Skin Deep

If you’ve ever had acne, you know how traumatizing it can be. I’ve struggled with my skin since the 5th grade. Pimples, blackheads, and acne scars started cropping up and stuck around until my early twenties.

At first, I didn’t know what to do. I started wearing makeup to hide my red bumpy cheeks and forehead. This lead to even more pimples, with increasing severity. No soap or scrub would make them go away, and Accutane left me dried out and depressed. It felt like every attempt to clear up my face just made everything worse.

When I started modeling when I was 16, even more oil-based makeup was packed into my pores. Makeup artists always gave me a hard time, and I felt guilty for complicating their job with my condition.

While I traveled to hell and back trying to understand my troubled skin, there was a silver lining. Bad skin taught me who my real friends were— or more accurately— weren’t. It feels awful to be judged for something you can’t control.

Finally, I have a grasp on what does and doesn’t work with my skin. Even though I still have flare ups, these are my top 4 tips for how to stay clear.

#1 EAT A CLEAN DIET

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I eat all plants. Eliminating meat, dairy, and processed food has dramatically helped keep me clear. I also find that eating such a nutrient rich diet means that I’m getting a ton of antioxidants from fruit, vitamin A from carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from avocados and seeds. All these whole foods work together to contribute to a radiant complexion.

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A shoot I did for Marie Claire when my skin was heavily photoshopped to hide my acne.

#2 ADOPT AN ALL NATURAL PRODUCT REGIMEN

Less is more. No sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances find their way onto my face. I use a plant-extract derived cleanser by Alba Botanica morning and night, and follow that with their oil-free moisturizer, if I feel dry. For spot treatment during the day, I also use Alba’s sulfur-based tinted cream. Otherwise I don’t wear any foundation or concealer unless I’m working on a shoot. Since I can’t control what products makeup artists use on my face, I make sure to do a good job washing it all off when I get home, and maybe even put on a Bentonite Clay mask.

Check out this video I made for more details about my regimen.

#3 RESIST PICKING OR TOUCHING

I used to try and tackle my acne with my own two hands. BIG MISTAKE.
Fingers, bobby pins, and extraction tools left me with scars and more breakouts. As hard as it may be, only allow the skilled hands of a dermatologist to do the extractions for you. (I used to go to Orentreich Medical Group, they are amazing!)

#4 WASH YOUR FACE (AND CHEST) AFTER SWEATING

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I exercise every day, but I avoid sweating with makeup on. Since I usually go to the gym first thing in the morning, I’ll wash my face when I jump in the shower. I sweat a lot, so my chest is prone to breakouts. To help with that, I will lather some face wash there, and let it sink in for a few minutes before rinsing it off. I also take advantage of the clean towels in my gym!

I hope that these tips help keep your skin healthy and fresh. As useful as these rules are in my life, remember that clear skin isn’t everything.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, let me know!
lucie.beatrix@gmail.com or tweet @LucieB_1

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