Unfortunately acne doesn’t end at 18 for everyone. Many people suffer with adult acne, which can be devastating. The occasional pimple is enough to ruin a makeup look, date night, or interview. If you have tried over the counter medicine, visited a dermatologist multiple times to no avail, and tried every acne face wash ever invented, with no change, here are a few steps that may work for cleaning your acne, occasional pimple, or simply giving you a healthier, brighter complexion.

1. Diet 

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Don’t want to sound like a broken record here, but seriously so much depends on your diet. It is one hundred percent possible to change your health and overall appearance by changing your diet. When you rid yourself of alcohol, processed foods, excessive animal products and sugars, your body responds in amazing ways. It is much easier for your body to break down natural fruits, vegetables and water, as opposed to hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken, potato chips, alcohol and soda. Alcohol dries out the skin. Have you ever seen a person who drinks excessive alcohol or smokes cigarettes? Chances are there are signs in their skin, which can include dryness, a gray cast, and lines around the forehead, eyes and mouth. Drinking lots of  water helps to flush out toxins and gives the skin a more vibrant appearance. Eating fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, and dark green leafy greens helps give the skin a more youthful and beautiful appearance.

2. Exercise

Another one that you have probably heard a million times, and that’s because it is true. Exercising causes you to sweat, which releases toxins. Exercising also helps to regulate hormones, which could be the cause of your acne. Remember, with all of the sweating from exercise you must be sure to cleanse your skin, so you aren’t getting acne from excessive sweat built up on the skins surface.

3. Sleep 

Sleep is important for many functions in your life, including your overall health and wellness. Lack of sleep can cause stress, which inevitably can lead to acne. Be sure to get enough sleep so you are well rested. Getting enough beauty rest is not just something your mother told you, to get you to go to sleep at night, it is very much needed, to maintain your health both inside and outside.

4. Process of Elimination

To effectively treat your acne, you must determine where it is coming from. Is it a consistent thing you have been dealing with for years? Do you only get hormonal breakouts? Did your skin break out after you had a child? Does your skin only break out when you are binging on junk food? What may work for someone having a hormonal breakout is very different, than someone who has always had acne, or someone who just gets the occasional pimple. If you only get acne during your cycle, then it is a hormonal breakout, and may just need a quick dab of acne gel to heal, as opposed to someone who has had acne all their life that never seems to clear. In those cases a lifestyle change should be made, as far as following steps one through three on an everyday basis.

5. Sanitize

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Some breakouts can be easily avoided. Sanitizing cell phones is a very easy way to get rid of acne causing bacteria. Cleaning makeup brushes after each use is also a great way to ensure that you aren’t spreading bacteria. Be sure to change your pillowcases frequently as well.

6. See an Esthetician

Most people believe that facials are only for the rich, however those days are long gone. Deals are always being offered on facials and they can be offered  for as low as $29.99 on special promotions. Facials are not just something you should be getting done once a year, but a necessity in your overall skin health. Estheticians are able to determine exactly what your skin needs, as well as why the skin can be breaking out. They can also advise you of great products that cater to your particular skin issue. If you haven’t already,  find an esthetician in your area, who is skilled and ready to help you tackle your skin care concerns.

7. Be Patient

Patience is a virtue, clear skin does not happen overnight. Constantly stressing and worrying about your skin is only causing stress, which in turn can cause your skin more breakouts. Continue with your skin care regimen, and go about your normal activities and enjoy the process, but don’t stress the process.

8. Breakup from Makeup

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I know it may be hard, for some much harder than others. Excessive, or heavy makeup use can clog pores, and cause breakouts. Give your skin a much needed break from makeup. If you absolutely can not see yourself going without makeup, opt for powders instead of liquid foundations, as powders are much lighter on the skin. A lot of makeup companies also offer tinted moisturizers that contain acne fighting ingredients.

9. Easy on the Hair Products

Unfortunately what works wonders for our hair, may cause mayhem on our face. If you have recently started using a new hair product, and then started noticing breakouts in your skin, especially the forehead area, that product may be the culprit. Try to take that product out of your hair maintenance routine and see if it clears your skin. If you absolutely do not want to get rid of it, try to apply your hair products closer to the ends of your hair and away from your face.

10. Don’t go Overboard

It’s in our nature to sometimes freak out when it comes to acne, or even a tiny pimple. It’s OK to have a two minute scream fest, but don’t go overboard on your face. Sure, there are tons of at home remedies and store bought products for acne, but DO NOT put them all on your face at the same time. Using too much, and too many different products will only cause your skin more irritation and more breakouts. Try instead to use one product at a time so you know exactly what is and is not working for your skin.

Which methods will you be using to clear your skin?

Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, Mac makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, follow her on Instagram @Ashleyvsrenee!