You've tried every lotion, cleanser, cream and potion on the shelf. Your cousin who sells skin care products on her Facebook page guaranteed she could clear up your face. Yet, you STILL have acne. Are you doomed?
Of course not! The best thing you can do for yourself is to see a licensed esthetician who specializes in acne, and who can determine a treatment that is right for you - and only you. This esthetician is your coach in clearing your skin and helping you achieve the results you deserve.
Until you make that appointment, here are five tips on taming the acne beast.
1. Use the right cleanser
We tend to equate a "greasy" face with acne. While having excess oil often goes hand-in-hand with acne, you can have dry skin and still have acne. The cause of acne is the p. acne bacteria. We all have it, and some of us have more than others. Starting with the proper cleanser for your skin type is your first step to clearing your skin.
2. Manage stress
Research doesn't show a direct link between acne and stress, but we do know is that stress causes inflammation in the body. For some of us that inflammation shows up on our faces in the form of acne. How can you manage stress? Try yoga, meditation, or a breathing technique designed to calm your nervous system. My favorite breathing technique is to slowly inhale to a count of 4, hold for 2, exhale to a count of 6, hold for 2 and repeat. The longer exhale activates the parasympathetic nervous system and can quickly calm body and mind.
3. Clean your makeup brushes daily
Yes, you heard me correctly. Every single time you use your brushes you'll need to clean them. Why? When you use your brush to apply makeup, oils and acne bacteria transfer from your skin to the brush. With each subsequent use the oil/bacteria combo builds up and continues to transfer back and forth. Ew, right? Daily disinfecting is as simple as putting 70% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle and spraying your brushes after each use. Weekly, wash your brushes to get them completely clean. You can find special cleansers on the market or you can use your face wash or shampoo.
Pro challenge: Go a day or two without makeup, your skin will thank you.
4. Stay hydrated
You've heard that drinking water is good for your organs, right? Well, did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Help make your daily 64 ounces more enjoyable by infusing half of your water with fruit. That sounds complex, but it really means toss some fruit into your water and enjoy!
5. Cut out the dairy and processed foods
Sorry, this one can be difficult. Let's face it; even though milk and cheese are delicious (hello totchos!) neither are good for our bodies or our skin. Organic or not, milk is baby cow growth juice and contains natural hormones to help a tiny cow grow up to an adult cow. You’re not a baby cow, so try leaving the dairy out of your diet. While the direct connection between dairy and acne hasn't been documented by science, it is agreed that acne can be aggravated by the irritation and inflammation dairy can cause. When combined with high levels of processed foods - which becomes fat and sugar in our bodies - dairy is a recipe for acne. Bacteria feeds on fat and sugar, so why give it more fuel?
I hope these general tips help you. I recommend that you find an esthetician who treats acne or problematic skin and get a plan tailored to your needs. A professional esthetician will review your health and lifestyle history and perform a complete skin analysis before providing you with a treatment plan and home care routine designed to give you clear skin.