HELP: the return of acne

by Kara Daniels

As of late, I’ve been struggling with clear skin or lack of.

I never had issues with acne until my mid-twenties. I didn’t even know that was a thing but hormonal changes have a HUGE impact as well as a few other possible causes. I’ve done a little research, wishing and hoping to find a clear-cut answer or solution but the truth is there isn’t one.

I reverted to ignoring the occasional small breakout here and there until recently when it got really bad. So, I wanted to share a few things that have cleared most of my acne issues up after some recent changes in hopes that it could help someone else out there struggling like myself.

Reminder: These are only simple tips that have helped me and my skin. I am no expert which is made clear by the acne issues I’ve faced over the past few months.

  1. WHAT YOU EAT IS IMPORTANT. Actually, everything you are allowing to go into your body is extremely important. Continue to drink water throughout your day. You don’t have to drink gallons, this doesn’t need to be challenging like I made it at first. Keep a reusable water bottle around to make it easier. Eat raw foods. Limit sugar intake. Be mindful. It’s not rocket science.
  2. STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE. Your greasy little fingers aren’t helping. If you sit at a desk all day like I do, make sure you’re not leaning on your elbow with your hand resting on your face or chin. We don’t always realize how much we touch our face throughout the day. And most of all, don’t pick at the acne, pimples, and breakouts on your face. This leads to scarring and it’s never helped my breakouts clear up any faster.
  3. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is detrimental to your overall health. I always notice fewer breakouts when I’m getting enough sleep. Hints the ever so common breakouts I notice happening more often around the weekends. The ideal amount of sleep is 7-8 hours per night. No more, no less. If you think you’re one of those people that functions well off of only 4-5 hours of sleep each night, I have bad news for you. Do some research. This is not a “thing”.
  4. GO SEE A DERMATOLOGIST. I have no idea why it took me so long to do so. I visited a dermatologist for the first time a few years back when my acne began and they miraculously pretty much it fixed all my acne problems. So much so that I ended up not going back for about two years, until recently, due to acne issues resurfacing. This is something we should all be doing occasionally anyways as it’s important to check for skin cancer, etc. Although it may take a few tries when it comes to acne medications, you will find a combination that works for you or at least helps. This can take a couple months but I promise it’s worth every penny. Make sure to ask them for discount cards for whatever they prescribe (Ex. Aczone). These companies often hand out discount cards and with insurance, you should not be paying more than about $35 for their creams. This might not apply to all prescriptions but it has applied to each one I’ve had experience with buying.
  5. STOP OVERUSING FACE MASKS. And other skincare products that you don’t actually know or understand what is in them. Far too often we just trust these fun, appealing, new products from big chain beauty stores when all they’re doing is trying to make money. Tell me, how many skincare products do you have at home that have been laying around because you buy new ones so often, jumping from one to another monthly. You can’t even tell which one is working effectively if you’re using multiple and introducing new ones to your routine so often. Overuse of face masks can have an adverse effect. The more you use per week doesn’t exactly mean better skin. Try stopping all use of products and introducing one at a time back into your skincare routine so you can notice which is effectively helping you.

Like I mentioned at the beginning, everyone’s body and skin are VERY different. We each treat our bodies differently, consume different things, and live in different environments where we are exposed to different levels of stress, air pollution, etc.

Something that works for someone else might not work as well for you. This is the problem with buying a product someone recommends on social media or on a company’s website. We want to believe it will help us too, so we instantly buy it and sometimes share or review the product without actually using it for weeks or months where you’d actually be able to notice the results.

In conclusion, be mindful. Pay attention to what you’re putting into your body and what you’re putting your body through. Oftentimes, we can solve an issue without pouring money into products that may or may not be effective.