Everyone wants clear, flawless skin, but not everyone has the time to follow a 13-step skincare regimen every day. And if you’re like me, even washing your face is a chore let alone a twenty-minute routine. Lucky for you, there are ways to have clear skin without sacrificing a ton of time, effort, and money.
Don’t be fooled. While I wish there were, there are no overnight fixes to breakouts and blemishes and no instant miracle cures. You will still need to invest time in clear skin, and you will need to stick to a routine, no matter how small. Consistency is the key.
Incorporate your skincare into your morning and evening routines. You don’t have to follow your routine religiously, but try to make it a habit. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
Ready to start your routine but not sure where to start? The first step is to get organized. You’ll probably be doing your skincare in the bathroom, so get rid of anything you don’t use and make room for the products you’ll be using. Having an organized space will make you more motivated and willing to do your routine, so keep the space clean and you’ll want to do it every day.
Once you’re organized, it’s time to start your routine. It doesn’t have to be 13 steps, but there are some basic skin rules to follow:
1. Wash your face. Clean = clear so wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you can’t commit to it at first, at least wash your face at night. You should also wash your face after training. Do not use hot water. Hot water can dry out the skin and keep your pores open, which means it’s easier for them to clog. Instead, use cold water with a mild cleanser.
2. Hydrate. Dry skin can spell disaster for breakouts, especially in the fall and winter. To minimize this, use moisturizer after washing your face and after applying creams or ointments. Be sure to find moisturizers that work well for your skin and won’t clog your pores. My favorite moisturizer to use as a base coat is Trader Joe’s Hyaluronic Acid.
3. Apply serums, creams and ointments. Skincare is different for everyone, but that’s really where your routine will be different from others. At this stage, you can apply any medicated serums, creams or ointments you have. This includes both prescribed and over-the-counter products. For those who don’t have products to use yet, look for products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Clean & Clear and The Ordinary are excellent brands for this. These are excellent anti-acne compounds found in over-the-counter products at your grocery store or local convenience store. Some of these products can be potent, so be sure to read the directions and only use a small amount.
4. Hydrate again. Any medicated cream will likely cause dry skin and irritation, especially at first. It’s crucial that you keep your skin hydrated with brands like CeraVe and Cetaphil (these two are also great brands for people with sensitive skin).
5. Apply sunscreen. This is a very important one that only takes five seconds. Apply sunscreen every morning and reapply as needed.
And that’s all! This easy 5-step routine isn’t foolproof as it may not work for everyone, but when paired with simple lifestyle changes, you could be seeing clearer skin in no time!
Besides having a skincare routine, there are other things you can do for more flawless skin:
– Reduce added sugars. Reduce your intake of foods high in sugar and try to incorporate more natural foods into your diet instead.
– Drink water! For some reason, this is an extremely difficult task for me. But water has a plethora of benefits for the body, and cleansing the skin is just one of them.
– Use ice cubes. It is better to take cold rather than hot showers to keep pores closed and unclogged. But no one is actually going to do this (it’s good for you if you do), so you can lightly rub an ice cube on your face to close your pores after showering.
– Reduce stress. It’s not an easy task either, but reducing stress will generally make you healthier, so it’s worth it. Try to do something you enjoy a little each day, whether it’s half an hour of reading at night, a morning paper, or a walk after school.
– Don’t touch your face. Bad oils are the enemy of your skin, so avoid touching your face without clean hands. And make sure your hands are clean before applying anything to your skin.
– Pat, don’t scrub. Rubbing your face with a towel can cause irritation, so it’s best to pat the water gently.
– Check your hair products. Some hair products contain ingredients that can actually cause breakouts, so once you know what they are, try to avoid them as much as possible.
– Do your research. If you really want clearer skin, you’ll need to learn more about your skin and what products might work for it. Luckily, there are a myriad of sources you can find with a quick Google search that will get you started.
– Be kind to yourself. I’ve always thought that the harder you are with yourself and your skin, the worse it can get. And the harder it is to stay focused on the goal and stick to a routine. So stay positive and remember that your skin condition is temporary.
All of these things are relatively small and can be easily done every day. The most important thing is not to get discouraged and to remember that skincare is a process that may take some trial and error before it becomes completely successful.