I recently read somewhere that summertime can be rough on the skin because of heat, humidity, sun, and dryness. My first thought was, as opposed to the very easy season of winter, when I peel like an onion?! Basically, no matter what time of year, you have to actively take care of your skin. This is one of my daily struggles, because my skin loves to misbehave. Ever since high school, I’ve had to deal with blackheads, whiteheads and even occasional cystic acne. My biggest problem with acne is that it really messes with my self-esteem. On a day when my skin is anything less than flawless (which is basically every day) I immediately feel like the day is off to a bad start, before it has even begun. Then I do my best to cover the problem areas with makeup, but usually it doesn’t feel sufficient, with the added bonus that I am now wearing a lot of makeup, even though I like to be as natural as possible. So then I leave the house and venture into the world with my pizza-face, feeling like everyone is staring at every tiny blemish on my face, even though they probably aren’t. My physical state is wreaking havoc on my mental state. Basically, its just the worst.
The most frustrating part? I take care of my skin. I am hyper-vigilant and knowledgeable. It isn’t like I’m one of those girls who sleeps with her makeup on and never cleanses their skin. I wear sunscreen every day (30+) and I always try to use makeup that reviewers say won’t break me out. Not to mention, medically, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. I actually remember the appointment when my doctor told me that I’d had about twenty topical and oral prescriptions and that there wasn’t really anything else to do but try Accutane. Accutane is the equivalent of dropping the nuclear bombs on Japan in WWII. It is intense. I had to get blood tests every month, stay out of the sun as much as possible, and stop drinking alcohol. Considering I hate needles, love the beach, and am a college student and all-around social girl, these were big changes for me, but I was willing to do it in the name of the promised Holy Grail of clear, glowing skin. And it worked – kind of. First, my face peeled like crazy, but then, I saw so much improvement. I was on Accutane for about four months, until my body started reacting so badly to it. For about a week, I was a total zombie. I was nauseated and sleepy; I could barely get out of bed. Obviously, my mom freaked out, called the dermatologist and dragged me to a million doctors appointments. I cried from exhaustion just having to get from my bed into the car. So scary. So that was the end of the hard drugs for me! And back to trying everything to get clear skin without killing myself. I read every beauty website I can, try natural remedies, and basically am just doing everything I can!
Here are a couple of my mainstay products:
- Simple Cleansing Micellar Water – I read about micellar water a while back in an article about French beauty, but it was kind of pricey to get it here in the US at the time. So when I saw that one of my favorite brands, Simple, had this new product, I was excited to give it a try. I actually pour a bunch into my face wipes package so they will all be extra moist, and it makes my skin feel so much cleaner! One of my favorite beauty sites Byrdie just featured it as well!
- Boscia Bronzing B.B. Cream – okay, guys, I am freaking out, because this is my last tube of this now-discontinued product. I have been mixing this bronze version of Boscia’s BB cream into my moisturizer for a few years now, and it gives such a nice glow. I welcome any suggestions for a new product like this, because I am running out and can’t find it anywhere…
- Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes – I used to use other wipes for the initial phase of makeup removal, until I read that these were wetter, and capable of getting off more makeup at once. After literally one wipe, I was hooked; I buy probably four packs of these at once just so that I never run out! Like I said before, these plus micellar water = very clean face. So clean that sometimes I don’t go into the bathroom and wash my face afterwards. How French of me!
- Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads – Before even my Aveeno/Micellar combo, I take off my eye makeup. I don’t usually wear eyeliner, even less eyeshadow, but I almost never leave the house without mascara. I have blonde eyelashes, and people always ask me if I’m sick when I go completely barefaced. I layer on as much mascara as possible before it clumps, so I need heavy-duty stuff to get it off at the end of the night. Cue Almay…
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel – Through more of my frequent beauty/skincare reading, I learned about this new line by the skincare empire. I rushed out and went to three different Walgreen’s and CVS’ before finally finding one that hadn’t sold out. This stuff is gold! Moisturizing but not heavy, this moisturizer leaves you glowing but not shiny. I used the heavier version, the Gel Cream in the winter, but the Water Gel is perfect for summer skin.
- Tretinoin Cream – this stuff was prescribed by my doctor a long time ago, and I use it on and off. Maybe if I was more constant about it, it would have better results, but I have a hard time getting past the skin-peeling phase.
- Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – I love Mario Badescu‘s products. I have been using the masks and lotions for years, so when I read the incredible reviews for this on Amazon, I thought I’d give it a try. For the particularly nasty cystic pimples, this stuff calms them down, and its strong!
That’s all for now. Put your best face forward! XX, Gabrielle