Inspiration Recreation

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Flawless Skin or Healthy Skin?

Flawless skin... does such a thing even exist?  I've certainly never had it.  Commercials and ads say I can fake it with the right concealer or foundation, but what if I don't like makeup?  I avoid it like the plague actually.  I probably always will.  I'm just weird like that.  To me, achieving healthy skin was always a more important goal than developing a flawless looking makeup regimen.  I feel that if my skin is healthy and vibrant, I don't need makeup.  I actually feel more beautiful being able to go out with a healthy natural face than wearing makeup.  For me, makeup was associated with masking imperfections that made me feel self-conscious.  It wasn't something I associated with feeling beautiful or confident.  But to each their own.  If makeup makes you feel more beautiful... wear it and wear it proud! 

My biggest skin problems have been acne (light to moderate), dryness, and large pores.  For years and years I used the typical cleansers, scrubs, astringents, acne creams, and moisturizers filled with God-knows-what that you find at your local drugstores but to no avail.  Nothing proved consistently effective or improved the overall health of my skin.  In February of 2015, I decided to start transitioning to more natural skincare products.  And low and behold... I started getting the results I wanted!  Of course, everyone's skin is different and not all products and routines will yield the same results for everyone.  This is just a record of what has been working for me lately.  Not everything I currently use on my face is purely natural or organic but I hope to get to that point one day.

Olay PROx Advanced Cleansing System - Facial Cleansing Brush ($25, Amazon)
Probably the greatest investment in my skincare regimen ever.  I should have gotten one of these years ago.  I'm currently 32 years old.  And of course, as you get older, your skin cell turnover rate slows down along with reduced collagen, elasticity, etc.  So, if there is nothing else you take from this post... please buy some kind of facial brush to help gently exfoliate and buff your skin, you will be so glad you did.  My hands and face scrubs were never able to achieve in years what this brush has managed to do in a matter of weeks.  And you don't have to invest in one of those fancy $200+ brushes either, I paid $17 (with discount) for this basic Olay brush on Amazon and it has worked miracles for my skin.

Shea Moisture Organic African Black Soap ($5 for 8oz bar, or Target)
I use this as my cleanser and a mild natural treatment for acne.  It has been very effective for me.  And it hasn't been overly drying on my skin like some acne cleansers I've tried over the years.

Dickinson's Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner ($6 for 16 oz, Walgreens)
I did away with using astringents and started using toners with very little or no alcohol.  And I've noticed that my face doesn't feel as tight and dry after cleansing as it did when I used astringents.

Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant ($26 for 4 oz, Birchbox)
I had never heard of liquid exfoliants before I received a sample of this product from Birchbox, but this one has done a great job in clearing my pores, making them smaller and the salicylic acid has helped to treat and reduce breakouts.  It's a little pricey but a little goes a long way so it will last a long time.  I've been using the 1 oz sample pictured for several weeks and I still have about a third left.  I liked it so much, I used my Birchbox points to purchase a full size.

NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Oil ($10 for 16 oz) & NOW Solutions Jojoba Oil ($10 for 4 oz) (
I starting using sweet almond oil or jojoba oil as my face and body moisturizer.  It may look like it would be too heavy and greasy but it absorbs quickly and does such a good job providing all day moisture on my dry skin.  You only need a little, plus it's very affordable for the volume of product you get so these bottles will last a long time.

Biotin Vitamins (varies, not pictured)
Biotin supports skin health, as well as nail and hair growth.  I've been using 1000 or 5000 mcg capsules for the past few weeks.  I'm not sure if or how essential it has been in the change I've seen in my skin.  But my hair seems to be starting to grow a little faster which has been a plus! 

Ignore the puffy morning face :)
After about 6 weeks of using this skincare regimen, I have almost no pimples/breakouts now.  My skin is smoother, softer, much more supple and moisturized, and my pores are smaller.  If I wore makeup, I'd now have a better surface to apply on than I had before.  And it would be more for enhancing my face than for concealing.  I'm extremely pleased with the change in my skin's health (unfortunately I never thought to take a before picture).  And I really like that this regimen was simple and not very expensive.  I will continue to be on the look out to try more natural skin care products because I realize this is definitely the way to go for my skin.  I can't do anything about all the tiny moles I inherited from my mother and grandmother but my next focus will be on finding products to reduce the hyper pigmentation in a couple of spots where I had bad breakouts in the past.

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