Every person covets a radiant complexion. Some people were born with it. The rest of us have to work for it. Learn how to get clear skin with these tips for any age!
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I have the most naturally imperfect skin of anyone. Some people were born with flawless, gorgeous skin. Then there are those like me, who…weren’t. My sensitive skin has always been an issue for me, and so I’ve spent a lot of time researching and figuring out how to get clear skin.
The first thing I want to point out is that the path to clear skin is not the same for everyone. What works for one person, may not work for the next. What triggers a breakout for one person, might not have the same effect on her best friend.
This is most likely why, when I was growing up, I was led to believe that there was nothing I could do, short of harsh medication, to get clear skin. The food I ate, they told me, had nothing to do with my breakouts. It was hormonal and I’d outgrow it, they told me.
When I was in my 20s and 30s still didn’t outgrow my acne breakouts, I figured it must just be genetic. I was born with problem skin and I was stuck with it for the rest of my life.
Thankfully, I kept reading and researching. Bad skin can be really life-disrupting and I wanted to do whatever I could to make it better. Turns out, there was a lot more to the story than they were telling me.
After years of trying everything from the apple detox diet (really!) to every acne cream under the sun, I wanted to share the things that have made the biggest difference in helping my skin.
By no means is my skin perfect or clear 100% of the time. I hesitated to even post the picture above because I still have plenty of imperfections. BUT, I’ve can say that at 40, my skin is more clear than it’s ever been. I’ve figured out what helps and hurts my skin the most and how to get clear skin, most of the time. And this article is for those of you still searching for answers.
I’m not wearing makeup (except a little mascara) in the picture above, and that’s something I never would have done in my teens, 20s, or early 30s.
How to Get Clear Skin (Naturally)
There are some things that you can do to improve the condition of your skin. Our skin is the biggest organ of our body, and regardless of what you may have heard, what we eat and our lifestyle does impact it. We absolutely can control its appearance, at least to an extent.
Some people may need to do every single thing on this list in order to get clear skin (that’s me, raising my hand…) while others may only need to tweak one area in their life. Like I’ve mentioned before, how to get clear skin is very personal to the individual. Chances are, though, there IS something I talk about here that will help you.
Find the right skin care routine.
Going to bed with a face full of makeup isn’t going to be good for the average person’s complexion. You need some kind of nightly skin care routine. While not washing your face at all isn’t probably wise, washing your skin too often or with too harsh of a cleanser can also wreak havoc and cause breakouts. The key is to find what works for YOU. This is often going to require some trial and error. It took me years to find the right formula for my face.
What finally worked for me to balance the natural oils in my skin and stop the regular breakouts was the oil cleansing method. It sounds counterintuitive to wash your face with oil, but it turns out that oil is exactly what my skin needed. It naturally balances your skin’s oil.
Yes, you do need some oil on your face–if you strip it all away it signals your body to create more and that can lead to even more breakouts! The oil cleansing method balances your natural oils by washing away the bad oils and bacteria and replenishing the good oils and bacteria.
The right balance is key. The products I use and recommend for the oil cleansing method are Klo Organic Beauty cleanser and serum duo. You can read more about my experience with the oil cleansing method here.
If the oil cleansing method is not for you, look for a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away the oils. A simple Charcoal Cleansing Bar is perfect followed by a lightweight moisturizer. (<—my husband uses this one and loves it.)
I have found that most topical creams address the symptom and not the cause. It’s better to treat what’s causing the breakouts instead of the just treating the symptom. When you do that, you get caught in an endless cycle of treating breakout after breakout!
Keep your hands and phone away from your face.
Oh, this sounds so simple, doesn’t it? So simple, yet such a hard habit to break if you are constantly touching your face or resting your chin in your hands. Once you are aware of it, however, you can make yourself stop and save your face.
Your phone can also transfer acne-causing bacteria to your face, so be cognizant not to talk with your phone next to your face for long periods, or at all if you can help it. Hands free talking is the way to go!
Wash your bedding often.
Your skin touches your bedding for 6-10 hours a night. (Who am I kidding? I can’t remember the last time I was in my bed for 10 hours!) You want it to be touching a clean surface. Dirt and bacteria transfers from your sheets and pillowcase to your skin and can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
If you have severe acne, I suggest changing your pillowcase every single night. Otherwise, changing it 1-4 times a week is a good idea to help keep your skin clear. If you suffer from body acne, the same routine is suggested for changing your sheets.
Sometimes, the answer to how to get clear skin is as simple as changing your bedding!
Balance your hormones.
This is the trickiest one on the list. In simple terms, imbalanced hormones cause your body to signal the need for more oil production, leading to excess oil. The overproduction of oil causes breakouts. Knowing that is the easy part. Balancing our hormones isn’t as easy.
There are a number of things that can contribute to our hormones getting out of whack.
How To Balance Your Hormones for Clear Skin
Chronic stress is one of the biggest factors in messing up your hormones. There are some natural ways that you can manage your stress. Daily meditation is a HUGE help for me. Working out is another stress-reliever for me. Find what helps you to keep your stress levels in control.
Get Quality Sleep
Not getting enough sleep and disrupting your natural circadian rhythm can contribute to hormonal imbalance. Try to go to bed around the same time every night and get up around the same time, as well. Your hormones work on a schedule and they like it when you stay on a schedule, too. If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some tips to help you fall asleep naturally. If you struggle to get quality, sound sleep, a supplement formulated to promote sleep like this one may help. I use and love this one. (Side note: I am a MegaFood ambassador, but this is not a paid shout out. I will mention the products I use as it fits naturally into my content because I use and love them.)
Not only will exercising regularly help with your stress levels, it also helps keep your hormones balanced. Make sure you are exercising regularly, but don’t overexercise, but that can also lead to imbalanced hormones!
Think of Goldilocks…not too much, not too little, but juuuuust right! How much is the right amount? That depends on the individual, of course. Strive for 3 solid workouts a week at a minimum, but make sure you are taking a complete rest day at least once per week.
Eat Well for Balanced Hormones
A poor diet and poor digestion can lead to hormonal imbalances. Foods that contribute to hormonal imbalances are refined carbohydrates and overconsumption of fats high in omega 6 fatty acids such as safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and peanuts.
For balanced hormones, focus on eating healthy fats like those found in avocado and wild-caught salmon and lots of fruits and vegetables. Read below for more information on how diet affects our skin!
Avoid Hormone-Disrupting Products
Unfortunately, modern society is filled with products that disrupt our hormones and cause imbalances. You can combat this by avoiding all plastic products as much as possible.
It’s also important to use personal care products that don’t have hormone-disrupting chemicals. My favorite brand that I know is safe and will not cause hormone imbalances is Beautycounter. Every single product they sell is safe and without hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Consider Supplementing Wisely
There are supplements that can help you balance your hormones naturally, which can help you get clear skin. The supplements I use and recommend for balanced hormones are Daily Maca Plus Nutrient Booster Powder and Adrenal Strength.
If you want to know how to get clear skin, you may need to explore you hormones deeply. Balancing them can take some work, but your complexion will thank you.
Exercise. But, shower after sweating.
As I mentioned, exercising is an important part of keeping your hormones balanced, which can help you keep your skin clear. If you tend to sweat and not shower soon after, however, you could be contributing to clogged pores and more breakouts. This doesn’t happen for everyone, but if your skin is breakout-prone, this is something to consider. Try to shower and put on clean clothes as soon as you can after you work out.
Clean up your diet.
Eating well can help keep our hormones balanced, but there’s more to the story when it comes to food and how to get clear skin. It isn’t easy to pinpoint exactly how diet affects our skin, because it can be very different for everyone. Here are the top foods that can cause breakouts for some people: dairy, gluten, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.
Notice I said some people. How do you know which are a problem for you? Be diligent. You can eliminate them all at once for a period of time and then add them back in one at a time to see how it affects your skin. We found The Whole30 to be a helpful program to follow to do this.
Without a doubt, sugar causes breakouts for me. I found this out in my late 20s when I strictly cut out all sugars for a period of time. Within a week, my skin was completely clear. It stayed that way until I started eating sugar again. Now, I am able to find a balance of eating small amounts of sugar. When I slip and eat too much, it shows up in my complexion!
What Foods Will Make Your Skin Clear?
Everyone wants to know how to get clear skin. While avoiding certain foods can help you get clear skin, eating certain foods can also help you get that radiant glow. Here are the foods you want to load up on for the best skin ever:
- leafy green vegetables
- omega 3 fatty acid foods like salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, and sardines
- antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries
- collagen-rich foods like bone broth or collagen powder
- vitamin A-rich foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin
- green tea, especially matcha
If you have trouble getting enough leafy greens into your diet, I recommend trying green juice.
A good, quality supplement I recommend to support clear skin is Skin, Hair, and Nails 2. I use and love it.
Getting clear skin is an individualized process. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill that’s going to help you get clear skin fast. If you have patience, however, and take the time to learn about your body and how it interacts with your environment, you can get the best skin of your life, naturally. I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments or email me any time.