Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Your Best Skin Ever

Ladies, have you ever noticed how nice guy skin is? Most of the men in my life have flawless, smooth, unblemished visages, annoyingly framed with super long, lush lashes. Like, you don't need those features, give them to ME instead. And it takes so little to maintain their natural man-beauty; a crude bar of all-over-body Irish Spring will suffice. A boyfriend of mine was even notorious for using hand soap to wash his face. The pimply teenager in me still shudders at the thought.

I, however, have never been low-maintenance in the skincare department. My journey has been an emotional roller coaster that throughout my high school years often sent me spiraling into a Dashboard Confessional album to relieve the pain (#alternateen). Once I decided pregnancy before college was not in the cards and went on the Pill, my skin comepletely cleared up. No more pustules, cysts, or general grossness in the facial region. I WAS A NEW WOMAN. 

Cut to seven years later when the idea of oral contraception started to creep me out and I felt  like it was just not for me anymore (no one else thinks it's weird to take a pill EVERY DAY for like, so many years, that changes your body that drastically?) and my skin was once again a wreck. Fluctuating hormones not only made me a straight crazy person (hello, who cries in the dairy aisle because they have the wrong color milk??) but it also brought back the acne I thought I had escaped. 

Over the past year however, I've finally found the holy grail of products that has cleared those nasty zits and left behind skin that may even rival my man friend's.

1.Green Juice. I previously wrote a post about my juice cleansing and touched on the dermatologic benefits I experienced. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference adding two glasses of this a day has made to my complexion. My skin has never in my life glowed before these past few months, and I can only attribute that to my vegetal friends. My favorite recipe is simple:
        • 1/2 lemon
        • 1 cucumber
        • 2 green apples
        • 4 romaine leaves
        • 4 stalks celery
        • Handful of spinach
        • Handful of kale
Toss everything in the juicer and drink up, buttahcup.

2. Vitamin E Oil. I like Burt's Bees' brand because it smells like infants, but any generic will do. This has been a saving grace for the acne scars that persisted throughout the years, helping to fade them while also moisturizing at the same time.

3. Proactiv. Because if it's good enough for J. Biebs, it's def good enough for me. But real talk, I had no idea what Proactiv was all about until a few months ago, despite having seen the infomercials since birth. Its main ingredient is Benzoyl peroxide, which is, surprise! the stuff I was inconspicuously stealing out of another perfect-skinned ex-bf's medecine cabinet a few years ago. For a long time I was using acne treatments with a Salicylic acid base, all of which did absolutely nothing but exacerbate my problems. BP is a really great, and in my opinion gentler, alternative that has truly, truly worked for me. For a $1 or whatever the promo price is on TV, it's worth a try.

4. Roc Retinol Eye Cream. As a 23 year-old, I feel deep regret for not using eye cream sooner. It is never too early to start! And Retinol is not just some touted magical ingredient that makes lofty promises it doesn't deliver on. This shit is basically the only thing short of cosmetic surgery that has been proven to reverse aging. Don't wait until you see those lines creeping in the corners of your eyes. Integrating this into your nightly routine like, right now will prevent those pesky crows feet before they have a chance to surface. This has definitely helped with my zombie dark circles, and puffiness is no longer a thing for me unless I've been Claire-Danes-Cry-Facing.

5. ACV. Apple cider vinegar has sixty billion uses, but I like to believe that it's making my body more alkaline, and thus contributing to better skin. I put a teaspoon in a glass of water and CHUG (because I won't lie to y'all, it tastes foul) three times a day. Supposedly ACV also helps with a whole host of things like weight loss, regularity, and high cholesterol. Cheers for multi-tasking!

6. CeraVe Body Lotion. The skin covering the rest of my body is stupid scaly. As a child I had bad eczema, and despite it being clear now, things have stayed super dry. I have tried literally every lotion on the shelf, and this was given to me by my Mom's dermatologist after the drugstores failed me. I was under the impression this product was for old folks (just look at that awful outdated packaging, c'mon) and you know what, I think I'm still right because it is so damn good at effectively moisturizing skin on the brink of death (which is basically what an old person is, amirite?) Skin stays plump and soft for at least 24 hours, which is a special alchemy in itself. On top of that, it's dye and fragrance fee for you sensitive folks. For others like me who enjoy smelling like they tested every perfume at the Barney's counter, it's also a great base to add whatever scented oils you'd like to create a personalized body cream.

7. Water. The most accessible, least expensive thing you can do for great skin. Drink until you feel like constantly on the verge of puking and drowning in your own body.  

And just so y'all don't think I'm blowing smoke up your arses, a gratuitous selfie to show the progress I've made:

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