Simple Tips That Will Improve Your Skin Care Game…
…plus a peek into my routine!
Disclaimer: These are my opinions. I am not a dermatologist. Depending on your skin type, you may have different results. My skin type is oily, acne-prone, and aging, with breakouts sporadically.
If you’re interested in how to manage acne-prone aging skin, keep reading!
NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
Step One: Since I have been using foundation a lot on my face, I have started using jojoba oil as a pre-clean makeup remover on my entire face. So far, so good. Jojoba oil is supposed to be good for oily skin as it is not pore clogging, but it has a similarity to the sebum skin generates naturally. It basically tricks the skin into thinking it has already produced enough oil, so it stops overproducing. Mmm, science.
Step Two: Now it’s time to cleanse! I am a loyal user of the Clinical Formula brand. My aesthetician introduced this line to me when I was 15, and I have been using it ever since. These days, my favorite product is their Facial Shampoo. I put about a dime-sized drop on my Konjac face sponge (which, seriously, is amazing). The combination gently exfoliates while not over-drying my skin. Perfecto!
Step Three: ICE, ICE, BABY. I cannot stress enough how much this step has changed my skin. I take an ice cube and rub it over my face for about 30 seconds. That’s it. But I swear it’s slowing down the aging process, and it helps my products absorb more thoroughly.
Step Four: Toning! My aesthetician says that toning is unnecessary, but I’m addicted. I can’t stop. My weapon of choice right now is Vivant Skin Care’s Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Toner. I suffer from melasma despite never having had children (thanks, birth control pills), so this keeps that in check.
A: Step five goes one of two ways. I put on a 10% benzoyl peroxide cream to prevent breakouts (Clinical Formula, again, has a lovely one). Use about a pea-sized amount, begin on the outer edges of the skin, and kind of swoop inwards. Avoid the eye area (obviously), but also avoid the folds of the nose since those can get irritated pretty easily. And I do not spot treat. I don’t think it works with these type of products. I stick to products designed specifically for that.
B: Retin-A. Or more specifically, a generic tretinoin cream that is Retin-A like. I use a 0.1% formula, which requires a prescription. Again, this is a product I’ve been using for years, and my skin is pretty resilient when it comes to taking products. I apply a pea-sized amount, again starting with the outer edges of my face around my hairline and jawline, and swoop inwards. I do not spot treat. Retin-A is a Vitamin A treatment designed to speed cell turnover. It is not for everyone. If you’d like to try it, talk to your dermatologist and get their opinion.
Step Six: Eye cream. Now, I started using an eye cream when I was about 16. Then I stopped for a while. I started again recently when I noticed that in photos, my eyes were looking a little…crepey. That is no fun. Fortunately, one of the main goals of many eye creams is to firm your under eye area, and that’s exactly what I was going for. Shiseido’s Benefiance Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream is pretty great. It even comes with a tiny little spatula so you don’t use too much product and you’re not dipping your fingers in the pot. I use a tiny bit of this stuff and pat it into my eye area, top and bottom.
Step Seven: And finally, moisturizing! I still have to be careful with moisturizers because, like a teenager, I break out if one looks at me sideways. Not all oil-based moisturizers make me break out, but some do. So it’s always a crapshoot. For this, I stick with my Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF 15 for day and night. It’s a great double duty hydrator, and it doesn’t make me break out.
Step Eight: I thought we were done. We are not. My final step is putting a bit of RevitaLash on my upper lash line. I’ve tried a bunch of different lash growth serums, and this is one of the best. Although I like the idea of using simple castor oil, I always end up getting it in my eyes, which is why I opt for a serum. But do be careful.
My daytime routine is pretty simple: just subtract Step Five. Sometimes I’ll leave out the toner, too, if my skin is feeling particularly dry.
Did I hear someone say pampering? Yes, that’s right, I treat my skin to some pampering from time to time. Here are some of my faves for when my skin needs some extra attention!
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
Ren Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask
Despite having oily skin, mine does get dried out from time to time, and it takes a special mask to solve this problem without breaking me out. Fortunately, I received the Ren Evercalm Mask in a Sephora Play! Box last year, and it’s been with me ever since. It’s designed for sensitive skin, but that formulation works really well for my acne-prone disaster.
GlamGlow Youth Mud
This one I reserve for when I need to pull out the big guns. GlamGlow usually makes an appearance in the summertime, when temps are over 100 degrees and my skin will not stop being an oil slick. I’ll use this once a week if I’m fighting with acne or just a ton of oiliness.
Other tips for perfect skin!
- Cut out extra sugars. You know, I’ll just go from least realistic to most realistic on this list. Cutting out soda, cookies, and junk food helps your skin. Ideally, I would do this, but I’m a junk food addict so I probably won’t. But I will say this: during the time that I was vegan and having a protein smoothie for breakfast and fresh pressed juice as a mid-morning snack, my skin glowed.
- Change your pillowcases every two days. Again, not doing great with this one, myself, but I know it helps with breakouts. I mean, you spend 5 to 10 hours on these things each night, so just do the math. How much sebum, sweat, and dirt do you think are on those pillowcases? Exactly.
- Cut out dairy. So, I like cheese. I won’t lie to you. But I do notice a serious difference in my skin between when I have dairy every day and when I don’t. Unfortunately, dairy contains hormones that our bodies don’t need. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have these problems with hormones and antibiotics being pumped into our animals. Since we do, just try to minimize your dairy intake. But hey. I get it. Cheese.
- Almonds Guys, I eat a shit ton of almonds. No kidding. They not only taste amazing, they help with inflammation. And you don’t need many! In fact, I probably overdo it. Just ¼ cup (less than a handful) per day will do. If you’re a pescatarian or meat eater, have some tuna or salmon — they provide the same benefits.
- SPF We have talked about this before. SPF is absolutely essential to keeping your skin looking nice. I know, in your teens and 20s, it might not seem like that big of a deal to go without sunscreen. I used to spend hours worshipping the sun gods without any sunscreen and *gasp* sometimes even with oil on. Now, I hide like a vampire. Find a morning moisturizer with an SPF built in. There are tons of them. Trust me, your skin will thank you.
- Drink Water I know so many people who hate drinking water. And I understand, it was not always my favorite, either. I trained myself to drink it and now, I down at least 64 ounces of it every day. If you don’t like the taste, squeeze in some lemon or get one of those bottles that infuses fruit flavor. Find a way to get it into your body. It will help keep your skin clear, bright, and youthful.
- Supplements This is a new one for me, but recently I’ve been trying out some supplements specifically for the skin and I have to say, they make my skin look better. Neocell has a bunch of them and they’re pretty reasonably priced. No miracles have happened, but I did get some compliments over the holidays on my skin and, full disclosure, I drank a lot of wine so I was pretty dehydrated ;).
So there you have it! I hope these skin care tips and skin care products help create a radiant glow for your skin this year.
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