This week in the ‘eat your way to clear skin series’ we are going to take a closer look at the 2nd factor to consider when wanting to reduce breakouts and have a great complexion.

ENVIRONMENT – The environment your skin is in includes products your applying and also the outside world. Pollution, dirt, grime from the underground all play their role. As does sunlight. Vitamin D from sunlight can really work wonders on the skin which is why, when you go on holiday, you may find your skin improves. Unfortunately we cannot remove ourselves from the day to day environmental factors like pollution that could be impacting our skin but we can control what we apply to our skin. Also making sure we wash away any dirt and grime that may have accumulated over the day can really support clear, glowing skin. Anyone who lives in London will know just how much grime gets onto your face and into your body from just walking around London. It used to amuse me greatly having ‘black bogeys’ when I lived In London! Not a black bogey in sight since I moved to more rural pastures! What you are applying to your skin will a have a large role to play as anything that blocks the pores is going to allow that pesky bacteria to munch away and breed again. On the flip side, if you use products that completely strip the skins natural oils, your body will produce more as these oils are there to protect the skin from infection and keep it supple. On top of that, certain ingredients in products are known hormone disruptors.

TOP TIPS ON HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Use products that are botanically based and do not contain mineral oil which will block the pores. As you probably know I am a HUGE advocate of products that do not contain harmful ingredients which is why I choose to use and share Arbonne Internationals Pure, Safe, beneficial skincare and cosmetics with my readers and clients. Avoid products that contain parabens, phthalates, toluene and other known hormone disruptors. Also avoid products containing harsh chemicals and alcohols which will strip the skin. Use products loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants and plant extracts that will nourish and sooth the skin like mallow, aloe, cucumber and liquorice. Salicylic acid can help to unplug the blocked pores but make sure it is in a very weak amount as too much will strip the skin. Remember acne prone skin is the most sensitive type of skin so over stimulating it by scrubbing away will only cause more inflammation. Be gentle with it and feed it well.

DO NOT PICK! I know it is the hardest piece of advice to take, especially when you get one of those mirrors which shows every single spot and blemish. I have been known to spend a good hour standing in front of the mirror picking anything in sight, I promise you it won’t help! Your fingers will have bacteria on which will then increase infection and you will end up with scarring and pitting. So I shall say it again just to show how much you need to AVOID this pitfall…DO NOT PICK!

Expose your skin to sunlight for brief periods. Just 10 minutes of daylight can have a dramatic result on the skin. This doesn’t even have to be bright sunlight. Just daylight will increase vitamin D production.

Wash your face in the evening to remove dirt and grime. Make sure your face wash, toners etc are not loaded with harsh skin stripping alcohols.

Use a good quality night cream so your skin can repair and regenerate whilst you sleep. Don’t fool yourself into thinking: ‘I have oily skin, I shouldn’t moisturise.’ You need to make sure your skin is nourished at night as this is when it repairs the damage done during the day. Your skin loses a huge amount of moisture at night also so it needs to be replaced. If you avoid products containing mineral oil it means the nutrients in your night cream will be absorbed into the skin rather than just blocking the pores.

Arbonne’s Genius nightly resurfacing pads and Clear control line are tremendous for acne prone skin. With a very weak % of salicylic acid the blocked pores will be cleared out whilst the skin will be soothed with calming ingredients like alfalfa, liquorice root extract and mallow flower extract. The Genius nightly resurfacing pads are a botanical Retinoid (Vitamin A which is necessary for clear, healthy skin) product which provide deep exfoliation and resurfacing of the skin by increasing the cells turnover rate. I have seen some great results with this winning combo. If using the Genius nightly resurfacing pads, it is important to use day lotion with SPF as Retinoids make the skin slightly more sensitive to sun exposure.

Think about what make up you are using. If you are starting to use good quality, botanical skincare and then slapping a load of make up over the top that will clog the pores, you are not going to get very far. Make sure your make up is non comedogenic and botanically based. Don’t underestimate the power of plants. They have a natural affinity with the skin. When my skin was bad, I used to use make up that was like war paint. I could not remove it for love nor money. Now looking back, I think what on earth was in that to give it that stick?! I never even considered how it would be blocking my pores and stopping my skin from functioning let alone the chemical s*#t storm that was going onto my skin and effectively into my body. Read your labels.

Make sure you wash your make up brushes regularly with a wash that is anti bacterial and anti fungal. I use Arbonne Internationals Sea Source Detox rescue wash as it is the perfect brush wash. Anti bacterial, anti fungal and mild enough to not destroy your brushes
Try not to touch your face if you have been on the underground or public transport. You never know what you may have been in contact with…yuk!

Feel free to contact me if you would like more product recommendations.