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     Waking up with a monster-sized zit is a high schooler’s worst nightmare. There are millions of ads and billboards claiming to have the holy grail skincare product that cures every flaw on your face. But which trends are really worth the hype, and which ones are bogus?

     As a teenage girl that struggled with acne, hyperpigmentation, and dry skin, I understand the frustration of ordering a highly praised product only for it to make my skin look worse. After spending years and hundreds of dollars testing different methods and products, I’ve finally achieved the clear glass skin look that every girl on your Pinterest board has. Everyone’s skin type is different and not every product will be right for you. But if you struggle with the same problems as I do, here are some helpful tips that saved my skin.

1. HEALTHY & HYDRATED LIPS

    

  The most crucial part of my skincare routine is lip care. It doesn’t matter how amazing your skin looks if you have crusty lips. The secret behind getting that look is a good exfoliator. There are many affordable lip scrubs on the market, but if you’re on a budget, you can make your own at home with just two ingredients! All you need is one tablespoon of honey and two tablespoons of sugar. Mix in a small jar and use it to scrub your lips once a week.

      Using a good lip mask overnight to lock in moisture is key to waking up with plump lips. I highly recommend the Laneige lip mask from Sephora. I use it as a mask overnight and a lip balm throughout the day. It gives you the perfect glossy look without the sticky traditional lip gloss feel.

      If you can only buy one lip product, or you think multiple products are too high maintenance, I would go for a classic lip balm. Glossier is the trendiest lip balm and is constantly releasing limited edition scents. But if you’re looking for a brand to quickly grab at your next Target run, Burt’s Bees has dozens of scents (my favorite is pink grapefruit) and a great formula. They even have tinted lip balms that give your lips an effortless, natural hue.

2. DOUBLE CLEANSING FOR SKINCARE

          While it may feel repetitive and a little dumb to wash your face twice, it really does make all the difference. Double cleansing is a method where you wash your face with an oil based cleanser, followed by a water based cleanser. Doing so ensures you’re cleaning all the sweat and dirt off your face.  It’s especially helpful for removing heavy makeup and sunscreen.

3. NIACINAMIDe

           I’ve tried dozens of serums and treatments but only one gives my skin a good reaction. Niacinamide improves texture, reduces congestion, and minimises acne. I use niacinamide and zinc  drops from The Ordinary every morning with my moisturiser. I find that if I use it before moisturiser, the formula builds up and flakes off.

4. A DAMN GOOD MOISTURIZER

           The biggest problem I had with my skin was how dry it got in the winter. I used to coat my face in moisturiser every morning and night, and it would still be flaky by the time I got to school. The only moisturiser that’s kept my skin hydrated on a cold winter day is the Tatcha Water Cream. It’s an oil-free, anti-aging formula filled with amazing ingredients like Japanese Wild Rose and Leopard Lily. It’s an investment but I haven’t found anything like it. It keeps my skin feeling plump and hydrated all day without reapplication.

5. Trips to the Fridge

           The kitchen isn’t usually the first place you’d think to store your makeup. But putting your masks, serums, and other treatments in the refrigerator actually makes your products more effective! The cold temperature helps soothe irritation, relax puffiness, and reduce redness on your skin.

          If you don’t want your siblings or roommates to steal your skincare, you can buy a mini fridge to keep in your bathroom. I got one from Walmart on sale for $25! I keep my sheet masks and face rollers on the top shelf, and my serums and moisturizers on the bottom.

6. USING PROTECTION!

           I never leave the house without a layer of SPF on my face. Leaving your skin exposed to UV rays can cause premature wrinkles, discoloration, and other serious skin conditions. To avoid future problems, I use a sunscreen glow stick from Supergoop!. It doesn’t make my skin feel oily and clog my pores like others I’ve tried.  

7. A SMOOTHIE A DAY KEEPS THE PIMPLES AWAY

          What you put in your body affects your skin as much as what you put on it. Staying hydrated and avoiding oily foods are givens, but certain foods can make your skin look better than ever. There are hundreds of recipes online for smoothies that benefit your skin. Personally, nothing beats a green smoothie. I use spinach, celery, cucumber, pineapple, apple, ginger, and lime. Another great one is a berry smoothie with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, honey, and greek yogurt. These ingredients are filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. 

8. FACIAL STEAMIMG

           Steaming your face opens your pores and allows ingredients to penetrate your skin more effectively. You can buy a facial steamer for a fairly good price. But if you’re on a budget, you can put a towel over your head and bathroom sink while running hot water. I use a facial steamer once a week but you can use it as often as you’d like.

9. CONSISTENCY

          Lastly, the most important part of skincare is consistency. It doesn’t matter what products you own if you don’t use them on a regular basis. I know it’s difficult to maintain a good skincare routine, but it’s possible to make it a habit. Writing down a morning and nighttime skin routine along with a schedule of when to use certain treatments definitely helps you stay on track. Additionally, there are apps that track daily good habits like washing your face, brushing your teeth, drinking water, etc. Or you can even set an alarm twice a day to remind yourself. Whatever makes you stick to your routine will leave you with glowing results!

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