When I was younger, I was very fortunate to have great skin. All throughout high school I wore next to no makeup and didn’t really have a skincare routine. Yet jump forward a decade, into my mid 20’s, which saw me experiencing cystic acne and constant breakouts.
A lot of this was due to the change in my hormones throughout pregnancy and post-birth. As well as removing all forms of contraception, which were obviously keeping it all at bay all these years.
Trying to suppress my hormones again with contraception wasn’t an option, and I’d made the choice to try and balance my hormones and correct my skin issues naturally. As just suppressing them again would mean the issues were still under there.
I spoke with doctors, naturopaths, skin clinicians – everyone!!
I tried lotion after potion, each with some degree of success but often another problem appearing (I.E dry skin patches).
Not to mention, being a mum of young kids. I didn’t have the time, nor budget, to be always focusing on my skin. Ain’t nobody got time for a half an hour skin regime morning and night!
Keep It Simple
After a little while, I got the best piece of advice I’ve ever had – “Keep it simple!”.
And while this was painful at the time to adhere too at the time when you’ve spent hundreds if not thousands on skincare and treatments. It was almost like a complete reset for my skin.
To allow it to heal and re-balance by just doing the minimum cleanse and moisturise, with a few simple lifestyle changes.
Within a month or two, my skin started to settle down. My breakouts were less intense and my skin was more consistent.
It took some time for my scarring to fade, but the cystic acne stopped coming through.
I feel like I had spent so much time focusing on a quick fix, putting harsh products on my skin, yet not focusing holistically on my body. That I was just making things worse by not trying to fix the problems but mask them again.
It’s now been over 4 years and I have found a good and simple routine, that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg and can be completed between “Mum, I need a cuddle” and “Mum, I need a cup of water”.
These are my 5 simple tips to keeping skin clear and healthy, and proof that sometimes – less is more!
Drink Plenty Of Water
I notice a big change in my skin if I am dehydrated, especially if I’ve had a few drinks on the weekend.
My skin tells the tale!
I try and drink 2-3 litres a day, plus warm lemon water in the morning (when I remember).
Don’t Be Too Harsh
When cleansing your skin, I have discovered that the simpler the better.
I used to use a really harsh, abrasive cleanser on my face, which I thought was great for really removing the nasties. But it turns out all I was doing was disrupting all my breakouts to spread and removing precious oil from my face.
I thought the same for really harsh chemicals, that had that slight sting, like “oh this is really burning off the bad stuff” – LOL!! Again, big no. I was just irritating my skin and causing it to break out more in reaction.
I started using much gentler cleansers, with not as many ingredients. Back to that “Keep it simple” rule.
My current go-to has been QV Face Gentle Cleanser – it’s dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types so both Jezz and I can use it.
Plus, it’s affordable and easy to come by (available in most pharmacies and online).
Wash Your Pillow Cases Often
This might not be one you’ve considered. But a GF of mine who works in a skin clinic showed me the most mortifying video once and now I wash my pillowcases every few days.
Your face is resting on them for a good 7-8 hours a night, and you’re covering them in residual makeup, bacteria, dirt, and oil in that time. Which makes your freshly washed face redundant if it’s not cleaned regularly.
I also don’t use fabric softener or anything nasty when washing them, so there is nothing to irritate my skin once I’ve washed them.
I also switched to a silk pillow, both for my hair and skin. Highly recommend.
Protect Your Skin With SPF
When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with sunbaking and building gon my natural tan (I know CRINGE).
Now!? You won’t catch me dead outside without wearing a product with SPF.
My daily go-to is QV Face Moisturising Day Cream SPF 30*. I love that it combines my daily hydration hit with broad-spectrum protection and isn’t greasy for me at all.
It’s also dermatologically tested and free from fragrance, colour and other common irritants (super important if you have sensitive skin). Bonus – QV Face Day Cream is vegan friendly and contains no animal-derived ingredients.
I have discovered over recent years just how much my gut health is linked to my skin.
After chatting with my naturopath I have lowered (no removed) my intake of dairy.
Just simple things like switching to almond milk for my hot drinks. As well as lighter options cheeses. I found this had a big impact on reducing my breakouts as well.
I also mix a collagen powder in a lot of my cooking and drinks and I find this makes a big difference in my hair, skin & nails.
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.