There’s nothing more frustrating than doing everything you can to keep your skin clean and healthy, only to suffer from a sudden breakout of spots.
In contemporary society, we’re continually bombarded by various skincare products, as well as recommendations and advice from social media influencers that all promise great results. However, this often makes it difficult to know exactly what helps and what doesn’t help for clear, healthy skin.
This guide will take a look at seven of the best methods – all backed up by evidence – that will help you achieve the glowing complexion you so desperately desire.
Before getting started: One thing I notice a lot is people not knowing their skin type. It’s worth taking the time to figure this out as it’ll help you avoid some of the more common mistakes. Work with your skin. Not against it.
1). Wash Your Face Routinely
This first method doesn’t need too much of an explanation. If you’re prone to breakouts, washing your face at least a couple of times a day as part of your morning and evening skincare routine is essential.
As proven by a study focused specifically on face washing, washing your face twice a day over a six-week period will typically result in a significant improvement in skin health. Those who only wash their face once a day are more at risk of an increase of pimples and blotchy skin complexion.
2). Apply a Suitable Moisturizer
If your skin tends to get dry, it may compensate by overproducing oil which can subsequently lead to breakouts. Therefore, it’s important to invest in a moisturizer that is effective for your skin.
The right moisturizer for you doesn’t need to be expensive or packed with fancy ingredients, it just needs to be suitable for your skin, and more importantly, non-comedogenic. This means that it won’t clog your pores or irritate your skin. If you have typically oily skin, lightweight moisturizers may be the best option as they prevent a heavy, greasy feeling on the skin.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of people switch their moisturizer to a heavier type during the winter months in order to combat the colder weather. This is because the dry winter air can leave the skin feeling tight and dried out.
3). Use a Mild Cleanser
Just like with moisturizers, the most effective cleansers don’t necessarily need to be expensive and full of fancy ingredients. In fact, a recent review found that cleansers don’t make much of a difference at all when it comes to their effect on skin breakouts. While this may be a little frustrating if you’ve recently invested in an expensive cleanser, the important takeaway lesson is to keep it simple.
Ultimately, a mild cleanser, without all the fancy ingredients and fragrances, can work just as effectively as the more expensive options. Therefore, save yourself some money and use a mild cleanser.
4). Get Sufficient Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is another major contributing factor to poor skin. According to a recent study focused on acne, over 65 percent of its participants who said they felt tired also had acne.
Sleep deprivation is widely considered to be one of the main triggers for acne. This is because a lack of sleep can result in the body releasing inflammatory compounds which affect the skin. In order to give yourself the best chance of clear skin, aim for between seven and nine hours of quality sleep each night.
While you sleep – you could apply turmeric to your face and get the additional softness and glow.
5). Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating your skin on a regular basis is vitally important as it helps to remove excess dead skin cells. Having a build-up of these cells on your face not only clogs up your pores, but it can also make your skin look colorless, flaky, or prematurely aged.
The required frequency of exfoliating your skin all depends on the type of exfoliation you use. If you prefer to use chemical exfoliants like masks or lotions, aim for a couple of times a week. For physical exfoliants such as scrubs and brushes, you’ll need to exfoliate more often, so aim for three or four times a week.
It’s worth noting that if you have inflammatory acne, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends you should talk to your dermatologist first before exfoliating. This is because some types of exfoliation may make inflammatory acne worse.
6). Eat and Drink Well
As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat’. This bears a lot of truth because if you don’t take in enough of the right nutrients from your diet, your skin will subsequently suffer. Eating the correct balance of foods and drinking plenty of water will supply your skin with the essential nutrients it needs to stay soft, healthy and blemish-free.
Aim to eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, lots of healthy fats from oily fish and nuts, and foods rich in Vitamin C such as blueberries, oranges and broccoli. A good intake of Vitamin C is essential as it’s a super antioxidant, which helps to promote radiant skin, as well as supporting the body’s immune system.
Skin also needs moisture to stay flexible and hydrated, so aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
7). Avoid Picking Your Skin
One of the hardest challenges with a breakout is to avoid picking at your spots. However, for the health of your skin, it’s vital you resist.
Picking at, or prematurely popping a spot can expose the pore to greater levels of bacteria, including those from your hands. In addition to this, it also increases the more serious risk of infection or even scarring.
So, if you have a pimple that’s particularly problematic or painful, it’s best to go and see a dermatologist instead of picking at it. This way they can perform specialized treatments to safely remove the pimple.
Needless to say, this also minimizes the risk of infection.