Like a lot of women out there that have long kissed puberty goodbye, I still have acne-prone skin. I assumed that once I graduated from questionable fashion choices, crunchy curls, braces, and obsessing over Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in matching denim from head to toe, I would no longer need an arsenal of zit-zapping products. The horrible truth is that as I approach the big 3-0, my skin seems to be getting more congested and I break out a lot easier. Not even the full line of Clinique Acne Solutions is solving the problem. After months of facials and self-prescribing I fell into despair and ended up in the prestigious office of Dr. Brandt in Coral Gables. I was told I was over-doing it with my skin and all the acne-fighting ingredients were drying and irritating my face, causing more breakouts (not to mention my unhealthy relationship with my Clarisonic brush which was limited to every other day). I also learned that my acne was hormonal due to its location: chin and cheeks (which was completely new to me). I was put on a regimen of prescription retinol but after a couple of months of use, I wasn’t seeing the improvement I wanted. As the makeup and selfie obsessed vain freak that I am, I NEED FLAWLESS SKIN. The real bad part is that some of my acne was cystic (deep under the skin) and extremely painful. I’m probably making this sound worse than it really was (Me? Dramatic?), it honestly wasnt anything makeup couldn’t conceal. But as an adult woman who feels in control of her body, a few persistent pimples that leave red marks for what seems like forever and a T-zone clogged with gross blackheads, can really test your sanity. Plus, not needing a full face every time you leave the house is a freedom you only truly appreciate when you lose it.
I started doing some research and I made three simple changes that have turned my skin around in the last two months:
GOODBYE DAIRY: Yup. In any presentation. Goodbye ice-cream, cheese, café con leche (one in the morning), Greek yogurt and all the other delicious dairy treats that I would consume regularly. Why? Milk comes from cows that are supposed to be feeding calves. It is naturally (and artificially) packed with hormones (not to mention sugar) that can wreak havoc within your own hormones turning your skin into zit-central. Human beings are the only mammal that consume the milk of another mammal well into adulthood (think about it, it’s kinda’ gross). I completely eliminated dairy from my diet and a week later, my skin had already dramatically improved. I do cheat here and there, but I’m careful and I limit the quantity. Shout-out to my brother for this one.
GOODBYE BEAUTYBLENDER: Gasp! How could this irresistibly cute, bouncy pink sponge be the enemy? Very simple: Sponges harbor bacteria. So do brushes, but never to the extent of a sponge and a brush can be thoroughly cleaned, unlike a sponge. No matter how well you clean your beautyblender, there will always be bacteria residue that grows like an anthill inside (see my post on this here). Some of us with more sensitive skin can’t expose it to that kind of battle on a daily basis. I went back to using my trusty Make Up For Ever foundation brush and limited the use of a clean beautyblender for special occasions and only for a few uses (which sucks because it is still THE BEST foundation applicator, oh well).
GOODBYE TO MY OLD FOUNDATION: What worked for you in the past few years may not be compatible with your skin now. I know it can be hard to let go of your go-to daily foundation, especially when you’re married to the brand because you’ve been using it FOH-EVAAAH. Find the courage to break up with your foundation, do some research and test a few others from reputable brands that have good reviews . While on vacation in Colombia this past January, I ran out of my Clinique foundation and started using my Make Up For Ever High Definition foundation that I always carried as a backup. I was so surprised at how good my skin felt/looked while wearing it on a daily basis, so I just stuck with it.
So, to all you beauts dealing with this. I know how you feel. Don’t give up! Examine your eating habits, your face cleansing routine and your makeup choices. There is always something that can be tweaked that can help your skin look and feel better. I hope my tips above help! With my skin all better now, I will start recording makeup tutorials again soon (yay!)
What other simple lifestyle changes have changed your skin? I would love to learn.