Healthy skin takes a lot of work. Here are a few things that I've learned by using a wide variety of products as well as reading articles on health and beauty.
These tips have worked for me to clear up my periodical flare-ups, and they may work for you too (:
This blog post is for people with:
- sensitive skin
- rosacea skin
- irritated skin
Fragrance-free, alcohol-free products are the best for your skin.Fragrance/parfum is an ingredient in cosmetics that are known skin irritants. There are those lucky people whose skin can tolerate harsh ingredients, but for most of us it's best to avoid these irritants. Alcohols like ethyl alcohol, ethanol, methanol, isopropyl, and benzyl alcohol are harsh, drying, and irritating as well. Unfortunately there are also "good" alcohols which provide moisture to the skin, like stearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and lanolin alcohol, which may be confusing. Also, man-made lanolin may cause acne while natural lanolin is moisturizing and non-comedogenic (i.e. will not cause acne). Fortunately, you can check this webpage to see if the ingredients in your products are skin irritants and/or comedogenic.
Exfoliation is good. Masks are good too. But only once in a while.
I know I've panned exfoliation as being the worst thing you can do to your skin besides taking a porcupine and running it up and down your cheeks, but I realize now... I was using exfoliating cleansers that contained ingredients like alcohol, salicylic acid, ground walnut shells, fragrance, dyes, and even more skin-irritating stuff.
I switched over to The Body Shop's Aloe Gentle Exfoliator, using it 2 times a week, and my skin always feels smooth and supple afterwards. The entire Aloe line at TBS is designed for sensitive skin, being fragrance-free and with ingredients that are not irritating.
I'm alternating between The Body Shop's Aloe Protective Restoring Mask (which is like a leave-in moisturizer) and The Body Shop's Tea Tree Face Mask, and apply either one every 3rd day depending on how my skin is feeling.
Remove all your makeup before bed.
Moisturize. A lot.
Dry, flaky skin is not a good look, but this may happen to people with acne or rosacea skin using topical treatments (such as benzyl peroxide which is super drying to skin). Moisturized skin provides a natural barrier to toxins and environmental stressors, and becomes a smooth canvas for makeup. Follow up with a preferably fragrance-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer every time you wash your face.
Right now I'm using Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I bought a 4.2 oz bottle for about $40 at Sephora and have been using it for the past month. This is by far the most expensive and beneficial moisturizer I've ever used. My skin has been clearing up and the rosacea papules on my cheeks have cleared up altogether. My jawline and chin are still a bit bumpy, but it's probably hormonal and not cosmetically-induced.
I use 1-2 pumps every morning and every night. On some nights I double up on moisture and dab some Josie Maran argan oil on drier areas, such as around my lips, my chin, and on the sides of my forehead. I got this 0.5 oz bottle for free because I had enough beauty points :P
Remove all your makeup before bed.
Even the best makeup-removing cleanser/toner/milk/oil may not get everything, especially if you wear full-coverage foundation to cover up acne, acne marks, rosacea flare-ups, scars, etc. I always wash or wipe most of my makeup off, and then use my facial cleanser TWICE to make sure all my makeup is off my face. Leaving even the smallest trace of makeup on can clog your pores, cause breakouts and skin irritation, and... ruin your pillow cases.
Again, using a fragrance-free, non-irritating makeup remover will be most beneficial for your skin.
Drink water. Take vitamins. Eat fruits and veggies.
A healthy lifestyle will contribute to healthy skin!
Mineral foundation is less irritating to skin.
Applying mineral foundation with a fluffy brush means less tugging at the skin. And mineral foundation leaves out the bad stuff: preservatives, parabens, oil, dyes, and fragrance, which is perfect for sensitive, acne-prone, or rosacea skin.
I love the application and finish of mineral foundation myself. It looks a lot more natural than liquid foundation, and it's less heavy. I feel like my skin can breathe.
My go-to mineral powder is Physician's Formula Talc-Free. It's in almost every drugstore, Superstore, Walmart and not expensive at all. I threw out the ineffective, scratchy brush and use an Ecotools Bamboo Powder Brush to apply.
Keep your hands clean, and away from your face.
Picking, touching, or even leaning your chin on your hands may cause irritation! Not to mention the bacteria living underneath your fingernails. Yuck. Just... don't. I keep a journal and motivate myself not to touch my skin ever by writing entries! And if I feel like my hands are wandering onto my face, I keep busy with my phone, writing, or picking up a book.
Hope this helps! Clear, healthy, beautiful skin is within our reach. We'll get there, lovelies.