It’s been a long, rough week for me. I’m currently getting over a cold while still suffering through a pretty bad cold sore outbreak. Have you had one before? They are not pleasant. This would be my very first experience with a cold sore and, let me tell you, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Needless to say, I’ve been moping all week long. Lots of time cuddled up in bed or on the couch, barely leaving the house, and trying to remember what a normal lip looks like. Woe is me.
This morning I woke up and decided to stop moping. The last thing I need to be is stressed out the week of Christmas. So I made the decision to pick myself up the best way I know how–I pampered myself.
This might seem like a girly, cliche thing to do but it works for me and I feel loads better already. I feel like I’ve been neglecting my skin and nails over the course of this sickness, so they were the first things to receive star treatment. You know you’re becoming an adult when you enjoy things like washing your face and peeling off a mask. But I truly do love indulging in my skin care routine, which I’d like to share with you.
Throughout the last 10 years or so of my life, I have been blessed to have only mild acne. Of course, in my teens it was pretty terrible and I still do suffer from hormonal breakouts. But overall, my skin has been on the mild side and has remained mostly blemish free for a year now. This hasn’t come easy, though. It’s been a really long road to find products that work for my face and don’t produce dryness or make my blemishes worse. And I needed to make some lifestyle changes, as well.
Since my teens years, I’ve been washing my face daily with Proactiv (what millennial hasn’t at some point?). And while it kept some of my worst breakouts at bay, this expensive product never really got rid of my acne. Tired of wasting money on something that didn’t work, I finally switched to St. Ives. And it’s made all the difference! This green tea scrub is a game changer. It leaves my skin really soft after I wash, and I’ve noticed a significant change in the quality of my face. My redness has toned down and my breakouts have been none! My skin doesn’t have a gritty feel to it anymore, even after I’ve worn a full face of makeup for 10 hours. Plus, this scrub smells really good.
After the advice of one of my girlfriends, I’ve incorporated vitamin E oil into my routine. It’s a great moisturizer with a ton of benefits, such as reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and helping with dry skin and lips. You can find the kind I use, which includes soybean and coconut oil, at your local Trader Joe’s.
A couple times a week, or if my skin is particularly red, I spray my face with Tea Tree Water from Lush. I’ll be honest–this is something I bought for Mike to use. But I can’t resist using some for myself when my skin calls for it. It’s a toner that helps with oily skin, something I struggle with daily. Tea tree oil has been used widely as an antiseptic for years and it has many benefits, although it is commonly used as an acne remedy.
Once a week I like to use a mask to detox and rid my pores of dirt and bacteria. One of my favorites is this mask by First Aid Beauty. I’ve blogged about it before, but this purifying mask has remained a staple in my medicine cabinet because it works. The red clay helps improve the texture of my skin along with reducing the amount of oil produced–a huge win in my book.
I also started using a sample of Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask I received from Sephora a couple weeks ago. I understand now why this mask is so popular–you can see a visible difference in your pores when the mask is peeled off. The peeling process does hurt a bit, but it helps if you peel in a downward motion. I love seeing the residue in the peelings, because I know that gross stuff is no longer clogging up my pores. I’m considering investing in a full size bottle of this wonderful product, and I would definitely recommend it now that I’ve seen what the hype is about.
Over the course of the year, the most important thing I’ve learned is that skin care isn’t limited to which products we put on our face. It’s important to be mindful of what you put into your body, too.
Mike and I choose to eat very few (if any) processed foods and refined sugars. If it comes in a box, we try not to have it in our household. I’ve also eliminated soft drinks and milk from my diet, choosing to drink only water, almond milk, tea, and coffee. Milk has always been my go-to drink since I was a kid, but I’ve noticed a huge difference in the quality of my skin (and my digestive system) since I’ve removed dairy from my palette. I love to drink peppermint tea a few times a week, with green tea occasionally thrown in the mix, because of the wonderful benefits tea provides–not just for your skin, but for your entire body! You can read more about their benefits here and here.
While choosing to change the way you eat and drink can seem a bit daunting, and difficult to commit to, I promise that it’ll be a piece of cake once you realize how great your body feels. My skin has been rewarded in so many ways from an enhanced diet and I think this, along with my skin care routine, has helped keep blemishes at bay.
If you haven’t put much thought into taking care of your skin or if you’ve been stuck with the same routine, my advice is get serious about it. There’s no time like the present to take control of your health. And with the new year approaching, maybe you’d like to make it your goal to improve to your daily skin routine. Not only will you be looking and feeling better, but your confidence will take a boost too. And who doesn’t love that? 😉