My Tips for Clear Skin

11.21.2013

Blame it on the freezing weather or pre-holiday lack of sleep... my skin is fussier than usual these days. I have sensitive, combination skin, and although I don't suffer from acne, I am prone to irritation from clogged pores, harsh products and stress. Thanks to a lot of trial and error over the years, I've learned a good deal about what keeps my skin looking its best without makeup. Obviously, what works for one person might not work for another, but regardless of your skin type, here are a few tips that might help you if your skin is misbehaving!

Deep Cleanse and Gentle Detox
Before adding any new treatments to my skin, I make sure my cleansing routine is as effective as possible. I often find that just stepping up my cleansing will really improve the texture of my skin. I like to use a combination of cleansing milks and gently foaming, sulfate-free cleansers. (Cleansing balms are another great option, but I haven't found one I love yet, and they tend to feel a little too heavy on my skin.) Cleanse as soon as you get home to remove the dirt and makeup from the day and let your skin breathe. The one "investment piece" in my cleansing routine is my Clarisonic. I use this nightly with the sensitive brush-head; it feels like a mini-facial, and I notice a dramatic difference in how smooth my skin feels. I also like to exfoliate using a combination of physical and chemical products. I know some people think that physical exfoliants are too abrasive, but I use them once or twice a week to help refine my skin's texture. Currently, I reach for my Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser once or twice a week in lieu of the Clarisonic (do not use this with the Clarisonic!). It contains tiny beads that polish the surface of your skin, and it has an invigorating citrus scent.

I stopped using chemical/acid-based treatments for blemishes, which leave my skin dry and sometimes only more irritated, causing my skin to overcompensate by producing more sebum. Instead, I apply face masks regularly. Clay masks remove impurities, decongest my pores and soothe my skin (no dryness, hurray!). Even when my skin is super clear, I use masks to keep my pores clean. My two current favorites are the Clarins Pure and Radiant Mask with pink clay and the all-natural Susan Ciminelli Sea Clay Mask. I'd recommend the Clarins one for drier skin types and the Susan Ciminelli one for combination/oily skin types.

Know Your Skin
As someone who likes to read beauty blogs, I inevitably choose some of my products based on what is most hyped. This has led to some amazing discoveries as well as, on occasion, the desire to use a product even though it's not the best match for my skin. Over the past couple of years, I've paid attention to what products and brands my skin likes and dislikes. It takes a bit of patience, but once you find a regimen that works, stick with it. Especially before special occasions, don't try too many products simultaneously, and don't stray from your good old standbys. You don't need 20 products to achieve clear, glowing skin. This will also save you lots of $$$!

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Though my Instagram feed might suggest otherwise, I eat a clean diet most of the time and drink a lot of water (2-4 L) every day. I hate to admit it, but what I eat truly does influence how my skin looks. I've read that a sugar overload can negatively affect your collagen production, so I try to tame my huge sweet tooth. Too many insulin spikes can also lead to inflammation, which can manifest itself as skin irritations. I've also noticed my skin is more radiant after I sleep and after I exercise, so I've been trying to make time for both of those things, too!

Obviously, if your skin is still troublesome despite your best efforts, it's worth a trip to your doctor to investigate what other issues might be causing the irritation. Tell me your favorite skin-clearing tricks!

19 comments:

  1. I'm pretty fortunate that I only get the odd tiny spot once a month, I try to drink lots of water to keep my skin nice. I dont often use facemasks or treatments on my skin though. I guess Im just quite lucky to have good skin!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

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  2. That's great! I definitely recommend trying a face mask sometime, even if your skin is clear already - there are so many different kinds of masks and they really give your skincare a boost!

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  3. I really like the sound of the Clarins exfoliator! My skin has been going a bit mental recently so I've been reaching for the clay masks quite a lot! xo

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  4. Yes, it's so nice and gentle! It smells amazing too... can't recommend it enough :)

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  5. I think a lot of people tend to overlook how important drinking water is. While I'm no poster child for drinking a lot of water, I do know the health benefits and how good it is for your skin! You had some really great tips in this post :)

    Amber

    Lovely Notions

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  6. Cleansing is so important. Great post!

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  7. Thanks Amber! Drinking more water is definitely something I have to remind myself to do through the day :)

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  8. It's very nice and cooling! Definitely good for this time of year when artificial heating can make your skin stressed :)

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  9. Love your tips, my skin is so bad at the moment so I hope these tips will work! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD

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  10. Great tips, Ellie! Living a healthy lifestyle is my favorite! :D

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  11. Amazing tips! It's really getting me down how my skin is a mess at the moment. Ughhhh....

    xo Lillian from parisiantobe.com

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  12. Thanks for the tips! My skin has been a bit more cranky lately, so this was helpful :) That clay mask sounds lovely! xo

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  13. That clay mask looks really lovely and I definitely want to give it a whirl.

    Dejhana | Waite a Little

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  14. I definitely needed to read this post! I'm definitely still trying to figure out my skin type, since I also totally buy in to "hyped" products. Whoops, haha.

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  15. I'm so pedantic with everything I put ON my skin, but I could definitely do to remember that what I put into my body counts too and go easy on those sugary treats! I definitely think that the root of good skin is proper cleansing though, because otherwise what's the point of putting all the other stuff on?

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