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It’s no secret that we all want clear, glowing skin. Nothing throws a wrench in your weekend social plans or makes you cringe before a big presentation quite like a massive blemish on your face. (But hey, try not to stress, it happens to everyone.)
Since a less-than-perfect complexion is something that trips everyone up from time to time, it comes as no surprise that we are bombarded with marketing campaigns trying to get us to shell out for the latest skincare regimen.
However, everyone has unique skin. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to get to know your own skin—what works, and what doesn’t—and do what has proven best for you.
Free Download: Clear Skin Checklist
Set a Routine
Though it might take a bit of trial and error, once you find a program that works for you, stick with it!
Keep in mind that as important as it is to wash your face, it’s also key to not take cleansing products to your face too much.
We know it sounds like it should be intuitive—if your face feels greasy, wash it, right? But in fact, every time we use a cleanser on our skin we are also stripping away its natural oils, which in turn, will cause it to produce even more oils.
The best times to lather? First thing in the morning (there are germs on your pillowcase), nighttime (to wash away the day’s makeup and grime), and after a sweaty workout.
There are a plethora of facial cleaners to choose from, so be sure you are looking at versions that are designed for your particular type of skin—normal, oily, dry, or combination.
It’s always good practice to follow your wash session with a moisturizer for the exact reason we gave above—you need to replenish some of those good oils you’ve eliminated.
Again, the type of moisturizer you use will depend on your type of skin and personal needs. (Anyone else finding that anti-aging is more and more of a priority? Show of hands, please.)
If you’re looking for a new one to immerse into your daily routine, it’s beneficial to do your research first.
And, if your moisturizer of choice doesn’t have natural sun protectant built in, it’s a good idea to put on a separate base layer. Even if you’re in the office the majority of the daylight hours, you can never be too careful when it comes to sun exposure.
Even the most dedicated skin routine can’t avoid breakouts 100% of the time. So, what should you do when an angry, red bump rears its head?
You may feel inclined to reach for the strongest, chemical-laden product on the drugstore shelf to shrink the culprit, but we encourage you to pause, think clearly, and put back the harsh remedy.
Of course, it should go without saying that the team here at Red Apple Lipstick has a firm stance when it comes to keeping products au naturale.
So, with that in mind, here are a few organic, at-home tricks you can try:
- Tea tree oil: powerful anti-inflammatory, so makes for a good spot treatment
- Green tea: full of antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds, so can be used as a face wash (cooled down, of course)
- Witch hazel: naturally drying, so great as an astringent
- Lemon: acidic, which helps to exfoliate, disinfect, and lighten skin
And, don’t forget the cardinal rule: no picking, popping, or squeezing! We know it can be difficult to resist the temptation, but doing so only leaves the area more agitated, more noticeable, and more susceptible to infection.
Even though all that cleansing and creaming is critical for your skin’s daily health, you can’t forget the thing you leave on your face almost every day, all day: makeup.
Ah makeup, our favorite topic.
Using natural, non-toxic, and vegan products isn’t just a great way to help support the environment and all living things, but it’s also a smart way to keep your skin clear and avoid health complications.
That’s right, it’s not just about what is sitting on your skin, but what kinds of chemicals and ingredients we are inhaling into our lungs. TIME covered some recent research that shows health-related complaints about cosmetic products like makeup and shampoo have been at an all-time high. You can also check out our recent blog, 22 Makeup Ingredients That Are Making You Sick.
But, back to skin. Harsh chemicals and unnatural ingredients are sure ways to irritate and clog your pores. Thankfully, brands like Red Apple Lipstick are dedicated to producing small-batch products with no petroleum, animal bits, gluten, dairy, corn, harsh chemicals, or GMOs.
The daily products we use have a direct correlation to our skin health, but what about everything else? Our environment, our moods, and our habits (not to mention that other pesky H-word—hormones) all play their part as well.
First up? Good old H20. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to have memorized the advice to drink at least eight glasses of water a day (about two liters). Plus, you may require more if you’re engaging in activities or exercise where you excrete a lot of sweat.
Water consumption helps to keep your skin hydrated, flush out toxins, and replenish skin tissue.
There are many different opinions about how and when to drink (wake up and chug some down? Room temp instead of cold? Lemon or not?), but we encourage you to do whatever method feels best for you.
What you put inside your body can affect what’s happening on the outside, so it’s best to eat a healthy, well-balanced meal to help keep your skin clear.
Of course, different foods affect individuals differently, but some experts recommend avoiding dairy, chocolate, greasy foods, and processed snacks to keep your face blemish-free.
Girl, take a deep breath.
Stress can wreak havoc on our skin (and lives). According to WebMD, “stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive.”
Although it’s impossible to avoid the daily strains of your work life, home life, social life, and everything in between, there are some ways to decompress.
Working out is a great way to exert some energy, boost endorphins, and make you feel like you’re doing something good for yourself—and your body. We know it can feel like just another thing to have to schedule into your already-busy day, but making exercise a priority will do you wonders, even if it’s just a brisk, 20-minute walk around the block. (Just be sure to wash your face after getting hot and sweaty!)
Yoga is also a great workout to use for de-stressing, as it naturally controls your breathing and helps clear your mind.
Speaking of, some people swear by meditation to get through a hectic day. Not sure how to start? A quick search on YouTube offers up a plethora of videos to help get you going.
And, hey, if having a glass of wine at the end of the day counts as de-stressing to you, then pour that vino. Is a bubble bath more your speed? Go get sudsy.
Find what it is that helps you relax, and take the time to do it.
Free Download: Clear Skin Checklist
The Bottom Line
If you want your skin to be good to you, then you need to be good to your skin.
By committing to a skincare routine, using natural products, and being aware of how other aspects of your life (e.g. eating habits, stress level, etc.) affect your face, you will be well on your way to putting your best face forward.