Whether you experience occasional blemishes and breakouts due to hormonal changes and oily skin, or you suffer from full blown adult acne, this post has tons of clear skin tips and hacks to help! We’ve also included tips to treat face mask acne, or ‘maskne’, so your skin doesn’t suffer when you’re trying to keep yourself and others safe. If you want to know how to get a clear complexion, these beauty secrets are a great place to start!
What Causes Adult Acne?
- Genetics and be to blame. If a close family member has suffered from adult acne, there’s a chance you will too.
- Hormones, especially during your menstrual cycle and while pregnant, breastfeeding, and during the postpartum period.
- Oily skin and clogged pores are common causes of breakouts.
- Applying products to your skin and hair, like creams, makeup, hair styling products, and aftershave can cause irritation if they contain ingredients you are sensitive to.
- Wearing poorly fitted face masks or face masks made out of synthetic fabrics that don’t allow your skin to breathe.
- Stress, both physical and emotional, can cause imbalances in the skin.
- Certain foods, including dairy, fried foods, and sugar are thought to cause adult acne.
- Some medical conditions and medications can trigger adult acne, or make the condition worse.
9 Clear Skin Tips That Work
1. IDENTIFY TRIGGERS
If you’re looking for clean skin tips, one of the first things you should do is figure out what’s causing you to break out in the first place. While your genetics likely play a role in the development of adult acne, paying attention to how your skin reacts to the products you use on your face and hair, the foods you consume, and other lifestyle factors like your sleep and water intake can help identify possible triggers. You may need to go through an elimination period where you remove all possible triggers from your diet and hair and skincare regime, and then re-introduce them one at a time to evaluate how your skin reacts.
2. NEVER SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON
Sleeping with your makeup on can leave your skin oily and clog your pores. Wash your face with warm water and a cleanser made for sensitive or acne-prone skin (I swear by La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar line of products!). It’s best not to scrub your skin with a washcloth or loofah – clean your skin gently with your hands or a soft wash cloth instead. And always dry your face with a clean towel since germs spread really easily on towels.
3. CLEANSE AND EXFOLIATE ON THE REGULAR
When it comes to clear skin tips, routine cleansing and exfoliation are key to keeping your pores un-clogged, but be careful not to overdo it. You may think the more you cleanse, the better, but the truth is, when you’re constantly cleansing, you strip your skin of the top layer of oil, triggering more oil production, which can lead to acne and blackheads. For a clear complexion, cleanse twice per day and make sure to follow with a hydrating moisturizer.
Exfoliation is also an important step in your skin care routine, but too much exfoliation can be damaging for your skin. On the flip side, never exfoliating means you aren’t getting rid of the build up of bacterial and dead skin cells that live on your face. Exfoliate twice per week for best results!
4. DON’T EXERCISE WITH MAKEUP ON
When you exercise, make sure you have a clean face without any makeup! When you workout, your pores and sweat glands open in order to cool down your body. If you’re wearing makeup, it blocks your pores and glands, hindering your skin’s ability to breathe. This can lead to clogged pores, blackheads and breakouts, so make sure to exercise sans makeup! And if you sweat excessively when you workout like I do, be sure to properly cleanse your skin afterwards to keep it clean and free of bacteria.
5. AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE AND CLEAN YOUR PHONE
If you notice you touch your face a lot and you’re on the hunt for clear skin tips to fight adult acne, this is a habit you’re going to want to break. We touch countless objects and materials everyday that are filled with germs, from money to handrails, public transportation surfaces, and so much more. When you touch your face after touching these surfaces, you can transfer bacteria, viruses, allergies or other impurities to your face, which can clog your pores. This also goes for your phone. If you talk on your phone a lot, make sure to clean it constantly. Otherwise, all the gunk that lives on your phone will transfer to your face, causing clogged pores and breakouts.
6. WASH YOUR PILLOWCASES AND SHEETS WEEKLY
Your pillowcases are a breeding ground for dirt, oil and dead skin and if you’re sleeping on them every night, that means you’re transferring these things to your face, clogging your pores and causing blemishes and breakouts. Washing your pillowcases and sheets can make a huge difference to your skin, especially if you sweat a lot. If your pores are already clogged, consider changing your pillowcases even more than once per week, and use a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent to avoid irritating your skin.
7. CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Cleaning your makeup brushes can be an annoying task, but it’s another thing to keep in mind if you’re looking for clear skin tips! Make sure to wash your makeup brushes every two weeks or so. They accumulate bacteria, dead skin cells and oil, which can clog your pores and lead to breakouts and dull skin. Cleaning your brushes is part of a hygienic skincare routine, so make sure you do so consistently. Ecotools Makeup Brush Shampoo is an affordable hypoallergenic option that’s free of parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based ingredients, and it doesn’t leave an oily residue on your brushes. Use it with a silicone brush cleaning mat to thoroughly clean your makeup brushes as quickly as possible!
8. CONSIDER OTHER LIFESTYLE CHANGES
What shows up on your skin can be a direct reflection of certain lifestyle choices, so if you’re looking for clear skin tips, consider making changes outside of your skincare routine to see if you notice any changes. Here are some things to consider:
- Nourish your body with the right foods. Greasy, sugary foods are known to cause skin issues, as is dairy. Fill your body with fresh, whole foods as much as you can, and avoid processed and fried foods that may trigger acne.
- Drink more water. Drinking 8+ glasses of water a day can help flush out toxins, keep skin hydrated to avoid excess oil production, and reduce inflammation.
- Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep causes the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which causes inflammation and can lead to blemishes and breakouts, so make sure you’re getting enough shut eye each night!
- Cut back on caffeine and alcohol. While neither of these are known to cause acne, caffeine can increase your cortisol levels, causing inflammation, and alcohol can wreak havoc on your hormones, making breakouts worse.
- Stop smoking! Smoking is bad for you in so many ways, and while it won’t cause acne, it can be damaging to the skin.
9. PREVENTION IS KEY!
Once you have your adult acne under control, it’s important to figure out what preventative measures you need to take to keep it from returning. This may be as easy as following a good skincare routine, avoiding contact with irritants, making certain lifestyle changes, or applying over-the-counter or dermatologist prescribed medications a couple of times a week. All you need to do is figure out what works for you and stick to it!
How to Avoid Face Mask Acne
If you’re looking for clear skin tips to treat ‘maskne’ – acne caused by wearing a face mask for prolonged periods of time – the following ideas may prove useful to you!
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT MASK FABRIC
Make sure your face mask is made out of a breathable fabric. Avoid synthetic fabrics, and ensure the material on the inside of your mask is soft and made from natural fibers (cotton is best!).
2. MAKE SURE YOUR MASKS IS THE RIGHT SIZE
Your mask should be snug but comfortable. If it’s too big, you will have to adjust it more, causing you to touch your face and transfer acne-causing bacteria that can lead to blemishes and breakouts. And if your mask is too small, it can irritate your skin, causing pimples and other types of skin irritation.
3. WASH YOUR MASK FREQUENTLY
This is especially important if you are wearing a mask for extended periods of time as acne-causing bacteria can build up inside of your mask, leading to blemishes and breakouts. To avoid maskne, wash your mask everyday using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent. You may even consider changing your mask frequently throughout the day to ward off breakouts.
4. WASH YOUR FACE AND MOISTURIZE DAILY
We already discussed the importance of regular cleansing and exfoliation, but this is more important than even if you’re trying to treat face mask acne. If you have dry skin, using a moisturizer can be extremely helpful as it will prevent your skin from producing excess oil, which often leads to blemishes and breakouts.
5. AVOID IRRITANTS
Certain skincare products (i.e. those containing salicylic acid, retinoids, or perfume, aftershave, etc.) can be especially irritating underneath a mask. While you may be able to get away with using these products when your skin can breathe, consider avoiding them completely if you know you’ll be wearing a mask for an extended period of time.
6. SKIP THE MAKEUP
Makeup is more likely to clog your pores and lead to breakouts when your skin can’t breathe. While you may not want to skip your makeup routine completely, consider paring back on the areas of your face that are covered by your face mask. Concentrate on your eyes and brows, and skip the heavy foundation, contour, and blush.
7. TAKE REGULAR MASK BREAKS
If you’re looking for clear skin tips to help treat and prevent maskne, taking regular mask breaks can be extremely helpful. Just make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area (outdoors is always preferred!) and that you’re following appropriate social distancing requirements.
Whether you suffer from occasional breakouts, maskne, or chronic adult acne, I hope the clear skin tips in this post prove useful to you!