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GL's A-to-Z guide to clear skin

 
 
Ready to kiss those zits goodbye? We’ve got a school-ready list of tips, tricks and products that’ll ensure your complexion is clear and sparkling by the first day.


A is for Alpha Hydroxy Acid

It sounds scary, but AHA’s actually help keep your pores clean and your skin glowing. If you’re prone to blackheads, seek out a cleanser with this key ingredient.
 

B is for bacne

Sadly, clogged pores aren’t just limited to your face. Changing out of sports gear quickly and using a body wash with salicylic acid can help clear up your back.


C is for cleansing before bed

Remember to remove your makeup every night before you hit the hay. Seriously, this one rule that can’t be broken.
 

D is for DIY facials

Why dash out to the drugstore to quick-fix your skin? You can make at-home facials with items in your fridge. You can mash a banana, mix one with ¼ cup plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons of honey and pop it on your face for a few minutes. Rinse it off and unveil clean skin.


E is for exfoliating

Blast away excess dirt and dead skin cells (ick) a couple times a week. Don’t go for anything too gritty (we’re lookin’ at you, apricot scrub!).


G is for green tea

Drinking this natural antioxidant has shown to benefit almost every aspect of your girl’s health. You don’t have to only drink the tea to reap the benefits of it: We heart products with calming green tea in them.


H is for a healthy diet

Eating right is just as important as washing your face. Here are some basic diet rules to stick by: Nosh plenty of fruits and veggies; they’re packed with nutrients your skin needs. Drink lotsa water per day to wash all the extra oil and other impurities out of your system. Don’t overdo it on the junk food!


I is for irritants

Over-exfoliating, certain facial products and stress can all cause your skin to freak. Remember to avoid buffing skin more than twice a week, try yoga to keep stress at bay and only use skin products that are non-comedogenic (i.e. don’t clog your pores).


J is for jojoba oil

This botanical oil has anti-inflammatory properties, hydrates and rejuvenates the skin and enhances the smoothness and will improve your complexion. Ironically, it’ll also mop up excess grease from your face. Add a few drops to your moisturizer to keep skin stable.


K is for keeping your hair off your face

We know: Bangs up the cool factor on your coif. Truth is, having all that hair hanging in your face can lead to breakouts.


L is for lip scrub

Move over, balm. Every few weeks take a couple minutes show your kisser some love by buffing away dead skin (an old toothbrush or some sugar mixed with olive oil works). You’ll reveal smooth, soft skin.


M is for moisturizer

Never, ever skip moisturizing, even if you’re prone to oil. Simply snag a formula that’s made for your skin type and slather it on after washing in the a.m. and p.m.


O is for Omegas

This nutrient, specifically Omega 3, 6, and 9, are essential fatty acids that are magnificent for your complexion. They are found in salmon, avocado and some nuts, so start seeking them out and incorporating them in your BTS lunches.


P is for protection against the sun

Slathering on sunscreen every day is so important, even when the sun is nowhere to be spotted.


Q is for a quick fix

Picking is never the answer and we don’t love the idea of globbing on the concealer, either. Instead, apply Mario Badescu Drying Cream—the yellow color makes zits disappear.


R is for ridding yourself of redness

Dab a bit of Visine or saline solution directly onto a blemish to zap it of its tell-tale color.


S is for stocking up on spot treaters

There are tons of spot treatments out there, but how many of them actually work? We dig Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, you can pick it up at your local drugstore and it won’t break the bank. Best of all, it actually works.


T is for taking it easy

When you get a blemish, it’s easy to go into full-on assault mode: Exfoliating, loads of extra washing, picking, you name it. Instead, be gentle on your face. Avoid aggravating any bumps you’ve got and keep up the moisturizing.


U is for under-eye treatment

First-day jitters got you up all night? You don’t have to look zonked when you hit the halls. Use your ring finger to dab on some concealer. Try Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Concealer SPF 10—it’s pricey, but worth it.


V is for vitamins

Eating for your complexion isn’t just about avoiding greasy pizza. It’s also about making sure you add plenty of awesome fruits and veggies to your diet.


W is for water

Start sipping, girl. Every esthetician we’ve ever talked to mentions how key it is to stay hydrated all day. Buh-bye, toxins.


X is for xtra sleep

Your whole body needs at least 8 hours of zzz’s every night. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Not only will you wake feeling more rested, it’s proven that your skin glows and is generally healthier after a full night’s sleep. Plus, you don’t have to worry about those dark circles under your eyes. It’s not Halloween yet, so there’s no reason to have raccoon eyes!


Y is for the yuck factor

Your pretty face comes into contact with a lot of not-so-sparkling stuff—old makeup brushes, pillowcases that haven’t been washed in a while, sweaty t-shirts during soccer practice. Take precautions to keep the world around you clean and you’ll avoid gunking up your face further.


Z is for zapping zits

Yes! Tools like Zeno, which radiate light into your infected pore and kills bacteria with heat, actually work. It’s a super easy way to banish your zits for good and takes practically no time.
 
 

BY JESSICA WIGGS ON 8/2/2011 12:00:00 PM

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