A lot people compliment my skin and ask me if I have some sort of secret product that I use in which I will recommend. My answer is always NO. Truthfully, I feel as though I neglect my skin and would like to change that. I do, however, have a lot of things that I abide by to maintain clear skin. Although these may seem generic, I have religiously followed these Do’s and Don’ts ever since I can remember. The important thing that I have realized when it comes to skincare is that consistency really does go a long way. Patience is also very important because clear skin does not happen over night. It takes time for cells to regenerate and marks to fade. Any of these things below have worked for me specifically and may or may not work for everyone; however, I do believe that they will help somehow.
DO: Drink water.
This is such an obvious one. You have probably seen this everywhere and on almost any website when you have searched for clear skin. I tend to drink about 3 liters of water a day. When I don’t drink a lot of water, not only do I have a headache but I notice that the skin on my face is dry and so are my lips. I definitely don’t recommend drinking gallons and gallons of water a day for clear skin but the standard 8 glasses a day is a really good start.
DON’T: Pick pimples.
I am so guilty of this!! Every once in a while, I will have that one annoying pimple that is just so tempting to pop. I do everything in my power to avoid popping it but eventually, temptation gets the best of me and then I pop it, and I’m left with a dark mark and then I spend the following weeks angry at myself for creating a mark on my skin that could have easily been avoided! So, my point is please don’t pick or pop your pimples because the mark on the face will be more annoying than the pimple!
DO: Wear Sunscreen.
I have worn sunscreen ever since I was 16 years old. Now that I think about it, that is a really long time! I’m not sure what or who got me into wearing sunscreen because I’ve never been to a dermatologist for my face but ever since I was young, I’ve made the habit of wearing sunscreen every single day. Almost all of my friends were puzzled when I revealed to them that I have worn sunscreen for that long. They’re confused why I wear sunscreen because of the “do black people need to wear sunscreen?” mentality. My answer is yes. Simply put, the has UV rays which can damage your skin regardless of your color. Obviously the darker you are, the more protection you have; however, I believe that frequent sun exposure does increase wrinkles.
DON’T: Over or Under moisturize
So this one really depends on your skin type. I know that for me, I rarely use moisturizers because as soon as I do, I start to notice more pimples on my face. This does not go for everyone though. For instance, my sister uses a moisturizer daily because if she doesn’t, her skin immediately starts to show dryness and she ends up with flakes of dry skin.
I’ve read a lot about dermatologists recommending a moisturizer for everyone; however, that really hasn’t worked out for me but it’s not to say it won’t work for you! Because wearing moisturizer has been recommended by so many dermatologists, I think my issue is finding the right moisturizer not just a problem with all moisturizers. Until then though, I think over moisturizing can be a bad thing because you’re putting more oils on the skin which clog up pores but also under moisturizing promotes skin dryness. So, find your balance!
DO: Eat your fruits and veggies
I’m sure there is a saying somewhere out there about how it’s better to tackle a problem from the root rather than from the surface. I’m a huge believer in that saying. I truly believe that what we put into our bodies makes its way to the surface eventually. For instance, when I eat a lot of sugars and oily foods, I start to have pimples but when I eat all of my greens and fruits as well as drink plenty of water, I notice that my skin is clear with no problems. Remember, it starts from within!
DON’T: Eat too many sweets
I don’t believe that eating sweets directly causes acne but I do believe that consuming too many sweets make the acne worse, if that makes sense. We all have different skin types, this means that we react differently to different things we ingest. I knew a friend who used to get acne break outs whenever he ate a lot of chocolate. I get acne breakouts on my face when I eat oily foods and I am sure a lot of people are like that as well. It all depends on our skin types.
Though it is extremely hard because I have a giant sweet tooth, I try to stay away from sweets because I believe too much sugar is bad for our overall health. I used to have dessert every single day after both lunch and dinner but diabetes runs in my family and genetics are strong so I try my best now to avoid them. I believe in eating in moderation so every once in a while, I demolish a slice of cheesecake or a brownie. I’m not perfect lol. Anyways, consuming a lot of sugars triggers all of these reactions in the body which may or may not provoke acne breakouts in some people. Just to be safe, I stay away!
DO: Cleanse daily
So you know those days when you come home and you’re so exhausted that you practically collapse in bed only to wake up the next morning to find you did not remove your make-up the night before? Me neither. In fact, this has never happened to me because 1. I don’t wear make up and 2. I make sure that I wash my face every single night before I fall asleep. I make sure I remove all the bacteria and dried up sweat that I accumulated during the day. This is another habit that I have developed early on.
DO: Wash/Swap pillow cases regularly
Okay so this one doesn’t directly have to do with the face yet it does! I like to wash my pillow cases once a week sometimes twice a week. I do this because I moisturize my hair regularly and I know that the oils from my hair always end up on my pillow cases and ultimately, my face. And as I mentioned before, any additional oils on my face cause breakouts for me.
DON’T: Drink Soda
Oh man! I can write a 10 page paper on this but I’ll try not to. If you were to google “Reasons to avoid drinking soda” you will, without a doubt, get so many links that range from blogs to research articles to newspaper articles. I think this goes under the “don’t eat to many sweets” topic; however, soda is a category of itself. I know plenty of people who don’t eat a lot of sweets but it is an absolute requirement for them to have a soda at lunch or dinner or during the day. When I was younger, I used to drink soda plenty of times and drink I still drink a ginger ale once in a while (like once every 6 months) but for the most part, I don’t drink the typical sodas. Not only does the high sugar content scare me but so do the other ingredients.
As a general rule, I avoid things where I don’t understand the ingredients on the food label. The artificial ingredients, specifically aspartame, in diet sodas scare me. Since aspartame has been linked to so many chronic diseases and seizures, I know it must be bad for the skin. If you do drink soda, I urge you to educate yourselves about the effects of it and please please please try to avoid it. Normally, I don’t like to tell people what to do because I believe that everyone should live their lives; however, this is the exception. When something is bad for your entire body I am completely against it!
DO: Use a toner
So, this is a habit that I did not develop until my about my junior year of college. I use a toner everyday, twice a day now. I use this after I wash my face to remove excess oils and dirt from my face. It’s prefect for sensitive skin and its natural. I feel that it really cleanses my pores without drying my skin.
Sleep 7-8 hours a night every night and watch your life change in so many ways. I don’t play with this one. Sleep is probably the most important thing for the body. When you sleep, your body gets stronger in a sense. It rests. It gets better at fighting things off. It gets better at repairing damage including things like acne scars.
DON’T: Buy into “quick fix” deals
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “If it’s too good to be true, then it is?” I believe that this applies to so many things in life. I can’t tell you how many times I have researched “how to remove dark marks” from my face and came across a post or a product that stated it could remove my acne marks in as little as 1 week. I never bought into those things because I know how long it takes for the skin cells to regenerate. I know how the body works and I try to stay away from anything that alters the natural functioning of the body so I figure that these products do just that! Knowledge is power.
I know that this list is pretty generic but those are mainly all of the rules that I abide by when it comes to my skin. I do notice that my skin is better when I am on a routine. We are all humans and aren’t perfect so there would be times when I completely forget to do these things but as result I notice the difference in my skin automatically.
Following a routine is a huge aspect of my skin care and I always stress this to my friends because it does take about a month for the skin cells to regenerate. So if we have a dark mark or pimple, the key is to let it run its course, naturally. If we are constantly switching products every week or two, we technically aren’t getting the complete benefit from that product. When I try a new product, as a rule I generally finish the product before I can can offer an opinion on it and that gives me plenty of time to figure out if that product or method works for me.
I would love to hear what you all think about these tips! Let me know if you have anymore tips to recommend!