My all time most effective tips for getting rid of pimples. There are some helpful links in this article pointing you to outside resources and products I love. Please note that if you choose to purchase any products I suggest I will receive a small commission.
Change Your Pillowcases More Frequently
I know you have all heard this before, but if you are not changing your pillowcase every other day, then you aren’t serious about getting rid of your acne. Period. Let me tell you why! The average woman sleeps for 7-9 hours a day.
While you are sleeping all of the sweat, dead skin, normal skin flora (bacteria), remnant makeup, dry shampoo (and whatever other hair products you use) oil and random grime from your hair and skin is being absorbed into your pillow. If you use dry shampoo and don’t wash your hair everyday- all of the grease and sweat buildup from your hair is also joining the party. And guess what? If you don’t flip your pillow over to the clean side the next time you lay down then you are rubbing your face into all the nasty stuff from the previous night. The stuff that you rubbed into your pillow for hours and hours while you tossed and turned.
Think back to microbiology. If you ever took a micro lab think of how fast staphylococcus epidermidis multiples. Bacteria colonizes and exponentially grows, and you just helped by creating the perfect environment for it. Your skin flora lives off of all of the crap that you left behind on that pillowcase. Check out this article on pillowcase bacteria if you don’t believe me: https://www.livingsafer.com/bacteria-alert-pillowcase-edition/.
So please, invest in a couple extra pillowcases and swap them out every two days. Only sleep on each side once. It will be about a $30 investment up front, but your clear skin will thank you. And if you can try to find a fabric that has anti-microbial properties. This will prevent any bacterial growth during the night. I found a really great one on Amazon for $29. These pillowcases are created using silver thread (if you have ever used Norwex products it’s the same anti-microbial technology).
Drink More Water
Another no brainer tip. But this is the cheapest and easiest easy life tweak you need to make to clear your skin up. You need to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dryness. Because if your skin is dry guess what happens? It sends a signal to your sebaceous glands aka the part of your body responsible for creating oil. Your skin will tell your sebaceous glands “hey I’m dry, please produce more oil” and then next thing you know your skin is greasy as hell and your pores get clogged, creating a fresh breakout.
Another huge reason to stay hydrated is that water helps to flush out toxins that are in your pores that could be the culprit of your latest pimple outbreak. Drink as much water as you can throughout the day to keep your epidermis clean, hydrated and fresh.
Take a Good Look at Your Skin Care Regimen
Is it possible that you are over treating your acne? It took me a while to realize it- but this was the case for me. I would use products that were targeted for acne prone skin for every step of my skincare regimen (facewash, toner, moisturizer, spot treatment, exfoliant, etc., etc.) and it ended up being too much. I was over exfoliating, using too much benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and then trying to compensate for the dryness by over- moisturizing. This ended up creating a vicious cycle of too dry/ too oily. So take a good look at how your skin is reacting and consider using less harsh products. Try to really understand the active ingredients- what is each step of your skincare doing?
Girl- Stop touching your face!
Simple as that. Unless you just scrubbed your hands clean for 30 seconds you should not be touching your face. You are transferring new bacteria and oil onto your face and triggering new pimples to form. Refer to changing your pillowcase for further explanation.
Pull Your Hair Back
Seeing as just about everyone is addicted to dry shampoo and washing their hair as little as possible this is something you have to keep in mind. Your hair and scalp are going to naturally be a little more oily and that is going to transfer onto your skin. I will wear my hair down at work to look a little more composed but as soon as 5pm rolls around I pull my hair up on top of my head to protect my face from excess grease.
It’s also a good idea to sleep with your hair pulled up in a loose bun so that you aren’t rubbing your face in your hair all night!
Do a “Makeup Fast” aka no makeup!!!!
I love to use foundation, blush, and bronzer. However- I know that my skin does not love it. And when I have a particularly nasty pimple breakout, I end up using more cover-up to hide the ugly redness. This obviously only feeds the beast, making it bigger and uglier and I then have to apply more foundation to hide it. Sound familiar? I know it’s scary but try taking a break from your makeup.
Now let’s be honest I am not going to walk into work totally bare face. I’m way too ugly for that! I will however only apply under-eye makeup and mascara giving my skin some breathing room. Trust me- you are your own worst critic. Also if you are having a lazy weekend or night in, skip all makeup altogether. If I go through Saturday and Sunday completely makeup free, my skin is going to look way better come Monday morning.
Purge Your Old Makeup
Ok. This is particularly painful, but makeup can be a bacteria harbor L Powders are the worst culprit. Bronzers and blushes start to get really funky and gross overtime (even though you can’t see it).
Take a critical look at what is in your glam bag and maybe decide if you could use some fresh product. Also- clean your brushes! Once a week I will clean any brush that I use to apply makeup. This helps to remove oil buildup and kill any bacteria that might have started to colonize.
Do a Clarifying Face Mask
If I am having a really bad pimple breakout, I will pull out my secret weapon- Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask. Let me explain why this is the perfect face mask to attack your acne. It contains Tamarind extract (which is a hardwood tree native to Thailand). Tamarind extract is a natural astringent that contains alpha-hydroxy acids which work to exfoliate and brighten the skin. This opens your pores and starts to dry out your pimps. The other active ingredient is tea-tree oil. This acts as anti-microbial agent and helps to calm and moisturize your skin which works in perfect balance with the Tamarind extract. Give it a try! Let me know what you think
These are my tips for great looking skin. What do you do to help fight acne? Do you have any must-try products in your arsenal? Let me know!