I have moments when my skin and I will be the best of friends, not a pimple in sight and boy am I on cloud nine on those days. Seriously, I feel like staring at a mirror throughout and enjoy how great my skin looks. Then there are days when I’ll wake up and there it is…this big pimple smack in the middle of my forehead! It is at this point, I’ll take a moment to try and figure out what forces conspired against me. Furthermore, that’s the day I’ll meet a friend who does just decides to make public my predicament, pointing at my pimple and say something like: “Oh, you have a pimple?” or “What happened here?” I’m forced to muster all the strength not to take off my shoe and commence to unleash a serious can of whooping because such questions will be asked in front of other people, meaning I’ll be self-conscious about my face all through. So I end up with this half smile, half crazed look (yeah, you know that look) waiting for the moment to pass.
If there is one wish every woman would want granted it is to have flawless skin, void of any pimples, unevenness, skin as smooth as a baby’s bum that you would kill to have (by the way, those people who make such statements: “I’d kill for Michelle Obama’s arms” “I’d kill for those legs”, stop. Apparently it’s creepy) :-). We have seen them…ladies with skin so flawless you almost wonder whether they have pores (yes we see you). It’s understandable because we all want to look good since our faces are the first thing people see whether you’re meeting with your friends or just walking around town going about your business.
That said, I am thankful I have normal skin and it has never been too problematic. It is not perfect but I have managed to figure out a routine and tips that work for my skin type and hopefully my skin care tips can help you on your own journey.
Figure out your skin type and products that work for you
Dry, normal, combination, sensitive or oily skin…figuring out your skin type and what products you need is probably the biggest challenge for many of us, more so because as we grow older, our skin also has different needs, hormones also come into play and can upset everything. Before trying out anything on your face, identify your skin type. This will go a long way in helping you get the right products for your skin. As I said, I have normal skin and I found that St. Ives products, specifically, the Fresh Skin Apricot Cleanser, Refreshing Toner and Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub work for me when it comes to cleansing and toning my skin. For moisturizer, I use the Oriflame Even Out day (SPF 20) and night creams, plus a wrinkle cream around the eyes. One thing I’m eager to try out is a face serum. After reading quite a number of articles highlighting the benefits, I’m planning on doing my research and invest in a good serum to try out and let you know how it goes. Wish me luck! *Fingers crossed*
Find a dermatologist
DIYs are good and so are friends’ recommendations on products to use. However I don’t think there’s anything that can ever beat a good dermatologist. My mum introduced me to a really good one located at Upper Hill Medical Centre and ever since, for any issues I have with my skin, he’s on my speed dial. I once woke up with a rash on my face that was super itchy and immediately made an appointment to see my dermatologist. I carried my face creams so that he could know what I have been applying on my face and advise me if I needed to change. So, I highly recommend finding a good dermatologist who can examine your skin, diagnose any infection and recommend the right medication and products on your face.
Never sleep with makeup
This has been mentioned numerous times in so many articles but still some ladies will sleep with makeup on. Sleeping with a full face or any amount of makeup on your face (even lipstick) is not recommended because your pores will get clogged with product, bacteria and before long will have you breaking out. No matter how tired I am, whether I had a full face of makeup or just lipstick, I always wash off the makeup and apply my night cream. In fact, even when I haven’t applied a stitch of makeup, I cleanse my face twice a day to remove any dirt and oil build up to give my skin a chance to rest and feel more refreshed.
Elevating your hygiene game
Think about the number of things your hands come in contact with…from door handles, handrails on stair cases or in a matatu, oil you applied on your hair, toilet flushing handle. To add on to that, you also have your phone, which depending on where you are, will place on a table, in the car, hand it to a friend to hold for you or a child to play games with. I’m sure I haven’t even scratched but that is a lot of dirt and grime that may come in contact with your face. I try and avoid touching my face as much as possible and to be aware of my surroundings and in the event I need to touch my face, I always clean my hands. I also always have a pack of wet wipes and hand sanitizer with me, which I use to wipe my hands, phone, glasses…pretty much everything that comes in contact with my face. I know it may sound a bit OCD but hey I feel better knowing I’ve done that.
We have all picked at pimples on our faces and we know it’s wrong, but we do it anyway. I try to avoid that as much as possible and let the pimple run its course. Most just heal on their own, while others in will sometimes ripen (honestly I tried to find the right word to describe those pesky pimples) and I’ll find some white substance at the tip of the pimple. In such cases, I’ll use two cotton ear buds, place them on either side of the pimple and gently squeeze to pop pimple. I’ll then use the other end of the ear bud to wipe the substance, being careful to avoid spreading it on my skin and having other pimples break out.
When it comes to my makeup brushes, I avoid sharing them with my friends (I love you guys…hugs and kisses) and when I do, I make sure I wash them. This minimizes the chances of transferring bacteria to them and vice versa. If I’m doing makeup for someone, I always make sure my brushes are clean and if it’s more than one person, I’ll wipe down my brushes before the next person. I also make a note to clean my brushes every week, at the most every two weeks depending on my usage to clean off the product build up and dirt, to minimize chances of breakouts.
You probably never think about it but oil on your hair, sweat and other forms of dirt can get transferred to your pillowcases, which can end up coming in contact with your face. I try to change my pillowcases if possible every couple of days or at the very least every week to reduce the chances of getting breakouts.
Eat right and hydrate
As you take care of your skin on the outside, you also need to take care of it from the inside, which means eating right. I load up on veggies both raw and cooked, reduced my sugar intake as well as fruits and nuts when I want to snack and of course taking a lot of water. I used to struggle with this because love food but meal prepping I have found really helps me to plan my meals so that I can incorporate healthier options in my meals. Now I’m not saying I count my calories down to the last nut or measure my food but neither do I deny myself of the delicious goodness that is junk…I just do it in moderation. I’ve been enjoying smoothies of late and trying out different combinations, which have turned out great. I made one with spinach, kale, avocado, green apple and a bit of watermelon for ease of blending and some mango to sweeten it a bit and it was delicious! My colleague saw me taking it one day and grimaced like I was drinking an alien substance.
Lots of sleep
When my friends message me or call me and I don’t respond, they know I’m probably asleep. You know that person who wants to chat at around 10.30pm, when you’re just about to turn in or just want to relax, I don’t like that person. I love sleeping and will take every opportunity especially over the weekend because when I haven’t had enough sleep, no amount of makeup can hide it. 🙂 Moral of the story: get enough sleep!
At the end of it, we’ll always have pimples popping out at one time or another, so just love the skin your in and take care of it…breakouts and all. It’ll get better. 🙂
P.S: Two weekends ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a panel on KTN’s Saturday morning show Weekend Express where we got to talk about taking care of your skin. Click on the links below to watch the interview!