With hoards of skincare products on the market promising to give you flawless, blemish-free skin, it can be easy to simply stock up on products and hope for the best. However, with a few simple and smart lifestyle changes and a dependable skincare regimen, you can get the radiant complexion you’ve been waiting for.
Here are some of the simplest skin-changing tips we’ve picked up from skin health research and experts that’ll give you great skin you’re proud to rock au naturale.
1. Clock some ZZZ’s. Tired skin loses its luster, leading to exaggerated dark circles and wrinkles that seriously stand out. One study even showed the tired skin ages faster. Lack of sleep can also cause a spike in the stress hormone cortisol—which is linked to acne—leading to breakouts. Skin restores and rebalances itself while you sleep, so it’s important to work in a few extra hours in order to keep your skin looking its best.
2. Cut back on artificial sugar. Excess sugar in your bloodstream can lead to inflammation throughout your body, a big acne trigger. Cut back on sugar and your skin (and waistline) will thank you.
3. Exfoliate regularly. Slough away dead skin and impurities by exfoliating twice a week with a chemical exfoliator good for acne-prone skin like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid, recommends cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson. Not only will this help unclog pores and break up blackheads, it’ll also help even out skintone and ward off fine lines.
4. Begin a consistent acne regimen. A personalized plan of attack is ultimately the best way to combat acne breakouts. A stable skincare routine that meets your skin’s needs will not only help clear up acne, but will keep your complexion clear in the future. A two-step system like ClarityMD, which uses nature-powered ingredients to lift away pore-clogging sebum while refining the skin’s texture, makes it easy to cleanse and treat in one fell swoop.
5. Don’t pop or pick at your zits. It may be tempting to pick or pop an unsightly pimple, but there’s a reason your mother always told you not to: You may get some instant gratification, but bacteria and oil from your fingers will only make the breakout worse, possibly even leading to infection. Squeezing and picking also rips the surrounding skin, explains dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, M.D., leading to those signature, indented scars. So do your best to resist the urge.
6. Stay calm. Stress acne is a very real thing. The body releases cortisol and other stress hormones when it’s flustered, which not only triggers inflammation, but also increases oil production, which of course, leads to clogged pores. Take a minute to slow down and relax a bit in order prevent any stress-induced acne—try one of these calming products to manage stress.
7. Take your makeup off every night. After a few too many cocktails it can seem like such a chore to pop out your contacts and scrub the foundation off your face. But trust us, no one wants to wake up with a zit. Use a gentle, non-abrasive, water-light cleanser like ClarityMD Deep Pore Cleanser to lift away dirt and oil while clarifying the skin.
8. Wear SPF. Not only does the sun lead to skin damage and wrinkles, it also is responsible for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. So, load up on SPF to prevent any unsightly skin discoloration and keep skin smooth and even.
9. Change your pillowcase often. Oil from your skin and hair are transferred to your pillowcase during the night while you sleep, making it an unfortunate place for bacteria and excess oil to build up and cling to your face. Wash it once a week so your skin can improve over night instead.
10. Stop smoking. It’s no surprise that smoking is extremely detrimental to your health, but not many people consider how much smoking actually damages their physical appearance. Besides premature wrinkles and sagging cheeks, smoking simply gives your skin an all-around dull, sickly look.
11. Clean your makeup brushes. Without realizing it, you may be applying a few weeks worth of dirt and oil onto your face, just from your makeup brushes. Unless you regularly wash those puppies (here’s an easy way to do it), they’re the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which can irritate the skin and yep, you guessed it, make acne worse.
This post is brought to you by YouBeauty and ClarityMD.