I’ve had quite the skin journey these past few months. I turn 27 next month and cystic acne has naturally come with age and certain times of the month. It’s been a trial and error period but I’ve managed to find several routines that have worked to clear my skin and reduce heavy scarring.
My key target areas are along my jawline and cheeks. Most of my scarring is here and when I do breakout it’s in this general region. For me, breakouts usually happen with stress, hormonal changes and/or the high levels of humidity in Texas.
I know I’m not alone and there’s comfort in knowing that this is totally normal and I’m not going crazy. The best thing to do is find a routine that works for you so that you experience them less often and are less tempted to make it worse. Good news is there are plenty of ways to change your lifestyle for better skin and overall health:
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Water makes a huge difference on skin appearance. You’d be amazing by how clear and bright your skin will be if you drink the right amount of water per day. Legend has it that you’re supposed to drink half your weight (in ounces) of water. I’m currently 110 pounds so I try to drink about 55 ounces of water per day. I highly recommend Zak Designs HydraTrak Clear Tumbler! It comes with 6-8 bands (represents 6-8 cups) plus grooves in the bottle so you can keep track of how much water you’ve had each day. It’s helped me keep track and I happened to find my bottle from Dollar Tree of all places!
CUT SUGAR FROM YOUR DIET
I found out I was borderline pre-diabetic in late June and I’ve pretty much cut out all sugar since then. It’s not only helped my glucose levels, but it’s prevented my skin from clusters of acne forming. My skin doesn’t break out nearly as much as before and I can definitely tell the difference now that I really limit my sugar intake. Resist the sodas!
GET A HYDRAFACIAL
In early July, I got my first full Signature Hydrafacial! Elysia at Halina Day Spa invited me to receive a complimentary facial service because of how much I enjoyed her short 15 minute one during SXSW in Austin. The entire experience was truly amazing. I just about fell asleep because it was so relaxing. The process took about 1 hour and included a cleanse, mask, extraction and painless suction of debris, dirt, excess oil and customized application of peptide saturated moisturizers for my particular needs. You literally see a container full of the bad stuff afterwards and it’s equally creepy and cool! She pays special attention to any active pimples to safely extract bacteria without tearing the skin. I highly recommend this for all skin types but especially for those who are looking for clearer skin and improved acne scarring. If you happen to be in the Austin area, you can also use my code “alexia15” for 15% off your next Hydrafacial service! Discount makes Signature Hydrafacial (55 minutes) $161.50 and Pick-Me-Up Hydrafacial (30 minutes) $127.50 extractions not included. Note, I do not receive compensation if you use my discount code. You just save money, no strings attached!
STICK TO SKINCARE YOU KNOW & TRUST
Sometimes the hardest part is finding a product(s) that work for your needs. It’s so easy for acne prone skin to not agree with new items so clean, simple ingredients are best. I recently became an affiliate of Alder New York because of this very reason. It’s one of the few skincare brands that has yet to break me out. They are genderless skincare best known for their vegan formulas and dermatologist-approved ingredients. I love the Everyday Face Cleanser (full size $28 & trial size $12) and Everyday Face Moisturizer (full-size $32 & trial size $18) the most! I’m actively trying their Texture Powder $27, but so far it’s agreeing with my thick, straight hair and I like how it’s made of 100% natural, mineral powders. I’d love to answer questions if you plan to or have already tried the products! Note, if you use my affiliate links, I do receive a portion from the purchase.
TAKE VITAMIN-C DAILY
Whether it’s via a vitamin or through skincare directly, incorporating Vitamin-C into your lifestyle is always a good idea! I take LivOn Lab’s Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C because it prevents me from having to constantly swallow pills. Yes I’m a big baby 😂 I also always use at least one Vitamin-C product so I was over the moon when Pixi Beauty sent their latest Vitamin-C Collection. The cute jar it came in has the products listed in the order you should apply them: Vitamin-C Juice Cleanser, Vitamin-C Tonic, Vitamin-C Serum, Vitamin-C Lotion then Vitamin-C Caviar Balm.
DOUBLE CLEANSE EVERY NIGHT
I’ve been making this a regular habit because we’re currently in the middle of an intense heat wave in Texas so humidity is at an all-time high and naturally I’m producing more oil. I’ve found that starting with an oil-based cleanser then a water-based cleanser has been key for making sure I go to bed with a good pH plus extra clean skin.
TRY CLARISONIC FOR A DEEP CLEANSE
With double cleansing comes a good cleansing tool. I’ve loved my Clarisonic Mia 2 Facial Cleansing Brush for well over a year now and it makes my end-of-day routine a breeze. I’ve been using the Deep Pore Brush Head and highly recommend for clogged pores and a deep clean every night.
APPLY A PIMPLE PATCH WHILE YOU SLEEP
They’re saviors for whiteheads and blackheads! I use them for whiteheads especially and it’s so simple that it’s almost impossible to get wrong. Put one on before bed and it’ll work its magic while you sleep! It prevents the spread of bacteria and absorbs for faster healing. I’ve used a variety of Pimple Patches (sometimes called Hydrocolloid patches) but my favorites are from Patchology’s Breakout Box, Mighty Patch and WKND Cosmetics. Don’t pick just stick!
REMEMBER TO EXFOLIATE
Don’t overdo it but don’t forget this step either. I’d recommend 2-3 times per week depending on your skin type. If you have naturally dry skin, then less is best. Exfoliating can clear pores, brighten skin, prevent acne, boost circulation, stimulate collagen and reduce hormonal breakouts!
APPLY MOISTURIZER REGULARLY
When you exfoliate, don’t miss the moisturizer! Exfoliating takes out excess oils so you’ll want to replenish with a good moisturizer to prevent your skin from compensating by producing more than you need since this often leads to more acne.
For more tips, visit my Instagram page @thebeautyaisleblog. Thanks for reading!