There’s nothing worse than waking up the morning of a big meeting to find a massive breakout on your face. Aren’t pimples supposed to be a problem you left behind in your teens? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Dermatologists say that up to 50 percent of adult women suffer from occasional acne. However, many skin experts say that natural remedies can be just as effective as prescription topical products. So here are five things you can do to make your skin shine bright.
Use an exfoliating mask instead of a facial scrub
If you have moderate to severe acne, step away from your Clarisonic brush or facial scrub. These products can spread bacteria around your face and cause unwanted inflammation. Instead, reach for an exfoliating mask – you’ll get the same effect of sloughing off the dead skin cells as you would with a scrub without the risk of spreading bacteria. Plus, masks are gentler on the skin, meaning that you’ll reduce the likelihood of inflammation.
Eat more carrots … and liver!
Vitamin A is your skin’s best friend, especially active vitamin A (or retinol). Retinol strengthens skin tissues and actually prevents acne. Foods like carrots, leafy greens and sweet potatoes are all high in vitamin A. So what’s with the liver? Liver is high in active vitamin A, meaning it’s easier for the body to use immediately. Plant-based sources of vitamin A must be processed in your intestine to become active vitamin A, meaning that the full amount of vitamin A isn’t converted. Try to get vitamin A from both plant and animal sources if possible.
Invest in some sanitary wipes
Your cell phone, your headset, your headphones and your sunglasses could all be holding onto some bacteria, so even if your face is clean you might be inadvertently putting acne-causing bacteria right back onto your face. Wipe them all down with an anti-bacterial wipe (one that is compatible with your phone, obviously) at least once a week. Also, wash your pillowcases. Your skin cleansing routine isn’t going to help if you’re getting acne-causing bacteria from somewhere else!
Take a dietary supplement
Sometimes acne is your body’s way of cueing you into the fact that it’s not receiving all the nutrients it needs. Particularly if you are on a restrictive diet, you might need to supplement it with a multivitamin. The omega fatty acids in fish oil are good for their anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidant supplements such as green tea can also improve skin brightness.
Cut out sugar and dairy
Both sugar and dairy are major culprits when it comes to acne breakouts; both stimulate your glands to work overtime. Sugar spikes insulin causing your adrenal glands to overproduce, which can lead to skin thinning and skin discoloration. Dairy has been clinically shown to stimulate your oil glands, which is an obvious cause of acne. Try to limit consumption of both as much as possible, switch to alternative milks such as nut or soy milk and satisfy your sweet tooth by munching on some berries.