If you’re reading this, you’ve probably used Proactiv. At one point or another, every teen or 20-something has treated pimple-prone skin with the popular 3-step cleansing routine. In high school, Proactiv was everything,
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably used Proactiv. At one point or another, every teen or 20-something has treated pimple-prone skin with the popular 3-step cleansing routine. In high school, Proactiv was everything, but after a year or so, I noticed that my skin became immune to the treatment and thus I plunged headfirst into nearly a decade of troubled skin.
I’ve never had what one would call severe acne, but the breakouts that seemed constant were traumatic enough for me. As a model, these pimples were especially frustrating and stressful. Even in the age of Photoshop, no one wants to rock a couple of red giants on their chin or forehead. So I spent several years spreading yogurt on my face, over-drying pimples with zit cream, and spending thousands (literally) at expensive dermatologist offices. Yes, I truly believe that if you have severe acne, dermatologists can be wonderful. They are great for checking moles for cancer and any serious skin issues. But for those who just simply get more pimples, there are ways to get perfect skin that are inexpensive, effective, and way less toxic.
In the past 6 months, my skin has done a complete 180. I was getting sick of spreading topical chemical ointments all over my face. Not to mention that while I got fewer pimples using these creams, plenty still popped up for a quick show. I decided to ditch the two topicals that were costing me $400 a year (not including dermatologist visits) and try something different. I know my skin is oily with a constant state of blackheads on my nose, so I thought I would try out the Origins toner I had sitting in my bathroom. For the first time in my life, my skin was actually getting clean. After just a few days, I noticed the buildup of dirt and oil was disappearing. The little devilish black dots were gone and the breakouts were slowing down. I also incorporated another change into my routine: washing my hands before I washed my face. It may seem silly, but I rarely did this before, and so was always rubbing the dirt from my hands into my face! How could I have not thought of this horrible situation before? Well, once I made the change, I noticed my skin getting better.
It has now been a full month since my last pimple. A full month! The month before was only plagued by a mere pimple or two to boot. This has not happened since my preteen years, I can assure you. With such success already under my belt, I thought I would do some serious skin sleuthing and imagine how I could make my skin even better.
Clean skin is healthy skin, right? I always use a gentle cleanser free of harsh soaps like Cetaphil to cleanse. I have sensitive skin, so abrasive scrubs are a no go. Most dermatologists will recommend Cetaphil, and luckily it comes in a normal wash or one for oily skin. Just use your hands and gently wash.
Nothing looks better on a face than good skin. Soft and hydrated skin looks better than any foundation. However, if you are getting ready for a night out, some make-up artists have taught me first cleanse the skin, moisturize, then apply foundation with a damp beauty blender to achieve the dewiest of complexions. Regardless of whether you are putting on makeup or not, you should moisturize every day and night. The opposite of wrinkles is moisture—remember that. Even if you’re oily, hydrate with a light moisturizer after you tone.
When heading outside, it looks like loads of sunscreen is best. Buy a moisturizer with SPF already in it to protect your skin from damage and future wrinkles. The coolest tip about SPF I have learned yet? Don’t forget to apply right under your eyes! As kids we were told to keep sunscreen away from our eyes, but now, as the precise adults that we are, we can gingerly apply SPF in the spot where we definitely don’t want wrinkles—the eyes. After lotion is applied, cover up those peepers with sunglasses for some UV protection.
Though this next one can be hard, it has really helped my skin to become spot-free. No matter how large or juicy the pimple, do not pop it. It will definitely spread the gunk to other parts of your skin, creating new zits and potentially scars. My skin always scars when I pop a zit, so I literally never do it. If its HUGE and I have an important casting the next day, I will sterilize a safety pin with fire, heat pimple with a rag, and prod gently with the needle to release some gunk. This makes my zits flatter and easier to conceal with makeup.
In recent years, I have also made a conscious effort to keep my hands away from my face. A friend of mine with perfect skin always notices if she has spent too much time in front of the computer—a zit will appear where she most often rested her hand. What is the best rule of thumb? Do whatever you can to keep your dirty hands off of your pristine visage. If you have a pimple, don’t touch it. You know it’s there.
Ladies, I know this one is hard, but I ALWAYS wash my face before I sleep. Sure, I’ve come home a little tipsy and jumped into bed with a dirty face, but I try to keep this from happening more than 2 or 3 times a year.
Last but not least, ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS, drink a ton of water. This is a huge one that I cannot stress enough. Regardless of lack of sleep, or too much alcohol, water flushes out impurities in your system better than any damn cleanse. It also is great at keeping your skin nourished and clear. I try to consume as much water as possible, drinking anywhere from 4-8 large cups a day.
All in all, it’s best to treat your face as the precious beauty that it is. All of the elements that I have incorporated into my routine have truly given me the best skin of my entire life. At 26, I have never felt so young! It’s never too late to feel fresh-faced and beautiful. Try out some of these tips and lets us know what you think.
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