As a teenager my skin went through hell. As I approached 12, it changed from soft and clear to oily and bumpy. Things went from bad to worse, and by 15 the blackheads/whiteheads and general pimples morphed into painful mountains. Cystic acne had taken up residence on my face and back. What an inconsiderate bastard!
Worse still, I had no clue how to take care of my skin. I tried every drugstore brand, every cream from the doctor and scrubbed my face to within an inch of its life. Nothing worked. At 18 I was put on Roacutane, which was like a miracle whilst I was on it, however within a month of coming off the medication oil once more oozed from my pores and the angry spots returned.
I am not going to lie, I cried. I thought the years of wearing 500 layers of concealer, avoiding photos and resenting my own reflection were over. But alas, my hormones had other plans.
It was at this time that I was starting to get into health; working out and educating myself on nutrition. Reading food labels led me to read cosmetic labels and I became concerned by the ingredients. I questioned whether half the ingredients were causing more harm than help.
Over time I swapped drugstore brands like L’oreal and Nivea for organic ones and I have never looked back. I just wish someone had told 15 year old me that strong chemicals and harsh scrubs do not equate to smooth, clear skin. I could have saved myself from a lot of irritated/red/sore/broken skin.
My Current AM Routine
I am a fickle being so I tend to change products every now again. I think it also ensures I get results from the product and my skin doesn’t become too used to it.
Step 1 = Cleanse
Morning and night I double cleanse. Not because I wear heavy products but because my skin tends to be on the oily side. First I’ll massage in a balm or coconut oil to get rid of the surface grime. Then I’ll go in with a creamy cleanser. I love Pai’s but it’s a little pricey so at the moment I am happy using Sukin’s simply named ‘Cream Cleanser’. I also use either a kojak sponge or this little Sensio Spa ‘Deep Pore Cleanser’ massage gadget (£45 on their website, under £20 on ebay) to work the cleanser into my face, wake up my complexion and depuff my eyes. [Does anyone else get puffy eyelids???]
Step 2 = Exfoliating Toner
One product I use time and time again is Pixi’s ‘Glow Tonic’ (i’m about to start my 3rd bottle). It’s not organic but ingredients like glycolic acid, witch hazel and ginseng root extract work wonders to brighten my complexion and keep my breakouts at bay. Sometimes I decant some into a little spritz bottle to use throughout the day.
Step 3 = Moisturise
Despite my skins determination to produce enough oil to cook a vat of chips, it also has a tendency to get very dehydrated. Moisturisers targeted at oily/combination skin don’t provide enough moisture, and those targeted at drier skins are too heavy.
Generally I look for calming, light, nourishing creams with oils like argan and antioxidants to fight free radicals. Right now I’m using Sukin’s ‘Calming Night Cream’. Although it’s a night cream it sinks into my skin well and chamomile, rosehip, avocado, evening primrose, nettle, vitamin e and cucumber keep redness and flakiness at bay.
I like quite a few of the Sukin products, I was previously using the ‘Super Greens’ moisturiser. They are a vegan and carbon neutral Australian brand that say no to nasties like SLS, SLES, EDTA, synthetic fragrance (something that irritates the hell out of my skin), artificial colours, mineral oil, parabens etc.
Step 4 = Attempt to Look Human
Lastly, I apply a sh*t ton of lip balm because I own the driest lips in the land. Over the years I have tried thousands of lip salves; I should probably get shares in them. Dr Organic’s ‘Moroccan Argan Oil Lip Balm’ is probably my favourite; in fact after sneakily stealing mine both my mum and sister have purchased their own. The only down side is the twist up stick doesn’t stay up when you apply it so you have to awkwardly hold it.
I spend the next few minutes brushing the knots out of hair, tying it up and smoothing the frizzy horns that emerge from all directions and filling in my patchy brows.
Then it’s off to the kitchen for herbal tea and breakfast.
What’s your routine? Do you even have one? Let me know in the comments below. x