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My Top 6 Skincare Tips From a Former Acne Sufferer

To give a little background about myself, I’ve had my fair share of acne over the past ten years – give or take. I tried almost every homemade face mask and drugstore face wash, but nothing ever worked before I developed not just a skincare routine, but an entire lifestyle change. Through a combination of diet, sleep, and a low-maintenance routine, I have cleared my skin to a point I never thought was possible.

So, without further ado, here are my top skincare tips that not only helped my skin but gave me the confidence I was lacking all those years.

1.  Water, water, and more water.

I know you’ve probably heard this ten too many times, but drinking more water might be the most crucial step to your skincare routine. Make sure you are drinking at least eight cups a day, if not more, to thoroughly hydrate your body and your skin.

2. Never. Skip. Moisturizer.

Let’s get this straight: no matter what type of skin you have- oily, combination, or dry, you need to use moisturizer!! This is directed especially to those with oily skin that are worried to add greasy products into their routine- there are moisturizers marketed towards your skin type that absorb quickly and are lightweight!

If you don’t replenish the moisture stripped away by your cleanser, your skin will want to produce more oil to compensate. So, if you feel like your skin gets shinier the more you wash your face, consider adding an oil-free moisturizer that will give your skin that hydrating boost it needs. Make sure you wash your face at most twice a day to prevent over-irritation, too.

woman with towel on her head using lotion on shoulders
Photo by Andrea Picquadio from Canva

3. Decrease dairy.

With all the lactose-free, vegan dairy product substitutes, it is so easy to find replacements for your favorite goods. Consuming dairy, specifically cow’s milk, can be linked to a more textured, inflamed appearance. Try limiting dairy for a few weeks, and see if you notice an improvement!

4. Declutter your skincare routine.

Honestly, you only need about 5 steps in your routine: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, gentle exfoliant, and sunscreen. The simpler the routine, the less irritated your skin will be and the happier your bank account will be! Search for good quality brands that don’t cost your entire paycheck, like CeraVe, Dermalogica, Neutrogena, and The Ordinary, which offer a variety of products for all skin types.

5. Don’t pop it (like it’s hot).

I know it’s tempting, but your skin will thank you later. Picking at your skin will only cause more irritation, scarring, and could even lead to an infection if you’re at it with your bare fingers. If you can’t resist, at least wait until the blemish forms a white head. After a hot shower, take two Q-tips or wrap your fingers with a tissue, and gently squeeze the pimple until the pus is removed. If it doesn’t come out with a few pushes- leave it be! Make sure to stop immediately if the spot starts to bleed as this can lead to scarring.

Slumber Cloud

6. Get that beauty sleep!

Stress can be a major cause of acne whether you are an adult or a teenager. Getting enough sleep can be shown to brighten your skin tone and give it a healthier appearance. If you have trouble falling asleep, try disconnecting from your devices a few hours before bed to give your eyes a break from the blue. Make sure you can get at least seven to eight hours a night and just wait to see how your body, not just your skin, will feel much better.

Just remember- no one’s skin is absolutely perfect. A blemish here and there is totally normal, especially when you’re extra stressed or on your period. Take care of your body and your mental health, and I promise that your skin will follow.

Karen Hareli

U Mass Amherst '22

Karen is a junior at UMass Amherst pursuing a Biochemistry degree with a Psychology minor. In her free time she loves to cook, workout, draw and paint, explore new restaurants, and most importantly play with her adorable cat, Leena.
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