There is a job interview next Monday. Girls’ night is this coming Saturday night. You are supposed to be taking Christmas card pictures with your family next Wednesday. You have your business suit, your cocktail dress, and your adorable scarf and boots ensemble all neatly laid out for everything that is coming up–but there is one thing that refuses to cooperate: your skin. A handful of pesky, acne blemishes are scattered across your face.

This is one of the most frustrating battles that many women fight all of their lives, from pubescent acne to sun spots to wrinkles and anti-aging. The cosmetics, health, and beauty industries have leapt on this opportunity to feed on this insecurity that many average women share. A lot of females hope that acne will dissipate once they enter adulthood, but that is unfortunately not always the case.

You could spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on skin care products and procedures, including botox, acne scar treatment, and botox injections. But where to begin? Depending on your acne frequency and severity, you may be getting all sorts of recommendations thrown at you, from skin experts to family to internet testimonials. All acne and skincare battles are complicated and personal, but here are some lifestyle changes that are known by skin experts to help with common skin issues.

One: Know the skin you are in. Take a few days without makeup and any skin treatment procedures to really become aware of what your skin naturally does. Pay attention to the times of day that your skin becomes oily or dry, or if it is consistently one or the other. Makeup and face products can seriously alter your perception of how much oil your skin naturally produces and how that will change your skincare needs.

It is also important to learn what kind of acne you are prone to. Cystic acne, for example, are large, painful blemishes that occur deep within the skin; they are not traditional surface pimples and can’t be “popped” like one. Surface washes do nothing for cystic acne, which is often a chronic condition and needs to be addressed through oral medication or antibiotics. The other two forms of acne you may be prone to are whiteheads and blackheads. These blemishes occur when dirt gets trapped in the pore, mixes with oil and bacteria, and becomes infected. Blackheads are when the pore is open and that infection gets exposed to oxygen, giving the pore a black appearance. All three different forms of acne must be approached differently for the most accurate results.

Two: Nourish from within. You can apply the best moisturizer in the world of exfoliate half a dozen times a day, but it will make no difference if your skin cells are struggling due to lack of nutrients. Your skin is just as dependent on you and your diet for what it needs to be healthy as the rest of the organs in your body, and you can be most effective in treating your skin problems by changing what skin cells draw from within you, not what you put on it. It is important to skip the botox botox injections until your skin is healthy and free of acne.

Skin experts suggest that the most important fuel you can give your skin is water. Skin experts advise that water keeps your skin soft, firm, and bright, all the while aiding your cells in circulation and excretion of waste, including the waste and dirt that contributes to your acne. When your body is properly hydrated, circulation through even the blood vessels in your face are more efficient and better stimulated, and blood stimulation to acne scabs and open blemishes helps them heal faster.

A poor diet that is loaded with sugary drinks and fried food means that your skin cells–just like the rest of the cells in your body–will be forced to use those sugars and fats as energy, as opposed to natural nutrients from a better diet. These sugars and fats lead to clogging of your pores and acne. Change your diet, heal your skin, and feel better overall, too!

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