No one likes blemishes and everyone tries to avoid them. But with rising pollution and increasing levels of stress, keeping the odd blemish at bay is near impossible, which leads to the ever present question of how to get clear skin?
While there’s a plethora of products out there to try when it comes truly understanding how to get clear skin a slap dash approach won’t cut it. You need those designed to cleanse your pores, hydrate your skin and even-out your complexion.
But achieving the holy grail of clear skin isn’t only a topical situation. It starts in the kitchen with inflammation fighting smoothie ingredients and moves onto the bedroom: do you have enough downtime for skin regeneration? Beauty sleep isn’t just a very overused phrase, it’s an actual bodily process and does affect whether you have glowing skin or not.
So dermatologists, nutritionists and cosmetologists explain exactly how to get clear skin and how to maintain it. Think of this as your ultimate guide to skin clarity, health and how to get clear skin.
WHAT CAUSES ACNE
Firstly, you need to be aware of what causes breakouts in the first place. These factors, whether combined or on their own, are the biggest culprits against your efforts when it comes to how to get clear skin.
– Using old cosmetics and unclean brushes
– Hormone imbalances caused by factors like the contraceptive pill
– Stripping oils with harsh skincare products
– High GI foods (like potatoes and white bread)
– Germs from your phone and pillowcase
– Friction and rubbing from bed-sheets
– Changing skincare products regularly or introducing more than one new skincare product at a time
EXPERT ADVICE ON HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN
HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN NATURALLY
1. Don’t Overdo It
When it comes to how to get clear skin, you need to use a gentle face wash that won’t upset the pH balance of your skin. “As soon as an individual has a breakout, there is a tendency to obsess about skin cleansing”, says Dr Justine Hextall, FRCP Consultant Dermatologist.
“By the time I see acne patients they’re often suffering more because of harsh cleansing routines, rather than the original problem. Think less is more. If your skin feels tight after washing your face or putting on a mask, then you have probably stripped off your natural oils and unbalanced the pH of your skin”.
Most of the time breakouts occur due to a combination of dead skin cells and natural oils mixing together to create a plug that clogs your pores. By getting rid of these dead skin cells, you eliminate this chance.
However, harsh exfoliators can lead to irritated skin and micro tears, which are more susceptible to bacteria, so try to use gentle exfoliators that contain natural ingredients.
HOW TO GET CLEAR SKIN OVERNIGHT WITHOUT PRODUCTS
While there’s no magic potion that’s going to give you crystal clear skin overnight, these nightly rituals can help you along your way.
3. Get Some Downtime
Cells that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones, so when you’re stressed, you produce more sebum, increasing the chance of clogging your pores.
In addition to this, when we experience stress, our adrenal gland goes into overdrive and increases our androgens (male hormones). Higher androgen levels can lead to more acne.
Take out ten minutes for meditation, or if you do want to throw in a product, give yourself a relaxing face mask.
4. Practice Facial Massage
The Chinese philosophy of Qi/Chi stimulating massage as well as Reflexology therapy believe that by pressing certain points of the body, facial acne can be cured.
According to the ancient science, the body consists of energy centres or energy meridians which are responsible for our overall health and wellness.
By manipulating these meridians you’re able to make the energy flow normally again and restore your skin’s balance. Plus, you’ll promote blood flow and increase circulation, which will feed your skin.
If you do want to add a product into your massage routine, “massage an anti-oxidant oil in your skin at night to de-stress your skin, whilst ensuring excellent hydration and that all-important wind-down before sleep”, says Dr Hextall.
WHAT TO EAT TO GET CLEAR SKIN
5. Don’t Use Hot Water
Does your skin feel itchy when you get out of the shower? If it does, your water is too hot.
Not only can this lead to uneven skin tone, it can also result in dry, flaky skin.
“The hotter the shower (or bath) the more the water will remove natural skin oil and dry your skin out”, says Dr Hextall. Avoid this problem by washing your face with lukewarm water.
6. Look At Labels
You should know what you’re putting on your face, but that’s not always the case. What’s worse, a lot of skincare and makeup products out there contain highly comedogenic ingredients, meaning they clog your pores.
Try to steer clear of petroleum and petroleum byproducts, like silicone and dimethicone. And instead look for calming anti-inflammatory ingredients like calendula, chamomile, clay and niacinamide to soothe irritated, red skin.
7. Wear SPF
In a recent study published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, it was found that sun cream not only protects your skin from sun damage, it can also reverse the signs of photo-ageing, like wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation.
The study, sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson’s Skin Research Centre and led by dermatologists Steven Wang and James Leyden, showed improvements in the many signs of ageing caused by the sun. This included things like texture, overall tone, and fine lines.
Participants who applied a moisturizer containing SPF 30, saw improvements of 52 percent in mottled pigmentation, 40 percent in skin texture, and 41 percent in skin clarity after one year of use.
So if you’re using sun cream on holiday, you’re partly there. But, you should really be applying it every day. Even on the days when it seems like the sun doesn’t even exist. Because it does. Always.