Hello friends! Before I get into today’s post I wanted to share a super fun interview/feature I did for one of my all time favorite sites in the world, The Everygirl, which is just an amazing resource for all things awesome. You can read it here and if you have any questions/comments please feel free to leave them below!!
So, I wanted to do today’s post to update you on my skincare routine and tell you about some of the skin issues I’ve been dealing with in the past year and what I’ve done to get my skin beautiful and glowing again. I’ve COMPLETELY changed my skincare routine since my last skincare post, so I wanted to update you guys on what I’ve been doing and what products/routine has worked wonders for me.
About a year ago, I started experiencing some very dry patches around my mouth and chin area. This was so strange to me because until that point in my life, I had always had EXTREMELY oily skin. I was never very acne prone, but I had such an abundance of oil and could fully soak one of those oil absorbing sheets until it was translucent at least 3 times a day. Not kidding. So to see any dryness on my face whatsoever was so weird. I let it go for a month or so, and it started getting worse to the point of peeling as if I had gotten a chemical peel, and spreading to other areas of my face (cheeks and nose). It really started to bother me because not only was it super dry, it was very red and irritated from being so chapped. I was the most upset when I would put on makeup, which is one of my favorite things in life, and foundation, concealer, and powder just wouldn’t lay the way I wanted it to and would cling to every little patch of dry skin looking obvious and terrible.
The first thing I examined was my nutrition. The second thing I considered was my skincare. I hadn’t changed any of the products I was using since my skin decided to make a complete 180 and change from oily to dry, and I realized my once favorite products were stripping my skin now and not providing enough moisture in its current state.
I knew I needed to heal my skin back to hydrated glowing health, so here’s what I did:
1) Skin Care: My once favorite products I was using on my previously oily skin were just too stripping and drying for my skin in it’s new parched state. I did tons of online research, read loads of reviews, and tried a plethora of samples before landing on a whole new skincare routine that would better nourish my skin. I’ve always been a less is more girl when it comes to products, but the hands off approach wasn’t working for me and my skin was only getting worse, so I needed to get some help from products with great ingredients for my new skin issues. Of everything I tested and tried, these are the products I fell in love with and now live by because they completely helped my skin:
I now wash my face once in the morning and twice at night. In the morning I use a gentle, creamy cleanser to restore moisture into my skin after a night of sleep without any heavy cleansing agents because I don’t need to remove makeup, dirt, or oil after washing my face the night before.
Eminence Coconut Milk Cleanser: You. Guys. This is the most soothing, milky, yummy cleanser I’ve ever tried and it leaves my skin feeling so soft and hydrated. I could not recommend this more if you are looking for a cleanser that is not stripping and actually puts moisture back into your skin.
At night, I have a lot more going on with my face situation. You guys know I’m a makeup girl, so I’ve got foundation, concealer blush, bronzer, etc. etc. to remove. So, I started washing my face twice. Yep! I start with a cleansing oil, which is essentially meant to dissolve and cut through oil and makeup. That may seem counterintuitive, but water based cleansers actually repel oil since oil and water cannot mix, so they can’t cut through makeup and other oils that have collected on the skin throughout the day. Oil can actually break it all down so when you rinse, the makeup and grease washes off with the cleansing oil.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: I have found this to rinse so clean without leaving any greasy, oily residue on top of the skin as can happen when just using other cleansing oils or a straight single oil like olive or coconut.
After this, I want to begin putting moisture back into my skin before toning, because I’ve found that light layers of moisture at every step are much more effective for absorption than one heavy cream at the end and doesn’t clog my pores the way a thick layer of lotion or cream sitting on my skin does.
GLAMGLOW ThirstyCleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser: This is a light, heavenly cleanser with clay to draw out impurities, coconut water for hydration, and omega fatty acids to restore the skin’s moisture barrier. I LOOOOOOVE this cleanser so much and you don’t need much because it foams up really nicely.
I always used a toner with a strong acid like salicylic or benzoyl peroxide to take my grease down 40 notches, but the skin around my chin and mouth became so raw that my old toners literally burned when I applied them. I went a long time without using a toner because I associated them with harshness, but was recommended one by my aesthetician girlfriend and it is such a godsend! I apply this with a cotton pad after cleansing, only at night.
Algenist Hydrating Essence Toner: I love this because it’s alcohol free and contains chamomile to sooth irritation and calm the skin down. I have never had such soft skin after applying a toner.
Moisturizing was the weirdest change for me. I had always always always used an oil free formula and couldn’t fathom ever needing something heavier. Now, it was all I needed, but was also breaking out from some of the ones I was trying so needed to find a balance between super hydrating, but still light enough to be fully absorbed and not pore clogging. Before telling you about the actual moisturizers, I’m going to tell you about hydrating mist and why it is used. I spritz my face with a water based hydrating spray after cleansing in the morning and toning at night before any moisturizer is applied. This has been vitally important for me! Damp skin is much better able to absorb any moisturizers to be applied than dry skin is. I would always cleanse and dry my face or tone and let it dry before moisturizing but that is a huge mistake. Skin takes up water much faster than anything else. When you spray your face with a water based mist and apply moisturizer directly after while the skin is still damp, the skin will soak in the moisturizer as it soaks in the mist.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater: This one is my ride or die because it’s so simple, light, and refreshing and I can spray during the day anytime I need a little extra hydration boost:
Now onto moisturizers, I found two holy grails that changed my game forever.
Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb: Yaaaaaaaaasssss!!! I could sing the praises of this product all day long. It is such an intensely hydrating cream that is unbelievably soothing and indulgent. When I first tried it I was like there is no way a cream this buttery and dense will absorb, but 10 minutes later my skin has completely sucked it up and there is no stickiness or film on my face. I use this in the morning directly after the Eminence Coconut Milk cleanser and a quick rosewater spritz and it just floods my skin with moisture and leaves the perfect smooth base for makeup application. My foundation has never laid more beautifully after using this.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream: Another complete winner for me! I use this at night because it’s a bit more intense and healing than my morning cream so it can do a little deeper while I sleep. Beyond moisturizing, I found this to really calm out my redness and make the roughness of my flaky patches completely disappear. This is another cream that shocked me with how weightless it was in relation to its thickness. This also contains colloidal oatmeal which is the ingredient responsible for eliminating my flakiness and redness, so I am a huge disciple of this product.
GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Hydrating Mask: I had and still have days where my skin is extra dry, specifically after I’ve been on a plane or exposed to dry weather. Whenever this happens (sometimes I’m on a plane 3-4 times a week), I use this mask and it removes every single little dry flake or miniscule dead piece of skin that is so annoying to me when it’s still hanging around after cleansing and exfoliating. It also puts so much moisture back into my skin that it’s just like hallelujah this is what I NEEDED! It’s described as “a nondrying hydration mask to deliver instant, extreme hydration” and that’s exactly what it does when your skin is just drier than dry and absolutely nothing is working. This is my 911 and I might marry it.
Fresh Sugar Face Polish: When my skin is flaking and just so patchy, there’s nothing more satisfying than scrubbing that shit off. I just literally want to get down to a fresh layer of skin and get the dead peeling skin off of my face. But with my red, irritated, blotchy condition anything to abrasive or harsh was just way too much and anything to “gentle” wasn’t doing enough to get the skin off. This sugar polish is the perfect balance because the sugar is grainy but it contains macadamia and other oils to help it slide and move easily over my skin versus scratching the hell out of it. It also smells insane with is a really nice plus! Sometimes I’ll do this right before my above mentioned mask and then put the mask on a fresh face of exfoliated skin so it can really penetrate.
Juice Beauty Soothing Serum: This is the thing I turn to when my skin is just so red and irritated from dryness and needs major calming and soothing. My moisturizers do a great job at hydrating but sometimes my skin just won’t calm down on the redness and itchiness. When that happens, I apply this serum in a thin layer before my moisturizers and it feels like water just got poured on the fire. It helps soothe things down so so much!
2) Nutrition: I thought about what I could add into my nutrition that might be beneficial since there wasn’t anything obviously irritating to remove. I’ve always believed that skin health begins internally, so was I already eating a very healthy, high fat diet with no gluten, dairy, and little to no added sugar. There was no obvious trigger I could pinpoint because I hadn’t changed anything in my diet to cause my skin freak out. I also hadn’t been exposed (to my knowledge) to any gluten or dairy. So instead of focusing on what I WAS eating since that appeared to me to be still really healthy and I felt great other than my skin, I focused on what I WASN’T consuming to see if there was something I was missing. I tried lots of different foods and supplements, but these are the ones that really worked and did amazing things for my skin:
Maca: This is a root packed with hormone balancing nutrients, and hormonal changes or imbalances can cause all sorts of skin issues from acne to dryness to discoloration. I suspected there could be something hormonal going on because I’ve been running around like crazy and experiencing a lot more stress and and a lot less sleep in the last year than I’d like. Maca has been so incredible for my skin and I really saw a major reduction in the mouth/chin area chafing and extreme dryness when I started taking it.
Zinc: Zinc is a mineral that is super important to skin cells because it acts as a defense from damage and produces new skin cells to heal inflammation and irritation. For acne prone peeps, zinc is amazing because it regulates cell turnover and reduces inflammation on existing blemishes. When I started taking zinc, I noticed an almost complete reduction in the redness and irritation that was resulting from the dryness. It was so much easier to cover and treat without the redness.
Evening Primrose Oil: This is amazing amazing stuff! It contains GLA, an essential fatty acid that the body can’t make and must obtain through food. GLA helps strengthen the skin barrier and prevents moisture loss which I was oviously needing badly. It also has major anti-inflammatory effects and helps with autoimmune responses, and since I have Celiac’s and battled eczema for years, I always love autoimmune supporting supplements and foods. For me, this was the supplement that really nipped the dryness in the bud. All of the products I was using were helping my skin externally and dealing with the dryness as it was manifesting, but this actually made the flaky patches and extreme dehydration stop from the root. I still moisturize like a freak because my skin has shifted and is no longer oily, but this stopped the painful over the top dryness that was causing the tightness, redness, and peeling I was experiencing.
Whew!! That was a long, in depth post about my skin, but I really wanted to share my struggle with you guys and what worked for me so I could hopefully save any of you some time and frustration who may be dealing with similar issues or have a dry skin type. I also want to say that having oily skin my entire life I was always super scared to moisturize my skin really well, but that was a big mistake because the texture is so much more supple and soft now that I do. A lot of people with oily skin are actually dry and the reason they think they’re oily is because their skin over produces oil to feed their thirsty skin. When you give your skin enough moisture, it often pulls way back on its oil production and regulates to a normal place again. All of the creams and moisturizing products I shared are non-comedogenic and did not clog my pores (and believe me, lots of the ones I tried did lead to breakouts and skin eruptions) so do not fear trying something a bit heavier even if your skin is on the oilier side. Your skin may love it!
Ok, I’d love to know your skin issues/concerns and what products or supplements have worked best for you in solving them. I’m always trying new things and never done researching the best products for me so I love any and all recommendations!