Today I want to talk about something that I think everybody struggles with at one point or another in life – their skin. If you are one of those insanely lucky people who has had perfect skin forever, I envy you more than you know. I was one of those people up until I was about 19, but then that all changed.
During my third year of college I went on birth control pills for a medical reason. Almost immediately my skin started to break out terribly and really quick – I had no idea what to do. It was embarrassing and inconvenient, and since I was a broke college student, I really couldn’t take on any measures to fix it myself. Long story short, the next couple years were full of trying to change my medication, lots of appointments with a dermatologist who just wanted to put me on more drugs, harsh chemical peels, and a bunch of other failed techniques to even clear up my skin a little bit.
Absolutely nothing worked.
I was so frustrated and was getting to the point where I would just break down crying every day, when for some reason I thought to go get a facial. I had never had one before and didn’t really know what to expect, but I googled salons in the area that offered them and found one near me, Bianchi’s, that actually had a special acne facial. So I called and scheduled it that day.
The first thing my esthetician did when I walked into the room was sit me down and listen to my whole story about why I was there and what hadn’t worked in the past. She told me to just relax and let her work on my face for an hour and she would let me know what she thinks can and should be done moving forward. The next hour was spent getting my skin really deep cleaned and exfoliated, pores cleared out, and with a lot of hot towels, masks, and lotions/serums. I was in heaven. Although it hurt a little at times, overall it felt amazing. And when she was done, I truly felt a million times lighter and like my skin was cleaner than it ever had been before.
Once I was changed back into my regular clothes, her and I sat down to talk about what she thought was causing my acne. She told me that it seemed to be 100% a hormonal thing and not anything to do with topical products I was putting on my skin. She said her sister went through something similar, gave me some tips that worked for her, and told me to come back and see her in a month. For about a year I went to see her every single month. And after that very first treatment and implementing some of the small changes she suggested, my skin has been near perfect. Sure, I break out a little bit each month, but it’s nothing that isn’t manageable and it’s barely even noticeable.
So as you can imagine, I am so, so thankful for her, and maybe I’ll see if she can give some of her best skincare tips out to you all soon! I don’t go get a facial with her every month anymore, but I still go every few months to just get a really deep clean and honestly just to relax, too. I never thought I would say this, but I really think I enjoy facials more than I enjoy a massage.
My routine today to take care of my skin is simple, but effective – at least for me. I have played trial and error with a lot of different products, and these are my current favorites:
- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser: I use this wash morning and night and love the orange scent to it and how it feels like it actually scrubs and gets deeper into my skin than a lot of other cleansers I have tried out in the past.
- Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Exfoliating Treatment: I only use this product about once a week, but it REALLY scrubs my skin and gets rid of any dirt or makeup that the cleanser may have missed. It’s dark green and kind of looks like seaweed, but it has this cool minty smell to it and I love the tingly feeling I get from it!
- Kate Somerville EradiKate Acne Treatment: If I ever do get a breakout on my face, I just put a little dot of this pink stuff on the blemish with a q-tip before I go to bed at night, and 9/10 times it’s gone in the morning. This stuff is like magic for me, and it lasts a really long time.
- Kate Somerville D-Scar Serum: Because of the acne I did have when I was younger, I have some scarring on my skin (primarily my cheeks) that drives me insane. It’s really diminished over the last few years, but this roller-ball product that I apply 2x a day seems to also reduce the intensity of them and smooth out my skin. I’ve only been using this one for about six months, but have noticed a significant difference in the texture of my skin since then. (Can you tell I really like the Kate Somerville products….?)
- Lush Tea Tree Water: I have been using this light, refreshing spray for years right after I wash my face. I don’t like scrubbing my face dry, and I also let the tea tree spray dry naturally on my face before applying my oils and/or lotions. This spray is just a nice way to either wake myself up in the morning or just give myself a little refresher at some point throughout the day. I also feel like the tea tree oil in the spray really helps keep my skin calm.
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum: This was an impulse buy after I started reading on The Skinny Confidential about how good certain oils are for your skin. This one is just like an additional moisturizer for me that my skin soaks up almost immediately and responds really well to. Just a few drops on my face in the morning and at night that I pat in gently all over my face.
- Lush Imperialis Moisturizer: Again, I have tried a ton of different lotions over the years and fell in love with this one from Lush and will probably never switch again. It is so moisturizing, but never makes my skin oily. I love it so much. I would highly recommend this product.
And just as a reminder, these products are just what work for my skin – kind of acne-prone, not really dry or oily, and very sensitive. It also took me quite a few years to finally come to these products that work. And I don’t think I am going to mess with them if/until I have to!
I will definitely do a post on the few makeup products I use sometime soon, because I think they are actually complemented by my skincare products quite a bit. One of my goals moving forward is to actually wear more makeup than I do, which is usually none. I just think that it sometimes help me to be more productive throughout my day and not feel like it’s always time for a nap. Oh, and my esthetician also does my makeup (very rarely for an event) and does a phenomenal job:
I would be very interested to hear about the products you use for your skin that you love and how they helped you out!