This year just like every year I really want to help you keep your skin clear and glowing. Here are some new tips to help you do just that!
1. Get your pores professionally cleaned
You know how important facials are but especially when your skin is breakout prone it is so important to remove blackheads, whiteheads and clogged pores (hardened sebum, or oil) from the skin. Skin care is amazing, but the combination of regular facials and the right home care products will give you the very best results.
2. Consider taking DIM (Diindolymethane)
This tip is probably new to you. This is a supplement derived from cauliflower, kale and broccoli that is said to affect estrogen levels to improve hormonal acne. If you are on birth control this does not have any negative effect, but it's always a good idea to check with your doctor. It is recommended to take 100-300 MG a day. This along with pobiotics (tip 15) are two exact recommendations that come from one of my favorite books "Younger Skin Starts in the Gut" by Nigma Talib.
3. Limit dairy in your diet if you’re prone to cystic breakouts in the chin and jawline area
We all know that many dairy cows are give growth hormones. But even those that aren't, cows have different hormones that still effect ours. Try going without the consumption of milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream for a few weeks and see if you see any skin changes. Goats cheese is a better option, or there are many great dairy free options now. I love the Ben & Jerry's I believe it's called "Triple fudge brownie" almond milk ice cream, and it has less sugar than most yogurts!
4. Eat clean
We all know we should eat better and avoid processed foods. This is true but when it comes to the skin wheat, dairy and sugar are inflammatory foods and can be the culprit of many skincare problems. Try reducing, or again like dairy removing these one at a time from your diet for a few weeks and see if you see any changes. If you don't want to you don't have to give them up, but knowing they may effect your skin could help you keep your skin clearer and limit them!
5. Don’t dry out your skin with harsh acne products
While using gentler products isn’t necessarily getting to the root cause of your breakouts, I definitely know that over-drying the skin will only exacerbate acne in many cases. When the skin has layers of dead cells on the surface, oil and bacteria stay trapped and clogged in the pores making acne worse. If you’re someone who has both dry skin and gets breakouts, this is a sure sign that your products are too strong for you. Skin cells are like fish and need water to live so creating an environment in the skin where the skin be healthy and balanced is essential. Don't try to tackle taking care of your acne on your own! There are so many factors and potential causes. Let me help talk you through them!
I know this one is easier said than done but there is research linking stress and acne. Stress not only affects acne flare-ups but in general, it worsens the overall skin condition. It induces the adrenal glands into overproduction of cortisol, a steroid, which in turn makes sebaceous glands produce more oil resulting in oiler skin. Thus the reason why in stressful periods, people experiencing an increase in acne get more inflamed, puss-filled papules than simple whiteheads or blackheads. Find habits you can implement throughout the day. Deep breaths, exercise, baths, getting off of your phone or reading an hour before bed may help.
7. Get more sleep
Good sleep also helps manage stress! Americans are known to be very sleep deprived and our bodies need that time for renewal. I’ve also heard that a condition called adrenal fatigue may affect acne so look that up to get more information and consult with your doctor to see if they have knowledge in this area. But without a doubt, sleep and proper rest can work miracles for the bodies healing processes.
8. Use a calendar to track your lifestyle to see if you can find any patterns
I often try to book facial appointments with acne prone clients a week or so before their period to help prevent breakouts. For a couple months track on a calendar skin patterns and your period to see if a few strategic skin care changes or facial time may prevent your monthly hormonal outbreaks!
9. Cleanse your face as the last step in your shower routine
Shampoo and hair conditioner may have some potentially pore-clogging ingredients that seep onto the hairline and down the cheeks and leave behind some residue. To prevent this from happening, wash your face after shampooing and conditioning so you’re sure the skin gets properly cleaned. In some hair conditioners, the ingredient panthenol can be used in high concentrations and could potentially be the cause of breakouts so you might consider looking for formulas without this.
10. Avoid using hand cream at bedtime
Those rich, luxurious hand creams can do wonders for your dry hands while you sleep, but if you’re someone who sleeps on the side with their hands on their face, all those oils could potentially be clogging your pores leading to breakouts.
11. DO use moisturizer
People with acne-prone skin are often paranoid about using moisturizer thinking that it will immediately clog up their pores. Sound familiar? Wearing moisturizer does not cause breakouts. Acne happens when the cells that line the inner pores fail to fall off properly, clogging the pore. This happens whether you moisturize or not. Those with oily skin must use moisturizer-no matter what. Your skin needs water to keep it healthy and balanced. Skipping moisturizer causes the skin to not have its proper water levels that leads to dehydration, which can cause the skin to stimulate oil production potentially causing more breakouts. Hyaluronic acid is great for moisture without heaviness and is found in AND's Hydrotant Gel and Hydro-Lane.
12. Drink hot lemon water first thing in the morning
A quick reminder on this one! I’ve been suggesting this to my clients for years and this simple trick may really help improve skin prone to acne. To reduce acne and breakouts, drink hot lemon water first thing in the morning-before you eat or drink anything else. Squeeze fresh lemon into a mug full of hot water and drink when you wake up. If you don’t have a fresh lemon handy, you can pour in lemon juice but make sure it's not overly processed or has additives. Use enough so that the water tastes very lemon-y. This will help flush out and purify the body internally, potentially reducing toxins and bacteria in the small intestine where acne can be formed.
13. Increase your exfoliation
As mentioned in tip #5, it’s important not to create dead cells by using over-drying skin care products. What’s very helpful is to be removing surface cell buildup on the skin regularly. After all, breakouts form when cells don’t shed properly so by using exfoliating products (cleansers, serums and masks) regularly, you can get huge improvement with preventing breakouts. In addition, regular exfoliation is what will remove discolored cells (the red, purple and dark marks left over from breakouts) to reveal more even-toned skin. Use a scrub like AND's Cranberry Scrub every other day using circular motions, 3 times around the face.
14. Use skincare products with salicylic acid (BHA) and Glycolic Acid (AHA)
Speaking of exfoliation, this is definitely the ingredient to do just that. It’s a keratolytic beta hydroxy acid (BHA) famous for its ability to smooth the skin without causing irritation, reduce acne-causing bacteria and oil to prevent blemishes, all while penetrating the pores to help clear out impurities (making it also excellent for preventing blackheads after a deep pore cleansing facial). AND's salicylic acid is extracted from willow bark and in the Oxy Gel gel moisturizer. Glycolic acid 5% solution rotated with the 10% solution every 3rd night under moisturizer is very effective for hormonal breakouts (remember, all breakouts are hormone related!) and is also great for smoother skin, anti-aging and discolorations.
15. Take Probiotics
I talk a lot about probiotics, but here is a reminder. Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis strains have been shown to be effective specifically for acne and it is recommended to take 30-50 billion a day.
16. Always Cleanse Your Skin Twice A Day
It’s a fact that oil causes bacteria and bacteria leads to breakouts. Therefore, the less oil you have on your skin, the less likelihood you have of breakouts forming. If you workout mid-day, make sure to cleanse your skin too!
17. Change Your Pillowcase and Clean Your Phone
Remember to change your pillowcase every other night, even every night if you would like! And I clean off my phone screen ( I usually try to talk on speakerphone though) almost everyday as well.
I hope that these tips were very helpful for you and you learned something. To happy, healthy skin!