Beauty

My Nontoxic Skincare Routine (Oily, Acne-Prone, Sensitive Skin)

June 14, 2018

A little background on my skin…

I struggled with oily, acne-prone skin for most of my life, and my skin was always one of my biggest insecurities. I was embarrassed by my acne and let it hold me back from a lot of things, and then I became even more embarrassed by the scars and hyperpigmentation it left behind. I mostly dealt with deep, under-the-surface cystic zits that were really painful – sorry if that’s TMI, but I’m just being honest! It felt impossible for me to focus on anything because I could FEEL the acne under my skin. I felt like everyone was looking at my zits, and not ME. I got really good at covering it up with makeup, but because my skin was so oily, it didn’t last long throughout the day.

I became obsessed with trying every new skincare product and acne treatment I could find that promised it would transform my skin. I tried it all – high-end, drugstore, serums, masks, cleansers, multi-step programs, prescription-based topical products, and everything in between. And eventually antibiotics. No matter what I did, though, nothing gave me the results I wanted.

It wasn’t until years later that I finally found a skincare routine that worked well for me. When I made the decision to go off of the birth control pill a few years ago, I was scared that my acne would come back, but I was underestimating all of the changes I had made in my diet, lifestyle, and skincare routine. Cleaning up my diet and lifestyle were pivotal for me to clear up my skin, but the products I was using on my skin were the other main factor.

In terms of skincare itself, I changed my approach and stopped using all of the harsh chemical products that were drying out my skin and stripping it of its natural oils. As I learned more about the dangers of the ingredients in conventional skincare, I decided to switch to nontoxic beauty products. I tried many different companies and products, but I was not getting good results. My breakouts got worse, and my skin got oilier. I was torn, though, because I wanted to have clear skin, but I did not want to keep using conventional personal care products that were filled with toxins and hormone disruptors.

Bloodwork from my doctor showed that I had a high level of toxins in my body, and my FMD at the time told me I really needed to switch over to safer skincare products if I wanted to protect my health and balance out my hormones. Looking back, I also believe that using all of those toxic lipsticks for years definitely contributed to my heavy metal toxicity.

The beauty industry in America is hardly regulated. There hasn’t been a major federal law passed governing the personal care industry since 1938, and 80% of the ingredients we use on our skin have never even been tested for human safety. The U.S. only bans 30 ingredients…but the European Union bans nearly 1,400 toxic chemicals. With the rising rates of cancer and infertility in our nation, (amongst many other health issues) it’s important that we avoid as many carcinogens, toxins, and endocrine disruptors as we can. And that means paying attention to what we put on our skin, because so much of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies. If I was so worried about what I was putting in my body in terms of food, it only made sense that I should start paying attention to what I was putting on it, and what was then getting into my bloodstream. After going off of the pill, it was especially important I use safer products if I wanted to bring my hormones back into balance again.

Eventually, I stumbled across Beautycounter, and it was the first skincare line I stuck with because it actually worked for me. That includes all of the conventional skincare I had tried years before – everything from the drugstore, Sephora, the department store, weird late-night infomercials, and the dermatologist. I was shocked.

I think a big reason why my skin finally calmed down was because I calmed down with the products, in the sense that I wasn’t using so many harsh chemicals anymore. I was nourishing my skin instead of fighting it! I should’ve realized this was the way to go years ago when I noticed that plain water was giving me better results than my $100 face serums and cleansers.

My skin isn’t perfect, but I don’t stress out about it anymore because I’m comfortable with it. Anytime I do have a breakout, I know exactly what caused it. It’s either because I tried a new product or because I ate something that doesn’t agree with my body. Years ago, I used to have no idea what was causing my acne, which made me feel hopeless because I thought I couldn’t avoid it. Thankfully, now I feel much more in control of my skin.

I still have acne scars and hyperpigmentation, but they’ve been fading over time as I’ve stuck with my routine. There are actually a lot of nontoxic options that really improve my skin, and work better than anything I tried previously. My skin is MUCH less oily than it used to be, as well. I used to have to redo my makeup at least twice a day – it was a major hassle. My skin still leans toward the oily side, but I feel like it’s pretty balanced most days. I never have to touch up my makeup now unless I’m going to a special event at night and want to freshen up after the day.

My skin is sensitive in the sense that it will break out very easily if I give it something it doesn’t like, but it’s NOT sensitive in terms of its resistance to strong products. For example, my skin can handle a laser treatment or a chemical peel pretty easily, probably because it’s built a tolerance from all of those years of harsh products!

I will probably always be a product junkie, and I love to try every new nontoxic beauty product that comes out to see how it works. Even so, I always come back to the same “routine.”

Also, because I am a product junkie, my skincare routine probably involves more steps than other people might want or need. I don’t really need this many steps… I just like them! I think that skincare can be really effective when you keep it simple…I’m just the kind of person who likes to use all of the things! It’s my way of pampering myself on the daily. The bulk of my skincare routine consists of Beautycounter products, but I don’t exclusively use Beautycounter. I like to try everything I can get my hands on, and then I will continue to use whatever works the best for me. It just ends up that Beautycounter tends to always give me the best results. Hence, why I am a Consultant!

One thing I’ve also learned over the years is to be flexible with my products. For example, instead of having one favorite oil that I always use, I like to use different oils depending on how my skin is feeling or the time of year. The same way we listen to our bodies when it comes to food, I listen to my skin when it comes to skincare!

My Morning Skincare Routine

Let’s start with my morning skincare routine, which is pretty simple. I always wash my face with plain warm water and a washcloth in the morning. I like to rinse off anything from the night before, especially if I had a spot treatment on. After I wash my face, if my skin still feels a bit clogged or not as “clean” as I want it, then I’ll use a toner. I’ll spray the Beautycounter No. 3 Balancing Facial Mist or the No. 1 Brightening Facial Mist onto a cotton pad and spread it across my face to tone. I use the No.3 if I feel like my skin might break out, because it has acne-fighting ingredients, or if my skin feels extra oily, because it contains charcoal to soak up that oil. I use the No.1 if I want anti-aging effects or to help reduce any red spots or hyperpigmentation.

After that, I apply my moisturizer. I’ve been using the Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion, which somehow miraculously works well for people with both dry and oily skin. It adapts to your skin’s natural moisture levels to give you exactly what you need, and it’s incredibly light so it soaks in quickly. Some days I prefer to use the Rejuvenating Day Cream, which contains anti-aging properties. The texture is a bit thicker than Countermatch, but Countermatch is more moisturizing! It really just depends on how my skin is feeling, but recently I’ve been using Countermatch more often.

After my moisturizer has soaked in, I like to apply the Beautycounter Countersun Face Stick for some extra SPF, and also to act as a primer for my makeup. I don’t use this every single day, but I make sure I do if I’m going to be outside for a good amount of time.

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

I do more with my skincare at night – this is when it gets fun! First, I use the Beautycounter Makeup Remover on a cotton pad to take off my makeup, or the Beautycounter Makeup Wipes if I’m traveling. After that, I wash my face with a wash cloth and warm water, and then I use my Charcoal bar to really wash my face. The Charcoal bar is definitely one of my holy grail beauty products – it is a GAME CHANGER. I recommend this to anyone who has acne-prone or combo/oily skin. It pulls the impurities out of your skin, keeps acne away, and keeps the oils at bay. You can also use this on your body.

I like to use my Olay Pro-X spin brush to work the soap from the charcoal bar into my skin so that I get maximum benefits. It’s basically a knockoff of a Clarisonic, and I’ve been using it for years with great results. If my skin is feeling dry, or if I was wearing a lot of makeup that day and want to make sure I get everything off, I’ll use the Countermatch Cleansing Milk for a double-clean. The Cleansing Milk makes my skin extra soft and smooth, and it leaves my skin feeling very hydrated.

After that, I dry my face. If I’m using a dermaroller, I will do so at this point. If not, then a few times a week I like to use a face mask. There are a ton of face masks that I love, but my most-used masks are the No. 1 Brightening face mask from Beautycounter and the No. 3 Charcoal Balancing face mask. The No.1 tingles a bit and is great for anti-aging effects and reducing pigmentation and dark spots, and the No.3 is amazing for oily, acne-prone skin and pulling out all of your impurities and blackheads! The charcoal mask is another product that I think every person needs in his or her skincare arsenal. It has saved my skin. If you struggle with acne, I would use this a few times a week.

After either of those steps, or if I’m doing neither of those steps, I move on to toner. I like to use the Rejuvenating Toner Pads from Beautycounter most days. I use one side at a time so that I get double usage out of one container, and you can also cut them in half to get even more uses out of a single container. These are incredible for balancing out the pH of the skin without stripping it if its natural oils, and they’re incredibly soothing. They’re marketed as an anti-aging product, and while they do really help with lines, dark marks, and red spots, I think this product is great for keeping acne away, as well. I notice that I breakout more often when I’m not using these consistently. When I’m traveling, I’ll use the No.1 or No.3 mists on a cotton pad as my toner instead, so I don’ have to carry the whole jar of toner pads with me.

After I’ve used a toner, I apply the Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream under my eyes to hopefully prevent my skin from sagging as I age! I also like to keep that area hydrated since I wear undereye concealer every day. I then apply a thin layer of the Beautycounter Rejuvenating Radiance Serum all over my face to help with anti-aging and to give my skin some extra vitamin C to help reduce my old acne scars and pigmentation.

Next, I’ll apply an oil. I used to be so afraid of using oils on my skin because I thought it would make my already-oily skin even worse. The oils I used to use from Sephora and department stores always broke me out, so I was a little nervous. However, once I found the right oils for my skin, I realized that they actually make my skin less oily. When our skin senses it doesn’t have enough oil (like when we dry it out with products), it will produce even more oil to compensate! So when I supply the oil myself, the skin downregulates its own oil production. You don’t need to use much oil – just a few drops cover my entire face. This is when I like to “listen to my skin,” because I have a few oils I love to apply for different reasons, and I’ll decide which one depending on how my skin feels.

My most-used oil is the Beautycounter No. 1 Brightening oil. It smells like citrus and has extra vitamin C to help reduce spots, fine lines, and wrinkles, and to increase collagen production. However, I also think this oil helps keep acne away. This is my go-to. On other nights when my skin feels very out of balance or is acting up, I will use the No. 3 Balancing facial oil, which is designed to naturally balance out the oils in your skin and help with acne or sensitive skin types.

Many nights I will layer these oils with my doTERRA essential oils for an extra punch! I pick between two – Blue Tansy and Immortelle. Blue Tansy has a blue tint, and you just need the smallest drop to cover your face! Blue Tansy is one of the best oils for the skin and is known for its soothing properties and ability to fight blemishes. Remember – a little goes a LONG way. On other nights, I’ll use Immortelle on my skin, which is doTERRA’s anti-aging blend that helps with fine lines, wrinkles, and any other signs of aging. I’m young, but I’m all about prevention. This blend is a mixture of some of the most powerful oils for creating radiant, vibrant skin, including Frankincense, Myrrh, Rose, Lavender, and Sandalwood. Blue Tansy and Immortelle are both very thin because they aren’t mixed with a carrier oil, so I will apply one of these first, and THEN put my Beautycounter oils on top if I’m layering. Basically, I use the Beautycounter oil as the carrier oil.

A recent release that is truly one of the best skincare products I have ever tried is the new Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I have been using this for about a month and half, but it’s already made my skin so much more vibrant and radiant. It’s a blend of 15 botanically-derived acids, and it acts as a gentle AHA/BHA peel that reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pores, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. I LOVE peels, but I rarely use them because most peels are filled with chemicals that are doing my body no favors internally. That’s why I was SO excited when this released, and I really think every woman needs this in her beauty kit! It’s extremely effective, but it’s gentle enough to be left on overnight. It’s similar to a really powerful serum. I use this about three times a week. I will apply it to clean skin, and after it soaks in I apply a facial oil on top. Now that I’ve had this in my life, I can’t live without it.

After that, I always apply chapstick. My favorite is the lip balm from Maddie’s Market, and I like to use the Peppermint flavor! It’s all natural and has very few ingredients, and it’s EXTREMELY hydrating. I’m really picky about lip balms because I had a longterm problem with dry, cracked lips, and this totally gets rid of that issue. Plus, it tastes amazing. I can’t recommend this enough! (You can use the code WELLNESS15 for 15% off!)

If I have any type of breakout, I have a few weapons in my kit to get rid of it! The first is Melaleuca oil, also known as tea tree oil. I only use the doTERRA oil because it is well-sourced and completely pure. I had tried tea tree oil for acne in the past and thought it didn’t work, but it was really because I was just using the wrong essential oil brands. Tea tree oil is POWERFUL, so be careful. It can dry your skin out if you use it too often or use too much. Tea tree oil is very antibacterial, which is why it’s perfect for spots. If I really want to kill a zit, I’ll apply the Melaleuca and then put the No. 3 Charcoal Mask on top. That combo gets rid of anything stubborn. The charcoal mask is a great spot treatment on its own for blemishes, too, but just make sure you use a thin layer so that it doesn’t get too thick and crack off!

If my blemish is somewhat dried out and I don’t want to use anything else that’s drying, I’ll use doTERRA’s HD Clear, which is their anti-acne blend. It contains tea tree oil as well as other acne-fighting essential oils, and it’s already mixed in with a carrier oil, so you can just roll it on!

If I have a small spot, sometimes I’ll use the CocoKind Turmeric Stick on the blemish – it goes on like a big chapstick. I don’t like to use too much of this because I don’t want it to stain my pillow, and if I go too heavy with it, it can stain my skin the next morning since I’m so pale. That being said, it’s a great product that works really well on typical zits, thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric!

Aaaand that’s my skincare routine! I love to try out new nontoxic beauty products when I hear about them, but this is what I always go back to. I’m pretty flexible with it and adjust things according to what my skin needs on that day, which ends up being fun for me because I like to try different oils with different benefits. I use more products than most people really need to, but like I said, it’s my form of pampering! I think I’ll always be a product junkie. Also, these products last me a long time. The only ones I’ve had to replace in the past two years have been the toner pads and the charcoal mask. For everything else, I’m still on my first container! So it lasts a long time. If I had to pick my absolute must-have products from this list, I would choose the the Beautycounter Charcoal Bar, Charcoal Mask, Rejuvenating Toner Pads, Overnight Resurfacing Peel, and No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil.

It took me a long time to find the right routine that actually gives me results, but this is what has worked for me for about a year and a half! These products help keep my skin clear and slowly lighten all of the red spots, pigmentation, and scars I have from years of abusing my skin, plus they will help prevent signs of aging as I get older! In my opinion, you’re never too young for prevention! I would like to avoid as many wrinkles as I can. ;P

Plus, I feel confident and safe putting this products on my skin, because I am incredibly passionate about using safer skincare to protect my overall health. These products work far better for me than what I used to pay hundreds of dollars for from the dermatologist, so it’s a win all around!

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