Struggling with acne? Try this seven day challenge to clearer skin by adding these small changes day by day to your routine.
Covid has caused a lot of chatter about sudden breakouts and unpredictable changes in our skin, despite having more no-makeup days, relaxation time & sleep-ins than ever.
Acne has more than one cause, but here’s a bit of background on what’s happening beneath the bumps:
Acne is caused by inflammation and infection of the sebaceous glands of the skin. These glands are stimulated by hormones (particularly androgens- a group of hormones, the most well known hormone being testosterone, present in both men and women).
Water, water, & more water
Increase your water intake to 2.5 litres per day. Add lemon & mint to your water, both of these delicious, natural flavours are rich in antioxidants and great for your skin.
Think again before cleansing
Wash your face with only water in the morning, cleansing in the morning can strip the natural oils from your skin causing acne breakouts.
Use a good toner after your shower to remove any dirt without imbalancing your natural oils.
Your towel is not your friend
-Unless you’re drying your face with a freshly washed towel, it’s likely your towel is carrying some bacteria from the day before. Instead, dry your face with round cotton pads, you can pick them up from Priceline for around $3. As well as protecting your skin from breakouts, they help you avoid getting any excess dirt and makeup on your towels.
Glowify your breakfast
Add healthy fats to your breaky including avocado, nuts & seeds, such as brazil nuts, walnuts & sunflower seeds. These foods are rich in vitamin E, which most of us lack naturally, they also have the ability to protect your cells against free radical damage, and srsly up your glow game. Skin health starts on the inside, so treat your gut to the nutrients it needs to support skin health.
Anything that promotes blood circulation is amazing for your skin - Srsly. By increasing blood flow, exercise can actually positively impact skin cells, because our blood carries oxygen and key nutrients to cells throughout the body, including our skin. Exercise can help flush out nasties in our system, so it’s essentially like cleansing your skin from the inside.
Face Mask Time
End the day with a nourishing face mask. We’re bias, but the O.G is a great choice ;) use the mask 2- 3 times a week leaving a minimum of one day between each masking session. Remember to patch test before use.
Otherwise, select a face mask you trust that’s both hydrating and anit-bacterial. You want to tackle your pimples without completely drying out your skin and exacerbating the issue.
This is an obvious one, but key for managing acne. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells from the surface allowing your skin to breathe and better absorb your skincare products. Personally, I love the feeling of grinding away the dirt & grime from the day & feeling extra fresh faced.
Exfoliate 3 times a week leaving at least a day or 2 between each exfoliation.
Don’t have an exfoliant handy? Mix about a teaspoon or less of sugar or cinnamon in honey, wet your face first, and then slowly massage into your skin.
Wash your pillowcases, towels, makeup brushes, sponges, and skincare tools. Basically anything that touches your skin, wash it thoroughly. This will help in stopping the spread of harmful bacteria that causes breakouts.
Cut the sugar
We all know sugar isn’t great for us, but it really does have a massive impact on your skin, particularly in causing acne. In isolation, it’s a hard one, but replace it with some natural sugars such as berries or sugar free (natural) recipes to curb your sweet tooth.
Meditate & Breathe
Studies have shown that meditation can slow down the ageing process, whilst also increasing the flow of oxygen to vital organs, including your skin. Stress plays a key role in causing acne breakouts, in fact being in a non-stop stress mode sends our amydala (the brain’s emotional & fear response center) into overdrive, which then causes our adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones like cortisol. Meditation has time and time again shown that it can reduce cortisol levels, helping to balance our minds & bodies into a more relaxed state.
There’s a tonne of mediation apps you can download no matter how beginner you may be. Simply start with 15 minutes a day, and work your way up from there, or add some deep breathing techniques to your evening routine before you dive into a meditation practice.
Consider your gut health
Our skin is often giving us signs of imbalances on the inside, and our gut is hugely responsible for changes in our skin. On a macro level, your diet affects your overall health and thus the health of your skin. We each have a different gut microbiome, which is the bacteria that lives in our digestive system & intestines. How we treat this microbiome can have a significant impact on our overall health. Soft drinks, sugar and erosive, artificial foods and drinks are not your friend!
Here's a few gut health boosters you might want to try:
- Probiotics - consult your doctor, pharmacist or nutritionist on the best one for you.
- Bone broth - an amazing gut healer, pure bone broth contains gelatin, which is essential for connective tissue function, meaning it works to heal & seal your gut, a great option for those with digestive issues.
- Healthy fermented foods & foods high in fibre
Limit your alcohol intake
Ahhh the old wake up to a mimosa and a shot of frangelico in your almond latte kind of thing… Nope.. Not you? Yeah neither…
But srsly, if like many people you’ve increased your alcohol intake due to Covid lockdown, it’s likely playing a contributing factor in your acne breakouts. Again, this is not news, but the truth is, alcohol can lead to hormonal imbalances, which as we have learned earlier, can lead to acne.
Try cutting booze for one week or more and replace it with healthy herbal teas.
Do a Product Audit
Skincare is really having a moment, and by that I mean the sheer number of products & brands on the market telling you what you ‘need.’ I think we can all agree that it’s super confusing for you and your skin.
Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, check your products and consider that you might actually be mixing too many things together that’s further irritating your skin and leading to acne instead of improving and healing it.
If you’re using serums with active ingredients, try reducing how often you use them as sometimes it can be too much stimulation for your skin, but again, this depends on a number of factors such as how you’re using the products and what else you’re applying to your skin before and after.
Keep it basic:
- Cleanser (choose an all natural cleanser)
- Toner (balance oils with a toner that isn’t over drying)
- Serum (go for something that you can use on a daily basis that won’t inflame your skin)
- Moisturiser (Use a natural moisturiser, there are some great oil free, anti-acne options out there.)
- Face Mask (The O.G is a multi-purpose product, it hydrates and clarifies so you don’t dry out your skin like clay masks and irritate acne further.)
Invest in great quality sleep, it's a game changer for your beauty regime. Turn off all screens half an hour before bed and read a book or meditate to help you unwind.
Our bodies do a lot of repairing while we sleep, meaning the signs of ageing are essentially caused by not giving our bodies the rest they need to repair and regenerate cells that are vital to skin health. The same goes for acne, sleep deprivation disrupts our hormones and unsettles the chemical balance in our skin that wards off pimples.
When we’re in the deepest part of our sleep cycle, REM (Rapid Eye Movement), skin cell regeneration is at its highest, meaning our bodies are working hard to repair any damage caused during the day. Try to get 8 to 9 hours every evening to set yourself up for glowing skin.
Let us know how you go with the challenge! Tag @srsly_honey #shglowgang on instagram.
Questions? Concerns? Keen to chat? email firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog was written by Srsly Honey founder, Chloe McCormack. Chloe created the O.G face mask after struggling with regular acne breakouts, and not being able to find an all in one product that tackled acne without drying out her skin. Chloe's mission is to help you achieve confidence through glowing skin and a calmer mind - 2 things that were game changers for her own confidence and mindset. You can follow Chloe on instagram here: @mccormack_chloe