Transitioning to college is not just hard mentally, but physically as well. We have all heard about the dreaded freshman 15, but often forget about other parts of our well being that can be affected during this transition. 

As my high school years were coming to an end, I concentrated on expanding my social life, securing old relationships, maintaining a balanced eating plan and my workout schedule. One thing that did not cross my mind before entering college, however, was how a new environment, diet, and routine would affect my skin. Here are five steps on how to be proactive for healthy, clear skin in college.

1. Talk to a trusted dermatologist

Katie Austin

The key to discovering the right skincare routine is through communication with your dermatologist. Explain your concerns and goals so you can figure out what works for you, what doesn't work, and why. Everyone's skin is different, so it is important to come up with a personalized routine that works for you.

2. Cleanse

While makeup wipes are very helpful, coconut oil is a great natural alternative to clean your skin. It's important to get into the habit of cleansing your face every morning, night, and especially after workouts to remove excess sweat and oils that can clog your pores. Before you head to college, make cleansing and moisturizing part of your skincare routine so it won't feel like an extra chore.

3. Experiment with face masks

Bring face masks with you to school! They are fun and can tighten, brighten, and purify your skin. Experiment to find out which mask works best with your skincare routine. Face masks are a perfect activity for a girls night in.

4. Know what triggers a break out  

For me, my diet heavily affects my skin and its condition. Sensitivity to temperature and weather change are also common break out triggers. If your college is far from home and the weather conditions are different from what your skin is used to, these changes are something to consider when experimenting with skincare products. Your freshman year housing may not have air conditioning, and a flimsy fan and screened in window can’t fix all your skin problems.

5. No one's skin is perfect

I don’t think anyone can argue that breakouts aren't annoying, but they are not the end of the world. Everyone goes through it, you are certainly not alone. The bottom line is going to college is not easy but there are steps you can take to make this transition easier and less stressful. The best tip is to learn to be proactive instead of reactive in all aspects of your life.

Taking care of your skin by finding an ideal routine before going to college is one step in the right direction.