Problem Skin & I Go Way Back
My pesky skin troubles started all the way back in my pre-teens, when those first few innocent hormonal blemishes appeared . . At the time, my only notion of beauty products consisted of flavored lip smackers, sparkled eye gel/shadow, and whatever remnants of make-up I could salvage (read: Steal) from my Mom's collection.
The blemishes started off tolerable, and I accepted them merely as a right of passage into women-hood. They never reached full blown (all over my face) acne status - and probably would have totally ran their course, had I taken the simple steps of cleansing, and leaving my face alone (no picking/popping!)
Yet, I didn't learn my lesson. The older I got, the heavier the make-up became, and the more I subsequently applied. Which neither looked good, or felt good. In doing so, I accomplished nothing aside from creating more inflammation, clogged pores, and an overall unhappy complexion. To make matter's even worst, I opted to use the typical drug store "acne" washes and spot treatments, which are loaded with harsh ingredients that are very drying and irritating to even non sensitive skin . . All these factors contributed to flakiness, blackheads, uneven skin tone, and blemishes. It was such a vicious cycle! I always felt insecure about my skin, and never dreamt of leaving the house without foundation!
Flash Forward a Decade (& Change)
Boy, have I (thankfully) done a 360. Perhaps due to maturity, being more comfortable in my own skin, or simply learning about all the harmful chemicals in beauty products - I've adopted the whole "less is more" approach. I've since ditched conventional make-up, and skincare - and in doing so, have seen a significant improvement in the overall appearance of my skin.
Unfortunately, because of the past carelessness - and sheer abuse I put my skin through, there is still visible permanent damage. For instance, I have some uneven skin tone from acne scars (when I use to squeeze and pop), I have some dark spots from not using sun protection, and finally - some black heads because I didn't always was my face at night (disgusting!)
It's taken some trial and error in finding the products that work for me, and knowing which ingredients to avoid. Fortunately I have a Mother who is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to skincare, unfortunately - it's due to her having very very sensitive skin, which I also inherited.
Que my favorite cleansing / nourishing combination. . Firstly, I am a huge fan of Desert Essence in general. Their products are affordable, readily available, and have skin friendly ingredients! I have been using this Desert Essence Creamy Oil Cleanser for over two years, throughout the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy - postpartum, and love it! It cleans off my make-up, without making my skin feel dry. I use it morning, and night - and follow it by applying my favorite Restorative Oil.
My AM/PM Routine
Seriously, I use to have super greasy skin and wouldn't have dreamt of slathering myself with Oil - but it's just the right amount of nourishing moisture that my skin craves. Bonus Points, after washing your face - don't pat it completely dry, use some of that dampness to help disperse the oil, and it will leave a dewy finish once dried. I've broken down exactly how I use these two products below.
- Wash Face by simply lathering soap in hands, than apply directly to face. Gently massage soap onto skin, and rinse with water.
- Pat face slightly dry (do not pull or tug at your skin - hello, wrinkles!)
- Apply a drop of oil into your hands, and rub - gently pat the excess oil onto your face, concentrating on your dryer areas
- I than take either the rest of the oil left on my hands, or apply more - and massage my jawline/neck. I do this for a few reasons. One, being that I have a double chin since having Lola, and stimulating the skin gentle touch is said to eliminate puffiness and promote drainage. I also massage this area, because it's flue season - and your lymph-nodes are located there, and carry a huge role in the detoxification process.
Despite eliminating many of the inflammatory products I used in the past, I still have acne prone skin - and have to take steps in helping my skin to regenerate and detoxify. I love Acure products, for the same reason I love Desert Essence ; inexpensive, available everywhere (Target!), and free of nasty harsh chemicals. These two are used weekly to help avoid any breakouts, and to keep my skin feeling fresh! I love the brightening facial scrub, I use it 1-2x a week - and it feels like a mask as well as an exfoliator all in one. I try to use the Clarifying mask once a week, but let's be honest - sometime's I don't, because - kids! When I do, I don't leave it on for long at all - because I have in the past, and it caused temporary redness (my fault!).
Vanity Decor Dreams
One of my least favorite rooms in our rental is our bathroom. It's super outdated, and those retro tiles are just begging to be updated. . I would so love a space to create a vanity, and adorn it with all the cute little touches. So until than, I'll just have an imaginary space - which I shopped for below. . lol
The Big Guns
Sometimes, regardless of how diligently I cleanse + nourish + renew my skin - a breakout inevitably occurs. When that happens, I break out the big guns - who swiftly & efficiently clear it up! Note, use both sparingly! I use the Blemish Stick only on actual blemishes, as it does contain alcohol and is harsh on delicate skin (but this thing seriously works, and within 24 hours!). Also - this Clay Mask, is NO JOKE. If you have never tried this mask, be forewarned that it will feel like your face is pulsating once on . . that it the mud literally drawing out the gunk from your pores! Bye, bye, gunk! The magical ingredient which makes this mask so powerful is apple cider vinegar, which you mix with the powder. This is where a mixing bowl comes into good use, and I love this bamboo one, as you have to use non metallic tools when using the clay.
So there you have it, a very basic and affordable skin care routine - utilizing green beauty products to clean + nourish + revitalize : sensitive, acne prone skin.
Shop them below, and let me know what your favorite green beauty products are in the comments!