I remember being in grade school, and telling a friend’s mom, “I’ll never have acne and bad skin!” Boy do I wish I could take those words back!
Fast forward 12 years and I had a pizza face, backne, and acne all over my chest and upper arms! Imagine being in university and having to deal with the stresses of school, becoming an adult, and ACNE! The thing that made my skin even worse was that I was continuously pick at it.
After finishing my undergrad studies I decided seek the help of a dermatologist because my skin was getting worse. Even more acne, even more picking. The dermo loaded me with pills, ointments, salves, you name it, and nothing worked! After trying prescription after prescription, I finally started to analyze what I was putting into and on my body, and realized that it was a combination of those two things and stress.
Because I was in the process of moving to London, I was no longer able to rely on the ointments and pills from the dermatologist, so I decided that I wasn’t going to pick at my skin anymore (such a hard habit to break), and I was going to monitor the things that I ate. I’ve always been quite a healthy eater (I could eat fruits and veg all day), but I also loved to eat tons of candy and drink lots of pop. Moving to London worked in my favor because I didn’t like the taste of their pops, so I often opted for water or juice, and I didn’t care for the candy that I found there. I also increased my fruit and vegetable intake.
Picking at my skin was still a problem. Because I used the tubes and buses a lot I learned to stop picking and touching my body. I would just think of all of the germs floating around on public transport, and people doing some of the grossest things also helped a lot!
I’ve finally learned how to control my stress levels, so my breakouts, now are few and far between, and I’ve also tailored my skin care regiment to products that work very well for my sensitive, oily skin. Also, I no longer wear a full face of makeup daily. Now I use a bit of bronzer and mascara and I’m good to go. If I’m feeling cheeky, a bit of blush! I do still wear a full face, but only for important events and nights out.
Here are my “miracle” products:
Cucumber & Calendula soap bar from The Soap Works. Cucumber is a mild cleansing agent and skin toner, and calendula is good for treating minor skin abresions. I love this soap because it leaves my skin feeling soft and supple, and it doesn’t strip my skin of it’s natural oils.It smells yummy as well! I also use The Soap Works Aloe w/ Vitamin E soap which smells just as yummy!
I use the bar to wash my whole body, and at night to wash my face. Again, this soap, or any of them that I’ve tried from The Soap Works, does not trip my skin nor does it leave a residue behind. It’s also Vegan and Gluten Free.
Moroccan Red Clay Powder is my MIRACLE mask! I’ve been using it for a little over 2 months, and I’ve seen a significant change in my skin. I love it so much that I will be doing a product review of it on my YouTube Channel (stay tuned!).
It’s a 100% natural powder that is highly absorbent, and it’s great for people with sensitive skin. It detoxifies skin to remove impurities, and aides in decreasing pore size, as well as tightening and toning your skin.
You can actually feel the clay + water mixture working as it dries. (See below for what the mask looks like on, as well as mixed and unmixed.)
I usually leave the mask on for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water. I use a wash cloth to get off any excess. The clay won’t dry your skin out, and although some reviews have said it leaves behind a reddish tint on your face, I haven’t had this happen. I use the mask 2-3 times a week, and most of the time at night.
A friend of mine swears by Witch Hazel, and when I needed a new toner I decided to give it a try. Until last week I used Clean & Clear’s Essential Deep Cleansing Toner, but I decided to stop after I took a good look at its ingredients. It’s an alcohol based toner that actually reeks of it. No bueno! I prefer Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel. It’s alcohol and paraben free, which is a major plus, and it has aloe vera in the formula. After using witch hazel my face doesn’t feel stripped or dried out; it moisturizes my skin while cleansing it. Just like my soaps, it smells sooo good!
As a moisturizer I use Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. It’s great for all skin types, very lightweight, and fragrance free. It doesn’t make my face feel oily or leave it feeling ashy. It also absorbs well. I primarilly use it on my face, but every once in a while I’ll use it on my chest and back. For the rest of my body I use Palmer’s Cocoa Butter mixed with a bit of Vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is great for scars and acne because it speeds up cell regeneration. A little bit goes a long way when using Cetaphil, so I tend to use only a pea size amount for application. I’ve been using the 16oz bottle (pictured) for 4 months now. It’s definitely a product that lasts.
These products are what work best for my skin at the moment. My routine is: I use my bar of soap to wash my face twice a day. I use the Moroccan Red Clay mask at night, using warm water to wash it off after 20 minutes, then finish up with my Cethaphile mostuirzer. In the morning after I’ve washed my face, I use the Witch Hazel toner, then my mostuizer. It’s a very simple routine.
Also, if you’ve noticed rapper/producer Pharrell has amazing skin. He said his secret is a good moisturizer (Cetaphil), and that he washes his face with cold water to close his pores. He learned this tip from Naomi Campbell. After watching his interview I started ending my cleansing process by rinsing my face with cold water, and I also do it to my whole body before getting out of the shower. I’ve found that it has helped a lot; washing with warm water to open the pores and get toxins and oils out, then sealing and closing the pores with cold water. Thanks Pharrell!
If you have sensitive, oily skin what products do you use? Any recommendations?