It’s every lady’s dream to have nice skin and to feel like you don’t need much makeup – if any at all – to have a good complexion (for those of you lucky ladies who go without makeup on the daily, this post is not for you). That’s been my dream ever since middle school when I hit puberty, causing the tragic downfall of my then-flawless baby face. Since then, it has been a constant battle against combination skin, uneven skin tone, and painful cystic acne.
I have worn full-coverage foundation for years because that’s the minimum amount of coverage my skin needed to achieve a flawless base, and most of the time I’d have to add more than one layer PLUS concealer to hide my stubborn acne and dark spots.
I have gone through countless brands of cheap skincare that claim to zap acne away and even out your skin with all kinds of chemicals thinking that there couldn’t be much of a difference between $7 cleanser and $40 cleanser. Still, nothing ever worked after a few weeks.
Finally, I am able to say that I can leave the house wearing only a BB cream or light-coverage foundation and be confident that my skin looks good. All I had to do was make a few changes, and within 3 months I’ve got to claim the victory in this ongoing skin battle!
Here’s how I did it and how you may be able to do it, too!
1. ESTABLISH (AND STICK TO) A SKINCARE ROUTINE
Oh my gosh, this was the hardest part for me. I was Queen Lazy when it comes to taking care of my skin, so every night looked different skincare-wise. Some nights I would go to bed without removing my makeup (big, big mistake for anyone. ALWAYS remove your makeup before bed), or just wipe off my makeup without actually washing my face, and I would NEVER follow up with a moisturizer to keep my skin from drying out.
But once you nail down a routine that you like, it’s the easiest step to follow. Now I wash my face morning and night. After cleansing in the morning, I follow up with a facial toner and moisturizer/SPF and go about my makeup routine. After cleansing at night, I follow up with a toner, spot treatment, nightly peel, facial serums, and moisturizer. I also use a mask twice a week to help even out my skin. This seems like a ton of steps, but believe me when I say it has transformed my skin, and my skin seems to appreciate that it has a routine and doesn’t change from day-to-day! See the bottom of this post for a full list of the products I use!
So. Darn. Important. Exfoliating is the process of removing any dead skin cells on your face, leading to healthier, smoother, younger-looking skin that takes better to any skincare products you use. If you use a million skincare products but fail to exfoliate, your skin isn’t going to look as good as it could!
Four times a week, I exfoliate using a facial spinbrush and/or a facial scrub. I wet my face, lather my face up with a gentle cleanser, and apply the spinbrush in a circular motion all over my face, focusing mostly on my problem areas and parts of my face that are most prone to wrinkles (i.e. the forehead and smile lines). This is such an important step in making sure my face is as clean and smooth as possible!
3. USE SPF
If there’s a club for lovers of sunscreen, I am its leader. Guys, sunscreen is SO important, and I’m glad I realized this in my early twenties and not too late down the road!
For me, this step is mostly used as a preventative for aging, but it also helps a ton in reducing dark spots. I mentioned this in my post on summer skincare here, but when you walk into the sun without any SPF, any dark spots on your face will get darker. When you protect your face with sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, the sun has less of a chance of darkening those spots. And, you know, giving you sunburn and possibly melanoma.
4. EMBRACE NATURAL SKINCARE
So many issues with my skin have been cleared up by purging my skin of harmful, unnecessary chemicals and switching to mostly natural, organic skincare. Mainstream beauty wants us to believe that the only way to get rid of stubborn acne and skin problems is by using their products that are filled with synthetic ingredients, many of which have been proven to cause cancer, impaired fetal development in pregnant women, and many other health problems, in an effort to make more money. Don’t believe them!
Not only is switching to more natural skincare better for the environment as many synthetic ingredients are petroleum- and aluminum-based, but they’re also better for your skin and body! Since using more natural brands like Kiehl’s, Origins, and Lush (note: not all Lush products are safe as some of their products contain harmful ingredients like parabens. Make sure to read the label!) and using coconut oil and essential oils for basically everything, my skin looks better than it ever did when I used mainstream skincare brands!
5. DRINK MORE WATER
Drinking more water is basically the cure for everything, but my skin has especially benefitted from it! Drinking more water increases the skin’s elasticity (read: helps fight against aging) and makes it soft and supple. It also helps to flush out any toxins in your body that could lead to breakouts. I try to drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, especially in the summer, to help my skin retain its moisture and keep it from looking dull or dry!
With all that being said, my skin still has a way to go for it to be perfect! I still struggle with patches of rough texture and hormonal acne around my time of the month. But since taking these steps, my dark spots have vanished, my skintone has evened out tremendously, and my skin feels healthier than ever before. And now I don’t have to load on the foundation every time I wear makeup, which is the real struggle, am I right?
Skincare products I use (not including my own concoctions of coconut oil and essential oils):
- Scrub: Origins Never A Dull Moment Face Polisher
- Face mask: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty
- Toner: Kiehl’s Utra Facial Toner
- Serum: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
- Serum: Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate
- Spot Treatment: LUSH Grease Lightning Tea Tree Cleanser
- Serum: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
- Moisturizer (summer): Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
- Moisturizer (winter): Derma E Vitamin E 12,000 IU Creme
Are there any tips you can add that have helped your skin out? Let me know in the comments!