Before I introduce my holy grail products to you, I'd like to discuss the roller-coaster which is my skin. I have combination to oily skin which makes me prone to black heads, pimples, sebaceous cysts.. the whole crew basically. During my teen years I became very conscious of my skin, which was heightened by lack of self-esteem, an unfortunate side-effect to adolescence that most of us have to suffer. I was relentlessly sampling a scope of different products, none of which seemed to perform their job adequately. Eventually I resorted to concealing my hideous imperfections with concealer and loose powder, the powder unfortunately was only a very temporary relief, it would initially absorb the greasy moisture off my face, yet in return, by midday it would not only have worn away but resulted in my skin becoming even oilier. I would frequently break out and my blackheads began to invade a great portion of my face. To make matters worse, when I began to reside in the university dormitory, I was on a stable diet of carbs and dairy and processed meat. My skin immediately retaliated to this lifestyle and soon sebaceous cysts had infested the lower portion of my face and chin.
It took an awfully long time for it to dawn on me that I wasn't treating my skin as I ought to. We have a very fragile mutualistic relationship with our skin. The skin is like a mirror, it reflects our lifestyle choices.
Here are some tips that I have gathered from this tumultuous skin phase:
Do you have any intolerances or sensitivities?
Alongside my deteriorating skin, what encouraged me to take some drastic action was the frequent bloating in my abdominal region, it was painful and swollen, to the extent I thought I'd put on weight. At the beginning of this year, being a bit of a hypochondriac, I gained some insight about intolerances towards certain foods, then went on to voice my concerns to my mother (who is a doctor). I ceased eating gluten based products and sure enough my bloating stopped all together and my skin, slowly but surely became more radiant than it had been in years, many of blemishes and blackheads had reduced in number too! Intolerances and sensitivities can sometimes be overlooked because the symptoms are not always as conspicuous as an allergy may be.
Everything to a moderation
Despite the majority of pimples and blackheads haven reduced, my sebaceous cysts persisted. After some extensive reading I figured that, unsurprisingly, my dairy intake was excessive, being a Turk and all, a great portion of our diets include dairy. I found that once I had reduced my dairy consumption my cystic acne had vanished, it was like magic! Although, whenever I do go overboard with my chocomilk, the acne makes it's grand return!
Make-up can be a vicious cycle
I am utterly in awe of those who can wear make up to their hearts content yet not suffer any downsides. My personal relationship with make-up has been a very dependent one, in order to conceal my dull blemish infested skin, I took to wearing a small amount of make-up, the more frequently I wore it, the oilier and irritated my skin became. In order to compensate I would slather even more make up on until I found myself stuck in an inescapable vicious cycle. A second reason for the dependency is that one becomes so accustomed to seeing one's own features accentuated with the power of make up, that without it, you feel bare. At the start of this semester, I threw away the little make-up I had in my possession (the only thing remaining is my mascara). My skin originally had to endure a phase where it had to acclimatize to my immediate decision, it took a while however it became noticeable that my skin had restored and healed itself. In all fairness my skin has remained on the oily end of the spectrum, however nowhere near what it was formerly.
Without further ado, I would like to share both my morning and evening routine with you all. A mistake I made prior to my radical change was to only wash my face in the evening, which was far from sufficient for someone with combination skin... So here is my updated version:
1) Wipe it all off
Fellow Vintagonistas, it sounds obvious but I always make sure to remove my make up (If I had any on) before going to bed. Your skin needs an opportunity to breathe and revitalize!
2) Cleansing and using a toner
Over the course of the day your skin is exposed to pollutants and emissions and all kinds of microbes, therefore in the evening I prefer to use a cleanser with gritty, exfoliating properties to it. Thereafter I use a toner to soothe and remove any impurities that may have remained on my skin. Last but not least I use a lotion which I blend thoroughly into my skin which provides moisture after the stripping of my facial oils.
Pretty self-explanatory really, I tend to use this godsend product from Boots, which I pour onto a cotton round and dab lightly around my face. Word of caution, an excessive amount can cause the skin to become oily all over again!
4) Wakey Wakey!
In the morning I usually wake up with a thin film of grease that has accumulated over the course of the night. This time I use a cleanser that is not as harsh as my evening routine exfoliating cleanser. I opt for something along the lines of this hydrating cleansing gel and rinse it off afterwards. Following this step, I tend to dab a tiny amount of the aforementioned rose water moisturiser on my face, just enough to restore the moisture that may have been lost.
That's it really, and I'm ready to walk out the door!