I Changed My Skincare Routine & Here's What Happened

As the fall semester started, my skincare game was seriously on point. I was remembering to take my makeup off every night, washing and exfoliating my face, and moisturizing. I tried to do a mask once a week, but as the semester moved on I was sleeping in my makeup more nights than I wasn’t. If I was lucky enough to do anything it was just to have the energy to take it off it was with makeup wipes that I kept in the top drawer of my nightstand or just with coconut oil and a cold, wet washcloth. Needless to say that my routine for soft, healthy skin was traded for schoolwork and late nights with friends.

My Christmas break began and I noticed that the the cold air, different elevations at home than I’m accustomed to when I’m at school and a sudden outbreak of acne has left my skin looking seriously sad. I knew that my only option — and an option that I was finding myself excited about again — was changing my skincare routine!

The only product I had been using up to this point was coconut oil. I had other products that I had been using at the end of summer when I first got to school — the same products that sat in my medicine cabinet and seemed to taunt me every time I didn’t use them — that I decided to add back into my routine. But I also decided that I needed to try a couple of new products to combat the condition that my skin was in which was the fun part, at least I think.

I took a much anticipated Walmart trip and started a new board on Pinterest for all of my “research.” I was trying to find masks, cleansers, tips and the routines of others to get me at least in the right mindset, if not to give me ideas of what I wanted to buy. Unfortunately with the budget of a struggling college gal I wasn’t able to go crazy at Walmart but I did pick up some new products. I grabbed two new face masks because I’m a little obsessed, micellar water (because the coconut oil wasn’t cutting it anymore) and a morning facial cleanser.

I decided that every morning I would use a cleansing face wash, a lip exfoliator and a cleansing exfoliator. The Clean & Clear Morning Burst cleanser will 100 percent wake you up. It smelled really good and something about the temperature of the wash on your face plus whatever magic is in the formula could probably jolt me out of the grave. Yes, it’s that good. Talk about a wake up call.

In the evenings I use the most products. I feel that at night it’s essential to take care of my face after a long day, especially if I wore makeup for hours and hours. Nighttime I needed to prepare my skin to breathe during the night. I use a micellar water, coconut oil and a foaming face wash. I use the micellar water primarily for removing my eye makeup and then go over my face and eyes again with the coconut oil, so that if I missed any mascara or residual eyeliner the coconut oil will take care of it.

I alternate between a couple of different exfoliating products (I only use them every other night), I also exfoliate my lips again because mine are always cracked and dry. The lip scrub from Lush is amazing, to say the least. If you aren’t properly hydrated and if your lips are as bad as mine it won’t save them completely but it does help to get that top layer of dead, cracked skin off of them. Plus the instructions even tell you to lick off the excess which tastes seriously yummy.

Then, right before bed I use an under eye cream and a moisturizer before putting on a heavy-duty lip balm. I was lucky enough to get the Estee edit box through Influenster in the fall but I didn’t use the Estee Edit Late Night Eraser cream until this break began. I’m not even lying when I say that it not only feels great because it seems to have a cooling effect but it actually works like a charm. I have the worst under-eye circles and bags. They’re awful. I used the cream for the first time and the next morning I woke up and it wasn’t puffy anymore and it went from a deep red and purple combination to just a little pink. I was impressed and a little surprised even. Of course, I know that when this product runs out I won’t be able to afford it but I’m on the hunt for eye creams that are more affordable.

Week One

I started this week with acne all across my forehead and around my mouth. My nose was extremely dry. My lips were cracked to the point that it was painful. I slowly introduced old products so that my face didn’t completely freak out. As the week progressed, the blemishes on my forehead disappeared and I noticed that my skin wasn’t as dry. I still had very specific problems areas that were incredibly dry, such as my nose and forehead. My lips felt much less cracked as the week came to a close.  

Week Two

My skin, at the start of this week, was so much softer. It looked bright, fresh, almost like I had a brand new face. It seemed that my skincare regimen was working. Of course, I had one long day where I was too lazy to do anything but use a makeup wipe and it threw off all of my progress. My skin, in a matter of two days, dried out completely and I also broke out so badly. My lips were horribly cracked again and they hurt! It felt like chapstick just sat on top of all the grossness that were my lips and never even helped. I had a feeling that even though I skipped a night of actually cleansing of my face that maybe my morning facial cleanser was drying out my skin and so I cut back on that product. I feel like I took two steps forward and then 10 back this week.

Week Three

To add insult to injury, I broke out really badly around my mouth again at the beginning of the week. The holiday stress contributed to that, along with not staying properly hydrated. I finally got the dryness back under control but I was struggling to get the breakout to leave me alone.  I’m having a really hard time leaving the blemishes alone so that they go away on their own. Patience is a virtue after all… I used a mud mask that is infused with tea tree oil and tamarind extract, and is made for blemish prone skin. I noticed that afterwards my skin was smoother than it’s been in months and I did notice the blemishes seemed to dry out almost instantly after using it. It seems like I’m finally making progress with my skin again.

Overall, I feel that despite the minor setbacks I’ve had, my skin is so much better than it had been all of last semester. It feels much cleaner and a lot healthier. Of course changing any routine will come with setbacks and also life happens in between all of it which definitely affects the outcome. I’ve learned something from this though, the greatest result from changing your skincare habits is the change of a routine in and of itself. Yeah, my skin benefits from this but so does my mind. I feel like I have my life together a lot more when I’m washing my face properly and making sure I’m taking the time to treat myself with a mask while I sip on hot cocoa.

Did my skin improve? Yes absolutely! Is three weeks enough time to have the world’s most gorgeous skin? Nah. Ask me in a couple more months after keeping up this routine and then see what I say. I can't wait to keep going with this new regimen that I've created for myself. As the spring semester begins I feel that my improved skin and I are ready to take on the world, and the cold.