My skin has always been a touchy topic for me. Mainly because I can’t seem to figure it out, I frequently have breakouts and it’s never been perfectly clear. I’ve always had sensitive skin and it’s the first thing that sends me warning signs when I’m not treating my body so well. My face breaks out pretty easily and, I confess, I pick at blemishes and that has left behind some mild scarring. It’s a bad habit, I KNOW. I’m working on it. I should, and am, trying to cut back on dairy because I know that makes my skin freak out. I’ve tried many different cleansers, moisturizers, masks, oils, and have finally come to what seems to be working for me, at least for now. My skin is nowhere near perfect, but it has been clearing up, and when I’m being more mindful of what I eat, I can definitely see a difference.
Here’s what I do on a daily basis:
Splash cold water on my face first thing in the morning. ONLY cold water, no cleansers. I do this every morning when I wake up. I take my showers at night, so in the morning all I do is put my face right in that sink and splash cold water all over my face. It wakes me up and preps my skin for the day. Then I apply a little bit of moisturizer. I use the Olay Complete All Day Moisture SPF Skin Cream-Sensitive, more on that later.
Apply minimal makeup. I have never enjoyed putting on makeup. I was a tomboy growing up (I have three older brothers) and makeup never interested me. It’s more of a hassle for me to put it on, but I prefer to put it on for work so I don’t have people saying how tired I look. I apply a tinted moisturizer, concealer for under-eye circles and blemishes, a little bit of cream blush, powder, brow tint, and mascara. Sometimes I’ll put on a little bit of eye shadow. After listing all of that I guess it’s not technically minimal, but, comparatively, I guess it is. If my skin was more even and I had no under-eye circles I’d skip the concealer.
Take off makeup as soon as I get home. I remove my makeup as soon as I’m home from work, or right after work if I’m going for a run. I use basic makeup remover wipes and get that sh*t off of my face as quickly as possible. Then I just splash some more cold water on my face, apply my moisturizer, and continue with the day!
Cleanse. I use the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser. You can get it at Target or online. I use this while I’m in the shower at night. It’s exfoliating and just makes my skin feel really nice and clean.
Apply witch hazel. As soon as I’m done drying off the first thing I do is apply witch hazel to my face while my pores are still open. This is a natural toner and shrinks your pores to prevent additional breakouts. Just squeeze some onto a cotton ball and rub it all over your face and neck. I use T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel. It has proven to be very effective and leaves my face feeling even more clean!
Moisturize. I do this once the witch hazel on my face dries up. I’m still on the look-out for a moisturizer that is free of all harmful chemicals. I’ll be honest, I tried a bunch and they just seemed to clog up my pores or left my face feeling dry. I use the Olay Complete All Day Moisture SPF Skin Cream-Sensitive. I’ve used this for years and it’s worked great, however, I DO want a new one that accomplishes the same moisturizing effect, so if you know of any clean moisturizers that are similar, please let me know! In addition to this, I add three drops of Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil from Pai Skincare right in the moisturizer and combine them in my palm. This is something I definitely splurged on. I’ve got student loans and house payments, so I am not one to be spending hundreds of dollars on skincare. But this was definitely worth the splurge in my opinion, and I’m seeing results. It’s meant to even out your skin tone and is great for sensitive skin. And! The ingredients are organic and free of chemicals (that I’m trying to get away from).
Mask. Once every couple of weeks I’ll apply a mask. I should be doing it weekly, which I probably will start doing, but it’s an intense mask and I LOVE it. I use the Aztec Secret - Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Facial & Body Mask. It comes in powder form (made from bentonite clay) and you just need to place a little bit of it in a bowl (non-metal) and can use either apple cider vinegar or water. Mix with a non-metal spoon. I use ACV and mix until it’s a thick, spreadable paste. I bought these face mask brushes recently and love them because they make for an easy application. I leave mine on for 15 minutes, but the directions say to leave it on for 5-10 if you have sensitive skin. My main piece of advice for this mask is very important: make sure you apply it as a thick, even layer. The first couple of times I applied it on too thin in some spots, and it made my face itch so bad I had to take it off after a couple of minutes. If it’s thick, you won’t have that problem. Rinse off with warm water (it will take a while since it’s thick and can get clumpy). Your face may feel VERY dry after this and be slightly red in some spots, which is normal for me. Definitely do a small patch test on your skin beforehand to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions. I generally apply this mask before I shower because it gets in my hair and I need to wash it out, but if you can avoid your hair then just apply moisturizer after and you’ll be good to go!
WATER. This may be the most important thing I do. I drink TONS of water every day. I have a 40 oz. Hydroflask that I aim to fill up twice during my work day, and I continue to drink several more glasses of water once I’m home after work. You’ve gotta hydrate, people. That’s something that everyone forgets to do, or they think drinking sugary drinks is fine and hydrates them enough. It’s not. Stop drinking sugar water and just drink plain water and your body will thank you for it.
That’s it and that’s all! What does your skincare routine look like? I would love to hear what organic/toxic free products you use that are reasonably priced. Please share in the comments any tips you have for great looking skin!