Do you frequently notice blemishes on your face or body, whether it’s the occasional blackhead or an area frequently plagued by breakouts and need some advice on how to get clearer skin?
This article is designed to help you get clearer skin.
Skin problems can be caused by a combination of things, such as hormones, pollution and your lifestyle.1
While many factors can contribute to it, there are just as many things that can help with it.
Read on for lots of practical advice on clearing skin, which is easy to follow and something we can all do to help make sure we see clear skin every time we look in the mirror.
Before we launch into the practical clear skin tips, let’s just spend a minute clarifying what we mean by ‘clear skin.’
Clear skin is just as it sounds, skin that’s clear of any blemishes; be it just one spot or several, red or rashy patches, blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, cysts, nodules and more.
Clear skin is something we all dream of, but with about 95% of people aged 11 to 30 being affected by breakouts to some extent alone, clear skin isn’t something we all necessarily have.2
We’ve briefly explained what it looks like, now let’s take a look at what clear skin looks like.
There are, of course, many more clear skin pics out there. This picture gives you a tiny taster of what clear skin can look like.
In a nutshell, there are no spots or other forms of blemishes, the complexion is smooth and even, and the skin looks radiant and glowing.
What’s the secret to clearer skin?
Is it getting a good night’s sleep? Avoiding stress? Eating certain foods? Using certain skincare products? Or is it a combination of all of these things and more?
The truth of the matter is there is no single answer to having clearer skin.
Some people are lucky enough to get very few blemishes in their lifetime, while for others, they have a completely different story to tell.
According to the NHS, acne, which actually happens to be an incredibly common skin condition, is caused by numerous factors.
It can be hereditary, it can be caused or made worse by skincare products.
It can be triggered by taking certain medications and it can also be caused by smoking in older people. There are many more key contributors too.3
The general consensus is that taking the time to understand your skin is one of the most important fundamentals of clear skin.
Everybody’s skin is different and responds to different products, environments and other internal and external factors differently, so it only makes sense that you should tailor your clear skin strategy to your skin and nobody else’s.
In terms of what your strategy should consist of, take a look at the clear skin tips immediately below.
What you put on your skin and what you put in your body can both potentially influence your skin too.
For instance, certain oils are said to be able to help with skin issues, such as those listed below. There are also many other good ‘skin habits’ you can follow too, we’ve listed them down below too:
Because almond oil has soothing properties, it can help calm the skin.
And because it has emollient properties, it also has the potential to improve complexion and skin tone. It can help moisturise dry skin too, which can lead to breakouts. 4
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used herbal solutions for topical skin conditions because of its gel-like components and the fact it has soothing, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.5
Argan oil has moisturising properties and can protect the skin against free radicals and UV damage.
Compared to heavier oils, it’s made up of smaller-sized molecules that are absorbed quicker by the skin and less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.6
The benefits of coconut oil on skin are vast and it’s mainly used to soothe and moisturise skin.
But it’s the fatty acids that’s found within the oil that can particularly help clear skin because they contain antimicrobial properties that provide protection from bacteria.7
While we’re on the subject of oils, there are several essential oils that are said to be skin saviours.
Tea tree oil’s one of them, thanks to its antimicrobial and cleansing properties.
As well as applying oils, creams, gels and other products topically to our skin, paying closer to attention to what we put into our bodies can also help in the fight for clearer skin.
Vitamins are among the items towards the top of the clear skin list and include Vitamin E, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as Zinc, Niacin, Riboflavin, Iodine and Biotin.
Collectively, these essential vitamins and nutrients can help keep your skin looking and feeling good by aiding the regeneration process (among many other things).
So, the saying goes, ‘We are what we eat’ and it’s actually true.
What we consume, i.e. if we aren’t taking on enough of the right nutrients, can be reflected back at us by our skin.8
Fortunately, just as there are good vitamins for skin and skincare products that can help us achieve clearer skin, certain foods can help keep your skin healthy.
They include: fresh fruit and veg (at least five portions a day), dark green leafy veg, such as spinach and kale, and nuts, such as walnuts and almonds.9
Take a look at these 9 foods to reduce spotty skin for more diet advice.
Oh, and drink plenty of water because it can really help our skin too.
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Acne and blackheads are formed by a build-up of bacteria in our pores, so it’s essential you clear them out every day, particularly if you wear makeup.
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This may lead to scarring and put more bacteria on/in your skin.10
Most doctors recommend using a daily moisturiser that contains SPF to protect your skin from sun damage and drying out, as this can cause breakouts.11
Try to find products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning they don’t contain ingredients that will block your pores.12
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It’s important to eat a diet packed with nutritious fruit and veg.
Limit foods that are high in sugar and fat because they can potentially stimulate your hormones and cause your skin to produce an excess of sebum (oil).
As a general guide, those with dry skin should use face care items that are moisturising and alcohol-free, while people with greasy skin need to avoid products that contain oil.13
Instead of scrubbing your face with an exfoliator because it can actually remove the natural oils in your skin that are vital for keeping it smooth and healthy.14
Always use warm water, which is much kinder, especially if you’re doing it more than once a day.15
After some more tips for clear skin? Well don’t you worry, we have plenty more of them because we haven’t covered all of the home remedies you can try for a clearer complexion.
There are quite a few of them out there, we’ve just a listed a few of them for you below (and the best thing is, we reckon you’ll already have most of the ingredients you need stashed away in your cupboards!)
The beauty of oatmeal (yes, your breakfast porridge oats) is that it acts as a natural exfoliant and naturally absorbs oil from pores, making it a great, double action way to help beat blemishes.
Meanwhile, lemon juice contains citric acid and Vitamin C, which can help lift and brighten skin. It also has antibacterial properties too.
Last, but not least, honey is naturally soothing and antibacterial, adding a second dose of goodness to this powerful facial combination.
Yogurt has earnt itself a name for being a natural skincare solution.
It has probiotic qualities, as well as delivering much-needed moisture to skin, drying out pimples and helping soothe oily skin.
Tea tree oil is naturally antibacterial, which is why it’s often used to help with breakouts.
It’s believed to work by having an antimicrobial effect against Cutibacterium bacteria, which can cause spots.
It also supports white blood cell activity, which helps speed up the healing process.
When applied to spots, tea tree oil reduces the appearance of them. It’s also believed to help clear blackheads and whiteheads too.16
Rose water is a gentle, yet highly effective natural exfoliator that can be used to gently remove dead skin cells that can lead to blocked pores.
Turmeric happens to contain natural soothing properties that can help even out skin tone and give it a healthy glow.
To create a skin-clearing mask, simply combine turmeric oil with olive oil or aloe vera gel, both of which can help moisturise skin and repair sun damage.
Given turmeric’s vibrant colour and potential to stain things, use just enough of it to create more of an oily mixture rather than a paste.
When we’ve got bad skin, we want it to go away - fast.
And most of the time, we’ll try anything to make it happen.
While there isn’t one single thing that will guarantee clear skin in a flash, there are certain tactics you can try to help speed up the healing process a bit.
As well as being tactics for those with spots, some of these tips are everyday clear skin measures we can all follow:20 21
It does no good whatsoever and actually disrupts the natural healing process.
The liquid that comes out of your spots also exposes the surrounding skin to more bacteria, which can lead to new spots forming.
It’s really easy for any dirt, grime or bacteria on your hands to transfer to your face, which can then lead to more breakouts.
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While this may be easier said than done, according to research carried out in 2017, stress and acne go hand-in-hand.
This is down to the fact that stress may cause skin sensitivity, which can lead to spots and breakouts.
This is recommended if you have oily skin.
Toners can help wipe away excess oil and unblock pores, particularly gentle toners.
Look for toning products that contain ingredients, such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid that can help balance the skin’s natural pH levels.
Blotting papers can be used to help keep oily spots at bay and make combination skin in particular easier to manage.
Blotting can also help prevent sebum overproduction, which is one of the main culprits for spots.
If you have dry skin then this tip’s definitely for you.
Breakouts can be caused by skin being too dry, so it’s important to use a moisturiser that hydrates without clogging pores.
Some people find natural oils, such as argan oil, olive oil or coconut oil, can be good for moisturising their skin.
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Using cold instead of warm water on your face can help calm skin, reduce inflammation and tighten the appearance of your skin too.
It can close your pores up too, which means they’re less susceptible to absorbing external dirt, grime, bacteria, etc.
As obvious as it may sound, it’s really easy for our pillowcases to harbour all sorts of dirt, oil and bacteria from our faces, hair and surrounding environment, which can cause breakouts.
To prevent, this, put a new cover on your pillow at least once a week. The same applies to your face mask too, change it regularly.
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Clear skin is something we’d all love, but sometimes we can all be prone to experiencing a breakout or two.
While there isn’t a magic wand to wave bad skin away, there are lots of measures we can take (many of which are really easy to try) that can help us get one step closer to the clear, glowing skin we all dream about.
The clear skin tips listed above are designed to help get you started on your clear skin journey; we hope you try lots of them out and we hope you find they make a difference.
For more in-depth advice on cultivating the perfect daily face care ritual, find out which are the best skincare ingredients to add to your routine.
Last updated: 12 July 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019
BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science
Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.
After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.