We don't pick our skin type. A cosmic arrangement of genetics choose what our trouble areas will be, what type of acne we have, and just how many years we will battle it. There are, however, a few ways for us to tame what seems to be the untamable beast.
1. Wash your face daily
Number one seems like a no brainer, right? It's important to have a daily washing schedule to rinse away the day's dirt. You should be washing your face with a gentle and trusted cleanser - we recommend our Black Magic or King of Carrot Flowers. As silly as this sounds, make sure your hands are thoroughly washed before using them on your face. If you choose to use a washcloth, either use a different one every time or do not use one at all. A used and dirty washcloth can deposit dirt and oil right back to your ready to be clean face. This process should happen twice a day. Once in the morning to rinse the dirt and oils that gather while you sleep and once at night before bed.
2. Never sleep with make up on
We've all been there once. We went out with the girls and had one too many. So many "one too many's" that after getting a much needed Uber home - we crash in bed instantly. We crash and we wake up with last nights mascara leaving us looking like a great panda. We did it. We slept in our make up. There may be some of you who do this often without the drunken prelude. I'm going to say this as nicely as possible - this is not a good habit to have. Wearing our faces to bed can cause a lot of harm. Overnight foundation can cause a breakdown of collagen. This can lead to wrinkles, clogged pores, and acne. Also, mascara can potentially clog your eyelash follicles - resulting in inflammation and possible infection. Taking one extra step before bed to remove your makeup will help prevent breakouts, keep your complexion glowing, and keep you looking younger.
3. Wash your pillow case
If 1 and 2 are done this will be less of a problem - but still a problem none the less. Remember that dirt and oil that builds up on your face during sleep that we talked about? Yeah, it builds up on your pillow too. Do you have a side of your face that tends to break out more? Do you just so happen to sleep on that side most often? This is not a coincidence. Dermatologists recommend that in order to keep your skin in tip top shape, you should wash your pillow cases at least once a week. Who has time for all that? We say buy a few nice cases and change them out once a week. If you happen to not have time that week, spray your case pillow with a blend of witch hazel and tea tree oil to tame the bacteria for the time being. Another great option is to switch to silk pillow cases as they do not absorb and trap oil the same way as cotton. Our pillows collect dirt, oil, and skin...gag. Do yourself a favor and do something about it.
Again, this seems like a no brainer, but many people fear this step because of oil. When we wash our faces with cleanser, we are often times also removing a lot of our skin's natural oil that it needs to maintain itself. This can cause over production of sebum - leading to pimples and breakouts. It's important, however, to choose and use the right moisturizer for you. All moisturizing oils have different profiles and characteristics. Some will clog pores and cause breakouts while others work to prevent just that. Also, many drug store acne preventing moisturizers contain inflammation causing alcohols. So how do you know what to choose? We recommend Flower Face, our all natural tea tree and lavender face cream. It's best to use a moisture locking cream after you wash your face in the morning and at night.
For the most part, I have very tough skin. I have only had an allergic reaction to make up once in my life and that was almost 10 years ago. That being said, my skin is one tough cookie and it enjoys being treated as such. There's nothing I love more than a good scrub-a-dub-dub. It leaves your face feeling fresh, smooth, and brand new. However, do as I say and not as I do. You should be gentle with your face. Over exfoliation can cause inflammation and micro cuts in your skin. Try to stray away from exfoliants that contain artificial fragrances and microbeads. Exfoliating after you wash can help to remove dirt from your pores, remove dead skin, and stimulate cell regeneration. We really enjoy exfoliating with fine grain sea salt for it's many acne fighting benefits. Mix this with a little coconut oil or EVOO and you've DIYed your way to clear skin. Want something truly special? All of our face masks double as scrubs!
6. Switch to truly natural skincare
And we mean natural. It's rough out there with so many "all natural" claims. What's a skincare lover to do? Educate yourself on what it means for a product to be natural. Even the most popular big name green washed companies might surprise you with their additives. Skincare should be simple. The earth has provided us with so many medicinal plants that there is really very little need to use any synthetic chemicals. Make simple swaps. Trade your liquid face wash for handmade bar soap. Often times commercial liquid soaps contain alcohols, sulfates, fragrances and preservatives that can cause irritation. Upon first switching to natural skincare, you may find that your face looks worse than before! This is a chemical detox period and does not last for long. Once you truck through the detox, your skin will be happier than before and thank you everyday with glowing skin. Even when it comes to simply washing our bodies, commercial soaps are doing more bad than good. They contain drying detergents that can perpetuate skin conditions such as eczema.