Note: I have dry sensitive skin. However I have made sure to include tips, tricks and recommendations for my oily skinned ladies out there!
I was born with eczema and so I frequently had redness, dry patches, & flakes all over my skin. It was painful, itchy and unpleasant to look at. During high school (year 9-11) it became quite severe and permanent on my face. My forehead, in between my brows and my entire upper lip were always severely red, bumpy, textured and had huge dry patches. This would then cause around my nose area to also become quite red. My ear lobes were often bleeding and dry. Because this was during puberty (such sensitive years), it took a toll on my self-esteem and I became very self-conscious about my skin. I would frequently go to the bathroom just to splash water on my face (which would then bring my skin back to it's normal colour) and then I would moisturise. However within 15minutes my face would be red as a beetroot again. This all was physically painful as well. It stung like crazy and was extremely itchy.
Now, admittedly, I started wearing eye-makeup since year 8. However I was never really wearing any face makeup (no foundation, concealer, bronzer, highlighter or blush). I only wore eyeliner and mascara. I ensured that no makeup would touch the effected areas - I mean if anything touched it, it stung so much that there was just no plausible way to use makeup on top of it.
Below are some pictures of my skin at this stage in my life. The photos do not capture the intensity of the redness - it was actually about 5 times worse in real life. However it will give you an idea of how it looked. (These pictures are rather embarrassing so let's not lose sight of the purpose of me including them!)
|You can see the redness on my cheeks, chin & forehead|
|You can see the dryness of my forehead, the redness in my cheeks, chin and upper lip|
|You can see the redness around my eyes, between the brows, nose and upper lip|
Below are some pictures of me now with no makeup whatsoever. Also without any filters or editing.
|When I tested out the whitening lightning teeth whitening system|
|The little red dot on my upper lip was my skin healing from someone burning me|
|I have some lip-balm on here but that's all|
General Tips and Tricks
- Do drink lots of water. If you know me personally I know it's a very strange thing to say because... I never used to drink water. But recently, I have been starting to be very good about drinking at least 1.5L of water a day and it's really made a different. I get much less dry patches and rashes on my face and body. Then when I start to get lazy with the water, I really feel my skin shrivelling up more and getting more irritated and sensitive. So I know this is the most mundane piece of advice, but I do think it's imperative! (For both dry and oily skin ladies.)
- Don't put on make up to cover irritations. I know that this is one of the hardest things to do but it's something I live by. If I have a pimple, a zit, an irritation, a rash, a dry spot etc. I will not wear make up that day. Yes, if it's a special occasion or I have an event I will put on make up, but if it's just work, uni, a lunch date etc. I will make sure not to put anything on. This makes a huge difference. It's better to just stomach a day without make up and have the problem disappear ASAP, rather than making it worse and worse (and possibly bigger and bigger) for a week or longer! So if possible, try to just avoid make up when you have an irritation or blemish.
- Do take all your make up off every night. I know. After a long night out, when you're tripping over your heels and you just want to get into bed and knock out, the last thing you want to do is take off those false lashes and wipe away the remnants of your make up. But I strongly encourage that every night you find it in you to push through the reluctance and take off your make up (and if possible, do your entire skin regimen!) A night with make up on your face really does nothing but clog your pores, irritate your skin, prevent it from breathing and agitate any simmering break outs! You skin will thank me the next day!
- Don't touch your face. Now I am a huge face-toucher. (That's not a word but... it is now). I am constantly itching, touching, rubbing or leaning on my face! But fighting this temptation always makes a difference in my skin. I know this because when I have irritations, then I ensure not to lay a finger on my face, and within a day or two it's all better. Your hands harbour a lot of bacteria, so constantly touching your face only irritates the skin. So do everything in your power to resist touching your face too often!
- Do wash your hands often. This is important not only for your skin but just for your overall personal hygiene and health. However for your skin, it's vital because well.. as much as you may be resisting the temptation to touch your face, you are likely to do it anyway. Don't just use a hand sanitiser but get up and actually wash your hands! That way, whenever it touches your face, or you touch a product that is going onto your face, you're being hygienic!
- Don't double cleanse (if you have dry skin). If you have dry skin, your aim is to essentially retain as much moisture in your face as possible. So if you cleanse more than once, you are not facilitating moisture retention but actually stripping your face of the very moisture that you want to keep. This can be difficult if you feel the need to take off your make up and then cleanse again. So, my solution for this is to use a cleansing oil or cleansing balm that will both remove your waterproof makeup as well as cleanse your skin. MAC, Shu Umera, Bobbi Brown & Clinique are all brands which make some popular cleansing oil or balm products.
- Do avoid using wipes. The thing about wipes is that A) it usually ends up leading to double cleansing (so refer to above) and B) it in itself is likely to dry out your skin and C) it will never completely take off all your make up - don't be fooled! There are definitely occasions that I do use wipes (the only ones I use are Nivea because it's the only one that doesn't cause my skin to go crazy). However, whenever possible I don't use it because it's harsh on the skin, can cause pre-maturing wrinkling, plus the three A) B) C)'s I just stated. So use them sparingly and only when necessary.
- Don't skip using facial oils (even if you have oily skin). I know that a lot of oily skin girls are like "what??" right now but... it's true. Dry skin ladies obviously benefit from using facial oils (I mean we have dry skin so quenching our skin's thirst by putting on oil is a no-brainer). However oily skin ladies, if you avoid oils because you think that it only exacerbates your skins oil production that's not true. By putting on facial oils (best to do so overnight), then your skin will already register that sufficient oil has been produced and produce less. So, by using it (again, overnight) your skin will be tricked into becoming less oily.
- Do make sure that you exfoliate. This is important for everyone. Although over-exfoliating is very bad for your skin, not exfoliating is bad too. Exfoliating benefits everyone in different ways. Personally, it helps to remove dry skin cells on my face and changes my skin from looking dry and dull to looking brighter and clearer. For oily skin ladies it will help remove impurities in your skin that are only going to create further blemishes! So make sure that you're aiming to exfoliate at least once a week.
- Do stress less. Another "do" that will improve not only your skin but your lifestyle. The time that I tend to get rashes or my eczema starts to rear it's ugly head is when I am stressed out! It is hard to stress less but invest time in doing something that will help you relax, smile and breathe. This will really make a difference in your skin. I promise. If you're feeling overwhelmed at work, then make sure that at night or on the weekend you're doing something that will help you relieve the stress. Don't overstretch yourself and commit to anything and everything causing you to miss out on opportunities to do the things that you want.
- Don't lose sleep. Ensuring that you are getting all the sleep that your body needs is going to keep your skin feeling alive and healthy. Without it, not only will you be getting those unwanted bags and dark circles under your eyes, but you will be stressing out your skin. Get that beauty sleep that your skin demands! It will make a world of a difference. It will also help you relax and... stress less ;)
Any more advice or recommendations, please leave a comment and let me know!