Some people are born with naturally clear skin. They're blessed with skin that has a seemingly perfect balance of oils and they make it through life with nary a blemish in sight and don't have to spend much of their lives in anguish, searching high and low to learn how to get clear skin. I grew up hating those people, because I'm decidedly not one of them. My skin is oily and acne-prone and I've struggled my entire life to get my skin problems in check. It wasn't until the last few years that I discovered a holistic approach to skin care works much better than harsh topical solutions that I've finally managed to come to an uneasy peace with my skin.
The human body is an intricate network of systems and what you do to one area of your body can have a huge impact on other areas of your body. For this reason, some of the tips for clear skin in this article may leave you wondering how they're related to the health of your skin. Diet, gut health and stress are just a few of the seemingly unrelated factors you must take into consideration when looking to unlock the secrets to clear skin.
It may not seem like, since the skin is on the outside of the body, but the skin is our largest organ. It's also the only organ that's completely exposed to the outside world and, as such, is open to damage from both environmental and physical hazards. The skin is tasked with keeping the bad stuff out of our body while keeping the stuff that keeps us alive in. It shields us from the sun, inclement weather and a number of environmental hazards on a daily basis.
The skin is an amazing organ, but it requires special care in order to stay in good health. You aren't going to get a clear complexion overnight, but the following 10 tips for clear skin may help you clear up stubborn skin problems over time.
1. Sweat a little.
Most people equate sweating to acne flare-ups, but the reality is sweat has little to do with acne. In fact, regular exercise is great for your body and can contribute to healthier skin. Exercise improves circulation, which means more blood and oxygen will reach the small capillaries just under the surface of the skin. This keeps the skin fresher and the improved circulation can help the skin get rid of waste products like those nasty free radicals that are known to cause extensive damage.
Stress is a known trigger for acne. The more some people stress out, the worse their acne gets. Learn to relax, meditate, do yoga. Do whatever it takes to take a load of and get into the chill zone. Your skin will thank you for it.
3. Keep Your Skin Clean.
Wash your face regularly with a pH balanced soap designed to keep your skin healthy. Ladies, this is especially important if you wear makeup most of the day because makeup can trap toxins against the skin and all sorts of skin problems can occur. Wash your skin and pat it dry instead of rubbing it dry, which can further clog your pores.
4. Resist the Temptation to Pop Pimples.
I know this is easier said than done, especially when you have Mount Kilauea appear on your face overnight, but popping pimples doesn't help your skin. It open your skin up to infection, can result in scarring and the inflammation typically gets worse before it gets better when you pop a pimple. Popping pimples also releases bacteria, which can infect nearby skin, causing more pimples to form.
5. Wash Your Makeup Brushes and Sponges.
Nearly 3/4 of all women who use makeup don't keep their makeup brushes clean. Over time, your makeup brush becomes a repository of dirt, bacteria and toxins that you're rubbing against your face every single day. If you aren't cleaning your brushes and sponges, you may be brushing a fresh coating of bacteria onto your face every single morning.
6. Watch What You Eat.
Your diet affects your entire body, including the health of your skin. If I had to pick only one of these tips for clear skin to follow, it would be this one. It's really that important. Skip the processed foods and foods that are high on the glycemic index and instead opt to eat more fermented foods, fruits and vegetables. The Western diet is packed full of sugars and refined grains and bad skin is a big problem. People in areas of the world that still eat natural foods don't have anywhere near the level of skin problems we have.
While you're at it, cut out the dairy. Dairy products are believed to stimulate your oil glands and may cause acne to flare up.
7. Wash Your Cellphone.
Here's one most people never think about. If you talk on the phone a lot, your cell phone is constantly in contact with your cheek. A Stanford study recently revealed cell phones can harbor all sorts of bacteria that can be transferred to your face. Clean your phone a couple times a day if you use it a lot. If you don't use it often, once every couple of days may suffice.
8. Get Some Sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause all sorts of problems in the body. Acne is one of them. Getting one good night's sleep isn't going to make much of a difference when it comes to your skin. Getting a couple month's worth of good sleep might. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
Drinking more water helps your body clear out toxins. This in turn leads to less inflammation and a lessened chance of acne and other blemished developing. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day for maximum effect.
10. Use pH-Balanced Skin Products.
The human skin is slightly acidic by nature. Most skin care products are strongly alkaline. Using alkaline products on your skin can unbalance your skin's pH, creating an unhealthy environment in which acne is more likely to form. Start using skin care products that are pH-balanced and you may find your skin starts clearing up.