It is essential to develop habits that cater to your skin’s specific needs. Remember that your skin is unique, and some of these tips may work for you, others might not. However, in general, here are the research-based practices you can follow to achieve a bright, healthy complexion.
Here are some healthy habits that you can follow for clear skin:
Wash Your Face Twice Per Day
Washing once isn’t enough if you want clear skin. This study showed that people who wash their face twice per day saw the least amount of pimples. Start your day by washing your face – it’s a great way to wake up! And washing your face at night is a great way to wind down as well. If you really can’t wash twice a day, make sure you wash your face at the end of the day. This will remove makeup, dirt, and pollution that piles up on your skin throughout the day. And I’d recommend using a washcloth to help remove impurities more than rinsing alone. So find a routine you like and will do even when you are tired! (Here’s my routine and the cleanser I use!)
Be sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip your face entirely of its natural oils. Those oils are necessary for balancing your skin, which helps lessen breakouts. Even if you have oily skin, you don’t want to strip it completely.
Cut Down on Sugar
The overconsumption of sugary food and drinks can impact your skin and may also be one of the causes of acne breakouts. One study found that people who frequently consumed more added sugars have a 30% greater risk of developing acne, and those who regularly ate pastries and cakes had a 20% greater risk. So before you opt for expensive acne treatment, try to simply reduce dramatically or cut out sugar.
For starters, you can easily cut down your sugar consumption by reducing your alcohol intake, avoid food and drinks that have high sugar content on the nutrition label, and minimize processed carbs. And, of course, try incorporating more whole, natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and grains. (This post has more ideas on how to reduce sugar intake!)
Destress and Focus On Relaxation
It’s a brainer that being stressed produces acne. Stress puts your body in that fight-or-flight state, which causes the brain to release more hormones, causing acne. If you have a busy and stressful lifestyle, make sure you still squeeze in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise activities to help in de-stressing. Want to start running? I have an online running course that’s great for beginners. You could also try one of these free running apps! Another idea is meditation or starting a journal and writing down your thoughts. Enroll in a yoga class, which is great for both fitness and relaxation. Even just listening to your favorite music and practicing intentional breathing will help you destress. I shared tips in this post on how I deal with stress and anxiety.
Stop Popping That Pimple!
As tempting as it sounds, popping a pimple is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. (I know, I know – it’s hard to resist!!) It causes acne scarring, and can actually force your pores to get clogged even deeper down. Plus, you can increase your chances of infection in what’s called “the triangle of death,” where an area of the face has nerves that directly connect to the brain. Pimple popping can increase the risks of acquiring an infection and may cause serious problems in the long run.
Instead, wash your face and keep your face clean and hydrated, and also apply anti-inflammatory creams to lessen the redness. Let pimples clear up on their own, and use an exfoliator to help them naturally extract on their own. I also like this spot treatment for breakouts. If you have acne scars from prior sins of popping, this gentle overnight peel will work wonders on scars, especially when paired with a vitamin C serum.
Always Apply Sunscreen
Sunscreen is the best protection you can use against harmful UV rays from sun exposure. Too much sun can cause issues on your skin surface, preventing it from looking super clear. You’ll be more prone to sunspots, hyperpigmentation, and more. Not to mention skin cancer, which is REALLY why I wear sunscreen every single day. Also, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen works effectively against skin aging, which is a plus!
Choose An Exfoliating Facial Cleanser To Use Daily
Regularly exfoliating helps purge the skin of impurities on a regular basis. Plus, it helps clean off dead skin cells that may end up blocking pores and can make your skin look dull. Regularly removing dead skin cells through gentle exfoliation (yes, I use the men’s exfoliator! It’s great!) will help your skin feel smooth, look clear, and illuminate vibrance. You don’t want to over-exfoliate, as that can leave skin too dry (and we know what happens then!) but just a few times a week.