Lets talk skincare...
Raise your hand if you have ever had struggles with acne? My hand is held high! But, strangely enough my acne problems didn't start to occur until adulthood. Throughout middle school, high school, and college when my hormones were going through all sorts of whacky changes, otherwise known as puberty, my skin was in great shape! Sure, I would have a small little break out every now and then but nothing to be too worried about. My breakouts were so minor that when I would complain to my friends they would just roll their eyes at me and say "you're skin is perfect, you have nothing to worry about" (although, I think the term perfect was used a little too loosely).
Fast forward a few years and my skin situation is completely different now. In all honesty, I think things for my skin started to take a turn when I moved to NYC. The air is a little dirtier in the city, my eating habits changed (a quick bagel or slice of pizza was my go-to, such a New Yorker thing), and my stress levels sky rocketed. All things that can make a good complection go bad!
These breakouts started to really take a toll on my confidence. I was afraid to go anywhere without make-up because I didn't want people to notice, but I was also reluctant to put anything on my face because I didn't want to clog my pores. Then, when I was home and behind closed doors the claws would come out and I would pick away at my face leaving it red and inflamed. If you learn anything from this post, let it be that picking your face is a TERRIBLE thing to do.
Overtime, I began to get really frustrated and tired of trying things that were not working. I began to do what I do best, Google, and decided that I was going to visit an Integrative Health doctor to finally find out what the heck was happening to my skin. Turns out the answer wasn't what I expected.
So...what I've learned so far is....
1. Don't waste dollar after dollar on expensive products. It most likely isn't so much of what you're putting on your face as much as it is what you're putting into your body. If you're having uncontrollable breakouts try to eliminate wheat or foods that contain gluten. No, I am not implying that you have to go on a gluten-free diet, just try to be more mindful and find better substitutes.
2. Washing your face multiple times a day can do more harm then good. Your skin type should help determine how many times a day you should wash your face. People with oily skin should refrain from washing their face too many times a day. Stripping your skin of moisture can result in your skin producing more oil causing breakouts. For people with dry skin, washing your face 1-2 times a day should be sufficient enough to remove dirt allowing your pores to breath. A little moisturize after a good wash is beneficial too.
3. Find a good mask and apply it routinely. I use a mask 2-3 times a week and I notice a significant difference in my skin. Right now, I am really loving the BeautyCounter Balancing Facial Mask (send me an email if you're interested in the mask and I can point you in the right direction!).
4. Get your hormones in balance. When hormones are out of whack our sebum production increases causing unwanted breakouts. Take note of the time and location in which your breakouts are happening and this will help you know if the cause is your hormones.
5. Cut back on the coffee addiction. If you drink more than two (regular size) coffees a day try to find a substitute and lower your coffee intake. I was one of those that would have 2 or more LARGE coffees a day. Not smart for someone who already has anxiety issue since it just made me more anxious and jittery! Now, I allow myself one coffee in the morning then I drink tea when I need a caffeine boost. Not only is it helping to improve my skin, but I am able to fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night!
6. Acupuncture helps clear and maintain healthy skin. I've had two sessions so far and I already notice a significant difference in my complexion and not to mention how I feel (note, I am following all of the other tips above too and not just relying on acupuncture).
Three years later, lots of product trials, and a few doctors appointments I am finally headed down the path towards healthy & happy skin! I hope that you find these tips helpful and know that you're not the only one who struggles with skin issues. You're beautiful regardless!
I'd love to hear some of your skin experiences and if you have any tips leave a comment below!