This is part two of “Simple Skin Care P.1” Click here for part one. 🙂
Picking a Facial Cleanser
Assess your skin, and find out what your skin needs. Are you dry, oily, combination, acne-prone, sensitive, or normal? Use a cleanser the skin responds to. I encourage you to try a natural cleanser, because it’s gentle. Making one at home is even better, because then you know what’s in it. 🙂 However, if you suffer from moderate to severe acne, like myself, then use an acne cleanser with benzoyl peroxide in it. Start with a small percentage, and gradually increase the amount if you see no results after 4-8 weeks. Dry skin types should use a gentle and creamy cleanser. Liquid, gel, and foam cleansers will dry the skin out. These are more suited for people with oily skin. If you have normal skin, again, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.
UPDATE: 5/24/14 Hey guys! Just wanted to insert some quick notes under each section to keep you updated on what I’m using. I now use a homemade face wash everyday, twice a day. I don’t use the benzoyl peroxide facial cleanser anymore. After months of research and patience, I found a combination of essentials oils to include in my homemade face wash that helped clam my acne, to where I don’t need the high concentration of benzoyl peroxide anymore. I’m almost completely free of benzoyl peroxide! 😀
There are a myriad of facial toners to choose from at the store. Unfortunately, the majority have harmful chemicals in them that will do more damage than good. Readers, you don’t need an expensive toner to acquire great skin! Try using rice water, witch hazel, rose-water, aloe vera, diluted apple cider vinegar, or fresh produce as a toner. These are gentle alternatives that are healthy for the skin! I love using rice water (see the benefits and how to make your own rice toner on my Pinterest). I’ve also tried fresh produce. Tomatoes or grapefruit are good for oily and/or blemished skin. Peaches or cantaloupe for dry skin, and for all other skin types try cucumber or grapes.
UPDATE: 5/24/14 I now use diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner. I still like the rice toner. I just prefer the bacteria-killing enzymes of apple cider vinegar for my acne! 🙂
A good moisturizer should leave the skin feeling balanced, not too dry and not too oily. Moreover, it should NOT cause acne! For something natural, try using oil to moisturize your skin. Grapeseed, jojoba, avocado, and sweet almond oil are great oils for normal, dry, and sensitive skin. Careful not to be heavy-handed, or you will cause acne and/or look greasy. You only need 3-5 drops, literally! If oils cause you to breakout, like myself, then find an oil-free moisturizer. It may take time to find a moisturizer that your skin responds to, but don’t give up. 🙂 Recently, I found a great moisturizer! Check out my Pinterst to see that.
UPDATE: 5/24/14 I use a moisturizer from Desert Essence called Thoroughly Clean Oil Control Lotion. It does have natural oils in it, but the high amount of tea tree oil keeps the skin balanced.
Acne Spot Treatment
You could use tea tree oil as an acne spot treatment, or you could also use a store-bought acne spot treatment (AST) if you breakout regularly. Only use it only on the affected areas! Don’t use an acne spot treatment on the clear areas of your skin as a preventative measure. Your cleanser should do that. The primary purpose of a AST is to kill the bacteria feeding the pimple and to help heal it faster. Let the unaffected areas of your skin breathe. 🙂 If you have mild and very few breakouts, I encourage you to use Tea Tree oil. It’s natural and will get the job done. Store-bought AST should only be used for cystic acne or more severe breakouts, where tea tree is insufficient.
UPDATE: 5/24/14 I still use a store-bought AST for when I stress out and cystic acne occurs. I use tea tree oil for small break outs. However, I have significantly decreased the amount of benzoyl peroxide in the AST product to a low concentration. FYI: I don’t recommend using a high concentration of benzoyl peroxide (5-10% BZPX) in combination with using tea tree oil. Your face will get severely dried out. I use 2.5% BZPX on a as needed basis only (when I experience cystic acne from stress).
The primary point I desire to convey is that you don’t need countless products to care for the skin. Use what your skin needs and responds to, and forget the rest. You’ll save time, money, and your skin will thank you as well. 😉
I hope this information will be helpful to you. Comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts. 🙂