Saturday, September 28, 2013

Skincare routines - because every tree needs roots.

For years I've hated my skin. I have always hated the oil slick it becomes. I despised how I always looked shiny in most of my photos. I hated that I couldn't wear even eyeliner without it turning me into raccoon eyes even before half my day was over. 

As a child, I had great skin (don't we all?). Then puberty hit, and along with it came the acne. Like, terrible acne. I hated my face, but nothing seemed to work. I'd wash my face, use the toner and the creams the dermatologist prescribed, but they would dry out my face for a while, then it was back to the oiliness.

Everyone always told me to look at my oily skin as a blessing in disguise, because I wouldn't get wrinkles as early as the rest of the population. That's fine and dandy (and not entirely true - i have smile lines under my eyes, but that's another story) but I wanted good skin while growing up, and it didn't, and I was perpetually disappointed.

Once I hit 17-18 my acne calmed down (yay!) but I was left with another terrible problem. I have large pores on my cheeks. They are very visible, even from a distance away, and they have been the absolute bane of my life. I have always hated to have my picture taken because of how my pores would look. And since it's genetic, there aren't many solutions for it (the ones that are there are far too expensive for me).

A while ago I was reading about skincare and how everyone needed to take care of their skin. It inspired me to start my own skincare routine. I read about how oily skin is sometimes just dehydrated skin that tries to compensate by over producing oil. I was intrigued by that. I didn't use moisturizer much, because it always seem to make my skin oily, but I decided I needed to start somewhere.

I looked at Clinique - my aunt always recommended them to me because they were hypoallergenic and good for sensitive skin. I started with their 3-step skin care routine, and this included:

  • Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula
  • Clarifying Toner 4
  • Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
I've been using these for a couple of months, and they have made a difference in my skin. Even though my skin tends to get oily through the day, it isn't as bad as it was before. I particularly enjoy the Moisturizing Gel - it doesn't leave my skin oily, but leaves it looking fresh. I have a feeling that the Clarifying Lotion might be too harsh for me (it has a lot of alcohol in it) and I might switch to a non-alcohol toner when this runs out. (I have my eye on a witch hazel toner!)

I have a routine for the day and night, and I try to follow them religiously. I've noticed that on the few occasions I skip my routine my skin is worse when I wake up in the morning, so it's inspired me to not miss a day.

Morning routine:
  • Clinique's facial soap
  • Clinique Clarifying Toner 4
  • Ckinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
  • sunscreen - I used to wear Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer but it broke me out, so I'm still looking for something to replace it.
Evening routine:
  • Clinique's Facial Soap
  • Clinique's 7-Day Facial Scrub / The Body Shop Vitamin C Microdermabrasion (I do this only twice a week) / Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream cleanser (I alternate between this and the Clinique scrub most days)
  • Clinique Clarifying Toner 4
  • Lumene Vitamin C+ Dry Skin Comfort Radiance Cocktail (even though this is technically meant for dry skin, I really enjoy it)
  • Clinique Moisture Surge extended thirst relief
  • A personal mixture of Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Rose Hip seed oil and Tea Tree oil (most days) or a mixture of Jojoba oil, Grapeseed oil, Vitamin E oil and Tea Tree oil (on days I want extra moisture, especially when I've used a facial mask).
Twice a week I use a face mask. At the moment I'm using Queen Helene Mint Julep mask and Lumene Matt Touch Deep Cleansing Peat Mask.

Of course, I always make sure to take off my makeup in the evening. This is an absolute must.

I know it's surprising that I use oils on my face, but I've found that it actually helps my skin become softer overnight. I don't know how it works, but I think it helps to retain the moisture, and so your skin doesn't have to produce as much oil, and it also helps to repair and heal the skin. 

You can't always have what you want, but you can appreciate and take care of what you have!

As for my pores, I'm learning to appreciate them. It's taking a while, but the other day one of my friends gave me a lovely compliment unknowingly - she said she thought my pores were freckles! I can live with that :)

Taking care if your skin is an investment. If you look after your skin, you don't have to worry about covering it up. 

Sometime in the future I will talk a little more about how to set up a personalized skin care routine - not that I know much about the topic, but I will try to go over the basics.

In the mean time, make sure you guys drink plenty of water, eat healthy, sleep well and moisturize! 

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