First, I’d like to start with a disclaimer: This is what I have found through trial and error that works for my skin. Everyone’s skin is different, and what may work for me, may not necessarily work for you. I am in no way a trained dermatologist.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while a lot of issues (like acne, for example) can be caused by hormones and general hygiene, I firmly believe that the lead cause is diet. Eating a clean diet and getting plenty of water is—100%—the ultimate skin-care solution. However, I’m not going to be young forever and that brownie isn’t going to eat itself, so I’ll be talking about how to take care of your skin if your diet isn’t perfect.
Your Skin Type
To start, it’s helpful to establish your skin type and what you specifically want to target (acne, wrinkles, dark circles, etc.), so you can find products that can help in those specific areas.
Here are the three basic skin types and a short definition of each one to help you get a sense of what you have:
- Oily Skin: Shiny skin that usually has enlarged pores and may be prone to blackheads and breakouts due to overproduction of the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands.
- Dry Skin: Feels tight after cleansing, and usually has smaller pores. Dry skin will also have a tendency toward fine wrinkles, flaking, and red patches.
- Combination Skin: You may have a slightly oily T-zone with drier cheeks and patches of dry spots. This is the most common skin type, with around 70% of women saying that that they have combination skin.
I personally have combination skin, and I mostly deal with acne.
6 Steps to Beautiful Skin
1. Wash Your Face
When I first started to get acne, I realized that maaaaaaybe I should wash my face. I started to use the random face wash that my dad had in the bathroom every once in a while, but washing my face every night seemed like too much work. Eventually I started to take it seriously, though, and I tried out a few face washes before I found one that really agrees with my skin. Oh boy, are there a lot of face washes and cleansers out there! You can find face washes that hydrate, exfoliate, and who knows what else. The possibilities are endless!
You can use a flannel or one of those fancy spinning brushes, but I’ve found those little silicone things to work wonderfully for only a few dollars apiece.
I’ll probably write this a few times, but finding a natural face wash with good ingredients is very important. Remember that your face is very sensitive, so I wouldn’t recommend using that cheap face wash with harsh ingredients that you found at the dollar store. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you should probably put it back on the shelf and keep looking.
A side note: There is quite the controversy as to whether or not people with acne-prone skin should exfoliate their face or not. Some people say that it helps to unclog your pores, and some people say using abrasive materials on your face could cause more acne. You can decide for yourself whether or not you want to, but I don’t because it’s just another step in a long-enough routine.
Next, I like to use toner. Toning is something that I didn’t really know existed until I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole a few years ago and found a video of one of my favorite makeup artists raving about how important toning is. As soon as possible, I went out to a nearby natural grocery store and found a toner that has witch hazel and cucumber in it.
Now, you’re probably wondering what toner is. Simply put, it’s a cleanser that you wipe on your face to further unclog pores, restore your skin’s natural pH balance, hydrate, and help with excess oil production. Plus, witch hazel has all kinds of other benefits like reducing eye puffiness, fighting acne, and slowing down the look of aging. If you’re going to use toner, however, I would recommend getting an alcohol-free toner, because using alcohol on your face can be very harmful and drying.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Okay, back to 13-year-old Kimber who can barely commit to washing her face. I was starting to notice that my skin felt tight and dry after I washed it, so I turned to the Internet for help and it told me I needed to invest in moisturizer.
At the time, for some reason that I cannot explain, moisturizer was the bane of my existence. I would rather have become a shriveled-up piece of leather than use moisturizer, so I started to try out different oil serums. Unfortunately, I was using the wrong ones and I ended up giving myself more acne than before.
Oh dear… I eventually gave in and started playing around with different brands of moisturizers until I found one that I really like. I’m not sure what changed, but now I absolutely love moisturizer. You could drown me in moisturizer and I’d die happy!
So, after the toner dries, I moisturize.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to moisturizers, but I recommend finding one with vitamin E or vitamin C in it. Along with lots of other benefits, vitamin E can reduce the appearance of acne scars, and vitamin C promotes the production of collagen, which combats wrinkles and fine lines.
Although moisturizers can be quite pricey, it is especially important to find a good, natural one.
Think about it: This product is meant to be absorbed into your skin.
4. Spot Treatments
While washing, toning, and hydrating my face was helping with my acne, I needed more help. Again, I was watching a YouTuber talk about her skin-care routine, and she mentioned an overnight spot treatment. This was perfect, because unlike most spot treatments that I had heard about at the time, this spot treatment was clear and didn’t need to be washed off. All I had to do was pop it on my worst spots and head off to bed without worrying about it. A key ingredient that makes this product so effective is salicylic acid, which will reduce the size and redness of any pimple overnight.
5. Rose Water
When I remember to, I’ll mist my face with some rose water, because it has all sorts of wonderful acne-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
However, while spot treatments and rose water do work wonders for my acne, I have noticed that when I avoid dairy and eat minimal sugar, my skin is much clearer.
6. One Last Step
Finally, because I’m a blonde, my eyebrows are quite sparse and lightly colored, so for the final step of my routine, I’ll rub some cold-pressed castor oil into my eyebrows. Castor oil contains essential fatty acids, proteins, and vitamin E, and when it’s rubbed onto your brows, it stimulates blood circulation, resulting in thicker, fuller brows. It will take a few months to see results, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
How Can You Skip This Entire Routine and Still Have Beautiful Skin?
Some people may need to put more work into managing their skin, and some people can get away with a lot less. My mom literally never does anything to her face and she has amazing skin, while I’m over here researching skin care and composing complex routines to keep my skin somewhat desirable.
What’s the difference? My mom has a very clean diet (no processed foods, minimal wheat or dairy, and barely any sugar). What about me? Well, I’m not turning down Grammy’s homemade cake!
There are so many factors that decide what your skin type is and what you’re going to struggle with, but at the end of the day, it’s important not to fixate too much on any imperfections and to be happy with the skin you have.
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