This used to be my life. Ok, so maybe it’s a tiny bit of an exaggeration, but I remember having more shampoos, moisturizers, pore-cleansing strips, lip glosses and eye shadows than you could shake a stick at. Slowly, I’m coming out of my addiction to more.
I am currently enjoying the clearest, healthiest skin of my life, and just a few years ago, I would have been skeptical that the products I’m using now could do it. I bought into the idea that I needed a lot of different kinds of cosmetics to look my best.
I used to use nearly 50% more skincare products than I do now:
- A morning cleanser
- An evening cleanser
- A moisturizer
- A serum
- An under eye cream
- A facial scrub
- A mask
- A toner, sometimes two
Now I use
- Makeup remover
- Facial soap
- Aloe vera gel
- Rose water
- Mineral water that sprays in a fine mist
Part of this change is that I live in France, and I don’t want to ship my products across the Atlantic just so my pores can look a little smaller. I’m working toward buying local and reducing the number of ingredients on each of the products I do use.
I loved my Michael Todd products, but the simple fact is that I didn’t need all of that. And my skin has a lot less redness and tendency to break out than it did before. It’s even less dry, as long as I don’t let myself get dehydrated by skipping the water and going for too much alcohol or caffeinated drinks.
All of these makeup brands are trying to push products like primer. Now that my skin is in good balance, I can spritz my face with the mineral water and/ or put on some aloe vera gel. While my face is recently hydrated and maybe a little damp, I’ll put on my foundation with a brush.
Unless I’m really, really dry on my nose, it works great. Honestly.
I think that one of the reasons my face was out of balance was that I was using products that dried it out or gave it too much oil/ moisture. However, I also think that skincare starts with self-care (i.e. getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, eating fruits and veggies, getting exercise, not stressing yourself out and just generally being kind to yourself, and washing your face with water that isn’t too hot, etc).
It’s hard to pinpoint, really. If you’re caring for yourself well, I think that you naturally gravitate toward products that will be better for your body and your skin because you’re listening to yourself.
For example, I used my Michael Todd moisturizer recently and experienced a lot of oil production and redness on my face. Now, there are some different reasons for this, but in the past, I think I just blamed it on my “bad skin” and thought it was normal because it was already a big improvement from how dry and red my skin was from using Dove soap on my face and products with lots of preservatives, fragrances, and other nasties from Lush (don’t get me started on how they pretend to be organic-ish and totally are not).
I’m currrently debating whether to repurchase just one Michael Todd product, their Honey and Oat cleanser. This thing gets all my makeup off (except eye makeup) without drying my skin, and I can just wash it off. My current cleanser takes off makeup, but I have to use cotton pads with it, which is wasteful, and then I have to wash my face after.
Hmm, I may start the hunt for some soft, reusable cloths for removing my makeup…
I am thankful that I’m (finally!) using more natural products and seeing such great results for my skin. I’ll do another post where I tell you exactly which products I’m using and what kinds of things to look out for if you don’t have that exact product in your area.
My hair is another story… Fingers crossed that I find a shampoo that doesn’t irritate my scalp, has natural ingredients, and doesn’t give me a greasy mop instead of a shiny mane!