If you think that breakouts are relegated to the nostalgia of your teenage years, think again. We all have the occasional blemish, and one study showed that 54% of women and 40% of men over the age of 25 have some form of facial acne. While we may not have the insecurities of our teenage selves, a blemish is still a blemish. To keep your skin clear and gorgeously blemish-free here are Vie de Mer’s seven tips for clear skin.
- Use Toner but Skip the Alcohol. Not all toners are created equal. Alcohol dries the skin and can increase sebum production, leading to larger pores and breakouts. And don’t let that tingly, tight feeling fool you. An alcohol-based toner can disrupt the skin barrier, which means dehydrated and inflamed skin that’s more prone to aging. Instead, add an alcohol-free toner, like Vie de Mer’s Hydrating Gel Toner. It’s loaded with Aloe Vera, Green Tea, Ginseng, Chamomile, and calming 100% organic Lavender Oil to balance oil production.
- Stop Touching Your Face (except when you’re washing it). People touch their face, on average, 15-23 times per hour, transferring dirt and bacteria from their hands. It’s a habit we all have, but one that contributes to breakouts and blemishes. Catch yourself when your hands roam upwards. And since it’s unlikely that you’ll ever break free of it completely, wash your face twice a day as part of your morning and evening routine. And as added protection – wash your phone. Once you think of how many places your mobile visits, you’ll be rushing to wipe it down.
- Exfoliate (but do it gently). Exfoliation is a brilliant way to remove dead skin cells that, if left to their own devices, can clog pores and cause acne. Three times a week, use a physical exfoliation product such as a motorized facial brush (gentle circular motions with a washcloth also does the trick). On the topical side, retinyl palmitate speeds cell turnover without causing irritation. Try Vie de Mer’s Stem Cell Cream which contains both retinyl palmitate and soothing, moisturizing ingredients to protect the skin barrier.
- Embrace Your Inner Sleeping Beauty. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. A lack of sleep not only make your skin dull, but it also releases inflammatory compounds, which can lead to breakouts. Each person is different, but target between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep a night. To help promote a restful night’s sleep, make sure that your bedroom is cool, quiet, and dim. Fun fact – wearing socks to bed can lower your core body temperature quicker, helping you to fall asleep easily.
- Hydrate Every Way You Can. Drinking enough water every day helps your skin to retain moisture, which is important in unclogging pores. It also flushes toxins from the skin. There’s a lot of discussion about how much water you need (hint the 8 ounces, 8 times a day is woefully inadequate), but the Mayo Clinic recommends 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women daily. Remember that you can get hydration from food as well, with the winners including cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, peaches, and apples. And if you love to exercise, up your water intake to compensate for sweating.
- Skip the Sugar. Studies show that foods with a high glycemic index may increase acne breakouts. It turns out that when you eat something chock full of sugar, insulin levels spike, which causes excess sebum production. Daily recommendations for added sugar intake are 36 grams for men and 25 grams for women, but some studies, such as the Blue Zones, recommend reducing that further to 20g maximum daily. Instead of reaching for refined carbs, cookies, cakes, or pastries, go to whole fruits to satisfy a sweet craving. Not only are they rich in antioxidants that are brilliant for skin health, but they are high in fiber, and nutrients.
- Stress Not Welcome Here. Stress is a culprit in many conditions, including acne. Emotional stress has been shown to both trigger and exacerbate breakouts. To keep stress in check, find a method that works for you, such as Yoga Nidra, art therapy, gardening, or music therapy. It’s important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Whatever you choose, should bring you into a deep state of relaxation, rather than add pressure and feel like a burden.
There are many factors that influence acne, including skin regimen, diet, sleep, lifestyle, and psychological well-being. With the tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way to having gorgeous skin that will leave you brimming with confidence.