I know what you’re thinking: GROSS, Lauren! But just hear me out…
A month ago, I opened up about my struggles with cystic acne. A couple weeks ago, I had a breakout so bad that I almost didn’t go to my friend’s Arbonne party because I was not ready to be seen without makeup. I avoided talking to someone I hadn’t seen in close to a year last week because I didn’t want them to be like “omg what happened to you?”
So, again, I decided enough was enough. I reached out to members of a group I belong to on Facebook, Cakeface Anonymous, for advice. Girls have each others’ backs when it comes to skin concerns, so a total army of beauties (none of which I know personally) were giving me suggestions. Multiple times, the quality of my water got brought up.
Water. The stuff that turned my hair into straw after moving into my apartment in 2015, causing me to get a Culligan shower head filter to filter sulfur odor, chlorine, and scale from my water (my hair’s good now, thanks!). Water. The stuff in which I was washing my face and wondering why nothing was getting any better. It all made sense.
A few years ago, or maybe it was just last year, I read a ton of articles about women who began cleansing their face with only micellar water. Seriously, just Google “wash face with micellar water” and you’ll see for yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with micellar water, first of all, shame on you, but it is a liquid made up of oil spheres (called micelles) suspended in SOFT WATER. I had actually cleansed my face using just micellar water in the past, but I can’t remember if it was last summer when my skin was #flawless, or before that, nor can I remember why I stopped.
Yeah, I know that WATER might seem like an unlikely player in this dumb acne game. But let me show you makeup-free proof. Also- I PROMISE this is the same side of my face lol. The one on the left was taken on Snapchat and the one on the right was taken with my phone’s camera.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel in my skin. Below is a picture I took yesterday (it was SUPPOSED to be a nice picture but Daisy was clearly not having it) and I have only BB cream, just one concealer, and powder on my skin. That’s it. No heavy foundation. No green color-corrector. No multiple concealers. If you’re interested in seeing my new skincare routine, scroll down.
If you’re still struggling, your solution might be as simple as checking your water. Just try it.
My new skincare routine! I truly have it down to a science:
1. Cleanse with Burt’s Bees Micellar Water. I soak a few cotton rounds in it and remove all traces of makeup. I chose this micellar water over any others I could have bought because it is free of parabens, fragrances, phthalates, or petroleum by-products. No added crap. I let my face dry for a few minutes, then I move to step 2.
2. At night only: Swipe an Arbonne Intelligence Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pad across areas that need “resurfacing” – like my cheeks, because that’s where my acne got particularly bad and my skin is a super uneven texture. This step is optional, but I have always– always– had a problem with the red and dark marks left behind by the occasional zit, and these pads help accelerate skin healing using botanical ingredients. They come at a hefty price tag but if you do your research, you might find that they are as worth it as I did. (Full disclosure: the link I included goes directly to my personal Arbonne Consultant’s page, so she will receive commission if you purchase through that link. If you have a friend or family member who is an Arbonne Consultant, then you should absolutely purchase through them!)
3. Press Young Living ART Intensive Renewal Serum ($101.32 retail, $77.00 wholesale– if you’re interested in purchasing, let me know and I’ll hook you up with a discount) into my skin once dry. Young Living has more than just essential oils, and to be honest, I use their other products much more than I use oils these days. I love their ART skincare line, which stands for Age Refining Technology. The Serum is unique because it contains Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils (gifts to baby Jesus, anyone?) which are fantastic for skin support. Last summer, I was using straight up Frankincense as a toner and I’ve never had such glowy skin. In addition, it is made with orchid petals. Some people skip serums, but there are so many benefits that I don’t want to. This serum hydrates and helps to keep you looking young! I let it soak into my skin and then move on to the next step.
4. At night only: my dermatologist prescribed me Differin (Adapalene .3%) to help with my severe acne. At night, I apply a thin layer to my cheeks. It is a retinoid, which means it will help your cells turn over faster. It’s a very common acne medication and is available by prescription only. You can purchase a lower concentration of Differin over the counter in the skincare aisle of your favorite retailer. Sadly, this is the least-natural step in my skincare routine, but I believe that it is important to support your health, body, and skin with natural ingredients, and turn to traditional pharmaceuticals when necessary, as they were created for a reason!
5. Apply Tatcha The Water Cream to face when dry. It is a super-hydrating cream, and you only need a pearl size amount for your entire face. I use it morning (under my makeup primer) and at night as the final step in my routine.