We all want to put our best face forward, but for blemish prone skin, diagnosing underlying conditions and establishing the right routine can be tricky. Getting and keeping healthy clear skin requires adopting healthy habits like regular washing, moisturizing, maintaining a relatively clean diet, managing stress, and sometimes calling on professional help when you’ve tried it all and still aren’t getting the results you want.
Our Euro homecare recommendations will get you off to a good start.
1. Cleanse Twice a Day
The skin needs daily cleansing to eliminate dirt and debris which clogs pores. Breakouts result from bacteria within the pore so the first step is to keep the skin as clean as possible – without stripping away natural oils needed for barrier protection and skin hydration. Research shows that washing your face twice daily is more effective in promoting clear skin than once per day. More than twice daily, however, can over dry the skin, causing an increase in oil production. (There are exceptions, for instance like after a workout or if you’ve been exposed to environmental pollutants, etc.). We recommend Euro Botanicals Rosehip Seed Cleanser or Green Tea Cleanser (lotion based for sensitive skins).
Exfoliation can lead to brighter, clearer skin by clearing away dead cells on the skin’s surface, which clog pores and contribute to the formation of p. acnes bacteria leading to breakouts. Choose your exfoliator based on your skin condition. This may change over time. Sometimes a gentle scrub (manual exfoliation) like our Enzyme Peeling Crème may feel appropriate (never when lesions are present however.). At other times you may prefer a natural chemical brush on (Glycagel 15%). Don’t overdo it, more harm is caused from over-exfoliation than from under exfoliating.
Does applying moisturizer to oily or blemish prone skin sound counterintuitive? The skin needs hydration! We discussed how overly dry skin can lead to increased oil production by the sebaceous glands and increase the incidence of breakouts. Topical treatments like retinoids and salicylic acid can also contribute to irritation and dry, flaky skin. Your moisturizer should be oil-free and noncomedogenic to prevent clogged pores. Try our lightweight Lemon Gel Crème (great summer moisturizer for most skin types) or Marine Hydration Crème.
4. Get your Z’s
It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing! Seven to nine hours a night will help you get clearer, healthier skin. Sleep gives our bodies a chance to recover from daily stressors and balance our hormones.
5. Manage Stress
Stress on its own doesn’t cause breakouts, but the hormones it releases in the body (cortisol) can cause inflammation and increased sebum production which may exacerbate symptoms. And it can affect your sleep patterns and dietary habits which in turn, affect your skin. Mindfulness, meditation, rest, exercise, and just taking time to breathe are all proven stress busters or consult a medical professional for advice.
6. Eat pretty.
There is plenty of evidence that what we eat affects the skin. Gut health, the microbiome, and the entire “beauty from the inside out” trend is focused on whole body health. How you live will show up on your skin to some degree. Studies have linked eating a low-glycemic diet to improved skin health, partly because they don’t spike blood sugar levels and insulin response like higher glycemic foods (refined sugar and carbs). Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help to reduce inflammation in the body. (Breakouts = inflammation). High blood sugar can increase inflammation, which triggers sebum production in the sebaceous glands.
Food sensitivities vary greatly person to person. Medical professionals recommend eliminating foods one at a time if you think you may be sensitive over a period of a couple of weeks to a month and keeping track of changes or reactions you may experience.
7. Wear Sunscreen
Thick, heavy SPF might sound like the very last product you want to apply! However, studies show that wearing a light sunscreen every day can lead to clearer skin. Breakouts indicate inflammation in the skin and sun exposure (sunburn, redness) doesn’t help. A sunscreen/moisturizer in one product is an easy go-to for sun protection and hydration. Daily sunscreen use can also help to protect against signs of photo-aging which shows up as fine lines, wrinkles, rough and uneven skin texture.
Love your skin and your skin will love you back. Start with lifestyle changes like twice-daily cleansing, healthy eating, gentle moisturizers, and restful sleep.
When should you see a professional?
You don’t have to go it alone! Our student estheticians and instructors will be back on the floor very soon (target date is mid-July) and ready to diagnose your skin, design a treatment for your special needs and recommend homecare options.
We look forward to seeing you VERY soon!