How I got problem-free skin
This is a brief history of my skin and its struggles. I'll also share my skin regimen so that you'll understand my experience with the black soap I recently bought. It will be in a separate post later this week.
Skin type: Sensitive skin, prone to dryness when irritated. Especially my face.
Before my teens I used mild toilet soaps, and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula on my face and body and everything was okay.
Then I started reading teen mags and got into my head that I was too grown, and that the way to perfect facial skin was to:
1. Go oil-free. Oil was said to be a huge no-no for face.
2. Do the cleanse.tone.moisturise.exfoliate-once-a-week routine with a range of products.
That was the wrongest approach for my skin type.
The long road to great skin
Ignoring that I had no skin isues I started experimenting with all sorts, including products for acne that I didn't even have. All I had were the very few, occasional pimples that were cycle-related and the size of pin pricks, but I was in my know-it-all, want-it-all teenage years.
The result of my experiments was skin that was dry, tight, with flaky patches and very uneven complexion.
I finally realized that simple is better (what an epiphany) and did a 360 back to the toilet soaps and Palmer's cocoa butter formula.
Unfortunately, my skin had been sensitized and reacted to just about anything I washed with.
It looked okay but really, my skin felt totally stripped and dry. Smiling and yawning felt like I was stretching my skin to tearing point. Medicated soaps worsened the matter. Tetmosol in particular gave me chemical burns all over my back, and shower time had me yelping with pain. The exception was Dettol skin care soap but it still dried out my face.
I thought the solution to the flaky patches was scrubbing. I tried apricot scrubs from Eden and St Ives and they made my face feel smooth initially, then raw again. The Palmer's helped a little because it was thick enough to smear and hide the flakes.
The height was when I reacted to baby soap. What?! Couldn't take it anymore.
I eventually googled (google is my best friend) and learned that for my skin, the fewer the ingredients the better.
I also learned that the squeaky clean feeling is bad for my skin. I started gravitating towards products that said 'natural', 'organic', 'botanical' and had a shorter, more familiar ingredient list. Boots Botanics was one of the best lines I ever used for my face but availability here was a problem.
Jergens Naturals saved my body skin after a body wash with too much fragrance caused a bad reaction. The Jergens Naturals lotions state the percentage of natural products contained, always over 90%. Even on days I showered and skipped lotion, my skin felt fabulous and not in the least dry. I used the Skin Renewing one.
As for washing, I prefer body washes to bars but I can't use them on my face.
I really wanted something I could use for face and body so when I found the Olay Ultra Moisturising bar with Shea Butter I was glad. It was lovely. I used it continously for a very long time, but the bar softens into mush long before it's used up so I stopped.
I also used Olay face moisturiser spf 15. I've always been particular about using moisturisers with sun protection to prevent sunburn, which = uneven complexion.
I finally came across St Ives paraben-free body washes and I fell in love.
At some point I had a thought. Why use products containing natural, organic stuff when I can go straight to the source? I went back online to look for pure, natural stuff that do the job of packaged goods.
Here's my skin regimen now.
Cleanse: I wash with honey. Yep, just pure, natural, unadulterated honey. I moisten my fingers with water, massage a small amount into my face and rinse off with water. Honey is a gentle cleanser and leaves my face feeling clean and fresh and far from stripped.
To remove makeup gently I use baby wipes.
I reacted to a couple of brands but I found Huggies and it's now my boo thang. I like all three I've tried.
Moisturise: After washing with honey at night I use one drop of whatever oil mix I have. It's coconut and olive presently but I've used other mixes and my skin loves just about any natural oil. It feels lovely, not greasy at all.
In the day I use a moisturiser with Spf 15. Right now it's Aveeno naturals and it's been good but I discovered that natural oils and butters have spf (though lower) so this is my last bottle of moisturiser. I just bought a new pressed powder with spf 30 so I really don't need it.
I hardly ever scrub or use masks but on the off chance I feel like it, a bit of granulated sugar or salt + honey or oil does the scrub job. I've used a bentonite clay mask a few times and I like that too.
For my body I've been using St Ives paraben-free washes and follow with the same oil mix.
My favourite wash is the oatmeal and shea butter, followed by the Indulgent Coconut. They are so decadent and moisturising. love 'em.
I'm sad that I have to give up the body washes ( I can't promise I'll never use them again if options are lacking).
It's the search for a replacement that led me to my recent black soap purchase. More on that in a coming post.
My skin is the best it's ever been on this very natural regimen. It's clear, moisturised and soft.
|Pics taken with natural light, no makeup or filter used|
What skin issues do you deal with and what works? Please share with me below.