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6 Steps to Clear, Acne-Free Skin

By Ron King

Hundreds of medications, treatments, cleansers and cosmetics are available for people with acne, but the most important elements of an acne-fighting program won't cost you a cent.

1. Nourish your skin by eating a healthy and balanced diet.

Most health care specialists agree that a healthy diet will benefit your skin. Cut down on caffeine, sugar and refined carbohydrates, all of which can activate the hormones that tell your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Add more fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, juices and other healthy treats to your daily diet, and you'll see in improvement in your skin.

2. Drink lots of water to maintain the skin's elasticity.

Plenty of water is essential to the health of your skin. One of the main activities of the body's self-healing system is to filter the blood, a job performed mostly by the kidneys, with help from the skin in the form of perspiration. This self-healing system removes the toxic wastes of metabolizing food and of other harmful substances that get into our bodies one way or another.

This purification system operates efficiently only if the volume of water flowing through it is sufficient to carry away the wastes. 6 to 8 glasses (64 fluid ounces) of water a day is the recommendation. To reach your quota, carry bottled water with you in your car, your purse, your briefcase"wherever you go.

Get the water habit, and your skin will thank you for it.

3. Exercise regularly for good circulation.

Get into a regular routine of exercise. Do it for at least half an hour, five days a week. Exercise improves your blood circulation, helping your body clear toxins from your system, including your skin. Better circulation also increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Exercise also relieves stress, which is a common cause of acne flare-ups. Last but not least, exercise releases endorphins, the "feel good" substance in your brain that puts a smile on your face"the best beauty secret of all.

4. Cleanse your face"then tone, moisturize, and exfoliate.

At night

  • First remove your makeup with an oil-free makeup remover and a cotton ball.

  • Then wash your face with lukewarm water and an oil-free, non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores) cleanser.

  • Pat (don't rub) it dry with a soft towel.

  • And apply an oil-free moisturizer.

In the morning

  • Wash your face as directed above, then use an alcohol-free toner.

  • Next apply moisturizer.

  • Then apply makeup"all oil-free and non-comedogenic.

Once or twice a week use an exfoliator with alpha hydroxy acid or glycolic acid. This will aid in the shedding of dead skin cells, the "food for the bacteria that cause pimples.

If you exercise during the day, you'll need to wash your face a third time, immediately afterward.

5. Protect your skin from the sun and harsh weather.

One popular myth about acne is that tanning will clear it. It may seem so at first, but soon you will notice that your tanned skin becomes less pliable, making it less able to shed oil and dead skin cells, which clog your pores. Your acne will become worse, not better.

Always wear sun block with at least an SPF-15 UVA & UVB rating. If you'll be outside in the sun for long, wear a wide-brimmed hat.

6. Get plenty of good-quality rest.

Your immune system requires energy to do its work, including the work of protecting your skin from acne. The deep sleep the brain needs for "recharging comes several hours into the sleep cycle. That's why a few hours here and there won't do. Most people need at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Consider it beauty sleep.

If you make these 6 items part of your daily routine, you'll look better, feel better, and have less need of expensive acne treatments and cosmetics.


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