Clear skin tip 1: Ditch the chemicals
It can be tempting to reach for chemical peels and ingredients such as salicylic acid to help clear up problem skin. However, many chemical-based skin products not only contain potentially harmful ingredients, they can also excessively dry out skin and exacerbate skin problems. For a gentler approach to fighting acne, opt for natural spot-fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil or manuka honey. Manuka honey not only has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties to fight spots, it also has the benefit of being able to reduce the scarring and marks left by spots.
Clear skin tip 2: Use spot-fighting makeup
We all know what it’s like to have a bad skin day when you just want to hide away under layers of makeup. However, while makeup can temporarily disguise the look of spots, it can also make the problem much worse. For confidence-boosting coverage that won’t cause flare-ups, make sure you opt for non-comedogenic makeup that won’t clog pores. To further increase the spot-fighting powers of your cosmetics, try using mineral makeup containing zinc oxide, which will fight against acne-causing bacteria.
Clear skin tip 3: Sip spearmint tea
Acne is generally caused by hormones called androgens, which can over-stimulate the sebaceous glands leading to oily skin, blocked pores and spots. To counteract these effects, oral contraceptives are often prescribed to women suffering from acne. However, while beneficial for clearing spots, these contraceptive pills can have inconvenient and even dangerous side effects. Luckily, research suggests that spearmint tea has similar anti-androgen properties, which could help reduce acne and hormone imbalances in women.
Clear skin tip 4: Reduce your skin’s contact to bacteria
You may be surprised at how often your skin comes into contact with dirt and germs that can lead to acne. During the time you are asleep, your pillow comes into contact with makeup, skin oils and saliva, making it a breeding ground for bacteria that can worsen acne. Likewise, unwashed makeup brushes can spread bacteria to your skin. To minimise your skin’s contact to bacteria, make sure you wash makeup brushes every two weeks and change your pillowcase regularly. Also, avoid touching your face as much as possible and clean your phone with antibacterial wipes before making calls.
Clear skin tip 5: Cleanse your skin properly
If you suffer from oily or acne-prone skin it can be tempting to over-cleanse your skin to dry out oils and kill bacteria. However, cleansing your skin too frequently or using harsh cleansers can dry out your skin, causing flakiness which can clog pores. It can also cause your skin to produce more oils to compensate. Instead, wash your skin twice a day with a gentle, PH-neutral cleanser so as not to destroy the acid mantle of the skin, which protects against moisture loss and bacteria. Remove the cleanser with a muslin cloth to lightly exfoliate the skin.
Clear skin tip 6: Change your diet
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants is one of the key factors behind beautiful looking skin. However, there are also certain foods you can cut back on or eat more of in order to help get rid of spots. Research suggests that dairy is a major precursor of acne for many people due to the hormones it contains. Plastic water bottles and food packaging can also leach out chemicals which can lead to hormone imbalance. Swap packaged foods for fresh, skin-friendly produce including lots of fruit and vegetables and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Clear skin tip 7: Find ways to deal with stress
Research findings published in the journal Archives of Dermatology suggest that high stress levels can significantly worsen acne. It is thought that this may be due to the fact that stress stimulates the production of hormones which stimulate oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands. Stress is also thought to instigate the release of chemicals which can lead to inflammation. To help keep your skin clear and spot-free, try to find healthy ways to deal with stress such as exercise, meditation or pampering. Try to talk through problems with someone else as well to help relieve any worries.
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