Thursday, February 28, 2013

what are your skincare secrets?

This 32-year-old is so tired of having the skin of a 15-year-old.

PJ's giveaway this week, which is all about "everyday essentials," got me thinking about my own skincare routine and the products I regularly use. Since last summer, I've been slowly switching over to using more "natural" makeup and haircare items that are free from parabens, phthalates, and other icky stuff. I've tried a bunch of different product lines from drugstore to salon-only finds and have finally discovered some from Kiss My Face and Neutrogena Naturals that make me feel like my hair and skin are still getting as clean as they did with "regular" soaps and shampoos (I love the smell of the Big Body volumizing shampoo!). And I've wholeheartedly embraced Tarte's makeup line (I'm excited to try their new BB cream when I have a little extra cash to throw around!).

But even with all of these great natural products, I'm still struggling with breakouts. As a teenager, I always figured my skin would clear up when I was an adult - it was one of the ways I helped myself get through the anguish of it all. So, what gives?

Tell me: what are your clear skin secrets? Drinking a certain amount of water? Dietary restrictions? Cleaning routine? I'd especially like to know if you're someone who has struggled with skin woes in the past, though if you've always had perfectly glowing, blemish-free skin I won't count your advice out. :)

p.s. You can check out my own "everyday essentials" list - and Emily also has an ongoing series about beauty products on her blog!


  1. I have found that, for me, less is more when it comes to skin care. I have always had fairly easy to care for skin, though. I had pimples here and there as a teen, and get the odd blemish once in a very long while even now, but nothing major. I typically wash my face only at night, and use regular Dr. Bronner's soap. I moisturize with either coconut or almond oil, add a little mineral-based makeup, and call it good. There is one line of products I love, but don't buy because of the price tag, and that's Naturopathica. Their stuff is amazing. I only ever tried it because my gorgeous, salon loving sister bought me some as a birthday gift. I've been thinking about spoiling myself and getting some more, though!

  2. thanks for the link love!

    have you tried a clarisonic facial brush yet? i've used my mom's a couple of times and love it and she swears by it (as does the rest of the blogosphere it seems). next week i'll be doing my deep cleaning facial post but i would suggest luvalla, an organic and gentle milk cleanser. and also the african black soap w shea -- moisturizing and geared toward acne prone skin.

  3. "As a teenager, I always figured my skin would clear up when I was an adult"

    This was exactly me too. And I think it only got worse after Darwin weaned for some reason. I have tried everything include going on the birth control pill and nothing has helped! I finally ditched all the products and tried washing my face with nothing but water and coconut oil and oh what a difference! I'm about two weeks into the new routine and my skin is so much better. I've been thinking about adding some oatmeal or baking soda once in a while but so far it's just been the water and CO.

  4. After I had Avery I developed a serious allergy to pretty much all lotions and soaps (also, a severe allergy to all weird!). Anyway, I started trying different organic products and settled on Keys products (clean, green, vegan, gluten free, chemical free). They are AMAZING! I use the Island Foaming Facial Cleanser, the Luminos Facial Moisturizer, the Tortuga Hand and Body Moisturizer, and the Solar RX Sunscreen. ALL AMAZING. My brother got sunburned at the beach last summer and I gave him some of the moisturizer and the next day the sun burn was gone. I also gave some to my sister-in-law for her eczema and it cleared it up! I swear by the stuff. It's a little spendy, but not bad. I also use the Eye Butter for under eye wrinkles, and the lady at the health store said that it also makes an amazing lip balm. Anyway, here is the link to their online store:

    Also, for regular shower soap I use Sappo Hill's organic oatmeal soap. Avery uses it too. I also wash my makeup off with it sometimes, and it's really gentle on my face. And it smells like oatmeal cookies! : ) Here's the link:

  5. I recently started washing my face using oil, which seemed counterintuitive since my skin is naturally super oily, but it makes sense that it is oily because of bacteria and not oil. So I use part olive, part castor, and part vitamin E oil, apply it on my face, then steam it with a washcloth. I have to admit that I've never been super great at taking off my makeup at night which has no doubt caused my skin some grief. As a teen, I had AWFUL acne, which has significantly cleared up as I've aged, though I feel like my pores are craters :-/

  6. I didn't actually develop bad skin as an adult. I have settled into a routine of splashing my face with water in the morning so that I don't dry it by washing it twice a day. In the winter, I use a Neutrogena lotion for sensitive skin, and some Lancome cream just at the corners of my eyes and mouth. At night, I use Olay sensitive skin face cloths so I am essentially using a new washcloth every day. Then, and this really made a HUGE difference, Peter Thomas Roth gentle cleansing pads.

    But of course, I always have concealer and powder for the bad days.

    1. Sigh. This is Julie from book club, by the way.

  7. ahhh, i feel your pain. and was just planning on elaborating a bit more in a future post about this. i wrote a post about it sometime last year.

    i use oil cleansing as well. it's basically the same as what Julisuz said above. olive oil and castor oil but i have not tried the vitamin e with it. rub it on, get a wash cloth real hot, throw it over your face for a few minutes and let it steam then just wipe your face gently and thats it! and it's great because you don't need to use a moisturizer because it does that for you as well. i also use coconut oil for everything and especially as body "lotion" and ive read using the same method as above with coconut oil works great too so i think i'm going to try that. if you do try it, i'd give your face some time to acclimate to it. maybe 2 weeks? overall i love oil cleansing. my skin in much more clear and glowing. best beauty decision thus far. one other thing i use - breastmilk:) i know not everything has that readily available but if i do get a pimple i wipe some of that on there and let it dry and BOOM! no more pimple!

    good luck! let me know if you find anything even better!

  8. I know it's so "not green" at all, but I love the Wexler skin care line from Bath and Body Works. It's not super cheap, but it's worth it to me. I've always been pretty fortunate to have mostly clear skin all the time, but I haven't had a single blemish in months since I switched to that line!

  9. When I couldn't afford benzaclin anymore, I bought the face wash, benzoyl peroxide, and moisturizer from and it's kept my skin pretty clear ever since. It's a good price too.