For the record, I was going to wait until next week to post so it looks like I’m well-paced and thought out. Sorry, m’loves! I’m spastic and any time new information hits, I have to share it.
I’ve been making my own body lotion for a few years now because the thought of my body absorbing ingredients that I can’t pronounce gives me the Willy Lopez. The next obvious step was to do that for my face. The only problem was (and kind of still is today) that my skin sucks. Hardcore. Like the rent is due.
I’ve had large pores, sporadic pimples, blackheads, random whiteheads and every now and then the ever-sexy cystic acne (usually along my jawline as a result of hormonal fluctuations. If I don’t turn into a turtle with ninja powers very soon all this metamorphosis has been severely wasteful) pretty much most of my life. I’ve been told I’m not a certified pizza face by any stretch of the imagination but as far as my patience and acceptance of facial acne goes, I happen to think it’s biblical.
I’ve had many facials in my life. While most of them were incredibly expensive to just be a professional popping session (one that I could have just done on my own, thank you very much $195 later), one of them led me to an aesthetician who finally explained the mysteries of skin to me. This basically cut down my appointments from once a month to once every whenever-I-felt-like-it. Facials were not the way to skincare as a permanent thing. The responsibility of maintenance falls on me. In layman’s terms and intelligence, I will do my best to tell you what she told me and then eventually get to the point of this blog – I swear there is one!
She explained that a facial regimen should include a few steps. She had to say that because despite all those squeaky clean, lying-ass commercials about facial care, I still hadn’t figured it out. Also, I was lazy and those trips were becoming hella expensive so it was about time to get schooled. Skin care is not a one-step deal.
The obvious first step to the regimen is the washing of the face. There are certain camps who believe daily scrubbing is just fine for your skin while skeptical others believe you’re Freddy-fying your face. Since I’m not (spoiler alert!) a doctor, find your comfort level with scrubbing. I’ll wash in the morning and scrub at night to break it up some. Once your face is clean, the next step is dabbing it dry with a clean towel. Since you’re not about to wash your facial towel every single day, this is the only time I’ll suggest a throwaway product like paper towel. Once it’s dry, your important (and often ignored) next step is to use astringent. This gets rid of whatever your cleanser left behind, restores pH levels in your skin and tightens the pores somewhat. I ignored this step even after she advised me to do it. Don’t. It took me a while and a few hundred dollars to figure out this was my missing piece.
The last step took a bit of convincing, not gunna lie. She explained that I needed to moisturize my face. I don’t know that I’ve ever laughed so hard. I have pretty oily skin – it didn’t make any sense to add to it. She explained that my skin is oily and dehydrated. It sounded like an oxymoron. She said your skin needs two things: water and oil. In order to keep it in good condition and balance, I needed to address both of those concerns. The obvious first step would be to do what I still struggle with: drink buttloads of water. The second would be to moisturize. She explained that washing your face strips it of oils that help protect the skin. Once your skin’s pH is out of whack, it goes into overdrive producing oil which defeats the whole purpose. Washing your face also cleans out your pores. Think of your pores as empty cups once they’re cleaned out. You’re way better off filling those cups with stuff your skin can use before the environment steps in and makes a decision for you.
Now for the new info.
I’d been using the almighty, golden child coconut oil as my moisturizer for a while now. It’s not very greasy, boasts 3.5 million uses and is antimicrobial so it just seemed to have come down from the gods. I’d recently switched to apricot oil after I read that it had antiaging properties even though I’m only 30 and am thoroughly annoyed by and opposed to the youth obsessed culture into which I was born. Since I had a pretty bad outbreak recently (one of the hottest days of the year + a full day spent walking around, dripping sweat = bump city), I’ve decided to educate myself a bit more about what I’m doing with my skin.
My new cool kid on the block. My gentle, protective, simple Hodor. As common sense that I was lacking has it, carrier oils have levels of how comedogenic they are. Comedogenic means “tending to clog pores especially by the formation of blackheads”. As luck would have it, apricot and coconut oils are a level right under highly-comedogenic. Definitely not what I’m trying to do here. Hemp seed oil is at a 0. Does not clog pores. Score one!
The second great feature of its magical sexiness is that it has high levels of linoleic acid. Of all the oils used as a moisturizing alternative, hemp has the highest levels of it. What is linoleic acid, you ask? Don’t be embarrassed to raise your hand and ask questions – I’d never heard of it before today either. We’re learning together! People with acne typically show low levels of this stuff on their skin surface lipids. When there’s not enough linoleic acid on the skin, sebaceous glands produce sebum with oleic acid which is irritating and causes skin congestion. By using something high in linoleic acid, we balance out the levels in our skin to help control congestion. In case this isn’t totally getting you on the hemp train, this oil also contains vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption (yay!), acts as a mild sunblock (woo!), acts as an anti-inflammatory (tits!) and will do your dishes for you (unconfirmed!).
I’ve been a bit lazy about my skincare lately and it shows like woah. In an attempt to be a responsible adult about it, I just ordered a bottle of organic hemp oil and once I get it I’m working it into the regimen. I promise! Should this end up being a bottle of lies, I will update you and we will revolt.
I vow that from this day forward, I will wash my face twice a day, follow that up with astringent and a moisturizer. No more laziness and clear skin for all!
And now because I’m gross…