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Her Campus / Megan Charles

Steps I Took to Finally Clear my Skin

Now before I get into the steps I took to finally clear my skin over the past few months, I want to preface a few things:

  1. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to different products and practices- this is just what I found works for me.

  2. My acne has always been pretty mild-moderate, so for more severe cases, different treatments may be necessary.

  3. Acne is not something to be ashamed of! I personally just feel a lot more confident when I have clearer skin, but breakouts are a normal thing! 


With that being said, here are some of the things I have been doing recently that have had a significant impact on my skin that may work for you:


1. Figure out what causes your acne.

Something that I wished I had researched earlier is the different types of acne and the causes of each.  For me personally, my breakouts have always cumulated around my chin and mouth area.  After doing some research, I discovered that chin acne is most commonly caused by hormonal changes and often times stress.  This made so much sense!! I can tell that I always get a lot more breakouts during stressful times, such as midterms and finals.  Finding out the causes of your acne is a huge step towards improvement.


2. Less is more!

In the past, I would use countless products on my face in an effort to clear my breakouts.  However, using a boatload of products with lots of harsh chemicals may actually irritate your skin more than you think.  Sometimes giving your skin time to just breathe and using a minimalist skin routine may be the most beneficial.


3. Find a cleanser that works for you.

For months I used a Cera Ve face wash because that’s what countless people and online influencers told me was the best.  Though this brand does wonders for many users and is highly rated, it does not mean it will be the best choice for everyone.  My personal favorite cleanser is the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, and I cannot say enough great things about it! I love that it is a gentle soap-free cleanser (shocking, right?) that leaves my skin feeling soft, soothed, and refreshed.  My advice would be to not be afraid to try different products until you find what works for you!


4. Clean your pillowcases often.

If you think about it, your face spends hours every night pressed right up against a pillowcase that may be filled with bacteria.  Each night as you sleep, dirt and oil are transferred directly from your face right onto your pillow.  I recommend having a few clean pillowcases at hand that you can switch throughout the week and then clean them all together at the end of the week.



As I stated previously, I have found that a lot of my breakouts stem from stress and anxiety.  If anything, this year has taught me the importance of prioritizing my mental health and advocating for myself.  Taking care of your mind and body can have extensive effects on your skin, and prioritizing your health is indispensable.  Though I have started taking medication to help me with my overall mood and mental health, things as simple as practicing breathing techniques and taking mental breaks may have a major positive impact on your skin.


6. Avoid touching and picking at your face.

I know this one can be hard, and trust me, it is something I am definitely guilty of.  Touching your face can transfer dirt and bacteria from your hands to your visage, which can lead to dirty, clogged pores.  Something that helps me avoid doing this is acne patches; my favorite are the Mighty Patch ones that you can find on Amazon or Target.  These patches prevent you from picking at any blemishes in your face and help heal them with hydrocolloid acid.


7. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!

This is one that I am trying to get better at because I know it is so important!  Not only is sunscreen great for limiting UV exposure that can damage the skin, but it can also help prevent scarring and discoloration.   If you're prone to skipping sunscreen application, I recommend trying the Sun Bum sunscreen stick that is a literal breeze to apply.


8. Clean your makeup brushes often.

Try to do this once a week because your trusty tools are a breeding ground for yucky, zit-causing bacteria.  There are hundreds of makeup brush cleaners out on the market, but if you are looking for a cheaper option, baby shampoo and dish soap work great for me!


Again, these steps I took may not work for you, but this is what helped me finally clear my skin these past few months.  No matter what, remember that beauty comes from within!

Megan Swezey

Stonehill '24

Meg is currently a junior at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. Aside from writing, she has equal obsessions with dancing, hiking, sushi, jean jackets, Spotify playlists, and her two cute pups. Peace out!
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