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So, you’re breaking out for the ninth time this month and you’ve tried everything to get rid of it, but nothing is working? Don’t worry, girl, I’ve got you! I, too, used to break out all the time. I would take my makeup off and wash my face, but my skin still looked so dull and the breakouts always came. Then, I figured my skin out, bought some new (cheap) products, and have been living my healthiest skin life since. Here is my guide to getting supple, healthy skin. 

  1. Figure Out Your Skin Type

Your skin is a carefully balanced microbiome, and everyone’s skin has different needs. Skin type is determined by a few factors: sebaceous secretion (oil), sensitivity and hydration. There are five skin types recognized by the cosmetic world. Normal skin is that with no imperfections, adequate hydration and normal oil production. Sensitive skin is delicate or needs extra care and gentle products. If your face gets super red and irritated at everything, this is you! Dry skin is when your microbiome does not have enough moisture and oil. It causes flakiness and irritation. Oily skin is due to too much oil being produced. Finally, combination skin is a mixture of dry and oily. You can go to any dermatologist or esthetician to get a pretty accurate idea of your skin type. 

  1. Consider Serums

Retinol, Niacinamide, AHA’s, BHA’s, vitamin C, and Hyaluronic acid are all scientifically proven to improve your skin’s appearance. Retinol is the big one, as it is suitable for all skin types, and can directly combat skin damage. Niacinamide protects from damage and rebuilds proteins in the skin (it is also magic on sunburns). Vitamin C helps combat sun damage and brighten the skin. AHA, BHA, and Hyaluronic acid all help your skin look clear and moisturized. The key to serums is knowing when to use them, if they work for your skin type, and how much to apply. I prefer to use The Ordinary brand of serums because they are so gentle on the skin and incredibly affordable! Do your research and add some serums to your routine. Oh, and don’t forget a good moisturizer (even if you’re oily)!

  1. Wear Sunscreen

This one may seem irrelevant to you as a young person. You would be wrong. Sun damage is VERY REAL and VERY PREVALENT AMONG 20-YEAR-OLDS. Wear sunscreen on your face and neck every single day. Every single day. No exceptions. When you see those women who are 72 and have like no wrinkles? They wore sunscreen every day when they were 20. Additionally, you can indeed still get a beautiful tan while wearing sunscreen. No excuses!

  1. Drink Water and Get Rest

Have you ever looked up the amount of water you should be drinking? It’s probably more than you drink every day. Remember how I said your skin type is partly dependent on moisture? Yeah, water helps with that, babe. Drink up! Additionally, make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep. Rest is important for your overall health, but especially your skin. If your body is too tired, it won’t be able to fight off infections or rebuild damaged cells. Get some sleep.

  1. Seek Professional Help If You Need To

There is NO shame in asking for help, especially with troublesome skin issues. There are a plethora of great dermatologists and estheticians out there who can help you formulate a plan to get your skin happy and healthy. If nothing else will work, make an appointment. 

You don’t have to live with unhealthy, “bad” skin for the rest of your life. Small changes can make all of the difference. You can get the best skin of your life by drinking a little extra water, adding serums, wearing sunscreen daily, and getting professional help when needed. Happy skin, happy life!

Jacobi Reynolds is a photographer and senior Pre-medical Biology student at Baylor University. She is from Henrietta, Texas, just south of the Oklahoma and Texas border. When she is not studying or taking photos, she enjoys exploring new places, painting, and spending time with friends and family. Her favorite things are the color pink, dogs, pizza and going to the movies.