28 February 2018

Taking Care of My Skin in College


I'm the first to admit, I'm absolutely wretched at taking care of my skin. It's a character flaw that I am well aware of and, at least as of late, I'm trying to improve. I never had extremely terrible skin, but I definitely struggled with the normal teenage angst surrounding my bouts of acne breakouts. Fast forwards about  six years, I'm still fighting with my oily pores, and I've finally been let in on an absolutely mood ruining secret, apparently acne doesn't magically go away when you become an adult. Damn. Here I was, gazing hopefully at the semi-distant future of year twenty, what will be my first year of true "adulthood", excited for all the gunk in my face to exit my face. Nope. It's still going to be there, what a joy.

As I've taken a bit more stake into my own skin, I've not only been trying a multitude of products, but I've also been experimenting with my diet, exercise, and general self care. I found things that have been okay, things that have failed miserably and things that have made a life changing difference. Today, I wanted to focus of the positive things, and more specifically, the things that have had a positive outcome since I began college in September of 2017.

Products
Products are personally the most exiting part in my mind (beauty blogger here) but by themselves, they aren't that effective. I've discovered the if I really want an impactful skin routine, then I have to couple my products alongside other forms of care. I've also discovered that I need to be extremely choosey when picking my products. I have had the tendency to want to jump onto the blogger loved bandwagon of products, even when a certain product may not do something I need. I have combination skin, and so while I do need a bit of moisturizing, excess amounts of moisturizing products just don't have a place in my product collection.

I'm definitely still rounding out and working out the small kinks of my current skin care products, but for the most part, I'm very happy with everything I'm using. I just need to get better at using it... The two cleansers that I've been reaching for constantly are the Simple Micellar Water and the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. The Simple Micellar Water has been a staple in my skin care for over three years now. I use it everyday, twice a day (morning and evening) to remove makeup as well as oil and grime. When I'm after a deeper cleanse, say my face feels particularly gross or I have an unusually large amount of makeup on, I'll grab for the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Oksia's gel is a bit more luxurious of a product, in price and quality, so it's something I try to savor. The smell is very light and absolutely heavenly, which is a nice change from the micellar water, which is unscented. I will say though, if you have very sensitive or finicky skin, the Simple Micellar Water is a godsend because it has no excess oil in it and it is extremely gentle and refreshing on the skin. After I cleanse my face, I"ll moisturized my face with the Clinique Moisture Surge. This moisturizer is pretty much the definition of a blogger holy grail product, but in my opinion, it has earned that reputation. As someone with an annoyingly oily t-zone, I can use this moisturizer without worrying that it will cause the creation of even more excess oil. Next, I battle with my acne. This results in my handy dandy little friend The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum. This baby is powerful. The bottle says to spread this serum all over your face but that scares me so I usually just drop a few drops on my problem areas (which are everywhere right now, screw you bipolar weather) and then leave it over night. It's like a miracle when I go to bed with an angry second head growing on my chin and wake with only a meager little fellow that will easily go away in a day or two. 

Now I'll have you all notice that I've only listed four products here. I'm on a college budget effective now and unfortunately for the foreseeable future (seriously someone give me a job) so I have to be very picky with what I spend my money on. When it comes to makeup, I really don't mind scrimping on most products --not mascara-- but I am deadset in my beliefs of high quality skincare. Unfortunately, until recently, there weren't any super great skincare brands that offered super high quality products for a cheaper price. Now, of course, Pixi and The Ordinary, among a few other gems,  have emerged and are making it easier to buy high quality products for a drugstore price. I don't have a qualm shelling out bigger bucks for my skincare, especially since I only use a few products consistently, but I'm excited to be saving a bit of money with these new up and coming brands. 


Diet
As a kid, I never concerned myself with my diet. I ate whatever I wanted (well, whatever my mom said was okay) and was never really constricted by any real dietary issues. I tried to eat vaguely healthy, and since I was an athlete, I did pretty well, but I definitely did enjoy the occasional fast food and the way more than occasional hoard of chocolate. After some health problems in my early teen years, my diet changed drastically and I found myself eating in an extremely unhealthy way. Three years later, I've finally got back into the swing of things with a pretty normal diet, and I made a rather large change once I started college; I began cutting meat out of my diet. Now, I still eat fish so I'm not a full vegetarian --pescatarian is the technical term, I believe-- but as of the start of March, I will have not had any meat for about three months (had a bit of a relapse of Christmas). I was never the biggest fan of meat so cutting it out wasn't the biggest struggle, and I think I've definitely reaped the benefits! Fish is known to be quite good for your skin, and the increase in vegetables have made me feel better all around!

Exercise
Exercise is a weird concept in my mind because I grew up in an intense sport, so I was always exercising, but I never really felt like I was exercising. It was more so fun than exercise. I've never been a go to the gym and run on a treadmill kind of person, I find it futile, boring and honestly, I don't think it does that much to help. I've recently gotten into yoga, and I'm absolutely loving it. I found that it's a great way to get a good exercise --which is good for mind, body and soul-- but it is always a  great way to expel toxins from my body. I sweat a ton in yoga (my instructor is pretty tough and I love it) and I've found that getting as warm as I do helps open and air out my pores. Not only am I getting fitter, but my skin is getting healthier! Two birds with one stone!

Overall
The last few things I have been doing to take care of my skin aren't all everyday things but I do try to do most them a few times a month, minimum. The first is using a face mask of some sort. I usually try to do this once a week or every other week if my skin is particularly good. I usually trend towards detoxing masks like the Origins Charcoal Mask or the Boscia Charcoal Peel Off Mask but I'm trying to get more into brightening masks. One I'm currently trying out is the Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Mask, I've got my fingers crossed for some good results! I also try to exfoliate my face every two weeks or so, just to remove the old skin and allow for new skin to grow. My favorite exfoliant, truly loved product in the beauty community, is the Pixi Glow Tonic. I just dab some on a cotton pad, swab it all over my face, and presto, good as new!


How do you take care of your skin? 

-xx-


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