Similar to a perfect body, having perfect skin seems attainable. If you eat the right food, use the right products, and are diligent and consistent, you’ll have skin as soft and clear as a baby’s. Or so the media says.
With a wedding right around the corner, I decided to test this theory. If there was any time to do it, and any time to convince myself that splurging was actually a necessity, my big day was it.
Prior to overhauling my skincare routine, my habits could be described in one word: lazy. While I’ve always been diligent about washing my face before bed, drinking a lot of water, and wearing a moisturizer with sunscreen, I’d only gotten one facial and I rarely purchased products over $20. Not to mention, I never read product labels, I added new serums and balms to my regime regularly, and I loved scouring my pores for congestion and dissecting them until they were clear or bleeding — all the skincare no-nos. And I love sweets.
After scouring the Internet and forcing my skincare-loving pals to divulge their secrets, I came up with a plan of attack: 1) cut the sugar and up the green juice, 2) commit to monthly facials and get a proper skin assessment, 3) switch to all-natural products, 4) test some of the latest trends, 5) get more sleep.
My journey began at HeyDay, a facial company that uses all-natural products and doesn’t boast a crazy price tag. (A membership provides monthly facials for $70 and 10 percent off all products — yes please!)
My facialist told me what I already knew: that my skin has sun damage, was overwhelmed from the variety of products I was using, and my social drinking habits were drying and dulling. What I didn’t know what that vitamin C was about to become my new best friend and that consistency actually makes a huge difference. I stocked up on Image Skincare Vital C products — face wash, serum, eye cream, and a hydrating mask — and went on my merry way. That night, I didn’t treat myself to a glass of wine.
My next stop was CAP Beauty, the newest skincare darling in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Everything in the shop was out of my budget, but I continued full speed ahead, as if I’d recently won the lottery. I left with The Beauty Chef Inner Glow set (a probiotic powder and collagen liquid to drink daily), SW Basics starter set (all-natural toner, makeup remover, and night cream), and a variety of organic makeup to replace my chemical-rich staples. The contents of my bag made me feel like a celebrity.
Fast forward six months, and the wedding was here, as was my “perfect skin” debut. But my skin hardly looked different. I was pimple-free and glowing moderately more, but I didn’t see the transformation I was hoping for.
Similar to body type, I think it’s hard to completely transform skin. And as much fun as it was to play with products and treatments, what made the biggest difference was what I was putting in my body, not on it.
This is what worked the best for me:
-Cutting caffeine, dairy, gluten, and unnatural sugars
-Eating a mostly vegan diet, rich with produce and vegetarian proteins
-Drinking as much water as possible
-Sleeping, sleeping, and sleeping some more
But these products seemed to work some magic, too:
-Too Cool for School Egg Cream Sheet Masks
-The Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Powder
-Philosophy Vitamin C Booster
-Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque
Bottom line, it’s all about what works for you. It’s also about being realistic and knowing that no product can cure the results of a bad diet and poor habits. Love yourself, and your skin will love you back.
Photo credit: Lauren Belknap