5 Things: More Advice for Blemish Prone Skin.
I feel like I do a post like this every year; some advice for myself to note down, and also for anyone else who may be suffering from breakouts. The journey to clear skin is a long, unpredictable one, and I am forever finding products that I think work – but I don’t want to concentrate on products here. This is about the other factors that I think have helped in my mission to blemish-free skin…
Skip Antibiotics, Take Probiotics
On a recent visit to the doctor, he gave me another round of antibiotics for my spotty skin – I had said I was feeling low about it, my skin hurt (both inside and out) and I just wasn’t feeling myself. I am convinced there’s another reason for it (thyroid problem, magnesium or B12 deficiency… something) but he would only prescribe me the same antibiotics that I had been on months before – even going as far as to say ‘if they don’t work, just call up for a repeat prescription’. His solution was to stay on the antibiotics – forever if I had to. I started to take the antibiotics, but I saw no difference. My mum is pretty much against taking antibiotics if you don’t have to, so I came off them – swapping them instead for nutrients. Now I take probiotics to help replace the good bacteria in my gut that the antibiotics would have killed off – I take BioKult with my meals, just a few a day, and I already think this has helped SO much! Even if you’re not on antiobiotics, I think these can really make a difference. I also wear Vitamin B12 patches, which I think help me to feel so much better. If I don’t keep up with wearing the patches, I become irritable, cold and shivery and super tired. I also started taking Biotin which is meant to help your hair thicken and grow a whole lot – I’ve also heard it’s amazing for skin so I’ve been taking it every day.
I guess I’ve been slowly working my way over to the natural side for some time now, but recently I’ve used only natural products where skincare is concerned – and what a difference it’s made. I made a lot of changes at once (with the vitamins, going natural etc.) so I can’t place my finger on what exactly it was that cleared up my skin, but I definitely think going natural was a step that changed my skin dramatically. I also bought a Konjac sponge; my friend Annabel only uses natural beauty products so her blog is like my bible – she recommended a Konjac sponge ages ago and I only just took her advice. These are all-natural sponges that are infused with charcoal or clay to help the skin look its best. I use this with an all-natural Nourish or Weleda cleanser both morning and night and I haven’t looked back.
One of the reasons why I didn’t use natural products earlier in my skincare-obsessed life is because I didn’t get that nice smooth, silky feeling that I did with non-natural products – I’ve come to realise that instant results are not what we’re looking for with skincare (usually the ingredients added to give that slippery feeling aren’t the best). Now I settle for smooth skin and a bit of radiance thanks to my sponge and a nice creamy cleanser.
If you’re stuck on what brands are a-ok, I recommend checking Being Content to see what’s on their list and getting clued up on ingredients in this amazing post.
Try To Find The Cause
As I said, I was freely huffing the antibiotics until they finally worked and then huffing more when they didn’t; not ideal. Instead, I’ve tried to work out what it is that’s causing the issues; I’ve given up dairy, tried to keep a diary of what I’m eating/doing, and started taking a cocktail of vitamins. My advice would be to research; my mum is big on the holistic approach so she often sends me links to things she’s read and I often look up deficiencies and other causes. Making some simple changes in your lifestyle should help, if you’re a long-term sufferer like myself. I know this sounds tedious, and it’s probably not entirely necessary if you get the odd blemish, but I was at my wit’s end and spending hundreds on skincare. For me, I think actually trying to work out why my skin was breaking out was crucial to clearing it up.
Make Small Changes
I also think making a few changes here and there help too; I love Caroline Hirons Acne Cheat Sheet as it hones in on the small details; simple tips such as avoiding foaming cleansers, cutting down on sugar and using lukewarm water (rather than cold or too hot) sound like unimportant details but I found they made a big difference. I also use a clean face cloth each time I cleanse and use chemical exfoliators more often than manual scrubs. Also – be gentle with your skin, go easy on the rough hand movements and don’t scrub at it. Cherish it like a newborn kitten.
Obviously drink more water, have a peppermint tea before bed and eat well too. I feel like people dismiss these steps as they’re so minor, but I reckon they make a huge difference.
Stick With It
Implement a nice, easy natural skincare routine using delicate products that work and stick with it. I recommend making the changes slowly over time so you don’t upset your body or whatever, but keep track of what may or may not be working. Remember it takes a while to see a difference in your skin, so have faith and think positive thoughts! Oh and remember to keep skin hydrated, especially if you’re using spot treatments. They be seriously drying!
Here’s to more clear skin times ahead for me – can you think of anything that has helped you get a healthier complexion?