Let's talk about skin.
It's the biggest organ we've got, and taking care of it often takes a back seat when we're piled with housework, a 9 to 5, kids, you name it. But what does that mean for your skin? It means breakouts. And oil, or extra dryness. It means a buildup of make-up that never got totally removed. It means you've got to nail down a routine that is simple enough to fit your busy life, and go to work.
I have combination skin, which is oily in some spots, and dry in others. My skin is also very sensitive, especially on my face. In the morning I don't need much because I clean my face most thoroughly at night just before bed, so when I hop in the shower I use a very mild soap (my favorite is Dr. Bronner's in Lavender) and lightly massage it into my face with my hands. The important thing is to be gentle with your skin, so avoid roughing it up with a scrubbing pad or rough washcloth. There are a myriad of facial cleansing utensils out there and if there is one that you love, and if it handles your beautiful face gently, feel free to use it.
My next step is to moisturize. This is HUGELY important for dry skin types and oily types alike. Your skin has (or had once upon a time) a natural balance of producing its own oil to moisturize. Some skin types produce enough, some not enough, and some too much. More often however is that through our own habits we artificially alter that balance. If your skin is dry in the morning and oily by afternoon your skin is probably overproducing oil to compensate for not enough moisture at the beginning of the day and you should use a light moisturizer that absorbs quickly. If your skin is consistently dry throughout the day you need something that helps form a barrier to prevent water loss through your skin. A heavier oil or butter will help.
I use the Happy Hippy Cleansing Oil to moisturize in the summer, and a hemp seed oil based lotion in the winter. Hemp seed oil is one of my absolute favorites since it is quickly absorbed and has reduced a lot of the redness in my face.
If I'm going to wear make-up during the day I always wait a short time after moisturizing to let the oils absorb before applying any make-up. Since I happen to be the mother of a very vocal 6 month old boy, I have a lot of things I do between getting out of the shower and putting on make-up...If I actually get that far.
2. During the Day
This is perhaps the most important step and yet it involves absolutely no hands-to-face contact. The best gift you can give your skin is plenty of water and a healthy diet. Hydrating your skin via drinking water is like moisturizing from beneath. Your cells need water to survive so sip, sip, sip, and keep on sipping.
This is when your skin is the nastiest. You've been running around all day, you're exhausted, and you can't imagine having to stay up another minute, even if it means your skin is going to suffer. But suffer it will, because leaving make-up, dirt, dust, and skin cells shed through the day on your skin WILL CAUSE BREAKOUTS. So take the 5 minutes. I promise you can clean your face in 5 minutes or less and then get tucked in. I use my Happy Hippy Cleansing Oil at night in place of a soap cleanser. I massage the oil into my skin, getting all the edges and creases where make-up and dead skin like to accumulate. Then with a hot damp towel I wipe it all off. Make sure the towel is as hot as you can stand because the heat is going to open your pores which makes it a whole lot easier to get all the dirt and grime out of them. Using a cleansing oil will not strip your skin of the natural oils it produces, which means you won't over-produce oil because your skin has been fooled by harsh soaps and chemicals into thinking it's too dry and needs more oil. It is a far more gentle method of cleansing your skin than a traditional soap. oils mix with other oils which is why this method works to clean your skin. Oils also dissolve your make-up, especially that pesky water proof mascara.
After I've cleaned my skin I moisturize just like I do in the morning and then I get a solid 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep so that I never have bags under my eyes and my skin is glowing by morning.
Ha! Did you miss when I mentioned the 6 month old baby? Yeah, he doesn't sleep through the night yet.
But real talk, quality rest, along with water and a healthy diet, is incredibly beneficial for your skin (as well as reducing stress, which is also good for your skin). So even if you're not getting that full nights sleep, you can use this trick to help your skin get through the night. Are you ready?
Change. Your. Pillowcase.
It takes less than a minute and it could make a big difference and this is why. Your skin does produce oil at night, and that oil gets on your pillow, and your pillow not only collects days and days worth of shed skin cells and excess oils but also dust when you're not using it, and any product left in your hair when you lay down? That's on your pillow too. That basically turns your pillow into a breakout producing factory. Change your pillow case VERY often.
See? That was literally one facial product, two if you count mild soap in the morning, and less than 10 minutes of actual hands-on-face contact, split between morning and night. So where do all these millions of face products come into play? Why does everyone make them? Why do I make them??
You still need them, just not every day. Your every day skincare routine should not be daunting in time or in range of products. Additional products such as clay masks or scrubs are very useful but they don't need to be used every day, mainly because such frequent use would be very irritating to your skin.
So, to all my busy ladies, keep it simple, so you can keep it up.