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Back-to-School Skin Care

Tips and tricks to clear skin

By Bri Williams, RN, BSN

School is back in session, and whether you are a student yourself or know a student, most of us can relate to the struggle with acne and breakouts. Prevention is key when it comes to a clear complexion, and below we share some tips and tricks to help students feel confident in the classroom.

When should I wash my face?

You should cleanse first thing in the morning and before bed. During the night, your cells are turning over, and your body is producing oil, so starting the day with a fresh, clean face can help to keep breakouts at bay. Cleansing again before bed helps to remove pollutants, product buildup from sunscreen or makeup, and preps your skin to rejuvenate while you sleep. Additionally, be sure to wash right after you break a sweat to keep pores clean.

Wash your pillowcase.

Keeping a clean pillowcase on your pillow can help decrease the number of bacteria and hair products that your face is exposed to, which leads to clogged pores, blackheads and breakouts. Stock up on pillowcases and on laundry day, when making your bed, apply three to four pillowcases to your pillow all at once. Every night either flip your pillow to the clean side or remove the outermost layer to reveal a fresh pillowcase. Voila! A fresh spot for your head to land every night.

Keep it fresh.

Use a fresh washcloth to pat dry your face after washing, and whatever you do, do not use the same towel that you wrapped your hair in and dried off your entire body with! It is loaded with soap residue and dead skin cells. You do not want to rub that on your face.

Give it a wipe.

Your cell phone is a petri dish of germs, and pressing your cell phone to your cheek is a recipe for breakouts. Use a disinfecting wipe daily to clean your phone, and avoid allowing your cell phone to contact your skin.

Do not pick!

When a blemish (or 10) shows up, avoid the urge to pick at it. Doing so can spread the bacteria under the skin and on the surface, leading to additional blemishes and prolonged healing time. Continue to cleanse and leave the blemish alone to allow it to heal.

When prevention is not working ...

If you have tried all the tips and tricks to prevent breakouts but they are still happening, consult with a skin-care expert to determine what skin-care products are best for your skin type and concerns. Using the right products with the correct active ingredients to address your individual concerns is essential. They may refer you to a dermatologist or medical provider for additional intervention or prescription-strength medication.

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