When I was younger I had horrible skin. Look closely at the pictures above and you can see the splotches all over my chin, forehead and cheeks. We are talking acne, painful and red, and lots of dry, dead skin. I remember one time I had a pimple on the edge of my lip that honestly looked like I had a Skittle embedded in my skin and it was so bad that it was uncomfortable to eat. I had no choice but to pop it because I was so hungry but I didn’t want to eat because it hurt…I had no idea my pores could hold all the crap that came out.
But enough with the gross stuff! I decided then that I wanted better skin. The last thing I wanted to worry about when my sailor came home was what shape my skin was in and how it was going to look in the millions of pictures we’d be taking. While my skin still isn’t 100% perfect and I am no dermatologist, I have tested multiple products, theories and Cosmopolitan magazine articles to find the best! The top list of things that gave me much better, healthier skin.
1. No Stress
This is the biggie. Whenever something goes haywire at work or life is out of whack, my skin goes nuts! I’m upset one day and then the next morning I wake up and bam! Three new zits are scattered in the most obvious places on my face.
It’s easy to wash your face and use certain products but controlling your stress? Whole different deal. I try my best though and do yoga and meditative breathing before I go to sleep most nights. I kick box for a living so I make sure to go to class at least once a week to punch out whatever stresses I have. I decided to get a social worker and see her once a month to talk out whatever I need.
There are a million ways to manage stress so do some research and find a few ways that best fit you. Self care is the best cure.
2. You Really Are What You Eat
Can we talk about avocados for a second? I have never had shinier hair than when I started eating avocados which actually wasn’t too long ago. I never really got the hype with guacamole until a few weeks ago when my friend brought in pomegranate guacamole to work. One bite and I was sold. I started eating guacamole everyday (the organic, natural kind of course) and paired it with carrots, black bean chips and mixing it with other veggies to give them a little bit more of a taste.
They say that almonds give you healthy skin and hair too but I’ve never experienced hair and skin like I did when guacamole was introduced into my life. A definite life saver.
Let’s also talk about fruits and veggies for a second. I can look at my skin and tell within a few days if I have been eating badly. Not only from acne but my skin starts to dull and not look “fresh”. Easily cured by adding in more veggies and more fruits to my diet.
But I hate veggies. I fixed this by shoving all the veggies into a smoothie that I drink once a day. I don’t really have a set recipe but I’ll add in some coconut water, spinach, cacao nibs, spiralina and then any kind of fruits that I want and drink one of those a day. The week after that I’ll switch up the fruits and veggies so that my body gets a variety.
This is one is just important as eating well. Your skin is a direct revelation of what is going on inside your body. So, if you eat well and exercise then your skin will be a direct showing of that. The opposite is also true!
And what better to splurge out all the gunk that is clogging your pores than to sweat it out? Most days I will go to the gym and do some light cardio and lift weights (this is also part of the stress relief routine!). But as I said before, once a week I will take a kickboxing class and literally drip sweat. After class, I’ll go home and shower away all the surfaced dirt and my skin feels much fresher.
4. Use What Mother Nature Gave Ya!
I’ve started to wean myself off of store bought, chemically infused products for both my hair and my face. These days all I have for my face is coconut oil, water and some Lush products.
Coconut oil made me nervous. I naturally have oily skin so I was nervous to put any kind of extra oil on my skin. I tried it before going to bed one night and woke up to a face that was baby butt smooth. I only use coconut oil a few times a week and only the smallest amount as to not clog my pores.
When washing my face, most of the time, I will just use water. Yep, you read that right. Just plain, good old water. And I wash it with water right after I get up, go to bed and after I work out!
Believe me when I tell you that I have honest to goodness tried every face wash ever invented. Proactive, Neutrogena, charcoal scrubs, whatever a dermatologist gave me… wasn’t fully impressed with any of them.
Water seems to do the job on its own. When my skin is feeling extra oily or flaky I use Lush’s Cup O’ Coffee and Ultrabland to cure that. The coffee scrub exfoliates (and also smells like heaven) while Ultrabland leaves my skin feeling dewy and moisturized.
Once a week, I will also do a Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask which you can buy at Walmart for a whopping $2.50. It brings everything to the surface of my face and makes it easier for me to get rid of it.
5. Ditch the makeup
I tried foundation when I was younger to cover up and even out my face because I saw other girls do it and thought that if they did it then maybe I should too. I was wrong. Foundation of any sort plugs up my pores and makes my break outs worse and it is just a vicious cycle of plugging and covering. Yuck.
So, now I wear absolutely no make up a majority of the time. Sometimes I’ll do mascara and if it is a really special occasion some eye shadow but never anything more.
6. Chug! Chug! Chug!
No only do I use water on my face but I also drink a ton of it. Remember the “You are what you eat” tip? Well, you are what your drink too. And considering our bodies are mostly made up of water it is fitting that most of the liquids you put into your body be water too. The general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
During my college years, I made it a priority to drink a gallon of water everyday. I lugged my little gallon around to every class, to the gym in between classes and back home every single day. Did I finish it every day? No, of course not. But did I wake up every morning and try again? Yes, of course.
Since college, I have downgraded to a two liter jug because carrying around a gallon jug everyday was like hauling around a small child.
7. Keep Yo’ Paws Off
I can’t even imagine how dirty the human hand is…and when I was in school it was always a common thing for me to rest my head in my hand and have my fingers all over one cheek.
So, I stopped. The acne that I get along the side of my cheeks have been a million and one times better ever since though I do occasionally slip. Keep your hands off your face! When you’re surprised by something, don’t cover your mouth with your hand. Studying hard for that test? Keep your hands off your forehead and cheeks!
When your SO is coming home for the first time in months of course you want to be looking your absolute best. Your skin is a good place to start. Pick a few of these tips and try them out for yourself!
*I was not paid or asked to do any reviews of the products written about. I bought the products of my own free will. I have no personal connections to anyone associated with the products being reviewed. I wrote this for the interest of my readers and gave my honest opinion on the products.