There is a time for everything. A time for getting rid of acne, and a time for preventing it. A time for treating wrinkles, and a time for preventing them. A time for treating scars, and a time for preventing them. But if you want to learn how to get clear skin and keep it, this is the right place.
This article is intended for those times when we can still prevent the onset of adverse skin conditions. Lucky for us, those times are most times, and when it comes to prevention, time is our ally. If we act on time, we have an excellent chance to not have to deal with wrinkles, acne or its scars. If we act on time, we can make sure our skin remains young and healthy, or even wind the clock back.
And rest assured, it’s not only us, ordinary people, who need to work hard to keep our skin clear and fight acne. In case you missed it, high-profile celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Bella Thorne, and Katy Perry are also struggling with acne. I’m not sure about you, but that definitely makes me sleep better.
Another thing that might help you get better sleep - and skin - is our 100 tips for flawless skin article. It is a great primer for all the advice, treatments and preventive remedies you’ll read here, so if you haven’t checked it out already, now is the time. (For a more condensed list, check out our list of the top 30 beauty tips for women struggling with acne.) If you have, read on, because we’re about to go deep into skin health prevention and show you how to achieve clear skin in 30 days. But, first things first.
You know, those out-of-the-blue, unexpected acne bouts. Why do we have them? A long answer would have to go in detail about the laws of physics, the passage of time, and the effects of entropy in regards to the anatomy and physiology of the human body. However, let’s keep it short, and just say that, well, aging happens. In fact, our skin begins to age at the early age of 18.
Surprised? I definitely was, because I could hardly notice any differences between the faces of my nineteen-year-old self and the one from a year before. And yet, if you look close enough (with a microscope) the signs are there. Our skin blooms to its full potential at 18, and begins its long cycle of regenerating itself over and over again until we leave this place.
But, since our body goes through different phases in each era of our lives, its needs keep changing too. This means that depending on your age you will be facing different challenges when it comes to skin health. Each era brings its own, specific challenges and areas of your body and skin that you need to pay attention to. And if you manage to sort all of those out, I dare say that you will have clear skin forever.
The more time passes, however, the stress upon our skin becomes heavier and more difficult to manage. All the dirt, conditions, stresses, worries and so on accumulate over time, which is exactly why it’s important to develop the appropriate skin care routine. Here is a super simple list for each era and its challenges, along with specific skin care recommendations.
You are still young, so your skin goes through faster and more intense cycles of regeneration. This means that it produces extra sebum (skin oil) and the amount of dead skin cells that it produces is large. Needless to say, this can lead to clogged pores, leading to the whiteheads and blackheads, which cause acne. Exfoliating often and using high-quality cleansers will deal with the problem of dead skin cells. However, exfoliating your face often runs the risk of making your skin too dry, which is why you should combine it with a high-quality moisturizer.
More work, more stress, more obligations but less time. All of this takes a toll on your skin and the mere maintenance of removing your dead skin cells doesn’t cut it anymore. Chances are you’re also not keeping to a healthy lifestyle, so the lack of exercise and nutritious food is taking a toll on your health and skin. This means that once you hit the thirties, it’s time to start using skin care products that provide nourishment to your skin. In addition to that, you’ll need collagen-supporting skin care products as well, which will make your skin regain its strength and elasticity.
If you thought the thirties were terrible, wait until you reach the proper age of forty. It is during this era that your skin will carve the main lines of your wrinkles. Your body entered the age of complete maturity and is now heading towards old age. This means that you will start seeing visible signs of aging during your forties. Wrinkles and blemishes become more apparent and visible and pronounced. This is why you will need to use skin care products that target signs of aging, like blemishes and wrinkles.
Well, you have finally reached the ripe age of… Well, old age. Things become a bit complicated in this age, but at the very least, you should continue the treatments you used in your forties. Additionally, see if you can get your hands on products that reduce imperceptible muscle contractions since it is exactly those movements under the skin that create and reinforce wrinkles. What you can also do is use skin products that support skin volume, which should make wrinkles less noticeable even further. Advanced medical procedures, like laser resurfacing, show great results in reducing signs of aging as well.
With the reasons for aging and the challenges each age brings out of the way, we can finally focus on some practical advice - regardless of age. How to get clear skin and keep it? Well, there’s a bunch of ways, and if you follow them closely, you could even get clear skin in 30 days or less.
For the sake of clarity, we’ve organized this article into three main areas: preventive hygiene, preventive habits, and preventive treatments. Keep to these recommendations closely and slowly, but surely, you’ll get clear skin forever.
As the title tells you, this section is dedicated to activities you can do, or improve, to boost your skin hygiene. This, in turn, will help your skin remain healthy, youthful and clear. Here are the things you should be doing to maintain clear skin.
Optimally, you should be washing your face two times a day. Once when you wake up, and the next time just before you go to bed. However, this otherwise innocuous activity can contribute to bad skin health and even acne if done wrong. First, you should be careful about how hard you rub your face. Rub it too hard and you might irritate the skin, or if you have some acne or blemishes - worsen them. Be gentle and let the water do most of the work.
Secondly, washing your face too often and using strong soaps can cause it to dry. You’ll want to avoid that scenario since it can be very counterproductive. When the skin becomes too dry, it reacts by increasing the production of skin oil (sebum). So, washing your face too much can cause a cycle of excessive oil production, which will make you wash even more, and so on. That’s why it’s recommended that you should stick to a firm schedule of two times a day - upon waking up and before going to bed. Establishing a face washing routine is the important first step in getting clear skin - and keeping it.
Perhaps the simplest, but the most difficult advice to follow. Take a moment to think about all the things you’ve touched today. The list seems endless, right? Then ask yourself when was the last time you washed your hands. And then, ask yourself one final question: how many times you touched your face with your hands? You get the point, so let’s stop here before I cause you any nightmares.
So what to do? Well, for starters, you can try to be more mindful about where your hands have been and refrain from putting them all over your face. Additionally, you could make use of a portable hand sanitizer. These usually come in small, handy bottles, so you can carry them anywhere you go. If you need to touch your face, just clean them with hand sanitizer first.
The reasons why those two don’t go hand in hand are numerous. For one, if you are already down with an acne inflammation, chances are you have a bacterial infection to go with it. That means that if you go about popping pimples here and there, you’re smearing those harmful bacteria all over your face. If they get the chance to end up in a hair follicle or a healthy pore (and they will), they will quickly transform it into another pimple. So, if you want more acne and less healthy skin, be my guest and make a habit of popping pimples.
Another reason is the almost inevitable scars that you will inflict on your skin by trying to pop pimples. All the squeezing and the pressure makes your skin and underlying tissues tear, disfiguring your body in a thousand little ways. The injuries, although seemingly minor, make it more difficult for your body to heal itself properly. Trying to squeeze your acne is one of the surest ways to end up with scars, instead of clear skin.
One often overlooked factor that contributes to bad skin health, and even acne, is your bed. Or to be more precise, the hygiene of the items in it. We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping, so it comes as no surprise that unclean pillows, blankets and sheets can contribute to all sorts of skin conditions.
If you’re having an acne problem, or more specifically, a cheek acne problem, the first thing you should do is replace your pillowcases. Make sure that your linens are always clean, and wash them often. That way you’ll get rid of the oil, dirt, sweat and other bodily products out bodies leave on our sheets and pillows. Products which in turn provide food for bacterial growth and fertile grounds for acne inflammation. But keep your pillows clean and you can get clear skin in 30 days.
This is probably the next most overlooked factor when it comes to considering causes for bad skin health, especially cheek acne. Just like with our hands, we take our smartphones everywhere. From the desk at school to our gym bag, to a busy diner and even a public toilet stall. It doesn’t take long to realize that our phones are gathering more dirt than all of our items combined.
And yet, we touch them all the time, and keep them glued to our faces for minutes on end. But smartphones are mostly dirty because we hardly ever think about cleaning them. It’s just a lack of awareness and habit, which, thankfully, can be easily fixed. Just clean your smartphone every couple of days (wet wipes or alcohol pads should do) and you’re good to go.
That is, if you want to have clear skin forever! But what’s the deal here, I hear you ask. Well, the bad news isn’t exclusive for people with greasy hair alone, but let’s note a couple of facts. If you don’t keep your hair tied and away from your face, all that oil from it will inevitably end up on your face and neck. This is not something that promotes good skin health, since the excess oil has two side effects. One, it clogs up your pores and hair follicles, and two, it is basically an all-you-can-eat gourmet for an array of acne-causing bacteria.
But, as I said, the bad news isn’t applicable for people with greasy hair alone. Even if your hair is of the dry type, or you just have normal hair but keep it perfectly clean, loose hair is still a problem. If you don’t keep it away from your face, it will still cause irritation to your healthy skin and cause everything from a rash to a bout of acne. So ladies, and gentlemen of the Jason Momoa type, keep your hair in a bun (or man bun) respectively.
It is not so difficult to see how makeup can cause acne. The brushes, sponges and other cosmetic tools you use to apply makeup can be one of the main sources of bacteria. And did we mention you use these on your face? Yup, and that’s why you should take special care to clean your makeup paraphernalia. Don’t be afraid to wash your brushes and sponges once in a while and dry them well. If some of them are old or beyond redemption, don’t overthink it, just throw them in the trash. Better trash them before they trash your face.
Everything has an expiration date, and that includes makeup. Usually, if your makeup is older than six months, there is a good chance that it has become populated by bacteria. To avoid that from happening, keep the lids on all your makeup and cosmetic products and be mindful of their expiration date. If it smells odd or looks odd… You know the drill.
As we mentioned above, this section focuses on changes in your behavior that can have a beneficial effect on your skin. If you do these for a while, you might even get clear skin in 30 days. But regardless, developing healthy habits is an integral part on the journey to clear skin forever. Here are the things you can do, stop doing, or just do differently.
Any way we turn it, makeup isn’t a friend to your skin. It covers up healthy skin and prevents it from functioning normally. The powders, oils, and substances found in makeup can often end up clogging up skin pores, paving the way for acne. Surely, you would seek to avoid this, but you would also seek to avoid looking less than perfect out in town. So, what is a girl to do?
Well, there is a middle ground here. For a start, rethink the amount of makeup and consider if it is possible to use less. You know, sometimes less is more, and when we consider makeup in the context of skin health and acne, the saying is literally true. Next, if you really need to put makeup on, focus on using a high quality, safe foundation. After all, it is the foundation that has direct contact with your skin, so the better the foundation, the happier your skin.
I know, I know. Coffee is everywhere and it’s just a matter of time until babies too begin to drink it. On its own, it has some beneficial properties (coffee is a powerful antioxidant), but we don’t really drink it pure, do we? Most often than not, we add tons of sugar, milk and all sorts of creams to it, which turns it into a very different beast. As we explained in our in-depth article on coffee’s effects on acne, the added milk and sugar affect a number of important metabolic processes. Some of these changes make our immune systems more reactive, thus increasing the likelihood of inflammation. Others make our bodies produce more skin oil (sebum), which provides fertile ground for acne-causing bacteria.
So if you are an avid coffee drinker facing persistent skin problems, or an acne problem, here’s what you can do. Try to reduce your coffee intake for one month, or if possible, give it up completely. Do this experiment for a month, and see if you can get clear skin in 30 days. Chances are that you will see visible improvements.
If you are a smoker, I have bad news for you. Besides slowly, but surely, ruining your body’s health and flirting with some of the most terrible diseases known to man, smoking ruins your skin too. See, cigarette smoke is rich in particles made up of toxic compounds and free radicals, both of which harm your skin in different ways. When you smoke, all the invisible tiny particles slide over your face and hair, landing there and contributing to the clogging of your beautiful pores. Additionally, these particles contain free radicals, which hamper the ability of our cells to regenerate themselves. And wait, did I mention the drying?
So what can you do? Well, besides quitting smoking (which is unrealistic because it’s hella hard to do) you can at least try vaping instead. So far, science is pretty sure on the harmlessness of vaping compared to actual smoking, so it will definitely be a step in the right direction. For more information, check out our article on vaping and its effects on skin health and acne.
We’ve all been there. One moment everything is fine, and the next you look red like a lobster and your skin is on fire. The sun is vital for Vitamin D, but stay in it for a tad too long and the harmful UV radiation can damage your skin. This doesn’t end with the inconvenience of burning sensations, though. If your skin gets too hot and too dry it can go into shock mode and activate its response mechanisms. This basically means mashing a button that says “Pump more oil!” Which is bad news if you hope to have clear skin and avoid an acne inflammation.
Alas, what is to be done? Well, quite a lot, actually. For a start, make sure you always carry sunscreen with you, just in case you forgot to slather some before leaving your house. Step number two is to pick the right sunscreen. Look for the “non-comedogenic” label on the products, and if possible, get yourself an oil-free alternative. That way you’ll be both protected and avoid getting your pores clogged up. And finally - clothing. Put on some light, and bright clothes, and a light, but wide hat. That way you’ll feel comfortable with moving around, less hot, and well protected.
I know, I hate it too. Until I actually get used to it and I get addicted to all the good feels it brings! That’s sadly how it works - the resistance is super strong in the beginning, but once you break through that barrier, you begin to feel the positive sides. And once you feel the love your body showers you with after a good exercise, it’s difficult to stop. But what does exercise have to do with clear skin, I hear you ask. Well, quite a lot, actually!
Exercise is one of the best stress relievers. That’s because it doesn’t merely resort itself to the calm of meditation, or yoga, but it also plays with the body’s physiological systems. The stress our bodies go through when physically active releases feel-good hormones and other substances that not only make us feel calm, but also regenerate our body. In addition, reducing stress reduces inflammations, which is great for your skin and bad for any acne you have. Furthermore, sweating opens up our skin pores, allowing it to breathe. This essentially cleans them from dirt and excess sebum (skin oil) which again, helps you get that clear skin you’ve been wishing for.
A habit, on its own, cannot do much. But combine several habits together and you get routines. Combine those… And you have a lifestyle. But is it a healthy lifestyle that’s good for you? Is it a lifestyle that helps you get clear skin? From removing makeup before going to bed, to keeping your hair tied neatly and washing your face first thing in the morning, simple habits can be combined into powerful routines that will vastly improve your skin health. Try developing a morning skin care routine, for example, and I bet that you can get clear skin in 30 days - or less.
This section is intended for specific things you can do, either consistently or once in a while in order to get clear skin. From home remedies to medical treatments, to skin care products - the solutions that follow are neither hygienic measures nor habits. Nonetheless, they are powerful allies to help you get clear skin and keep it forever.
While the following ingredients are best suited to fight acne, you can sometimes use them to clean your skin. Or who knows, who doesn’t have a pimple or two, right? At any rate, be careful in how you apply these anti-acne cleansers, and always follow the instructions.
The three most effective substances for cleaning skin, especially during an acne inflammation, are benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sulfur. If a product has one, or more of these combined, you’re good to go.
Benzoyl peroxide (note the “oxide” part) works by starving out the bacteria that causes acne. The perpetrator in question hates oxygen, and benzoyl peroxide brings plenty of that. Usually, benzoyl peroxide comes in the form of creams or gels, and it can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. So if you want clear skin forever, it’s a good idea to give your face a periodic spring cleaning with some benzoyl peroxide.
Salicylic acid, also known as BHA, has very different properties - it dries out the surface layer of the skin, and makes it easier to remove dead skin cells. This effectively makes it an exfoliator, and not to brag, but some salicylic acid products are better than others. However, apply too much salicylic acid - and you might dry out your skin a bit too much, or even damage it. That’s why you should always follow the instructions and have some moisturizer handy. It’s always good to apply some after cleaning your face with salicylic acid - but take care that they are oil-free and non-comedogenic.
Finally, some products boast that they contain sulfur (or sulphur). A foul-smelling, but extremely useful element, sulfur has been used since times immemorial for treating a wide variety of conditions. From wounds, to cuts, to skin lesions, acne and infectious diseases, sulfur has a role to play. When applied to the skin (in the form of a cosmetic product, of course!) sulfur makes short work of all the excess oil on the skin. In addition to that, it also dissolves dead skin cells, or pimples and acne.
Of course, be careful and follow the instructions. If you experience any adverse effects from any of these ingredients, you should wash your face immediately and talk to your doctor and dermatologist.
The internet, combined with the rich medicinal knowledge from all the cultures of humankind is a very powerful thing. If you’ve tried ten different treatments and none of them worked, maybe an eleventh one will work. Never give up hope, because you never know what will work until you try it. In this day and age it is easy to look into how other cultures tried to improve their beauty, treat acne and alleviate other skin conditions. That knowledge results in a rich tapestry of home remedies. Ranging from simple to the super complex, home remedies for clear skin are a staple of skin care. From papaya masks, to honey, cucumbers, rose water and even figs, home remedies provide harmless and varied alternatives for getting clear skin.
Just like home remedies, you can also try preparing your own, homemade spot treatments. These are intended for sparse and careful use, and sometimes include non-natural ingredients like crushed aspirin. Before you try any of these though, take the time to think whether they are appropriate for your skin type. To find out more about them and how to make your own spot treatment, check out our article on making your own spot treatments.
Originally the common, day-to-day ritual of rice farmers in South-East Asia, rice water is now recognized as a staple of the skincare, beauty and cosmetics industry. There are thousands upon thousands of products, especially in Korea, Japan, China, Thailand and Vietnam that brag about containing precious rice compounds in their gels, creams and elixirs. And it’s not for nothing - rice water is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E (and Vitamin E’s oil), proteins, complex carbohydrates, starch, and last but not least, a nice selection of minerals. Additionally, it has been found that the rice bran oil found in rice water can also protect the skin from sun damage. That explains why ancient rice farmers began using it in the first place.
But that’s not all. Besides all these amazing benefits for the skin, rice water is also good for your hair because it contains inositol. Inositol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that aids in the repair of your hair. But you don’t need those products in order to harness the benefits of that wonderful plant, rice. All you need to do is get your hands on some of it and prepare your own, homemade rice water treatment. To find out how, head over to our article on rice water and how you can use it.
You know those tiny little bumps all over your skin? Yes, those, that seem like there are thousands of them. What are those? Well, dermatologists call them comedones, and when they’re healthy, they’re almost imperceptible and have normal, skin-toned color. But if they become clogged they become immediately noticeable, and can either take the form of whiteheads or blackheads. These, in turn, may grow into pimples, or cause an entire acne outbreak. And we don’t want that, do we? That’s exactly why we dedicated an entire article on closed comedones and what to do about them.
Known as the “master antioxidant”, glutathione is a compound that’s naturally produced in our bodies. It is made up of glutamine, l-cysteine, and glycine, three crucial building blocks for precious amino acids. It fights inflammation, reduces oxidative stress and rejuvenates skin cells, but it also has the amazing ability to regenerate itself and other antioxidants.
Glutathione is also present on the skin, which makes it a precious ally in the quest for clear skin. However, since it is naturally produced by our bodies, it can be boosted by dietary and lifestyle changes. Learn more about this precious compound in our article on glutathione and skin health.
You can’t have clear skin if you have dark circles, and bags under your eyes, right? I mean, even if the rest of your face was flawless, those dark bags under the eyes sort of ruin the overall impression and disrespect the effort. The reasons vary from genetics to lack of sleep, and a number of allergies and deficiencies. And the treatments are as numerous as well. Our team has taken the time to research the causes behind the bags under our eyes, as well as compile a very useful, and healthy list of natural remedies. Head over to our article on how to get rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes for more information.
And I’m not joking! It’s real and it works. While the term chemical peel itself may induce cringe and wariness in most people, the procedure is pretty harmless.
It boils down to a professionally (cosmetic or medical) targeted application of exfoliants such as salicylic acid. This makes the uppermost layers of the skin become dry and peel away, thus ironing out any uneven areas on the skin. This also prods the body to produce collagen and try to repair itself, which produces even more smoothening effects. It is no surprise that chemical peels are often used in dealing with acne, acne scars and signs of aging such as wrinkles.
There are three types (or let’s say, categories) of chemical peel, but let me not give away everything for you right away. If you are interested in this procedure and how it can help you get clear skin in 30 days, head over to our article on chemical peels for clear skin and acne.
I know what you’re thinking but it ain’t it. I, too, imagined pulling oil - in some way, by sponge or syringe - from under my skin. But thankfully, oil pulling is a procedure that is super simple and super harmless, and doesn’t involve any injury.
Basically, oil pulling just means that you take some vegetable oil in your mouth and you swish it for a while before spitting it out. The longer you manage to do this, the better, although the recommended period is doing it for 20-30 minutes. Which is… Challenging, I admit. I can’t imagine holding water in my mouth for that long, let alone vegetable oil. However, people have been doing oil pulling for quite a while, claiming that it removes toxins from the mouth and improves the health of your teeth. Additionally, one side effect of this is that the improved health of the oral cavity also affects the skin in your face. Fewer toxins in the tissues under your face (i.e. your mouth) less health problems for the skin on your face, right? Right.
If you want to try this treatment as prevention for bad skin, and in doing so help yourself get clear skin, check out our article on oil pulling for acne and skin health.
You have probably noticed that shea butter is one of the darlings of the cosmetics and beauty industry. Nearly every other skin care product nowadays brags that it contains shea butter. But why? What’s so special about butter? Well, it’s not… Butter, exactly. At least not the kind produced by sheep and cows and other mammalian herbivores. Shea butter is vegan, and it’s produced by extracting the oil and meat from the nuts of the African shea trees. People in Africa have used the shea tree nut and its oil for a number of purposes. From cooking, to applying it to the hair and skin to help them look clear and healthy, shea butter is a traditional household staple of many peoples in Africa. But how is it useful for clear skin?
Well, shea butter is absolutely brimming with fatty acids and Vitamins E, A and F, all of which have beneficial effects for our skin. There are two types of shea butter available, the refined version and the unrefined version. You should go for one or the other depending on your needs. For example, are you interested in maintaining clear skin forever, or are you perhaps dealing with acne? Learn more about this precious natural substance in our article on shea butter for acne and clear skin.
Yes, I know. Who, in their right mind, would use vegetable oil for their skin and acne? I mean, isn’t olive oil intended for cooking, frying, and salad dressing anyway? Well, someone, somewhere, decided to help scientific progress and give olive oil other uses. While history is rich with examples of people using olive oil as a cosmetic aid for thousands of years, today’s science is split on the issue. Olive oil is rich in a number of vitamins, and it is pretty healthy for consummation, but is it really good for skin health? Well, some people claim it helped them get clear skin. Find out if that person is you by checking out our in-depth article on using olive oil for acne and skin.
Green tea is probably the most popular tea right now, and comes right behind coffee as everyone’s favorite hot drink. (I suspect hot chocolate would come third?) But don’t let the recent trending of the drink confuse you and make you mistake green tea for just another shallow fashion fad. Au contraire, green tea has a slew of beneficial properties for skin health, both when used topically and ingested.
For example, the leaves of green tea are brimming with something called polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that hunt and remove free radicals, compounds that cause damage to our cells. Green tea, being chock full of these antioxidants, makes sure your skin becomes less damaged and reduces inflammations around your body. But that’s not all, green tea also helps in balancing your hormones and regulating insulin sensitivity. So, how to use green tea, particularly in improving your skin? Read more about it in our article on how to use green tea to get clear skin.
Right. That’s a very good question, isn’t it? You’re in a situation that doesn’t only concern itself with getting clear skin, but merely normal skin. Thankfully, modern medicine and science are working hard on devising more and more medications and treatments for acne. There are many, and if it is any consolation, a person can choose from. So if you are interested in handing over your acne problem to the prescription medicines, head over to our article on acne medications.
However, what if your acne is especially severe, and of the cystic type? It might help you to know that there is hope - the author of this article went through the very same experience personally. I had tried many medications and dozens of home remedies, but my cystic acne didn’t go away until I tried Accutane therapy. It was a long and difficult and anxious experience, but in the end it paid off and my cystic acne have been gone for more than 15 years. If you suffer from severe acne and would like to learn more about what to do, head over to our article about Accutane and all you need to know about it.
Obviously, there are hundreds, if not thousands of different treatments, habits, and remedies that can help you get clear skin. The same goes for keeping your clear skin forever - and some of the suggested methods here will also make you achieve clear skin in 30 days (or even less). If you need even more skin care advice, head over to our Ultimate Guide on How to Get Flawless Skin. Good luck!
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.