Skincare is hands down the number one topic I am asked about. At first, I didn’t understand. As someone who spent the entirety of their teenage years battling acne, I never once considered my skin “good” in my adult life. Somewhere down the line I suppose I did become a self appointed “expert.” But not without my own trial and error… It’s been a journey, to say the least, one of which I was lucky to embark on around age 12. (Syke!)
My first breakouts started around 6th grade. My mom took me to a series of dermatologists, who gave me soaps and retinol creams. They did some of the most painful extractions, leaving me red and scabbing for school the next day. By 8th grade they had me on various different rounds of antibiotics (we’re talking months at a time!) Nothing worked. (Albeit because no one was stopping me from living on cheeseburgers and pasta- but that’s a story for another day.) By freshman year of high school they finally did pause to consider my internal health and hormones and “balance” was their best solution. At 15 they put me on birth control. Which again, didn’t help, and left me heavy, wildly emotional and depressed. By senior year I had had it. I wanted nothing to do with the skin I was in and would do anything to fix it. Accutane had just been released and despite the studies and side effects, I was game. The doctors all signed off. My blood was tested. The script was written…. and then my mom heard about Blu-U light, an alternative that ended up being my saving grace. Basically you sit with a chemical called laevulin on your skin for an hour the first time, 1.5 the second, and 2 hours by the 3rd treatment. Once it’s absorbed it’s activated with a U shaped tanning bed for your face. After its activated you have to sit in the dark for 3 days, nauseatingly sensitive to the light or heat, until the entire top layer of your face peels off. I would take Friday off from school, have my treatment done, and then sit in the dark watching The O.C. until my face peeled off Monday morning when I had to return to school. This time, it worked.
I wish I could say that’s when I started loving my skin. It was not. In fact I had spent so long caring about my skin that now that it was better, I hardly wanted to wash it at night. Fast forward from 18-25 when I just didn’t care- I drank excessively, resulting in drying my skin forgetting to take my makeup off, let alone tone or moisturize. I am ashamed to admit I smoked cigarettes leaving me with wrinkles I may never be able to reverse. What I would do to have those years back to preserve my youth! Somewhere around this time my mother in law started working for Clinique and was hell bent on sending me their 3 step skin care for combination skin. I had tried this prior to my Blu-U treatment and it did nothing, but the washing, toning, moisturizing and exfoliating seemed to be doing great things for me now. So for the next 2 years I continued to use the 3 step, pleased with the results.
Somewhere in those 2 years I got really into health and wellness. I started eating right and drinking more water than booze. Around 2016 this blog was born, holistic alternatives became my obsession, and the need to remove the products with chemicals and toxins was imperative. The swaps began. I started washing with Bronner’s, toning with Witch Hazel, and moisturizing with coconut oil. Back to the good old basics. Which perhaps was too basic. There was a period of transition, while I worked out what worked for me, but after a lifetime (okay, only 30 years but still) of trial and error, I finally feel like I have a hold on my skin and how to care for it as naturally as possible.
With that ALL being said. Here are my routines, favorite skincare products, treatments, practices, and glowing gurus to follow for more advice. Enjoy!
Wash: coconut oil or argan oil. I try to use something oil based in the morning because if I did a good job taking care of my skin the night before I should still be fairly cleansed. The oil base ensures I don’t over dry my skin.
VitaCoco organic oil
Badger Argan oil cleanser
Derma E Rose Cleanser
Exfoliate 1-2 times a week. You’ll want to make sure you’re scrubbing off the dead skin and buildups that can actually keep your skin from absorbing serums and creams.
Cocokind Sea Exfoliator
Pineapple Enzyme Exfoliator
Tone: Alcohol free witch hazel. Again, you want to tone, not deprive your skin of all its good hydration. A quick swipe with a cotton pad and a good toner and you’re good to go. I really love Thayer’s Witch Hazel with rose petal and aloe. It’s so gentle and the rose helps to maintain that coveted hydration.
Moisturize: At the very least I’ll apply a serum. Depending on how dry I’m feeling I’ll maybe add a vitamin c cream or hydrating something or other.
Cocokind Repair serum
Derma E Vitamin C cream
Youth To The People Superfood cream
To finish: Quick spritz of Derma E’s hyaluronic acid.
Remove makeup with coconut oil. Just a little coconut oil and a warm washcloth will do the trick. See above for the oil I use on my face
Wash: I like to use a more clarifying cleanser at night to really get rid of the left over makeup and impurities.
Nourish Organic Cleanser
Avalon Organics Intense Defense Cleansing Gel
Tone: same as above.
Moisturize: I like something a little more hydrating at night to get me through the next 8 hours.
Cocokind Matcha Moisturizer
Derma E Vitamin C intense night cream
Also make sure your lips are super hydrated before you call it a night. I love this coconut oil beeswax combo.
Cocokind Matcha Stick
(Can you tell I am a big fan of this brand, zero affiliation, for the record.)
If you follow my story you’ll know I love my face masks. I alternate between various masks depending on the way my skin feels that day, but I like to have a good detox, hydrating, and anti-aging mask on deck at all times.
Other practices I regularly incorporate:
I LOVE a quick face steam if I’m feeling extra dry and have the time. The simplest way is to boil a pot of water, find some herbs or oils to add to the mix. Grapefruit is my favorite to add, along with rose petals or dried rosemary. Simply use a towel to cone your face over the bowl with your boiling water mixture and sit for 5-10 minutes.
Jade Rolling & Gua Sha:
Obsessed. I won’t spend much time here, tons of bloggers and professionals alike have been talking about this anti-aging secret. Read more here.
Things to also consider:
Diet! Glowing skin comes from within. While I would like to save this topic for a whole post I will say this. Reducing the amount of sugars you consume and making sure your meals include the colors of the rainbow will drastically improve your glow.
Supplements- Collagen, collagen, collagen! Have I said it enough? Go read that post to really drive the message home.
Favorite accounts to follow:
The True Spoon– I just love Celeste’s reviews on holistic products, tips, and focus on fermentation and the gut/skin connection.
The Skinny Confidential – I have to give credit to the original gal who was a gateway to my own learning. I wouldn’t even know about jade rolling and facial massages if it weren’t for Lauryn.
On that note, I’ll leave you here. Was that too much to take in? Still have any questions/comments/concerns? Leave a line below, I’m always here!