Did I mention that a good night’s sleep is vital? (Teddy bear optional, but recommended).
Well, my program doesn’t have Jessica Simpson or Alyssa Milano claiming it saved them from acne, and I can’t name any skin treatments or miracle moisturisers, because there isn’t anything that works for everyone. But here’s what I’ve learned, and what I know works for me; finding the right balance for your skin takes trial and error, a liquid miracle known as water and a sprinkling of common sense. If there’s anything you feel I’ve missed, feel free to comment with your tips!
- Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Big glasses of water. I know that sounds really overwhelming, but if you spread it out across the day, I promise you won’t drown yourself. Try drinking a glass of water before breakfast, take a big bottle of water to school with you (you can refill it, or take a couple with you) and ask if you’re allowed to sip it in class. Plead to your teacher, But it’s for my health! This will work best with PE teachers. Then, have a glass with a snack when you get home from school, have a water bottle with you when you’re doing homework, have a glass of water with dinner before you know it, you’ll have reached your quota, and you’ll be well on the way to clear, sparkly skin, a la Edward Cullen. Doing this consistently has a lot of other health benefits too: water can help prevent headaches, flushes toxins out of your body, and much more.
- Use non-comodgenic make-up. That’s a word that basically means foundation that blocks your pores. Look out for mineral powders and organic make-ups; they’ll be a lot kinder to your skin, and won’t induce any pimple outbreaks. It’s a good idea to only wear make-up if you have to; light foundation at school, for job interviews and work and at parties, but let your skin rest on weekends. Ask for make-up designed for sensitive skin or acne at cosmetic counters in department stores.
- Eat healthy. Sure, they proved that chocolate doesn’t give you pimples. But three packets of salt and vinegar chips are not going to help your complexion. If you eat a lot of junk food, try cutting back (just a little bit) for a few days. Eat an apple instead of a chocolate bar. When there are more fruit and vegetables in your diet (along with the all-important made-of-awesome wonder-liquid that-doesn’t-cost-you-a-thing water I mentioned earlier), your skin is smoother, more even-toned, and looks a lot healthier. You can still eat chips and chocolate just balance it out with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Always, always, always wear sunscreen. There are now a lot of all-in-one moisturisers with SPF 15+ sunscreen included. These should be incorporated into your morning routine something that will take about ten seconds to apply, but if you get into the habit of protecting your skin, may one day save your life. Here in Australia, skin cancer is a huge issue and claims thousands of lives annually. I’m not sure how it is overseas, but a tiny bit more effort is definitely worth being safe. And you should know already to never-ever-ever sunbake without sunscreen. If you want a tan, there are some fantastic (and non-orange, believe me) spray-ons available which pose no risk of painful sunburn. Remember, a tan is a sign of skin damage.
- Get a skin care program that suits you. The main four skin types are oily, dry/sensitive, combination and normal. Once you figure out which one you are, there are a plethora of products available that will suit your skin, many of which are very affordable. Getting samples of different products can be useful for figuring out what works for your skin and what doesn’t without having to spend a lot of money. There are all combinations of cleansers, creams, moisturizers, toners, masks, and gels claiming to purify, detoxify, lift, tighten, and make your skin glow. Try to find something that’s affordable and gentle on the skin, and which helps prevent pimples if that’s an issue for you. Don’t worry about alpha-bety-hydroxic-acid or cotton and ginseng extracts. Just find what works for you.