When I started college, acne wasn’t a major skin issue of mine. Unfortunately, with the looming deadlines, midterms, finals, and the stress that came with them, I began experiencing horrible breakouts. There were times I didn’t leave my room because I was embarrassed of what had become of my skin. I tried every product out there and ended up making my skin problems worse than before. Dealing with acne in college was horrendous for me because I had no idea what to do, but it doesn’t have to be the same way for you. Since I still really haven’t found the best way to deal with acne in college, I decided to ask the College Fashionista community to see what their tips were. Whether it’s picking the best moisturizer for your skin type or cleaning up your diet, their pieces of advice will help you keep breakouts away.
Have a skincare routine
FIDM student Cat Aucker created a skincare regimen for herself to stave off blemishes. She says, “My biggest tip for girls in college is to really get down a skin care routine! I personally love taking time in the morning and evening to unwind, put on some relaxing music, and clear my head space while doing my skin care. Not only is it therapeutic, but it also keeps your acne at bay.”
According to Northwestern Medicine, it is important to develop a skincare routine in your 20s because it will strengthen your skin and prepare it for facing the effects of aging. You should develop your skincare routine based on your skin type, and remember to change it up every season.
Don’t go crazy with products
University of Florida student Alessandra Alvarez realized her skin problems were due to using too many products in her skincare routine. “I never had crazy amounts of acne until I started my senior year of high school. I was using so many products and that made my acne worse, because I was desperate to get rid of it. Find one product that helps you cleanse your face daily and then immediately moisturize,” she says. Alessandra uses coconut oil as her moisturizer, and noticed a big difference in her skin after she began using it.
An an article published in Elle mentions that a telltale sign that you may be using too many products in your routine is skin irritation. Piling on too many serums, moisturizers, and cleansers can do more harm to your skin. Try to stick to just a few that work well for you.
Use a gentle cleanser
An article published in Self advises against using harsh cleansers and soaps. This is because they strip your skin of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and irritated.
Penn State University alumna Rebekah Sheridan suggests using gentle products on your skin. She says, “I would say my tip for dealing with acne is to use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out your skin. I personally use Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.”
Although it may seem that using a stronger cleanser may be more effective in getting rid of your acne in college, you create more problems for your skin in the long run. Be gentle with your skin!
Moisturize with oils
Rebekah also says, “I actually love using oils for my moisturizer. There are a ton that are great for acne-prone skin! If you keep your skin routine simple your skin will thank you for it, and most likely start to clear up.” Rebekah uses Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil ($80) as her moisturizer.
According to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, there are many benefits of moisturizing. UT Medical Center also emphasizes moisturizing after a shower, bath or exfoliation. Moisturizing helps your skin stay young, prevents it from becoming too dry, and it stops it from becoming too oily, so don’t skip your moisturizer!
Use moisturizer made for sensitive skin
Similar to using a gentle cleanser, Columbia College Chicago student Ally Manzella focuses on also using a gentle moisturizer. She says, “My skin gets dry super fast, so every morning I apply moisturizer that is made for sensitive skin. I use DML Moisturizing Lotion for when my skin is super sensitive. Other days I use just the Eucerin sensitive skin one. That way it keeps the acne away and keeps my skin soft!”
Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a dermatologist from Northern California, advises finding a moisturizer that works best with your skin type. This allows your skin to feel hydrated without feeling greasy. Bailey recommends using Vanicream Cleansing Bar.
Stick to a healthy diet
An article published in Forbes says to replace sugary foods for nutrient-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables, for example, can help you achieve healthy, glowing skin. The article suggests incorporating different colored veggies into your meals every day and drinking green juices. Doing both ensures your skin and body are getting the right vitamins and minerals.
FIT student Liz Breuer sticks to a healthy diet to keep her skin free of breakouts. She says, “Drinking lots of water, eating vegan, and having a plant-based diet is what really helped me.”
Cut back on your makeup use
According to an article published in Byrdie, there are certain ingredients in makeup that cause acne such as alcohols, silicones, and laureth-4. Check the ingredients in your makeup to see if this may be the source of having a flare up of acne in college. Another solution is finding makeup with ingredients that combat acne like salicylic acid.
Middle Tennessee State University student Jazmin Scheitel found that excessive amounts of makeup was worsening her complexion. “I was going full out with my makeup videos on YouTube, so I was caking everything from foundation to eyeshadow on my face. Since then, I have gone makeup-free for the past three months (with minor exceptions of occasional mascara and eyebrow gel). This has helped my skin so much,” she says.
Consider going to a dermatologist
Samu Sibiya, a student at LISOF Design and Retail Academy, says, “It can be frustrating when you’ve literally tried every product out there that is supposed to ‘get rid of acne,’ but you don’t see any results. About a year ago, I finally went to see a doctor about it, and got put on Oratane (a medication similar to vitamin A, but stronger), which helped a lot!”
“I feel the best way to deal with acne in college is to go see your doctor about it because you can try all the products in the world that are supposed to ‘get rid of acne,’ but really you have to deal with it from the inside in order to regulate hormones that cause the breakouts,” she says.
An article published in Teen Vogue advises seeing a dermatologist whether you have acne or not. Dermatologists don’t just specialize in treating acne, but rather treating any skin problems you may have! It doesn’t hurt to get a professional to check up on your skin, even if you don’t think you have any problems.
Find ways to de-stress
An article published in Time says that both chronic and short-term stress causes acne and breakouts on our skin. That’s why it’s extremely important to find ways to manage your stress.
Student Ana Belén Mitch from the University of North Carolina Wilmington says, “Don’t stress and try to take it easy! Stress can really spark breakouts, so always use self-care and show yourself some love!”
Read a book, binge watch some Netflix, or take a bath because you—and your skin—deserve it.
What’s the best way you’ve found to combat acne in college? Comment your tips below!
Opening Image by Sarah Cabigas