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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Ever since I was a freshman in high school, I’ve suffered from severe acne. Dermatologists tried everything from antibiotics to strong chemicals that burned my skin. These treatments only made my skin worse and dropped my confidence even lower. 

It wasn’t until I started doing research by myself that I was able to clear up my skin and get my acne under control. My skin is nowhere near perfect–as I still get a pimple or two if I’m stressed or didn’t wash all of my makeup off after a night out–but that is a part of being human. If you have acne, you are still beautiful, and here are some tips that have helped me out.   

Don’t wear foundation on a daily basis

I know that it can be difficult to avoid covering up an insecurity, but wearing foundation on a daily basis can clog your pores and make your acne even worse. I used to wear foundation every day to school, but my skin improved almost immediately after I stopped. Now I only wear foundation for special occasions and go with a simple mascara and lip gloss look for daily wear. When I do wear foundation, I opt for the Clinique Even Better foundation because it is oil-free, dermatologist-developed, non-comedogenic and has SPF 15.

Shop non-comedogenic

Non-comedogenic products are formulated without the ingredients that clog pores and contribute to acne. Products are usually marketed as non-comedogenic, so reading your sunscreen, lotion, makeup and cleanser labels is important to make sure that your products are not clogging your pores and giving you acne.

Wash your masks and pillowcases

Although wearing your mask is important to stay safe during the pandemic, it contributes to “maskne.” Washing fabrics like pillowcases and masks are important to make sure that the fabric that is rubbing against your skin is clean and leaving you breakout-free.

Birth control

Over the summer I found out that I have PCOS, a condition that causes hormonal imbalances in women. One of the symptoms that I suffer from because of this is acne. Going on the birth control pill has helped regulate my hormones and improve my skin condition.

Spot treat

When treating breakouts, it is important to only treat problem areas. Common ingredients in acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are harsh, so it is important to be careful about where you are putting these chemicals, as you do not want to irritate sensitive skin.

Keep the oil off

Everyone’s skin produces oil, but if you have too much, it could be clogging your pores and breaking you out. It is important to wash your face in the morning and at night with a gentle cleanser to clean off excess oil. I don’t like the look of shiny skin, so I keep oil blotting sheets in my purse to freshen up throughout the day. Fun tip: If you are in a pinch, tissue paper is an inexpensive alternative to oil blotting sheets.

Stay healthy in general

If you aren’t feeling the best, then your skin probably won’t be looking its best. Working out, drinking water, eating healthy and limiting stress will make you feel good and look good, too.

Remove the hair

Dermaplaning is a cosmetic procedure that removes facial hair and clears off dead skin cells by lightly exfoliating with a small razor. I am a person that has a lot of peach fuzz on my face, so once I started shaving, I was pleased to notice a decrease in the number of breakouts as well. 

Don’t use beauty blenders

No matter how much you wash your beauty blenders and brushes, bacteria still grows. When I do choose to do a full face of makeup, I use disposable blending sponges. I use the sponge once and throw it away when I am done to avoid bacteria growth.

Wear sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is a crucial step in maintaining clear skin. Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays, decreasing the number of wrinkles and sunspots you will see later in life.

Although my skin is nowhere near perfect, it is much better than what it was in high school. I still get pimples on my face, but these tips have given me confidence by keeping my acne under control. 

Skincare is a process, and it may take a long time to find a regimen that works for you. It is important to stick with the process and don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results. 

Although wanting clear skin may be the goal, it is important to first enjoy how you look now. Having acne should not be something to be ashamed about, as small “imperfections” can be just as beautiful as blemish-free skin.

I'm a journalism student with an emphasis in strategic communication at the University of Missouri. When not writing articles for Her Campus, my hobbies include playing ultimate frisbee and listening to Lil Uzi Vert.
Jordan Thornsberry is a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying magazine journalism. In her free time, Jordan likes to travel, read and catch up on the latest celebrity drama. You can find more of her writing at jordantberry.com and on social media at @jordantberry.