Clear Skin

During the teenage years when your face suddenly switches from clean and smooth to a mass of pimples, it’s hard to see a future where your skin is clear. I used to think ‘maybe when I hit 18, it’ll be all better.’ Truth is, there is no magic age when your face stops breaking out, and yet it does go away with age. Or, it finally reacts properly to acne products. In high school, I tried anything and everything but couldn’t find a product that would work. Now that I’m in college, those products have finally started to work. If you’re at your wit’s end, here are some options for you now that you’re entering your twenties and the hormones have stopped raging.
My number one piece of advice is to go simple. Stay. Simple. I use a cleanser, a tri-weekly mask, and some benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. The cleanser has some salicylic acid in it for extra acne-fighting power, and is a generic version of a face wash. I only use it at night, before bed. I finish with the spot treatment at night when I need it, otherwise I’ll skip it so I don’t dry my face out.
I credit this routine with my clear skin, but there are a few behaviors I have worked on that may have helped even more. Namely, touching my face during class. In lecture, I used to rest my chin or cheek on my left hand while taking notes with my right, and then woke up to a brand new set of pimples in that area that next morning. This past semester I took notes with my laptop only and so wasn’t able to rest my head during class—and to my amazement, my skin improved.
Eating more fruits and vegetables, and even whole grains and protein, has helped my skin a lot too. So has drinking more water. Since my teens I have read a variety of articles on the effects of diet on skin and there was nothing conclusive, so I continued to eat poorly. Since adopting running sophomore year of college, I have been working on my diet and now eat at least three servings of fresh food (fruits/vegetables) every day, and my skin has improved quite a bit. Of course, this happened alongside many other lifestyle changes so I can’t say that diet alone will help clear your skin, but I really do believe that a better diet and more water can help. If nothing else, it will make you feel more refreshed, even if your skin doesn’t improve.

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