Healthy Diet. Clear Skin.

You may not think this is true but your diet can really affect your skin.

Now, don’t get me wrong… there are a whole lot of factors that affect breakouts (i.e. hormones, genetics, picking at pimples, exercise, sweat, diet, etc. etc. etc.) Changing your diet isn’t the end all be all to clear skin. And, like skin products, it takes A LOT of trial and error.

My recommendation, start little by little. Take baby steps. Try to make a positive change in your diet every day and then increase as you feel comfortable. A lot of drastic diet changes call for cutting everything out of your life… sugar, dairy, gluten, etc. I know what you’re thinking, what does that leave? Good question! I’m trying to figure that out myself.  The truth is that in order to eat the best diet possible, you’re supposed to eat wholesome, natural foods that aren’t processed and contain only ingredients that are good for you. But, I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s not practical to say that you’re never going to have a cookie again in your entire life. Am I right?

Life isn’t about deprivation. It’s about moderation. Follow the 80/20 rule. Try to eat healthy 80% of the time, and allow yourself to splurge 20% of the time. When you feel like you’re getting out of control, reel yourself back in and try to eat healthier.

You may be hesitant but healthy food can be so incredibly delicious. Take this smoothie bowl, for example.

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Have you ever heard of a smoothie bowl? It’s like a smoothie but the consistency is a bit thicker and it’s poured into a bowl and then topped with toppings, like granola, coconut, nuts, fresh fruit, chia seeds, hemp seeds, peanut butter, almond butter – you name it, you can put it on a bowl! Blend some frozen fruit with either coconut or almond milk and you have yourself a nutritious, delicious, satisfying treat. It’s like a healthy hot fudge sundae.

So, do I think diet is the key to clearing your skin? No. But it sure won’t hurt. And you’ll feel better too!

 

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The Benefits of Coconut Oil

If you’re not using coconut oil, you need to be A.S.A.P. It is literally a miracle product.

Hair, skin, scars – you name it, coconut oil makes it better. Use it in your hair as a conditioning treatment. Apply a generous amount on your head and finger through your hair from root to tip. Leave in for 1 minute or so and then rinse out in the shower. Use it as a body moisturizer and all purpose skin cream. Apply coconut oil as a moisturizer on your body prior to showering and then rinse off in the shower, or apply to your body after the shower. Either way will leave you with silky, smooth skin.

The best use of all – use it as a scar treatment. Coconut oil does wonders for scars. In fact, I have a friend who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident. Knowing how well coconut oil has worked on scars of my own, I gave him a huge jug so he could apply some all over his wound and it’s worked fantastic. He’s even given some of it out to his friends so they can see how good it is because he just can’t get over how well it has worked.

However, while coconut oil is the best, there are some things you need to take into consideration. If you have oily, acne prone skin like I do, coconut oil can be a hazard for facial use. It is a bit of a thicker oil so it can clog pores. If you have pores that are easily clogged, I wouldn’t recommend using coconut oil on your face. In addition, if you suffer from bodily acne, I don’t think I would use coconut oil as a bodily moisturizer. I haven’t attempted it to see if it clogs my pores out of fear so I’m not 100% sure if it does react the same way as your face. I suppose it’s worth a shot.

Bonus: Coconut oil is great for cooking and baking. Also, I practice oil pulling every morning and night. Oil pulling is basically using coconut oil as a mouthwash. Take about a teaspoon and swish it around your mouth for as long as you can handle. Oil pulling calls for 20 minutes. If I have the time, I’ll keep it in for that long; otherwise, I just do as long as I can for that day. When you’re done, spit in the TRASH CAN, not the sink (oil can clog pipes) and rinse your mouth out with water. Coconut oil is excellent for oral health and my teeth appear whiter and cleaner, my gums healthier.

As I mentioned before, one concern with coconut oil is that oil can clog drain pipes. If you use prior to the shower, this can be an issue. However, I have never had an issue. Personally, I take a very hot shower and coconut oil liquefies at 75 degrees, so the hot temperature helps to flush the liquid through easily. If the temperature falls below 75 degrees, do take into consideration that the coconut oil will harden, hence the clogging. Again, this has never happened to me but it’s something to keep aware of.

All in all, coconut oil is a wonderful product with universal purposes. Buy it. Use it. Love it.

Photo Credit: http://wondergressive.com/precocious-puberty-growing-issue-young-girls

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Great Products to Help Dry, Winter Skin

Yup, it’s wintertime, which means if you’re like me, your skin is DRY DRY DRY. Luckily, I’ve got some great products that can help combat the dryness and nourish your skin so it’s not so irritated and (uh oh!) flaky.

  • Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief: This is a great moisturizer for people with dry skin. It has a gel-like texture and is super moisturizing. Since I already have very oily skin, I use this moisturizer at nighttime to help give my skin a nice boost of moisture for the next day. However, I sometimes use it in the morning too when my skin really needs some extra moisture, and I must say I don’t feel like it makes me look oiler throughout the day, so I think this moisturizer could be used for all skin types.
  • Dermalogica’s Barrier Repair: This velvety soft moisturizing product is great for during the wintertime. It acts as basically a shield that protects your skin from the elements. Simply apply your morning routine as usual and then apply the Barrier Repair on top and your skin will be winter ready. This definitely helps fight the harshness of the cold air whipping against your skin by locking in the moisture from your moisturizer and protecting your skin from the drying conditions of the air.
    • Helpful tips:
      • Don’t use Barrier Repair in place of moisturizer. Use your moisturizer as usual and then apply the Barrier Repair on top.
      • Only use in the morning – this is not a nighttime product.
  • C.O. Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy: My face isn’t the only thing that suffers from dryness in the wintertime. The absolute worst for me is my hands. They get SO chapped to the point where they actually break open and bleed. It’s painful and very unpleasant, especially when you wash your hands a lot like I do. This hand cream is by far the best I’ve ever used. I use it every single night and it keeps my hands soft, smooth, and cut free.
    • Helpful tips:
      • If your hands are really dry, apply this cream before bed and then put on a pair of cotton gloves. I do this every night and it works great!

Cold weather is tough on skin, but with these products, it doesn’t have to be. Find the right ones that work for you that way you don’t have to suffer this winter and your skin can look clean and clear all year round!

 

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How I Cleared My Skin

In my last blog post, I talked a lot about how I finally got my skin under control. Of course I still have my breakouts, but my skin is clearer than it’s ever been. So, how did I do it?

Well, like I said, I’ve tried everything… nothing worked. A friend of mine recommended that I try Acne.org because it cleared his skin. I’m always skeptical of trying new product lines because I’ve been unsuccessful in the past, but his skin looked really good so I figured I would give it a shot. Guess what? IT WORKED.

I have never used a product line that has been this effective at clearing my skin, both face and body. On top of facial breakouts, I also suffered from really bad body acne, and this cleared both! It really did a tremendous job and I would recommend it to anyone. Like I said before, everyone’s skin is different so this may not be the magic cure for you. But, it worked for me so I’d like to share with you some tips if you do choose to use it.

Things you should know before buying Acne.org:

  • The products they sell are a Cleanser, Benzoyl Peroxide, Glycolic Acid, and a Moisturizer. The Cleanser, Benzoyl Peroxide, and Glycolic Acid are ESSENTIAL. Personally, I wouldn’t buy the moisturizer. It’s very thin and did not react well with my skin (but that’s just me).
  • The Cleanser works great on my body but I use a different cleanser on my face because my skin is too sensitive and this cleanser is a bit too harsh and drying.
  • The products are very drying, so you’ll need a good moisturizer (whatever one works well for you).
  • Products come in two sizes: 8 oz. and 16 oz. For your first time, buy 8 oz. so you can test how your skin reacts. After that, buy the bigger size products because you’ll need them and it’s more cost effective.
  • It takes time to see results. It took about 4 months for me to see an improvement in my skin, but I stuck with it and kept up with my regime and really saw results.
  • Be mindful of sun exposure when using these products, especially in the summer time. These products definitely make you more susceptible to sunburn. Always wear sunblock and take precautionary measures for your skin.
  • You should always apply facial products very gently. The harsher you are, the more irritation you create.
  • You must use the Cleanser and Benzoyl Peroxide for at least 1 month prior to beginning application of Glycolic Acid. Glycolic Acid can be very harsh on the skin if your face is not adequately prepared for it. Also, keep in mind that the Glycolic Acid can sting during application.
  • Glycolic acid is only applied 3x a week IN PLACE OF moisturizer.

How to use (Face):

  1. Rinse your face in the sink or shower and pump 1-2 pumps of cleanser onto your hands. Massage into a nice lather and GENTLY cleanse your face. Keep your touch light and gently graze fingertips over skin. Rinse well.
  2.  Wait 5-15 minutes for skin to thoroughly dry.
  3. Place 1-2 pumps of Benzoyl Peroxide onto fingertips and apply to skin. Again, be as gently as possible keeping your fingertips light and soft.
  4. Wait 5-15 minutes for skin to thoroughly dry.
  5. Place 1-2 pumps of Glycolic Acid onto fingertips (only after using Cleanser and BP for 1 month) and apply gently to skin 3x a week in place of moisturizer.

How to use (Body):

Follow the same steps as above but keep in mind that you may need to use more product if the area of skin you are treating is larger (i.e. back/chest).

It is very important that you follow these steps very closely and adhere to a strict regime. It may seem silly and like it’s a lot of work, but if you are really serious about clearing your skin, consistency is key. This is a quick overview of how to use Acne.org, but for more detailed tips and information, visit their website http://www.acne.org.

Again, this may work for you and it may not. When it comes to skincare, it’s all about trying different products and seeing what works for you. It just so happens that this one worked for me. If you choose to try it, good luck! I so hope it works for you.

Feel free to ask my any questions in the comments and I will help you as best as I can. The journey to clear skin starts NOW.

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Photo Credit: http://www.acne.org

Welcome to Skin So Clean

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Skin So Clean, my new skincare blog about all things related to skincare that will help you get your skin clean, clear, and glowing. I am 21 years old and I have struggled with my skin for years. It’s taken me a LONG time to get things under control. I’ve tried everything: every product, dermatologists, prescriptions, vitamins, meditation, diet change – you name it, I’ve tried it. There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your own skin and being self-conscious of the way you look because you have acne or you have a condition that makes you insecure. I get it. I’ve been there and I’m still there. But, I’ve found a balance and have finally found a regime that works for me.

Throughout the course of my skincare journey, I’ve learned so many helpful tips and discovered so many incredible products that have been life changing for me. Of course, I’ve also found ones that have been terrible and nearly destroyed my skin. Skincare is a process and it is DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. What works for me may not work for you. And that’s ok. You will find your way, but I’m hoping that I can help.

I know I have SUPER SENSITIVE skin. I have to be careful about every single thing that I put on my face. I’m also very conscious of chemicals and like to keep my skincare regime as natural as possible. Of course, that’s not always the easiest thing to do because the natural products sometimes don’t work the best and you need something stronger. It’s important to find a balance. I don’t like chemicals, but I also don’t like acne, so I do my best to research everything and find a happy medium that meets all of my needs.

The most important thing to know is that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Just when you get your skin under control it may change and you’ll have to find another whole regime that works. It happens, and it’s ok. But, I can say from experience that it does get better. You will find what works for you and it will make all of the difference. Beauty is on the inside and you should never let how you look on the outside affect how you feel about yourself. However, I know better than anyone how uncomfortable and self-conscious you feel when your skin doesn’t look as clear as you’d like it to. I will try to share as much of my knowledge as I can to offer tips, tricks, and products that I love that perhaps you’ll love too, and hopefully, together, we can make your skin so clean (and clear, and glowing, and smooth, and beautiful…. etc. etc. etc.)!

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Photo Credit: Flickr