Skin care is one of those things that has peaked at an exaggerated all-time-high, with rich gals buying every new and shiny product under the sun, and the poor gals buying the rip-off versions that make your skin burn and your social media platforms soar.
I won’t lie to you, I’ve dabbled in the area. I was one of those ugly, bumpy-faced teens that hid behind my hair and clumps of cheap makeup that only encouraged blocked pores.
I was a picker, scratching myself to the point of scars, before ducking back behind my home-job haircuts.
The first option was, of course, the heavy-duty acne washes that were full of chemicals, costing hundreds of dollars and saturated with television ads. They didn’t only fail me, but they made my skin dry, flaky and red, resulting in more of an ‘undead’ look than a silky-smooth babyface one.
I dropped the chemical scrubs and opted for natural remedies instead, deciding to heal myself the witchy way, (by which I of course mean plants, not animal sacrifice and/or worship of the moon).
I found a few basic natural remedies that I tried, and loved. Most of them were an example of “quick fixes,” overnight drying of overactive skin oils. They worked nicely, and I would recommend them to anyone.
However, skin care is something that is more than a serum or two once a day to make your skin perfect. I’ve found that a scrub approach works very short term.
A lifestyle change is the best way to maximise beautiful skin.
So, I put together a guide that turned my skin from that of an anxiety-driven shadow puppet to fresh, clear and sunny-side-up.
Good food is crucial. To more than just your skin. Healthy food will clear your skin, reduce blocked pores, steady your bad cravings and help you to sleep like a damn baby.
Increase foods that have healthy fats, preferably high in Vitamin E and C, if possible, as these vitamins encourage repair and protection from oxidative damage. Avocado, sweet potato, sunflower seeds and walnuts are all a good start.
Herbal teas are also a healthy alternative, reducing redness, and encouraging even skin tones.
This will seem like a misinformed solution, what with skin cancer and all, but more outdoor activity (with sunscreen of course, please wear sunscreen, kids), helped my skin to soak up necessary vitamins that helped it to clear. Swimming in salt water reduce my overactive oils, and minimised spots.
After time in the sun, I applied an aloe vera leave-in moisturiser that helped my skin to rehydrate.
As far as natural remedies, I use fresh aloe vera, straight off the plant. Aloe vera scrubs are great, but nothing is quite as effective as using this serum straight from the ground. It reduces oil, dries spots and, although smelling, tasting and looking like something straight from a swamp monster’s top shelf, works better than any face treatment I’ve ever tried.
Not only that, but it’s incredibly easy to grow and maintain in your own backyard.
Apply in the evening, two or three times a week, depending on the severity of poor skin. Leave chunks on overnight, and rinse of a morning.
Another home remedy I love is a teaspoon of bi-carb soda mixed with a teaspoon of water. I put patches on my spots overnight, and it dries them up no dramas.
Lastly, try washing your face with lukewarm water every morning to constrict blood vessels and reduce redness.
FORTH: Minimise Makeup
I’m going to get a lot of “hell-no’s”, I’m sure, but this one is a doozy. There’s nothing more deadly a cycle than bad skin=makeup=worse skin=makeup=worse skin. I’m not saying go no-makeup permanently (I’m not a monster), I’m just saying, take the opportunities to go makeup-free as much as you can. Have a day off. A weekend of Netflix and anti-social behaviours.
Tie your hair off your face and let that skin breathe! The longer you can go without putting on makeup, the better your skin will become. And, if you absolutely cannot go without, ensure that you take it off properly of a night to keep your pores clear.
So go forth, be beautiful, and take good care of yourselves! Remember, there’s no short-term choice when it comes to your physical health. These daily changes are the most reliable way to ensure a strong, long-term lifestyle results.
Skin for the two-percenters is not about chemicals and Instagram filters, and the sooner you realise it, the sooner you can make these changers for the better!