Keep your hands off your face! I know you want to, I know you really, really want to, but please DON’T pick at your face. I’ve done it, and I have scars. Even if you’ve washed your hands prior, you inevitably spread bacteria when you pop a zit. Also, you’re going to further irritate the skin. So before you squeeze a zit, ask yourself if doing so is going to hurt or help your skin’s healing. If you have a monster zit that you urgently need gone, do it the night before because there’s nothing worse than spending forever trying to cover up a huge red, and watery lump or gash when you’re trying to look decent before you go out. I found this guide to be really helpful: http://www.acne.org/pop.html
Long story short: No touchy! And as an added bonus for your saintliness, you are less likely to get sick because we all touch lots of grimy stuff during the day without realizing it.
Wash/ change your towels and pillowcases regularly. I recommend changing pillowcases about once a week and changing face towels every three or four days. However, feel free to change them more or less frequently as it suits your needs. Also, be sure your towel is getting properly dry between each use. If it’s not, it could be acting as a breeding ground for bacteria and mildew, yuck! So if your bathroom is damp and cool and/ or has poor air circulation, you should hang up your towels in another part of your house or apartment to make sure they get completely dry.
Wash or change out your makeup sponges and/ or brushes regularly. Again, I’d say once per week or so, but you might like to wash, sterilize, or change your makeup tools after each use. It really depends on what you feel comfortable with. Do you have a ton of brushes or get a little OCD about cleaning them? Save money with this DIY brush-cleaner recipe! You can watch the original instructional video here.
Wash your hair or tie it back and/ or cover it, especially when you sleep. Washing and drying my hair annoys me, so I like to put it off, but when I go a few days without washing, my skin often speaks up and says: “Chick, you are spreading oil and bacteria on me, and I don’t like it!” with a few breakouts. Your skin likely does the same, so if you’re “between washes” keep your hair away from your face.
Look after your physical, mental, and emotional states:
Get enough rest! Don’t kid yourself. You need your eight-to-nine-hour beauty sleep. Studies have shown an overall higher mood and an increase in your ability to deal with stress when it does come your way. Avoid playing around on your laptop, phone, or tablet at least an hour before you’d like to turn in as the blue light sends signals to your brain that it’s still time to be up and at ’em for a while. Read more about this and other effects of blue light here. Also, getting to bed before midnight gives you a significantly higher quality of rest. Doctor Oz talks about this and more ways to get better, more restful sleep here.
Meditate or find a way to unwind. Releasing stress and calming your mind and nervous system can only be good for your body and therefore your skin. I like listening to guided meditation especially through YouTube videos by Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle. Anyone whose voice/ style helps you to relax is good. I also find chanting mantras helpful at times and enjoyed those from Deva Premal and Miten; some of their music/ chants are on their YouTube channel: PrabhuMusic. Many people find that creative outlets like singing, painting, writing, etc, help them to destress.
Move your body in a way that feels good to you. Please don’t torture yourself. Exercise can be fun. If you’re like me, you’re getting really skeptical right about now, but remember to do what feels good. For example, take a walk while listening to music or talking to a friend, participate in a yoga class that’s appropriate for your level, dance to your favorite music, take a Zumba, step aerobics, or a kick boxing class, walk up a flight of stairs or several and then celebrate like Rocky at the end, take Karate, Jujitsu, or Tai Kwan Do, or just move around and clean your place set to music. Forget about attaining a certain heart rate over X time or burning a certain number of calories with your workouts. Instead, just focus on moving your body for at least 30 minutes per day to see your health, mood, and serotonin levels rise, your stress go down, and happiness to spread from the inside out!
Remember: Treat yourself well, treat your skin well, treat your body well, and you will see results.