There are only two seasons that rotate in Miami, FL—Summer, and Summer-lite. Pretty self explanatory, but to state the obvious: Summer-lite is a tolerable degree of heat with only moderate chances of perspiration, and Summer is an onslaught of sweat inducing humidity, horrifically intense sun, and 100% chance of summer breakouts. The constant heat and humidity seems to sends my skin into crisis mode. It may be my sense of vanity, but pimples cause me to cringe, curse and furrow my brow in protest.
Clearly this is a first world problem, but when my skin erupts in red (and sometimes painful) blemishes it's an uphill battle not to let it affect my mood. Despite my high self esteem and a firmly rooted belief in beauty being much more than skin deep, I'd venture to assume many would agree with me in thinking no one in the entire world would find zits to be an ego booster. They're an inconvenient eyesore, and I have zero patience for the little suckers. Just having turned 28, I finally feel I've made progress in treating my chronic acne. This desperate whirl-winded journey has lead me to try everything on the market with a claim to clear skin (including several dermatological strategies full of chemicals), but they all failed to deliver on even a fraction of their promises.
Finally, after giving up on the idea of a miracle product—and ever having clear skin—I arrived at an ah-ha moment: My lifestyle affects my acne. A simple correlation between my positive lifestyle changes and less frequent breakouts shifted my entire perspective on the grand effects that diet, exercise, mindfulness, and a proper holistic medicine cabinet can have on the quality of your skin. My personal experience has taught me there is only one way to approach better looking skin—from the inside out. Hormones play a large part in breakouts (especially for women), so it’s important to get educated on how your lifestyle choices affect your levels. I implore you to be as holistic as possible, notice your lifestyle choices and examine if there’s room for improvements. Here's a great resource to do just that.
I don’t have “perfect” skin, but it’s MINE, and I take pride in finding ways to put my best face forward. Here is my strategy for a beautiful complexion all year round, because it doesn't need to be a cruel summer for your skin.
Step 1: Make Lifestyle Commitments
Diet & Hydration:
I have found my blemishes and breakouts to be greatly exacerbated by unhealthy eating— such as binging on processed sugar, fried foods, and increased alcohol consumption. Eating a diet full of antioxidant packed fruits and vegetables, helps to detoxify the body from within so you can achieve a healthy, glowing complexion. Drinking water regularly throughout the day is important in general, but for your skin you may want to try taking in some super hydrating tonics such as coconut water, aloe vera juice, or any cold pressed vegetable juice packed with vitamins A,C, and E.
Rest & Relaxation:
Stress and lack of sleep can make your skin look drab and lifeless. You want to do all you can to ensure your body is receiving the proper amount of rest—and this is truly a personal preference. Some people need 7 hours of sleep, others really need 8. But knowing what works best for you, you energy level, and your skin is the goal.
Do things that bring you relaxation at least once a day, whether it’s meditation, exercise, a rejuvenating yoga class, a long bath etc.— you just need to carve out some YOU time. When your mind is constantly on the go, your anxiety and emotions will trigger the release cortisol (a.k.a. the stress hormone) into the body, and this can wreak havoc on your skin, and many other important bodily functions.
Step 2: Pack Your Holistic Arsenal
- My Favorite Cleanser: Everyday Coconut Facial Cleanser does an incredible job removing dirt and grime without striping the skin of its natural oils.
My Favorite Moisturizer : Organic rose-hip seed oil, use it morning and night for a perfectly hydrated complexion. Packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C for supple skin, with benefits including: anti-aging, reduces dark spots and scars, leaves skin dewy and not over hydrated.
Nighttime- repeat the morning regimen and add these for good measure.
Facial Cleansing Wipes by Honest Company are fantastic for removing makeup and daily grit.
Favorite Acne Toner: Moistened cotton ball with 2-4 drops of Tea Tree Oil on it. Skin should tingle with invigoration.
Moisturize with rosehip oil.