What do so many of the most popular beauty gurus on YouTube and Instagram have in common? Perfect skin. At least it seems that way. You may have heard that the secret to a flawless makeup application is flawless skin, but this is discouraging for people like me, who have struggled with acne, oil, and hyperpigmentation for years. That’s why I appreciate influencers like Raye Boyce (ItsMyRayeRaye) and Monica Veloz (Monica Style Muse), who are very honest about their skincare struggles.
Through much searching, I have finally reached a point of pride with my skin, so much so that I rarely wear makeup, whereas, a few months ago, leaving the house without foundation used to be an unthinkable act. I am big on natural hair and skincare routines, so I am going to share some of the key recipes that have transformed my skin so that you can find the regimen that’s perfect for you.
Step 1: Cleansing
This step is extremely important, especially if you wear makeup often, have troubled skin, or both. I highly recommend trying a spin brush, mine is from Conair, with your favorite cleanser for regular exfoliation. Though I’m a firm believer in “no pain, no gain,” please don’t apply this to your skin! Facial tissue is sensitive and can be easily damaged by over-exfoliation and harsh products.
Also be sure to keep your spin brush clean if you get one, otherwise any dirt or bacteria that collects on it will be driven right into your skin. In addition to regular exfoliation and cleansing, masks can be helpful when you need a more intense facial. I recommend bentonite clay, particularly the Health & Beauty Aztec Secret brand. Make sure to make the max with a source of acid such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. The proportions depend on how much of the mask you are making, and guides for mixing it can be easily found across the internet.
Step 2: Toning
I’m not sure that everyone tones, but doing so has yielded great benefits for me. For a long time, I used diluted apple cider vinegar, and it helped control my oil and reduce breakouts. It has a wide range of potencies, including killing bacteria, balancing skin pH, shrinking pores, evening skin tone, and dissolving dead skin cells. There’s no telling how many of those you will experience yourself, but I think it’s definitely worth a try—if you can stand the smell. Make sure not to get it in your eyes, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward!
Step 3: Moisturizing
One mistake I used to make when caring for my skin is assuming that having oily skin meant that I needed to do everything possible to dry it out. This was a horrible misconception because stripping your skin of oils just makes it produce even more! I love to use oil to soften my skin, regenerate cells after exfoliation and toning, and treat acne. Oil to treat acne? Isn’t oil what causes acne?
Yes, I know it sounds counterintuitive, but different oils serve different purposes. I use sweet almond oil to moisturize, but I use essential oils, namely tea tree, and lavender to spot treat breakouts. Essential oils can be very stringent, so I use small amounts, and the sweet almond acts as a carrier oil. Precautions must be taken with these as well: avoid your eyes when applying—even the aroma can make your eyes water—and wash your hands thoroughly after use.
I hope that this article gives you insight into some new options for your skin. Before trying anything, it is great to do your research to understand the biochemical properties of these methods, especially if your skin is sensitive or you have severe acne. Look into options for dermatology consultations if possible. This could be something to invest your allowance in if it is important to you. If you are in an area that has CVS, the MinuteClinic at some locations offers dermatology information, evaluation, and treatment. It may not be easy, but I hope you keep the strength to find products and services that suit your needs. Best wishes for your skincare journey!