10 tips to fight acne
I’ve been battling with acne on and off since my teens. I’m no doctor, but I believe a big cause of it is hereditary. My grandfather on my mom’s side had bad scars from acne on his youth (he was still the cutest grandpa ever!), and my dad said he suffered from acne throughout his teens, though I’ve never seen him with a blemish. My brother and I have been going to dermatologists all our lives, but I’think we’ve both come to terms with the fact that acne is just a part of our lives, and the only thing we can do is try to avoid it as much as possible. Other causes for adult acne include medication, such a birth control, stress, or changes to hormone level.
Again, I’m not a dermatologist, and these tips are all from my own personal experience. I’m including lots of external links to help guide you in the not-so-much-fun world of adult acne.
1. Get to know your skin type
This is very important so you can make sure you’re using the right products for you. There are many tests out there you can take to figure out whether your skin is oily, sensitive, dry, etc; here’s one.
2. Use the right products for your skin type
My skin gets very dry during the winter (see some tips on moisturizing right here) so in the hopes of avoiding dryness I switched from my usual oil-free Neutrogena sunscreen to a thicker formula. One week later, I had break outs all over! Be honest with yourself as to what you’re working with. Whatever your skin type may be, every one can benefit from moisturizer, especially at nighttime. Find one that works for you.
3. Get some oil or serum
This is counter intuitive, if you have oily skin, why would you wann more oil? Well, not all oils are created equal; there are some that work wonders for your face, whether is so treat acne, scars, or even wrinkles. I have tried and loved argan oil, and I’m currently obsessed with vitamin E oil, which is very cheap, and very moisturizing. I got this one from Target for $10. I tried coconut oil for a while, but it made my skin break out a lot. This goes to show that what works for one person won’t necessarily always work for you.
I apply vitamin E oil and let it sit on my skin for for about ten minutes, before applying my regular moisturizer.
4. Change your pillow cases often
This is the simplest and most effective tip I can give you. Your pillowcase is full of dirt, oil and dead skin cells. You spend several hours every night lying your face against that. Gross, right? Ideally, you should be changing your pillow cases 2-3 times and week. And according to my mom, you should be laundering your sheets once a week. But that’s another topic for another time (next week actually).
5. Try again and again until you find what works for you, then stick to it
I’ve tried it all, from over the counter stuff like Clean and Clear, to prescription products like Obagi’s CLENZIderm (highly recommended, but is not for every-day use!), and even Proactive (see why I’m not a fan). The only thing I haven’t tried is prescription retinoid, but my brother tried is and it looked ROUGH. Plus he had to get all these blood tests monthly and while he had beautiful skin for a while, a few months later he was back to normal :(
Right now I’m very happy with my regimen of Vitamin E, and the spot treatment I’m using, which contains Willow Bark, and not your typical acne-fighting ingredients. For a list of the most common acne-fighting ingredientes, click here.
6. Eat at your own risk
Certain food cause more break outs than others. For me, chocolate is the worst. How can something I love so much hurt me so bad? When I eat chocolate I know to expect one or two white heads the next day. They’re totally worth it; I try not to eat chocolate before a photoshoot, or an important meeting.
7. Take your make up off at night, religiously
Don’t go to bed with makeup on. Is one of the worse things you can do for your skin. I always keep a pack of towelettes on my nightstand, for those nights I’m too tired/lazy to wash my face. As you know, I like to use Neutrogena’s.
8. Hands off!
Don’t touch your face. Seriously, don’t. First of all, is much easier to conceal a whitehead than it is a bleeding scab. Also, scabs can lead to scars, and scars can lead to low self esteem. If you absolutely HAVE to pop a pimple, wash your hands and cover your fingers with tissue, because your hands are full of bacteria. NEVER USE YOUR NAILS. And don’t do as I did and buy one of those pimple poppers at the pharmacy, because you won’t be able to control yourself once your start. I had to throw mine away because I was getting addicted, and I was doing more damage than good.
9. Try some tools
I’ve seen a big improvement since I bought the Mia 2 Clarisonic last year. I use it 2-3 times a week, and once a week in the winter. It really helps your face wash get deep into your pores. Even though I take off all my makeup before using it, there’s still traces of foundation on my brush after I’ve washed my face. Amazing! My skin feels super smooth right after, so is a good time to pile on some moisturizer before bed.
10. If it doesn’t hurt, then it doesn’t matter
This was a hard thing for me to accept, but is one of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I wanted to go swimming in the pool at summer camp, but I was embarrassed of my stretch marks. “Do they hurt?” One of the female advisors asked me. “No,” I said. “So then why does it matter?” Everybody wants a clear complexion, it makes us feel prettier and more confident, but sometimes, pimples are unavoidable. When I first met my boyfriend’s parents I had a giant pimple on my forehead. I was already nervous enough, but I wasn’t going to let a stupid whitehead ruin my chance at making a good first impression. I threw some concealer on that sucker (though I wasn’t fooling anyone), took a deep breath, and said: “There’s nothing I can do about it now.”
Sure, you may be able to attract people from the way you look, but you’ll never be able to keep a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend is you’re not beautiful on the inside. I use makeup to feel confident, but everything else, is just me!
Do you have any tips for fighting acne?