Today I’m going to talk about dealing with skin problems in your twenties. It’s something I’ve been experiencing over the last few years, on and off since moving away from Ireland. I’ve developed some methods of calming my skin when it flares up, so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is going through something similar.
I was lucky to enjoy the most perfect, blemish free skin throughout my teenage years up until I was 19. I barely even knew what the word “breakout” meant. On my nineteenth birthday, I remember thinking I’d dodged a major bullet in the form of problematic teenage skin.
I moved to Florida less than a month after turning 19, so perhaps the massive breakouts were triggered by the climate change between Florida and Ireland, or maybe something else entirely, I’m not 100% sure. But either way, thankfully I’ve managed to get it under control through a combination of implementing a few small lifestyle changes and maintaining a thorough skincare routine.
Without further ado, I’ve listed the lifestyle habits and skincare tricks I’ve used to clear up my skin and keep adult acne at bay below. I hope you find them helpful!
1. Ditch dairy – Dairy has been linked to acne and skin inflammation in countless scientific studies. I know from my own experience that omitting it from my diet makes a world of difference in my skin. I do slip up from time to time, but always see irritation in my skin the day after I’ve eaten something with dairy in it. Along with this, it’s also important to ensure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Our bodies we not designed to process a huge amount of the junk found in grocery stores these days. A diet rich in minerals and vitamins will help support healthy, clear skin.
2. Enough sleep – As a society we are terribly sleep deprived. Many of us have trained ourselves to sleep less than we actually should, but often this can wreak havoc on our skin. During sleep, our bodies rejuvenate themselves and heal, by cutting into sleep time we interrupt the natural processes our body used to rejuvenate. It’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason! Make sure you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours per night. It’s tempting to shave a few hours off your sleeping schedule, when you are trying to juggle work/ school, a social life and more, but it’s not worth it! Not just for your skin, but your overall health and wellness.
3. Don’t touch your face – The first thing anyone wants to do when they get a spot is touch it, but this is probably one of the worst things you can possibly do. Touching your face transfers any dirt and oil from your hands onto your face. This will certainly make any skin problems worse. The only thing worse than touching your face is popping a pimple. This causes trauma to the skin, resulting in longer healing time. You may also be left with scarring or discoloration. It might seem like it’s helping in the moment, but you will just end up damaging your skin in the long run. It’s not a good habit to develop.
I have a few trusty favorite skincare products that I always find myself going back to, time and time again. Whenever my skin decides to through a tantrum, these products clear it up quickly and with consistent use, help keep my skin blemish free for longer.
1. Witch Hazel – Inexpensive, yet highly effective. Witch hazel has become one of the cornerstones banishing breakouts from my skin. I use it as a toner, applying it to my face with a cotton pad. It can be slightly drying, so I always moisturize after using it. There’s loads of different brands selling witch hazel, so no matter where you are you should be able to find it in your local drug store or supermarket fairly easily.
2. Sudocrem – This is one is a classic, dear to the hearts Irish girls everywhere. Sudocrem is an antiseptic healing cream, mostly targeted towards proving relief from nappy rash for babies. However, this stuff is seriously amazing at clearing skin. Yes, I mean amazing. A little goes a long way, and I apply a very small amount to problem areas. I’ve gone through countless tubs of this stuff. I always love wiping it off in the morning and seeing how much my skin has cleared up overnight. For those in the states, you can purchase it on Amazon.
3. Benonite Clay – This can be a little messy, but the end result makes it well worth it. Essentially this clay powder has a magnetic charge that pulls out any nasty stuff that’s clogging your skin. When mixed with liquid, it becomes a paste you can apply as a facemask. You can mix the powder with a range of common household ingredients, from plain water to coconut oil or green tea. When my skin is being particularly troublesome, I mix one part clay powder with one quarter apple cider vinegar and one quarter filtered water, to dilute it. This mask needs to be mixed in a non-metallic bowl with a non-metallic utensil to be effective. You will feel your face tingle and it may be slightly red when you wash the mask off, but after a few hours the results are fantastic and very noticeable. I get mine from Whole Foods, but it’s also available on Amazon.
3. Right now, I am obsessed with Sephora’s line of skincare products, specifically their sheet masks. The masks work impressively well and are really great value, ranging from $4-$9. They have sheet masks for your face, lips and eyes, as well as overnight gel masks, which I really like too. Each of the products are available in a variety of versions, each one targeting a specific skincare concern. I always find these masks so hydrating, refreshing and gentle on the skin, which is important if you are trying to heal a breakout. It’s become a weekly ritual of mine to head to Sephora after work on a Friday to pick up and few masks to pamper myself with over the weekend.
Last thing I want to say on this topic is, although I know that having skin issues can have a horrible effect on a person’s self-esteem, I think it is important to recognize that we are so much more than our skin. Our appearance does not define us, nor is it the most important aspect of ourselves. Nobody’s skin will ever be perfect, and we should all love and appreciate ourselves, regardless of any perceived imperfections. After all, flaws are what makes us human!
On that note, have a lovely week and let me know if any of the tips and tricks outlined above help you out in anyway!