Not everyone knows this but I suffered with AWFUL adult acne between the ages of 25-27. It was bubbling under the surface throughout my uni years (only during the months of Sep-Dec?!!) but really erupted when I hit 25. After many years of on-off problematic skin I went into overdrive at finding out why, when and how people get acne. I honestly think I could write a dissertation on acne. Everyones experience with acne is so different from each others and there is no quick and right answer that will suit everyone. Some people may get spots because of their diet, their exercise regime, their make up, their hormones etc etc etc. Even though it can be hard to pin point why you get spots (I went through many doctors appointments and blood tests and no one ever gave me a real reason behind my acne) I have a few points that will definitely help you out if you are suffering with problematic skin.
(Disclaimer: I went through a bout of Roaccutane which worked incredibly well for me and would do it again if I had to. It is a tough process and not a solution for everyone. I am not a doctor or skin specialist. The following tips are what helps me personally).
Sugar spikes your insulin levels and in turn spikes your testosterone which is linked to spots. Try and limit your sugar intake to 2-3 days a week only. I know that if I have a full on sugar junky moment with umpteen packets of biscuits and chocolate bars (yes I do go overboard!) then I am definitely going to get a few zits the next day. It is all about weighing up what is more important to you. I am sugar free Monday – Thursday (minus celebrations) and allow myself sugary treats at the weekend when I would most want them.
SOY SOY SOY
In the last point I talk about how high levels of testosterone can cause spots. With this in mind I like to eat estrogen rich foods to combat the testosterone. When I was on Roaccutane I realised that it is essentially created as an estrogen rich tablet so once I finished taking the course of tablets I made sure that I continued to up my estrogen intake, but more naturally. I find that the best way to do this is to eat edamame beans/soya beans. They are incredibly yummy and so easy to add in high quantities to your meals. I add them to any salad I have and try and eat them at least three times a week.
If you love a celebratory drink every so often but happen to have taken it a little too far and got a little worse for wear then you are bound to wake up with nasty white heads. 99.9% of the time after a raucous night out I wake up with at least 1 zit!! If you are drinking most nights then you are not helping your skin at all. To get your skin looking fresh you don’t want to stop doing everything fun in your life in the process. Yet, you may need to stop drinking more days than not. Along with my sugar rule I don’t drink alcohol Monday – Thursday. If I know I am going to have a heavy night out with friends then I just expect to wake up to a spot the next day. If I have a big photoshoot coming up then I simply won’t drink more than a glass or two of prosecco for the week leading up to it. With time, I have also come to realise which alcohol causes me skin problems more than others. I have worked out that wine does not agree with me at all so I stopped drinking it and enjoy cocktails and champagne instead.
SWEAT IT OUT
Sweat is fat crying, right? Well I also like to think that sweat is also toxins escaping. I am not a particularly sweaty person, even after running 10km I don’t tend to sweat much. Even so I make a conscious effort to wash my face well after any workout. You shouldn’t leave any sweat that you may or may not be able to see on your face in case it causes spots…yes, I have become very wary since getting rid of my acne.
BAN THE WIPES
Unless it is the only thing you can get your hands on STOP using make up remover wipes. I can not insist hard enough, please stop using wipes every night, you are just moving the dirt around your face and often rubbing yourself raw.
Unless I have been on a photoshoot or filming something and have had tons of make up plastered over my face, then my skincare routine is very simple. You do not need to put your face through a 30 step skincare routine every day. I use a gel cleansing wash once a night and wash it off with water…yes just water. I then use an organic serum twice a day (thicker at night). This is it!! Yep, only two products! Since simplifying my face care routine my skin has been problem free.
Do you suffer from bad skin? What skincare routine works for you?