It’s almost the end of the year and one of your New Year’s resolutions (from nearly 365 days ago) is still unresolved: you made a promise to yourself that you’d clear up your skin. Maybe you bought a few new cleansers, started using SPF (on most days, but not on overcast days, if we’re being honest), and have resisted the urge to pop a pimple here and there. Every effort is an example of progress, so try not to be so hard on yourself. But if you’re not satisfied with your skin, or have been breaking out more than usual lately, it’s time to up the ante a bit.
Getting clear, soft, healthy, and radiant skin takes time, a top-notch routine, effective products, and, yes, even professional help. You may not be able to change genetics or turn your oily skin type to one that doesn’t get shiny by lunchtime, but several clear skin initiatives are totally in your control.
Let’s discuss a few — because there’s still time to clear up your skin before New Year’s Eve.
1) Find A Great Dermatologist
You probably wouldn’t think twice about visiting an eye doctor or dentist if you were having issues with your eyes or teeth, but for some reason, many of us view dermatologists as luxury healthcare — and nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that everyone should visit a dermatologist at least once a year to keep track of changes in skin moles or freckles, finding a skincare professional is a must if you’re battling acne and can’t get a handle on the situation. A dermatologist can determine whether your acne is caused by hormonal changes (and, if it is, your typical over-the-counter acne medication isn’t going to do a whole lot). They can also provide excellent recommendations for chemical-free products that suit your skin type and needs. You’ll never regret developing a good relationship with a quality dermatologist.
2) Develop A Simple Personalized Skincare Routine
Everyone, regardless of skin type, benefits from the basics when it comes to a daily skincare routine. In the morning, use a gentle cleanser, followed by a toner, optional serum (not one with retinol), eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen. At night, you can use the same cleanser (or an oil-based balm to remove makeup), toner, a serum with retinol, which combats acne and signs of aging, eye cream, and moisturizer. Now, comes the tricky part: reading up on the ingredients for every single product to make sure you aren’t using anything with mineral oils, alcohol, petrolatum, or sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Ingredients that can help control oily skin and breakouts include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, glycolic acid, clay, and dimethicone.
3) Invest Only In Skincare That’s Really Worth The Cost
Most skincare products needn’t cost you hundreds of dollars to be effective. Save your money when it comes to cleansers, toners, and sunscreens, which you can find for less at your local drugstore. Invest in quality serums, retinols, and moisturizers that contain ingredients that have been proven to deliver results. Allies of Skin creates an incredible line of products that are heaven on your acne-prone skin. Its Promise Keeper Blemish Facial is a facial mask you wear overnight that unclogs pores, reduces sebum production, fades old acne scars, and strengthens your skin’s natural protective barrier.
4) Change Your Diet And Drink More Water
There’s no way we can dole out clear skin advice with a clear conscience without mentioning diet and water consumption. Eliminating excess sugar and starch from your diet and eating more whole foods with natural grains, plant-based proteins, and vegetables and fruits is going to make a drastic difference in the condition of your skin. And, as boring and repetitive as it sounds, so will getting in your eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which hydrates skin from the inside out and can help prevent breakouts.
The secret to clear skin is that there really is no secret. A healthy lifestyle combined with a diligent focus on your daily skincare routine plus quality products plus a little help from a skincare professional equals gorgeous skin.