I have been struggling with acne prone and sensitive skin since I was about 13 years old. Now in my late twenties (what??) I am still managing the same skin problems, along with my skin becoming more dry and wanting to prevent wrinkles! I have come a long way since those teenage years. The majority of the year my skin is clear, but there are times that I feel like no matter what I do I can’t clear up a break out. For those of you that struggle with pimples and acne you know how discouraging that can be. In this blog I am sharing my top skincare tips and the products that I have used over the last year that have worked REALLY well for me. I hope that this blog helps someone else too because there is nothing better than feeling good about your skin.
My go-to Products
FAB Cleanser – It’s super creamy and gentle. Pairs great with the Clarisonic and does a good job of removing makeup. Side note – I have been loving First Aid Beauty (FAB) products over the last year. They are simple, gentle and effective.
FAB Rescue Blemish Pads – My go-to for stubborn breakouts. Sometimes I use 1 pad per day alternating with another toner morning and night. Other times I will use these morning and night. The pads always clear up my skin during during a bad spell.
FAB Ulta Repair Hydrating Serum – I love this stuff, but only use it at night for two reasons. 1) It’s not the cheapest and 2) Some of my makeup doesn’t apply well over it. This serum is not greasy, doesn’t make me break out and keeps my skin SO soft.
FAB Ulta Repair Lotion – I have been loving this light weight, non-greasy, super hydrating lotion! I use it both day and night. It’s a great value for the price – 8oz for $24 – HUGE bottle! But this is the sale price, so I am worried it is going to be discontinued. You should try this out before it’s gone!
Dr. Lin Acne Spot Corrector – This gel contains 5% benzyol peroxide which many articles show is a key product in clearing acne. I have found higher concentrations can be too drying, so when I found this one I knew I had to try it. It’s actually a bit difficult to find, but is available online at Target. I can use this product 2x a day year-round and it does not dry out my skin. During more humid months I do mix in a stronger formula from the drugstore. Even when my skin is clear I still incorporate benzyol peroxide into my routine to help prevent future breakouts.
Michael Todd Blue Green Algae Toner – I never thought I would really like a toner, but I’ve purchased about 5 bottles already. I will use this twice a day when I’m not using the FAB blemish pads. It keeps my skin clear, smooth and hydrated. Can’t say enough good things about it. I love it and would recommend anyone, regardless of skin type, to try it!
Origins Charcoal Mask – This mask is like my secret weapon for clear skin! I use it 1-2x per week and find it works best after showering and exfoliating. The charcoal really pulls the junk our of my pores. When I wake up the next morning my skin always looks great. I think my skin always looks fresh, clear and tight. This mask can be drying though, so use with caution. I generally only use it on my chin, around my mouth and on the sides of my nose. It’s a little too drying for a full face mask (for me). After using this I always follow with a heavy night time moisturizer.
Clarisonic – I purchased a Clarisonic Mia 1 about a year ago and definitely think it helps keep my skin clear. I prefer the radiance brush head over the sensitive brush. I use it almost every night in the shower to remove my makeup and deep cleanse my face. I find that when I don’t use the Clarisonic regularly I tend to get black heads and sebum build-up on my chin. You may have to experiment with different cleansers to find which cleanser/Clarsonic combo works for you. I recommend a good cream cleanse that lathers up a lot. As I mentioned above, I love the one from FAB.
Sugar – Without fail bad sugar and sweets make me breakout. Usually these breakouts appear in tiny bumps on my forehead and cheeks. For most of my life my acne has been around my chin and mouth, so I know when I have pimples elsewhere it’s from food or something very greasy touching my face. I am known to get a breakout around my mouth from salad dressing or oily spaghetti touching my chin too. Fruits and whole grain breads don’t seem to have an impact on my skin, but I really have to watch the desserts. My wedding is coming up this fall and I don’t have to have a sugar breakout! I indulged a little over Memorial Day weekend and by Thursday I woke up with bumps on my forehead. Some foods I have noticed my skin reacting to are cake, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, cereal and store bought granola.
Water – I am guilty of not drinking enough water, but I know when I do I feel better and my skin looks better. I find that if I drink hot water with lemon when I get to work I will usually reach for another cup and keep drinking throughout the day.
Salmon and Nuts – I noticed an improvement in my hair and skin when I regularly incorporate fish and nuts. Yay for healthy fats!
Good Habits for Clear Skin – Overall, I think keeping your skin clear and healthy is attributed to a good skincare routine and good food choices. Taking all of your makeup off at night is very important. It’s also a good idea to regularly wash your makeup brushes because they can hold dirt and bacteria. I also finding that introducing too many products at once can be confusing for my skin. It becomes hard to tell which products are working and which are not. I always introduce one new product at a time. I have also made it a habit to change my bathroom hand towels and pillow cases often. I use a new hand towel every time I was my face. Like makeup brushes, pillow cases and towels can hold on to dirt. If you do breakout, definitely try not to touch it because it always makes it work and you’ll end up making it more noticeable!