Oh boy...where to start here. I've been talking a lot recently about my trials and tribulations to get my period back. The only downside of my hormones finally starting to regulate?...hormonal acne. I literally feel like I'm 15, except that when I was 15 I didn't have acne.
I have a very regimented skincare routine, as any wellness freak virgo who's worked in clean beauty would have. Pair that with the fact that I'm dairy, gluten, and corn-free, both me and my favorite esthetician in the whole world are stumped. It only leads me to believe that I'm lucky. Imagine what my skin would look like if I didn't already have that solid foundation in place? It would most literally be a literally mess.
I realize I'm not the only person who struggles with this and I also realize my situation may not be so awful, but coming from someone who is used to having clean skin, it feels pretty awful. However, just like everything life hands me, I want to make it something beautiful and helpful. So here come my tips!
- Regular facials are worth it. Not only do they make you feel like a goddess, but getting regular extractions works a little like getting your teeth cleaned. The tartar (or in this case build up // pollution in your pores) is bound to grow no matter how well you brush (or wash your face) so a quick visit every few months is necessary. When I'm going through worse skin times I try to up my facials to once every month, otherwise I try to go seasonally. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I see Lizzy at Dermaplus in SF. She is a skin savior!!
- Go back to basics. If you've tried a bunch of new beauty products lately, scale them back. Only use your foundation products (and I don't mean literal foundation) that you know work for you historically. If this means getting rid of some new clean beauty and reincorporating a face wash you're not sure in 100% non-toxic, honestly, that's not the worst thing in the world. Think of your toxic load like a cup. The goal is to not have it overflow. If you reincorporate a face wash that you're not sure about, pay extra attention to the food you're consuming in the meantime. By lowering toxic intake in another area, you can help balance things out -- no one's perfect, but we can all certainly try our best. My "basic" products (not so shockingly are almost all Dermaplus) include: Dermaplus benzoyl peroxide face wash, Rhonda Allison Toner (I like both the fruit acid and the green tea one), Dermaplus hydrator, Tizo sunscreen, and Maya Chia eye serum, and Dermaplus benzoyl spot treatment -- all with the occasional clarifying mask in the mix. Since I've begun using a retinol cream most nights, I'm playing with incorporating some not-as-drying washes and toners, so stay tuned there.
- Introduce a glycolic acid! Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate and remove the outermost layer of the skin. This will leave your skin glowing a bit brighter. The bonus? It's also great for scar treatment, skin discoloration (acne scars I'm talking to you), and wrinkles! I like to use Sonage glycolic pads every evening (post toner, pre moisturizer) that I'm not using a retinol cream.
- Retinol is a game changer. Don't be put off by the fact that you can't spend time in the sun when using it (your face should never be exposed to the sun anyways, us skin crazy people striving for eternal youth, we're like vampires LOL) and the fact that it may also put a serious dent in your credit card bill. I've been using a retinol cream I got from the medspa half of Dermaplus (the local spa I frequent if you haven't picked up on that yet) and I could not be happier with the results. Warning, it's a little drying, so up the moisture internally and externally throughout the day. That being said, my breakouts have reduced significantly and it's also doing work on those fine lines, too.
- Supplements! While I come from the school of thought that most nutrients should come from the diet, that's not always possible. B-complex vitamins growing up significantly helped support the "bumpies" I used to get on my forehead. For me currently, liver support is key as I suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Liver breakouts show up on the space between the nose and cheeks. I take milk thistle and NAC daily for this as well as use Ayurvedic herbs and teas that support this important organ. Lastly, I've started to also incorporate an evening primrose caplet in my routine once a day. While I wish I could say it's made all the difference, I'm honestly not sure, though I will keep it up for another month or so, these things take time!
Above all, try not to stress! I know when you have a breakout it's literally all you can think about, but I promise no one else is. They're either concerned with their own breakout or something else going on in their life that's 100x more important, so don't isolate yourself! Also, forgo the makeup every once in a while, and live in your own skin. Confidence and inner beauty will shine through.