Every single day our skin is exposed to so many elements- light, dirt, heat, oil, water, dry air, and even chemicals! Over time our skin can really get worn out and take a beating, it has to stretch and shrink with our body changes, heal itself as it gets injured, expel toxins on its own, and withstand all of the elements it is put through. No wonder we get wrinkles as we age, pimples when we are stressed, and a number of various scars, marks, and imperfections as we go through life!
That of course, does not make it any less frustrating to see any of these marks! Here are some of my favorite remedies and tricks for keeping my skin healthy, happy, and glowing in the face of all it does!
Since acne is such a huge battle for me, I have to fight it with a triple headed monster!
The first thing I use is my regular skin care routine. I know a lot of people like to use the fancy, expensive skin care regimens (and I know there are some marvelous ones!) but let’s face it—I am POOR and can’t afford to spend 200 bucks on face wash. So I have a better alternative (and better for my wallet!) . I really LOVE the Clean and Clear skin care line. I use the Morning Burst facial cleanser every morning, and the 3 in 1 exfoliating cleanser every night, followed by their Essentials moisturizer.
Washing twice a day helps keep your skin clear of oils, dirts, and toxins that can build up and cause acne, so especially if you are prone to acne, wash TWICE PER DAY!!
My second tool to battle acne is a Once Per Week deep-cleansing mask. My favorite is the charcoal mud mask from Origins! I usually purchase this at Sephora, but you can usually find it anywhere that sells Origins products.
The third thing I use to fight acne is a supplement called Zinc for acne. It is fantastic! One of these a day and within a week your skin will clear up, and it helps control future breakouts! Plus it is all natural and super cheap! I just buy mine from the nutrition store.
Sometimes you just get one massive pimple, at the worst possible time! (Ah-hem, my wedding day anyone? Or that one time I had an important job interview? Not good!) If I notice a large bump forming under my skin the first thing I do is slather it with Neosporin- Yes, Neosporin! Usually after two days of this the bump will disappear. If it has turned into a full on, nasty zit however, it is time to bring out the big guns! Washing with a product that has Benzoyl Peroxide in it will help dry it out, and using a spot remover pimple treatment work the fastest for me. I really love the ultra vanishing cream from Clearasil!
Unfortunately, there really is not a whole lot you can do to prevent stretch marks. The elasticity of your skin is based on your genetics, some have more elastic skin than others. I unfortunately, have NO elastic in my skin, so with every pound I ever gain I get marks and with my baby I pretty much looked like Freddy Kruger got a hold of me. Some things that DO help include keeping the skin moisturized (for this I love Palmers stretch mark cream) and decrease the visibility of marks with scar reducing creams. I really like Mederma, although Neosporin actually helps quite a bit over time. I also used an itWorks skinny wrap and found that the stretch marks faded DRASTICALLY! I was extremely impressed with that! (no I didn’t lose weight like some of them promise, but the treatment of my stretch marks was phenomenal!)
A few ways to tackle cellulite- from the inside and out! First- toning muscles! This is a slower process, but it is much more permanent than any topical cream that can be applied. Toning muscle can help lose fat in the area and hold in the area much tighter, decreasing the amount of dimples and cellulite that are visible. Second- skin firming cream! I have had success with this Nivea serum after just a week of use!
I actually have dry skin, so this isn’t something I deal with regularly. Every now and then however, I have a day where I just look greasy and shiny and can’t get rid of it! If you are prone to oily skin, use an astringent in your face wash routine. This will help dry out your skin and decrease the oil production your skin is making. It may also help you to choose a face wash that is oil free.
I also carry around oil absorbing wipes in my purse. If your nose starts looking a little shiny, just pull one out and swipe it over your face- it removes the oil and gets rid of the shine, but leaves your makeup perfectly intact! GREATEST INVENTION SINCE TAMPONS, LADIES!! I really love these ones by Clean and Clear.
First of all, none of you have ever had to deal with this one because you are all very diligent with applying sunscreen, right?! Ha. If only that were true. I admit, I am guilty, too. Of course the best treatment is to prevent it all together with sunblock that contains at least SPF15 (I use SPF30 because I am so fair-skinned) Once you have the burn though, there are some steps you can take to help relieve the pain, avoid peeling, and repair the damaged skin.
First step- REMOVE THE HEAT! Using rags soaked in cold water or an ice pack and applying it to as much of the burn as possible will actually DRAW the heat OUT from your skin. It sounds crazy, but it really does work and it actually helps repair your skin! Also, make sure you do NOT apply any lotions, Vaseline, or other oil based products to your skin that is burned because it locks the heat in, continuing to burn your skin long after you are out of the sun.
Second- TREAT THE BURN. Gels made with natural Aloe Vera work the best for cooling the burn and soothing the pain. My favorite product for treating sun burn is a spray called Solar Recovery. It is AMAZING. It is made of all natural ingredients and sprays on in a moisturizing mist that makes your skin seriously feel like heaven! And it smells soooo good!
Razor burn can be extremely painful and cause other skin problems like pimples, ingrown hairs, dryness, and even in some cases infection.
To prevent razor burn make sure you are using a sharp razor and that you are taking your time to be careful as you use it on your skin. A dull razor is more likely to cause razor burn and if you hurry through shaving, you are more likely to drag the razor carelessly and cause bumps and cuts.
Make sure to shave with the grain, rather than against it. Many shave against it to try and get a closer shave, but really all this does is irritate the skin and hair follicles as they are being shaved, causing bumps and ingrown hairs. Shaving with the direction your hair is growing is more natural on the skin and less likely to be irritated.
Use a proper moisturizer to lather your skin before shaving! I used to strictly dry shave for years and I ALWAYS had bumps and cuts and razorburn. I never realized it was because I wasn’t properly moisturizing my skin first by soaping up! A foaming cream usually does the best job.
Dry Skin and Eczema
I have always struggled with dry, itchy, peeling skin. I have two go-to lotions that are my favorite for moisturizing my skin, and I try to put them on after every time I get out of the shower and every night before I go to bed. I really love Aveeno daily moisturizer. The other one I love is Johnson’s baby lotion. Yes, baby lotion. Don’t judge. It is designed for baby skin which can be very sensitive, and it leaves your skin super silky. Plus it smells fantastic!
During the winter my skin gets extra dry and itchy, so for this I use Curel anti-itch lotion. It is extremely moisturizing and helps prevent me from scratching!
Don’t do this. Ever. I am guilty of loving to look tan, but the way to do it is not by exposing your body to harmful UV rays! Instead, opt for a bronzing cream or getting a good spray. I actually really like Jergens tanner- I just do one shade darker and it looks great, and is basically streak free! If you shower once afterward it smooths out any streaks you might have had and leaves your skin looking sunkissed and perfect!
Overall Skin Health
The BEST thing you can do for your skin in general is to put healthy stuff into your body. If you put healthy in, you get healthy out! Drinking lots of water, instead of sugary drinks, helps clear your pores and keep your body clear of toxins. Eating lots of sugary and salty things encourages skin irritation, clogged pores, and acne, so avoid things that are processed and opt for natural foods like raw veggies, citrus and other fruits, and again, more water!
There is TONS of advice on skincare out there, these are just the things that have worked best for me and have gotten me a lot of compliments on how healthy my skin always looks! Plus they are all economical- and I do love a good bargain!