Smoothing the skin on social media is easy: just bring out the beauty filters and let them work their magic. Unfortunately, in real life, there are no instant fixes to achieve spotless skin. Breakouts will occur every now and then, but you can learn to manage them and maintain a healthy complexion. Here are 10 easy tips to help you get clear skin naturally.
#1: Cleanse twice daily
Skimping on your cleansing routine is a bad idea as dirt, oil, and impurities leave you prone to breakouts. Even if you are busy, devote a few minutes every morning and night to wash your face.
Use a mild cleanser that is suited to your skin type. Chase this with a toner to clarify the pores. An effective cleansing and toning routine will prepare the skin to soak up the goodness of any serums or treatments that follow.
If you perspire a lot (for example, after working out or on a hot day), wash off the sweat right after. However, avoid cleansing too often as that could irritate the skin.
#2: Engage an acne-fighting agent
A cleansing routine alone will not eliminate blemishes. To bolster your skin’s defences, you need a topical product to combat acne directly. Just run some research first: Avoid harsh formulations that dry out the skin. Also, don’t buy products that help manage only one or two symptoms of acne.
What you need is a lightweight product like Clearica Anti-Acne Cream that fights the entire acne ecosystem. It works against acne-causing bacteria, reduces redness, moderates sebum production, and accelerates skin cell recovery. For best results, apply a thin film all over the face after cleansing and toning.
#3: Always use moisturiser
It may seem counterintuitive to moisturise oily, acne-prone skin, but it is essential. If you do not apply moisturiser, the skin could dry out excessively. When this happens, the sebaceous glands go into overdrive and produce too much sebum, thus leading to breakouts.
Is your moisturiser leaving your skin greasy and heavy? Replace it with a lightweight lotion or gel formulation. Also, check that the label says ‘non-comedogenic’. This means the product will not clog your pores.
Look for a moisturiser with sun protection as well. Use this after your morning cleanse for instant hydration plus protection from harmful UV rays.
#4: Exfoliate for a deeper clean
Anytime the skin looks dull and flaky, dead skin cells may be to blame. And when dead cells remain on the skin too long, zits may appear.
To eliminate dead cell debris and reveal healthy skin, turn to exfoliants. However, be careful not to exfoliate too often. Also, avoid rough physical exfoliants like washcloths and loofahs. Scrubbing with these could dry out and irritate the skin. Instead, get hold of a gentle exfoliating brush with tiny bristles to get in the pores and really clean out the grime. You could also pick up a chemical exfoliant—such as a scrub or lotion—to dissolve away any debris.
#5: Pamper your skin
Make time for self-care! If your skin needs a quick pick-me-up, face masks are an easy option. Look for face masks that hydrate your skin, unclog your pores, and draw out impurities. By the time you wash or peel off the mask, your complexion should be smooth and bright.
A facial massage also comes in handy. Use your fingers to massage gently all over the face. This helps boost circulation, reduce inflammation, and even minimise fine lines. Just wash your hands thoroughly first to avoid transferring bacteria from the fingers to the face.
#6: Choose products wisely
Experimenting with a slew of skincare products won’t do your skin any favours. ‘More’ is not always ‘better’. Before using a product, consider whether it will be gentle on your skin. This immediately rules out harsh bath soaps that strip the skin of its natural oils.
Keep this in mind whenever you shop for cosmetics and toiletries. Skip anything that contains irritants like alcohol or fragrances, especially if your skin is sensitive. If pimples are your problem, pick up oil-free and non-comedogenic formulations.
While we are here, a word on your makeup brushes and sponges: These tend to accumulate bacteria and could cause breakouts. Clean the brushes and sponges regularly to protect your skin from blemishes.
#7: Drink lots of water
Skin cells need water to function, but they keep losing moisture to the environment. You may already be diligent about slathering on moisturiser. However, you also need to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep the skin cells hydrated and healthy.
Does plain water sound boring to you? Squeeze in some lemon juice to add freshness and your daily dose of Vitamin C. You could also sip on some antioxidant-rich green tea from time to time. Coffee doesn’t count—too much caffeine will dehydrate you.
#8: Get enough sleep
Is everyday stress beginning to show up on your skin? Counter its effects by getting eight hours of sleep every night. This gives your skin cells time for repair and rejuvenation. When the alarm rings the next day, both you and your skin will be completely refreshed.
Since sleep is unavoidable, keep your pillowcases and bedsheets clean. Bedlinen accumulates dust, dirt, and bacteria which could transfer to your skin as you sleep, resulting in breakouts. Toss your bedlinen in the washing machine once a week. Your skin will thank you for it!
#9: Enhance your lifestyle
If you don’t exercise already, you are missing out. Regular exercise keeps you fit and energetic, reduces stress, and improves blood circulation. As you ease into your workout routine, you will notice gradual improvements in your complexion as well.
It helps to level up your diet too. Increase your consumption of oily fish, seeds, and nuts. These contain fatty acids that keep the skin moisturised. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They promote skin health and protect against environmental aggressors like acne bacteria.
#10: Keep your hands off
The more you worry about those blemishes, the more you want to touch the skin. But every time you touch the face—especially with unwashed hands—you risk spreading bacteria and grime. Fidgeting with the face unnecessarily could cause the skin to break out.
On this note, resist the urge to pop pimples as well. Pimple-popping invariably spreads the infection and lands you with ugly scars.
While there is no magic formula for spotless skin, consistent care will take you a long way. The best approach is to pick a good skincare routine and stick with it. If you have severe acne, a dermatologist could prescribe medicated products to ease your flare-ups. Whatever route you take, give your routine at least three weeks to take effect. The right combination of skincare products and lifestyle changes should help you achieve a flawless, radiant complexion.