I get a lot of questions about how I have turned my skin around in the last 5 years. It’s actually kind of amusing to me, but here we go:
I am a tomboy. I never really liked wearing dresses as a kid, and though I did play with my mom’s makeup, I didn’t really want anything to do with the prissy side of things. I got my first horse in 1992 when I was 10 years old and from that point on, I just didn’t even bother. Jeans, t-shirt, sneakers or boots… I’d pop my hair into a ponytail and call it good.
As a teenager, I struggled with acne; It was not as bad as some kids, but definitely worse than others. NOTHING I did helped. Clearasil, prescription crap, neutrogena, blah blah blah. My acne laughed in its face and continued on its course of doom and destruction. Because of that, I took to wearing makeup. The whole shebang, really – foundation, powder, eyeshadow, lipstick, mascara, yada yada yada.
In my 20s, when my face finally calmed down enough that I didn’t have to plaster a whole new face over my own to feel ok with going out, I just quit the makeup scene. I’d wear some light coverage stuff when I went to work, but if I was just going out or to class – heck no. I hated that mess….and was SO glad I could skip it most of the time!
I still had breakouts, though. I continued to try product after product and much to my dismay, most everything still didn’t work. I did find some success with ProActiv and though it is fairly pricy, the cost was worth the results.
My cure, though? My son. And a few products to help it along. I noticed my skin clearing up during the pregnancy but it would still flare up from time to time. Once Geekling was born, though, it just….stopped? It’s been a year since he was born and I’ve noticed that it’s coming back a little, but I think that’s because I’m sometimes lazy with my skincare routine. Let me tell you exactly what I do with my almost-30-year-old skin.
Morning routine: In the bath/shower, I wet my face with a cloth and hold the hot fabric on there for a good two or three minutes, dousing it with more hot water as necessary. I think do all the rest of my bathing stuffs – clean body, scrub nails, wash hair, rinse body, yada yada yada. Once all that’s done I go back to my face and do the warm cloth bit again.
THEN, I use this: St Ives Blemish & Blackhead Control
It’s sold in Target, WalMart, on Amazon, in Drug Stores…everywhere. And it’s fairly inexpensive. I think the last time I bought a bottle it was around $4 from Target.
It’s got tiny little pieces of ground up walnut in it as well as some corn meal. The pieces, when you put the creamy stuffs on your face, help exfoliate your skin and allow the lovely active ingredient (in this case, 2% Salicylic Acid) to work. There’s also natural moisturizers in there, but I’m too lazy to look up the ingredient list. The scent is mild and nice when you’re using the product on your face, but it dissipates quickly and leaves no lingering scent once you’re out of the bath.
I use it 4-5 times a week.
My second fave face product, and the one I use almost every day, is Aveeno’s Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer. I used to think that my face was just too much of an oil slick (EW!) to bother with moisturizer, but after doing some research I decided to try this product. It’s oil-free (important for oily skin folks!) and creamy enough without being goopy. I hate feeling like I have a half pound of product on my face, so that part makes me happy.
Anywho, this stuff keeps my face all kinds of moisturized, which prevents excess oil from being produced, AND reduces the redness that I tend to have on my nose and the apples of my cheeks. My skin is so pale that redness is a big issue for me; It’s the feverfew in the Aveeno Ultra-Calming that reduces the clown-cheeks.
My occasional products:
On the days when I don’t use the scrub, I simply wash my face with Dove Cool Moisture bar soap. During the winter, I really love St. Ives Timeless Skin moisturizer. I haven’t been using it for very long, but I have noticed that it is a LITTLE too creamy/thick for me to use during the summer. Feels like I have a mask on and EW, don’t like that. Annnnyway. Once a week I use a black mask for blackhead removal – Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. Also once a week I use Queen Helene’s Mint Julep Masque.
Is all this crazy sounding stuff necessary? Eh, I dunno. Maybe, maybe not. Is it working for me? Yep! It’s all a really girlified kind of crazy routine, but it honestly doesn’t take all that long and I think in the long run I’m going to appreciate having taken care of my skin at this age.
By the way, I think my hunt for a decent body wash has ended. This Aveeno stuff I found is creamy and sudsy and makes the skin feel clean, leaves a light scent behind (I don’t like heavily scented stuffs, so this is ok for me), and doesn’t leave a gunky ring in the bathtub. I’ve only tried the lavender, but I bet the other scents are lovely, too.