One of the best things about being 14 is that you know, one day, you’ll be an adult. You’ll be able to drive. You’ll be able to buy beer. You’ll stop getting zits.
The joke was on you.
Sure, those first two turned out to be true, but acne? It can haunt you for life. Here’s the thing, though: As a teenager, a pimple was cause for tears. But, you’re a grown-up now, so instead of calling in sick from work, just follow these tips for clear skin in no time. You’ll thank us as you’re driving to pick up a six-pack for the party Friday night.
Change your sheets: A recent U.K. survey found men only change their sheets four times a year, on average. And while we certainly hope you are swapping out your linens much more frequently, dirty pillowcases can lead to clogged pores. Nasty as is sounds, bacteria can build up on your bed and when your face rubs around on it for a good eight hours a night? Well, that just can’t be good. If your skin is oily, change those sheets (or at least your pillowcases) twice a week. It might be a pain, but isn’t a clear complexion worth it?
Text more often: This might make your mom mad, but using your fingers to chat could save your skin. Just think of all those oils, all that bacteria and all those germs on your iPhone. When you hold it up to your face, it’s kinda like rubbing your check on a New York City sidewalk. Shudder. When you need to talk, wipe your phone with an antibacterial cleanser or go hands-free.
Break out the champagne: Not that you needed an excuse to pop open a bottle of bubbly, but if a pimple should threaten to ruin your evening out, reach for the champagne. Its tartaric acid (found in grapes) is said to not only ease acne, but also contain anti-aging properties. So, soak up a cotton pad with your champs, and apply it to the infected area (it won’t hurt to rub it on your whole face, either). High class problems? We’ll drink to that!
Reach for lemon: It’s not just for squeezing over pasta, chicken or vodka sodas, anymore. Apply lemon juice via a cotton ball to the infected area and leave it on while you sleep. In the morning, wash your face as normal, and let the citric acid properties of the fruit help calm the inflammation.
Take two aspirin and call us in the morning: It can cure a headache, help with heart disease and zap zits? We love you, aspirin. The salicylic acid in the little white pills can help treat acne. Whip up a mask by crushing up some pills with a little water and honey, apply to your blemish, and, after 10 minutes or so, wash it off.
Quit using all those styling products: Sure, your tresses look terrific, but that gel, pomade or hairspray you’re using might be the reason all those blemishes are popping up around your hairline. Look for sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners and hair products, do your best to cover up your skin when you’re primping and don’t be afraid to wash your face after doing your hair to get rid of any pore-clogging residue.
Put your makeup tools to new use: When using benzoyl peroxide, instead of dabbing it on with your finger or a cotton swab, use a dedicated eyeliner brush to apply to the spot alone. This will prevent flaking and over-drying the surrounding skin.