5 Ways to Change Up Your Skincare Routine When You’re Positive You’ve Tried Everything

Ah, skincare. Searching for the right routine is one of the most agonizing ~self-care~ processes because there’s absolutely no magical cure that will work for everyone. So if you’re reading this article after having tried every single cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer and spot treatment and have even gone on a life-changing expedition where you traveled twenty miles to get a magic herb solution from a voodoo witch doctor and you’restill breaking out, this is for you. 

So, to kick things off: 

1. Wash Your Face… Yes, You Heard Me Right 

Courtesy: Women's Health Magazine

Let’s throw it back to middle school me: those were the days. The time you start to feel like you’re not a kid anymore (even though you totally are) and all of a sudden life is throwing so many changes at you! And you actually have to start taking care of yourself… emphasis on yourself. So why is it that even when my mother told me I should wash my face twice a day that I still didn’t do it? A mystery, that’s what it is. And why did I constantly wonder why my skin was an inflamed disaster? Such a brainteaser! 

If you’re not washing your face when you wake up and before you go to bed, do it. Think about what’s in the air- depending on your skin type, there is some form of pollution that is constantly affecting your face, so if you’re only washing it in the morning, or only at night, think about everything that can happen in 24 hours. Yep, even if you’re not doing vigorous activity, you exist. You’re walking around, touching your phone (phones have more germs than you would expect), touching your face right after or lying down on your couch or bed where literally any bacteria could be hiding out. Basically, you can’t escape the germs and neither can your face. 

2. Stop Using a Washcloth 

Courtesy: First For Women

Sure, using one on the rest of your body is fine, but the rest of your skin isn’t as sensitive as your face is. Not only does it contain all of the bacteria that builds up every time you use it, but by scrubbing your face rather than washing it gently, you’re scrubbing away natural oils that act as ways of protecting your skin. The best way to avoid that is to simply wash your face with your hands. It may take more time, but the process shouldn’t be rushed, anyway. 

3. Don’t Just Save the Trees, Let the Trees Save You

Courtesy: The Complete Herbal Guide

The reason your face may be breaking out might not be because the products you’re using don’t work, but they may just be overwhelming for your skin. Some facial cleansers have harsh chemicals that can cause irritation, which leads to even more breakouts. Especially if you’re someone with more sensitive skin (me), try to consider using fewer products with more natural ingredients. 

What routine do I swear by? I can tell you in three words: Tea. Tree. Oil. 

Yup, that’s it. To name a product specifically, the Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash uses all-natural herbal ingredients. It’s especially good for oily and sensitive skin, and can even help clear scarring. I’ve used it since my junior year of high school (for almost four years!) and my breakouts have completely dialed down to just a few spots that pop up on the rare occasion. 

Is it going to work for everyone’s skin? No, but should you try it? Absolutely. 

But what did I do when I did start to break out? That’s when spot treatments come in handy- a good spot treatment should clear up spots within a few days. The one that has worked wonders for me is the Burt’s Bees Herbal Complexion Stick. What magical ingredient is in it that helps cure my skin within days? 

Say it with me: Tea Tree Oil! 

To summarize, tea tree oil saved my skin. If you’re looking for an exfoliator with a similar formula, try Burt’s Bees’ Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub. Again, I only use it when my skin gets angry flare-ups, but if you're looking to use an exfoliator regularly, stick to using it once a week (more than that can cause dryness!).

4. Change Your Cleanser, Even if It Used to Work

Courtesy: People's Pharmacy

A pattern I noticed before I discovered what worked for me is that I would buy a cleanser and my skin would start to clear up shortly after I started using it. But then, it would just…stop working? I would keep trying to use it and at the same time I would load up on other harsh products that would only make things worse because I thought that if this one product worked once, it has to start working again eventually …right? 

Another question this situation might trigger is “Did my skin just adapt to the product and stop responding to it?” 

According to Paula Begoun, the founder of Paula’s Choice Skincare, the concept of your skin building a “tolerance” to the products you use is “a complete myth” that “isn’t physiologically possible.” The truth is that sometimes a product may slow down in the results it brings, so it’s still reacting to your skin, just maybe not as quickly as you might want. 

The other part of this equation is that skin changes according to different climates and lifestyles, so you may need to change up your routine to adapt to your skin’s current needs. “If your skin becomes drier in the winter,” Begoun says “then yes, of course, it makes sense to tweak your skin routine.” 

Overall, it’s not only important to pay attention to how your skin is reacting to the products you use, but also how the environment is reacting to your skin. 

5. Change Your Makeup

Courtesy: Nova Spa

Once upon a time, I was using a liquid foundation. “It has salicylic acid!” I said, “it has to be good for my skin!” I said. 

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. 

While it’s true that leaving your makeup on overnight is bad, a lot of base makeup is harmful to your skin anyways because a full coverage foundation especially will clog up your pores until they start suffocating, and instead of turning purple… 

Yep! Red alert. 

After spending way too much time only focusing on how I should be washing my face, my mom brought up the fact that the makeup I was using might be playing a role in my skin as well. I really started to notice changed when I started using products by Bare Minerals. To give specific examples: The Loose Powder Matte Foundation, and the Bare Skin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer.  If you want more of a full face, you can also get the Get Started Mineral Foundation Kit, which includes a primer, foundation, setting powder and brush all for half the price of what you’d pay if you got the products individually.

So, what is it about Bare Minerals that makes it so life-changing?  

Bare Minerals strays from ingredients harmful to the skin that are common in other brands like talc, parabens and preservatives. They use clean ingredients that are much safer for your skin both in the short run and in the long run, and the brand is great if you want a natural “no makeup” look. 

The biggest note to take away from this list is simple (literally): Less is more. Taking care of your skin is a slow and frustrating process, but just by being patient and figuring out all the quirks of your skin, you'll be able to learn all of the tricks you need to get your glow on. 

Courtesy: Well and Good

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