It pretty much goes without saying that we’re all seeking clear skin, but sometimes it feels as though no matter how hard you try to keep breakouts at bay, blemishes pop up anyway (usually at the most inopportune times). You’ve been diligently following a proper skin care routine, including using a good facial cleanser, regularly exfoliating, and applying a quality face moisturizer, but a massive pimple still appears right before a big event. Unfortunately, it’s true that how to get clear skin isn’t a super simple equation.
With that said, there is more you can do than reach for your best high-coverage concealer. There are certain clear skin tips and tricks you can have up your sleeve to help the next time you’re fighting a breakout battle. So, while we can’t tell you how to get clear skin fast, we can share our best tips for getting clearer skin over time! From a clear skin diet to clear skin products, read on for 14 clear skin tips that will help you start working toward your best complexion yet.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #1: DON’T POP!
Pimple popping videos may be majorly trendy right now, but if you’re after clear skin, we wouldn’t recommend trying it for yourself. In fact, don’t even touch any pimples you have—we know, it’s so hard to resist! However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), even though picking at or popping a pimple might seem like your ticket to getting clear skin fast, it can actually make things much worse. Every touch or poke can transfer more bacteria onto your skin, so keep your hands off your face as much as you can.
If you’ve developed a bit of a popping habit, unfortunately, you could also end up with scarring. That’s one more reason not to mess with your breakouts! In case it’s too late, click over to our article, Can You Get Rid of Acne Scars?
CLEAR SKIN TIP #2: CLEANSE TWICE A DAY AND AFTER SWEATING
This is basically rule number one of skin care, but it’s so important that we’re repeating it again! Let’s be honest; we’d all be lying if we said we never, ever went to bed without washing our face properly. Sometimes it happens, but to really ensure your clearest complexion possible, you need to follow a clear skin routine twice per day plus after breaking a sweat. Whether rain or shine—or a hectic schedule—there’s no excuse not to wash your face with a mild facial cleanser at these times. The AAD concurs, recommending that those with acne-prone skin cleanse every morning and night and after every sweat session.
Use a mild facial cleanser that’s formulated to remove impurities from the skin without over-drying, such as the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser. Toss makeup removing wipes or micellar water in your gym bag so you can easily swipe away sweat after your next workout, too. Try the L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #3: EXFOLIATE
When it comes to achieving clear skin, exfoliation should be at the top of your list. The idea of dead skin cells on your face is not too pleasing, after all. While it’s easy to think that exfoliation is only for specific skin types, the truth is, every skin type can benefit from it. And the only way to do so is to use the right products without overdoing it. Some skin types can handle daily exfoliation, while others can only handle it once a week. Listen to your skin, and you’ll be good to go.
As for exfoliation, we recommend using a face scrub from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar line, which are all made with a blend of three pure sugars. Choose your potion below.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub: For days when your skin is looking tired and lifeless, this face scrub will wake your skin up. Formulated with coffee grounds, the scrub will instantly brighten your complexion and reduce signs of fatigue.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub: Help keep dull skin at bay with this ultra-soft facial scrub. This offering works to give your skin a radiant look with a super soft feel.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Kiwi Scrub: If your skin needs a bit more polishing, this scrub will get the job done. Formulated with kiwi seeds, you can say goodbye to dead skin cells and clogged pores.
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub: Who says scrubs can’t give your skin a little extra TLC? This offering is formulated with cocoa butter and coconut oil and will give your skin a deep yet gentle exfoliation.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #4: NO HARSH RUBBING OR SCRUBBING
Aggressive exfoliation can actually aggravate acne and make it worse. Instead, gently apply your skin care products with your fingertips using circular motions. Be sure to rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Follow-up with a skin serum or treatment and moisturizer.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #5: MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN
Once you get your exfoliation out of the way, it’s always smart to follow up with a facial moisturizer. After all, not hydrating your skin can lead to dry, dull skin that can start to flake. Yuck! Stay ahead of the game with the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius line, which helps to lock in long-lasting hydration. Have your pick from our three options:
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Liquid Care – Normal/Dry Skin: Daily exposure to oil, dirt, and other impurities can cause harm to your skin’s moisture barrier. Keep your skin in tip-top shape with this water-based moisturizer. Formulated to glide seamlessly onto skin, prepare for skin that sports a healthy and radiant glow.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Normal/Oily Skin: In normal and oily skin types, environmental elements can cause the skin to lose moisture and increase oil production. To combat those concerns, use this water-based moisturizer, which mattifies and provides continuous hydration for balanced skin.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care – Extra Dry Skin: Dry skin already has a fragile moisture barrier, so you need a little extra moisture to keep your skin in tip-top shape. This water-based moisturizer envelops the skin with moisture for instant comfort.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #6: MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
We know, we know—keeping stress levels low is so much easier said than done! Still, per the Mayo Clinic, periods of high stress can make your skin more sensitive and also trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage clear skin, treat yourself to some much-deserved moments of self-care that can help mitigate stress. Try a nice hot bath or applying a face mask, and vow to get enough sleep and make time for the things you enjoy.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #7: USE NON-COMEDOGENIC PRODUCTS
You may have seen the word ‘non-comedogenic’ printed on beauty products, but you might not realize what it means. Pores are technically called comedones, and if a product is non-comedogenic, it means that using it won’t clog your pores. When you’re trying to prevent breakouts or manage a current acne flare-up, it’s a no-brainer to use both skin and makeup products that are non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores even further. In fact, doing so is recommended by the AAD.
For more information on this term, as well as all of our best non-comedogenic product options, head to our article, What Does Non-Comedogenic Mean, Plus Our Best Non-Comedogenic Products.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #8: USE THESE ACNE-FIGHTING INGREDIENTS
When it comes to acne products, there are certain ingredients you’ll want to look out for, including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids, according to the AAD. Pick one of these ingredients to try, then give it time to work. If your acne is still being stubborn after four weeks, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to determine your best plan of action. As for what not to do, don’t introduce your complexion to every acne-fighting ingredient out there—you don’t want to overwhelm your skin.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #9: USE AN EXFOLIATING FACE MASK
Cleansing is an absolute must, as we’ve already established, but there’s another step you can take in your weekly skin care routine to keep breakouts at bay: using an exfoliating face mask. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Exfoliate & Refining Face Mask, which helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oil from skin—all of which can contribute to the development of those unwanted pimples—once or twice per week. Bonus: Applying a face mask can also help lower those stress levels!
CLEAR SKIN TIP #10: REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP AT NIGHT
We cannot stress this enough, always remove your makeup before you hit the hay! When your makeup sits on your skin overnight, it can mix with dirt and oils on the surface of your skin, which can cause blemishes to pop up. Make sure you’re completely removing your makeup before you catch any Z’s.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #11: CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
When you’re looking for the answers for how to get clear skin, one of the easiest things you can do is ensure that your makeup brushes and tools are regularly cleaned. Per the AAD, makeup brushes collect dirt, oil, and other impurities that can wreak havoc on your skin. They recommend cleaning your makeup brushes and tools every seven to ten days to protect your skin.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #12: ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN
If you haven’t been diligent about sun protection, consider this your sign to start. Spending prolonged periods of time in the sun sans proper protection can damage your skin and lead to visible signs of aging showing up down the road. To protect your skin, add a broad-spectrum sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF to your clear skin routine. We love the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30, which offers the best of both worlds: sun protection and a moisturizer all in one.
Keep in mind, you should always take additional sun protection measures as well. Take steps to limit your time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are peak hours), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #13: CONSIDER A CLEAR SKIN DIET
There is no denying that a solid skin care routine is the key to clear skin. However, there is research supporting the idea that what you eat plays a part in how your skin looks, too. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), increasing your water intake can help boost your skin’s hydration levels. Additionally, the NIH also states that vitamin C has been linked to providing anti-aging benefits to the skin. So, why not adopt a clear skin diet with foods such as grapefruits and oranges, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes, and tomatoes, which the NIH reveals are excellent sources of vitamin C.
On the flip side, some foods can wreak havoc on your skin. Per the AAD, consuming all types of cow’s milk (low-fat, skim, and whole milk) can cause acne breakouts to develop. The Mayo Clinic also shares that carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, bagels, and chips can worsen your acne. So, in your quest for clearer skin, you may want to consider making changes to your diet.
CLEAR SKIN TIP #14: VISIT A DERMATOLOGIST
If your skin doesn’t look how you’d like it to, one of the best things you can do is visit a professional. While taking care of your skin at home is still key, your dermatologist will be able to help you determine what to do. You may even need a prescription product to clear up your skin, but you’ll never know unless you talk to a derm!
And that’s a wrap on our best clear skin tips! Of course, your personal acne treatment plan will depend on a number of factors, including what’s really causing it, whether that’s bacteria, hormones, genetics, lifestyle factors, clogged pores, or a combination of these things. Beyond adopting these tips, we’d also recommend reading up on common reasons acne doesn’t improve. Hop over to our article, This Is Why Your Acne Keeps Getting Worse, for that.