When I started getting acne in my late teens (after high school and during undergrad), the first thing I did was turn to beauty magazines, TV commercials, and Google. Mostly, I turned to harsh products. All I wanted was to have clear skin – I don’t think I was at a state where I was questioning what went into the products I applied on my face or why my body was responding outwardly with acne (what foods was I eating? was it my physical environment? was it stress, my hormones? did I not sleep or wash my pillowcases enough?). Or more importantly, why I felt so terrible about myself or so pressured to look a certain way, a lot of which stemmed from the beauty standards and gender norms surrounding me at home, at school, everywhere.
Nowadays, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my mental health and sense of self, in addition to gradually rethinking my eating and lifestyle choices, which are really shaped by what you have access to and so many other factors – all of which we can talk more about in another post. One huge thing I’ve done is looking at what products I use for skincare, checking out the ingredients and whether or not those could be some of the triggers of these peanuts (what my mom and auntie ~endearingly~ call my pimples haha ugh or yay). I’ve been on a mission to gradually simplify my skincare routine, letting go of things that no longer serve me and only taking in things that make me feel good to put on and use (and maybe are better for my skin and body in the longrun).
Hours of being on blogs, watching videos, listening to people’s tips, here are my current go-to products, each with less ingredients/more “natural” ingredients:
How my skin’s been feeling/looking lately:
- Occasional breakouts (definitely triggered by sugar, lack of sleep, inflammatory foods, stress, and hormones)
- Combo normal and dry (I thought I was combo oily and dry but I think it’s changed!)
So my skin isn’t the most clear, bump-free thing in this world and I still get self-conscious about it, but I’m learning to love myself more, scars and peanuts and all.
GETTING READY FOR BED:
My favourite thing about my nightime skincare routine is that it makes me feel so good taking off my makeup after a long day at school or outdoors.
Take off the grime!
- I oil-cleanse by wetting my face and then rubbing a quarter-size of grapeseed oil or pumpkin seed oil (minimalistbeauty recommends using oils high in linoleic acid) to break up the makeup. Then I wet a soft microfiber cloth in warm water, lay it on my face, and gently wipe it all off. I’m really trying to create less trash, but if I’m exhausted or traveling, I use a gentle makeup wipe. Rinse with warm water, then cold water to close the pores.
Take a deep breathe.
- I pat 4-5 drops of Maya Chia’s Super Luxe moisturizer, followed by gentle rubs of Celsus on my scars, than a minimal drop of Osmia or Grease Lightning spot treatment on my acne.
- Maya Chia’s Super Luxe | a huge investment I made for mom and me to try out; makes me feel fancy, my skin feel really soft and supple without being too oily, and lessens my hyperpigmentation gradually. Really great treat because of the ingredients but I can’t afford to buy it again because it’s way over my budget!
- Celsus Scar Cream | slowly but surely, it fades my scars
- Osmia Spot Treament | Works really well for blemishes and cystic acne! But is very concentrated with essential oils, which I’m gradually trying to move away from as I learn to be more fragrance-free to protect the well-being of people I share spaces with who are sensitive to scents and chemicals.
- Lush Grease Lightning | Works well too! Can be drying because of tea tree oil and witch hazel.
- Morning cleansing is easy. All I do is wash my face with cold water!
Ready to go.
- I pat 2-3 drops of straight up grapeseed oil to moisturize, then follow with those gentle rubs of Celsus on my scars. Sometimes, I apply spot treatment if needed.
- Some days, I only use grapeseed oil, apply suncreen, and wear a hat for extra sun protection.
While I’ve been processing many things I’ve internalized about beauty and skin, skincare makes me feel good because I like finding quality products, nurturing tips, and the routine of it all. At the same time, I’ve been learning to reflect on how the ingredients of the products I use can harm me or others, so one of my goals is to use even less and do more research, while finding ways to still enjoy skincare.
What’s your skincare routine?