Don't hate me, but I've always been so so lucky on the skin front. I've successfully navigated my teenage years with just a few pimples and now get just one small one a month during P week. I have to put a lot of that down a few key tricks (listed below). Hormonal changes increase the production of sebum in puberty - hence the whole spotty teenager thing. Beyond that, stress, poor diet and lack ion exercise can also contribute to breakouts.
Now I've hit my 30's, I'm taking even more care of it - I have a facial every 3/4 weeks at my favourite salon. I totally appreciate this is a first world indulgence, and not a priority for most of the population. That being said, there are so many natural ways you can give it a helping hand. Check out my top tips for glowing, clear skin below:
Complexion always improves with adequate water. I aim for 3-4 litres a day (I know, but I live in a hot country!). The recommended 6-8 glasses just isn't going to cut it in Australia. Try to increase your intake by investing in a reusable 1 litre bottle and making sure it gets filled at least 3 times a day. I usually skill a litre as soon as I wake up to make up for dehydration during the night, then work my way through the rest slowly though the day.
Burdock root contains plant chemicals known as polyacetylenes which have anti-fungal and antibiotic qualities. It helps your body to rapidly flush toxins out of the system, whilst promoting hormonal balance . You can get it as a supplement or tea. Sadly I haven't seen the vegetable hanging out in the supermarket here in Aus, but grab some if you can get your hands on it (or grow your own!).
Sweat baby! Perspiration cleanses your pores AND releases feel-good hormones, in addition to being an effective stress reduction technique too. Please please please do it without makeup.
Be sure to cleanse your skin (witch hazel products are great for irritated skin) but don't over-do it. Over-cleansing can upset the pH levels of your skin.
Taking a daily probiotic is good practice to ensure your gut is in tip-top health, but if you're suffering from breakouts, lactobacillus and bifidobacteria cultures have been shown to be particularly useful. Look out for yoghurt with these good bacteria listed too. You can apply direct to the skin (as well as eat it!) in a home-made face mask with honey and oats.
MASKS once a week
Adding a face mask into your routine once a week is a great idea - it's a deep cleanse for your pores, and also kinda forces you to relax. Bye bye stress! Friday nights I usually get home, slip into my pyjamas, have dinner and sit in a mask with some riveting Netflix / book / bath time to entertain me for 20-30 minutes. Bentonite clay binds to toxins and draws them out of the skin - so look for products that contain it. Alternatively you can buy bentonite clay powder and just mix with water to ensure you're not getting anything else all up on your delicate epidermis.
Alcohol and fried foods always wreak havoc on my skin - I've done that 'test' many times with consistent results. Poor dietary choices can overwhelm the liver and kidney, which in turn push out toxins through the skin, urine and sweat. This is where your skin gets icky. Load up on fresh fruit and vegetables to help the body do its own detoxification. I hate to push juices 'cause they're not my vibe, but I will say if you're looking to really boost your skin quickly, celery juice twice a day for 3-4 days has made my skin glow. That maybe hydration related too though, don't forget - see point 1.
Tea Tree is an awesome, natural local antiseptic to use as a spon-on targeted treatment. I swear by this. I dip a cotton bud into neat tea tree and gently brush it on before bed. The next day its always less red and inflamed. Second day it's usually gone. Whoever said toothpaste was a good spot treatment never tried Tea Tree. Apparently apple cider vinegar also does the trick, but I can't personally vouch for that one. I have been sent Weleda's Skin Food to try recently - that takes redness away too. Win!
UP NEXT: TOP 10 SUPERFOODS FOR SPRING