Skin Care Routine - Fall 2017
It has been almost two years since I started dealing with the worst case of acne I had ever encountered in my life. I was 22, and could honestly not understand why, and how, this was happening to me. I know I think I have posted about this before, but I don't think I ever really got down to the nitty gritty of it. SO that's what I plan to do today, along with showing you my current skincare routine, and how it's is helping me with maintaining clear-ish skin.
My acne started around what I like to think were two pivotal moments in my life: moving to Columbia Missouri, and going vegan. Now I know what you're thinking, "How could two things like that affect your skin?". I know this because I too was thinking the same thing. Moving alone surely shouldn't affect you that much, and isn't going vegan supposed to do the opposite to your skin? Looking back these are the questions I asked myself, and only till now am I starting to put the puzzle together.
(I want to give you a brief history of my skin leading up to this point. I have always had combination to oily skin. When I was going through puberty I experience break outs, but they were small in number, and typically only happened around my mouth. During this time I also experienced acne on my chest and upper back. Getting older, and throughout high school, I rarely dealt with break outs. Maybe the occasional one here and there, but nothing notable. As for my lifestyle and diet through out this whole time, funny enough, it was pretty bad. I worked out occasionally, ate processed foods, consumed dairy, and used abrasive/harsh skincare products.)
Let's start with Columbia. At the time it seemed like just another move. I had moved in with my boyfriend at the time + two other guys, and started a new job. The apartment was brand new, but small. I honestly had no area to myself. I was constantly around people, people I did not share the same likes and dislikes as, and this really upset me. I needed my alone time, because this is where I personally am able to regroup and regain energy. On top of this, even though I really loved the job I had taken up, situations occurred that made going to work unbearable. I do not want to get into the specifics of why, but I can honestly say I never knew what ACTUAL stress was, until I started this job. I hated going. Long story short, I think my body was harboring so much physical stress, and it was showing this through acne.
Now on to going vegan. I think this was the part, at the time, that I struggled with the most. You watch all these people on YouTube talking about how going vegan will fix every single problem you have. I myself didn't start my vegan journey with that mindset, but it was something I thought about. The breakouts started probably a month after I made the lifestyle change (I went cold turkey if anyone is curious). The style of this acne was like nothing I had ever dealt with. They were small-ish and frequent. Unfortunately for me, I also had an issue with picking at them, which led to scarring, that I am still dealing with currently. Doing some research, what I know now is that I was experiencing a "Healing Crisis", or a Herxeimer Breakout. Without getting TOO technical, I was essentially detoxing, and because I would mess and pick at it, I've had to deal with it much longer than typical. Simply put my body was releasing toxins from the years of consuming foods that were not high in nutrients. If you guys would like for me to go in to more detail about this subject (and veganism/plant based), let me know, and I can definitely do so!
My first corse of action was to see a dermatologist, and like most, I was told that it was hormonal. I'm not saying that that assumption is incorrect, I just thought it was funny. I was prescribed a retinol cream, and a benzoyl peroxide face wash. These two products helped some, but I later had to stop using them because of how harsh they were. My skin was redder than ever, and towards the end, I developed chemical burns around the tops of my cheeks and near my eyes. I then went into a limbo of trying different products here and there, nothing really noteworthy. I would get facials every so often to try and stay on top of black heads, but then when I moved out again last December those obviously had to stop lol. This brings us to May of this year. Everything I was using was causing my skin to be bright red, and it honestly was starting to hurt too, so I stopped every thing. For a month I put nothing but water on my skin, except for the occasional days I would maybe use coconut oil. I don't go out much, but I if I did I was going out with no make up on. My skin needed a break, and I'm so happy I did it. At the end of May I started implementing more into my skincare routine, which I will show you in the next couple of paragraphs.
All in all, two years later, I can say that I am pretty confident in how my skin is looking. I by no means am perfect. There are a lot of things that I am coming to terms with (like that my skin is naturally red and slightly darker than the skin on my body), but I think it is so important for me to acknowledge how far I have come, and the accomplishments I have made. One thing I have learned is that you cannot live your life hating your skin, because that kind of negative energy is so powerful. You need to learn to be happy with where you are at currently, as hard as that it, because if you are unhappy and stressed, it will absolutely show through your skin.
Now on to the fun part, what I'm puttin on mah face. After two years, and countless regime changes, it is safe to say I have found my holy grails. In order to make sure this post isn't TOO long, I am going to talk briefly about each product, and if you would like more details feel free to leave a comment below or email me! Let's start from right, going left:
Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer ( $65 ) - Guys I know this is on the pricier side, but it has honestly changed my life. I have always been terrified of moisturizers, and felt like they are either too greasy, or end up feeling like nothing on my skin. This product is perfect for all skin types, and it leaves my skin feeling plump and soft. I actually use this as my night cream, but it is perfect for all day use. It contains antioxidants (great for healing acne), and is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Witch Hazel Toner with Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil - This homemade toner is what I like to use when my skin is acting up, especially around my period. I purchased the witch hazel toner on Amazon, and my essential oils are from DoTerra. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for calming red irritated skin. Tea tree has antibacterial properties that make it essential in fighting off acne. I put this mixture in a glass bottle, because essential oils will break down plastic. Together this combination is the perfect refresh I need, both for day and night.
Osea Ocean Cleanser ( $44 ) - Pronounce "OH - SEE - YAH" Osea, is a new brand to me, that I have quickly fallen head over heals for. Female founded, vegan, and cruelty free. Seriously what more could you ask for? Starting with their Ocean Cleanser, this stuff incredibly refreshing. I will use it with just my hands, or even on my Clarisonic on days when I've worn make up. It removes impurities, but still keeps the skin hydrated, and that's really what makes it a winner for me. I was so used to using cleansers that left my skin feeling stripped afterwards. It also contains a vegan lactic acid (derived from beets), which promotes a clean and toned appearance.
Osea Sea Minerals Mist ( $38 ) - This is my go-to when it comes to those days I just want to be extra with myself. This product contains Patagonian Seaweed, Dead Sea Salt, and Aloe Vera (my favorite part), all in which aid in reducing inflammation and neutralize impurities. My only complaint is I wish the spray nozzle produced a spray that was slightly finer, and wider in the surface area it covers. Other than that, I have zero complaints, and will definitely be repurchasing.
Osea Blemish Balm ( $44 ) - Probably my favorite product I've tried, thus far, from Osea. Obviously from the contents of this post, I have acne prone skin, so this is perfect for me. My favorite part is the scent. It contains Tea Tree, and you can smell it, so it gives you that piece of mind that it wont clog your pores. The consistency is light and non-greasy, and I will insert a photo below, so you can have a better idea. I use this as my daily moisturizer, and it wears well under make up. I also have to add that the overall the packaging of these products is superb. The soft touch glass make me feel like I am in a spa, and the pumps reassure me that no outside grime is penetrating the products. Another special tip is to keep this in the fridge, that way it's extra refreshing!
* Osea offers free shipping on all orders over $75. With the holidays coming up, treat yo self *
I hope I have been able to give you guys enough information regarding my battle with acne. I also want to reach out to ANYONE who is dealing with it themselves, and also the anxiety, depression, etc that can come with it. You are not alone, and I am here to talk if you need someone. I used to think when I was younger that the drama that came with someone who was dealing with acne was not warranted, but I was completely wrong. It does affect you, even when you try your hardest not to let it. If you'd like, leave a comment below on what kind of posts you'd like to see next. Have a great Friday everyone!