13 Things to Do When Your Skin Breaks Out

When my skin breaks out, my confidence really takes a hit. But slowly I’ve learned how to build myself up and believe I’m enough, even when my skin is at its worst.

As we move through this episode, I share 13 things you can do to help reduce the inflammation and redness of breakouts + tips to help you feel worthy in your own skin.

Friend, you are enough – even before your skin clears! I hope this episode helps you feel so seen and loved.

listen to the full episode on:
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13 Things to Do When Your Skin Breaks Out

01. Ice your face

As soon as you feel a new pimple rising to the surface, head straight for the freezer. If you have an ice roller handy, use that! But honestly, a plain ole ice cube will do the trick too 😉

Roll over the new breakout a few times, taking deep breaths as you go. The ice will definitely feel cold on your skin but I promise, it’s worth it!

Ice is incredible for reducing inflammation, calming the skin, minimizing redness, and reducing the size of pimples. You’ll notice an immediate change.

Ps – I’ll link my favorite ice roller from Amazon here.

02. Prioritize sleep

Sleep is one of the most underrated remedies for acne.

When your body is running on little sleep, your hormones have to pump more cortisol (the stress hormone) into your blood to keep you active and alert. When your body is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system is turned on and your parasympathetic nervous system has a harder time digesting food and bringing the body back down to a calm state.

Deep, restful sleep helps regulate your hormones and bring your body back into balance.

If your skin starts breaking out, do a quick audit of how well you’ve been sleeping in past 7 days. Let yourself reset tonight by being intentional about getting to bed at a good time. You’ll notice a huge difference in your skin when you wake up.

03. Do a guided meditation

The goal is to slow down and create space for yourself to come back to your body. Even on bad skin days, you are enough. You can always return to your breath.

When you breathe deep through your belly, the vagus nerve (located back behind your belly) gets activated, sending signals to your brain that help your body enter the parasympathetic state.

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for all of the “rest and digest” functions in your body.

A guided meditation is also a powerful way to check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically.

04. Spend time in nature

Nature has a calming effect. It instantly reduces stress and helps you connect back to your body. If possible, leave your phone at home and spend time in your own presence. An added benefit of this is that you won’t be comparing your skin to someone else’s on the internet.

This is a time for you to reset and pour into yourself. You can ground barefoot in grass, go for a walk, or do a soothing mobility flow outside.

I have a collection of mobility flows, guided meditations, and guided walks in my on-demand library. You can access a free 7-day trial here 💛

05. Up your water intake

Water is detoxifying! The skin thrives when our water intake is on point. Start your day with a glass of water and be mindful of your water consumption throughout the day.

Listen to your body. It’s always nudging you towards the things you need most. Keep a water bottle nearby and take sips every time you think of it.

Vegetables are an amazing way to help with skin health.

06. Re-examine your vegetable intake

Have you eaten any vegetables today? If not, don’t beat yourself up! Simply try again. When you sit down to eat your next meal, challenge yourself to add a veggie (or two or three) to your plate. You can even sneak frozen cauliflower or spinach into your next smoothie!

07. Wash your pillowcase with a detergent that doesn’t have fragrance

When you sleep, oils from your face and hair rub off onto your pillowcase. By washing your pillowcases regularly you’ll be able to keep unwanted oils from clogging your pores and causing more breakouts. I swap out my pillowcase every 2-3 days and even bring an extra pillowcase with me when I travel.

You might even find it helpful to use a laundry detergent that is fragrance-free. I noticed a huge difference in my skin just by making this one swap! Fragrance and bleach can irritate your skin and cause breakouts.

08. Do a face mask

If you have a face mask on hand that helps calm the skin and reduce redness and inflammation, treat yourself to an at-home spa night! You can also do a quick search on Pinterest to find a recipe of a face mask that you can make at home with easy-to-find ingredients.

Use this time as an opportunity to breathe deep and pour into yourself. You’ll feel so much better knowing you made some time to love and meet yourself where you’re at.

09. Snack on fruits high in antioxidants

Food is medicine! If your skin is breaking out, this is the perfect time to come back to the basics with food.

Real, whole foods offer the best benefits for your skin. Fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are high in antioxidants.

As a pro tip: For great skin health, stay away from seed oils and highly processed foods and say yes to as many foods as you can from the earth.

10. Quit touching your face!

Start to tune into how often you touch your face throughout the day. It’s so much more often than you even think! All in all, we pick up so many oils from computer keyboards, cellphones, and miscellanies surfaces throughout the day.

If you can reduce the number of times you touch your face, you’ll also be reducing the amount of dirt and oil making their way onto your skin.

11. Go makeup free if possible.

Let your skin breathe! Most makeups contain toxic, pore-clogging ingredients that leave your skin feeling irritated.

I know how hard it can be to not wear makeup, especially if you know you’re going to leave the house…

This was one of the biggest struggles for me throughout my acne journey. I would leave the house makeup free and tell myself, “this is my brave face!” It felt empowering to know I was more than my skin. And friend, you are too. You are more than your skin! You are enough, even when your skin is breaking out.

12. Give yourself a compliment

Look in the mirror and give yourself a compliment. I know it’s hard to appreciate all that you are when you don’t feel beautiful. But you are worthy, even before your skin clears.

Mirror work is a powerful tool to improve self-love. Instead of tearing yourself down when you see yourself in the mirror, take a moment to build yourself up with your words.

13. Don’t freak out. Acne is temporary!

I know in the moment, your acne feels so overwhelming and unbearable… But friend, you got this. Your breakouts don’t define you. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is temporary.

A helpful mindset shift may even be that you start looking for all the things acne is teaching you. How are breakouts helping you love and appreciate your body even more? How are they helping you tune into your health in a new way?

It’s easy to want the hard stuff in life to be over and done with. We want to move through the hard days as quick as possible. But there’s so much to be said about staying present in the midst of your struggles.

Your struggles are here to teach you something and grow you in a new capacity. Instead of beating yourself up for going through it, listen and be open to receiving any new insights as you move through the struggle.

I promise, it won’t last forever!

I used to tell myself, “my skin will clear when I learn what it has come to teach me” and it helped me trust the timing of it all.

BONUS Tip: Take a break from sugar, gluten, and dairy

I wanted to be intentional about sharing this tip last because there are so many things you can do before you eliminate food from your diet. But it may be helpful to note that processed sugar, gluten, and dairy may cause gut sensitivities for you. You can experiment with these foods by removing one or all of them from your diet for three days.

Start to notice how you feel after you eat sugar, gluten, and dairy and see if you notice any changes in your skin. Take judgment out of the picture. Experiment and notice how you feel without having an expectation of how you should feel. You got this!

Let’s work 1 on 1 together to build your self-confidence!

Friend, if you struggle to feel worthy in your own skin, I’d love to work with you. As a holistic health and self-love coach, I help women break free from dieting and body shame so they can feel confident in their own skin. Click here to get it touch!

Have a specific question? Send me a DM on Instagram!

Friendly reminder: You are enough.

With Love from your Fitness Coach & Wellness Obsessed BFF,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo

Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.

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