Anyone who has dealt with acne at any point in their lives understands the frustration that comes along with it. Clear skin is always the end goal, and maintaining good skin care habits will help get you there. While there's no universal one-and-done cure for clear skin, with some advice from women who are pros at maintaining a blemish-free complexion, you can help minimize breakouts in the future.
Keep scrolling to learn about the 10 good habits of women who never break out.
“When I do start to notice a blemish forming, I immediately clean the area,” says Olivia Culpo. “I’ll use my daily face wash, but also use witch hazel after to really make sure I remove all dirt and oil. Once I clean the area, I try not to pick or touch it at all. I've noticed how terribly my skin reacts when I touch it with my hands, which carry natural oils. (I know it can be tempting, but don't do it!) I also have a spot treatment that I'll use after witch hazel: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17). I even sleep with this on a breakout to dry it out.”
Yes, retinoids are known for being amazing anti-agers, but women with clear skin know the power they have over acne. Dr. Karen Hammerman of Schweiger Dermatology Group explains, “The vitamin A derivative is the best way to clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads from forming. Prescription-strength formulations are the most effective, but there are several highly effective over-the-counter retinol formulations. These work on receptors in the skin to improve the way skin grows and sheds so that it is less likely to form acne. The outer skin layer, aka the epidermis, evens out and gets thicker while the outer dead layer of keratin material sheds more efficiently. Sometimes there is noticeable peeling, but after regular use three to seven times weekly for four to six weeks, the side effects lessen and the skin appears more radiant and clear.”
When you're busy working around the clock, getting home and hitting the bed is all you want to do—but removing your makeup and cleansing skin is skincare 101. Actress Danielle Brooks was filming Orange Is the New Black, performing on Broadway in The Color Purple, and recording for her character in Angry Birds but never forgot to do either of those things. “I’m constantly walking around with makeup wipes. I use ones from Aveeno ($6) and Lauren Napier ($18),” Brooks tells Allure about her skincare routine. “It’s been really challenging for me to keep the pimples down. So I wash my face with Cetaphil ($7) every day.”
Acne-prone skin can benefit from an at-home BHA treatment. Skin expert and esthetician Kerry Benjamin explains that the most common BHA is salicylic acid, which a lot of anti-acne products have—but clear-skinned women know that a concentrated formula like this one from Paula's Choice works overtime. “BHAs help smooth out acne-scarred skin, control sebum production, and loosen dead skin cells,” Benjamin told us. “This is an excellent peel for those looking for immediate results with minimal to no downtime.”
Alexa Chung told us that the older she gets, the more she gets serious about skincare. She gets facials and finally learned the correct way to implement an oil into her skincare regimen to maximize results. “I just went to that Ling Spa in New York, and she had something that was like a serum that was really good. I love oils, but then the facialist was like oils are not great to use—I thought it was hydrating. It’s not. It’s a barrier after you’ve done the hydrating. I didn’t realize that, so now I’ve been using a serum, then moisturizer, and then the oil,” she says.
We all know that food plays a huge role in our well-being, and that includes skin. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas explains that is all starts with diet. “I would strongly suggest avoiding sugar, dairy, and wheat. All of those things are hard to digest and lead to breakouts, even in adult skin! On the flip side, I would recommend trying to eat veggies with every meal—they will help your digestive system and keep your skin nice and clear. If that's a tall order, then buy liquid chlorophyll from Whole Foods. It's easier to swallow and will make the skin clear and glowing!”
You can also start off small, by making a green juice drink a day your new “My number one tip for glowing skin is absolutely my favorite skin fix: Drink a green juice every day. It will be a great replacement to your afternoon coffee, and it will literally transform your skin in a matter of days. It helps oxygenate the skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage, so it's depuffing, too! My skincare solution for the skin needing greens is my Daily Serum. It's a green juice for the skin!” explains Vargas.
After 11 years in the modeling world, Lindsay Ellingson has learned a thing or two about the beauty products she uses on her face. When it comes to skincare, she avoids using anything that could be too harsh and cause a breakout. “The lesson I learned after years of struggle is to not strip your skin—it shouldn’t feel tight and dry after cleansing,” she tells us. “Today, my skincare routine consists of mostly all natural and organic products. In the morning, I gently cleanse my skin with Bioderma Crealine ($17) and moisturize with Weleda’s Iris Hydrating Day Cream ($20), followed by a dusting of ColorScience’s Mineral SPF 50 ($41). At night, I wash my makeup away with Ildi Pekar’s Honey Cleanser ($65) and deeply moisturize with a mix of Pratima Skincare’s Vitamin C Serum ($32) and Rejuvenating Essential Oil ($40).”
Beverly Hills facialist Gina Mari dealt with adult acne, which led her to her career in skincare. According to Vogue, Mari customizes her treatments depending on a client's needs and is a fan of technology when it comes to acne. “Mari is a big believer in technology and often multitasks seven different systems in one treatment, including vitamin-infused microdermabrasion; microcurrent electric therapy; LED Light therapy; hyperbaric oxygen infusions; and micro channeling (a fractional micro-needling device that effectively targets pigmentation and enlarged pores).”
Kendall Jenner has been vocal about her struggle with acne. “I felt like such an outcast; when I spoke, it was with my hand covering my face,” she confessed to on her blog. These days, the model has clear skin thanks to her “incredible dermatologist,” Dr. Christine Kidd, who she now sees on a regular basis. Jenner has been acne-free for a few years now, which goes to show derm visits are a must.
Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau's biggest advice is to never pick at skin, especially if it's cystic acne you're dealing with. “Despite being sore, it's not meant to come out through the surface, and if you attempt to do so, you’ll most certainly have a scar that will linger for months,” she says. So keep the magnifying mirror away and hands nowhere near your face. Instead, look for an anti-inflammatory spot treatment to reduce redness, kill bacteria, and speed up the recovery of a breakout.
How do you keep your skin acne-free? Share your tips in the comments below.