When you spend years doing experiments figuring out what exactly your body can and cannot tolerate, skin issues are going to be plentiful. Struggling with trying to achieve a clear complexion since the end of high school, I have finally reached a truce with my skin.
Between avoiding certain ingredients due to food allergies, knowing that certain things (like caffeine) just don’t vibe well with my skin, and trying to shelter myself from pollutants/sun damage/etc., keeping skin healthy and clear can be a true battle. Now, does that mean I won’t break down for a latte or layout in the sun a few days a year? Absolutely not, because it’s all about balance in life. Giving up everything just to avoid a few breakouts isn’t worth it, it just depends on what you think you can live with (and without). For me, I have found that my balance lies in eating as healthy as possible, being as active as I can, drinking lots of water, and making sure to remove my makeup every night. This doesn’t guarantee a perfect complexion, but it all certainly helps when I want to binge on potato chips or nap in the sun for a few hours. All about balance.
So, taking the allergies and everything into consideration, I try to look for cosmetic products that are as natural as possible. Not only because they are better for you in the long run, but it certainly helps to use products that aren’t fighting against you in any way. With that being said, I have tried dozens of products, read hundreds of online forums, and spends hours experimenting to find my perfect daily facial products. Having a mixture of horrible cystic acne, forehead breakouts, etc. etc, I have finally come to a peaceful truce with my skin and what it needs. After all, your breakouts can tell you a lot about your body. I’m sure we’ve all seen those diagrams showing relations to facial skin problems and their correlating body parts (i.e. the chin breaking out usually has something to do with hormones and/or diet). If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check it out here, I love this resource and often refer to it when I’m having recurring issues:
Now although I spend a fair amount of time when it comes to beauty products, I am also extremely lazy! You know how it goes, you get home after a long day, pants come off, and suddenly you find yourself in bed and your bathroom sink feels like a hundred miles away. I’m telling you now, skipping the face wash will be the death of your skin. Even if you use natural products, leaving them on that many extra hours and soaking into your pores in just not worth the effort to wash it off at the end of the day. I find myself to have a somewhat combination skin type, with my nose and t-zone being a little oily (especially overnight) and the rest of my face leaning slightly dry. I also have very very sensitive skin, thanks allergies. With that said, here is my daily routine that I have found to show the best results:
Morning: Wash face with cold water, use just a little face wash so that you don’t dry out your face but get rid of any excess oils that built up while sleeping. Apply dots of face lotion to cheeks, forehead, and chin. Blend until evenly absorbed. Then, apply your makeup as you typically would. I like to use blender sponges and makeup brushes, so be sure that those are washed regularly to keep them clean and bacteria-free.
Afternoon: I like to mist my face throughout the day with either water or coconut water to keep my makeup dewy fresh and to keep my makeup from drying up on my face.
Evening: If I plan to go out in the evening, I will typically wash my face and start over with my makeup. Yes, it is going to cost more in the long run to keep your makeup stocked, but I think in term of the health of my skin, removing that old makeup and reapplying is going to help rather than just caking on more makeup. If I’m staying in for the night, I try to take my makeup off first thing, the more time your face has to be clean of clear of products, the better. Plus, if I do decide to go back out, I’ve already got a clean slate to start again with. With my combination skin, I usually skip the moisturizer at night. I will apply a little to problem areas, but I have found through trial and error that it is just too much buildup on my face while I sleep. The application of it once in the morning (in addition to drinking water all day) seems to be plenty enough for my face to stay hydrated.
Figured I would also share the daily products that I use, with a few notes as to why/how they work best for me. Again, after reading reviews/forums, testing them over years, and being careful to avoid problematic ingredients, I hope this list can help others with similar complexion battles.
Face Wash: Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Wash, Deep Cleansing Coconut Milk
Why it Works for Me: Super gentle on sensitive skin, doesn’t dry out my skin too much, and my skin feels and looks completely clean after using, and as a plus it seems to help clear up minor breakouts
Ingredients: Water, C14-22 Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Ingredient), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient), Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Rosa Canina Fruit Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Certified Organic Ingredient), C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alcohol (Certified Organic Ingredient), Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Coumarin, Fragrance
Face Moisturizer: Alba Botanica Hawaiian Oil-Free Moisturizer, Refining Aloe & Green Tea
Why it Work for Me: Doesn’t clog pores, goes on lightly, my makeup blends well on top of it, and it gives my skin a slight pick-me-up in the mornings with the added green tea (since I don’t consume caffeine, this little bit makes a difference)
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Octyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Ingredient), Dimethicone, Glyceryl Laurate, Stearic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient), Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient; Also Known as Gotu Kola Extract), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract (Certified Organic Ingredient), Hedychium Coronarium Root Extract, Allantoin, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tromethamine, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Linalool, Fragrance
Face Mask: Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Mask, Pore-fecting Papaya Enzyme
Why it Works for Me: Now, I have to say first that I only do facial masks about every other week, sometimes only once a month (they are harsh on my very sensitive skin, and I am able to buff off dead skin when I dry my face after daily washes), but this is a great mask to help with tone and texture while also giving a good, deep clean of the pores
Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Ingredient), Glycerin, Protease, Algin, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Polysorbate 20, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Zingiber Zerumbet Extract, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Fragrance, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810)
Spot Treatment: Calamine Lotion, Tea Tree Oil, and e.l.f. Acne Fighting Spot Gel
Why it Works for Me: So, depending on the type of breakout I’m having, I treat it differently, for the typical acne breakout I will use a quick spot treatment at night after washing my face while for more difficult cystic acne I try a combination of tea tree oil and calalmine lotion to dry them up while keeping them clean
Ingredients (e.l.f. Spot Gel): Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 1% Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Alcohol Denat., Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Cinnamomum Camphora (Camphor) Bark Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin
So that covers most of my general skincare routine, hope others find a little help with all of this!
-Moss & Mango