person a lot so she is often the one that will tell me to put down the soda.
Replaced soda with herbal tea.
Soda has always been a big part of my life. Every weekend when one of my uncles when shopping he would always come home with 20 2-Liter bottles of Pepsi for all of us to drink during the week. I ended up having to condition myself to liking bottled water when I got older.
A couple of months ago I ended up having a really bad cold and since I didn’t have the ability to go to the doctor I overloaded on herbal teas and things to boost my immune system. They did help me a lot for getting through my cold so I could still go to work everyday, but drinking them also became a habit and something that I really enjoyed. After a while I rarely drank sodas, and I noticed that my skin started clearing up. It ended up being a way that I could get my water intake in without having to worry about added sugars, so I was staying hydrated as well.
I found a routine that works for me and I stick to it.
It took me a long time to find products that work well for my oily skin without being overly drying, but once I did I created a routine that I stick to religiously. I actually have two routines. My longer routine are for most days where I use my skincare routine as a way to destress from the day or want to start the day with a really good cleanse. The shorter routine are for my days where I am running late, or I am just too tired to do my full skincare routine but the needs are getting taken care of. For the products I use, it is a mixture of high-end and drugstore products but if I see that there is something that isn’t working for me anymore, once I finish it I don’t repurchase.
I clean anything that ends up touching my face.
Whether it is my pillow case, my phone, or even my hair, I try too keep the things that touch my face as clean as I can. Oil and bacteria build up from your skin can and will compound onto everything that it touches and when you apply those items to your face again this is one of the things that can cause a lot of breakouts. This is usually how often I’ll clean the things that touch my face:
- Makeup Brushes: Deep clean weekly or sooner if my makeup start’s applying weird.
- Cell Phone and Work Phone: Wipe with a disinfecting wipe daily
- Pillow Case: Every two weeks. I usually sleep on one side for a week, and then flip it to the other side for a week before I wash it.
- Hair: Every three to four days. The minute I start getting oily, second-day hair it gets pulled back or it gets put up.
- Hands: EVERY CHANCE I CAN. I know that one tip that everyone keeps saying is to stop touching your face, and that is pretty much impossible to do. You will touch your face without realizing it 98% of the time, so it is much easier to make sure your hands are clean when they touch your face rather than constantly fighting yourself because you like to lean on your hand while reading.
I don’t wear foundation much anymore.
I honestly hate trying to apply foundation. Being as pale as I am, I have a very difficult time finding a foundation that matches my skin tone, as a lot of women do, but is also able to stand up against the fact that my skin gets very oily. So this year I stopped wearing foundation all the time, check out my new year’s Instagram post about it. I am at a point where I only wear it when it is a special occasion and it wouldn’t feel right to me to go in not wearing any. Even then the foundation I have right now is a pretty light coverage foundation so you wouldn’t be able to tell anyway. At this point, the closest thing I will wear to a foundation is actually a primer and a little bit of face powder that help mattify my face.
I went after the inflammation first, then the acne.
This is actually a tip that my aesthetician co-worker told me about after my first facial with her. As long as your skin is dealing with inflammation, the acne will persist and be really difficult. Come to find out a lot of the products I used before were causing the inflammation on top of other things. So she recommended that I try out the Dermalogica Ultra Calming kit before I went back to my normal skincare. The kit itself was a 3-month supply of the line and after using it for the 3 months my skin was a lot less red and warm and my acne was starting to calm down. After I finished the kit, and went back to my normal skincare routine everything worked better. My acne clearing products actually started clearing out my acne and my moisturizers worked better at keeping my skin hydrated.
Do you suffer from acne, or any other issues? What are your holy grail items that have helped with those problems? Let me know in the comments below.