I've dealt with skin issues my entire life. Since I was little, I've had eczema on and off. In the past five years, I've also had acne on and off. This past year, my skin went bezerk and got pretty bad in March/ April. Since then, my skin has improved tremendously and I'd like to share the tips and tricks that really helped me.
I took photos when my skin was at its worst, so I could see the improvement as I made changes to my lifestyle. The photos on top are from the end of March, and the ones on the bottom are from today, nearly 7 months later:
1. Change your pillowcase. As you can see from the before pictures, I had a pretty bad breakout on my right cheek, but not on my left. That's because the acne there wasn't hormonal, it was from sleeping on dirty pillowcases. I wash my pillowcases once a week at the latest, and I have two that I can switch through during the week. If you talk frequently on the phone, clean that as well.
2. Consider removing dairy products from your diet. This made the biggest impact on the way my skin and body felt. The idea is that dairy products such as milk contain hormones that interfere with your own body's hormones. This isn't a bad thing when you're younger, as these hormones can often help you grow. But later in life, they can cause problems such as acne (WebMD has more info if you're interested.) Now, I either substitute dairy products or avoid them altogether.
3. Exercise regularly. You don't have to jump into a crazy regimen in order to reap the benefits of exercise, even short workouts help circulate the blood and help your skin. I enjoy running, which gets my heart pumping and the outdoor workouts ensure I get lots of vitamin D to my skin. Exercise also positively affects my mood and sleeping habits, in conjunction with helping my skin.
4. Drink water. This tip ties into the previous one nicely, because I find myself drinking lots of water on days that I exercise. Water helps flush your system and keep your skin hydrated from within. I've also noticed that if I eat food containing dairy products, by drinking lots of water afterwards, I can minimize the breakouts and itchiness that usually follow.
5. Use a moisturizer. The one mistake I see people doing all the time is skipping out on moisturizer. By skipping moisturizer, you're forcing your skin to create more oil in order to keep itself hydrated. I really like Boots Botanics Organic Facial Oil, because the product seeps into the skin quickly and I've never had problems with breakouts from it. The idea of using oil on the face sounds counterproductive for acne, but the oil actually prevents your face from producing its own oil, which is what causes acne. It's one of the best products I've ever used!
My skin is still far from perfect, but it feels and looks much better than it did half a year ago. I've noticed that a lot of the redness and irritation has died down, the texture is smoother, it's generally less oily, and breakouts are less frequent. On days that I choose to wear makeup, I use significantly less product and the overall application is smoother.
I hope you enjoyed!
Song of the Day: Cousins by Vampire Weekend