Thursday, September 23, 2010

Put your best face forward

Starting on my track of being the best you, you can be is skincare.  I personally have terrible skin acne prone combination skin, others have near perfect skin, but no matter what kind of skin you have caring for it is very important.  Your skin is extremely important, it's exposed to the elements and it shows your age, though if you don't take proper care of it, it can age you much more than you are.  That being said, I am not a dermatologist and can't cure your acne, or help your dry skin, all I can do is share what works for me, and hope it helps you find a skincare routine that works for you and your skin.

The basics of skin care are a cleanser, toner and moisturizer with spf and a weekly scrub and an optional mask.  Those are the necessary elements, some skincare routines have more steps, but they shouldn't have any less.  Personally my skincare routine consists of, in order of daily use, Cetaphil as my cleanser, Neurtrogena Grapefruit scrub, Alba Acnedote face wash, Avalon Organics Vitamin C toner, Clean and Clear Oil Free Moisturizer, and Neutrogena Sunblock. I use these steps daily, adding in Neutrogena Makeup removing cleanser for Acne Prone Skin at night to remove my makeup.  If I'm have a particularly bad breakout I use a pimple cream such as zapzit or clean and clear vanishing cream, or tea tree oil.

I am working on switching my products over to all natural products, though you should never start a whole new regime all at once in case your skin reacts poorly to a new product.  I currently have two natural products in my routine, those are the Alba Acnedote face wash which I use to make sure all of the scrub is washed off my face, and since it's medicated for acne with salicylic acid from Willow bark extract, it treats my freshly cleaned pores as a preventative measure. The other product is my Toner, which is made by Avalon Organics, Vitamin C promotes a higher cell turnover rate, which helps you produce new healthy skin cells faster.  Today I will be adding an organic moisturizer, since I am almost out of my clean and clear moisturizer.  Hopefully one a bit heavier than I've been using since Summer is coming to and end, and Autumn and Winter are coming.  Dryer seasons cause dryer skin.

Usually you wouldn't use a scrub daily, as it can begin to tear your pores, and if you over exfoliate you can begin to produce more oil and cause pimples.  The scrub I currently use, the Neutrogena Grapefruit scrub is gentle enough to be used twice daily, though I am working on slowly cutting it back since when I run out of this I will be switching to an all natural or organic scrub which can sometimes be a bit more scratchy on your skin.

The mask I use is the Queen Helene Mint Juilip Mask.  This is a mask that drys out your current acne, and I use it as a full face treatment once or twice a week, but as a spot treatment for any bad breakout area's I may have.  A good mask will help your skins elasticity while treating any issues you may feel you've been having with your skin.

A sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF is extremely important to protect your skin from sun damage and cancer.  You should be using and SPF of 15 or higher. Using a moisturizer with and SPF in it is good because it lessens the amount of products you have to put on your face, which is less products to clog up your pores.

You don't need to use high end department store skincare products to get perfect skin, all of the products I use currently are drugstore products that can be found at any walmart, target, cvs, or walgreens. I've only ever tried high end skincare once before for 2 months, and it was terrible on my skin, but that's another post.

I do recommend all the products I've mentioned, I think they are very good products, especially for their price, but don't be surprised it they don't work for you, especially if you don't have the same skin type as I do.  I will put a review of the moisturizer I pick up today soon, probably within the next 2 to 3 weeks to give myself ample time to test it and find all it's pros and cons.