Fighting acne can be as expensive as it is stressful. Thankfully, there are some changes you can make to your daily routine to keep your skin clear that don’t cost a thing!
Change your pillowcase often
Your face is pressed on your pillow for hours every night. Over time, it may collect old makeup, sweat, hair product residue, and bacteria (ew). Change your pillowcase every few days, or flip it over after a night or two to keep your face clearer.
Wash your face every morning and night
You’ve heard it from your dermatologist, mother, and every beauty article out there, but it’s extremely important to wash your face twice a day—even if you didn’t wear makeup that day! Dirt, sweat, dead skin, and even pollution can coat your skin throughout the day, so it’s important to clean it off.
Use lukewarm water, not hot
There’s nothing I love more that a hot shower, but often times washing your face with hot water can cause redness, and make blemishes more inflamed. Use lukewarm water to wash and cold water to rinse so that your skin doesn’t undergo major temperature changes.
The more hydrated you are, the more hydrated your skin is. Simple as that. Try lemon water to mix things up. It adds a fruity taste and some vitamin C to your day.
Tie Up Your Hair in the Shower
If you notice you have breakouts on the nape of your neck and upper back, you may be experiencing what’s called “pomade acne”—which is a fancy term for acne caused by hair products (hairspray, shampoo, conditioner…anything). Conditioner is the biggest culprit for body breakouts since it can leave a film on your skin. After thoroughly rising it out, tie up your hair in a bun or claw clip before washing your body as the last step in your shower routine.
Keep hair away from your face while you sleep
Another sign of pomade acne is breakouts along your hairline, temples, and jaw. Pull your hair back in a headband or tie it up before you go to bed. I prefer a loose braid, since a ponytail or bun can cause breakage or hair loss if you wear one every day.
Wash your makeup brushes at least twice a month
This is one of the biggest acne culprits, and also one of the most overlooked. It can be time consuming and annoying, but you need to wash your makeup brushes every couple weeks. It’s best to wash them at night so they’ll be dry when you use them the next morning. Use cold or lukewarm water to protect the bristles, and a mild (preferably fragrance-free) soap. Consider using a splash of rubbing alcohol on your foundation brushes and sponges to kill any remaining bacteria that my be lurking inside.
Avoid acne-triggering foods
What you put in your body often is reflected by your skin. Certain foods have been linked to acne, especially pasteurized dairy products and foods with high sodium content. Consider making the switch to almond or rice milk, and trading your sushi rolls for nigiri (sushi without seaweed). Other triggers include peanuts (they have androgen hormones), gluten, alcohol, and iodized salt.
Ice blemishes–don’t squeeze them.
It’s so tempting to squeeze a zit right when it appears, but your dermatologist is right: don’t pop it. If you have a painful or inflamed one, try putting ice on it for two minutes. It will help reduce any inflammation and pain without opening up the pore to a secondary infection or spreading bacteria.
Double check your vitamins and supplements
We’re a generation that values heath, and odds are you take some kind of daily supplement or vitamin. Sadly, some supplements can actually acne: B12, iodine, whey protein, and even our beloved biotin. Thankfully, some supplements help acne! These include zinc, fish oil, magnesium and chlorophyll (Reese Witherspoon swears by it). Many people swear by probiotics for acne, but for some (myself included) probiotics actually made breakouts worse. Do some Google-ing and see how your supplements stack up.
Do you use any other things in your routine to help keep your skin clear? Let me know in the comments below!