My skin care routine has changed over the years and largely reflects my knowledge and awareness about what I put on my skin.
I had the normal teenage acne growing up but it was largely hormonal so no amount of pimple cream, acne wash, and tea tree oil could get rid of my cystic acne. It was quite frustrating. As a teen, I saw a doctor that sub-specialized in skin care (he wasn’t a bonafide dermatologist though) and he prescribed medication that cleared my acne. I was in the clear for many years until I got married. I had started using the birth control pill but after experiencing some adverse side effects, I had to stop using the pill. That was when my hormonal acne came back (with a vengeance). I went back to the doctor but this time round, the medication did not work. Furthermore, the medication he prescribed was a huge no-no if I had wanted to try having children as it WILL cause birth defects in a child. It was at that time I decided that enough was enough and that messing with my hormones with medication was a no-go.
I did some research into “natural” methods to help clear/take care of one’s skin. It was then my journey into “green beauty” began. I first started out using just plain manuka honey and water to wash my face. To moisturize, I used argan oil. It took a few months, but my skin started clearing up and healing. I also made an effort to eat less processed foods. As argan oil is pretty pricey, I switched to jojoba oil and it also worked for me.
After I got pregnant with E, my skin started going downhill again. My friend Ru (from shortsmallsweet), introduced me to Osmia Organics. They are a green beauty company and make amazing skin care products from all natural ingredients. I first tried their spot treatment. I liked that it didn’t contain any tea tree oil, which tends to dry out and “burn” my skin. The spot treatment worked well for me and I used it a LOT to help clear my blemishes. However, because my hormones were going crazy (due to the pregnancy), I kept breaking out.
During my pregnancy, I kept my skin care routine as simple as possible. I was also pretty realistic – my skin wasn’t going to get better and it’s something I have to live with (for these 9 months at least). I used Osmia’s black clay soap, Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner and jojoba oil for moisturizing. I would occasionally use Osmia’s spot treatment for blemishes, but only if they were really bad.
Recently, I read up more about using oils for our skin and how to choose a suitable oil for one’s skin. This article from Minimalist Beauty was very helpful.
Now, I still use Osmia’s black clay soap and Thayer’s Witch Hazel (Unscented) for toning my skin but I am back to using argan oIl for moisturizing. I found some decent, cheaper alternatives on Amazon. Also, I am trying out evening primrose oil as that is supposed to be best for acne-prone skin as it is very high in linoleic acid.
Post-partum (4+ months), my skin is a lot calmer and breaks out less partly due to the fact that my hormones are now stabilizing after giving birth. That being said, I have a lot of acne scars to clear/heal so keeping my skincare routine simple and using the “right” oils to help with the healing process is essential.
I am looking forward to trying oil cleansing in the future and also using manuka honey + turmeric as a face mask twice a week.
UPDATE July 2015: I now am using organic pumpkin seed oil as a moisturizer. Evening primrose oil didn’t quite work out for me as I developed a mild rash. The pumpkin seed oil has been great and my blemishes are slowly fading away and largely kept at bay. It is also cheaper than evening primrose oil.
Links to products I am using/used:
Cleansing: Osmia Organics Black Clay Soap
Spot Treatment: Osmia Organics Spot Treatment