First things first: if you’re dealing with serious acne (hormonal, cystic, etc.) you should consult a professional on your care and treatment routine. It’s hard to remember what all the active ingredients are doing in products, and there is too much of a good thing when it comes to piling those on. Make sure you’re treating your skin appropriately/effectively by consulting a credible professional… Dermatology A-Z is an app you can download that will connect you with local derms to advise you on your routine, or at least give you credible product reviews, plus articles and tips.
Personally, I use the Dermalogica line as recommended by my insane facialist/medical aesthetician here in Seattle who I see once a month and has made my skin look and feel phenomenal with nothing even on it. I’m seeing her on Thursday morning, so I’ll probably selfie about it. Stay tuned. Anyway, I cover my daily routine in this post and talk about my 1-2 mask mini facial here. I sometimes use Boscia pore strips, which are obviously supercute… but effective.
An annoying but true fact: diet plays a major role in the long term health and clarity of your skin. You can take the best care of the outside, but if you’re still feeding your insides with processed food, soda and/or alcohol, not enough water… you’re bound to see the effects, and not just on your waistline. Cleaning up your diet to benefit your skin is an easy reason to keep you in line and honest with yourself. Here’s a few easy swaps: trade peanut butter for almond butter – there’s vitamin E for cell membranes and UV damage, plus almonds have zinc and vitamin C, yielding additional skin benefits. Try unrefined flax oil on salads… EVOO is still a good choice, but flax has omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to healthy skin.
Upgrading your food choices like that isn’t so hard – it’s cutting out foods entirely that can be. If you struggle with your skin, breakouts or painful types of acne… Have a reality check with your diet. You may live a balanced, active life – but if that means you’re so busy that you’re eating Chikfila or Taco Bell, Coldstone or Chipotle on a regular basis – that may be part of the reason. I know it sucks, but cutting out processed food, fast food, alcohol, all of that shit will make an enormous difference in the clarity of your skin. Promise. Just remember the next time you’re looking at a very delicious bag of candy or dipping into your biweekly (just me?) pint of Ben & Jerry’s – think, do I really want this on my face? Or hips? Probably not.
NOTE: I am a firm believer in the 80/20 diet rule (more on that coming soon) and lifestyle, and am not advocating you give these things up forever… my advice to anyone who feels like they have “regular” but persistent, annoying acne they can’t get under control or rid of, could try cutting out all processed bullshit for a month or two and see if your skin doesn’t clear itself up. Eat more vegetables, drink more water, be serious about your skin and overall health. What you do and how you treat your bod will show up on your skin, so stop kidding yourself otherwise. LOVE YOU, MEAN IT, I JUST WANT EVERYONE’S SKIN TO GLOW.
PS: A Word of Advice from Esthetician Babe. She wrote about her skincare journey here, and is a licensed aesthetician so I asked for her recommendations on treating hormonal acne: Image Skin Care Clear Cell salicylic cleanser + medicated acne lotion. She also says retinol is the holy grail for anti-aging and acne care. #hail
Now, a list of products from my research and tried and true recommendations from my stone cold beauties on Twitter.
Generic Drugstore Gems.
- Burt Bee’s (specifics: blemish stick, face wash + face wipes)
- Cetaphil cleanser + moisturizer
- Clean + Clear (spot treatment)
- St. Ive’s clearing green tea scrub + exfoliating washes
- Garnier Moisture Rescue Refresh Gel Cream
- Avalon Organics (orange cleanser)
Help Me, I have hormonal acne.
- Biotherm Purefect (toner)
- Clinique (line)
- Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
- GlamGlow super mud – I just posted my review, check it here.
- Kiehl’s Rare Earth (line)
- Biodroga (line)
- PCA Skin (line)
- Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser
- Dermalogica mediBac clearing skin kit (I would definitely recommend trying this since I’ve had such positive results using Dermalogica products)
- Proactiv + Acne Free: these are both “kit” treatment options, with mixed reviews from followers
- Vichy Normaderm (line)
Share your tried and true products or experiences with the above in a comment for the benefit of all the queendom!
Leaving you with an easy DIY trick I picked up from this month’s Allure – take care of zits with an aspirin and honey mask. Aspirin is a form of salicylic acid, which dissolves keratin (what clogs your pore), calms the redness and honey kills the bacteria. Honey is amazeballs for your skin – just like coconut oil and coffee… mmm, smells like my Frank scrub review.