Monday, December 9, 2013

Skincare and My Secret Weapon

I had been blessed with healthy, no fuss, no drama skin for my adolescent and most of my adult life.  I turned 27 and that was not the case any longer.  My skin had changed and not for the better (even though my family begs to differ).  I quickly began a journey to better my skin and I'm still on that journey.

Acne is a skin condition that causes breaks outs.  It occurs "when tiny holes on the surface of the skin become clogged."  These holes are called pores.  These pores open to a follicle containing hair and oil glands.  The oil gland secrets oil that removes bacteria and dead cells from the surface of the skin.  If blocked, it can lead to a build up that can cause whiteheads, blackheads, or a cyst.  There are many causes for acne: hormonal changes, certain drugs or beauty products, stress, etc.  I will say that there is no research (that I have found) to support that chocolate causes acne.  Thank you Jesus! :)  Although, there is some connection between acne and a high diet in refined sugar.  There are tons and tons of interventions on the market to help heal acne.  Read this article for more information.

I recommend you be gentle with your skin.  There is no need for harsh rubbing, harsh squeezing, or harsh products.  I made the mistake of using 10% benzoyl peroxide once and boy was I sorry!  You should try to have less dairy in your diet as well.  There seem to be a connection between the two.  Read this article.  Also, if possible, use safe products for your skin.  I often use to see if certain ingredients are safe to use on my sensitive skin.  That said, some products that I have been using do not have the safest ingredients, but my skin reacts well to them.  It's all up to how your skin reacts to a product.  Even some organic products use certain ingredients that your skin may react poorly to.  I remember reading that if a product only has a few ingredients it's better than one that has a full laundry list.  Less is more.

These products are in my beauty basket right now and I use them in this order.

Why I love it:

Gentle facial cleanser with oil-free extracts from the stone crop plant to wash away impurities without drying out the skin. Ideal for those with even the most sensitive skin, this gel wash helps even skin tone and minimize the appearance of blemishes to impart a healthy-looking complexion.  This is a little pricey, but a little goes a long way.  It lasts me about 6-7 months.  I use this sometimes with my Clarisonic to exfoliate.  All Eminence products are organic. Go here to read more about them.  I have also tried their Eight Greens Whip Moisturizer.  The packaging, in my opinion, leaves room for bacteria to grow.  I only used it for a short time before the layer around the opening was filled with brown buildup.  You have to keep in mind the shelf life of organic products.

Clarisonic Mia

Why I Love it: 

I attach the brush for sensitive skin and I use it with my Stone Crop Gel Wash about once a week to exfoliate.  It helps facilitate the absorption of all the other products I use.

Why I Love It: 

Helps clear away pollution, dulling flakes for smooth, glowing skin. Helps pores look their smallest. Skin accepts moisture better. Grows more resistant to impurities. Stays healthier, younger. Dermatologist-reformulated to be comfortable, non-drying.  I've been using this product for as long as I can remember.  It may have questionable ingredients but it works for my skin and I love how it feels after using.

Why I Love It: 

It's gentle. It controls and treats acne, decongests pores, and helps prevent new blemishes and it contain tea tree oil too.  This has been my 'thank you Jesus' spot treatment!  I use it twice a day (morning and night).  

Why I Love It:

Effective. Diminishes the appearance of eye puffs, darkness, and fine lines. Lightweight, and cream/gel formula actually helps hold eye makeup in place.  

Why  I Love It:

Light, comfortable cream/gel plumps skin with hydration for a full 24 hours. It alleviates flakiness and that tight feeling when skin is dry. Oil-free. After trying and researching multiple moisturizers this seems to have hit the spot. This is my end all be all in the summer. I am still on the hunt for a winter moisturizer.

Why I Love It: 

Uniquely formulated to increase the skin’s ability to attract, hold, and distribute moisture. It penetrates deep into the stratum corneum (the skin barrier) to restore the balance of essential lipids. This helps keep the skin barrier intact so it can protect against outside irritants. CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion also forms a protective layer over the skin’s surface to help prevent moisture loss. I am currently using this as my night time moisturizer because it leaves my skin looking too oily for the day.  Dermatologists recommend this and so do I. 

Why I Love It:

Ok. You may be saying to yourself, 'Is she kidding?' Nope. I was researching on this one website (I forget the name) and all they kept talking about was calamine lotion. I thought it was crazy too, but I was desperate. So, I tried it. Thank God I did! It works wonders for my break outs! I use this as a spot treatment at night, after I put on benzoyl peroxide and moisturizer. In the morning my breakouts are significantly less. Sometimes I skip the benzoyl peroxide and moisturizer and place it directly on the break outs (only for an hour or so) after cleansing.  It has to be generic and only have calamine lotion and zinc as the main ingredients.

Think Couture
I have researched and read thousands of magazines, blogs, and books and I have sought help from friends and dermatologists. Even though these were helpful, I found something even more valuable.  This 'something' is not filled with harmful chemicals that will make you break out in a rash.  It will not make your symptoms worse before they get better.  It's pure, it will make you glow, it covers all your imperfections, and it's free! What is this miracle product that I'm speaking of?  It's God's love and grace.  He loves us even on our worst fashion, health, and beauty day.  For me, knowing this is like my little secret weapon.  It keeps me in check.  It makes me care less about what I look like on the outside and more about what's on the inside.  It's better than that lipgloss that I can't leave the house without!  Do you have a secret skincare weapon?

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