SPOILER ALERT: IT ACTUALLY WORKS & IS SUPER AFFORDABLE
Hello everyone! So if you know me, you know that I have been ostracized from society for being a widely feared and vastly misunderstood “Health Nut.” I’m one of those crazy earthlings who actually wants to be able to comprehend the ingredient labels on the products I use and consume. How dare I! The horror!
Perhaps you’re curious to learn about my kind? About the skincare routine of one of us… Well then you’ve come to the right place… Enter If You Dare. Muahahaha
Alright so I’m a little Halloween crazed at the moment. But in all seriousness… Taking care of your skin is super important, and so are the ingredients you use on it! Want to look younger and maintain a youthful glow? Skincare Routine. Want to eliminate acne and blackheads? Skincare routine. Want to reduce your dependence on makeup? Skincare Routine. Want to take over the world? Skinca… Well, you get the idea…
Everyone knows that a healthy diet is incredibly important, but since the skin absorbs what you put onto it, this is equally as important in my opinion. If you wouldn’t put a harsh chemical into your mouth and swallow it, common logic should tell you you probably shouldn’t put this on your skin where it it can absorb into your bloodstream, right? But hey, maybe I really am crazy…
My Skincare Struggle
I struggled with my skin from the god forsaken moment in my teenage years when acne reared its ugly head for the first time, up until very recently. Over ten years?! Shut up.
Thankfully I never had terrible acne, but I always struggled with pimples. I don’t think there was ever a time when the tally of them on my face reached 0. The texture of my skin was what bothered me most, as I always had unexplainable bumps (not pimples, just ugly, annoying bumps) all over my forehead. I covered these up with concealer for years, and later a full face of foundation. And then a few years ago, for reasons still unbeknownst to me, my skin decided its goal in life was to become a straight oil slick… Blotting sheets became my only means of salvation despite the hundreds of different oil “reducing” and “controlling” products I tried and wasted hundreds of hard earned dollars on.
I’m sure all of this was worse in my own head then to others looking at me, but I’m sure you can understand the struggle. When you feel like you look your best, you feel better all around. Like it or not, call me shallow, but that is the cold hard truth.
From “natural” products to all of the standard chemical varieties, I tried it all in a desperate attempt to clear up my skin for good and get it under control.
Praise the Lord Hallelujah, after befriending an esthetician and badgering her with endless questions, doing an abnormal amount of research on the skin online, and an absurd amount of trial and error, I have finally found a routine that works for me. Though my skin isn’t perfect, it looks better than it ever has, and I couldn’t be happier with it. The best part? The products I use now are almost 100% organic! Oh, and I no longer feel the need to cover up with concealer or foundation. Aside from a little bit of concealer on the ever elusive and totally evil under-eye circles, I am not wearing any in the picture of me above. I actually haven’t worn foundation or used concealer anywhere other than under my eyes in about two whole years now. That’s pretty awesome in my opinion.
I hope that the things I have learned in my skincare struggle will help you to avoid having to struggle so much yourself, and will help you to have healthier, more beautiful skin you feel confident in.
By far the most important thing I’ve realized in developing the skincare routine I use today is how imperative consistency is. If you want to have great skin, or great anything in life for that matter, you need to be consistent and make it routine.
The routine I utilize now I perform every morning and every night before bed religiously. The rare cases where I’ve missed one of these rituals, I have noticed huge differences in terms of breakouts, my skin’s texture (remember my October themed pumpkin photo?) and appearance. And when you go off the rails it’s far more difficult to get back on track. Such a finicky little demon the skin!
It’s also imperative to get in the habit of WASHING YOUR HANDS just prior to performing your routine. Washing your face with dirty hands is pretty counterintuitive now isn’t it?
After forcing myself out of bed in the morning or off of the couch at night, personal pep talking my way into the bathroom to take care of my face “you’ll thank yourself later” (and of course after washing the dirty cell phone or computer germs off of my hands,) I start my routine with the most obvious step of washing my face. Now, don’t get me wrong this routine is not a difficult one and I’m not a lazy person, I just really love the bed and the couch (who doesn’t?!,) and I like to take full advantage of the relaxation time that is few and far between for me these days.
I am currently using this cleanser from Boscia.
Ironic that I start with this because I actually don’t know what all of the ingredients on the label are on this product (isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black (charcoal cleanser he he). The good news is that this product is on the “Clean at Sephora” list meaning it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, and over 50 other chemicals deemed to be unsafe or questionable. The brand also takes pride in being preservative free and using plant based ingredients.
Bonus: The larger bottle of this has already lasted me over six months and still has yet to run out!
When I do finally use this up I am planning to try a brand my mom (an original hippy) swears by, and probably one of the best natural and organic brands out there, Dr. Bronner’s. This is not specifically meant for the face but touts over 18 different uses! I am not sure how it will work as a facial cleanser but will be sure to keep you posted. Also I know the huge bottles last forever.
After cleansing, I take a warm washcloth and use that to gently exfoliate dead skin cells off of my face before toning and moisturizing. This is a really important step.
I then use the Leven Rose Witch Hazel Toner.
There aren’t many products out there that don’t contain a single ingredient that sounds like it’s from another dimension where English clearly is not spoken. This is one of them, and I’m obsessed. Though my skin still gets relatively oily, this is the only thing of everything I’ve tried over the years that really helps to reduce my oiliness. What it does is it balances the pH of the skin so that both oiliness and dryness are kept in check. Not only am I not as oily now that I use this regularly, but I also no longer have that incredibly annoying peeling skin which just loves to creep up in the colder months.
Literally the only ingredients in this are: Organic Rose Water, Organic Witch Hazel, Organic Cucumber Water, Organic Chamomile Flower, Organic Ginseng Root, and Organic Calendula Flower.
This brand appears to have a lot of other great products as well I’m looking forward to trying.
Believe it or not the only moisturizer I use on my face is pure, organic safflower oil. That’s the only ingredient. The one I have been using is from Life-flo.
I discovered safflower oil after stumbling upon this amazing article from Skincare Ox on non-comedogenic oils (non-comedogenic means they won’t clog your pores). This article is awesome because it talks about all of the different uses for several different pure and organic oils, and the skin types and conditions each are best used for. I have tried several on this list and liked safflower the best for my skin type. Even oily skin needs to be moisturized, and though using oil on oily skin may seem counterintuitive, the article describes how this oil is actually one of the best moisturizers for oily skin types because it helps to balance sebum production. My real life experience has proven this to be true. This is probably the only moisturizer I’ve ever used that hasn’t contributed to excess oil production on my face, and it is also good for calming acne. Choose one of the other oils on this list though if you have a ragweed allergy.
This is a big bottle that will last you probably well over a year! I refill a smaller dropper bottle with mine as it makes this easier to apply.
This is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine, and one I feel many people don’t really understand. This is definitely the step that has gotten rid of all of those pesky pumpkin-looking forehead bumps I mentioned earlier. Exfoliating keeps the skin clear, smooth and bright by removing buildup of dead skin cells that clogs pores. Just be careful not to over exfoliate though as this can cause more harm than good. I only use an exfoliator once or twice per week.
The microdermabrasion exfoliator I use is awesome and smells amazing. I received this Keyano Aromatics Dermabrasion Cream as a gift from said great esthetician friend I mentioned earlier, so you know it’s good stuff. This one is not organic, but is made up of several natural and plant based ingredients.
The four steps above make up the bulk of my regular skincare routine. Before saying goodnight to this post though, I do want to share a few of my other staples:
Yes, unfortunately I do still have to use these, but not nearly to the extent I used to. I have gone from using probably ten sheets per day and being extremely self conscious about my oily skin to using about two to three per day. The little bit of excess oil my skin produces now is not crippling to my self confidence, as I no longer fear people will be able to see their reflection in my face shine.
I love these schön sheets as they are made from just wood pulp and hemp. I really like that they aren’t coated in a powder like most blotting sheets, which I feel just clogs my pores. Plus the three packs last me forever.
Badger is probably one of the best organic beauty brands out there in my opinion, and their lip balm is one of their best products. I love the chunky chapsticks and that they come in so many flavors. My favorite is the lime. The best part about these is they truly do their job, unlike most chapsticks that seem to just make your lips more dry and chapped in the long run, causing you to constantly have to apply more and more.
You’ll love the simple and organic ingredient list, and the perfect amount of lip shine these give too.
You may have heard all of the rave lately on this one from celebrities and the like. This has been touted by so many as a miracle worker in lengthening eyelashes and helping to thicken eyebrows. I have recently jumped on the bandwagon, and will keep you posted on how this experiment progresses. The Kate Blanc Cosmetic’s Castor Oil is the one is I am currently trying.
Well, that’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed this post, and that the products discussed here will help to improve the condition of your skin as much as they have mine!
The best part about them is that most are 100% organic and made from good for you ingredients, unlike the vast majority of products that are chemically derived and put in our faces (literally and figuratively) everyday. You would be shocked at the amount of research out there showing the negative effects these can have on the health of our bodies (a post for another time). And hey, if natural and organic alternatives work great and are even more affordable in most cases, why the hell not?! That’s what I’m sayin.
Peace & Love,