You all know those days when your skin just. will. not. cooperate!
When I was in my teens, I used to have pretty bad skin, hormonal outbreaks and all the redness and spottiness that come along with it. I shudder looking back on it. The truth is that when you are in your teens, unless you are blessed with incredible genes, it's all part of the game and there is not that much you can do about it, really, besides just taking good care of it and not being too harsh on yourself. It's all hormonal.
It will pass though. I promise.
Over the recent years, my bombarded skin has changed into a delightful even-toned field of radiance. Apparently oily and olive tinted skin is one of the best to age gracefully. Lucky me.
But this does not save me from THOSE kind of days.
One of my dear friends recently asked me over coffee what to do when one wakes up and your face is just an angry mess and you need it, well, not to be by the next day. She has known me since childhood and has seen the improvement my skin has made (unfortunately she also has the pictures at hand to prove it....insert nervous laughter...) and knows I know about every solution there is for bad skin, since I have tried them all firsthand.
So here is what I do,
when you are about to go to bed and you find that your skin is acting up a bit, pour hot (and I do mean HOT) water on a cloth and steam your face with it. When the cloth is just right enough to touch your skin with it, gently (!) press it onto your skin for 5 seconds. You do not want to burn your skin right off (treat it like a baby's bottom, I tell you!), so wait until your common sense tells you to go for it. I find this opens up my pores really well (I also do a steam session once or twice a week, but that is for when you truly have the time for it, not when you are dying to go to bed and your boyfriend is hassling you about the time you spend in the bathroom).
I have read some experts believe the opposite is true : ice. cold. water.
You can try both for yourselves. For me, the harshness of the cold water just tightens up my pores and the tough love just does not do anything for me. Like I said, my skin needs some TLC once in a while. I just don't buy into the "suffer to be beautiful" mantra. There's nothing wrong with pampering yourself, dreading a simple skincare routine won't do you any good.
After that I wash my face with a gentle cleanser. I use the Clinique soap, but the softest one of the bunch. For a really cheap alternative there is a pink one by Nivea for sensitive skin (this is a great option for when your skin is acting out, most products that have a 'for sensitive skin' label contain calming ingredients) which works really well. Don't be a snob and get it, trust me, I've tried them all, from the superexpensive to the drugstore-cheap ones. If it works, it works. It's that simple.
Then, instead of using a toner I take a moisturizing or calming mask. Rituals makes a really great one with honey. Vogue US recently did a recession related article on skincare in which the writer proclaims pure honey as a cheap solution to thirsty skin. This is in fact true.
Now, the key to getting your skin back in shape in a short time period is simply to massage it. So instead of leaving the mask on and doing nothing, be active and massage until your fingers feel numb. This gets the blood flowing to your face and will leave your skin glowing with joy. No blush necessary anymore. This is actually more difficult with real honey, so just tapping the honey with the top of your fingers all over your face has the same effect.
Shu Uemura just came out with a product that also seems great for this kind of activity: Amino Massage Oil Foam. I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Then take a washing cloth, make sure it is damp by using hot water on it and take the mask off.
One of the most hyped up products out there truly lives up to its expectations and rave reviews. I find that aside from the long-term effects it claims to have on your skin ( neutralizing (internal and external) stress) you really can see a difference in your skin the next day. I am talking about that Little Brown Bottle : Advanced Night Repair by Estée Lauder. I really don't get carried away by irrealistic promises made by skincare companies, but after so many years, this product still has an A+ rep. This is not a bargain, but you only need one drop a night, so it will last for more than one/ two years. It's a serum, so you need to put on a moisturizer afterwards (I find that any will do, no need to break the bank : Nivea night cream works just fine). Again, massage the moisturizer in.
Drink some green tea to get your toxins flowing and hit the sack, because we all know the BEST thing you can do for your skin is a good night's sleep. Wake up with model worthy skin. Hurray!
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