I’ve never liked my skin; it’s oily, has big pores and is very prone to acne. It’s no wonder I’ve dreamed of having flawless skin.
I dreamed of having clear, flawless skin
I was so jealous of anyone with clear, smooth, bright and unblemished skin. The young woman cashier at the Chinese restaurant we frequented had porcelain skin. She had the most luminous, poreless, perfect skin I had ever seen. She embodied the true meaning of ‘porcelain’ skin. My husband summed it up perfectly. He said “Her skin is so beautiful, it looks delicious, you just want to lick it.” I understood exactly what he meant, I felt the same thing. She had the type of skin I could only ever dream of.
How I’ve treated my skin in the past
My skin has been oily since puberty, yet very dry and flaky due to the harsh chemicals I used from the time I was a teenager. I never liked to wear face makeup because of this. So I was always struggling to cover up the acne and forever blotting my skin with napkins and paper towels. I seriously grew to dislike foundation because I could never get it to look right on my awful skin let alone stay where I put it.
One night, my freshman year of high school, I went on a zit popping spree and the next day my face was a mass of angry, inflamed red marks. I was so mad at myself and wanted to hide in the girls bathroom all day. A classmate asked what had happened to my face, I lied and told her grease from cooking meat had splattered my face and burnt it. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn a lesson from that experience, I continued to squeeze and pop, slice and stab my pimples for many more years to come.
I was determined to improve my skin no matter what.
Making my skin better
I was determined to make it better no matter the cost to my skin! I was prescribed Accutane as a teen along with antibiotics, I used birth control as acne control and then finally Proactive; all of these were very harmful to my skin and my hormone balance. And yet I still had very oily skin with regular breakouts.
When my husband and I were first dating 15 years ago I remember one time I leaned in to kiss him and missed, hitting my forehead on his glasses, immediately leaving a greasy imprint. I’ll never forget him pulling off the glasses and noting it looked like they’d been mauled with a greasy hamburger patty. I was so mortified and it just reinforced the hatred I felt for my skin but I felt helpless to do anything about it.
My recent health challenges that affected my skin
When I hit peri-menopause at 50 my face changed but not for the better.
Life can be cruel; when I hit peri-menopause at 50 my face changed but not for the better. I started getting huge cystic acne! How could this be? Was this fair? I was 50 freaking years old and having the worst acne of my life! It was incredibly depressing and all I wanted to do was hide but I had a job and couldn’t call in sick so I layered on the makeup, which felt awful and didn’t really cover anything up.
I had already decided I would not be doing HRT for my menopause symptoms but would sail through menopause using food and lifestyle as my treatment. The sailing took several years of research and trial and error to find just the right thing for my acne, hot flashes, sleeplessness, and body aches and pains.
A new skincare routine at 55
Now, at 55 I can finally say I have nice, mostly clear skin that is barely oily, in fact I even receive compliments. Women approach me and say things like “you have great skin” or ask “what do you use?”, “what is your skin care routine?”
I’m going to share with you what finally works for me, it may not be right for you but I feel confident it will help most people who have struggled as I have. The result will be naturally healthy and glowing skin that makes you feel so good you are comfortable going barefaced, no foundation at all.
My Routine for Glowing, Flawless Skin
Clear, glowing skin starts from the inside out and what you eat DOES matter. From the time I was a teenager I’d been told food has no impact on acne, well I fervently disagree. I discovered the milk protein casein is a major contributor to acne for some people along with gluten and excess sugar. I would have denied this was the cause of my acne if I hadn’t eliminated them and then watched my skin begin to clear up dramatically.
Finding the foods that cause skin problems
Finding the foods causing your skin problems is important to discovering the triggers for you. Start by eliminating common foods like dairy, gluten and sugar for two to three weeks then add back one at a time, waiting 3 days before adding another food. Take note of your skin and how it reacts to these common triggers. Dairy causes me to breakout within about 12 hours, gluten and sugar anywhere from two to three days. So be patient when looking for reactions.
Identifying the foods that trigger your problems is key to great skin.
Just as there are trigger foods causing acne there are also foods that help to eliminate it. Juicing vegetables is a great way to infuse your body with an easy to absorb source of vitamins and minerals. One of my favorite juice recipes for clear, glowing skin is carrots, beets, green apple, cucumber, fennel bulb, lemon, ginger root and turmeric root. Drink this juice every morning for three days, you will definitely see the benefits of nutrition.
Water is so important when it comes to keeping your skin looking healthy. Stay hydrated by following this formula: take your weight, divide it in half, drink that many ounces of water per day. For example: 150 lbs. ÷ 2 = 75, drink 75 ounces per day. Increase your intake if it is very hot or you are exercising strenuously.
Popping zits is a hard habit to break
Who doesn’t find satisfaction in squeezing or popping zits? I know I did but I had to break that habit and once I did I discovered my acne cleared up faster than if I had been constantly picking at it. There was also the added benefit of not creating a huge, red, inflamed, scabby zit that I had no chance of covering with makeup. I know it’s hard to break this habit, but trust me it makes a world of difference. Make your face a “no touching” zone unless you have clean hands. This will protect you from transferring acne causing dirt and bacteria to your skin.
Your skincare routine matters if you want flawless skin
How you take care of your skin is also very important, establish a routine of washing your face every morning and every night before bed. Treat it gently; I used to use very harsh and drying products on my face. All they did was make it very rough looking and did nothing to reduce my oiliness. I was stripping my skin of natural oils so my body thought it needed to produce more oil, it was a catch 22. You should keep your skin hydrated and moisturized to truly eliminate the excess oil and clogged pores.
Treat your skin gently. Keeping your skin hydrated will help you achieve glowing skin.
Fortunately I’ve had a skin washing routine since puberty but to find the right products to achieve flawless skin took a lot of trial and error. Now my skin looks the best it has since before I was a teenager. It’s not to say that I don’t ever get a pimple, I do sometimes but I can always attribute it to something I ate that I shouldn’t have. Now I feel I have control over my skin and I can love it, too.
What skincare products I use daily
The routine I follow daily, morning and night:
Wash your face AM and PM every single day. My favorite is Dead Sea Warehouse – Amazing Minerals Combination Facial Skin Soap Bar. Massage the lather into your face and neck for at least one minute, this will stimulate blood circulation and collagen production. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, not hot. I know how tempting hot water is, it melts grease right off a frying pan, but don’t do it! Finish with a rinse of cold water for 20-30 seconds. Gently pat dry, do not rub.
Apply toner with a cotton ball as this adds an extra bit of exfoliation. For a healthy, non-toxic toner mix apple cider vinegar, I like Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Add water in a 3-1 ratio. Add in essential oils of your choice; I like tea tree and lavender.
Moisturize around the eyes, my favorite is 100% Pure: Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, Gently pat around the eye area until absorbed.
Moisturizer is very important as dry, dead skin clogs your pores resulting in more acne. I use ACURE Day Cream Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% Chlorella for both morning and night as it is light. Apply to the neck and face using upward circular motions until it is absorbed, applying while your skin is still damp from the toner helps it to absorb more easily.
Additional skincare maintenance
I follow this routine 3 times per week (at night):
Wash your face and neck as you would morning and night but do not dry your face.
With a wet face apply an exfoliation scrub in gentle, upward circular motions. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is fantastic, you will see dramatic results in glow and even color tone with regular use. Massage for about 45 seconds to one minute then rinse with warm water, gently pat dry your skin.
Steam your face and neck to open the pores by soaking a clean washcloth in hot water, wring out the excess, open out the cloth and apply lightly to face and neck, holding it for about 30 seconds. Repeat 2 – 3 times.
Using a Mask to Achieve Flawless Skin
Applying a mask is very important to help draw impurities out of the pores. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing Clay combined with equal parts apple cider vinegar is the most effective mask I’ve found and it’s very reasonable priced. 1 tsp. of powder to 1 tsp. of vinegar is just the right amount for face and neck. Important! Mix in a glass bowl with a wood or plastic spoon as metals can negatively react with the minerals in the clay, creating a potential toxic effect. Allow to dry on the skin for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then wash off.
Eye cream and toner are essential parts of your skincare regimen
Apply eye cream and toner the same as your daily routine.
Before moisturizing use an oil on your face and neck, I like the Organic Restorative Face Oil from Desert Essence. It’s an extra boost of healing and moisturizing oils that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This oil can be used daily as well especially around the eyes and mouth. Finish with your daily moisturizer.
For the occasional pimple, rather than reaching for a harsh chemical try Tea Tree Essential Oil after washing in morning and night until the spot is gone. Apply a small amount directly to the pimple with a cotton swab.
I finally love my skin. You too can love the skin you’re in.
You’ll also want to take good care to protect your skin and hair while you’re at the pool. Be mindful of caring for your skin when the ozone layer is thin or depleted as well.