Winter Beauty Routine
Winter in Virginia is rough on my skin. I'm a T-Zone girl, generally dryish on my cheeks but a little oily on the forehead/nose/chin area. As a teen/young adult I never had any acne issues, however, I developed what I refer to as stress & hormone induced acne (self diagnosed) in law school and it has continued to persist. I feel like I have tried so many different facial products to get my acne under control. I have finally found a great product that controls any acne flare ups and established a really good winter regimen that keeps my skin hydrated – giving it that dewy glow.
One thing I learned through my escapades of acne flare ups is that a lot of facial products designed to control acne will actually end up wreaking more havoc on your face and causing more acne because it dries your skin out so much (especially when oil production isn't your problem). When I first started out I was buying up any and all product to dry up my acne because I naturally thought it was due to over production of sebum (oil). This was only making my acne worse.
I finally learned what my problem was when I visited a high-end spa and the esthetician doing my facial told me to immediately stop using whatever products I was using because it was seriously aging my skin by drying it out so much. She recommended their Kerstin Florian line of products (linked here) to me and I have been using them ever since without any significant acne issues. To top this off, the regimen I use from Kerstin Florian is a hydrating & rejuvenating line - the exact opposite of what I had been doing to my skin.
Since then, I have added in additional daily products that benefit skin, both inside and out. Peep my daily regimen below and let me know if you have any go-to daily products that you swear by!
Collagen Supplement. I don't care where you get it from, but including collagen in your diet is a must. Basically every single function in your body requires collagen, but it is especially helpful for hair, skin, teeth, and nails. There are a million [I haven't really counted, there could be a million and one] other benefits that you can reap from collagen (including gut health) but I'm not going to go into it here because it's a slight tangent [big tangent]. Just know that you should be including this in your diet daily. I have been using the following two collagen supplements daily for about 4 months consistently: the Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer (linked here) and the Vital Proteins Beauty Water (linked here). I have definitely noticed a change in my skin, and so have others – I've never had people comment on my skin before and recently I have actually received compliments on my skin IRL. Anyways, I really love the creamer. I use the coconut creamer + a splash of coconut milk – it doesn't add a whole lot of flavor, more of an aroma, but it does make my coffee creamy! This is a change from how I used to drink my coffee - black with a splash of coconut milk. If you put lots of flavored creamer in your coffee then the transition to just the collagen creamer may be tough because its not sweet and there is not a lot of flavor. Vital Proteins has two other flavors - vanilla and gingerbread - I didn't like the vanilla, it was really gritty; I haven't tried the gingerbread [let me know if you have and how you like it!]. Either during or after breakfast I drink a big glass of cold water with the Vital Proteins Beauty Water Supplement. I have only tried the lavender flavor. I'm going to be honest - I hated it at first and I wouldn't say I like it presently, I would say I tolerate it. The first time I made it I thought it smelled like urine - disgusting, I know, and I still drank it, even more disgusting. It has definitely grown on me and I drink it daily but I'm def. not craving it. I'm probably not going to order the beauty water again and instead order their plain collagen peptides - linked here.
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Tea. I used to like to take this to go on my way to work but recently have been enjoying it as a wind down before bed. I drink a lot of other liquids in the morning so I think it's also easier to get this in before bed and prevents me from having a glass of wine instead. It's super easy - 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon local honey, lemon wedge, hot water, boom – ACV Tea. Apple Cider Vinegar helps with a litany of problems but most importantly for me it aids in digestion, is a good source of probiotics (here we are at gut health again), prevents/fights indigestion (lifesaver when I was pregnant), prevents acne, and I swear it is helping me lose weight.
Dry Brushing. I was first introduced to dry brushing at a spa and thought "why in the hell is this lady rubbing that dry ass brush against my skin for?" and then I asked politely, "what is this procedure called and what does it do?". She explained that dry brushing your skin is an effective exfoliant while also activating your lymph system. Activating your lymph system helps to naturally detoxify the body. It also might help with stretch marks [insert praying hand emoji here] because dry brushing sheds dead skin cells making way for new skin cell renewal and leaving smoother, brighter skin. It's said to also diminish the appearance of cellulite. Anyways, every morning before I shower I dry brush, then hop right in the shower, and lather my body in coconut oil while I'm still wet and before I get out of the shower to towel dry. I really, really honestly believe it has helped my stretch marks fade. To do the actual dry brushing, I bought this brush at my local grocery store and I begin by brushing upwards from my ankles in long, smooth strokes. The goal here is to brush toward the heart. I have read one article that said you are supposed to start with your inner thigh but most other articles say start with your ankles and brush upward. The only place you brush down is on your back. You want to brush hard enough so that your skin turns pinkish but this process should not hurt. To get that nice pink color sometimes requires multiple passes over each area.
Oils. I have removed all cream moisturizers from my skin care routine and only use oils to moisturize with. Currently, for my face, I am using an Organic Grapeseed Oil (linked here) and Egyptian Magic (linked here) in the morning and at night. Yes, putting straight up oil on your face is the exact opposite of what we've been told to do all our lives, but I'm telling you, once you make the switch, I don't think you'll go back. I was so very nervous about switching and the resulting break out that was sure to happen from rubbing oil all over my face. But, I did, in the name of research, and I love it. Caveat here - I did go through an initial smallish breakout from switching up my routine, but I just continued my new oily routine and after that initial breakout I haven't had any breakouts since. Back to my routine - after washing and toning my face and using some serums I apply Grapeseed Oil followed by Egyptian Magic and then I apply my sunscreen. My skin has never looked better. Grapeseed Oil is supposed to decrease dark circles (bonus for moms who don't sleep ever), moisturize the skin, boost collagen production, prevent acne, and tighten skin. Egyptian Magic was recommended by a girl I know from college who literally has the best skin I've ever seen on planet earth, so that was a no brainer.
I have really seen a drastic change in my skins appearance and texture since implementing all of this! It may sound like a lot but if I can fit these things into my daily regimen than you can to! Let me know if you use any of the above products or if you have any ride or die products that you swear by!