I have been dealing with mild skin issues since my adolescence. Over the last four months I have been working diligently to finding the root cause of my acne and safe measures to keeping my skin beautiful and break out free.
After spending thousands (yes literally) on useless prescriptions from my dermatologists and goo from the beauty and skin care isles that only helped me temporarily, I’ve found a three step skin care routine and a handful of lifestyle changes that keep my skin clear!
Work from the inside out! Diet and lifestyle changes make all the difference.
Using a Chinese face map, I determined that my menacing pimples usually popped up in the same places on my face. I would get some on my cheek, my forehead, and my chin. I can see that the gut, hormones, and a dirty cell phone are my problem. Ew.
Working from the inside - out was my priority. I know breakouts originate from something going wrong inside my body, so no amount of goo-hoarding will help the root cause of my skin issues. I knew I had to take a good hard look at my diet. For one month, I cut out everything that could possibly be bad for me. Then I added things back into my diet to see how my skin reacted. The bad news: dairy is NOT fine. Despite my deep rooted enthusiasm for ice cream and cheese, I must give it up for the sake of my gut health and ultimately clear skin. Easier said than done, right? I still struggle with this daily, but if I have even just a little dairy, I will pay the price.
Dairy and processed sugars = bad.
My hormonal and gut health are always worse if I am not paying attention to sugar in my diet. My diet is usually clean… until that time of the month when I lose all sense and think eating 4 Hershey bars is a reasonable midnight snack. My sugar cravings are insane, but in order to get better skin, I have to actively fight with myself on this one. I’ve even gone as far as convincing myself that those dark chocolate 76% cacao chocolate bars from Trader Joe’s are a super food and are actually good for me. They aren’t. Put the chocolate bar down, Katie.
The beauty industry puts dozens of strange chemicals into our beauty products. I’ve read that the US Food and Drug Administration does not place any restrictions on the beauty industry, so they can literally put whatever they want onto store shelves. Often that means cutting corners because it is better for business. Before you buy a product, look at the ingredients. You should be able to decipher what is in your beauty products before you buy them. The shorter and the more comprehensible the ingredient list, the better. There are some apps that allow you to scan bar codes to see if a product is safe or not, I recommend The Healthy Living App.
Now, what to do about it? 10 lifestyle hacks for clearer, healthier skin:
1. Limit sugar intake.
2. Limit caffeine intake.
3. Eliminate dairy.
4. Drink plenty of water! I drink 3 liters a day.
5. Change your pillowcases every day. I bought six sets so that I could change them every day and wash them once a week with my regular laundry.
6. Take Borage, L-Lysine, and Pro-biotic supplements (consult a nutritionist or doctor first)
7. Clean make up brushes after every use, and deep clean once a week.
8. Sanitize your cell phone daily.
9. Stop touching your face.
10. Take your make up off COMPLETELY every day, plus avoid wearing it when you don’t have to.
My favorite and affordable way to clean my make up brushes after each use is with my DIY sanitizing spray. I bought a small spray bottle from the travel section in Target and just filled it up half way with alcohol then the rest of the way with witch hazel and drop in a few drops of your favorite essential oils that carry anti-bacterial properties. I use lavender and tea tree oil (2 drops each). I learned this DIY recipe from a make-up artist on one of my sets! The brushes in this photo are a little dirty because they are about to be deep cleaned!
Work from the outside in! My simple 3-step all natural skin care routine:
I’ve read hundreds of articles on skincare and tried thousands of dollars worth of products. This 3-step DIY method is something I will swear by! What is even better is that you will find none of these things the beauty isle!
1. Wash face with two drops of castile soap and water.
You can use castile soap to brush your teeth, wash your hair, wash your dog, and wash your dishes too. I also use castile soap to deep clean my make up brushes once a week.
2. Use organic raw unfiltered Apple Cider vinegar. 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.
I know you put this on your salad, but trust me. This stuff is magical. It acts as a replacement for toner and helps reduce redness and scarring on your skin. Make sure you dilute the vinegar and shake well before use. I use a small glass bottle from the travel isle to mix and store. Everything I have read insists that you buy all natural organic raw unfiltered vinegar with the mother.
3. Borage oil instead of moisturizer.
Borage oil is sold as a vitamin/dietary supplement. I buy the capsules of 1300mg. I take four of them per day, poke a hole in one and put the oil on my face with a cotton ball. You can also purchase borage oil in liquid form.
Please let me know if you have tried any of these methods and how they have worked for you (or if they haven't worked for you). Achieving optimal skin is a journey so keep in mind that long lasting results take time. Be patient with yourself. Please consult your doctor or physician before taking any supplements recommended in this post, as everyone is different and will react differently.