Five Steps to Better Skin Care

One thing I find so common when I talk to my friends is our struggle with our skin. In 2013, I experienced hormonal cystic acne when I was going through a lot of major life changes.  There was a concentration underneath my right eye, which made me extremely uncomfortable to make eye contact while talking to anyone.  Eventually as my life seemed to settle down, my cystic acne did, too.

However, my acne still flares up, usually due to stress or my cycle. I still feel self-conscious of my skin because of the scarring. I don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without makeup on even if it is just to run errands. I need to say as a disclaimer that I love makeup and believe it is very empowering. However, there is something about not feeling 100% confident in the skin on your face that can really dampen how you feel about yourself. I’m not trying to quit makeup because I love learning about it and I find it fun. Instead, my goal is to feel better about the skin I am using as a canvas.

Until recently, I have not really put skin care to the forefront of my mind aside from which cleansers and moisturizers I use. I want to share what changes I’ve made to improve my skin and I plan on writing an update in the next couple of weeks.

  1. Hydration
    I do not like drinking water at all, but I do love the feeling of checking something off a to-do list. I started using an app called WaterMinder which satiates that feeling of completing a task and also forces me to stay hydrated. It gives you a daily goal and you log in what you drink. My personal goal is to get 100% at least twice a week.
  2. Exercise
    Since the beginning of January I have started to train for a 10K and have honestly dreaded doing so. However, I have felt a noticeable difference in my acne. While the scarring is still there, the bumps have gone down and my skin feels smoother. I feel less stressed throughout the day and sweating seems to do my skin some good as long as I cleanse and exfoliate my face after.
  3. Nightly Routine
    A quick google search on skin care and the words “retinoids” (aka Vitamin A) and “hyaluronic acid” (HA) will give you the most positive feedback. Hyaluronic acid is an intense moisturizer, while retinoids encourages skin cell turnover, leading to improvements in acne, scarring, fine lines and wrinkles. You should definitely talk to a dermatologist to find out what the best strategy is for your skin. I incorporated both into my night routine with The Ordinary’s The No-Brainer Set. Again, it takes a while to find out if a new product really gels with your skin, so I’ll write an update post. So far, I love the product. Plus, I just really enjoy having a nightly routine to help me wind down for bed.
  4. Exfoliating
    My cousin gave me Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrubfor Christmas last year and I have been obsessed ever since. Exfoliating every other day is great and definitely after you exercise to make sure all that sweat doesn’t clog your pores. It leaves your skin feeling unbelievably soft. Plus, if you love liquid lipsticks as much as I do, it is a great way to keep your lips looking healthy as well.
  5. Face Masks
    This is a double whammy that barely needs any explanation at all. Not only are you hydrating your skin, but it is calming. I’ve written about how to use masks as a mindfulness tool. Decreasing your mental stress is so helpful for your physical body.

I know that these five tips are not revolutionary, but it has been a step in the right direction for me. I can’t wait to write my follow up post on this topic. I might even write a couple more updates throughout the year. If you have any skin care tips or products that you love, please share them with me!

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