How to Get Clear Skin: Tips and Tricks for Improving Skin Health

Nothing can ruin a perfect morning quite like looking in the mirror and seeing a new pimple forming on your forehead. Acne is the worst, but it’s an inevitable part of daily life that’s just a natural byproduct of hormones and dirt build up.

Getting clear skin is a lot easier said than done, and it can be hard to find the right regimen that works for you. If you’re one of those people that feels like they’ve tried everything to zap the zits, here are some tips and tricks to help you finally get the youthful looking skin that you deserve.

What Causes Breakouts?

Understanding why you’re breaking out is one of the first steps in identifying the regimen that will work for you. Acne vulgaris translates to “common acne,” and it’s those little bumps, zits, redness, or blackheads that you get on your chin, nose, face, and other parts of the body.

The main factor that contributes to acne is excess oil production. The reason acne appears so prevalently on the face is because this is where your body’s largest sebaceous glands are located. These glands produce something called sebum, which is a type of oil that your body naturally creates.

While healthy amounts of sebum actually fight bacterial and fungal infections while also keeping your skin hydrated, sebum in excess can clog pores and hair follicles. When this happens, your body tries to remove the excess oil by bulging the follicle walls. This will result in an external whitehead or a surface-level blackhead.

Sebum production is directly related to changes in hormones. Sex hormones known as androgens are produced at an accelerated rate during puberty. This explains why acne breakouts are prevalent among teenagers.

Not to mention, carb-rich diets, genetics, and oil-based cosmetics can all contribute to an increase in oil production.

Know Your Skin Type

Getting clear skin isn’t a one-size-fits-all routine. Everyone’s skin is a little bit different. Likewise, the skincare products you use need to be adapted based on the way your skin looks and feels.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is one of the most common skin types. It’s a byproduct of excessive sebum production, usually resulting in an oily film on your face as well as frequent breakouts. Sunscreens might feel extremely thick and heavy on your skin, and you may notice that moisturizers cause you to break out instantly.

Since oil is a natural moisturizer many products are oil-based. However, if you have too much sebum on your skin already, these won’t be helpful. If you have oily skin, be sure to go for water-based moisturizers and cleansers.

Dry Skin

If your skin isn’t producing enough sebum, it might start to look dull and lifeless. Dehydrated skin can lead to wrinkles, fine lines, or cracks that might start to look like signs of aging. Over exposure to sunlight and hot showers can all contribute to skin dryness.

Keeping dry skin hydrated is essential, and this is where oil-based moisturizers can really shine. Heavier creams and topicals are much more suited for dry skin types as opposed to oily.

Combination Skin

Skin type can change throughout the seasons or vary based on shifts in diet. If you notice that your skin is oily in the summer and dry in the winter, you might have combination skin. Typically, you’ll be more oily on the forehead and nose and drier on the cheeks.

If you have combination skin, you may want to consider using two different products in different parts of your skin. For example, use a water based moisturizer on your forehead but an oil based moisturizer on your cheeks. You can also look for skincare products that mention they are targeted towards combination skin, as it’s likely these will not contain harsh ingredients that would irritate either.

Research Active Ingredients

Skincare products are composed of two types of ingredients: inactive and active. 

Inactive ingredients are non-medicinal components of a given substance. A common inactive ingredient that you might see on the label of a cleanser or moisturizer is water.

Active ingredients, on the other hand, have components that work to provide some kind of tangible effect. Salicylic acid is often used in face soaps to remove excess oils.

Sometimes, active ingredients in cosmetics are harsh, often irritating sensitive skin types. While the FDA is supposed to monitor the efficacy of products being used in the cosmetic industry, there are only meager laws in place that actually allow them to take any action against potential harmful substances within skincare products.

When buying a new cleanser or serum, try to look for natural ingredients. These are generally safer to use, more sustainably produced, and will be more mild on your skin when compared to sketchy compounds in many of the bigger brands.

Don’t Use Too Many Products

It’s tempting to want to use every single product on the market to try to increase the likelihood that something will work to get rid of acne blemishes on your face. The thing is, less is more when it comes to clear skin.

Using too many different products at one time might cause skin dryness and irritation because different companies will use contradicting ingredients in their products. Try to pick one single brand that you trust and stick with it.

Skin systems are the way to go when it comes to obtaining clearer skin, as these products are all created with each other in mind. It’s a simple, safe, and effective way towards rejuvenated skin without having to do extensive research into multiple disparate products. 


Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface using a physical or chemical tool. Physical exfoliation can be done with brushes or sponges to scrub away dead skin, while chemical exfoliation dissolves dead cells.

This process can improve the appearance of your skin. After cleaning your face and neck thoroughly, apply a layer of an exfoliating mask to your face and leave for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, wipe off gently with a damp cloth. By doing this once a week, you can remove dead skin cells for a brighter, healthier complexion.

Some exfoliators can be harsh and irritating for dry skin types. Look for an exfoliator that is suitable for all skin types, as these will be safe to use no matter what.

Be Wary of Heat

Direct sun exposure can be detrimental to your skin’s health. Protecting your skin against harmful UV rays can reduce age spots as well as help prevent skin cancer. Be sure to use sunscreen before spending too much time in the sun, even if it’s not hot outside.

But heat in general can wreak havoc on your skin’s moisture levels. Hot showers or sleeping too close to a heater can cause a decrease of healthy oil production on your body’s surface, so try to keep showers short and heaters far away.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important in more ways than one. Externally, keeping your skin moisturized is important to ensure that age spots that wrinkles and fine lines don’t appear. Keeping your skin hydrated also lets you maintain a glowing complexion that you can feel confident about.

But on top of that, drinking lots of water to stay internally hydrated is equally important in maintaining healthy skin. Drinking at least eight glasses daily can help rid the body and skin of toxins. Staying hydrated inside and out is essential to improving your skin health.

In Conclusion

Getting stellar complexion can be complex, but there are some simple tips and tricks you can do to try to get your skin looking radiant and youthful.

First and foremost it is important to understand your skin type and look for appropriate products. When doing that, look at active ingredients that cleansers and moisturizers are using. Instead of harsh chemicals, it’s a good idea to go for something made with natural and sustainable ingredients that can work in unison with your skin rather than against it.

You should also try to use skin systems from a specific brand rather than mixing and matching. Exfoliate often and try to avoid hot showers or sun exposure whenever you can.

It’s not an exact science, so don’t lose faith if you don’t notice results right away. Be patient with yourself and don’t lose hope, because you can and will achieve your dream complexion with just a little bit of work.



Sebum - DermNet NZ

Navigating changes during puberty - Children's Hospital

How to safely exfoliate at home - American Association of Dermatology

The Benefits of Drinking Water for Your Skin - University of Wisconsin