Throughout my years working as an esthetician, one of the top concerns I received during a new client consultation is how to deal with acne. Whether you are experiencing occasional breakouts, moderate or even severe acne, these tips will help to clear your skin naturally and holistically along with the proper skin care regimen.
1. Cleanse and re-hydrate before bedtime.
I know, this one may seem obvious but let me explain why this is a crucial step. The skin regenerates and repairs while you sleep. While we are resting our mind and body, our skin is busy at work regenerating and repairing our skin cells on a much deeper level than the surface. Our skin is exposed to environmental aggressors throughout the day including pollution and dirt as well as makeup and oil. Dead skin cells tend to also build up throughout the day. This build up causes the pores to become congested which causes a blockage and inflammation within the pore wall and the regeneration process is slowed down leading to dull, rough skin and acne breakouts. Don't worry, there are solutions if you can't bring yourself to the bathroom sink at the end of a long day. Beautycounter's One-Step Makeup Remover Wipes can take the day off in a minute and are super convenient. Leave them in your bedside table and just wipe while laying in bed. These are biodegradable and contain refreshing aloe and are also oil free. No need to rinse after using either! I am not saying this should be an every day habit because ideally you should cleanse with the proper cleanser and washcloth or 4x4 wipe after using the makeup remover wipe for a thorough cleanse. On the nights when you've had one too many glasses of wine or are just absolutely exhausted take out a wipe and remove the makeup and build up from the day. You will thank me in the morning.
2. Cleanse your makeup brushes and pillow cases weekly.
I recommend cleansing your brushes with a mild shampoo and water and leaving out to air dry. Make sure to never dry your brushes upright as the water will accumulate inside the case of the brush and will break down the adhesive leading to your brushes to shed and basically be ruined. Lay flat to dry on a paper towel after cleansing. If you set a weekly reminder on your phone, it will part of your routine and only takes a couple minutes. By cleaning your brushes regularly, you are not depositing bacteria back into your makeup and on to your face which leads to congestion and breakouts. As for the pillow cases, if you are experiencing a lot of congestion and breakouts, I recommend changing your pillow case daily. Oils from your hair and styling products ingredients can congest the skin so a fresh pillowcase for your face is necessary to reduce bacteria and excess oil.
3. Make steam a part of your routine.
If your gym has a steam room, sit inside it for 10 minutes after your workout before the shower. I have a membership at Equinox and love to treat myself to the steam after working out. I put a couple eucalyptus towels on my face and just chill and breathe. The steam not only re-hydrates the skin but also helps you to sweat out toxins and opens the pores. It also makes your skin more receptive to treatment serums or masks. If you don't have access to a steam room, make your own warm compress at home. Soak a hand towel in warm water and then wring it out. Apply this to your face after cleansing (make sure it’s not too hot) and just relax for a minute or two. This step can also be done after masking for a mini facial at home. I love the charcoal mask from Beautycounter because it pulls toxins, purifies and exfoliates while not disturbing or irritating the skin.
4. Don't pick.
I can't stress this enough. Picking, scratching and disturbing the skin's surface can lead to a blemish imploding beneath the surface. This break in the skin can cause an even larger breakout to surface and inflammation and scaring in the area while leading to more breakouts around it. Extractions should be left to the professionals. Not only do they know the correct procedure and prepare the skin for this step, it is done in a very sanitary manner as to not introduce more bacteria into the skin. If you are in need of a lot of extractions, it is best to book a facial service. Your esthetician may not be able to extract every congested pore on your first visit but having a series of a few treatments is necessary if you have a lot of congestion or pustules. If a blemish is ever red, just leave it alone, gently cleanse and it will heal itself within a few days. To speed up this process, I love the Countercontrol SOS Acne Spot Treatment from Beautycounter. With salicylic acid, it cleanses the pore and reduced irritation and inflammation. All you need is a tiny dot on the blemish and it does all the work for you.
Spot treat - don’t pick!
Let this treatment gel do the work for you.
5. Take note of your food and digestion.
This is a big one. The skin is a reflection on what's going on inside the body and gut. Be sure to consume a diet rich in fiber, antioxidants and water. You can do easy things like incorporating a handful of spinach or kale and blueberries in your daily smoothie. Try having at least one fresh salad per day or a green juice to get your greens in even if it's a small side salad at dinner. If you suspect that your body doesn't agree with inflammatory ingredients such as gluten or dairy, try a 2 week elimination diet and re-introduce these items back in to see how your body reacts. If you feel worse or have digestive discomfort after adding these foods back into your diet you will know you are intolerant and this can have a huge impact on your skin clarity and inflammation among other aspects of your health.
These are all tips I would give to my new and existing facial clients along with a prescription for a customized skin care regimen.
I would love to hear from you and see how these tips have helped you achieve clear skin and feel free to comment below. Reach out if you have questions about these tips or would like a customized skin care regimen. It’s important to remember that the journey to clear and healthy skin super quick or instant. It takes consistent care and patience so take care of your skin today and everyday for healthy radiant skin for the future.
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