After scouring the internet for years, searching for tips and tricks to help clear my skin alongside the skin care products I was using, I ended up finding some tips which I feel have helped me! Some are obviously common sense which everyone will already do, and others were ideas I’d never even thought of or considered would help. Acne can be caused by so many different things that none of these ideas may help you, but I really hope these tips will help you in some way (if you don’t already do them all)!
- Wash/ Change Your Pillow Case(s) Regularly
I can’t remember exactly where I first read that this would be something good to do for acne/ acne prone skin. But if you think about this it makes so much sense. If you simply google how often you should wash you bedding or sheets, most of the resulting articles suggest that you should be washing your bedding around once a week. However, I read something (it could have been an article or post) which suggested that changing or washing your pillowcase every other night would help prevent and reduce acne. If you google about this so many articles will come up. As we sleep our bodies transfer things from us to our bedding. Skin! Our skin is constantly renewing itself through shedding dead cells, which at night go onto our pillowcases and sheets. Oils! Your hair gets greasy and your skin gets oily and these transfer onto our pillowcases. Therefore, regularly washing and changing your pillow case(s) will limit the amount of oils and dirt which comes in contact with your face at night.
In an attempt to make this tip work for me even more, I also have one side of the pillowcase designated for my hair (sleeping on my back) and one side for my face in order to minimise oil and grease transferring from my hair to my face. However, in the middle of the night it can be A STRUGGLE to figure out which side is the right side, so I specifically buy pillowcases with a defining feature so that I can easily figure it out in the dark. The defining features can be anything from obviously different patterning or even a label.
Some people and articles suggest that changing your pillowcase(s) every night could help even more, however I feasibly cannot afford to buy that many pillow cases at this moment in time nor am I organised enough to wash pillowcases often enough for this to work, but, for me in the future, this is definitely something I am going to try!
- Wash/ Change Your Towel(s) Regularly
Similar to the tip about pillowcases and bedding, it is important to regularly change/ wash your towels in order to limit the amount of dirt you are introducing to your face. Most articles I have read suggest changing your towel daily for your face, and using different towels for your hair, face and body.
- Sleep With Your Hair in a Ponytail
Something which I’ve never actually read anywhere and followed as advice (but I’m sure is everywhere online), I just presumed would be useful after reading the information about pillowcases, is to sleep with your hair in a ponytail, bun or some form of up-do which keeps your hair off and away from your face.
- Clean Your Phone
Something that I had never considered was that the dirt from my phone could affect my skin. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted a study investigating the contamination of UK mobile phones and hands. The study revealed that “One in six mobile phones in Britain is contaminated with faecal matter” which you are regularly putting against your face. I couldn’t believe that the figure was so high!! Obviously you cannot clean your phone by washing it with soap and water so I looked into what the general suggestions are. An article from cosmopolitan magazine suggests using microfibre cleaning cloths, and numerous other internet sources suggest using antibacterial wipes to wipe down your phone, not just the screen! I personally use antibacterial wipes, simply for how easy it is, however I also use micellar water and a cotton pad in an emergency if I’ve got make up or obvious dirt on my phone and I have no wipes available.
- Stop Touching Your Face
This is what I am definitely worst at doing. I am the worst culprit for constantly touching my face, I and have absolutely no reason why! However, a study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene found that on average the people, in the survey, touched their face 15.7 times an hour whilst completing mundane tasks. Constantly touching your face introduces dirt and bacteria to your face which in turn can make your acne worse. I am currently trying to consciously recognise the number of times I am touching my face and subsequently, REDUCE IT! The other thing I have realised, and I picked this up from somewhere on social media but I can’t remember where, but I tried it and it worked, is that when my nails are painted I don’t touch my face as much, I’m presuming that it’s me subconsciously trying to not ruin my nails but is really useful to try!
- Stop Picking Your Face
A top tip that I think everyone is told by their parents, family, friends, doctors etc is to stop picking. This is mainly to prevent scaring. However, picking spots also creates an effectively open wound which means unless treated correctly can lead to the introduction of dirt directly into your skin and the spread of bacteria across your face which can lead to more acne. In addition, the general advice going is to only squeeze spots which have a visible white head and to stop as soon as you see blood.
- Regularly Wash Your Hands
If like me you struggle to stop touching your face, even subconsciously, regularly washing your hands, in addition to the obvious after using the toilet etc, can help reduce the amount of dirt and bacteria introduced to your face. I wash my hands after coming in from outside and prior to skin care routines and applying make up, in an effort to introduce as little dirt to my skin as possible. This could be a subconscious factor that just makes me feel like I’m doing something helpful, but it can’t hurt to try.
- Drink Water
Drinking water is a key factor to clearing your skin! It is known that water helps to flush out toxins, hydrate the body, and helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells. These are all factors which can help to reduce breakouts, and just help the body in general. I drink a lot of water, and specifically love to have lemon water (hot and cold). Lemon water is recommended as it can help with skin inflammation and is packed with vitamin C.
- Eat Lots of Fruit and Veg
Fruit and vegetables are really good for your skin because they are abundant in vitamins (including vitamin C) and antioxidants. However, if you are like me, I am quite a picky eater and mainly struggle if I don’t like the textures of things, for example strawberries. However, I’ve found that if I make a smoothie of fruit and veg I can easily drink it and love the flavour. For me personally it’s a really good way to get extra fruit and veg into my diet and help my skin, especially ones I don’t like to eat normally, such as berries and pineapple.
- Cleanse Your Face
Cleansing your face should be a non-negotiable. I make time to properly cleanse my face morning and night, even if you are on a night out or have had a long day, make time to cleanse your face and you will never regret it. Never ever sleep in your make up, it is the fastest way to make your acne worse. My recommendation is to find a good cleanser, which has no soap and is non-comedogenic, that works for you and your skin. Soap can be really drying for your skin and is normally full of chemicals, both of which can irritate the skin and make your acne worse. Non-comedogenic typically defines a skin care product or cosmetic that is formulated so as not to cause blocked pores or cause comedones (a form of acne).
- Pat Your Face Dry
It is suggested that it is better for your skin to pat it dry with a towel rather than rubbing it dry. This because rubbing at your skin can cause irritation which will not help with reducing acne.
- Avoid Greasy and Sugary Foods
Try to avoid eating greasy and sugary foods too often and in vast quantities. Greasy, sugary, processed and fast foods can cause internal inflammation or raise your blood sugar levels, which can subsequently trigger a hormonal response which can cause acne. A good blog post about this is from ANNMARIE SKIN CARE, who simply breaks down the issues with different foods and acne in greater detail. I try to avoid consuming greasy and fast food too regularly, however I am also a firm believer that life is to be lived and if you and your friends are going for dinner, order what you actually want from the menu!
Beauty sleep if for real and legit. Sleep can help reduce acne, as a lack of sleep can contribute to acne through disrupting the body’s natural cycles. A good source of information about this is 1st Class Sleep‘s post. I was also struggling with sleep and was recommended to try a supplement called ZMA. Disclaimer: I am in no way a doctor or in any way qualified to recommend supplements or medication, therefore, if this supplement sounds interesting to you I implore you to speak to your doctor about it, to fully understand its effects. ZMA is a supplement containing zinc and magnesium which can contribute to aiding sleep, in addition, I also found it helped to improve my skin. However, I no longer take this supplement as I personally feel that it caused increased hair growth on my face, specifically along my cheeks and chin (where a beard would be) and the supplement is linked to supporting testosterone levels. Greater detailed information can be found online (definitely do your own research) and also on the blonde ethos blog post.
- Avoid Stress
Stress can affect acne, as when you are stressed your body produces excess stress hormones, such as cortisol, causing hormonal imbalances. In addition, stress can subsequently reduce the amount of sleep you are getting affecting your acne (see above the issues regarding sleep loss and acne).
- Herbal Tea
Herbal tea can be a useful tool to help with acne as it can be anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants. I specifically like green tea and peppermint tea, but I find green tea to be the most effective, this is most likely due to its greater quantities of EGCG. EGCGs are powerful antioxidants which help protect cells from damage due to free radicals.
- Clean Your Make Up Brushes
Cleaning your make up brushes is an essential part of wearing make up, especially if you have acne. If you apply make up to skin with acne and then do not clean the brushes, the next time you use them you are just spreading dirt around your face, which in turn can make your acne worse! Make time in your routines to wash your make up brushes and utensils as often as you can. I use the beauty blender blendercleanser for everything, and it’s the best cleaner I’ve used so far!
Thank you for reading, I hope something on here was helpful to you!