If you are a tween or teen, you know how tricky your skin can be at times. It’s Dry, it’s oily, it’s combination, it’s hormonal, pimples, redness, blackheads, etc. It can be total bummer, but it can be as simple as knowing your skin’s chemistry and taking charge.
- If you’re an athlete or you sweat a lot, you’re going to want to make sure you keep your face clean and pores clear. Keep cleansing cloths with you in your backpack or gym bag and clean your face periodically during the day if necessary. I like the Neutrogena cloths or Burts Bees face wipes
Don’t even think about going to bed at night without washing. If you need a gentle cleanser, I recommend anything by Fresh like the Fresh Soy Cleanser. The results of not cleaning your face are bacteria accumulating and clogged pores, which lead to more bacteria getting caught in those pores, which lead to pimples.
- Don’t over-wash your face. Really? Yeah. Actually, over-washing your face with harsh soaps can strip it of essential oils, which will not eliminate acne. Excessive scrubbing may also cause skin irritation and more flare-ups. The extremely thorough Korean skin washing regimen may disagree with our “over-washing” no-no. See why here.
The best way to clean the face is to gently wash it twice a day with a mild soap or cleanser. Also: Limit bath time and avoid strong soaps. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water. In the winter I like to use Jojoba oil to replace any lost oils in the hot shower, because it mimics the skin’s natural sebum
- Don’t touch your face. My mom used to get after me all the time about this! Your fingers and hands have bacteria on them. Frequently touching your face or messing with blemishes is counter productive. I know it’s hard to not pick at them, but avoid doing this. Not only does touching your face increase the chance of bacteria, but picking at zits can cause scars. A better solution to acne I have personally found is the Acne Treatment Gel by Mary Kay. I have used it for YEARS and it’s a miracle zit zapper. A word of caution though, it’s potent and may cause dryness if used too much.
- If you experience dry or combination skin, use a good moisturizer. Oil-free is usually a good start. The best way to determine your skin chemistry is to look at it when you wake up or at the end of the day. Is it oily or dry or both? A gel-cream is a good option for many skin types. My new fave lightweight moisturizer is Belif, which is good for normal to combination skin types, including oily skin, and dry skin types. I have also found natural jojoba oil to be an awesome way to replace the oils in my skin during the dry months. Why? It’s the oil most similar to our natural skin oils. (use very lightly in dry areas and avoid eyes).
- Stop stressing! While stress does not cause acne, it can trigger flare-ups. When the body encounters stress, it increases the production of cortisol, which can increase the production of oil. And as we know, more oil clogs the pores. Take a moment to decompress after a bad day, do yoga (it’s fun!), take a walk and think about the good stuff you are grateful for, or if you feel really stressed, talk to someone. Green tea matcha tea or your favorite herbal tea is also a good remedy (great antioxidant, too!)
- Do what French girls do. Go minimal. French girls and women concentrate more on their skin health and less on all the makeup. They are very minimal in how they wear their makeup, allowing their natural beauty to shine through: A touch of gloss, a little blush and a little mascara. Now, I know it’s hard to avoid all of the pretty shades of color at the Sephora counters, but sometimes less is more. And, let’s face it, you’re stunningly beautiful just how you are naturally.
- For the love of god, don’t ever smoke! Besides being completely unhealthy, smoking causes premature aging and robs your skin of it’s vitality. For further proof, see How Smoking affects your skin
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! I seriously cannot stress this enough. Protect thy skin, darlings! Save the glowing beauty that you have instead of having to try to “reverse the signs of aging” later. Very rarely do any of those creams work, anyhow. Find an awesome BB cream with SPF (Missha BB cream + 45 SPF) if you need coverage, but wear sunscreen. Take my words of advice now, and you will be thanking me forever.