Adult Acne is the pits. It’s so pitty (er… $h!tty) that it get’s two capitals A’s. I don’t think I need to explain to any other adults out there suffering from it how it can take you right back to your teen years. And if you’re one of the lucky few who went unscathed through high school without a healthy dose of humble ego pie (or the worst nickname #pizzaface), well then your adult years can really frustrate you. See, for us seasoned acne folk, this is nothing new. However it’s still a time machine back to the days where you wanted to skip school because you’d rather hide your red spotted face.
During my teen years I day dreamed of adulthood, mesmerized by the hope that I’d have clear beautiful skin. Only to find out that in my adult years, I’d still get a zit or two (or three) that would pop up at least once a month. And not just during my PMS. Sure, your teen years we’re dealing with raging hormones that make the Niagara Falls look like a babbling brook, but the promise of hormone swings should fade off into our early twenties right? Hm, maybe not.
I’ve tried it all (except Acutane, I didn’t mess with that ish). However I tried ProActive, the knock off brands, Neutrogena, Dermologica, any drug store brand you can think of, the Oil Method, Clinique… and I’ve had many trips to the Dermatologist. And let me preface this post by saying that if your diet is clean, but you are still struggling with the occasional break out like I was, then the formula I share below for a skin care routine should help a ton. However, if you have NOT cleaned up your diet and you are eating crap, keep in mind the skin is the body’s largest organ and is one of the primary way we release toxins. Ever go on a weekend binger only to smell like last nights cocktails? Or eat some really greasy food and break out? Or have too much sugar and a few zits take up real estate on your jawline? You get the idea.
What I’ve discovered is this; everyone has different skin, obviously. So what works for one, may not work for another. While this isn’t rocket science, finding what works for you can feel like an exhausting trip to the moon. So while I wish this blogpost could ease you of your skin woes, I can only share what has FINALLY worked for me, and hopefully my hours of research, product trials, blemishes, and skin concoctions can save you if you have similar skin.
First and foremost, it’s important to know your skin type. Personally, I’m oily / normal combo skin type. I don’t have dry skin issues, thank goodness because I bet thats painful, but I do have an abundance of oil production. Which means those little oil pads made by Clean and Clear have earned a lot of my money. But no more. I’ve finally discovered how to control the oil. (Psst, did you know that toilet seat covers are rice paper and serve the same purpose & are a lot cheaper?!)
Second, its important to have a skin care routine catered to your skin type. Now I know there are some of you out there who don’t even wash your face, and shame on you girlfriend (or dude friend). Your poor pores are begging to be cleansed. Imagine someone throwing dirt, paint, and powder at you everyday.
A good skin care routine should include a few key concepts:
- A facial cleanser (aka face wash) that you can use morning and night.
- Toner – ok, I probably should have prefaced this blog letting you all know I’m NOT a dermatologist, duh, but toners are tricky. They can REALLY dry out your skin, so finding a toner that’s best for you is gana take time. *I’ll be sharing all my favorite products below for my skin type.
- Moisturizer and/or Serum – KEY ladies. KEY. If you have suffered from wrinkles popping up too soon, acne scars, dark marks, sun spots, or you’re just plain normal, a serum and/or moisturizer is gana be KEY. Notice how many times I’ve included that word here. Some serums are best for dry skin, some are best for lightening dark spots, some are both. Knowing which type is best for you really depends on your skin history and what you are trying to accomplish. Also keep in mind, cycling on and off your skin care regiment every 90 days for a week or more is a good idea. Your body naturally builds tolerance to whatever you are consistently exposing to it. Imagine you did the same workout everyday, you probably wouldn’t look very different after day 90. Same idea.
- SPF – If there’s one thing I wish I could go back in time and change, it would be this step right here because I ALWAYS skipped it. I think I went through most of my teen and younger twenties NEVER wearing sunscreen, all in the name of tanning vanity. If you’re wondering if I’m kicking my arse, then yes, wonder no more, I am. My back is polka dotted with freckles, and my poor face has seen one too many sunburns and chapped lips. Now the SPF volume AND brand you buy DOES MATTER big time! I know a lot of women who say their makeup includes SPF, well, makeup wears off and its not the quality SPF your face needs to be protected against the suns rays, and prevent radicals, wrinkles and all that other ish out there.
- Lastly, OIL. I know. Pause. Oil? Is this girl really saying OIL? Yes. I am. But not just ANY oil. Trust me, when I first tried the oil method I thought I was losing my mind (I was desperate), and while it didn’t work for me, it did make sense. For us oily prone types, we try to dry out our skin and then our skin produces MORE oil because we are depriving it. Vicious. Cycle. And for those with dry skin, you NEED more oil, but you can’t just slap coconut oil on your face and hope for the best.
- *optional* Eye serum/cream. The skin around the eye is the most sensitive, the thinnest and wears quickly over the years. Protecting this area, and aiding it with creams, gels, and ointments and other products may be in your best interest. I inherited under eye bags from my dad’s side and I am constantly combating the under eye woes. So this step for me is crucial. I use eye creams AM and PM. Ain’t nobody got time for sleepy eyes.
I’ve thrown quite a bit at you, and leaving you here would be doing you a disservice. So hang tight for a bit longer, I promise this post is worth the time to read if you are ready to skip blissfully off into beautiful skin land. Below I’ll share all my favorite products for each of the steps, if you’d like to try these products go under ‘My Favorite Goodies’ and each is under my Amazon store. Or you can click directly on the links below.
I want to expand just a teeny tiny bit on each of these steps. So lets start with face wash. For me personally, I stumbled across Origins Checks and Balances Frothy face wash. And let me tell you, MIRACLE stuff. What I love about it is that it doesn’t dry me out, and it doesn’t take much product to wash my face, neck and back. Finding a facewash suited to your skin type is necessary step 1.
As far as toners go, I personally love Witch Hazel. I’ve tried a lot of stuff, and by a lot, I mean I could have opened my own skin care store with the amount of product piling up under my bathroom sink. Witch Hazel is natural astringent, is super cost friendly, and produced from the witch hazel shrub. It’s the only toner that has not dried me out, however I don’t overabuse it and use it about 5 days of the week.
My go to serum is Art Naturals Vitamin C Serum that helps with sun damage, acne scarring, age spots and dark circles. The holy grail of making those dark spots fade is this baby right here. I had no idea this even existed. And once I did, I made it apart of my AM/PM routine.
Sun Protection Factor. This means how long you are protected for, BUT this can vary on a lot of different variables. SPF protects against UVB rays which penetrate the skins outer layers. Rule of thumb, ideally you need 30 SPF or higher and wear that ISH every day. Yes, even on those cloudy days. Why? Well to start, 80% of the suns harmful rays pass through clouds, and through windows. So whether you are in the car driving, at home near a window, or out shopping, best to apply the best anti-ager in the world. Now, not all SPF is created equally, just like any other product. I’d keep an eye out for oil free SPFs and ones that are sweat proof during the hotter months of the year. I love Neutrogena Sport Face for the summer months and Neutorgena Ultra Sheer – Dry Touch for the spring and winter months (Ok… guilty, Southern California only has spring and summer seasons… #WinterIsNOTcoming)
Ok oil. We’re not talking any oils here, because who wants to walk around all day or go to bed feeling weighed down and oily? I’m talking about the good stuff, like jojoba, rosehip, hempseed, and tamanu oil. I’ve tried castor oil when the oil method was all the rage and that was probably the oddest thing I’ve done to combat my oily skin. However, these oils are lighter and repair skin in all sorts of amazing ways. It’s best to try one for a few days or a week, and see how it goes. Also know that a lot of oils have MANY uses so if you can’t return it or lost the receipt, let Google help you find other ways to make use of them. That’s why I love shopping on Amazon, don’t have to worry about that! And if I may, celebs like Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Middleton use Rosehip oil.
Lastly, but definitely not least important is eye creams. I know there are tons out there, so if you have one you love, PLEASE share it below in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. Currently I’m using Neriums Age Defying Eye Serum (pricey but well worth it) and New York Biology Eye Cream (cheaper but is a gel).
So my question for you is.. What is your skin care routine? What products have you found that have helped you? Post below in the comments section or share on my LIKE page on Facebook at From Flab to Fab!