I'm no dermatologist, but having acne for almost half my life has definitely taught me a thing or two about skin. These lessons make dealing with my skin type much easier and less stressful. So if you're riding the same acne-prone boat as I am, here are skin commandments you should pick up, stat:
1. Full coverage is okay as long as it's not cakey.
Whoever said foundation made acne worse was definitely on to something, but this claim isn't 100% right. Makeup can't be harmful to your skin unless your skin reacts negatively to an ingredient. And just because it's full coverage doesn't necessarily mean that your skin will hate it. I'd personally choose a full coverage foundation that doesn't break me out over a moisturizer that does. So for special events, don't be afraid to go full coverage if you're sure about the makeup you're using. But still, looking cakey is a big no-no. Read more tips about that here!
2. Having visible acne scars isn't the end of the world.
During my early phase with acne, I made it a point to cover all traces of my breakouts. No scar should be visible or I'd have a nervous breakdown. While it was completely normal to feel like this, I'm here to tell you that having acne shouldn't stress you out this much. People seeing your acne scars isn't the end of the world. If you want to let your skin breathe by wearing sheer coverage on a Monday, then so be it. It's for your skin's own good anyway!
3. During a breakout, don't overload your skin with too much acne treatments.
Approach situations like this with caution. You wouldn't want to shock your skin with all the chemicals and peels you're suddenly making it absorb. Worst case scenario, your best attempts at healing breakouts will only make things worse. During a breakout, assist your skin's healing process in the gentlest way possible.
4. You can be experimental when it comes to skin care, but always be extra wary.
Being experimental with products is different from going overboard with skin care. Our skin type needs more TLC, so it's completely okay to try new products every now and then. However, being more educated about skin care ingredients should be a priority. Don't rely on what the box tells you and stick to those ingredients that you already know your skin loves.
5. Always be gentle.
It's a common misconception that acne-prone skin should only use products with the "anti-acne" label on it. Not all acne products will help your skin, and some of us have to learn this the hard way. That's why the best skin care tip I've probably received is to stop obsessing over clearing up my skin, and instead, to start focusing on healing it. The best way to do so is to be gentle with the affected area. Hence, after years of a salicylic acid-heavy routine, I save that ingredient for my spot treatment. My routine now consists of a low pH cleanser, alcohol-free toner, and fragrance-free products. My skin has never been happier.
6. Let your spot treatments do the healing work.
Now for an oldie that's always a goodie—don't pick at your pimples. Instead of using your fingers, just keep a spot treatment on standby at all times. Acne patches are great for preventing picking, too!
7. Drying out your skin won't help your breakouts.
Sucking the oil out of your skin isn't the solution for your acne woes. Dermatologists always stress that we need our natural oils to protect our skin barrier, a.k.a. the thing that prevents irritation from happening. So overwashing, harsh peels, and alcohol-laden products should be avoided if it's skin healing you want.
8. Never forget to apply sunscreen.
Don't skip it. Out of all the products I've tried for acne scarring, sunscreen is the only one that stayed an essential. It prevents scars from darkening while protecting our skin from premature aging, so what else can a girl ask for?