By now you have probably come to realize that I’m a quality over quantity and less is more kind of person in all aspects of life - makeup, friends, ingredients, labels, skin care, all of it.
I prefer everything in my life to be bullshit free, like e v e r y t h I n g. I don't like toxicity of any kind and I definitely don't like to put chemicals in my body, on my body or anywhere near my body if I have any say in it so I’m happy to say that my entire skincare routine is finally completely nontoxic and clean - YAY - and honestly I think that that is a huge factor in the fact that my skin is finally getting better after a year + long journey.
MY SKIN JOURNEY..
I luckily never really suffered from acne growing up, I had the occasional breakout but it was never anything cray cray, but thanks to my hormones my skin has been a total war zone over the last year and it has been especially bad the last few months. I’m currently having one of the longest and worst acne flare ups I've ever had, I'm waking up to new breakouts every day and I would be lying to you (which I’d never do) if I told you that it didn’t weigh HEAVILY on my confidence and self esteem.
If I’m being totally real with you there was a point a few weeks ago where I didn’t even want to put makeup on (which is huge because I actually love makeup), but I didn’t want to not wear makeup because I hated how my skin looked, I basically just didn’t even want to leave my house and it was extremely hard on me mentally. I felt like it was all that anyone could see when they looked at me, I felt like it was dictating my worth and I felt defeated as f**k, and it honestly broke me down into tears multiple times.
But that was then and this is now and right now my skin is actually getting better for the first time in over a year and I'm going to share exactly what I’m doing with you, from nutrition to hydration to sleep to products. You're getting the low down on everything - so let’s get into it..
*The first & most important part of skin health is glowing from the inside out*
It’s not a secret that what you put in is what you put out, you know that saying "you are what you eat" well it could not be more true. Every cell in our body is made up of what we choose to feed it with, we literally have the power to control what we are made of (how cool is that). We should want our skin to be high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients and low in all the crap that we don't need. If you feed your body with greasy, processed foods you are going to see that on your skin, that grease will most likely show on your skin in oil, dullness and breakouts. If you want to glow and look vibrant and alive it’s important to start on the inside by feeding your body with nutritious, whole foods and fruits and veggies and include healthy fats in your diet. It's also super important to practice mindfulness when you eat and pay attention to how you feel after eating a certain food! Healthy fats are also a HUGE part of skin health, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes, they help produce the skin's natural oil barrier which keeps skin hydrated, plump, and looking youthful!
Some of my favourite skin foods are;
Whole grain oats
Along with the foods that I include for glowing skin there are also foods that I stay FAR away from for my skin health as well as my overall health, and those are;
Sugar (refined sugar, processed sugar, I even try to limit natural sugars) - extremely inflammatory and leads to breakouts by producing enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles and digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. I have a full insta post all about added sugars, you can read it HERE!
Gluten - also VERY inflammatory and causes digestive disturbances which can lead to breakouts and more inflammation.
Caffeine - causes an increase in stress hormones like cortisol which increases the amount of oil produced by your sebaceous glands, making your more prone to breakouts.
Inflammatory oils and fats - (canola oil, sunflower oil, etc) these oils are incredibly bad for our health, not just our skin, and an excess omega 6 to omega 3 ratio leads to inflammation and causes breakouts.
Skin is an organ and just like every other organ in your body it needs water to function. If you are dehydrated then your skin will not be getting the amount of water that it needs and the lack of hydration will start to show. Dehydrated skin looks dry, tight and flaky, has less elasticity and is more prone to wrinkling!
You can always tell when someone has just worked out by that post workout sweaty glow they have going on. If there was a way to make my skin could look exactly how it does after a workout all the time I would do it in a heartbeat! Exercise causes us to sweat and improves blood flow and circulation which is amazing for your skin. Our skin is the largest organ for detoxification and sweating helps move that detoxification process along by eliminating toxins. But make sure you wash your face and use a toner right after you workout to prevent breakouts!
Stress causes the release of Cortisol which triggers inflammation in the body and the skin. After a while all of the excess inflammation starts to break down the collagen in our skin which is the protein that keeps your face looking smooth, firm, moisturized and youthful. Excess cortisol also reduces hyaluronic acid production - think of this as your skins natural moisturizer - which results in dry and easily damaged skin.
If you follow me on the gram then you know that I just went through one of the hardest couple weeks of my life and you guys my stress levels were freakin’ out of control and I am definitely paying the price a little bit this week in the form of a couple mini breakouts which isn’t ideal but I knew it would happen so I’m just trying to not stress more about the breakups (its a vicious cycle) and just do what I can to reduce my stress going forward into this new chapter of my life. Stress happens to the best of us but unfortunately a lot of the time we can't really avoid the things that stress us out (work, relationships and bills I'm talking to you) but we can learn to manage our stress and reduce how it affects us. I take time to relax every day (multiple times), I meditate, I pull tarot cards, I journal and I make sure that if something starts to stress me out I just excuse myself from the situation and breathe. Honestly breathing has been the biggest game changer in reducing my stress, it sounds so simple but try incorporating some deep mindful breathing whenever you can and see how you feel. Remember that life is only as stressful as you allow it to be and you really do have the power to control how you deal with your circumstances!
Okay I’ll be totally honest, I’m a huge princess when it comes to sleep and make sure I get a MINIMUM of 7 hours of sleep every night first of all because I’ll be a total biatch if I don’t and second to obviously help with my stress levels and hormones.When we are sleep-deprived the body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol which increases inflammatory skin conditions like acne and eczema! PRO TIP: I also *try to* put my phone and laptop away at least an hour before bed in an effort to lower my cortisol even more.
Probiotics - we need probiotics to maintain our gut health, without them our microbiome becomes damaged and depleted and one of the first places that this manifests is in our skin in the form of acne and other skin issues like rosacea and eczema. It is particularly important to maintain gut health when dealing with hormonal acne because the microbiome helps process and eliminate excess estrogen. I personally take a probiotic supplement every day AND make a conscious effort to eat probiotic rich foods at least once a day
Omega 3's - think of this as nourishing and hydrating your skin from the inside out. The Omega 3 EPA reduces inflammation and alleviates irritation at a biochemical level which basically means that it gets to the root cause of aggravated skin conditions. The omega-3 fatty acids also protect the skin against sun damage, supply hydration to your skin and help with inflammation. I take a high dose liquid fish oil every day that has 1500 mg of EPA!
B Vitamins - taking a good B complex is crucial to skin health because the B vitamins provide all of the energy that our skin cells need to regenerate and renew.
Vitamin D - unless you live somewhere that is constantly sunny or you take a supplement then chances are you are not getting/synthesizing enough vitamin D. In the winter our vitamin D production drops because we aren't exposed to sunlight as often, this causes our immune system to weaken which can cause the skin barrier to break down which puts you at risk of developing a skin infection (eczema). This is why eczema sufferers usually have flare ups during the winter!
Magnesium - a lack of magnesium causes inflammation in the skin. PRO TIP: when magnesium is taken with calcium it protects skin health by lowering the amount of C-reactive proteins that cause inflammation.
Zinc - zinc deficiency is quite common especially in women. When we are deficient in zinc our immunity becomes lowered and our susceptibility to inflammation and irritation increases in both the body and the skin.
I’ve tried every product under the sun over the last 1.5 years and the products tab tI’m currently using, I’ve ben using for at least 6 weeks so I know they’re working. My full skincare routine is FINALLY entirely made up of clean beauty products and I think that switching over has been one of the things that has really helped my skin.
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm - Okay you guys this is step one in my skincare routine and it is literally one of my fav products I’ve ever used.. I’ve repurchased it 3 times now since I first started using it in January, it’s AMAZING. I use this to remove my makeup and I let it soak into my skin for like 1-3 minutes before rinsing it off.
Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Salycilic Acid Cleanser - this is the most recent thing I’ve added into my routine an it is not 100% certified “clean” but it’s formulated without ALL of the nasty stuff and the salycilic acid helps keep breakouts at bay. I use this morning (after my workout) and night after I take my makeup off.
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner - I have NEVER been a toner kind of girl but this product has really changed my skin for the better, I use it morning and night after I cleanse.
Sephora Clean Brightening Eye Cream - I’ve never really been huge into eye cream, like I used to Justus my facial moisturizer under my eyes but my best friend is a makeup artist and she basically made me get my hit together and now I’ll never go back.
Drunk Elephant TLC Glycolic Night Serum OR Sephora Clean Glycolic Peal Pads - adding in. a glycolic acid to my routine has probably been the biggest game changer for me, it helps with texture and redness, smooths everything out and really tightens your skin up. I use a glycolic every other day but the DE serum is PRICEY AF (but also worth it) and I’m not trying to break the bank rn so I’ve been switching back and forth between that and the Sephora brand peel pads.
Drunk Elephant LaLa Moisturizer - this is my OG, I’ve been using it for a year and to be honest I’ve tried to switch to other ones because it’s definitely not cheap but nothing even comes close, its definitely worth the $$. I use this every night. If you want a cheaper option the Sephora Clean Nourishing Moisturizer is pretty comparable, I used it for a few weeks!
Drunk Elephant Marula Antioxidant Oil - again I’ve tried to move away from this because it’s NOT cheap (I sense a tend here) but I view it as an investment and it’s literally the best thing ever, I use it every other on top of my moisturizer. A good cheaper option is the foursigmatic superfood serum, it’s honestly incredible and very reasonably priced.
Sephora Clean Vitamin C & E Serum - I used to use the Drunk Elephant one but I recently ran out and thought I’d give this one a try and so far so good! I use this every morning after I have cleansed and toned.
Sephora Clean Hydrating Serum - I use this in the morning after the Vitamin C serum, it’s super hydrating but light weight so it’s good for under makeup!
Cocokind Matcha Stick - this literally saves my eczema flare ups and is amazing for moisturizing your under eyes and lips which if you know me you know I L O V E a moisturized lip like ooh baby.
I’m only sharing my skin makeup because it’s obviously the most important, if you have questions about which eye products I use you can message me on insta!
Josie Maran Tinted SPF 47 - this stuff is AMAZING, I’ve been using it for over a year and I love it sooo much. It’s tinted so you can wear it on it’s own in the summer or under makeup, it’s kind of sticky too so makeup sticks to it and it makes you look flawless it’s the best.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer - this has been my GO TO tinted moisturizer for the last 3 years and it is THE BEST, it has really nice, glowy, sheer coverage and doesn't clog my pores.
RMS Concealer - I just reordered my second one of these, soo good!
Milk Makeup Cream Stick Matte Bronzer - I love a bronzey glow so I’m a very big bronzer gal!
Milk Makeup Highlighter Stick - I am OBSESSED with highlighter, like I want to be so highlighted that I look wet okay haha i’m all about the dewy glow.
I should note that as always these are things that have worked for me and my skin and might not work for you. Healthy skin starts with a good diet, lots of water, sleep and a happy and (mostly) stress free life so before you run out and buy a bunch of products or supplements try to get those things working for you first!