Every time the weather changes, my skin goes haywire. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been working on fixing my skin to a certain extent so I don’t have to pile on foundation and concealer to look a little bit less scary.
We all know acne is downright upsetting, annoying, heartbreaking and just disappointing. So, after 2 months of constantly watching my skin like a hawk, it’s finally getting better. I’ve figured out some of the ingredients in food and skincare products that have been irritating my skin. I know skincare is subjective and varies from person to person but these are what have worked for me so far. My skin is not perfect, but it’s healing and I’ll take this skin condition any day.
There’s a nice quote from Coco Chanel, “Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50.” I have no problem looking my age, really. As much as it irritates me that I have to grow older and deal with aches and pains in the future, I’d like to look my age. Not older, for sure.
1. Sulphate free, non-foaming cleansers
I was very inspired by Caroline Hirons who continuously evangelises non-foaming, creamy cleansers. As somebody with combination/oily skin, the most comforting feeling at the end of the day is using a very foamy cleanser to wash every single speck of impurity from my skin. But, I thought I’ll try a balm type of cleanser just to see how my skin reacts. I’ve been alternating with Emma Hardie’s Amazing Face cleanser, REN’s ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser [I think they were trying to see how many "Cs" they can put in a product name], and REN’s No. 1 Purity Cleansing Balm. These cleansers are wonderful. They leave my skin feeling moisturized, plump and smooth. I actually look forward to cleansing my face everyday, as cliché as it sounds. When I wear makeup, I wash my face twice. The first round is to melt all the makeup away, and the second round is to actually clean the skin. This is another tip from Mrs Hirons.
2. Using a flannel or a face towel
Sounds very old fashioned, right? To use a flannel or a face towel? Well, it works. I used to get a lot of bumps along my hairline as I think I wasn’t removing my makeup properly around that area. You think your skin is clean until you put a towel on it and then you see all the leftover makeup. *Shudder* I do have to buy quite a few pieces of face towels as I don’t like to re-use the same one for morning and evening. But you only get one face, so might as well invest in it.
3. Using primers without silicone
This one is a bit difficult for me as my favourite primers are chock-full or silicone. I’ve known that my skin doesn’t tolerate silicone very well, but I had less issues with it in Winter, so I went on to use my regular primers in Summer only to notice small, annoying bumps on my cheeks. So I now only use silicone free primers. MAC makes a nice one known as Prep+Prime Natural Radiance. I’ve also noticed that Laura Mercier’s Oil free Foundation Primer has silicone but it’s at a much lower level of the ingredients list (as Dimethicone) unlike my favourite Estee Lauder Matte Perfecting Primer.
4. Completely cutting out Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is just evil – at least for my face. I try very hard to avoid products with mineral oil in it as I get bumps almost immediately. Cystic ones too. *Heartbreak* One of the best foundations I have used is Illamasqua Skin Base. I tested it by chance in Sephora in Seattle last year and the colour match was perfect. I was using it until recently I noticed that there’s mineral oil in it. See ingredients here. I was gutted. The bumps on my skin made so much sense. Sigh, why big companies insist on making face products with mineral oil is beyond me.
5. Completely cutting out Dairy
This one is really difficult for me, because I love Cafe Lattes, cheesecake, etc. But I am also lactose intolerant so I barely eat dairy nowadays. I can’t do sour cream or heavy cream, but I can drink skimmed milk in small amounts most of the time. Now with my skin, I’ve tried to cut out skimmed milk as well. I have soy in my Cafe Lattes and sometimes just completely skip coffee in favour of green tea. It’s difficult but having clear skin is at a higher priority for now.
6. Omega 3 Supplements
I mentioned in my earlier post that I was taking Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend. It’s been two months now and I’m slowly starting to see improvements. My lips are no longer dry or flaky and my skin is clearer. Taking two tablespoons of raw oil post breakfast is a challenge. Especially if you’ve grown up eating delicious food and everything must taste good. But, the pros outweigh the cons, so I force myself to gulp the oil down. Any retching sound is unintentional. Heh ;)
I have a love-hate relationship with sunscreen. I really like using it and am happy to invest the extra time to apply SPF50 before applying my makeup. But my skin hates it. Most of the sunscreen I have seem to break me out. There’s only one sunscreen who is kind to me and that is Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defence SPF 50. It’s quite difficult to get a hold of this product though because the other versions of Kiehl’s sunscreen seem to drive my skin crazy. I get huge pimples and small ones too and they are almost impossible to clear out.
8. Cutting out sugar
I’m sweet tooth. I love sugar. But my body does not. The less sugar I eat, the more patient, less-cranky and tolerant I am. I’ve actually seen a connection between my skin and eating a slice of pecan pie the day before. It’s *that* bad. So, I’ve been reducing my sugar intake. It’s like teaching yourself to eat – again. Reaching for fruit instead of sugary snacks. It’s not easy, but I’ve also read that sugar ages you. So I try to use that as a way to motivate myself to eat less sugar.
9. Alpha-H Liquid Gold
I use this AHA serum to heal acne scars. It works slowly but I do see an improvement. I use it twice a week as a night time treatment. It definitely has reduced the clogs in my pores.
So there you have it. I am not too happy about turning into a health freak, but I don’t want to take antibiotics for my skin, neither do I want to use harsh chemicals to treat my skin. This is the middle ground that I’m starting to discover. I do hope my skin keeps improving :)