At some point in our lives, we’ve probably all stared in the mirror and wished to the stars for clear skin (if you haven’t – lucky you!). For me, it came about 6-8 months ago; I was super stressed, which led to comfort food and a major acne flare up… Which led to more stress. I spent hundreds of pounds on products that claimed various quick fixes, and as quick fixes they worked! But after a while my skin started to reject the chemicals, I peeled and became very oily, which led to -you guessed it- more spots.
For many of you I’m sure this cycle is extremely familiar, and probably something you’ve begin to accept will just be ‘how you are.’ But fear not! Clear skin IS possible, and it’s simpler than we ever thought.
If we think about our skin as a sponge it’s easier to realise the mistakes we’ve made, and possibly are still making. Whatever you put on to a sponge, it will absorb. You can wash it out but there’s always that little bit sucked up too deep to get rid of. It’s the same with our skin; whatever chemicals we put on to our skin, it absorbs. A lot of the products on the market boast about having blah blah acid that helps fights spots! And we put that on our skin – acid! The truth is, this acid does help to fight spots for a while; it strips the skin of all dirt which helps to clear up pores. However, it also strips the skin of it’s protective oils.
For me I thought, “well I’m oily so it’s good that it gets rid of oils,” but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The oil our face produces naturally protects our skin. Stripping it of that makes your skin think it needs to produce more – so you become more oily. It makes sense that we’ve got to treat our skin with kindness – it’s thin and fragile. Putting chemicals on it only makes it worse long term.
So what do we use? The best advice I can give is to go as natural as you possibly can, and keep your skin routine simple.; for me, this means The Body Shop. It’s important however to figure out what type of skin you suffer with, so I thought I’d do my best to help you out:
There are four main skin types: normal, oily, dry and combination.
Normal – when you wake up, you skin feels normal (not too dry, not too oily). You barely get spots but when you do there’s a clear reason (stress or too much junk food). You can use most products without reacting.
Oily – you wake up and it feels like someone has poured maple syrup on your face. Your make up barely stays on, or begins to feel sticky at midday. You may be prone to spots and blackheads.
Dry – you wake up feeling like someone has sucked all the moisture from your face. You’re prone to flaky skin. You may also have trouble finding products that you don’t react to.
Combination – some parts of your face are dry, others are oily (usually around T-Zone). You may be prone to spots. It’s hard to find a product that doesn’t dry you out, or make you slimy. It’s one or the other.
If you look at the products in The Body Shop (and most places) they’ll say on the packaging which skin type they are most suited to. However, there are certain products and ingredients you can look for for your specific skin type:
Normal – you can pretty much chose anything but remember to be gentle. The Camomile range is lovely in The Body Shop, and if you get spots occasionally look for a gentle spot cream (I think they do one in The Body Shop too)
Oily – I can’t stress enough how good the Seaweed range is from body shop! It’s gentle and still moisturising without being sticky or slimy. Seriously worth the money, but if it’s too expensive look for something cheaper that contains either seaweed or charcoal – but remember to get as natural as possible! The less ingredients the better.
Dry – Vitamin E is incredible for dry skin (and also at clearing acne scars). The range at Body Shop is gorgeous but Boots also do Vitamin E moisturisers that are cheaper.
Combination – combination is always a tricky one. There are products targeted specifically at combination skin but personally I use a mixture of the Seaweed range and the Vitamin E. I use the Seaweed cleanser and day cream, and the Vitamin E night cream.
Finding the right products for your skin type is the first step to clearing your skin – having too much or too little oil on your face produces spots so it’s vital you sort that out! But it’s not all about what you put on your skin – how you treat your entire body is so important for your skin’s health, so here’s a few tips:
- Drinking water is important for everything (hello, we’re 70% water) – but for skin it makes the world of differences, it clears out all those yucky toxins
- Eating balanced is again important for everything, but remember that too much and caffeine will cause an acne flare up, and that dairy/meat will clog pores
- Exercise! I’m not saying you have to run a marathon, but doing something that makes you sweaty is so good for your skin. Sweat is the bodies natural way of getting all the yuck out of our skin. Just don’t exercise with make up on! All that make up just absorbs deeper in to your skin.
- Sleeping habits – change your pillow covers often, and don’t sleep on your hair (all that oil and dust sits on the pillow case, which your face then goes on every night!)
So there’s my personal experience on clear skin, and let me tell you it IS possible, but it’s also not the be all and end all. “We are not these bodies, but the souls within.” Love and peace to all.