About 4 months ago, I decided it was time to dedicate time to getting healthier skin. I had stopped wearing as much makeup and realized, if I'm going to be bare faced, I really need glowy, healthy skin to feel confident. I had never been the person to wash my face everyday, let alone twice a day. I often went to sleep with makeup on, or, just took it off with a towel and did nothing to cleanse or nourish my skin afterward. While I didn't have bad skin, it wasn't as vibrant and moisturized as I wanted it. Simultaneously to beginning to apply better skin habits, I went on a very very strict diet and after 1 month, I had the best skin I've ever had in my life. Here's what I've learned.
When it comes to my skin care, I follow a few guidelines:
1.) The food you eat is reflected in your skin. I stay away from sugar, dairy and alcohol as much as I can! I also eat clean with green veggies at every meal.
2.) Cleanse and nourish your skin in the morning AND at night. Twice daily is key!
3.) Don't skip a step in your regimen. Don't get lazy and skip toning. Don't think "oh, my face looks great today" and forego moisturizing. Stay consistent.
4.) Try to go bare face as many days of the week as you feel comfortable. I wear makeup maybe two days a week?
5.) Never sleep with makeup on, no matter how tired you are!
6.) Masque once a week. Sometimes I forget to masque, but it's always a fun treat. And no matter what masque I do, I ALWAYS follow up with a hydrating masque afterwards.
7.) Speaking of, hydrate throughout the day with lots of water!
8.) Be flexible and observant and give your skin what it needs that day — weather it needs more moisture or I see that I'm beginning to break out, I adjust my daily regimen and products accordingly.
When it comes to brands, I'm a huge fan of Aesop, Aveda, Peter Thomas Roth and a locally based, organic, vegan line I was newly introduced to, Luminance Skincare. Now, for my tried and true products!
Cleanser: I have used Peter Thomas Roth's Blemish Buffing Beads for YEARS. It has jojoba beads that exfoliate and 1% salicylic acid to help treat acne. It was my daily cleanser until I began cleansing twice a day. I now use it for one of my daily cleanings, and use something gentler for the second.
The Delicate Cleanser from Luminance Skincare is my gentler choice right now. It leaves the face drier than Peter Thomas Roth does, so I typically use the Delicate Cleanser at night and the PTR in the morning. I especially do so if I'm putting on makeup. I always want my face to be as moisturized as possible before applying makeup, or else I get dry patches.
Deep Clean: When I want a deep clean, I use One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub. It exfoliates more than PTR and is pretty heavy duty. I usually only use it a twice a week, or so.
Toner: After every cleanse, I tone. And I tone twice!! It's my favorite step. Cleansing strips your skin, and toner balances it back. I LOVE Aesop's Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner. I apply it to a cotton pad and let it dry on my skin. Then I spray Luminance's Rosewater Toner because the mist and rose smell wakes me up!
Moisturizer // AM Regimen: When it comes to moisturizing, I alternate between oils and cream and don't have a set regimen on when I apply either or. That said, in the morning, I usually cleanse, tone and then apply 2.5 drops of Aesop's Fabulous Face Oil. Then, Luminance Skincare's Sun Screen made of 100% pure cold press red raspberry seed oil. This sun screen is not SPF approved, so I should really use a stronger sun screen. However, I haven't found one that I like and I love that this one is all natural. I'm all set to go without any face makeup after that! Some days I put the smallest pea size of cold pressed coconut oil on my face (the same kind you use for cooking) instead of the Fabulous Face Oil. It just depends on what I feel like! Coco oil leaves a nice matte feel on your face. Try it and see how you like it!
PM Regimen: At night, I apply something less moisturizing. I know that's backwards, but I don't like the idea of oils getting on my bedding! So I cleanse, tone and then use Aesop's Lucent Facial Concentrate (I love it!) and apply Aesop's Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream as well as Luminance's Chamomile Eye Cream under and around my eyes. It smells so good and soothing before bed!
Masques: My all time favorite masque is Aesop's Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque. It's the perfect balance of deep cleaning as well as cooling and moisturizing. Something I learned is that after any masque you should always apply a hydrating masque because most masques dry out your skin. I just started using the Rosewater Mask from Luminance Skincare and like it! I hear people even wear it overnight, but I haven't tried that. I also use Aveda's Deep Cleansing Herbal Clay Masque (not pictured) as a spot treatment on any pimples that I see coming through. It dries them out and stops them right in their tracks!
As you can see, it takes a village. The most important thing I find is to follow a regimen day and night and don't skip an am/pm opportunity to nourish your skin. I love to hydrate so I don't shy from oils that penetrate the skin. If you're not a fan of looking oily (is it odd that I kind of like looking like I'm drenched in water?), you'll likely want to have oil pads on hand throughout the day because you do get oily. And eating is really a huge part of having healthy skin. As I said above, I recently followed the Candida Diet (no sugar of any form, even fruits, no carbs, gluten, caffeine or dairy!) for 3 months and my skin never looked better.
Five Favorite Products:
Peter Thomas Roth Blemish Buffing Beads (for daily cleansing)
Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner
Luminance Rosewater Toner
Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque
Aesop Lucent Facial Concentrate
Also, for the month of March, Luminance Skincare is donating proceeds from their Ginger Soap to GROW, a local Oakland charity that works with youth and trains them on how to cook with fresh ingredients and teaches them about the importance of wellness and health. Support their efforts here.