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tips for clear skin

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Me with 0 make-up…but good lighting ; )

Anonymous asks: Mr. Kate! Please tell us how you keep your skin so clear?

Konsuelo’s Kitchen asks: Do tell us Mr. Kate, who do you keep your skin so clear??

Dila asks: Dear Kate, can you do a YouTube video on your skin care routine and the products you use? I love your skin, you’re naturally beautiful!  Please help!

My Answer: Hi Anonymous, Dila, and Konsuelo! I have to first say that it has been a journey for me to find my way to clear skin… Disclaimer: my skin isn’t completely clear (is that even possible?), I still deal with blackheads on my nose and the once-in-a-while hormonal breakout – but overall my skin is free of breakouts. Here is a little insight into my past skin problems and the products that I’ve found help me the most…

cleaning-up

My History of Breakouts: In highschool, like many teenagers, I had combination skin. My T zone was oily and my cheeks were dry. I broke out on my forehead, around my nose and chin. I treated that daily with Retin A and tea tree oil and professional facials once ever couple months which helped a lot. My skin cleared up between the ages of 16 and 20 but then I started breaking out on my cheeks, a place I’d never before experienced breakouts. I freaked out because I thought I’d get scarring so I did a course of Accutane, prescribed by a dermatologist which worked like a miracle. The doctor had me on a low dose for 5 months and my skin totally cleared up and I only experienced slight side effects like chapped lips and dry skin.

My skin was all clear until about 3 years later at age 24, I started breaking out again around my mouth and jawline. I went back to the same dermatologist and told her I didn’t want to go back on Accutane because it was such a strong drug so she told me to try a system called Solvere. It is basically Proactive but more gentle. Since I have sensitive skin, Solvere was perfect for treating my breakouts while also soothing my skin. I used the face wash, pads, spot treatment and moisturizer twice a day and really noticed a difference.

All over-the-counter acne treatments are the same really. They are all either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide unless you’re using a natural remedy that has fruit acids like alpha hydroxy or natural antiseptics like tea tree or lavender.

What Works For Me Now: I’ve found that a 2% salicylic acid face wash (like Solvere or Neutrogena) used twice a day works for me to maintain clear skin, benzoyl peroxide is only good for a spot treatment on active breakouts because in a face wash it dries me out and moisturizer is key! I’ve really learned that the skin is a sensitive organ and it is possible to over-treat it one way or the other. I personally think it is a mis-conception that you should avoid all oils, etc. to treat problem skin. If you dry your skin out too much it could rebel and cause you to break out more or suffer other consequences like inflamed, dry skin. Keep your face clean by washing twice per day and then nourish, replinish and protect your skin throughout the day with a high quality, natural moisturizer – rememeber that saying “you are what you eat”? Well, I think it applies to skin too!… You are what you put on your skin and how you treat your skin. Keep it clean and treat it gently and it will heal and be beautiful.

My Skin Favorites:

  1. Solvere kit – great combo of salicylic acid face wash and pads, benzoyl peroxide spot treatment and a gentle moisturizer – this really worked to gently clean up my breakouts and is my go-to solution when I’m having skin issues.
  2. Jurlique Love Balm – Love this balm to calm my chapped lips, sensitive eye area and hands. It smells delish and is all natural.
  3. Jurlique Moisture Replinishing Day Creme – Literally my favorite moisturizer ever! It is super thick but made from the BEST ingredients and protects your skin after you cleanse. It’s pricey but so worth it because the quality is amazing and you only want the most natural ingredients in your moisturizer because it ultimately gets absorbed into your body via your pores throughout the day.
  4. Clarisonic Brush – Because I use the salicylic face wash I find that I don’t have to exfoliate my skin much but when I do, I use this brush. The acid naturally sluffs off dead skin but if you find that you need extra help to clear your pores, this ultrasonic tool is amazing.
  5. Dr Hauschka’s Normalizing Day Oil – Like I said above, I don’t think you should be super harsh on your problem skin, it need a balance! Like a homeopathic, this oil treats your oily skin with… oil! I know, it sounds counter intuitive but it really does work to normalize overly oily skin. Treat fire with fire! I use this on my forehead and nose during the Spring/Summer months when I produce more oil.
  6.  Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash – If you don’t want to fork over the $50 for the Solvere kit, try this 2% salicylic acid face wash (the same 2% is in the Solvere face wash). It doesn’t come with the pads, spot treatment and moisturizer but it’s a very budget friendly option if you’re looking for a good, daily face wash from the drug store.
  7. Tea tree oil & Lavender essential oil – two amazing essential oils that are naturally antiseptic and work wonders to treat breakouts or calm your skin. I like to use tea tree oil as an all natural spot treatment on pimples and lavender as an antiseptic calming agent on inflamed skin… it also calms your nerves via it’s delish smell!
  8. Retin A – not pictured above and must be prescribed by a dermatologist is a great way to treat stubborn blackheads if the 2% salicylic acid doesn’t do the job.

Makeup:

coverup

  1. Laura Mercier Brightening Powder – This powder is great to use on your forehead and under eyes to bring a glow to your skin which sometimes is the trick to distracting from a breakout elsewhere. This powder is nice and light and won’t clog your pores.
  2. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit – My favorite concealer to cover breakouts because of the thick consistency and high quality ingredients. I find it doesn’t worsen the infection and the poweder it comes with helps to set the concealer and keep my blemish covered all day… just make sure to keep your makeup brushes clean too!

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Skin No Nos:

  • Don’t get stressed and touch your face – I do this and always notice I breakout more if I’m putting my grimy hands on my face throughout the day…. also beware of your phone and headphones touching your face!

aaScreen-Shot-2014-03-06-at-1.24.54-PMPre gym with no makeup

  • Never workout or sleep with make-up! Your pores open up and absorb dirt and bacteria which can lead to breakouts. I always wash my face before I go to the gym so I know I’m giving my face the best possible chance when I get all sweaty.

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  • Challenge yourself to no-makeup days. I try to have at least one day per week where I wash my face, apply my moisturizer and go to work or out and about with no makeup on at all. It helps me appreciate the REAL me and also gives my skin a chance to breath. If you don’t want to go completely bare faced, try just using concealer on the problem spots but skipping the foundation and bronzer, etc.

Hope these tips help you! Comment and let us all know your clear skin solutions! xo

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