Five things you can do NOW to help clear your skin...

1.  CLEAN HOUSE - Examine your stash of skin care products and makeup and get rid of all products containing parabans.  Make sure everything you use on your face is labeled “non-comedogenic”.  These products clog pores, and prevent efficient turnover of dead skin cells, impeding your skin’s natural ability to clean itself. 

2.  ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SKIN CARE - You do not need higher concentrations of salicylic acid and benzyl peroxide, like in most over-the-counter acne regimens.  You need moderate doses of these ingredients, balanced with soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea, vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid.  For me, this was the missing ingredient in my skin care regimen.  I focused on using higher and higher concentrations of the “acne medications”, which lead to excessive dryness and more inflammation.  All this did was result in more cystic nodules.  Once my aesthetician and I got the right combination of acne fighters and skin soothers, I stopped getting new nodules and could focus on healing my damaged skin.

3.  EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE!  You must learn about exfoliation!  This is the number one treatment that helps prevent new blemishes and allows your skin to heal from scarring and pigmentation.  Good skin cell turnover solves most complexion problems including breakouts and the aging process.  Unfortunately, most people think only of St. Ives Apricot scrub when they hear the word exfoliation… this is not what I am referring to, and is much too harsh for use on the face.  There are several types of exfoliation: abrasives, chemical exfoliation and mechanical exfoliation.  You need to incorporate at least two everyday products into your regimen, such as a gentle daily facial scrub (I like St. Ives Green Tea Scrub) and a facial cleansing brush used twice a week.  Additionally, you should have one periodic professional treatment approximately every 6-8 weeks, such as microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, or a chemical peel.

4. DRINK MORE WATER!  Did you know an average adult male should drink three liters of water a day?   An average female should drink 2.2 liters of water per day. That’s 60 oz of water for a woman and 90 oz for a man!  If you are like most people, you probably only drink one-third of that.  According to the Atlantic, Americans drink an average of 44 gallons of soda and 58 gallons of water per year.  That is 7,242 ounces of water annually – 20oz daily, which is only 2.5 cups.  It is a testament to the wonders of the human body that most of us continue to be alive and functioning despite falling far short of that. 

If you do wonder if you're drinking enough water, the is "if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or light yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate."

5.  FIND A PROFESSIONAL TO HELP YOU OUT.  Do not suffer in silence.  You can enlist the help of any reputable skin care professional or medical aesthetician.  Find someone who is caring and focuses on educating you about your skin.  You will likely need to see them on an ongoing basis for a minimum of 3-6 months to achieve the results you desire.  Do not think of facials and professional exfoliation regimens as a luxury – they are maintenance treatments that are necessary to achieve your desired results.  Skin care professionals are able to help you zero in on the best products and ingredients so you don’t waste time experimenting on your own.

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