Skincare Game Changers: Simple Shifts that Can Make a Big Difference
There are so many products marketed as “game changers” and unfortunately, many fall flat. Skincare is so individual and what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for the other. It can be a frustrating and depressing maze of product after product, promise after promise, and disappointment after disappointment. When I think back to my acne journey and subsequently my skin-repairing journey, a lot of the things that really helped me weren’t product related at all. They were simple changes I made in the way I took care of my skin, and they made a big difference.
I stopped washing my face in the shower
I like hot showers, and I loved the feeling of hot water rushing all over my face, never thinking that this was contributing to my redness and dehydration. These days I not only keep my face out of the water when I shower, I always put on a thin layer of MV Organics 9 Oil Tonic as a shower mask to protect my skin from the heat. Once I am out of the shower, I cleanse my face at the sink with lukewarm water. This also makes sure if there’s any shampoo residue left on my hairline it’s cleansed away and not left to cause congestion.
I started using fresh washcloths
Or flannels, if you wish. I noticed a big difference in my acne when I stopped using the hand towel or (eek) my shower towel to dry my face after cleansing. I made the switch to using a fresh, clean washcloth every time I cleansed and have never looked back. These don’t have to be expensive, top quality, or even a specific material (muslin etc). I buy 10 packs from Wal Mart and wash them every Sunday so they’re ready for the week ahead. This goes along with regularly washing my pillowcases. I want whatever my face is pressed into, to be clean.
I started applying serums to damp skin
This goes hand in hand with not rubbing my face dry after cleansing but lightly patting off excess moisture and leaving my skin damp. Damp skin will absorb product better than dry skin, so applying serums (especially hydrating serums) when skin is a tad moist will yield better results. An exception to this is retinols and stronger acids, where you wouldn’t want to speed up absorption. To dampen my skin, I turn to mists and essences. I don’t think these are crucial to own in a minimalist skincare cabinet, but I love them for after cleansing and before serums.
I stopped picking my face.
I don’t think this one needs too much explanation, but the less you touch your face, the better. This isn’t just about picking at blemishes, it goes for resting your head on your hands, rubbing your eyes, and letting your spouses, children, and pets touch (or lick) your beautiful features.
I started double cleansing and stopped sleeping in my makeup
I wasn’t going to include this one because I assume everyone knows this. Then I thought if I asked 10 friends here if they double cleanse, they’d probably think I was referring to the latest juice trend or colonoscopy. I started double cleansing about 5 years ago and it really made a difference in my skin. First cleanse removes makeup and SPF, and then second cleanse actually goes to work on your skin. It does not matter how tired I am or how much wine I’ve had, I will double cleanse. I may not do much more, but my skin will be clean.
I stopped over exfoliating
During my acne days I figured the more I exfoliate, the more bacteria I kill and the less acne I have. It didn’t work out that way and I was left with red, raw, SHINY, dehydrated skin. After my acne days I would still struggle with congestion on my chin and I would try to exfoliate them away and the more I exfoliated, the worse they got. I learned that over exfoliation can cause inflammation and damage the skin’s barrier, therefore allowing in bacteria which can cause congestion. These days I exfoliate about twice a week and no longer have the congested spots I used to struggle with for years.
I stopped using things that I keep in my kitchen on my skin
Baking soda, lemons, egg whites, coconut oil, toothpaste (not kitchen but you get it), you name it. If it was on the internet as a natural cure for ‘X’ it went on my skin. I learned that just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s better for my skin. The green beauty movement is huge right now, and although I enjoy green beauty, I wish there was less fear marketing and more transparency about the realistic capabilities of some natural ingredients. I will end this there though and save my thoughts on the green beauty movement for another post :)
None of these are ground-breaking, and none of these will cure all of your skin problems. They are simple, everyday things that I hope can help you to minimize irritation and protect your delicate, beautiful skin!
Coming soon to this space: 7 steps to easy summer makeup, a deep dive into injectables, and a look at home devices to compliment your skincare routine.
I hope you all have wonderful weeks,