Skin has a way of acting up at the most inconvenient moments. A breakout or a patch of irritated skin that appears a week before a special event can make you question your entire routine. Irritated skin craves simplicity in the products used on it and small daily changes to stop the spread of bacteria. While bad breakouts take time to heal completely, they can be toned down with regimented care. Implement a fresh skin care routine to improve the clarity of your skin in a week.
Cleansing your skin regularly removes the buildup and bacteria that lead to breakouts. Massage a salicylic acid-based cleanser into wet skin morning, night and after working out throughout the week. Soak a clean face cloth in warm water and use it to remove the cleanser. Face cloths gently exfoliate the skin to encourage cell turnover without irritating the surface or spreading blemishes. Apply a clay mask twice during the week to just-cleansed skin to deeply cleanse pores. Remove the mask as soon as it dries with warm water.
Breakout prone skin should be treated daily to calm spots and prevent new ones from surfacing. Soak a cotton pad in a toner containing 2 percent benzoyl peroxide and sweep it over your entire face after cleansing. This removes any remaining bacteria without drying out your face. Pat a dime-sized amount of oil-free moisturizer over your skin. Keeping skin hydrated prevents it from over producing sebum to compensate for moisture loss. Use a moisturizer containing SPF 30 during the day to protect your skin and keep scars from darkening.
Stress and dietary choices often cause flare-ups in the skin. If you introduced a food into your diet around the time that the breakout started, remove it for the week. Drink eight glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated. Introduce fish to your diet to calm inflammation and add berries to your breakfast or snack to encourage cell turnover. Take the time each day to do an activity that relaxes you, such as exercising, taking a bath or reading. Reducing stress is one way to prevent excess oil production.
Items used as part of your daily routine can contribute to irritated skin. Try using a different shampoo and conditioner if your hairline is breakout prone, as the ingredients could be causing a reaction. Change your pillow case once a week to avoid transferring bacteria to your face nightly. Cleanse makeup brushes weekly with a brush cleaner to remove buildup, and opt for cosmetics containing salicylic acid to treat blemishes while concealing. Carry alcohol pads with you and use them to wipe the screen of your phone after each use to remove oil and debris.
Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.