When I was a teenager, I remember flipping frantically through the pages of Seventeen magazine, searching for the article I saw featured on the cover: “Zap Your Zits NOW!!”. Ok, so maybe those weren’t the exact words, but it was something along those lines and man, did I ever wanna zap those mother f*ckers. Maybe I overreacted about my situation at the time, but let’s be honest here, when you’re fifteen years old and you just started creeping on boys AIM profiles, putting up subtle hints using lyrics in your away messages, bleeding out of your vagina, discovering that secret that Victoria had been hiding from you (what a whore!) about the fantasy land of drawers upon drawers of magic contraptions that make your boobs instantly increase ten times in size, the last thing you could ever want is red, juicy lady lumps ON YOUR FACE. The struggle is real. I remember reading every ounce of information I could find on how to get my face back to it’s baby butt soft state pre-puberty. Scrubbing my face like it was a dirty dish in hopes that it would magically revert back to it’s smoothness. P.s. don’t do that. Ever. And here I am at 26, still dealing with lady lumps on my face and lack thereof on my chest, but that’s a topic for another day. Moral of this story: acne doesn’t end when you enter adulthood. However, there are a few things I’ve learned to combat the issue so it’s not really a huge deal anymore, and I don’t have to rely on some of the bat shit crazy methods that I did when I was younger. Here’s what I do when my skin decides to lose it’s marbles:
Chill out and prioritize rest. Seriously, stress is known to cause inflammation. Inflammation is exactly what acne is; your pores get inflamed, clogged and thus that magical mound of pus appears. Gross. Give yourself time each day to just freaking chill, as hard and as impossible as that seems, try to schedule me-time everyday to do something that puts your mind and body at ease. We live in a world where it’s ingrained in our heads that we have to be constantly go-go-go! But that’s how things get messy, we forget things, we make mistakes and stress out, that’s just life. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep at night and if sleeping is a problem for you, I recommend seeking help or getting yourself some melatonin, valerian or l-theanine to relax your brain and help you fall and stay asleep.
Stick with a consistent routine as mentioned above. For me, that means using the same cleanser day and night (I use Cetaphil cleanser at the moment or a generic bar of soap – if you think about it, cleanser is not on your face for more than about 30 seconds, so don’t prioritize any specific acne-fighting ingredients in it, because they’re just being washed off anyway). For a moisturizer, I currently use Lush Magical Moringa aka Magical Mangina mixed with rosehip oil (find this at Whole Foods or online) as well as a little bit of Clinique’s Moisture Surge during the day. Oils are your friend; a lot of people stray away from them in fear of them clogging pores or causing a greasy look. While that may be the case for some oils, most are going to be super beneficial to your skin. They help hydrate and encourage cell turnover in your skin and are typically gentle. My personal favorite is rosehip oil because it reduces inflammation, helps treat acne scarring and does a bangin job of moisturizing my skin. Magical Moringa does an awesome job of prepping my skin for makeup as well as hydrating it. If I am breaking out or about to start my period, I’ll also add in tea tree oil and a tiny bit of salycilic acid – two natural, gentle ingredients that – when not overused – can really make a difference. I also prioritize facial masks at least twice a week. Love Lettuce is my current favorite because it exfoliates. Exfoliation is not something you want to do everyday, your skin does a good enough job of that itself as long as you’re cleansing morning and evening, you should only really be giving your skin a gentle scrub down maybe once or twice a week, in my opinion.
Eat well. This is a no brainer, really. When you’re lacking in nutrients, your whole body suffers, obviously, but your skin definitely takes a huge hit. Prioritize more than macronutrients. Focus on micronutrients, fill up on foods that are high in fats (coconut oil, avocados, fatty fish, etc.), free of too much refined sugars (which cause inflammation in excess) and foods that are high in a vast range of nutrients. Basically, eat your fruits, veggies and don’t fear fat. Supplement with vitamins if you feel that your diet is lacking and maybe invest in a greens powder if you aren’t a huge fan of vegetables – spirulina and kelp are two great resources that you can easily find in supplement form that are chock full of nutrients. There are certain medications that doctors can prescribe as well, but for now I’m just discussing the less severe cases of bitch skin.
What are some of your skin care faves or tips? I’d love to hear.