We have a fickle relationship with our skin — sometimes we love it, other times we revert to our adolescence and bunker up indoors in an effort to hide our breakouts from the world. Anyone that’s suffered even the most minimal form of acne knows how emotionally taxing the skin-care roller coaster can be, and that combatting it takes more than an impulsively purchased serum or scrub.
So, instead of fighting the blemish battle by constantly covering up or playing a rousing game of musical face products, we turned to S.F. skin guru Kimmy Williams of Acqua e Sapone to guide us to a crystal-clear complexion. We've seen Williams work wonders on problematic skin for years, and the pro has a tip (or 10) for everyone out there — regardless of what shape your skin’s in. With her help, you'll be bidding those bumps adieu in no time. The intel ahead is spot on.
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"Yes, this tip requires only this one thing — and it is free and easily accessible to everyone. The most noticeable zits are usually swollen, pus-filled, and red because they are inflamed. To bring down the inflammation, rub a piece of ice directly over your entire face after cleansing to reduce red, sore blemishes. "
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"It's only natural to want to pick and most of us would be lying if we said we never tried to pick away a blemish on our face. When you gouge at your face, you can drive inflammation deeper down into the layers of the skin and cause scarring, pigmentation, infection, not to mention you usually just make the blemish look 10 times worse. Ice the blemish as soon as you start feeling it coming up and/or find a specialist who can properly perform extractions for you."
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"Contrary to what you might think, neither the FDA [nor] any other agency controls the accuracy of cosmetic labeling, and skin-care products are not required to be approved before being sold to you. Skin-care products that are marketed as non-comedogenic and acne-fighting are usually not, and even many prescription topical medications for acne like Retin-A contain pore-clogging ingredients. The only way to make sure you are using products that do not contribute to blemishes is by checking the ingredient list. "
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"Makeup-induced pimples are often induced by liquid makeup. The creamy texture of liquid foundation, concealer, and tinted moisturizer is usually obtained from thick oils designed to fill in pores to give the surface of the skin a smooth look. Stick to a non-comedogenic mineral powder, which sits on the surface of the skin, and make sure to wash your makeup brushes at least once a week."
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"Fabric softener and laundry detergents that contain fragrances are meant to leave a waxy residue on your sheets, so that they smell good. This residue rubs on your skin when you put on your clothes, sleep on your sheets, and wipe your face dry with a towel. To avoid rubbing blemish-causing chemicals on your skin, stick to fragrance-free detergent, no fabric softener, and wash your pillowcases at least once a week."
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"Iodide is a trace mineral that is essential for thyroid functioning but in excess is excreted through the oil glands, irritating the pores and causing acne flare-ups. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iodide for adults is 150mcg per day and most of us get more than that amount just from eating a balanced diet. Stay away from foods like kelp and dried seaweed, which contains about 12,000% the recommended amount per ounce."
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"Numerous studies have indicated that dairy consumption increases acne. According to Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47,355 women, 'found a positive association with acne for intake of total milk and skim milk.' A similar study conducted on a group of 4,273 boys also 'found a positive association between intake of skim milk and acne.' Both studies point to the presence of hormones [in milk]... When we consume dairy, these hormones...become factors that influence [our] endogenous hormones and enter our bodies and mimic the hormones that trigger oil production in our skin and ignite the acne process."
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"If you've ever turned down a piece of chocolate for fear of waking up with a new pimple, you may have had good reason, but it's probably not due to the cocoa, but the sugar. The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently published a study that revisited the relationship between diet and acne and concluded that consuming a diet [with a] high glycemic load may aggravate acne. Another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further justifies the pimple paranoia around sweets by linking a low-glycemic diet with a decrease in inflammatory acne. So, don't be scared to have a piece of chocolate as a treat but keep your overall sugar intake low."
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