Recently someone I love has been dealing with skin problems. It reminded me of the many days and nights of frustration and tears my acne-prone skin caused me in my adolescents. I still get acne on my chin as an adult, but I am shedding a few less tears these days. Since I got pregnant and changed my basic skincare routine, I have been enjoying good skin actually. It is likely short-lived, but I am grateful while it lasts.
First, I know that beauty is a very subjective topic, but there are certain things that any normal person wants to avoid, and bad skin is one of them.
Yes, I know that there are bigger issues at hand than how flawless someone’s skin is, but I can tell you from my personal experiences, that wishing you could hide your face is not the first thing you want to deal with when you wake up. When we do not love ourselves, it can keep us from showing up for others.
Since my skin and my appearance in general has been a struggle, I want to help at least one person consider themselves and their beauty routine in a new and healthy way.
I’m not going into products first because the truth is that products will evolve. What is popular today, may not be tomorrow. Your ability to master your mindset is something that you have control over right now. You may not know if your cleanser is going to make you break-out, but you can believe that you are worthy despite your looks.
When you look in the mirror, say something kind to yourself very first. Find something to be grateful for. No matter how bad you think it is, there is usually something beautiful and good about you to celebrate!
“I don’t have bags under my eyes today.”
After you have complimented yourself, remind yourself that you are more than how you look. “I am more than my appearance.”
God sees our hearts and that is why he knows us the best. Looks will fade, but our heart can be full our whole lives. The most beautiful thing in the world is kindness and a smile, so start your day with kindness to yourself and others.
KNOW YOUR WHY…Understand why you want to wake up and why you care about taking care of your body and appearance. Knowing your why will help motivate you to not give up, even when your may feel discouraged. I have found that when I get ready for my own healthy and well-being vs. trying to impress others, I have more satisfaction and confidence in my choices.
So, before you apply your basic skincare routine, a trending miracle product, or apply makeup, find something to be grateful for, find your personal motivation and remember your worth goes far beyond how you look!
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My BEST BASIC SKINCARE TIPS
Just like anything else, the more you know, the more equipped you are to deal with upcoming challenges. I want to share some nuggets of wisdom that have helped me.
- Our skin is a living organism and is interconnected to the rest of our body. Your eating, sleeping, emotional and hormonal health impact your skin. I took three rounds of Acutane and although it helped, it was not a cure-all and my overall health still effected my skin. The lack of sleep, nutritious food and stress took a major toll on my already sensitive skin. Take care of your body, mind and spirit generally and it will help you feel and look great.
- Your skin needs moisture and healthy oils. Make sure you have a good moisturizer. I am currently using this one and love it. Washing your face more is not always the answer. Cleansing your face morning and night (twice a day) is sufficient for oily skin and once a day before bed is just fine for normal to dry skin. If you don’t know what your skin type is, check out this skin test and these explanations of skin types.
- Keep a realistic and manageable skin routine so you can be consistent. Your skin needs time to adapt to products and routines. Don’t change too often and keep things simple.
- Exfoliate your skin to help your skin renew faster and act younger. Choose a silicone face cleansing brush so that you are not trapping bacteria and so you don’t have to replace the heads too often. Here is the really inexpensive one that I use.
- Your pillow, bedding and hands spread bacteria when they touch your skin. Be vigilant about cleaning your bedding often and try not to touch your face much. I struggle to keep my hands off my face for some reason. Here are some options for pillow cases that prevent acne. Sleepcyle pillow case and Silk Pillow case. If you use makeup brushes clean them often to avoid more bacteria. Here is a highly recommended makeup brush cleaner.
- Consider your nationality, family history and allergies.
When skin’s natural barrier is disturbed, its protective function is compromised and it is particularly prone to irritation and infection. Infected skin can become inflamed as inflammatory immune cells move in to try and repair the damaged barrier and heal the infection. While this process is the same for all skin types, some research indicates that:
- Dark skin is the least reactive to irritation.
- Hispanic skin is more resistant than Caucasian skin.
- Asian skin is most easily irritated. –Eucerin
7. Antioxidants can slow down damage of free-radicals that damage cells and collagen in your skin.
8. The older you get the less fat you will have under your skin and the thinner the dermis layer is, making skin more fragile.
9. Don’t ignore the damage the sun can do on your skin. According to WebMD, “the sun causes 90% of skin damage.” Apply sunscreen, wear hats and use at least 30 SPF that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If you have darker skin, you have more melanin, which means the sun will cause less damage, but it also means you are prone to “scarring and pigmentation.”
10. Be patient and kind to yourself as you find the products and routines that work for you. I am in my mid-thirties and I am still tweaking things for myself. I have spent a lot of money, time and energy on my skin and makeup routine over the years, but the only consistent part of all of it was that I decided to love myself despite my imperfections.
MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS
My BASIC SKIN CARE routine is 2 steps.
2. Then, I apply the Trilogy Vital Moisturing Cream.
A “Basic Skincare Routine” means that there are not 11 steps, but just the right steps to make your skin feel good.
(I have linked some of my haircare choices above too.)
- I try to get products that use organic and safe ingredients.
- I don’t blow-dry, curl or straighten my hair too often.
- I wash my hair 2 to 3 times a week.
- Don’t rub your hair dry; try using Turbie Twist (what I use) to get more water out of your hair without damaging it.
- Also, something that I didn’t learn until I was an adult was that you do not put conditioner on your whole head. What? I had been doing that for a long time. Only apply conditioner on the ends of your hair.
- Use cold water after you are done cleaning to close the pores of your hair follicles, same goes for your skin pores.
Tweezers to maintain eyebrows
Benefit Gimme Brow+ (Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel): This fills in my eyebrows just right.
When I use foundation I use IT Your Skin But Better CC+ (SPF 50+).
KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
My basic skincare routine takes me less than five minutes and so does my makeup routine. I am a busy and tired mom of three girls and a boy on the way. I am aware that I likely could do more, but this is working for me right now and it may change in the future.
I remember my mom and grandma telling me that if I was beautiful on the inside, it would shine through on the outside.
Although I dealt with acne most of my life and took longer than the average bear to figure out a beauty routine, I believed in what my mom and grandma told me. I have been able to keep friends, go to school, get married and contribute to my world with subpar looks most of my life, so I know that some of my mom’s teaching is true.
I hope that you not only believe in your inner beauty, but that you learn as much as you can and do your best. Like my grandma always said, “Brush your hair, brush your teeth, put on clean clothes and then don’t worry about what you look like for the rest of the day.”
Most of all, I hope you define beauty on your own terms and remember that the most beautiful thing in the world is kindness.
What is your favorite skin or makeup product?
These photos were taken 25 weeks pregnant and on my I-phone. The before photo is right after my basic skincare routine. The after is with all of the products that I talk about in this post.
I am not a portrait of worldly beauty, but I am a happy person with so much to be grateful for. I hope you find a way to feel good in your skin and find all the beauty of yourself, inside and out.