Clear skin has always been my biggest beauty goal; after years of troublesome skin, I finally feel like I have some balance in my skincare life. Like I said in my Ultimate Skin Cleanup post, face masks have been a huge help in keeping my pore detoxed and my face nourished, but what else is there you can do to help your skin reach its full potential? Well, it turns out there’s quite a bit.
Skincare is no longer the basic cleanse, tone, serum, moisturise, as there are now more products, outside factors and even foods than can help your skin to improve and look better than ever. Whether you want to banish your blackheads, or want to find the best way to exfoliate for your skin, here are some of the best ways for how you can improve and clear up your skin pronto.
In typical British fashion, I don’t wear suncream until the sun starts to rear its head in the sky for Spring, but over the years of following beauty blogs I’ve learnt why wearing SPF every day, mostly because even on cloudy overcast days, UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate the skin and cause damage. Pop on some SPF after your moisturiser (if it already contains SPF then fabulous!) and if you fancy doubling it up then check to see if your foundation offers any protection too.
Refrain from squeezing spots and blackheads
This is a biggy. Through most of my teenage years I messed and messed with my skin, and now I’ve got the red cheeks to prove it. I has got better over the years, but the best way to prevent that is to not pick them at all. Squeezing can lead to broken capillaries, scars, marks and damaged skin tissue, so treat your skin with kindness! If you really can’t leave one alone, make sure you steam the pores open and use a cotton put to ease the head out, and then pop on some antiseptic such as Tea Tree or Germolene to prevent further infection before leaving it to heal. The best way to get rid of the gunk is to drink lots of water, eat clean, and use weekly face masks to keep your skin and system clear!
Steam to open pores, but not too much
Like I said before, it’s best to steam your face open if you need to get rid of a spot, but too much steam and heat can be just as bad as picking. The heat can aggravate skin or spots if used to often, and can produce more spots if used too often. Make sure you only steam once a week and follow up immediately with a clarifying mask so no dirt or sweat generated from the heat clogs the pores.
Use an Oil
For years oils were the biggest fear of an oily girl’s complexion, surely oil on oil makes more oil? Nope, and now they are our best friends in the hydration and balancing of our skin! Oils can combat dehydration, acne, blemishes and soothe the skin for a real treat. Since using oils, my skin has become more nourished, easier to treat and has a better cell turnover, plus it’s super soft and balanced compared to earlier years. Clarins and Mychelle have fabulous products for all skin types and needs, both of which I swear by for all times of year.
Exfoliate, and use AHA, Salicylic and Glycolactic Acids
Beauty lovers all over know the importance of exfoliation, which is one sure way to reveal fresh skin, prevent sebum build-up and remove dead skin cells. Dead skin and sebum clogs your pores, so exfoliation is one sure fire way to keep yours renewed and balanced on a weekly basis. You can exfoliate using a facial scrub with a cloth, or for something more penetrating (especially if you suffer with acne) then Exfoliating Acids are the way to go.
There are three main and more common acids on the beauty market these days – Salicylic acids are a gentle exfoliation on the skin which helps to reveal new soft layers and also break down black and whiteheads – perfect if you get very oily or hormonal spots.
AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) is a group of natural acids found in fruits and foods which also help breakdown skin layers and exfoliate to reveal smooth skin. They can also improve the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes and marks to soothe and smooth the skin, and are also popular choices for firming the skin as they encourage the deeper layers of skin to thicken.
Glycolactic acids are a type of AHA, yet have a very small molecule compound which makes it able to penetrate deeper into the skin and pores. Glycolactic acids dissolve sebum and also help to balance the skin’s pH levels if they have had too much exposure to sun or lack brightness. Again, it renews the skin and helps treat spots, so if you want to break down the clogged pores and bumps then any of these three can help you.
Of course, with these all being a form of acid, daily use is not recommended as your skin can become sensitive, red, and cause hyperpigmentation and a burning feeling due to the acids stripping the skin raw. Ideally, once to twice a week is best, and always always use SPF daily if you include them in your routine as your skin becomes much more sensitive to UVA and UVB rays.
The easiest thing to do to keep your skin clear and fresh is to drink that aqua! The daily recommendation is 8oz of water, or 2-3L depending on what you can manage between the two, and there are so many easy ways to down a glass – 1) Naturally flavoured water: make up a huge jug of water and fill it with cucumber, lemon, or berries for a natural sweet flavour, and also a huge health kick as cucumber helps to prevent bloat in your stomach, lemon detoxes the system, and berries have loads of antioxidants! 2) Herbal tea: Similar to flavoured water, herbal tea is packed with herbs and natural flavours that helps benefit your body, and hot tea can also make you feel full and stop the snacks!
Cut out Dairy
Dairy in some cases has shown to be a cause of acne due to some of the chemicals within the products, and if you suffer from really bad bouts of spots then this may be an option to consider. Personally, I don’t eat dairy and since I stopped eating it I haven’t had any painful deep spots, however all skin is different so this may not be true for all cases. It is something to consider, and there are many dairy alternatives to try so you can enjoy your hot chocolate or morning cereal!
Wash your face
Simple enough, but it really works. Washing your face morning and night helps remove oil produced during the hours between activities, and it helps balanced the skin. As a teen, washing your face can seem like a meaningless task but trust me, wash your face and your skin will thank you.
If you wash your face in the shower, then make sure you go a first cleanse before the shower to remove makeup so that when the hot water opens pores the makeup doesn’t get trapped, and then cleanse again after your shower so that your hair products don’t clog the pores around your hairline – leading to those annoying side spots!
Always take your makeup off – always.
I know, sometimes it’s late or you’re tired, but taking your makeup off at the end of the day is always the best feeling (and great for your skin). The longer you leave it settling on your skin, the more likely it’s going to start to melt into the pores and lead to those spots you’re trying to get rid of – not good! The best thing to do is to just take it all off as soon as you get in, cleanse and moisturise and get that fresh feeling back, and if you find it hard to do it all in one go, keep some moisturiser and serum in your bedside drawer to finish your routine when you hop into bed (make sure you give yourself a facial massage too, great for relaxing!)
Like I said, having good skin has been my main priority this year so I thought I’d share a photo of my skin as it is now – currently recovering from some hormonal outbreaks as per but it’s in the best condition that I’ve ever seen. My skin is soft, smooth and feels nourished. Sure, there’s redness and brightness issues I’d love to fix but that’s what products are for ey? If someone who’s gone through many types of skin conditions and problems can get to this stage of skin happiness, then hopefully it can give you some inspiration to try the tips above and get your skin in the best condition of it’s lifetime – treat yourself, treat your skin!
How do you take care of your skin? Do you have a favourite product that makes your skin fabulous? What is your #1 clear skin tip?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.