As part of my goal to get better at skincare, I want to learn about more than just what products to use. Y’all know I love testing things out and giving recommendations when I find something I love (like Tula products or what the heck to do for hormonal acne – more on this later), and then I also like to get to the WHY behind certain issues.
What I’ve learned in the past few years is if we take a minute to understand what’s causing our skin to freak out, we’ll know how to treat it better – AKA know what products to use! So I put together this list of things I’ve noticed with myself personally or read about. If you’re on a skincare journey or starting to notice lots of new issues pop up during life as an adult, I hope it helps you understand your skin better and how our lifestyles/habits can have an effect!
Makeup is probably the number one culprit for me. I’m pretty consistent with my evening routine but just wearing it throughout the day can cause blemishes or dry skin. Do any of y’all struggle with this too? To improve this situation, I tend to go makeup-free a lot. Especially since I work from home, it’s easy for me to go days without actually putting on a full face of makeup.
If you work in an office or have to leave the house on a daily basis, try simplifying your makeup routine to help your skin out. Get a really good moisturizer and then add mascara. I honestly think mascara makes all the difference when it comes to makeup. Oh and maybe a little concealer if you struggle with red-nose syndrome like me (it’s a THING).
If you want a little color, add some blush and a tinted lip balm. This way your skin can breathe throughout the day and you still look put together. But still, definitely wash your face at night because there are tons of pollutants and dirt in the air you don’t want hanging out on your skin – whether you wear makeup or not.
Ugh, why does this have to be a thing? Feeling stressed is already THE WORST, so when acne pops up with it, things just go from bad to worse quickly.
But how in the world does stress cause acne? Well, without getting too science-y, when you’re stressed, your body releases more of a hormone called cortisol and cortisol can trigger increased oil production and therefore – breakouts.
The key here is to find ways to release that stress before it turns into acne. Try meditating, working out regularly (I’ve been loving barre!), going for walks, etc. to put your mind at ease. Personally, I love brain dumps and journaling – they help keep my thoughts in order (because #brightonbrain) and stress away.
I’m not going to lie, I always thought dry winter skin was sort of a myth. I mean I knew the air got drier in the winter, but I never really experienced “dry winter skin” until recently. Maybe part of this is because I live in a place that doesn’t have a true winter climate, but I definitely know now that it is a real thing!
To add extra hydration to your skin, start by making sure you’re drinking tons of water every day and eating water-dense foods like cucumbers and grapefruits. Then, add in skincare products heavy with hyaluronic acid. I know the word acid sounds a little scary, but it actually helps make and keep your skin moisturized. I would also do a hydrating mask at least two or three times a week just for good measure.
I have one tip here: wash your sheets regularly! I never really realized it until someone pointed it out to me a few years ago, but our pillowcases are actually kind of disgusting. Like, everything that was ever on your face or in your hair gets transferred to them. And then if they go without getting washed for weeks (or months – oops), think of all the bacteria that grows in the meantime?! If washing your sheets feels like too much effort, at the very least take your pillowcase off and throw it in with your regular weekly load – that’s what I usually do, if not more.
The wrong products for your skin
Whenever something used to be weird or off with my skin, I used to think about what products I could use to counteract it. Now, I think of it in reverse – what products could be causing it! Yes, some of the products you swear by could actually be the reason you’re breaking out, feeling super dry or extra sensitive. Even a chemical that might be fine for others could be an allergen to you or one that your skin doesn’t like. If you notice that your skin is getting irritated, breaking out, or whatever, start taking note of the products in the products you’re using at the time. You can even go to a doctor or derm to do an allergy test which I’m dying to do because I love learning like that!
In general, I would avoid anything with mineral oil or silicone in it because they’re known to clog pores. I’ve also been trying to opt for more “natural” products to help reduce the chance my skin might freak out if I use something new but I’m definitely not a pro here…YET.
Food is usually the last place my mind goes when I have a breakout or something, but I know it can have an effect. And honestly, if I’ve been eating lots of processed sugar slash greasy burgers and fries, I can see it on my skin. And y’all know I love candy and tacos and all the bad things! But my skin gets dull and some blemishes might show up and it’s not fun. Something I’m trying to be more aware of as I also work on eating healthier and making more meals at home.
I’ve also read things like dairy and spicy foods can make you break out, so if you’ve recently eaten a lot of either of those things, take note so you can make adjustments next time.
I hate to say that sometimes our skin freaks out because we’re women, but unfortunately it’s kinda true. Between that time of the month, hormones changing, pregnancy, whatever, we’re pretty much bound to see hormones come into play throughout our life. FUN STUFF! I usually see a few blemishes around my period, but I know some of y’all say you suffer from intense hormonal acne that usually develops in our late 20s. Y’all shared some AMAZING tips for hormonal acne in this post, so definitely check out the tips there. Sounds like there are some prescriptions and products that are game changers, so that’s kinda next on my list to assess.
OK, what do y’all think? Isn’t it crazy all the things that can affect our skin?! Let me know of anything else you’ve experienced too!
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