I have been wanting to share my tips on how I have really improved my overall skin texture and look for a while now but even time I go to start writing this post, my skin reacts to a product and I end up battling skin issues.
I don’t know why but in my head I keep thinking my skin needs to be perfect before I post tips on how I improved my skin. But really that isn’t true. My skin has improved so much over the last year, but if I am waiting for my skin to be perfect; I will never get this post up, because like others, my combination skin seems to be changing and my skin care routine is evolving, and changing with it. Although my skin is not perfect, I do believe the changes I have made in the last couple years have greatly improved my skin.
I wish I had before and after photos, but until recently I wasn’t a person who took photos of myself (making a beauty review Instagram & blog definitely changed that) But now that I have maybe a year from now I will really see changes. But unfortunately if you are here to see dramatic before and after photos I don’t have them.
What I will be sharing are things that I do or changes I have made that really have helped my skin. Some of them may seems a bit crazy, others are simple and may have you questioning how/why someone wouldn’t have already been doing them, but I want to include things that might help people who are new to skincare as well.
These are in no particular order
Towel vs Tissue
Lets start with one that I switched up some time last year. I was using a hand towel to dry off my face after I washed it and I was noticing some makeup on the towel. So each night I would try to find the cleanest part of my towel and every couple nights I would have to throw it into the laundry. It got me thinking that even though my face is pretty clean (from the makeup remover and cleanser) I am still wiping parts of left over makeup, skin (I know it’s gross to think about), and oils that are left on my face onto this towel, so I switched to using tissues. I know it isn’t super environmentally friendly of me, but it is super gentle on my skin and I know it is clean every time.
Since we are on the linen topic. Pillowcases. If you don’t wash your pillowcases often (at least once a week, in my opinion) then you have oils and dead skin cells hanging out on your pillow and it can cause breakouts. I know you may think that since you are going to bed with your face clean that you should be waking up with it clean as well, but your face and the rest of your body creates oils and shed skin cell while you snooze. Also your oils from your hair are on your pillowcase and they end up on your face. I am a back sleeper so my face doesn’t touch the pillow often, but I always pull my blankets up right under my chin and have them up around my face, so I have to make sure I am washing blankets often as well.
Washing Your Face PM/AM
I will admit I never used to wash my face in the morning. Thinking back now I don’t know how I ever didn’t (much like when I think way back to my college years of not washing my makeup off my face at night…eww). I have dry skin so I was worried that if I washed it too much that I would just dry my face out more. Not true! It was just about finding the right cleanser. Even when I didn’t do an AM wash I would still use a toner on my face in the morning and my other products, but now I make sure I wash my face each morning. I have seen a decrease in the acne on my chin since I have adding the morning wash into my routine (makes sense since I was pulling my blankets under my chin in bed)
This is one thing I am terrible at. If you watch my IG stories I can bet there isn’t one of me that I am not touching some part of my face. But every time you touch your face during the day you are putting more oil and dirt onto to it from your finger tips. So I have been making a conscience effort not to touch my face. Especially when I am out and about in public.
Picking at Breakouts / Zoom Mirrors
Put down those mirrors that zoom right into your face. They were once of my worst enemies when it came to my skin. I would examine my pores up close and all of a sudden I was picking at breakouts or popping pimples, etc. Firstly if you are picking at your skin and haven’t washed your hands you are spreading more dirt and bacteria onto your skin, but even if your hands are clean anything you are popping (I know gross but real) the stuff coming from that breakout is spreading on your skin and can create even more problems. I now deal with my skin troubles with products rather then trying to ‘fix’ them with my fingers. There are tools such as the one in the photo that you can use as well but you definitely have to know what you are doing and can really damage your skin with them if you don’t.
Pay Attention To Your Skin
I know this is going to sound contradictory since I just said to stay away from zoom mirrors, but you need to learn your skin. Firstly by knowing what type of skin you have (dry, oily, combination, etc). I pay a lot of attention to my skin. I look at it in the morning before I wash it to see how my night products made out. I pay attention to whether my skin is feeling dry in certain areas, or where I am having habitual breakouts. I know where my period breakouts are vs breakouts that are from makeup. It is good to pay attention to your skin so you know what is effecting it. For me that is sometimes makeup or skin care products I am trying out, or even the changes in the seasons (lovely Canadian winters) that really change up my skin. Paying attention to your skin means you can make adjustments to your routines when needed.
Pay The Most Attention After Applying Products
Hand in hand with paying attention to your skin is paying attention to your skin after each skin care product you put on. I have been doing this and it has made a tremendous difference in creating my best skincare routine. For months I was removing my makeup, then washing my face, then toner, then serums, then moisturizers, and although I was letting each product absorb, I wasn’t really paying attention to my skin in between each step. This is particularly helpful when adding in a new product. I couldn’t figure out why my once super dry skin seemed to be my oily during the day, until I took a break between products, and found out my skin that used to feel really dry after toner, wasn’t feeling dry at all, so I was able to change up my routine to balance my skin. Taking time in between each product to see how my skin reacts, allowed me to pinpoint different products that weren’t working for me anymore.
I have used a toner for many years, but I wanted to pop this one in here for those who have no explored toners. Adding a toner into your routine can definitely help those who are suffering from acne but also those who have dry skin. I use a makeup remover and a cleanser, but sometimes I still have a bit of makeup left (mostly up near my hairline, the toner helps to take this left over makeup and also any residue from my makeup remover and cleanser. Toners help to balance your skin and help with your PH level, but make sure you research and find the right toner for you. Many of them have moisturizing properties to add moisture back into the skin that cleansers can sometimes strip away. I for years used a Clinque Mild one but they have since discontinued it, so I am on the search for a new one.
Since we are on products lets chat for a minute about chemical exfoliants. If you are in your 20s or even younger you are at the lucky age where your skin is continually regenerating itself and your skin is pretty much naturally exfoliating itself. You can use facial scrubs to help the process along, especially if you are on the oily side, but for the most part your skin is doing that process for you. If you are in the 30+ group like me, then you might want to add a chemical exfoliant into your routine. As you age your skin cells don’t turn over like they used to so they need help along. Chemical exfoliants fall into two categories AHAs (lycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid and mandelic acid) & BHAs (salicylic acid). Different ingredients work differently for different people, and I won’t go too in depth here about them, but adding in a chemical exfoliant has really helped my skin tone. I have drier skin so I usually use them every other night (or else it tends to really dry out my skin), but if you are super sensitive to a serum type product and want to add in an AHA or BHA then you can use it after your moisturize and it will still absorb into your skin but your skin won’t react as harshly to it.
I Added This Awesome Little Device
So this one may not be for everyone but for me it is what I attribute the biggest changes in my skin to, and that is my Luna Mini 2. I know there are many devices out there like the Clarisonic and others, but for me the Luna was the right choice. I will do an extended post on this at some point and link it here when I do. This goes along with the chemical exfoliant and cell turn over. The more you can get your skin to regenerate the better the texture of your skin. I researched this product for months because it wasn’t cheap ($159 CAD) and I wasn’t convinced it was going to work for me. But I have been using it almost a year and I don’t think I could go without it. There are cheaper versions of this product. I even found one for $10 at Winners that has been on my shelf to test out (but I can’t take myself away from my Luna to try it out)
Read/Educate & Don’t Pick Products Based on Others
So I combined a bunch in here. Even though I say that the Luina has made the biggest changes in my skin, really the biggest changes have come from me educating myself on products, biology (how our skin works), chemistry, ingredients, etc. I used to watch a lot of beauty gurus and when they spoke of products I immediate became interested in them and automatically thought they would be perfect for me. I have now learned to research those products and their ingredients and decide whether they will work for my skin, instead of automatically thinking they are going to solve my problems because they helped someone else. I never used to pay attention to the ingredients in my skincare, if they said they would help dry skin I would believe them, understanding the ingredients of your skincare and how they work with your skin, will give you the knowledge to pick the right products for you. All of us have unique skin, and while it is great to get recommendations, it is more important to learn your own skin and educate yourself, because lets me honest the skin care products aren’t cheap and we all want our best skin.
So I hope that some of the changes I have made in my skin care routine might help you. I know this post was super long, but I have a real passion for skincare and I love learning and talking about it. If you have any suggestions of other changes I can make, or things I could be doing for my skin I would love to hear them. I know a big one that I am currently trying to work on is upping my water intake, but that is a story for another day.
Hope you all are having a wonderful morning, day, evening, night where ever you are reading this from.