How to Get Clear Skin: Top Tips to Consider
Most people would love to know how to get clear skin. Having a complexion that's free from acne, redness and dullness may seem like an impossible dream, but glowing, smooth skin is attainable if you take certain steps in both your beauty routine and your lifestyle. Read on to learn how to achieve the clear, bright skin that you've always wanted.
Tips for Treating Acne
If you struggle with acne, you'll need to follow some important tips, which include both prevention and treatment, in order to get clear skin.
Don't Pick Pimples
You might have heard this advice from at least one parental figure when you were growing up, and they're right—you should never pick your pimples. That's because it can lead to:(1)
- Painful infections
- Permanent acne scars
- More noticeable acne
- An increased likelihood of the acne returning
It's tempting to take direct action, but picking isn't the answer. Instead, pimple patches—which dry out surface pimples—are a great option for immediate spot treatment of whiteheads and blackheads.
Don't Introduce a Lot of New Products at Once
It's easy to assume that the more acne-fighting products you use in your skin care routine, the better chance you'll have of beating your spots. But it can actually have the opposite effect,(2) irritating your skin and worsening your acne. Be patient and allow yourself time before trying something else.
So how long does it take to get clear skin? It depends. It may take four to six weeks before you start to see improvement, and several months before you achieve clear skin.
Wash Your Hands Before Touching Your Face
Washing your hands regularly is an important rule of thumb for daily life, and here's one more reason to make cleaning your hands a priority: Bacteria passed from your hands to your face can cause acne. So, make sure you always clean your hands before touching your face—including before you wash your face.
Use Products Targeted Toward Acne
There are so many skin products available that it may be confusing when figuring out how to clear acne. If you suffer from pimples, be sure to purchase products made for the treatment of acne, such as those with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Use Oil-Free Products
It's not just important to use products specifically designed to treat acne. Be sure to also use products that are oil-free and noncomedogenic. Products that contain oil can clog your pores and cause an endless cycle of acne.
When in Doubt, Consult it Out
If you're not succeeding in your fight against acne, speak to a dermatologist. They can advise you on the best personalized approach to acne treatment and prevention.
Skin Care Routine Tips
There are also specific steps in your skin care routine that you should be focusing on to help get that luminous complexion.
Don't Go to Bed with Makeup On
When you're exhausted, it's tempting to skip your nightly face-washing routing and simply fall into bed. But taking those few minutes to wash away your makeup, as well as the dirt and oil that's accumulated over the day, prevents clogged pores.
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
Sunscreen is the most important part of your skin care routine, and you likely know that it helps prevent wrinkles and skin cancer. But did you know sunscreen also helps prevent hyperpigmentation,(3) which is the development of dark spots on your skin due to excess melatonin? Wear at least SPF 30 daily to ensure your skin stays clear and even.
The buildup of layers of dirt, oil and dead skin cells doesn't just lead to clogged pores. It also makes your skin look dull. Renew and refresh your skin by using an exfoliator geared toward your skin type.
Avoid Excessively Touching Your Face
As noted above, your hands are carriers for a plethora of bacteria. Avoid touching your face as much as possible to prevent the transfer of germs, dirt and oil that can result in clogged pores.
Clean Your Makeup and Beauty Tools Regularly
You know that you should wash your face to keep it clean, but are you also washing your beauty tools? Makeup brushes and sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria. Use a cleanser designed for your makeup tools or even a gentle baby shampoo.
Incorporate Vitamin C Serum
Orange juice may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words "vitamin C." But we're talking about vitamin C face serum that can be a gamechanger for your skin, making it smoother and brighter. It’s an important antioxidant and applying it to your face in the form of a serum helps:(4)
- Diminish the visibility of pigmentation.
- Stimulate the collagen production process.
- Reduce the sun's effects on the skin.
- Maintain skin barrier integrity.
General Lifestyle Tips
You may be doing everything right in your cleansing and beauty routine, but it's also important to ensure your lifestyle habits aren't impacting your face. If you're not finding success in your pursuit of clear skin, consider some of the following changes in your lifestyle.
Stress can wreak havoc on your health, including your skin. Stress leads to lack of sleep, which can make your skin feel dull or inflame it if you're acne prone. While stress may seem unavoidable, there are some steps that can help manage it:
- Get a full eight hours of sleep a night.
- Practice meditation or yoga.
- Allow yourself to say no to things you don't want to do.
- Talk to a therapist.
Eat a Nutrient-Rich Die
Maintain your skin from the inside out to ensure a clear complexion. Just like all of your other organs, your skin will love you if you eat a healthy diet. Some things to consider:
- Make vegetables the main part of your meal and then add in lean protein and whole grains.
- Avoid sugar and processed foods.
- If you're acne prone, avoid dairy, which can cause flare-ups.
It will likely come as no surprise that, along with all the other negatives, smoking leads to premature aging. Keep your skin young and dewy by quitting cigarettes.
If you're unsure of how to get clear skin and how to keep your face clear, try a combination of the recommendations above. Using the right products, following a proper beauty regimen and making key lifestyle changes will help you achieve a bright, dewy complexion.
1. "Pimple Popping: Why Only A Dermatologist Should Do It," American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed February 18, 2022. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/skin-care/popping
2. "9 Things to Try When Acne Won't Clear," American Academy of Dermatology Association. Accessed February 18, 2022.https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/diy/wont-clear.
3."The Role of Sunscreen in Melasma and Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation," The Indiana Journal of Dermatology. Accessed February 18, 2022.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6986132/.
4."Topical Vitamin C and the Skin: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications," July 1, 2017. https://jcadonline.com/topical-vitamin-c-and-the-skin-mechanisms-of-action-and-clinical-applications/.