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Winter Skin Care

I think I may have finally found a good routine to keep my face moisturized through these awfully dry winters. 

As a young woman now getting well into her mid-20s, I suffered from skin issues right up until quite recently in my life. I’ve written previously about how I (by chance) quit washing my face and found it actually appeared to really help my skin. So I don’t wash my face anymore. At most I will put some olive oil or other oil on a washcloth and give my face a gentle exfoliation. At the least, I will splash it with lukewarm water. I don’t put hot water on my face. Yada yada yada. 

Don’t be mislead – the skin on my face isn’t perfect now or anything. I still do plenty to harm my skin. I go through periods where I touch it way too much (mostly during class in school, without thinking), since I generally avoid wearing moisturizer I also end up lacking the SPF that would ideally be in any moisturizer I would wear, I don’t always take my makeup off before sleeping, I smoke (although very, very little – I average about one cigarette every two to three days. No, I’m not quitting, I just smoke for the pleasure of it. I used to smoke about half a pack a day, though.). So my skin isn’t necessarily pampered. But I did realize that not washing it made a significant, recognizable positive impact. 

So in addition to my current skincare practices (lack of practices?) I noticed a pattern that gives my skin a good amount of moisture underneath my thin layer of makeup. 

First, before applying makeup, I will splash my face with lukewarm water. If it’s been a while since I exfoliated or I feel like I did it, I will lightly run a washcloth over my skin. If I do the washcloth, I will wait like ten minutes before doing anything else. My sister, who went to school and learned all about skin and stuff, told me to do this. It was years ago so I forget her reasoning, but I believed her and I continue to follow her advice to this day. So then, after ten minutes (or immediately after a rinse with a light dab to dry my skin), I will apply a scent-free moisturizer with SPF (sometimes I’ll use olive oil instead). After years of messing around with skin care products, I have found that generic moisturizers with no added scents and few ingredients are most friendly to my skin. Use whatever you want. 

Then, I put a touch of Vaseline around my eye area. My mother swears petrolium based products are TERRIBLE for me… and she may be right. I don’t use Vaseline a ton, though, like some people. I don’t slather it all over my body under any circumstances. I put a touch around my eyes and in any other dry-prone areas (forehead, around my nose) to seal in moisture after I’ve moisturized. And that’s they key to using Vaseline. It’s not a moisturizer. In fact, a lot of moisturizers aren’t inherently going to add moisture to your skin. You need to get moisture to your skin and then keep it in there. So drink water, don’t melt all the natural oils off your skin with steaming hot showers and face washing practices, and don’t use harsh chemical cleansers that strip away all traces of natural moisture. I don’t do all this, so my skin keeps some moisture in it, and then I shield what moisture I have in my skin from the elements with Vaseline. In addition to this, I also will put on chapstick at this point, which will later get covered by a light layer of lipstick (sometimes). 

Then, I apply a light layer of makeup, etc. As a perk, the Vaseline gives you a dewy sort of look. So if you are blessed with skin that requires nothing more than a tinted moisturizer or light-coverage makeup just to even out natural uneven skintone… lucky! Even still, the Vaseline gives a nice dewy look. 🙂

Anyway, like I said.. my skin isn’t perfect. But my other sis and I have both severely stripped back all our skin-care practices, bumping it down to very bare-bones basics (water, oils, etc) and have both seen huge improvements in our skin. Don’t let all that advertising fool you. Especially young women, as you get older. You skin changes when you enter your teens, and changes again as your hormones level out and you move into adulthood, and it will change again once you hit menopause. This, in addition to different environments and seasons.. there isn’t a one-size-fits-all skin-care regimen. But I truly feel that simpler is better. 

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