Five things you can do about acne and pigmentation

We talk a lot about body confidence in the fitness industry, but what about feeling confident in your own skin? I know from personal experience that acne, sensitivity, pigmentation and other skin concerns can make you feel like you want to hide away from the world… and that’s just not good enough when there’s so much fun to be had, so let’s talk about scoring clear skin girls!

It’s true that beauty starts from the inside and a healthy lifestyle, good clean nutrition, plenty of sleep and making friends with water will help you feel fresh and get your glow on.

But it wasn’t until I suffered from terrible acne and pigmentation in my mid-twenties that I released just how much the products I used could also impact the quality of my skin.

It turns out most of the fancy products and treatments I was buying weren’t really helping, in fact a lot of them, despite being “non-comedogenic” (and costing a fortune) were doing more harm than good.

When it comes to nailing your skin care, what I’ve learned is the ingredients that work best are simple, minimal, but high quality, allowing your skin to breathe while also protecting it and calming it down.

Check out these 5 tips to feel more confident in your own skin

Snap up the new BB cream from Avene
Avene has long been one of my favourite brands – it’s not too expensive and is so great for sensitive skin they’ve built an entire hydrotherapy treatment centre using the product, designed to reverse even the most troubling skin conditions. I was pretty excited to see they’d launched a new BB cream that was perfect for active women like me (and you!) – it’s SPF 30 but so light and breathable on your skin, and it has a universal tint that gives you a nice glow.

Wear an SPF every single day
I know, I know, your mum told you this often enough and you don’t need to hear it from me too! Seriously though, even if you’re not in direct sunshine, or out long enough to burn, the damage our strong Aussie sun does to your skin even in the brief moments you’re walking to your office, going for a run, or even sitting in your car with sunlight streaming in the window, really adds up! Using a daily SPF can drastically change your skin both now and down the track.

Don’t over-do it with scrubbing or product strength
It’s so tempting to get the harshest product on the shelf and scrub your skin with it when you have acne or exfoliate daily to try and remove dry scaly skin, but I promise you, the less you mess with your skin’s superficial layers, the better in the long run! Acne, irritation, rosacea, at the end of the day it’s all inflammation and you want simple, non-irritating product that cleanses your skin but calms it, rather than stripping it of its natural balance. Leave the stronger products to your trusted dermatologist or facial guru to apply!

Save thick makeup for special occasions
I know it’s tempting to lather on thick makeup when you’re not feeling good, but the simpler you can go with your day-to-day products, the clearer your skin will become overall! That’s why I love a good tinted BB cream and a little mineral powder most days… it’s all you really need and is such a light combo you can wear it training both outdoors and in the gym.

What else can you do to set things straight?
Sometimes there’s a deeper issue to uncover, so if you’re eating a traditional diet with lots of fresh produce, moving your body and using great products (see point #1!) but things still aren’t changing, then it’s time to get a professional on your side. It’s worth finding an integrative doctor who can assess your gut health, run a few blood tests and take a good look at what’s going on inside your body – there’s a test called Bioscreen that measures your gut flora precisely and we highly recommend it if you can find a practitioner offering it! Working with a great holistic dermatologist can also be great, or a medical based cosmetic clinic that provides tailored facials and advice (I love The Clinic in Sydney’s East).

Fun Fact

If you’re susceptible to acne, foods that are particularly high in iodine can cause flare-ups. Some unexpected sources include seaweed, algae and spirulina products, cheese, table salt (found in most packaged snack products), peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oil. And a good zinc supplement can be your best friend, so ask your practitioner about whether this is an option for you.