Ah, I remember my first pimple. It was 7th grade, when my side bangs were heavy and my Hollister t-shirts were tight *nostalgia*. I walked by a mirror in art class and noticed something on my chin. As with most things in middle school, this teeny blemish seemed like the end of the world as I knew it. From there, I would spend years trying basically everything to improve my skin.
I always envied people with great skin. My friend Lana legitimately has the face of a newborn infant. It’s like she doesn’t have pores… which now I’m thinking might be unhealthy…how does your skin breathe Lana???? I need answers.
Unfortunately, I do not have flawless baby skin. Instead, I have been graced with an oily T-zone, large pores, and notorious under-eye dark circles. Don’t be mistaken, I know it could be a lot worse. I once watched an episode of True Life: I Have Cystic Acne, and I have not complained about my skin since.
Still, in high school I would dream about being able to leave the house without makeup, or not feeling insecure if I thought someone was looking at my latest cluster of whiteheads. I tried Proactive, Clean and Clear, etc. etc. – all the products that roped me in with commercials of a slow-mo shot of a girl splashing water on her perfect face. As many times as I dramatically threw water at my face, none of it really worked.
As I got into college and out of hormone-ridden teenage years, I noticed my breakouts lessen, but wondered why they didn’t go away like most of my friends. I continued to try different products, even changed up my make-up regularly to see if that was the issue.
One day, standing in the skincare aisle of the drug store, I spotted a cleanser I hadn’t used yet: Neutrogena Naturals. The whole “natural” part of this collection of products is part of the whole paraben-free, chemical-free movement in beauty products. You can read more about it here.
Being a low-key tree hugging-granola-hippie, I decided to give it a try… and now I refuse to use anything else. It doesn’t claim to “fight acne”, just to remove dirt, makeup, etc., and yet I noticed my skin improving. My roommates even caught on, and now we have to label our own bottles because there’s so many in our bathroom.
That’s when it dawned on me: maybe all the acne-fighting stuff I was using on my face was the real problem. And so I made the push to purify my skincare routine! And (thankfully) I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results.
Besides the Neutrogena Cleanser, I use two products. Yep, that’s the whole “routine”! Legitimately 3 products.
#1: Witch hazel. Sounds kind of freaky, I know. Witch hazel comes from the bark and leaves of a shrub, and is actually a well-known skincare product. I came across it while searching: how to minimize my huge-ass pores.
In the past I’ve avoided toners because they always seemed to dry out/irritate my skin. But this is some *magical* stuff here (nod towards witches). I’ve noticed my dark circles get lighter, my breakouts chill out, and my pores become more refined. I use it every night after washing my face, and before I moisturize with….
#2: Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil. The holy grail of skincare. My mom, the shopping network expert, ordered a set of Josie Maran products last year. While visiting home one weekend, I used the oil on my face before bed, and saw results almost immediately. That’s after a few days!! It held the top spot of my Christmas list this past year, because the only con is that it’s a bit ex$pensive-but SOooOoo worth it.
You’re probably thinking, if you have oily skin, why are you putting more oil on your face? Great question! Honestly I have no clue why I don’t look like I’ve been standing over a fryer for 6 hours after using this. It’s more than likely because I mostly use it at night before bed, and then rinse my face in the morning. As it’s getting warmer out, I’ve stopped using it before putting on my makeup, and instead just mixing a drop into my BB cream.
Important though!! Don’t get the cheap version. I first bought an argan oil-rosemary-something infused drugstore face oil, thinking it would be just as good (broke college kid). It definitely was not (hence the christmas list). Although I’m sticking with my girl Josie, I’m going to assume any product that is 100% argan oil would be comparable.
Understandably, I don’t expect these products to work for everyone! Buuutttt if you’re having any problems with your skin, consider putting away all the harsh stuff and being a little kinder to your pretty face 🙂