Ahhh, clear skin. Getting and keeping that perfect complexion is the holy grail of beauty.
But, preventing breakouts and clearing up acne is not an accident. In fact, there are habits we can all learn from the women who always seem to have clear skin.
As for me, I’ve been on both sides of that fence. Growing up, I didn’t struggling with breakouts at all, even through the hormonal teenage years.
Of course, looking back, I realize that certain things were in place that helped with that – such as my stepmom started shopping organic long, long before it was cool and we ate really clean most of the time.
My Experience With Acne & Chronic Breakouts:
Then, I went to college and was racing from school to job 20 hours a day, eating on the go and chugging coffee around the clock like my life depended on it (it kind of did) and BAM, adult on-set acne hit me like a mack truck.
It took wasting hundreds of dollars on several sets of skin care bought from infomercials and then 6-months of the prescription drug, Accutane, to clear it up.
I wish I knew then what I know now about what causes breakouts, acne, and other skin issues, because I could have saved myself the collateral damage of taking Accutane and implemented these easy habits instead.
You see, if you start digging deep into the lifestyle habits of people who always have clear skin, you’ll start to see some common threads.
And now, I’m spilling all their secrets.
How To Get Clear Skin:
1. Girl, Wash Your Face:
Yes, of course you know you should never go to bed with your makeup on.
But, you should also clean your makeup off before or right after you work out, too, so your skin can breathe.
You should also wash your face after swimming in a chlorinated pool and if you’ve been touching your face a lot.
Basically, whenever you finish any activity that could potentially result in your skin needing to breathe – girl, wash your face.
But, don’t scrub your skin off with a seriously loaded face wash designed to destroy your top layer of skin.
Keep it gentle – we’re playing the long game here.
Here’s my favorite face wash of all time:Or, don’t use face wash at all, and buy these Makeup Eraser wipes instead. I just got one in my Allure Beauty Box and I think it started an obsession:And, guess what – here’s an Amazon dupe where you get more for half the price.
God, I love a good dupe.
2. Let Your Skin Breathe
Our skin absorbs 60% of what we put on it – at a minimum. We continue to learn more about how our largest organ (aka YOUR SKIN) really functions and it’s pretty amazing.
But, that means those pores need to breathe, baby.
So, whenever you don’t need to wear makeup – let your skin breathe.
This will allow your skin to heal, balance oil levels naturally, and soak in some much needed Vitamin D – if you’re outdoors (and you should be).
This will also help current breakouts dry out.
Just make sure it’s nice and clean first – ahem, see Step 1.
You can also apply a spot treatment to active breakouts, such as this one from Mario Bedascu:
3. Get Regular Facials or Do a Facial at Home
Try to get regular facials. Facialists use devices, such as face steamers, to really purge and cleanse your pores deeply, releasing any pent up oils, clogged pores, or toxins.
Then, they use a range of products, designed to work together, to balance skin.
Plus, all that facial massaging is great for releasing any inflammation in your face, encouraging lymphatic drainage, and increasing circulation – all things that help the health of your skin, which will improve your skin’s ability to heal and glow.
If you get a monthly membership at a place like Massage Envy, you’ll be able to get a 1-hour facial a month for around $60.
If you aren’t able to get regular facials, consider picking up some tools you can use at home to mimic the results.
For example, this affordable face steamer has great reviews.
Just be careful with those face tools. Used incorrectly, you could really hurt yourself.
And, you can massage your face at home using skin rollers, like this one:
4. Use Face Masks
Similar to the point above, you’ll want to use face masks to deeply clean and exfoliate skin so it can heal and renew.
For example, this Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask is a drugstore find that is super affordable and almost all natural, using charcoal to detoxify skin.
In fact, they have a whole line of products, including sheet masks and acne spot treatments that harness the power of charcoal. Check it out here.
Or, this set from Peter Thomas Roth is a great deal and comes with 6 different masks. Each mask is designed for a different skin need, which means you’ll have a mask for whatever is happening with your skin that day.
Save money and ditch the chemicals by making your own skin mask at home.
I wrote a whole post with 8 homemade face masks for acne you can make at home. These DIY masks use ingredients known to help heal your body from the inside out and they have a similar effect when layered on your skin.
Try to do a mask 1-2 times a week for about 10-15 minutes.
5. Take a Probiotic
We know these help to colonize good bacteria in our gut, repairing damage to our gut flora from things like eating too much sugar, stress, taking prescription drugs or even over the counter medications, stress, alcohol, soda, etc.
Since our skin is a reflection of what is going on inside our body, it makes sense that by cleansing our insides and getting that part right, we will see that spill over into our skin condition.
I know I see a definite difference when I am regularly taking a probiotic vs. when I am lazy and forget for awhile.
Here are the two that I have and do take with solid results:
6. Check Your Diet
There could very likely be something in your diet that is contributing to your breakouts.
By doing some elimination diets, you will be able to see a difference if that is the case for you.
The good news here is that by simply avoiding that inflammatory food, you can keep your skin clearer long-term.
Here are the most common offenders for inflammatory foods that can wreak havoc on your skin:
- Dairy – Switch to almond milk, coconut milk, or even cashew milk and see what happens
- Sugar – I wrote a whole post on how to do a Sugar Detox: The Easy Way
- Glutens – Known to cause inflammation for most people, start phasing out foods that have gluten. Here’s a list to get you started.
- Greasy Food – If there’s grease in the food, then that grease is likely coming out your pores. Ditch it.
Try removing them one at a time for a couple of weeks and see if you notice changes in your skin. You can do more than one, but then it’ll be difficult to determine which one is the biggest offender.
In place of these things, consider healthy snacks, superfood smoothies, meal prep for easier meal planning, and maybe even try celery juicing! I tried celery juicing for two weeks and share all the details in this post.
7. Choose Skin Care Wisely
When you are acne and breakout-prone, you need to choose your products wisely.
Choosing products that eradicate your layer of oil entirely will only cause your skin to flip out, create more oil, and result in more breakouts.
I learned that the hard way.
I have found some holy grail products that help me personally in my fight for clear skin.
This product is a serum I put on at night, before a moisturizer, that keeps me clear. When I run out, I start seeing my skin change.
Also, you should be using a gel-based moisturizer at night. Nothing heavier.
There are several options here in different price points that won’t break the bank. And, since they are loaded with hyaluronic acid, you will still get a nice plumping effect if you’re looking for anti-aging:
Look for this at your local Trader Joe’s. See more Trader Joe’s beauty you should try!
Between: Grab this affordable, creamy moisturizer here.
Huge fan of this line. So clean, so green, so good for you.
8. Drink Filtered Water
Ditch the plastic bottles, because that’s just more toxic chemicals leaching into your food supply that nobody needs.
Buy a reusable water container and keep filling that bad boy up.
If you get tired of water, add some sliced lemons or other fruit and just keep drinking it.
When I am consistent with my water, my skin looks better, my stomach feels better, my body digests things better, and I even notice I lose weight easier.
So, basically, water is the miracle cure to all things.
9. Wash Your Pillow Case
Think about it: How often do you switch out your pajamas? Your socks? Your hand-towels?
I’m guessing (or hoping) regularly.
Why you sleepin’ on the same pillow case, girl?
If you don’t want to deal with switching out your whole sheet set every couple days, then buy a stack of soft pillowcases and rotate them every few days.
Your skin, your hair, and your breakouts, will thank you.
And, if you have allergies, I bet those will thank you, too.
Here’s an affordable silk pillowcase with great reviews on Amazon:
10. Use Blue Light Therapy
We now have access to blue light therapy devices that have only been available in a dermatologists office before.
This incredible therapy has been shown to be very effective at helping acne heal, while preventing future breakouts, by going straight to the source of the breakouts – the bacteria.
Just like anything else, there are options in lots of price points.
Tria Blue Light Therapy:
I’ve been using the Tria undereye wrinkle laser and I am really impressed with both the laser and the company. I would use this blue light therapy device in a heartbeat if I were still needing help with acne.
Project E Beauty Skin Care Mask:
This mask option has pretty amazing reviews and is a bit less expensive. It also comes with different mask inserts that target particular skin needs, making it more versatile:
You can check out more skin care tools you can use at home in this post.
There you go! 10 habits of people who always have clear skin.
If you’re struggling with acne or chronic breakouts – I’m sorry. I know how frustrating and painful they are and also how self-conscious they can make you.
With these lifestyle tips, I’ve held acne at bay for well over ten years. While I do have the occasional breakout, I now know what is causing them and can easily get my skin back on track.
I hope that you find something on this list that you haven’t tried before and might give you a new direction to try.
If you have a tip that I don’t mention here, please share it in the comments below.
Have a fabulous day,