One of my New Year’s resolutions was to wear less makeup and focus more on skincare. I do not have perfect skin by any means, and I made it a point to figure out a skincare regimen that works for me.
A little background: I did not have any problems with my skin until I started wearing makeup in college. I developed bumps on my cheeks and had breakouts all over my T-zone, so I would wear two layers of foundation to make sure everything was covered. I also used to use skincare products specifically for oily skin, and even had a prescription for clindamycin as a topical solution for a few months. For the next five years, I was convinced that my skin was oily and tried to find the best products to ban any shine because oil = pimples. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to December 2016 when I went to my very first facial at Heyday. I learned that the skincare products I used were too harsh on my combination skin and that I needed to use products to balance it out and kept it moisturized. So I went back to the drawing board and reworked my skincare regimen. It has been five months since that facial and I’m scheduled to have another one soon, but I’ve seen significant changes. Here’s what I have learned along the way:
Wash your face with only water in the morning.
I watched a video by YouTuber Amelia Liana, where she talked about how she got rid of her acne and said that she started washing her face with only water in the mornings. I had always felt like I was stripping my skin of moisture by washing my face twice a day, and I noticed a difference. My face always looked and felt balanced in the morning and I no longer saw a need to ruin that.
I used to religiously use my Clarisonic brush every night to make sure all of the makeup and dirt was removed from my face. Once I went to get the facial, I learned that my skin was damaged from over exfoliating. I was also using a very abrasive exfoliator in conjunction with the Clarisonic, and she said to use something gentler. I noticed a difference pretty quickly in my skin’s texture. It had more elasticity and no longer felt dull.
Use a facial treatment essence.
In place of a cleanser in the morning, I have been using the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence directly after washing my face with water and all I can say is WOW. I have noticed a difference in how bright, toned, and clear my face has looked ever since I added this to my regimen. It has a funny smell because it is made with pitera: a clear liquid with vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids that has been fermented. I pat a drop of it using my palms to make sure that it absorbs into my skin. In fact, I have been using this technique with my facial oils and serums and night and I have noticed that my skin seems to absorb it more than if I had applied it using my fingertips.
The simpler the better.
Prior to my facial, I was using a charcoal face wash because I thought that it would draw out everything under my skin. My facialist said that this cleanser was actually stripping away moisture, so the first thing I did after my appointment was throw out the charcoal face wash and buy something I knew I should have tried a long time ago: the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. If I had realized that this would have helped my skin, I would not have spent so much money on expensive face washes. It’s the simplest cleanser you can ever use on your face and does not cost much at the drugstore.
Moisturizing is your friend.
Once I realized that all of the oil-free and oily skin products were stripping my face of moisture, I completely changed my thinking. I’m not sure what the exact science is in why you should moisturize your skin and apparently science speaks out against it, but to me, it’s just like how your skin tends to look better when you drink a lot of water. My mom swears by Ponds and says that’s all she uses on her face. And besides, dewy and glowy makeup is popular right now, so why shouldn’t it begin with your skincare?
Throw out old makeup.
I started using the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution to help lighten some hyperpigmentation on my face, and I noticed that every part of my face except for my cheeks were looking better. So I decided go through my makeup bag and assess my products. I had a bronzer and blush that I purchased years ago (disgusting, I know) that I was trying to use up just to get my money’s worth. As an experiment, I stopped using it and noticed my skin clearing up within days. And on that note, be sure to always your clean makeup brushes and sponges thoroughly.
As I said, my skin is nowhere near perfect, but this has what has been working for me so far. I’m still struggling with redness and scarring and hope to get more answers at my next facial. I’d love to hear about any other skincare stories or products you’d recommend!