28 May 2014

Summer Clear Skin Routine

My skin has been horrible lately.

I don't know about y'all, but I've never really had bad skin. I have pretty normal skin and have never had to do anything more than washing makeup off at the end of the day to keep pimples away (hey... that rhymed). That was, until the last month of school when my face decided to go berzerk, probably due to the stress of finals and prepping my summer plans. Regardless, breaking out all over caused me even more stress which led to more breakouts.

I figured it'd all clear up after finals. Summer would eliminate a huge amount of stress, and I'd be all set to go... until I decided to use a new lotion on my face which caused even more breakouts. Cue more stress and a repeat in the vicious cycle. I'm midway through week 3 of summer, and my face is just now starting to clear up. I'm back to my normal skincare routine, but this whole ordeal has definitely introduced me to a few new skincare favorites that are 100% going to be implemented into my permanent routine.

If you're struggling with crazy breakouts, or just looking to freshen up your skincare routine I have a few products that I am crazy about. Some are old, and some are new but it's all worked wonders for me lately. I want to preface this with one thing: I use the basic Clinique face wash once or twice daily, which I use in the morning before I apply makeup and at night to strip everything away. Whenever I shower, I use St. Ives Green Tea Scrub to get rid of any dead skin (this also works wonders on "backne" or shoulder pimples that I get from sunscreen and sweat in the summer). Normally I wouldn't use much else on my skin, since I was always told that over-washing strips the skin and can be just as bad as not washing at all. Anyways, here's what I've added lately:

 Clinique Clarifying Lotion
This is essentially a "toner" which I use after washing my face. It pulls out anything that may still be in my skin while also shrinking my pores. Not something super new to me, but it's become a regular addition to my routine and really, really works. I feel so refreshed after using this. 

Tea Tree Oil
This was purchased out of pure desperation. My face had reached an all time low in forms of quality, and I was at my breaking point. I did some research and heard about tea tree oil. I also saw that it is available at drugstores for around $10 so it was definitely worth the try. I credit the clearing of my skin to this magical potion. I don't know what's in it, but I saw a difference in redness within 24 hours and less than a week later, my face is almost completely blemish free.. which I haven't seen in over a month! It does dry out my skin a little bit, so I'm only using it in the evenings now. But for bad breakouts, this stuff a couple times a day can work miracles! 

Lotions really depend on what works for your particular skin type. I found this Yves Rocher "Hydra Vegetal" lotion almost two years ago in Paris and haven't used anything since! Especially with the drying quality of the tea tree oil, this has been instrumental in fixing my face :) Because it's so humid, I try not to use this a lot... only at night after the oil has soaked in or after showers. If needed, I may spot-treat any dry spots before applying makeup, but I don't really use any moisturizer in the morning. 

Cleansing Towelettes
I've never been a believer in makeup removing wipes or that sort of thing, but these have changed the game. The key is to use them in addition to other skin care products, not as a substitute. I don't even use these with my regular routine, but instead I use them after the gym or being out in the sun. They're cool and refreshing, and keep my face clear of sweat and sunscreen (after I'm out of the sun). I'm not sure how necessary they are, but it's got to be better than leaving all that stuff to be held in my pores!

Like I said, I don't have an extensive skin care regimen at all! I just make sure to keep my pores free and clear as often as possible, and I'm hoping that the new products continue to work and keep everything clean. If you're struggling with clear skin, I'm definitely not an expert to consult, but I'm happy to help! Additionally, if you have any products that you swear by, please let me know! I'm always looking to learn more :)