Natasha is special. Health-wise, she has been through it all!! Born with a hole in her heart, she had open-heart surgery at the young age of five and a half years old. Into her teens and twenties she had one serious health problem after another. Including a rare bone disease in her hip, pre-cancer of the cervix, and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (to name a few!). Some may look at Natasha's health history as ‘bad luck,' but to Natasha it was an opportunity to use non-traditional healing methods and nutrition to show the world that you can heal yourself naturally.
One thing that she used to struggle with is adult cystic acne. She describes this time in her life by saying that she would regularly skip dates and other social engagements because she was having a ‘bad skin day.’
As a skin care company, we know that acne is complicated. Natasha is sharing with you these 3 things you can change about your daily habits in order to drastically improve acne, no matter what your age.
3 things making your acne worse (that you’ve probably never thought about!)
You’re working so hard to clear up your acne – eating healthier, taking dairy and sugar out of your diet. But still, your breakouts haven’t completely cleared up yet, your skin might still be irritated, and you’re understandably frustrated.
Here are 3 simple, yet effective steps you can start doing today that will decrease skin irritation from acne, and support the healing of your skin.
1. Don’t let your bathroom towels touch your face
I have a question for you: How many times a day you use bathroom towels to dry your face?
You probably use a towel to dry your face after washing your face in the morning and evening. You might even dry your face again after taking a shower. If you exercise, you probably use a towel regularly to dry your face during intense workouts.
In the course of a day, you can potentially be rubbing towels on your face 2 to 10 times a day, or more!
And, the towels you’re using, are they always freshly washed? Or are some of them hanging in your bathroom, and used over and over again in between washes?
(I think you know where I’m going with this).
Bacteria and harsh detergents
Towels, especially damp or used towels harbor a lot of bacteria. This is the worst for acne prone skin. Even worse are towels that have been washed with strong detergents and bleaches. Residues and fragrances from detergents often linger and coat fabrics, causing skin irritation and sensitivity, especially if you’ve got acne or breakouts.
The two combined – using towels washed with harsh detergents and bleaches, and towels that are used over and over again in between washes; isn’t doing your skin any favors. It’s probably making your acne worse.
So, instead of using towels to dry your face, I recommend allowing your skin to air dry after washing or showering.
When you’re exercising, try refraining from constantly drying your face with a towel. Instead, let your sweat evaporate on it’s own. It may sound gross, but you’ll be amazed just how much this can help your skin. If you can’t live without your gym towel, bring your own freshly cleaned towel. Don’t use the gym’s towels. Most gyms wash their towels with heavy duty industrial strength detergents, which are much too harsh for your sensitive acne prone skin.
Less is more
Whatever you do, the fewer things touching your face, the better. You will notice that this one step alone will significantly diminish skin redness, irritation, and sensitivity while allowing your breakouts and acne to heal faster.
What about using washcloths or muslins to wash your face? They’re fine to use as long as you use a fresh washcloth or muslin every time you wash your face. They must be washed and dried after every use (not just rinsed out and lying around your bathroom). And never wash them with bleach or harsh detergents (I recommend using a fragrance-free, eco laundry detergent).
And remember, after washing your face with a clean, organic bamboo washcloth, don’t go patting your face dry with your dirty bath towel!
2. Don’t wash your face in the shower
There’s a big difference between the water you use to gently wash and rinse your face over the sink, and the water jetting out of your shower head. High pressure water is known to cause microscopic tears in your skin. This is especially true if it’s hot water and spraying on your skin for long periods of time. That’s going to strip your skin of its natural oils and aggravate acne and breakouts.
I know it’s much easier to shower and wash your face at the same time, but it's not worth it. It can cause serious damage to the delicate skin on your face.
Wash over the sink
The best approach is to wash your face gently over the sink and wash the rest of your body in the shower. If possible, avoid getting shower water on your face. If you’ve already washed your face over the sink, there’s no need to be rinsing it again in the shower. You’ll just irritate and dry out your skin more.
In all, water in small amounts can be therapeutic for your skin. But if you use too much, or it’s too hot, or too strong; it will irritate your breakouts, cause dryness, broken capillaries, and make it much harder for your skin to heal.
3. Don’t forget — hair care products aggravate acne too
If you've been trying to heal your acne, you're probably well aware that there are a bunch of ingredients in skin care products that can clog your pores and aggravate breakouts.
What you might have overlooked is that your hair care and styling products are always making their way onto your face. They tend to have ingredients that do not make a clear complexion, unless you're using Sweet Sunrise Shampoo and Conditioner.
You wash your hair, you sweat, your hair touches your face. There are countless opportunities for these products to come into contact with your skin. So one way or another, you must be as diligent with using acne-safe hair care products as you are with selecting your skin care products.
Ingredients to avoid
Two ingredients I recommend avoiding are silicones and mineral oils. Beyond clogging pores and irritating your skin, but they easily build-up on the surface of your hair and skin. This only attracts oil and dirt. You may have been watching out for these ingredients in your skin care products. Make sure to also avoid them in your hair care products as well.
If you know other ingredients that give you pimples and breakouts, make sure they’re not in your shampoo, conditioner, hair masks, pomades, hair oils, and styling products either.
We can agree that the fewer irritants and pore clogging ingredients you come into contact with, the better!
Natasha St. Michael is a holistic health coach, blogger, and motivator! Inspiring thousands of people through her coaching practise, online programs, blog, and adventurous life, Natasha’s passion and love is all things natural. Eating healthy food and making delicious recipes, challenging the body…
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