The acne started when I was 14. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t let up for a while. I was prone to breakouts in the most uncomfortable and irritating places on my face. The truth about my skin is that it’s complicated, demanding, and easily influenced by everything I eat, touch, and with which I interact.
When I tell you I tried everything to “cure” my skin as a teenager, you’d better believe I’m not exaggerating. Different skin care products were a start, but most of the cleansers available in your local pharmacy were way too harsh – one in particular even burned my skin and left me for days with sensitive red marks under my eyes. I never let myself get to the point of desperation where I sought out prescription pills, though certain ointments were definitely tried.
I hit my 20s and started to read more about skin. I’ll never forget the most impactful statement I read, though the source escapes me now: “The skin is the largest organ in your body. Think of it just like you would your stomach or your heart.” And then something clicked. In much the same way that your internal organs can react to the foods you eat or the environment around you, so can your skin, if not more. I started to modify what I ate and pay attention to the reactions my skin would have after eating certain foods. I found out ice cream always gave me breakouts, along with too much chocolate or fatty food. Eventually, my skin started to reflect the dietary changes I’d made.
Then, it was time to find a skin regimen that worked. Of course, the food was a huge contributing factor, but now I needed to tend to my skin and maintain it. That meant an extremely mild cleanser, like Spectro® Skin Care Combination Cleanser. It’s soap free, fragrance and dye free, and non-irritating. I sort of equate it to washing my face with water, because that’s what it feels like. It really is that gentle.
The more I read up on maintaining your skin’s health, the more I realized how important it was to not just wash it regularly but to tone it as well. That’s where Olay® Oil Minimizing Toner with Witch Hazel came in. A small splash on a cotton pad is all I need for the day.
Finally, my skin needed moisture like a horse needs to run. I needed to hydrate my skin and protect it from the sun. A modest amount of Olay® UV Moisturizing Cream SPF 15 in the morning, as the final step to my routine, and at night, before bed, keeps my skin from flaking and protects from the sun. A moisturizer with SPF eliminates the worry of forgetting to apply sunscreen on days when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
As an added bonus – usually once or twice a week – I indulge in a hydrating facial sheet mask (if you’re in Canada, Shopper’s Drug Mart sells them 3 for $5). Not to sound too “commercial,” but they really do infuse my skin with a ton of moisture and, if I’m being honest, they make my skin look a bit firmer and more plump. It’s a great way to hit your skin with a bonus infusion of moisture after a long week. Trust me, your face will thank you.
After a few months of getting my routine down, just right, it became effortless. I eagerly take care of my skin now because, suddenly, it didn’t feel like a chore anymore. I was seeing the impact a consistent and thoughtful routine had had on my skin and the difference it was making. It took a long time and a lot of tears over the way I felt my skin had failed me. Is my skin perfect? No. Is it taken care of and respected? Absolutely. Doing my part, even before my skin was noticeably clearer, was a step in the right direction, and that gave me all the confidence in the world.
What’s your skin care routine like and which products do you trust the most to get the job done?