This is one post that I thought I WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS write about – my skin care regimen! Enough people showed interest in what I do for skin care that I’m actually writing about it.
In fact, here’s the picture that started it all…
The only filter I used was one to improve the evenness of color because I’m sick in the pic but just HAD to show off my, now, bracket-free chompers. Oh glorious day!
I was terrified of posting this pic because I’m not wearing ANY make-up at all. People would see my redness and some of my wrinkles. As a woman, God, forbid that I should do something natural like, I dunno, AGE? Succumb to the fact that I’m getting older? Share my secrets of witchcraft that allow me to stay the ravages of time?!?!
Ok, I lied on the last one; but you get the gist. We (men and women – though more tough and stringent for women) are held to a completely unrealistic standard of beauty. But we can fight back. We can embrace whatever standard of beauty we choose whether it be sans makeup or full on Sephora product test makeover.
For me, I don’t wear makeup often any more. In fact, I wear it maybe once a month; but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, there wasn’t much choice between makeup and no makeup because I was so embarrassed by my skin. Cover-up, foundation, and powder were my holy trinity of hiding my numerous blemishes. Even just remembering the shame I felt about my skin has little Freya, my dog – the one that doesn’t seek affection, curling up next to me offering her silent comfort and support.
My first zit? Kindergarten. No, I’m NOT kidding. Ask my mom (if you know her) about showing me how to use OXY cream. The acne slowly began to worsen. In fourth grade, my dad tried to cheer me up by telling me that by the time I make it to High School… all of my friends will be battling acne while I will have grown out of it. Yeah, he meant well that Liar-Liar-Pants-on-Fire.
So, Bonnie, WHEN did your skin improve? It wasn’t until my 30’s. Seriously. I was still breaking out, using Clean and Clear, and a few prescription medications. However, it wasn’t until a dietician that had similar skin afflictions sat me down and shared some serious knowledge with me.
Acne can be set off by any number of reasons; but what really makes it stay and not go away if your skin is clean and well taken care of? Most of the time, it’s hormones. Most people have skin that’s hormone sensitive. If you don’t… well, then, aren’t you a lucky b*tch?!?! Can anything be done about it?
Ask yourself, “Do I need to wear makeup today?”
Make sure that your skin is makeup free as often as possible. We live in a DIRTY, DIRTY place. All the crap that we inhale and that our skin has to protect us from takes its toll. So, with our skin cranking out the natural protectant, sebum, letting bacteria and other particulates blend with sebum that’s trying to fight pollution and other invaders is like turning your skin into a petri dish.
If you’re going to remove your makeup before cleansing your skin, I recommend Neutrogena Makeup Removing and Cleansing Wipes. They don’t irritate my skin and cut through waterproof eye makeup. If you think you need a bit more oomph, try some Micellar Water and a washcloth or a soft rag.
What about cleansing your skin? For me? It’s either Dove Sensitive when my skin is doing ok and not irritated for whatever reason. And, during times that it’s pissed off at me… Nivea Creme Bar. If I need to exfoliate (I don’t exfoliate every day. It increases my inflammation), I use either a strip of exfoliating cloth or exfoliating gloves. One of the best tools in my skin care arsenal is my Clarisonic Mia2. Now, I didn’t pay “sticker” for mine. Buying a used Clairsonic handle isn’t gross as long as you are using new brushes. For me, I use off-brand, sensitive brushes on low speed.
Moisturize! DO IT!
I have FIVE Holy Grail products.
- Almond Oil: it’s a great universal oil. As long as you don’t contaminate it, a 4 oz bottle should stay ok for the time it takes to use it. I use this oil as my primary moisturizer whether just be cheek and forehead or around my eyes. This stuff is a great everyday moisturizer.
- Nivea Soft: I use this as my skin protectant. It has SPF in it, and makes my skin feel amazing – not to mention… it’s CHEAP! But, don’t let the fact it’s cheap make you think it’s a crap product. I wouldn’t put it on my skin if it were. I’ve used $225 moisturizer that didn’t do what Soft could – protect my skin while keeping it soft.
- Tea Tree Oil: Yeah. It smells a bit funky, but it’s AWESOME for breakouts and any other skin injury that’s at risk from bacteria. It’s antibacterial and antifungal. If you have kids, then you know how prevalent ringworm has been since Hurricane Harvey. Create a 1:1:0.25 mixture of Tea Tree Oil:Almond Oil:Peppermint Oil for a spray bottle to use if you have pets that show signs of ringworm. Yeah, good luck keeping them still to spray them, but this stuff WORKS!
- Peppermint Oil: Holy COW! Does your skin ever get irritated or get hot flashes not related to menopause? Meet your BFF Peppermint Oil! I’ll put some body lotion in a spray bottle, thin it with almond oil, and add a little bit of peppermint oil at a time until I discover the perfect mix. It’s trial and error. What may be too weak for one could be too strong for another. When your skin gets hot or reddens or itches like mad, take your spray bottle and spray the irritated areas and rub the mixture in to the unhappy area. POOF! No more angry skin!!!
- Retin-A: A lot of people use this stuff as an anti-aging cream. I use it to keep the demon acne away! This is the only product that works for me. Seriously. I’ve tried everything except Accutane. That would have been my next step. I apply this twice daily after applying both oil to soften to skin and increase absorption and Nivea Soft as my protectant.
OK! That’s my secret. Not much of one, but this is my routine. There are days that I wear makeup. I make sure my skin is treated first. When I worked at Sephora, I learned new and interesting ways of prolonging shelf lives and keeping skin blemish free. For that? TOOLS! Not just any tools either… some prefer sponges while others prefer brushes. I’m a hardcore brush girl and disposable cotton applicators. I don’t double dip either. I’ll apply what I need either to the back of my hand or makeup palette.
When wearing makeup, the two best things you can do? After your done applying your look, use translucent powder to seal and makeup sealant spray. It’ll prolong your look! When you start to shine, use blotting papers! USE. BLOTTING. PAPERS. Don’t add more powder to incubate whatever is currently living on your face.
Finally…. GET SLEEP AND DRINK LOADS OF WATER.
And that’s it. Longer than a water bill and but shorter than a cell bill!
If you ever have any questions about a makeup product, skin care, etc… contact me. My days with Sephora have got to be good for something!!!