Skincare is a world of its own. On its own planet. With its own language. Seriously, is there anything harder to figure out? Besides a girl when she says she is “fine.” As someone who has struggled with a skincare routine my entire life, I can truly tell you that taking care of your skin is extremely important. When your skin looks and feels better, so do you.
Just because I know a good skincare routine is extremely important, does not mean it is extremely easy. I struggled with cystic acne as a teenager. The pain so so unbearable I would have to go to the dermatologist to have needles stuck into my pimples to inject a pain reliever to ease the pain and swelling. Yes, you read that correctly. I had NEEDLES stuck into my face, willingly. After years of different topical creams, face cleansers, medications, etc., I eventually found something that worked. But, I still struggle with breakouts, blackheads, and the occasional cystic pimple.
I have had extremely dry skin this winter, which has led to a few more breakouts than normal. So, I started to really pay attention to my skincare routine. Below are 5 products/tips I swear by.
- Vitamin A. If you look up the ingredients in any kind of skincare product (expensive, fancy, cheap, you name it) you will almost always find vitamin A. Three months ago, I began taking one vitamin A capsule every morning. Although my skin hasn’t completely cleared up, I have definitely noticed a change in how often/how severe my breakouts are. When I do have breakouts, I cut open a capsule and put the ooey gooey liquid on my worst areas. You can find Vitamin A at your local pharmacy, or order online here.
- Makeup remover. If you take nothing else away from this post, just please listen to this. Take off your makeup! Before you shower, before you go to bed. Take it off. I have found that using makeup remover is better for my skin rather than just scrubbing it off. It really does make a difference. It just feels cleaner and lighter. I use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (this is not an ad) every night before I get a shower. I also occasionally use L’Occintane Face Cleansing Oil (again, not an ad). I’ll usually use this when I’m taking makeup off during the day, not right before a shower. Everyone’s skin is different. So, even though these products work for me, they may not for someone else. The important thing is that you find a product that works for you and use it!
- Biore blackhead strips. This product is extremely underrated.I have used these on and off since I was sixteen years old. Usually, I get a bunch of blackheads, buy a box of Biore strips, get rid of said blackheads, and proceed to forget about the Biore strips. Until the blackheads return and the cycle begins all over again. I am making a conscious effort to get rid of, and then prevent future blackheads, by always having a box of Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips handy.
- Ice/heat. Never underestimate the traditional means of getting rid of redness or breakouts. I tend to switch on and off with a hot compress and ice, depending on how I am feeling. To “pop” the pimple use a hot compress. I put quotations because you do not actually want to pop it. But, the hot compress can sometimes pull out the yuck inside. When it comes to cystic acne, it can take a while for a pimple to be ready to “pop” (again, do not actually pop the pimple). In this case, I tend to ice the pimple, to decrease swelling and pain.
- Hydrate. Yes, I know, we hear this all the time. Want to lose weight? Drink water. Want to have great skin? Drink water. Want to save the world? Drink water. Ok, perhaps I exaggerated a bit there, but you get my point. Everyone tells us to drink more water, so maybe we should start listening. If you read the skincare routines of many models, they all have hydration in common. So, if it is good enough for them, why not us mere peasants? Now I do understand, it can be difficult to drink the recommended 64 ounces of water per day. Sometimes we just get tired of it. I know I do. I have started occasionally using fruit to infuse my water. In the past two weeks I have reached the 64 oz goal, or come close to it. And guess what? My skin actually looks and feels better!
Do you have any skincare hacks? Any routine tips you would like to share? Comment below with suggestions and ideas!