If you’d like to know how you can get great skin, this post will say a lot
about my notion of secrets.
If you’d like me to return safely to posting about edibles, so would I. Tomorrow we’re back to business as usual, friend.
I’ve been urged and emailed by no less than 40 friends (you all) to share my skin care routine. I’ve consistently replied, “Should it taste good?”
This being a food blog and all…
I, mind you, have been known to use any and all of the following on my mug:
Concentrated dish washing soap: Palmolive, Seventh Generation, Bright Green…I don’t discriminate.
Bar soap: Irish Spring, Dove, Oil of Olay, Caress, Lever 2000…again, I don’t discriminate.
Hand soap: Softsoap, Dial, Method, again [again again], I don’t discriminate.
Now, when I do spring for special face wash, every, oh, say, once per three months when my mother shows love by way of Target gift card, I use Cetaphil and Neutrogena almost exclusively. They are by far my favorites, which, considering I don’t discriminate (see above), does not necessary carry tremendous value to you.
But, as you might have learned so far, I have tried nearly every product. All of those shelves of blue and green and promise-filled pump bottles? Every last liquid in the drug store? I’ve used it.
For years I pored over pages of In Style magazine, flipped through their “Best Beauty Products” features. In fact, I eyed issues of nearly every magazine that assured me I’d have glowing skin in no time. I spent and I sampled my way through Dove and Dior, and even went specially to Barney’s New York for Kiehl’s. I pined for La Mer. Still do.
I realized it mattered less the product I used
and more just that I washed
I do believe that skin clarity is genetic, and that it does not perfectly correlate with good cleansing and upkeep. My mother and brother both had acne; my father did not, and I, by some grace of God, didn’t either. The big guy handed me several trillion fat cells and teeth that begged for braces, just in case you think I got off easy.
Here’s the thing: If you have normal-ish skin, if you have no diagnosed skin distress, and if you’ve made it past 18 with your dignity intact: keeping your routine simple is best.
I view skincare in the exact same way I view exercise and eating well: they’re all things that must happen in life. No, they’re not always fun. No, they’re not always easy. No, they’re not always cheap and convenient. But they’re part of that big portrait of a life you’re painting, so commit to each of them.
In seventh grade, I began washing my face consistently. Fourteen years later and I can only count a dozen or so times when I haven’t given my face a good scrubbing before bed. I’ve always thought that your skin *regenerates best at night, and spending those [wishfully thinking] eight hours with clean, well hydrated skin, is only going to be a positive experience for you and your face.
*Don’t you dare quote me on it.
I don’t rewash in the morning, because a.) I don’t want to remove essential oils since my skin is naturally on the dry side, and b.) unless sleeping involved a 10k and a greasing, I can’t imagine my face soiled itself overnight.
Here’s my routine:
1. Wash twice with a fairly natural, less-wild-ingredient-list, cleanser.
Why twice? Once to remove makeup, and twice to clean the fresh skin below. Think of it this way: If you only wash one time, while your makeup is on your face, you’re not fully cleaning below the surface. You’re also, in some small way, massaging the makeup into your skin along with the cleanser so your face is never fully cleansed.
Splash a bit of warm water onto your face. Add face wash to your hands, rub them together to lather slightly, then use both hands to scrub in an upward circular motion, taking care to cover all areas of your face. Scrub for about 20 seconds. Rinse. Repeat once more. Pat dry (do not rub with the towel, it is too harsh and irritating).
I’m currently using Trader Joe’s Natural Tea Tree Oil Face Wash and enjoying it quite a bit. I highly recommend Cetaphil and Neutrogena.
Apply a dime sized blob of face lotion to your fingertips; massage into your face and neck using an upward circular motion. I always apply a thicker layer around my eyes because those areas get driest.
While I only wash my face once per day, I do moisturize twice. I think keeping skin well hydrated is important not only in keeping your pores from producing more oil to compensate for dryness, but also because I notice that my makeup looks glossier, more glowing, when my skin is supple.
I also don’t shy away from oil. When I bathed in the sun during my late teens, I religiously rubbed my mug with any old oil to turn a better brown. From that experience, I realized that my skin can handle oil without my pores clogging. When the Eucerin Everyday Protection face lotion I’m currently using runs out, I’m going to reach for pure coconut or olive oil.
So tell me: What’s your routine? What products do you swear by?