So hindsight is 20/20, this much we know. But the sins I’ve committed as far as skin care, have been truly nightmarish type scenarios. And I know I’m not the only one. As a gal who cut her own bangs after drinking wine a few weeks ago, let’s stick to skin sins, hair sins would be a much longer post.
Growing up, I can’t even think of what it was my mom used to wash her skin and moisturize with- all I can remember as far as skin remedies in the home were: Eucerin, Noxzema, and Jergens, none of which I would recommend for someone who is trying to minimize chemicals in their routine, as well as have real results.
So here it is, 5 things I wish I could get in a Time Machine and tell to my younger self:
1.) More is not always better (or: bite the bullet and get the one thing that will serve you vs. 5 things you hate.)
I used to purchase every spot treatment under the roof of Walgreens/CVS/Target just to see what would truly work for me. I would buy this type of product most often because it’s what I really wanted to work for my skin- “Please God, just ONE acne-free month, okay!?” I would, however also buy many eye creams, face creams, masks, toners, whatever- if it was new, and enticing- I wanted it. New brands, marketing and packaging would get me every time- and my discretionary senses or label-reading had not kicked in yet. I still walk down the aisles, just to see what’s out there, but the pull of their promises don’t get me anymore. I flip the box and read the label. I think back to all that I’ve thrown away, drawers of forgotten product that couldn’t deliver, and that is WAY more overwhelming than buying one pricier item that will work.
Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
– William A. Foster
2.) Oil is your friend (really.)
My Mom still tries to convince me that when I have a breakout it’s because of too much oil. Love ya Mom, but nothing’s that cut and dry.
Firstly: your skin produces oil, all on its’ own, as a means to care for the skin. If your skin is dry, it’s going to pump out some oils because your body can’t make water.
For perfectly hydrated skin, you ideally want a healthy balance of water + oil. What happens is, a dehydrated skin will produce more oil to try to get nourished, and then you have the (probably relatable) feeling of: “no matter what I do my skin is oily, I’ve even stopped using moisturizer on my T-zone.”
Well, friend: you’ve confused the heck out of your skin, and solved nothing. When you give your skin the oils that it needs, along with water (H20 internally, and moisturizer externally), your skin will breathe a sweet sigh of relief and the sebum (oil) production won’t be in a state of over-activity.
The key to getting this right, is to use the proper amount: 2-3 drops, on freshly washed skin, or you can use a spray toner to get the best benefits and have it sink in super quickly. What I’m talking about is your skin getting:
Q-U-E-N-C-H-E-D. For real. Like, really, really.
For straight forward hydration for all skin types Kahina Giving Argan Oil($15-$82):
Dr. Alkaitis Organic Ageless Facial Elixir ($150):
3.) Picking your skin spreads.
So, my Dad used to tell me this. A lot. I didn’t fully grasp the concept though, because I thought it was something I could still manage. I would pick at my skin, and then take a toner with straight up witch hazel or un-cut Tea Tree Oil, and think I was fine. What I didn’t realize until I worked at a spa, was that the spreading wasn’t just on the skin- it was the pores next to the pore I was toying with that were likely to get inflamed, and contract whatever bacteria that ailed the first pore. Stopping picking.. is hard, and I can’t say I’m entirely successful yet. But the thing that has helped the most- is these acne stickers that suck out whatever is inside of a pimple that has a head (or maybe you did toy with it and it needs help healing..) Boost your skin confidence with these- they work.
4.) Don’t skimp on cleanser, makeup wipes are only 1/2 a wash!
I always hear people say that if you’re going to skimp or spend less on a portion of your skin care regimen, do it on the cleanser, because you wash it off. A proper cleanse, will set you up for success with the next steps in the regimen, so skimping is not going to work in your favor! Also, if that thought is real, we could skimp on shampoo, body wash, any thing that’s supposed to clean? I don’t think so!
A lot of us give our cleanser a big job: to take off makeup, AND remove dirt, bad oils, bacteria and whatever else we were exposed to in the day. This is just too much for a cheap cleanser to do!
If you want a multi-tasker: oil cleansers will remove all of your makeup and cleanse in one fell swoop. If you are a makeup wipe gal, invest in a makeup wipe with ingredients that serve, rather than strip the skin.
For the best results from your cleanser, wash for 30-60 seconds. Give the cleanser the time to really do whatever it’s designed to do. If you’re like me and you want to feel extra super-duper fresh, you can employe the “double cleanse” method, and cleanse with a makeup removing wash (such as an oil cleanser, or cream cleanser), and then wash a second time with a cleansing gel. Instead of doing a second cleanse, you can opt for a toner to make sure every bit of makeup is off your face so you can rest assured before you go in with your hydrators, that your skin is clean.
If you love a super thorough cleanse, this Fantastic Face Wash ($12-$28) is the stuff of dreams:
If ultra hydration is more of what you’re aiming for, Nao Ayurveda Ojas Cleanser will make you glow in just one use ($30):
5.) If you’re skipping SPF, you might as well throw all your expensive skin care products in to the bin.
I mean it. Get out the calculator and check how much all of your goodies are worth. They’re not cheap, and when you want a product that will work hard and give results? Well, you’re shelling out some hard earned dollars, with full confidence that it’s going to work. And? It will!
But when you roast, toast, shake n’ bake or whatever else in the sun without protection, the damage is going to outweigh the good.
Get on it, sister.
If you have a fear of sunscreen breaking you out, there’s options– options like Farizad’s Veil, that you can mix in with an oil of your choice ($34).
or this delightfully lightweight every day SPF 18 from Ursa Major VT ($54):
That is IT! Are there any things you wish you knew regarding skin when you were younger? Remember younger can mean yesterday, it’s okay to learn new things all the time!!!
Hope this struck a chord in you.