A weird thing happened on my 23rd birthday. I felt a peace. It was this wave like an overwhelming calm. Standing around a tabletop playing Irish Poker with my friends, aka the best people on this whole damn planet, I was all “this is it! this is happiness!” My people are my people, and they love me long time. I love them more and more with age.
They make me feel beautiful in both conventional and unconventional ways. I know 23 is going to be so good because I feel ok in this skin for the first time in a long time. I know who stands behind me, and I know these people are not sticking through it because they think I’m pretty. That’s my secret beauty tip. Surround yourself with beautiful souls and let the (self)love pour out.
With that said, I still take care of myself, and especially, my skin. I was plagued with acne scars, pockmarks and adult hormonal acne. I also have a horrible, horrible habit of picking at my skin (especially when I am writing…). I took my 22nd year to really get to know my skin and to find what worked for me. Skin care is not a one size fit all. Aveeno face wash may work wonders for your face, but their moisturizer could make your face look like an oil spill. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
I want to share with you what is working for me. I say working because I know as we age our skin changes, and in the new year I am vowing to listen more closely to what my body is telling me — skin included.
I use 7 products. I know it sounds a bit excessive, but hear me out. Unfortunately, I don’t have “before” and “after” photos of the different stages of my skin throughout my life my I can tell you that my pre- and during puberty face was very oily, pimply and red.
Product #1 & 2 – Makeup Remover
I used to sleep in my makeup *gasp* Now I know better! Don’t believe me? Read this article. At the end of the day, no matter how long it was, I always remove my makeup, wash my face and moisturize. The first step is always my makeup remover. I use two different kinds, Clean Lash by Nova Lash pads for my eye makeup (because I want to be extra delicate to my gorgeous eyelash extensions) and Neutrogena Makeup Remover towelettes for the rest of my face.
Product #3 & 4 – Face Wash
Immediately after I use the makeup remover, I wash my face. I like to alternate my face washes. I have two that work perfectly and I use them interchangeably. I always make sure to rinse my face first with warm water (to open the pores), rub in the face wash with my fingers and then rinse the face wash off with cool water (to close the pores) and pat dry with a towel. These are the two I use for my combination skin.
Product #5 – Moisturizer
The third product that I use daily is a moisturizer. This was the hardest product for me to understand and make a habit of using. I had oily skin, so I assumed that adding a facial lotion to my skin would just make it more oily. I suppose in a sense I was right, but that is only because I wasn’t using “Oil Free” moisturizers. I tried 6 or 7 different brands before finding the one I couldn’t live without : My Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream. It’s pricey, but it has made SUCH a difference in my skin. Worth every freaking penny. It also comes in an aesthetically pleasing glass jar — perks. I apply a tiny amount of this magic potion in an upwards motion onto my face and neck every damn day. It’s amazing.
Product #6 – Exfoliator
I don’t exfoliate every day. But when I do exfoliate, it’s in a warm shower where I can really scrub those pores. I exfoliate 2-3 times a week (more in the summer, less in the winter). Before I really understood microbeads I used Aveeno’s exfoliator. Now, a little older and a lot more environmentally conscious, I have fallen for Lush’s Dark Angels formula. This stuff will leave your skin clear, soft, and free of toxins! What more can you ask from your exfoliant? I will warn you, Dark Angels is made from charcoal, sugar, and other things that are dirt-like. If you don’t wash it off all the way you can come out of the shower looking like a coal miner! And sometimes it gets stuck in my eyebrows. Nothing a little warm water and a towel can’t take off. Other than that, I can find no faults with it. I even like the earthy way that it smells. You only need a pea sized amount. A little goes a long way.
Product #7 – Face Mask
Face Mask’s aren’t just for slumber parties. I use mine once a week (twice a week if my hormonal acne is giving me a hard time). I think face masks are often overlooked and disregarded when talking about skin care. For one, they can be considered time-consuming. I usually put one on while I’m doing chores, which makes me a multitasking vixen. Another excuse is that they are messy. I won’t act like they aren’t, but they are WORTH IT. I use another Lush product here. The Mask of Magnaminty. It’s a green clay mask with peppermint in it. If you want to talk about soft skin…this mask is awesome! It gets down deep into those pores and leaves them so clean and your face smells like a foot (you have to use a Mean Girls reference when you can). I used to use Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure Mud Mask, and it was great but not as amazing as this stuff. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend the Pores Be Pure Mask for sure.
Pamper your skin! It keeps your organs from melting in the sun (or something like that).