Blessed are those who have perfect skin and do not have to hide behind concealers and foundation to hide the pesky pimples and the spots left behind. I considered myself to be blessed with good skin. I never had a pimple, yes you read it right I NEVER had a pimple, during my teen years. I had a combination skin – normal skin with slightly oily T zone. I rarely had to do anything special for my skin. Many of my friends who got pimples used to be envious of my clear skin. At that age, I never understood why Acne was such a big deal to them – now I know. Because in my late twenties I developed pimples which had become a part of my everyday life.
My skin is getting drier and drier; and from what I have analyzed, it is all because of the lifestyle changes that have taken place in my life over the past decade. And most people think that only people with oily skin develop acne but that is not true. From what I have learnt, acne can be caused by different reasons – harmones, stress, lifestyle, food, pollution, weather, allergies etc. The acne that teens deal with is usually harmonal but the one that I have been facing for the past 2 years is a result of wrong food choices, pollution and stress. Whatever the reason for acne is, it is a pain to deal with whether the pimple itself is painful or not. It can lead to low self-confidence, depression etc.
I have developed dark under eye circles, uneven skintone lately so before sharing how I am dealing with Acne, I wanted to share my (almost) bare face (scroll down for face with makeup). Despite all the mentioned skin care problems, I am confident in my skin. I have faced many problems in life and sometimes bad skin was the least of my concerns. So I do try to keep it the best I can but I try not to stress about having perfect skin!
Without makeup (no makeup on the left side of the face)
I have always been a fighter and have found ways to deal with acne. I developed some good skincare habits to prevent acne and also came up with some simple remedies to treat acne when it arrives! Of course I have my makeup routine in place to hide any blemishes or pimples too.
Skincare and Hygiene Habits for Good Skin
1. Do not touch your face through the day. Our hands can carry a lot of germs despite washing our hands very often. These germs can cause acne.
2. Clean anything that comes in direct contact with your face – I am pointing towards Mobile phone. I clean it at least once with an anti-bacterial wipe like Dettol Multi use wet wipes to remove all the dirt and germs that it accumulates through the day.
3. Do not use strong products on face, a lot of products meant to deal with acne can sometimes lead to more acne because many of those are too strong for the face. Many oil-free, oil-control type products can dry out the skin on the surface making our skin produce more oil to combat dryness leading to more oil and hence clogged pore (which equals pimples)
4. Follow simple skincare regime- cleansing, toning, moisturizing everyday. Of course for dry skin, toner is not always necessary so develop your own regime that works for your skin. I only use toner on my T zone during winter.
5. Do not switch up your skincare products very often, it can confuse your skin or some products might react with ingredients in the other. I am guilty of doing this, as a beauty blogger I find it hard to resist the charm of a new product in the market. I try to be good but I need to do better!
6. Always consult a dermatologist before changing skincare. This is a no brainer!
7. Use sunscreen every day before stepping out in the sun. For more reasons on why you should use a sunscreen read this post.
For preventing pimples and keeping the skin in optimal condition, consider keeping the skin clean and using products, like Garnier Pure Active Neem Purifying Face Wash, to keep the skin clean and bacteria-free.
Simple 1-Ingredient Home Remedies for Acne
Whether it is choosing a skincare product, or dealing with scars, I have tried different things and some of them have worked for me. Here are a few home remedies for acne treatment:
Honey is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agent and humectant. It works wonders for all skin types. I have dry skin so the the moisture locking properties of Honey help moisturize my skin on the inside while fighting the acne causing bacteria. I just take a dime-sized amount to spread all over my face and leave it on for about 20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water (to clean the pores) and then cold water (to close the pores). This can be done everyday but I usually do this 3 times a week depending on the weather.
I was lucky to get hold of natural honey from a family friend but I have also used store-bought Organic Honey. Sometimes when my skin is acting up, I even mix honey with my face cream to get the benefits all day long.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a cooling and soothing agent and even though it can work as a moisturizer for oily skin, it is too mild for my dry skin. I use this as a calming agent for my skin and then top it up with my face cream. There are plenty of ways to use Aloe Vera gel but I usually apply this after toner and before face cream like a serum. It works great to reduce redness of skin and also soothes the itching.
I try to use the naturally available Aloe vera gel from the leaves of the plant but I also have Nature Republic Aloe Vera gel which is 92% Pure!
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is the strongest anti-bacterial agent I use on my skin and it is easily available in the market. I am using the Aroma Magic Tea Tree oil, the other brand for essential oils I prefer is Organic Harvest. Tea tree oil is an essential oil which very potent for fighting acne and dandruff, it can be potentially dangerous if used undiluted so always mix it with water or a carrier oil (any vegetable oil). The safest dilution ratio I have found that works for me is 1 drop of essential oil per 25 ml of carrier. For acne, I use water for dilution but for aromatherapy, I like to use Jojoba oil or Grapeseed oil.
I use Tea tree oil only on active pimple to kill the bacteria and reduce the chance of the pimple getting sore and leave a spot behind. I use a cotton bud, dip it in the solution of Tea Tree oil and water for spot treatment at night.
4. Neem (Indian Lilac) leaves
This is the most effective acne treatment I have used that worked when my skin was in its worst state. Neem is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral agent and Neem leaves and/or seeds can be used to prevent or treat acne. My friend, who suffered from acne during her teens have me this remedy, and it is very simple to prepare. Boil a handful of neem leaves in water, cool down water and wash you face before going to sleep with this water. I added my own twist and started patting my skin after washing to let it absorb in my skin instead of towel-drying. The effect was visible within 1 week. However, my dry skin cannot take this remedy very frequently so now I only do it if my skin is acting up badly, usually Tea tree oil does the trick now.
I do not do all of the home remedies mentioned above in one day or at the same time. I always listen to my skin and do what it requires at the moment. I try to follow basic skincare routine for the upkeep of my skin, I have made a lot of dietary changes and I have seen dramatic improvements. Now I usually get an odd pimple or two around that time of the month or the days when I am stressed. Spot treatment and one of the honey/aloe/neem remedy helps to nip it in the bud!
Makeup Tips to Hide Acne Scars and Pimples
Pimples and acne scars can sometimes make us feel less confident to face the world. So while remedies work to curb acne, it can be helpful to do makeup in a way that accentuates the features we love and hide the things (like scars) we are not too fond of!
1. Use a good primer to create an even finish on the face. It helps in evening out the skin and also create a perfect base for the concealer and foundation to set on. Plus it can act as a shield so that makeup and dirt cannot clog the pores (Note – Of course remove makeup before going to sleep else you will still end up with clogged pores)
2. If you have dark under eye circles, pigmentation and multiple acne spots to cover, apply a concealer. Cream-based concealers work best for dry skin while water-based (liquid) concealers can suit normal to oily skin types. One technique I have learnt – apply the concealer with a brush on the spot and then just blend the edges. By now your skin should look visibly even.
3. Apply a mineral power foundation on your face. It sets the concealer and is the best form of foundation for acne-prone skin. It does not contain any oils or agents that can cause breakouts. In fact it helps control oil on the face.
So that completes my little rant, skincare and makeup advice post on the “No Pimples No Marks” topic. What are your skincare secrets? How do you deal with acne?
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. Images used belong to me or are taken from free-for-reuse sources.