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  • Regina Thomas

My Best Acne Tips!

Acne is such a pain in the arse. Growing up, I had Cystic Acne from ages 12-24 and it was awful. I got teased a lot, I had low self-esteem, and I had no idea whatsoever how to care for my painful condition. Acne is a very complicated disease, but it's totally manageable! I plan to go more in-depth about acne in the future, but for starters, here are my best acne tips!

1. Change your pillow case- Like sleep on each side once and change it out; I'm serious! Think about it, your hair products, dead skin cells, excess lotions, makeup, drool, and so on and so forth end up on your pillow case. Also, if you have pets that share your bed, their yuckies get on there too! If you struggle with acne, you don't want to put that on your face! Pillow cases can be super affordable, like two pillow cases for under five bucks, affordable. Try Target, Home Goods, Wal-Mart, or Amazon.

2. Ditch the fabric softener- Did you know that most fabric softeners are made with animal fats? That's what prevents static cling and leaves the soft "film" on clothing. If you have acne, think about having residual animal fat on your skin, that can't be good. When I was younger I had body acne and it was soooooo embarrassing! I would have loved to have known that making this simple change could have helped clear up my back. In our household, we have switched to using distilled vinegar and wool dryer balls for fabric softener. I was shocked that it worked so well and my clothes do NOT smell like vinegar haha. If you can't bring yourself to part with your fabric softener (I know it smells so good!), then opt for a vegan option to ensure that animal fats aren't in the product or put essential oils onto your wool dryer balls!

3. Ice-don't pick!- I used to pick at my face constantly and I have the acne scarring to prove it! The thing is that when you pick at pimples (especially when they're not fully surfaced), you push the bacteria deeper into the skin. Pushing the bacteria deeper can cause new break-outs and even infections. I suggest that when you notice a new pimple forming, you ice that sucker! Ice for 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off three to five times a day. The ice will help with swelling, redness, and it will help stop bacteria growth. I also suggest investing in a spot treatment that has both Glycolic acid and Salicylic acid. I carry Skin Script RX Blemish Spot Treatment and I love it because I can apply it over my makeup and it has botanical ingredients to help reduce scarring. If it's blackheads that you're picking at, put the pore strips down! Those things are super hit or miss, you can end up with dilated capillaries and even larger looking pores from all that pulling. Instead, treat yourself to a mini-facial somewhere. Most spas offer an extractions-only option that's affordable, safer, and more effective.

4. Fix your food- This one is toughie for a lot of us, but you need a more balanced diet for your skin to improve. Chocolate and french fries causing acne is a MYTH, but nutritional deficits causing acne is a FACT. The cells in your body need antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to properly do their job-and not from a slew of supplements, but from real food. My diet used to be complete shit. I ate mostly processed foods and never ate any fruits or vegetables and that showed in my skin. I suggest starting small, add one piece of fruit or bowl of berries to your day. Replace lunch or dinner with a salad (preferably with something other than ice berg lettuce and tuna salad doesn't count haha). It gets easier once you find fresh foods that you enjoy. Experiment with fun salad dressings, my current favorite is Trader Joe's Sweet Onion and Bacon. These days I'm up to two servings of fruit every day, a salad for lunch, and a cooked veggie with dinner and my skin looks so much better. I also feel a lot better!

5. Ease up on the exfoliating- When my acne was really bad, I would scrub my skin within an inch of it's life, use only products that were labeled as being acne products, and wipe my face with fricking Oxy Pads like three times a day. That was WAY TOO MUCH. The thing about your skin is that you need a moisture barrier to prevent bacteria from entering your skin and causing more acne. It's a necessity to have some oil in your skin. You need a moisturizer in your routine even if that scares you. Trust me, I know how you feel. I used to believe that I could just scrub and/or burn off the acne if I tried hard enough and that just isn't how it works. I suggest using one exfoliating product in your routine and, if your skin has active breakouts, make it a chemical exfoliant. Using scrubs will just open up the scabs and cause more scarring. Instead, opt for a cleanser that has Glycolic and Salicylic and use it every other day. If your skin can tolerate it, you can use it every day, but if your skin feels dry you're over using the product. As for moisturizer, look for a gel-based formula. Once your skin's moisture barrier is in tact, it's much easier to treat the acne!

I know how painful it is to have acne, but have faith that it can be cleared! Oftentimes, acne can even be cleared without scary medicines and painful chemical peels. It does take time and consistency, but acne can be cleared! I hope these tips are helpful to you, the more I learn the more I'll share :) .



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