I’ve had acne on and off for years, it usually flares up most when I’m stressed out (senior year Thank You!!!). If you experience something similar, my one tip of advice is to mentally reevaluate your priorities and realize that acne is a tiny piece of debris floating in your sea of goodness (you have much more important things to think about!).
That being said, consider focusing on building up the overall health of your skin, rather than removing any “imperfections” you may have. Hydration and well-rounded nutrition are paramount in doing this. Living in Pittsburgh is great since so many fruits and veggies can be grown here: fruits and vegetables that fight extreme insulin spikes, have anti-inflammatory properties, and often contain compounds like beta-carotenes and vitamin-C. While it comes as no surprise that consuming fresh produce can improve the health of your skin, you can also use the veggies you grow to make organic face masks (assuming you stay clear of harsh pesticides, but why wouldn’t you…). Face masks are great for your skin and can be über-relaxing, and it turns out they can be made from ingredients grown right here in Pittsburgh. When mixing up your own masks, consider using some of these ingredients:
Cucumbers are cooling, anti-inflammatory, and can reduce redness in the skin.
Butternut squash naturally boosts collagen production in the skin and can naturally protect against the sun’s UV rays because of its bioflavonoids.
Strawberries and Asparagus are both great for their vitamin-C content, while both offer a slew of other vitamins and minerals. The presence of vitamin-C is especially great for its antioxidant qualities—stopping free radical electrons in their tracks and often eliminating their damaging effects.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotenes and vitamin-A. Our bodies convert beta-carotene in vitamin-A which fosters healthy skin and mucous membranes (and immunity against pathogens, as well as good eye-health).
Tomatoes are awesome for so many reasons. They contain high levels of vitamin-C, contain lycopene which provides protection against UV rays, and act as natural astringents. Here‘s an article that explores 36 benefits of tomatoes.
Finally, and I know it isn’t something you can easily grow (unless you’re up for the adventure of keeping bees), honey. Honey’s highly dense sugary makeup makes it antibacterial and promotes wound healing, it’s loaded with antioxidants, and it’s a great pore unclogger and moisturizer. This doesn’t mean you should pick up any honey from the grocery store, though. This is a great opportunity to support your local beekeepers! Now that summer’s approaching, try checking out farmers markets to see if any honey vendors are selling. Here‘s a list of farmers markets in Pittsburgh that sell honey. 💛
Remember that everyone’s skin’s different, so these things may or may not work for you. Try them out and find what you love!