Start a daily face-washing routine, in the morning and at night. Consistency is an important part of maintaining a healthy complexion, so make sure you’re doing these things every morning and night:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Avoid scrubbing too hard or using rough washcloths or loofahs. These may irritate your skin and cause blemishes to stay on your face longer. If you want to exfoliate, use a cleanser/ soap that is made to do so instead, or invest in a facial cleansing brush.
- Use a toner (optional). If your skin is dry, not combination or oily, you can skip this step. Always get an alcohol-free toner, and get a toner that fits your skin type. Toner helps firm and tighten your skin as it wipes away dirt in your pores.
- Moisturize. Moisturizing will regulate the moisture balance of your skin and prevent excess oil production. Choose a moisturizer based on your skin type; If you have oily skin, use a moisturizer with an oil-free formula, if you have acne-prone skin, invest a moisturizer with active acne-fighting ingredients such as tea tree oil. Moisturize every time you wash your face, shave, or simply need the extra moisture.
- Remove your makeup every night. It can be hard to do this if you’re very tired, but it pays off. If possible, purchase a make-up removal oil/cream or mix a little water and apply to a cotton wool pad, as make-up removal wipes can be abrasive to the surface of the skin.
Treat acne. Try some of these remedies to free your skin from acne. Consider:
- Salicylic acid gel or toner. Salicylic acid causes the skin to naturally exfoliate its layers quicker, thus helping acne go away, and also prevents new acne from forming. Use daily.
- Benzoyl peroxide lotion or spot treatment. If your acne is moderate or severe, you can find lotion products containing benzoyl peroxide that you apply evenly over your face, usually at nighttime. You can also find benzoyl peroxide in spot treatment formulas.
- Seeing a dermatologist. High-caliber acne treatments (like Accutane and Retin-A) do exist, but they must be used under the supervision of a doctor, which means you cannot get them without a prescription. If you’re really at wit’s end, make an appointment to see a specialist.
- Try face masks or pore cleaners. This is called exfoliation, and it washes away dead skin on the surface of your face. In the case of face masks, use only once a week. Buy an exfoliant at your local drugstore, or make one at home.
Don’t pick (or pop) your pimples. It’s usually not a good idea to pick your pimples. It may be tempting if that blackhead has been staring you in the face for a day or two, but it’s really not worth it. Picking your pimples can have adverse effects.
- Picked zits cause blemishes. Blemishes are inflammations in the epidermis and dermis, the outer and inner layers of your skin. It takes longer for the blemishes to heal when they are popped, so stay brave and resist the urge!
- Picked pimples could leave a scar behind. Pimples are temporary, but scars are forever. If you want smooth skin, don’t make it harder on yourself by picking pimples.
- Don’t touch your face. The oils and dirt from your hands will transfer to your face and can easily clog pores. Keeping your hands from your face will also help you break the habit of picking pimples.
Only use fresh makeup and brushes. Makeup, like food, gathers bacteria and will eventually go bad. If you’ve been using the same powders, blush, eyeshadow and mascara for over 6 months, it’s probably time to throw everything out and start over. Your skin will thank you for it!
- The only exception to this is brushes—these can be cleaned, not thrown away. Pick up an antibacterial makeup brush cleaning formula at the drugstore and, once a month or so, spritz everything down right after you finish your morning routine. Leave the brushes out to air dry throughout the day and overnight.
Drink plenty of water. Aim to put down 6 to 8 full glasses of water a day, and you’ll notice a difference in your skin. The extra fluid makes it easier for you to flush out toxins and waste.
- Girls: aim to drink at least 2.2 liters (0.6 US gal), or nine cups of water a day. If you’re having trouble drinking that much, cut out all sugary drinks from your diet entirely. Actually, you should try to cut out sugary drinks from your diet for your own health’s sake.
- Guys: aim to drink at least three liters, or 13 cups, of water a day.
- The lighter color your pee, the less water you need to drink. When your pee is clear, you’re in the clear. When your pee is yellow, it’s time to drink more water.