in my old age, i've learned a thing or two about skincare.
i guess i should count my blessings, because i really could've been dealt a worse hand in the acne-department. my skin is generally clear, with the occasional breakout. but when i do break out, oh vey. it's not a pretty sight.
thankfully, i've learned how to manage my skin and take care of it. i've learned that although it's easy to throw in the towel and blame your hormones and cake your face with makeup, there is a simple formula for clear skin.
super secrets to clear skin:
1. eat or drink antioxidants. are you eating them? drinking them? you need them, trust me. before i got married, i was trying to be super-skinny and speed up my metabolism and i started drinking green tea. i'd drink probably only 4-5 cups a day, but my skin! my skin turned into magic fairy skin. it was flawless and glowing and putting makeup on it was like a crime because it was so darn pretty. green tea is full of antioxidants, tiny little molecules that push toxins (acne-causing toxins, namely) out of your body. when i notice my face starting to break out, it's safe to say i haven't been eating my usual dose of antioxidants. my favorite acne-fighting foods include blueberries, cranberry, beans, apples, and artichokes.
2. take your makeup off before bed. i know it's a pain, especially when you've gotten home late and you've finally got your baby to sleep and you're already cozy in your bed and the last thing you want to do it walk to the bathroom and wash your face, but trust me, it is worth it! your skin needs to breathe and balance out it's ph levels, and it can't do this with makeup on 24/7. on nights like said above, i skip the washing and just take my makeup off with one of these. they are a gift from above for lazy girls and they work like a charm.
3. use a gentle cleanser. it's easy to be tempted by everything "anti-acne" in the facial care aisle at target, but i've found that the gentler cleanser i use, the better my skin looks. in order to have clear skin, your ph levels needs to be balanced. when you use a harsh cleanser, like one used to dry up acne, it can dry out your skin and then make your skin try to overcompensate by producing even more oil. doesn't that make sense? by using a gentle cleanser like this, you are cleaning your face but not stripping it of the natural oils it needs to be healthy.
4. keep your hands off! hardest thing to do, but this makes the biggest difference in my face. the more i sit and look in the mirror and nitpick and touch every imperfection, the more bacteria spreads and the more breakouts i get. your hands are dirty! and i don't care if you just washed them, they still have bacteria and touching your face is going to do nothing but spread it. take off your makeup, wash your face, dry it off, and turn off the light. hands-off.
5. moisturize. remember when i said about your ph levels? if you aren't putting moisture into your skin, your skin is going to freak out and produce too much oil. especially if you're not drinking enough water or if you live in a dry climate. the best way i've found to put moisture into my skin is with coconut oil, which is all natural and doesn't irritate my skin at all. i know what you're thinking, if you grew up reading labels on everything and rejecting anything with the word "oil" in it, but coconut oil really is pure and good and will make your skin feel like butter. i buy mine at trader joe's for like $3 and it lasts for months.