With back-to-school in full swing and picture day right around the corner, there’s more pressure now than ever to put your best face forward. Tackling new classes is stressful as it is; add to the mix trying to make new friends and finding a spot for lunch in the cafeteria and you have yourself enough things to worry about. Now you want to achieve – and maintain – a clear complexion on top of all that?
It’s a good thing we know a thing or two here at Mario.
Let’s talk teen acne, then. But first things first: you’re not the only one. No matter how alone you may feel, no matter how traumatizing teen acne may seem at a time when you’re at your most vulnerable, take comfort that everyone suffers from acne at some point in their lives. Adults get the occasional breakout too! Remember: we’re our harshest and most unforgiving critics. What may seem like the worst thing in the world is barely noticeable to everyone else around us.
So relax. Breathe. Worrying about how your skin looks or how your classmates might perceive you will only add to the stress your skin already feels. The best thing you can do for your skin right now is to be gentle, patient, and most importantly, be kind to both yourself and your skin.
Hands off. You might feel the need to constantly touch your face out of habit or self-consciousness, but doing so will only further irritate acne-prone skin by transferring acne-causing bacteria. Should a spot or two surface right before Picture Day, don’t even think about popping that zit. You’ll only end up with an angry, red spot that might scar permanently.
Treat your skin with care. No matter how tempted you are to go for the harshest anti-acne treatments on the market, don’t do it. Love your enemies; an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Aggressive treatments will only further irritate your skin, causing it to lash out and respond with even more breakouts. Instead, be as gentle as possible with the products you use and you’ll find that your skin will eventually calm and clear itself. Wash your face twice daily with a Salicylic Acid cleanser followed by a clarifying astringent. Avoid granular scrubs as they’ll only cause breakouts to erupt prematurely and spread bacteria to other areas on your face. And moisturize! One of the biggest misconceptions – and mistakes – made by those with acne-prone/acne-erupted skin is skipping moisturizer. Without proper hydration, your skin is out of balance; when your skin is out of balance, it tends to respond by breaking out. In addition, anti-acne products, no matter how gentle, are drying on the skin. Restoring hydration is paramount.
Spot treat the week before. You should be treating your skin as needed, but with Picture Day in a week or so, the last thing you want to be stressing over is acne. Start by using the Drying Mask to help dry out existing eruptions and encourage the healing process; to up the ante, you can always add a spot treatment like the Drying Lotion or Buffering Lotion where needed. After you’ve cleansed off all remnants of the mask using an astringent and have followed with moisturizer, apply more of whatever spot treatment you need.
The next night, restore balance by using the Healing & Soothing Mask; it’ll help in balancing out any redness and irritation caused by acne. After 20 minutes, cleanse, tone, moisturize, and (once again) follow with spot treatments as needed.
For the final days before Picture Day, let your skin rest. Use the Healing & Soothing Mask if your skin still feels dry, tight, or red, but try not to use the Drying Mask close to the date. Spot treat as needed, incorporating the Anti-Acne Serum into your regimen to help prevent breakouts.
On the day of, give yourself an extra half hour in the morning so you can get ready at a relaxed, leisurely pace (and also allow some leeway if you want to make any last minute hair or outfit changes). Lay out a few outfit options the night before so you’re not scrambling in the a.m., keeping in mind that the focus is on the shoulders up. Pick a classic neckline – polo neck, turtleneck, scoop, boat, square, round, V – that flatters you best! Prints are lovely, but we prefer a classic design (like polka dots or stripes) or solid color. The simpler – and bolder – the better: clothing should never detract from your face!
When it comes to your skin the day of, don’t make any drastic differences. Avoid moisturizer and foundation with SPF for that day only; SPF is not flash-friendly and has a tendency to wash out your complexion in photographs. Blend a little bit of Drying Cream on any spots to help erase any redness while treating the blemish and (if necessary) follow with your favorite concealer. Make your look as natural and seamless as possible with a few spritzes of the Rosewater Spray before setting everything into place with a light dusting of the Special Healing Powder to keep your skin matte and shine-free for photos.
If you choose to wear makeup, keep it as simple as possible: for one, there’s less room for mistakes (save the experimentation for another day!), and it’s universally flattering. This is one case where it’s okay to wear a little more than you would on a daily basis. Photography is essentially taking something – you, in this case – that’s 3D and flattening into 2D. Adding more makeup normalizes it all while bringing back dimension into your face. Contour with bronzer, blush and highlighter; tightline the upper rims of the eyes to add depth and thickness to your lashline; line your waterline with a nude or white pencil to help brighten and open up your eyes for photos.
Share your skin tips in the comments below – what do you do for Picture-Day-perfect skin?
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