It’s been said to me many times that I have great skin. However, I tend to disagree (hey! not everyone can get a good look at my skin as close as I do, so they don’t truly know). If you’re like me, you battle with on and off good skin, and find skin care more of a task than not.
While from afar, my skin looks good on any given day, around certain times in the month, my skin blows up with acne in the T-zone: I get sprinklings of red, irritated pimples around my forehead, on my cheeks, on my chin; big sebaceous, pussy pimples that need to be extracted three or four times around my nose, forehead, and that leave terrible scars that take a year or two to completely fade.
I’ve gotten into a routine when it comes to my skincare, including religiously removing every bit of makeup from my face every night before bed. I remove makeup, cleanse, tone, moisturize and then treat. It’s a grueling, annoying process that takes about 20 minutes. But if you have to battle acne like I do, it’s something that should be done. Especially for we women in our twenties, who neglect our skin care regimen without realizing that makeup that clogs the pores results in pimples, and aging our delicate skin.
Not all of us can afford to book a facial at a salon or a weekly basis (or, for me, an ever basis!). Most women can combat the blackhead scourge at home!
Use pore-unblocking skin products: A good exfoliant (face scrub) and refining mask can work wonders if incorporated into a good skincare routine.
Here’s what I do to combat blackheads and acne:
- Remove makeup. Use a good remover that removes even waterproof. I use a food, oil based makeup remover. The oil does not clog my pores because it’s light, and the molecules are too large to clog even my big pores. I recommend Almay Oil based makeup remover, as mine is one from Korea.
- Cleanse. I use a cleanser with salicylic acid, which dislodges oil and dirt deep inside pores–which is what causes acne and blackheads. I use Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser ($9.99, Drugstores.
- Tone. Toners refine and exfoliate the skin. A good toner will also hydrate properly, infused with antioxidants (anti-aging) and anti-inflammatory nutrients that nourish the skin. This further cleanses and refines, which is a good deterrent for acne. I use 100% Pure Organic White Tea Rose Soother Facial Tonique ($15, Drugstore.com).
- Moisturize. Next, it is essential to hydrate the skin properly with a good, oil free moisturizer. It keeps your skin supple and firm, which helps prevent aging. An oil free moisturizer will hydrate without blocking pores. Since I’m rounding my 30’s I use moisturizers that contain retinol and vitamin E to slow wrinkles and age spots. I’ve been using Olay Total Effects ($17, drugstores).
- Treat. If I have bad pimples, or even a spattering of tiny pimples, I spot treat. I use tea tree oil (you can get a .4 oz bottle at Trader Joe’s for $4USD). I put about 3-4 drops on the same cotton pad I used to tone my skin right after I tone and rub it all over my face BEFORE moisturizing. If I don’t have bad pimples, I’ll just spot treat right after moisturizing with a 2% salicylic acid gel, like Neutrogena’s Fight and Fade acne gel ($8.99, Drugstores). I’ll sleep with the treatment gel over each pimple. They’re usually smaller in the morning.
- Every other daily exfoliation. Old skin needs to be rejuvinated. Old skin cells gather on the top of the skin, which make your skin look dull and lifeless. In addition, old skin cell particles get drawn into facial oil and down into pores, causing blackheads and pimples. Exfoliating them with a good facial scrub every few days or so removes these dead skin cells so the new skin can breathe, leaving the face looking bright and smooth. I use Aveeno Daily Brightening facial scrub. ($7.49, Drugstores.)
- Weekly Refining. A refining clay pore mask draws out impurities from deep within the pores, and natural extracts like rosemary purify the skin from oil, which reduces pore-clogging oil, shine, and pores appear smaller and less blocked. I use Boots Botanics Complexion Refining Mask ($8.99, Target).
Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help you out!
Do you have any good skincare tips? I’d love to hear them!
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