After years of buying the expensive lotions and skin care programs on the market, I've found out that going old-fashioned and all-natural is the best way. This stuff has been repeated so many times that I think people get desensitized to it. Some of these companies are sympathetic, some want to separate you from your money, but most are a little bit of both. Forget them and go old school. Here's what I've found:
1. You need to stay regular. Drink lots of water and take fiber on a daily basis. When you eat too much food or any junk food, your digestive system gets upset and tries to throw off the toxins building up.
2. I trade off between molasses and ACV daily and it's been going well for me. Put a teaspoon of molasses in warm water and wash it down- it's got a mild carmel taste to it and is loaded with minerals and nutrients that fight acne. I swear by the ACV though- I mix a cap full or two in a small glass of water and it wakes me up mentally and physically. If I put it on a cotton ball it gets absorbed too much into my skin and causes a rash on my face (a common thing for people), so instead I pour a little in my hands and rub it in that way. Works like a charm. For soap I use castile (Dr. Bronner's is a good choice) because it's mild enough to use as for brushing my teeth. Anything with that sodium laurel sulfate crap in it has got to go. It's found in most of your shampoos. That stuff strips your skin of its moisturizing elements and leaves you unprotected- get rid of it.
3. Forget the fancy face masks you buy for ten bucks and only last you a month. Milk of magnesia works just as well if not better. Every other day is a good tempo because too many applications can dry your skin out. Depending on your skin type, you'll have to adjust it. Apply it to your face for 15-20 minutes at night and then wash it off.
4. Be patient and stop picking at the pimples. Think of a small cut you get on your hand, and how quickly it heals because you're not thinking about it and leaving it alone. Tearing at what is essentially a wound on your face is only going to make it heal slower, so you only make it worse. Your mom was right- stop picking.
5. And of course, the obvious: get a good sweat-induce workout on a regular basis. It gets the blood flowing and improves your complexion. Start taking a multi-vitamin, and for you bodybuilders stop using the creatine. Creatine is a safe product but it raises your hormone levels and contributes to breakouts. Arginine (aka NO2) not only makes you stronger, it improves blood flow to your skin.
All this stuff is dirt cheap and more effective than those top-of-the-line vanity products. Realistically, nothing's going to give you perfect skin. But you can at least fight it off at a reasonable price by sticking to these basics.