If you’re heading back to campus this fall, now is the time to book appointments galore so you can look your best and start the year feeling fresh-faced. Unfortunately, your skin might have other plans as the stress of a new year starts to set in. Pssh, there’s no time for breakouts now. We’re here to help with a two-week plan that will zap your skin issues so you can focus on what you do best: learnin’.
Step 1: Clean up your diet. Say buh-bye to the sweet stuff and cheese. Margarita Lolis, a New Jersey dermatologist, recommends cutting out all sugar and dairy. And that definitely means swapping sweet sodas and fruit juice for water. “If you switched out soda and juices and only drank water with lemon or lime you would see skin improve within five days, let alone two weeks,” she says. (Photo via Getty)
Step 2: Up the veggies. Load up your plate and take advantage of end-of-summer produce. “You want to add in veggies and fruits loaded with antioxidants and vitamins,” Lolis recommends. “Ditch the fries in favor of zucchini sticks you can bake in the oven. Also, add avocados to your diet. They are packed with omega-3s that could help acne lesions.” (Um, avo toast and veggie fries? You don’t have to tell us twice.) (Photo via Getty)
Step 3: Simplify your skincare regimen. Now is not the time to layer on acne fighting creams. “People make the mistake of getting an arsenal of zit blasters and piling on the product. This sends pH levels out of whack,” Lolis says. She recommends a simple cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($10) followed by a spot treatment like Differin Acne Treatment Gel ($13). “This remedy will clear things up, especially when used at night. You can also use a light exfoliating cleanser with glycolic and alpha hydroxyl acids,” she adds. (Photo via Getty)
Step 4: Get a peel for all the feels. “A salicylic acid peel is great for breakouts, as they not only exfoliate but are also antibacterial,” Lolis says. Note: It’s important to work closely with your dermatologist when it comes to peels as not to cause any irritation to the skin. (Photo via Getty)
Step 5: Stick to your bedtime routine. Lolis stresses the importance of getting enough sleep for clear skin. “A full eight hours of sleep is important. Breakouts are usually connected to stress, so dedicate 10 minutes before bed to closing your eyes and just breathing,” she says. “Have a bedtime and wake-up time and stick to it. You want to make sure pillow cases are cleaned weekly, fluffed, and flipped to shake off dead skin cells.” (Photo via Getty)
Step 6: Clean out your makeup in the next two weeks. Seriously, put it on your calendar. “Foundations that look oily or runny have got to go,” Lolis says. “Also clean your makeup brushes once per month. Give them all a bath by soaking them in warm water with either clothing detergent or shampoo and keep rinsing until they’re clean.” (Photo via Getty)