Maintaining Healthy Skin

Maintaining Healthy Skin

By Elizabeth Barrera

Having beautiful, flawless skin was never in the books for me. Even as a baby I suffered from rashes due to fragrances that were put into body lotions and soaps. As I grew older, the rash issue vanished, but I slowly faced a deeper fear: acne. Long gone was the baby-soft, flawless skin that I was blessed to enjoy for about 15 years. Soon after, I began stressing over the red, white, and black bumps on my skin that seemed to stay for longer than a short visit.

I tried everything for the longest time. I was on an oral medication, Mexican treatments, aloe vera, mud masks, lemon masks - you name it. Unfortunately, as an adult, I still struggle with acne. After trying various homemade products, visiting about two dermatologists, and retrieving to self-diagnosis I can say that most of the treatments didn’t work because the product failed, but mostly because I failed to take better care of my skin. After all those years of suffering, I can say this about myself:

  1. I was lazy.
  2. My eating habits weren’t the healthiest.
  3. I stressed out too much.

When we’re young we seem to take most things for granted, and the thought of permanent damage merely crosses our minds. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me with my skin care. Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, be cautious of your everyday skin-care routine and the eating habits you’re following.

Don’t be lazy.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to stop being as lazy when it came to skin care. Having disgusting, mountain-like pimples are annoying, but then again so are blemishes. Don’t. Pop. Pimples. Instead, try washing your face when you wake up and again before bed. Also, make sure to pay attention to beauty products’ effect on your skin is really important. Here are a few good products that have worked for me:

  • Cetaphil skin cleanser (using a washcloth)

  • Nivea moisturizer
  • Retin-A topical ointment
  • Doxycycline oral medication

Aside from being careful with what products you put on your face, it’s also extremely crucial to be cautious of your cleanliness by changing our pillowcases frequently and never reusing a dirty washcloth. Make sure to moisturize your skin as needed and really pay attention to how each product affects your skin. Getting to know your skin will help you in the long-run, and if you have the means of doing so, seek a dermatologist. Getting professional help can save you time and money, rather than trying new products time and time again.

“You are what you eat.”

You know when your mom used to tell you that eating lots of greasy food would hurt your skin? Well, turns out that momma was right (as always). The more greasy foods you consume, the more red, bumpy visitors you’ll have. I’m living to tell it. Make sure you maintain a healthy diet - the food you eat will reflect on your skin.

Another extremely big one: water. Drink lots of it! You’d be amazed at all the positive things water can do for you. By drinking lots of water, you’ll notice that your feel less dry and more hydrated.

Live freely.

I know that with work comes stress, and with stress comes bad habits. A healthy body comes hand in hand with a healthy mind. The less you stress, the less blemishes you’ll find on your skin. Try meditating, reading, or taking time to yourself to unwind after a tiring day at work. Whatever your preference is to relax, do it. And don’t overthink!

And most importantly, please remember to never stop loving yourself. The journey of getting rid of acne can be extremely overwhelming. Mental health is important when maintaining healthy skin. Remember, your blemishes don’t define you. In fact, it’s perfectly normal to have some type of blemish, whether they be beauty marks, acne scars, freckles - they’re everywhere! You are absolutely beautiful and not abnormal.

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