Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Skincare Routine , what REALLY works

I get asked what my skincare routine is and what products I use all the time. Though it may surprise you that you will find no product recommendations in this post, I am not going to list my "HG cleanser" or "favorite moisturizer". I follow this "routine" called the "Caveman Regimen". I saw it over a year ago on the internet when I was searching for an all natural skincare routine. For those who are totally lost, here is how it goes .
- You wash your face once or twice a day with just water from your sink or shower. I recommend warm water to dissolve oils first, then cold to tighten the pores.
- You don't wear foundations,concealers, or any makeup on your FACE(not eyes or lips).
- You don't wear a moisturizer or sunscreen, literally nothing on your face.

Bare face, un-photoshoped

My routine is basically skincare for lazy people, or people who have tried everything and only gotten bad results.I started this regimen about two years ago, back when my skin was extremely oily and irritated. I had so much inflammation and scars, literally everything I put on my skin only made it worse. Within the first week, my skin did a complete 360 in terms of color,texture, elasticity. Now, there's TONS of scientific mumbo jumbo out there that explains exactly why this works so well, but to save you the time I will summarize.

- Your skin has a pH just like anything else, and by using products that are very acidic or very basic, they mess up your skin's natural pH, making it go crazy.
- Water(assuming you have clean, filtered water) has a pH of 7 which is perfectly balanced and therefore can fix the pH of your skin.

The main thing that bothers me is dark circles, I've had them since I was a kid so there's not much I can do about it. I think staring at the computer for hours nonstop might of attributed to it, but it's nothing some concealer can't hide.  I have always been a lip biter, I can't not bite my lips not even for a day, so they always look sort of red and bloody. I think constantly wearing lip balms helps though.

 And here is just my own little theories, which helped me get through the odd periods of this routine.

-When I was younger(lets say 0-11) I never really used anything on my face, it was perfect and that's the way it stayed. When I started using products, there was really nothing wrong with my face but I used them anyway and that's where all the problems began. I think if you revert to the things you did when you had nice skin, you might achieve it once again.
- Skin care products no matter how "natural" or "dermatologist tested" they say they are, didn't work for me. They are loaded with chemicals,detergents and oils that made my face really oily, really irritated etc.
- Buying all these skincare products is expensive! It is relieving to know I don't have to worry about buying a new cleanser or sunscreen or what ever when it runs out, I can use that money on other things.

I been sick for about two weeks now, and it's made my eyes look tired and my dark circles worse. I really haven't figured out the solution to dark circles, even eye creams don't do it for me. For bags though, I like to use those cooling eye masks you put in your fridge and then re-use over and over since they are filled with water. 

I have dark circles, and in the morning my eyes are very puffy, but then the puffiness  turns into bags later on in the day. As you can see, I also have a lot of visible veins underneath my eyes. It's still a mystery to me how I got them(perhaps it's hereditary) For now the only solution I've found is concealer :(
I got many questions asking " well how do you remove makeup?" - I guess it isn't clear enough what I mean by you don't put anything on your face. Now, for eye makeup I obviously need a makeup remover. Right now I'm using Shiseido makeup remover cleansing oil. No matter how "bad" you think your bare face looks, if you seriously want to see results with this you have to give up using your foundation and powders. I had to do it even though I had acne scars and redness, it's do-able. You just have to be clever and try to do this at a time where you don't need to go out much such as during summer or winter vacation. I literally hibernated in my house the first month and it did pay off. After it started working, I felt comfortable going out again without makeup on. I am proud to say that for the past two years, I have not put on any makeup on my face.

And as far as exfoliation, I have found that out of all the exfoliators out there - Scrubs,masks,chemical exfoliators, peels etc, the best and least abrasive ones are these exfoliating towels, basically it's a long towel you scrub any area you want to get rid of dead skin, and then wash them and re-use them. You can literally see the dead skin on them sometimes, it's not painful and you can choose the amount of exfoliation depending on which towel you get. I use this once every two weeks on mainly my forehead because a lot of dead skin cells tend to build up there, on my nose and chin area as well. I use a green one and a white one, I bought them at marshalls for less than $3 a pack.
They look like this :

Now, this is actually the simple part believe it or not. There are other tips I wanted to share with you guys especially if you are constantly dealing with acne or oily/problem skin. I  unconsciously do these things every day.

-Never,ever, touch your face with dirty hands. Always wash your hands first before washing your face, and then after to make sure no oils from your face got stuck to your hands - this makes a huge difference!

-Get plenty of sleep. This is a no-brainer but you won't believe the difference it makes. Out of all the tips I have, this is the most important. Getting 3-5 hours of sleep a day is horrible for your skin. It doesn't give it any time to heal itself and rejuvenate(very important for those of you with scars). I think 8 hours is too little for someone my age(they recommend 9 hours for teenagers)You need less sleep as you get older, but try to get at least 8.

-Eat healthy, it pays off! I been eating healthy for three years now. Some times were more extreme than others, because I tend to eat better when I see my skin is breaking out. I know skincare companies always want us to believe "diet has nothing to do with skin yadda yadda) this is utter B.S. You are what you eat and , and your skin reflects this as well. I cut out all dairy and sugary foods from my diet for a while because it was really worsening my skin, I don't drink soda anymore, cheese is still a no for the most part. For some people dairy doesn't do anything to their skin, but for me it's kind of an allergy. Sugar on the other hand, has been proven to be a culpit to causing acne and oily skin. Sugary = sodas, candy, chocolates,icecream ect.

-Be well hydrated! I know the rule of thumb is "8 glasses a day" but my belly almost exploded when I tried to drink this much water. I think three 8-10oz glasses a day is a good number to start, besides most of us aren't even that thirsty. I just recommend drinking water instead of soda or alcohol, and also getting some fruit juice in there as well.

-Don't stress!! Stress from school, family, or appearance is one of the worst things for your skin. Everything in our body is regulated by hormones, the way you feel, the way you look etc. Every time you stress, your body is sending out those hormones. It has been proven that stress ages the skin, and stress on your mind is stress on your skin. Overly thinking about the way you look whether it be weight, features or skin is going to have an affect on your success. People who diet and exercise but think they will never loose weight, don't. If you are depressed about being overweight, having acne or wrinkles or scars, it won't get better. Think positively, and try not to look in the mirror so much. Out of sight, out of mind.

If you read up to here,  go outside!! =P No seriously, this might be the most I've ever typed in one sitting. I'm going to end it here, but please feel free to email me if you have questions. I will try to do a video soon, but I still don't have my internet back so trying to upload a video would be torture.

Good luck,


Lisa said...

I was JUST about to do a skincare routine post, but looks like we're pretty much in agreement as to what works and what doesn't, yay!

We surrounded by a society that pushes products onto people-- I pretty much don't use specialty products on my face, and eat fairly well, resulting in good skin. Growing up, I ate a lot of balanced, home-cooked food. As I got older and cooked more for myself, I realized what kind of things made me break out. For instance, if I get a lot of fried food in a day, I get red dots on my face the next day! Too much seafood = itchy rash on my face :\

DSK Steph! said...

Thank you for this post :)

Valerie said...

I am always interested to learn about people's skin care routines because I am HUGE on skin care. I love that you are so brave to post pictures up of your bare face! You honestly have beautiful skin! So thank you soo much for this post, I found it so insightful!

Agatha said...

If you dun wear sunscreen, you will age quicker though :o
Also, what works for some, may not work for others. You might have heard of the caveman method or just using soap. Some people with skin conditions such as eczema need to actually use creams to control their skin. Also, some may be allergic to soap, and not every method works for everyone.

LadySophistifunk ☠ said...

This is amazing~ I've heard about the caveman regime and I tried it out for a month. I saw immediate results but I haven't been keeping up with it now the problems are back again. X( Winter is coming up and I'm def' going to try this again.

*~kAy~* said...

you have nice skin :3
thanks for sharing!

Nic Nic said...

you have a nice clear complexion! i agree on your tips.. clear skin affects my skin a lot.. i need a good 8 hrs!

after yrs of training i also avoid touching my face with my hands haha

Nic Nic said...

you have a nice clear complexion! i agree on your tips.. clear skin affects my skin a lot.. i need a good 8 hrs!

after yrs of training i also avoid touching my face with my hands haha

lolitium said...

I've been reading your blog lately and I've always wondered how you achieve such flawless skin. I've heard of your regime before, but I never knew how it will work out because ppl tell me to always wear SPF so I do, but I cannot just wash it off with water =( Do you think SPF should be taken out if I try this caveman regimen? I have oily skin and I still have acne scars too T_T; But I do agree..those cloths are life savers!

Pixie D said...

your skin be so beautiful and even no under-eye circle ><.. jealous!

Chaudie said...

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Ashley said...

I am trying this right now.. but I have a lot of dead skin build up. I want to scrub it all off, but I still have blemishes that might erupt from that.

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Anonymous said...

I tried this for over 3 weeks so far, and I must say that it works perfectly for my face! I also tried all the skin products that were available, of which one resulted in even worse skin than the other. Now I only wash my face when I feel like it, which is not even every day, and follow a strict low-fat, fruit&vegetable-rich diet, and my face looks so much better!

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