Going “back to school” in September, especially if you’re starting a new one or returning to education, can be an extremely stressful time of year. There’s so much to remember, new people to meet, new courses to learn and for a few weeks there’s a feeling that you’re really out of sync – maybe because you spent the whole summer working, holiday-ing or just relaxing. For many, this September stress can lead to a great deal of anxiety, which we know from our experience can cause breakouts, skin irritation and acne.
When your body is stressed it finds it difficult to do all of the things it needs to. And the same goes for your skin cells. When you’re calm, feeling healthy and relaxed your skin is likely to look much cleaner, fresher and less prone to spots and acne because your body can focus on these things. When you’re stressed, it can’t.
So what can you do to help prevent acne breakouts?
We’ve collected together five top tips for keeping skin breakouts at bay as you head back to school.
1. Get plenty of sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of problems, especially if you have insomnia or can’t sleep for days at a time. Those who can’t sleep find it harder to concentrate, their senses are less alert and often their skin suffers. Experts have studied the link between lack of sleep and inflammation and found that if you’re not sleeping deeply enough, you’re not giving your body chance to repair – and this is especially the case when it comes to your skin.
It may sound simple, but some of the biggest skincare experts believe step one to overcoming acne is, you guessed it, sleep. This advice is most important during September as you’re preparing to mix up your routine and get back to school. This is when stress can have a huge impact on the quality and amount of sleep that you get. Some pupils find the transition easy and love being around their friends again, others find it difficult and may experience sleepless nights and fluctuations in their energy and mood.
Do everything you can to ensure you have a good night’s sleep. Try to eat your last meal no later than 7pm, turn off all electronics (yes, that means your iPhone too!) by 8pm, sleep in a cool room that’s completely dark – even the smallest lights can affect your sleep – and make sure you head to bed early so you get a solid seven hour’s per night.
2. Mix up your skincare routine
During the summer months your skincare routine might have been more relaxed. If you were outside a lot or went on holiday then chances are applying sunscreen was your number one priority.
But now you’re starting a new school year it’s time to make some changes, especially if you’re prone to acne or already have spots and blemishes that you want to clear up. As the weather transitions from sunny and warm to cloudy and cool you’re going to need to change the way you treat your skin. Soon you can ditch the SPF, or try a much lower one, and instead focus on giving your skin the moisture and nourishment it needs whether that’s through new topical products, over-the-counter treatments or natural skin supplements.
3. Develop a quick and easy routine for the morning
One of the best ways we’ve found to develop a new skincare routine is to make it easy (and therefore way more stress-free), use skincare products that are natural and are proven to work and ideally buy those that you can use on-the-go. Here at Works With Water we create natural skin supplements for those who are either dealing with acne or want to prevent acne in the future.
help: clear skin and help: clear skin MEN, are made from 100 per cent natural ingredients to help you get rid of spots for good. The great thing is they’re both soluble supplements, meaning you can add them to any drink any time – great if you’re running late or you’re between lectures and want a skin and water pick-me-up at the same time!
4. Don’t pile on too much makeup
We know that many people who suffer with acne, or who are worried about blemishes, tend to want to cover up their skin. Especially when you’re starting a new term and haven’t seen a lot of your friends in weeks. It’s totally understandable that if you’re feeling embarrassed about your appearance you’ll look for ways to disguise redness and cover acne, but be careful. Some sheer makeup brands can camouflage redness and scarring and even help in the healing process. But lots of products are very thick and can actually have the opposite effect – clogging pores, collecting sebum and encouraging bacteria to thrive. This often leads to only one thing: an increase in acne.
The answer is to look for makeup products that are sheer and are oil-free or designed specifically for people with sensitive or problem skin. Once you’ve found something, ditch the heavy concealers, powders and thick foundation. Instead focus on healing your skin from the inside so you’ll have to rely on makeup less and less as time goes on.
5. Stay hydrated
Here at Works With Water we, obviously, love water! We know that keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day – and adding our natural skin supplements to your drinks – is one of the best ways to fight acne. Keeping your body and cells hydrated ensures they’re doing their job, fighting off bacteria, reducing inflammation and keeping your skin looking refreshed and ready for the new term.
What are your favourite ways to prepare your skin and your mind for going back to school? We’d love to hear your advice and suggestions, so meet us in the comments below.