I don't really talk about this on the blog very much though I have mentioned it from time to time, but I grew up with acne. I had full on, zits covering every part of my face from age 10 to my late 20's (almost 2 decades folks!). I went on Accutane twice in my teens and then Spirnolactone in my late 20's (which I think is the thing that helped finally clear my acne). Don't get me wrong, I still get pimples (especially those hormonal ones around my chin), but I don't call that acne. And even though that sucked majorly and did a number on my self-confidence, I'm just grateful it wasn't scarring cystic acne (I only have tiny scars which at my age now just look like enlarged pores) and I'm grateful I had the means to fight it with derm appointments and medication. It also meant I got pretty good with makeup early on and I really took my skincare seriously from an early age. Well I'm bringing this all up now because for 6 months out of this year I had zero zits. I may have had inflamed pores that went down within a night, but no pimples that needed concealer and no heavy foundation. I thought I was cured! But nope, with a change in season and a change in my routines, I have zits again. So what are my personal tips on better skin?
1) Exercise regularly
Sorry I wish I could just say, 'buy this product and all your skin care woes will be gone'. But of course health comes from the inside and that means exercise. The key to clearer skin for me is definitely exercise, specifically something like yoga that also helps me meditate. (I pair that with swimming for the cardiovascular benefits).
2) Lay off the sugar and dairy (and gluten - see the comment below!)
Of course along with exercise, diet is a big deal. A little bit of the bad stuff is ok but really stay away from these because it can cause inflammation, which in my former public health career I have learned is the root of modern chronic diseases (heart disease, pulmonary dieases, etc.) as well as annoying things like acne and allergies.
3) Take a daily probiotic
Again this is an inflammation issue. Gut inflammation from all the junk food we eat can cause inflammation so taking care of our gut with a probiotic really does help. This is the closest to a magic pill for health that I can think of. I usually get the ones in the refrigerated section of Sprouts/WholeFoods, but I've also recently tried these LoveBug Probiotics which I love since I don't have to keep it refrigerated.
4) Proper skin care routine
I always always wash my face at night and in the morning. And if there's one product I swear by it's this Elemis SOS Emergency Cream. Yes it says emergency but everyday is an emergency when you have zits. I usually spread a thin layer all over my face and when I wasn't getting zits but slightly inflamed pores, this would make it go down in the night. Really I swear. I discovered it through one of those interviews on into the Gloss and I'm so glad I did! Other products I use come from a boutique skin care spa in San Francisco that specializes in acne called SkinSalvation (if you have issues with getting clearer skin and you live in the SF Bay Area, go to them! They are worth it!). I use their charcoal cleanser, sterilizing tonic, and spf15 lotion (not listed). I also use their wash cloths to remove makeup. And during the day I use this Suntegrity 5-in-1 moisturizing sunscreen in light (it's like a BB cream). I buy most of my products (other than the SkinSalvation ones) from Dermstore and really love their selection and service (if you want $10 off your first purchase of $30 drop a comment below and I can email you a link).
Like I said right now I'm back to getting zits on my chin and that's because I've completely stopped exercising for 2 months and been eating poorly. And I can tell on my skin and just my body overall. I hope to get back to the pool and yoga mat this week. Anyway I hope this helps anyone with problem skin and just remind yourself it's just a zit and NBD.
And now I really should be thinking about wrinkle prevention and spot brightening. Does anyone have any products they swear by for this?