Everyone suffers occasional bad skin days, but there are many tips and tricks we can use to get perfect skin naturally.
To make spots and blemishes things of the past, check out these seven tips for clear skin
CLEAR SKIN TIP 1: DITCH THE CHEMICALS
It can be tempting to reach for chemical peels and ingredients such as salicylic acid to help clear up problem skin. However, many chemical-based skin products contain potentially harmful ingredients, and can dry skin excessively and exacerbate skin problems. For a gentler approach to fighting acne, opt for natural spot-fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil or manuka honey. Manuka honey's antimicrobial and antiseptic properties fight spots, and it has the capability to reduce the scarring and marks left by spots.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 2: USE SPOT-FIGHTING MAKEUP
We all know what it's like to have a bad skin day, when you just want to hide it under layers of makeup. However, while makeup can disguise the look of spots temporarily, it can also make the problem much worse. For confidence-boosting coverage, that won't cause flare-ups, make sure you use a non-comedogenic makeup that won't clog pores. To further increase the spot-fighting powers of your cosmetics, try using mineral makeup containing zinc oxide, which will fight acne-causing bacteria.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 3: SIP SPEARMINT TEA
Acne is generally caused by hormones called androgens, which can over-stimulate the sebaceous glands, leading to oily skin, blocked pores and spots. To counteract these effects, oral contraceptives often are prescribed to women suffering from acne. However, while beneficial for clearing spots, contraceptive pills can have inconvenient, even dangerous side effects. Luckily, research suggests that spearmint tea has similar anti-androgen properties, which could help reduce acne and hormone imbalances in women.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 4: REDUCE YOUR SKIN'S CONTACT WITH BACTERIA
You may be surprised at how often your skin touches dirt and germs that can lead to acne. While you sleep, your pillow comes into contact with makeup, skin oils and saliva, making it a breeding ground for bacteria that can worsen acne. Likewise, unwashed makeup brushes can spread bacteria to your skin. To minimise exposure to bacteria, make sure you wash makeup brushes every two weeks and change your pillowcase regularly. Also, avoid touching your face as much as possible and clean your phone with antibacterial wipes.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 5: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN PROPERLY
If you have oily or acne-prone skin it can be tempting to over-cleanse it to dry out oils and kill bacteria. However, cleansing too frequently or using harsh cleansers can dry out your skin, causing flakiness which can clog pores. It can also cause skin to produce more oils to compensate. Instead, wash your skin twice a day with a gentle, pH-neutral cleanser so as not to destroy the acid mantle of the skin, which protects against moisture loss and bacteria. Remove the cleanser with a muslin cloth to lightly exfoliate the skin.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 6: IMPROVE YOUR DIET
A balanced diet with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants is a key factor in beautiful skin. There are also certain foods you should cut back on or eat more of to help get rid of spots.
Research suggests that dairy is a major precursor of acne for many people because of the hormones it contains. Plastic water bottles and food packaging can also leach chemicals that can lead to hormone imbalances. Swap packaged food for fresh, skin-friendly food that contains lots of fruit and vegetables and ingredients rich in omega-3 fatty acids - such as sardines, salmon, walnuts and lean beef.
CLEAR SKIN TIP 7: FIND WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS
Research findings published in the Archives of Dermatology suggest high stress levels can significantly worsen acne. This may be because stress stimulates the production of hormones that stimulate oil production in skin's sebaceous glands. Stress is also thought to instigate the release of chemicals that can lead to inflammation.
To help keep your skin clear and spot-free, try to find healthy ways to deal with stress such as exercise, meditation or pampering. Try to talk through problems with someone else as well to help relieve any worries.
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