Having acne or blemish prone skin (especially in your 20s and beyond) can be frustrating and sometimes it can even make you feel lousy. Been there. These are 14 things to do (and not to do) right now for acne prone skin, which overtime will help heal your acne and any scarring.
Things to do Right Now for Acne Prone Skin
TONE IT UP WITH ACV. Now, don’t just slather apple cider vinegar on to your face because that would be bad; you HAVE to dilute it. Mix one tbsp of ACV–one that still contains the mother– with a cup of filtered water and apply it on your face with a cotton round. ACV is good for the skin because it balances the skin’s pH levels, is antibacterial, and a natural exfoliant. Remember: do a patch test to make sure you have no skin reactions; add more water if your skin is sensitive. And, water is a breeding ground for bacteria so store this in a light tight container in the fridge for up to a week.
GO GREEN. Drinking green tea keeps your body healthy, which in turn keeps your skin healthy. It helps reduce sebum production, and that helps reduce acne. On top of that, green tea is a powerful antioxidant that helps heal damaged cells. Applying chilled green tea to the face is a great way to boost up the benefits, and it will also calm any irritated bits that just won’t stop hurting.
WASH AWAY. The best thing you can do for acne prone skin is to use proper hygiene. Make sure you wash your makeup brushes weekly at least, clean your cell phone, sleep on clean pillowcases, and always use a new, clean towel when drying your face.
OUT WITH THE OLD. Throw away all of your old and expired makeup and skincare bits. Skincare (especially anything containing water) usually expires between 6-12 months after opening a product– look for this symbol on the packaging to know how long it stays fresh after opening.
BACKGROUND CHECK. SO many people automatically think that if a product contains natural ingredients and no parabens that it’s good for the skin. But, parabens are preservatives that stop bacteria from growing. Do your research and make sure that any product you’re using also contains some sort of natural preservative otherwise bacteria will fester (The Addams Family, anyone? I am Wednesday), and that’s even worse than using a product with parabens. That’s why I’m now a little wary of trying skincare products from small, handmade companies because you just never know.
HONEY, I SHRUNK MY PIMPLES. Apply honey on your pimples or on your face as a mask and leave on for at least 20 minutes. But, be sure to wear a shirt you don’t care about because hello messy! Honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, but still keeps your skin nourished and hydrated.
ROSÉ ON ICE. Rose water has been used in skincare for centuries.. Hello, Cleopatra! It’s been known to help soothe skin, and it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Chilled rose water will work even more wonders because it will soothe the skin as well. You can make your own rose water like I did here or buy some.
REFRESH MINTS. Acne isn’t always caused by bacteria. Sometimes, it’s because of a hormonal imbalance. Spearmint tea is great at balancing out hormones and drinking it regularly can help keep hormonal acne at bay.
THE OBVIOUS ONES. Lastly, don’t forget to drink lots of water, wear SPF, and use clay based masks. If you don’t protect your skin from the sun, it will only make your acne scars worse. Clay based masks work wonders when it comes to drying out pimples, and using them to spot treat your pimples is a great way to zap the little buggers.
Things NOT to do for Acne Prone Skin
DON’T KEEP IT ALKALINE. Our skin’s natural pH level is mildly acidic, and using anything that is alkaline disrupts it’s pH level and can cause irritation and breakouts. So, don’t use products like baking soda on your skin. EVER.
NO LEMON-AID. On the flip side, using something that is too acidic, like lemons, are bad for your skin as well. Pinterest might suggest rubbing lemons on your face, but don’t do it. Just d o n t. The only way lemon is okay to use on your face is if it’s nicely diluted with other ingredients. Still, be cautious and always do a test patch!
DON’T GREASE THE WHEELS. Be wary when it comes to using oils. Don’t just slather any oil on to your skin because not all oils are created equal. Coconut oil can actually clog your pores, but tamanu oil is great for healing acne scars and you can spot treat pimples with tea tree oil– just be sure not to slather the latter all over your skin unless you dilute it with a carrier oil because it’s very strong on its own.
DON’T WANT NO SCRUB. Treat your skin with TLC. No matter what your skin type is, be gentle when exfoliating. Luckily, exfoliators containing microbeads have been banned in the US, but even using a DIY sugar scrub on your face can be too harsh. The jagged edges of sugar can cause micro tears on the surface of your skin, and that allows bacteria a place to grow. Another exfoliating tool to be wary of is the Clarisonic. I used to use it religiously 2-3 times a week, but that brush is another breeding ground for bacteria so be cautious and never over exfoliate your skin.
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