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Beauty 7 months ago

skincare for beginners pt 3: FAQs about acne

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A few weeks ago I started a series called “skincare for beginners” and love that you guys have been loving it! Check out my first two posts below:

Now that you should have an idea of what a pretty well-rounded (but basic!) skincare routine should look like…I thought it could be helpful if I were to answer some FAQs I get about skincare from you guys. I put a question box on my instagram stories earlier this week and wanted to answer some of the most common questions I got asked. You guys are the best and sent in SO many questions, so we might need to break this up into two parts so I can answer as many as possible! This week – I got SO many questions regarding acne so I wanted to do my best to cover ALL acne-related questions in this post!

Keep in mind as I’m answering these today…I am not a dermatologist or a doctor by any means! I’m only answering based off of research that I’ve done on ingredients and products / brands that I have used, and my own experience!

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Before I dive into the specific questions, I want to talk about my “skin type” or history with you guys. Starting from the time when I was 12 years old, my skin has been pretty acne prone. I started seeing a dermatologist around that time time but my acne was pretty consistent up until maybe 3 years ago (when I was like 26 years old!). So first of all, anyone struggling with acne: I’ve been there and I know how frustrating it is. Again, I am no expert but just sharing things that have been helpful for my skin.

Q1: How do I find out what’s breaking me out?

This was one of the most common questions I got regarding acne. There are SO MANY FACTORS that can be causing you to breakout and I’m not going to pretend to know them all! But so many times we think breakouts are only caused by or solved by the products we use and that’s not always the case. If you are struggling with consistent breakouts, evaluate the below factors (before you even start looking into products!)

  • How much water are you drinking? Drink half your body weight in oz of water everyday (at least). So, if you weight 140lbs, drink 70oz of water per day (there are 8oz in a cup btw!). Drinking a ton of water will do wonders for your skin.
  • In my experience – too much wine and/or soft drinks have made me break out. If you feel like your skin is out of control, evaluate your intake of those things.
  • Unfortunately, also in my experience, when I’m eating way too much chocolate my skin tends to break out! Excess sugar can be your skin’s worst enemy when it comes to breakouts.
  • How often are you washing your pillow case / sheets? I personally sleep with a silk pillowcase and it’s been SO good for my skin. It’s expensive but IMO extremely worth it – so good for your hair and your skin!
  • Your stress and hormone levels also play a huge part in the health of your skin and breakouts. Have you gotten bloodwork done recently? Maybe see your dr and get hormone levels checked! And if you’re struggling with stress…that’s a whole nother blog post haha but stress can definitely be affecting your skin!

Okay, so those are some of the main lifestyle factors that could be affecting your skin. But, if you read that list and you think “I’m not stressed, I drink a ton of water, I don’t drink that much wine,” etc…the products you are (or aren’t) using could definitely be causing you to breakout. Y’all know Drunk Elephant is one of my all time favorite skincare brands and their philosophy on skincare has really helped me to educate myself. I’ve learned to look for the “suspicious 6” in skincare ingredients and hwo to avoid those. These are 6 ingredients that could potentially be irritating your skin (according to Drunk Elephant and the research I’ve also done): Essential Oils, Drying Alcohols, Silicones, Chemical Sunscreens, Fragrances/Dyes, SLS.

SO. No matter WHAT skincare product I am trying out, I do my best to read the ingredient labels and try and avoid those 6 products! For me personally, I know my skin tends to breakout if I use a product that has fragrance in it. So, check the labels on the skincare products you are using and see if they contain any of these ‘suspicious 6’ ingredients. If they do, that could very well be why your skin is breaking out. [Read my 1st and 2nd blog posts in this skincare series for the products I’d personally recommend you are using in your skincare routine].

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Q2: Best products for treating / preventing breakouts

This is a tricky question because like I shared above, there can be a number of factors causing you to breakout. However, I think it’s really important that you’re using a good exfoliating product – something with salicylic acid in it like this drunk elephant resurfacing serum. This will help your pores from getting clogged and give your skin a smooth / even texture. More often than not, acne is caused by clogged pores so let’s get those cleared up with a good exfoliating serum! Highly recommend this drunk elephant TLC serum. Use it every night after you cleanse.

Kate Somerville also has a really great line of products, specifically for treating breakouts, which I will link for y’all below!

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But in my personal opinion…acne doesn’t necessarily needed to be “treated” harshly with specific products. It’s more about figuring out WHAT is irritating your skin and trying to eliminate that, and replace it with good, clean products / ingredients that will feed your skin good nutrients. [Again, not a doctor…this has just been my experience in helping my own skin recover fro chronic breakouts].

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Q3: Best products for treating a breakout after it’s popped up

It happens – we all get a zit that time of the month or right before we have a big important event to attend! In my experience, this product by Kate Somerville is THE BEST spot treatment to get rid of a pimple ASAP! Put it on in the evening after you cleanser with a cotton swab – just dab it on your affected area, let the product dry, sleep in it, and rinse off in the morning! I swear this makes your zit go away almost overnight. This product has 10% sulfur in it meaning it will work quickly to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores!

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Like I said, I know breakouts can be so tough to deal with, especially with they are chronic. I’ve been there and have honestly struggled with acne for probably half my life. My skin first started taking a turn for the better when I found Drunk Elephant (which btw this post is not sponsored by them AT all). Their products and philosophy on skincare saved my skin! I learned to read labels, avoid those ‘suspicious 6’ ingredients I shared above, and feed my skin the nutrients it needs! Some of those products are Drunk Elephant and some are not (now that I’ve found the routine that works for me), but the philosophy of avoiding those suspicious 6 ingredients has stuck with me and really cleared my skin up. So I hope that helps y’all too! Also – drink more water lol.

You guys are the best and left SO many great skincare questions for me to answer so we might do a “part 2” next week answering more questions! Hope this is helpful for y’all. Thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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