an ecclectic method of fashion

Monday, September 20, 2010

How my skin went from Zitty City to Clear Skies

Last winter and spring, my skin was how it had always been. Usually I had several red zits, most turning into whiteheads, and blackheads were just plain rampant. Winter was a curse with dry skin. Now, I rarely have any of those problems, especially whiteheads. This blog is to show you my skincare journey. What led to me finally having clear skin is totally different than I expected.

Let's start with my skin type. T-zone oil when I was a teenager, but it's been somewhat dry and delicate other than that. Generally acne prone.

As a younger teen, I washed my face with soapy face-wash every morning (various "Wal-Mart" brands like Clean & Clear and St. Ives) and took my makeup off using SeaBreeze astringent every night. As I said, I had problems with acne. About a 1 1/2 years ago, I stopped using face-wash, because I was trying to pay for college and frankly, it's hard to afford good face-wash when most of your money goes to tuition. I replaced it with a simple paste of baking soda and water. I also started just washing my face in the shower, not every morning. My acne didn't improve much, but baking soda is known for it's great exfoliating/skin softening properties. My skin was much softer, but more sensitive.

Last year, I switched to Mineral Powder foundation. I don't know how much it helped with my acne, but I want to document all the changes I made, just in case it did have an impact. At any rate, I like how it feels a lot more that liquid foundation. I use Physicians Formula. (I also really liked their "Plump Potion" mascara)

Last winter, I stopped using store-bought moisturizer and started using Olive Oil on my face. Occasionally, if my skin was extra dry, I used the contents of a vitamin E caplet as well. Finally my skin wasn't flaky or had that burning sensation all winter! Zits didn't get as big or stay as long either. It was great.

Then last spring, around April, I kind of just stopped washing my face with baking soda. I ran out of baking soda, and my face just felt too sensitive for it. Also, last spring my mom bought me a micro-dermabrasion scrub made from bamboo. I liked how it felt a lot more than the baking soda. So, I went from washing my face with baking soda every other day to using this scrub once a week. It felt a lot better. My skin didn't feel so tired anymore.

In May, I bought Michelle Phan's iQQU acne serum in order to make sure my skin was perfect for my wedding. My acne, which by this point in time was doing better, practically disappeared.

So those are the skincare changes I made that led to my clear skin now. Let me sum up my routing for you:
-Every night, I use SeaBreeze astringent to remove makeup (except eye makeup) and minimize my pores.
-Once a week I use a micro-dermabrasion scrub in the shower. (but I honestly think any exfoliating scrub would work well)
-Depending on the weather, I use olive oil to moisturize every night, or every other night.
-Every other night I apply iQQU acne serum all over my face after applying olive oil.

I don't know if a routine just like this will work for everyone, but the moral of the story is that instead of using drying acne washes or a rigid skincare routine, I found that the more simple and gentle your skincare routine is, the less acne is going to develop. The two most important things you can do to keep your skin looking great is to keep it well moisturized and protected from the sun. I have a light facial sunscreen that I use, but if I use it for more than a few days in a row, it makes me break out a little, so I am going to get a new one...when I can afford it...

I've found that soap isn't that good for your skin because it strips it of the natural moisture your skin already has, so your skin ends up overcompensating and breaking out in an effort to maintain a good "moisture balance". Simple, natural skincare is a much healthier option.

1 comment:

Aspiring For a Penname said...

Thank you for sharing! I need to remember olive oil. . . I used to use natural oil based scrub on my face every other day, and I loved it! I just realized I have a whole thing of olive oil . . . hmmm. . .