I’m prone to breakouts. I have a few skin issues like Acne and scarring. So over the past few months, I have been working on a skincare routine. For me, I want to keep it as natural as possible. Either meaning fewer chemicals or no chemicals at all. There are lots of ways to implement your own skincare routine. Experiment with it and play around with what works for you, below I have written up my skincare routine to give you a rough guide on where to start.
Firstly, your diet is the most important part. Make sure you’re eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water. I aim for 4 litres of water a day. This helps keep the skin hydrated and will not give you a dehydrated, drawn in look. Fruits and Vegetables are also very important and a big part of my diet. Get a wide variety of them and ensure you are getting in plenty of Vitamins A, B, C, E, K. These will all help in your fight to get better skin, from aiding in collagen production to increasing your energy. I also recommend getting in lots of Omega 3s, this helps reduce inflammation and will reduce puffiness (plus all the other benefits they have).
Every morning when I wake up I use a natural moisturiser from the Bodyshop that just adds a little bit of life into my skin, especially if my night’s sleep hasn’t been great. Ensure that you aren’t putting on too much. A pea-sized amount should be enough. I try to do this first thing when I wake up or after a shower if I’m having a shower first thing. A lot of these will also provide vital nutrients that the skin needs and small amounts of this can be absorbed into the skin. Secondly, I use an eye roll on. Under the eyes is the weakest part of your skin (generally speaking). This causes dark circles under your eyes. There are many ways to get rid of these and it’s important to try them out and see what works for you. But an eye serum is a good place to start.
Which brings me to my next point, cold showers. Cold water is great for your skin and your energy levels. I use it as a tool to help to wake myself up and make my skin feel better. Ever use water that’s too hot and afterwards, your skin feels really dry? This won’t happen with cold water showers. There have also been studies to show that cold water therapy aids in fat loss, but more about that another day!
Exfoliation plays a key role in my routine, I only exfoliate gently once a week. I used to do it once a day every time I showered, however, I read that this may cause more breakouts than only once a week. However, I’m not too sure on the science behind this one, play around and see what works for you! Once or twice a week should be plenty. Gentleness is the key for exfoliation, don’t scrub into your skin too much and actually start to remove the healthy skin! Exfoliation shower gels work (try a sugar based one, the plastic ones have been shown to be harmful to the environment), I use gloves which I put on, try to just scrub as hard as you would if you weren’t wearing them to avoid any excess scrubbing. I try to let my skin settle after this and have time where I have no product on it what-so-ever. So I try to plan this around my work schedule so I don’t have to do anything.
As stated at the start of this article, natural is key for me. I use a natural face wash twice a week (Man Cave products) which gently wash the face without removing too much of the natural oils on your face which dries it out. I have had reactions in the past before to certain chemicals in facewash which caused breakouts and redness (For me it was Benzophenone).
Unfortunately coffee lovers, caffeine has been shown to dehydrate you. Dehydration leads to poor skin. However this can be said with a lot of things – Alcohol, sodium, too much vitamin C… Refer back to my first point which states to drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.
I try to, as much as I can, to reduce stress. If you are stressed, your body releases cortisol which in small amounts is good for you but long term effects can damage skin cells and also disrupt the balance of gut bacteria which has been shown to cause acne outbreaks. I have found when I stress a lot over anything, my skin will break out in acne. Reduce the amount of stress you have and it will dramatically improve not only your skin but your quality of life in general. Meditation, reading, listening to relaxing music are all things I do to reduce the amount of stress.
lots of high-quality sleep. If you only take away two things from this article. Please have it be sleep and water. If you’re not sleeping well, you will look tired and your skin will look worse. The oxidation stress caused by lack of sleep (Oxidative stress can also be caused by exercise) causes the breakdown of certain proteins in your skin which is responsible for its elasticity. Admittedly, these are long term effects of poor sleep and nutrition but this will cause sagging skin, wrinkles, dark circles under your eyes. But if you’ve ever had a night of poor sleep and seen friends or going into work the next day you get comments like “wow, you look tired today” or “are you ok? You look ill?” when you haven’t slept a lot the night before.
I still have a long way to go and I still suffer from breakouts, but following these tips have reduced the duration and the severity of the breakouts I get. I guess I’m still young and have a lot to learn, but over time I will change my skin care routine to fit my needs. As should you.
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What’s your skincare routine? Put it in the comments down below!