Now that daily face masks are finally coming off, it’s time to double down on treating breakouts and lingering “maskne” issues. For year-round blemish control, check out these lifestyle and product tips. How many of them are you already doing?
- Remove makeup every night. Remnants of makeup that remain in pores can not only aggravate existing blemishes, but can also cause little round bumps (or milia) to pop up. Milia are those little white spots that develop when tiny flakes of skin, or surface debris get trapped in small pockets near the skin surface. Milia don’t have an opening onto the skin surface, like a pore, so they can’t be extracted by squeezing. Trying to pop them can cause redness and inflammation, or even scarring. So be proactive—be sure to remove makeup every night and exfoliate.
- Wash your face every night, no matter how tired you may be. Washing your face every night, not just in the morning, creates a kind of “clean slate” for your skin, which helps your nighttime products absorb better, and gives skin a boost as it renews itself during those nighttime hours.
- Hydrate your skin throughout the day. Certain acne medications can cause patches of skin to dry out. For a non-pore-clogging hydrator, use Hyaluronic Serum, or spritz on Iso-Cell Recovery Solution to keep blemish-prone skin in a moist, mineral-rich environment.
- Make friends with “Sal”—salicylic acid, that is. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid derived from willow bark, which helps degrease skin and de-clog pores. To control excess oil and congested pores that lead to blemishes, use skincare products that contain salicylic acid, such as Exfoliating Cleansing Gel to cleanse and Beta Acid to exfoliate. If you’re dealing with blemishes PLUS hyperpigmentation and signs of aging, you might prefer Perfect Renewal, which contains mandelic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid derived from almonds. Mandelic acid targets blemishes and problem pores, helps brighten dull skin and smooth out fine lines, and even can help control “backne,” which are patches of acne that develop on the shoulders and the back.
- Eat a balanced diet. Choose nutrient-rich dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, flaxseed, and brown rice, which have high levels of vitamin B and other nutrients that help regulate hormone levels, because out-of-whack hormones can lead to acne breakouts. Include probiotic foods in your diet, like Greek yogurt, kefir, kombucha—because research has shown that there is a link between probiotics and helping skin heal from acne.
- Avoid picking at your face. Popping pimples or picking at your face might be hard to resist, but dig deep for that willpower and resist temptation! Messing with blemishes can cause infections and eventual scarring.
- Be gentle with your touch. Don’t scrub your face, which can irritate skin and make acne worse. If you want to zero in on blackheads, try Skin Perfecter, an easy-to-use ultrasonic tool that PAINLESSLY vibrates out those pesky blackheads.
- Not to be a buzzkill, but go easy on salt, sugar, and alcohol. Eating too many salty foods and drinking alcohol can dehydrate skin, leading to swelling and making it more difficult for blemish-prone skin to correct itself. Watch out for too many sugary foods, which can raise blood sugar levels and increase levels of insulin, which can boost sebum production and create conditions leading to congested pores and blemishes.
- Watch your caffeine intake. Eliminate or cut down on energy drinks high in caffeine or taurine, because while caffeine can make you feel alert, it can also increase a stress response in the body that could increase the amount of oil skin produces… which can in turn make skin more prone to break-outs.
Overall, the key to managing blemish-prone skin is not only choosing the right products, it’s also making appropriate lifestyle choices. Keep the above tips in mind for banishing blemishes and putting your best face forward.