Skin can take care of itself, but your skin doesn't think looking goods important it focuses on protecting your insides. Your skin doesn't mind a few wrinkles here and there or some pimples and a cluster or two of blackheads, but those wrinkles and pimples can drive a person CRAZY! I now wish I could have a quick chat with my 14-year-old self to explain how simple good skin is, but alas I have not yet found a way to do that so I'm going to explain all that I know here, for you beloved my reader.
Basically how moisturizers work is by keeping the moisture that’s in your skin in. Things like Shea butter and vitamin E can increase your skins moisture level so if you have dry skin look for things with these in them. The important thing is water, it is both skin cares savior and enemy. To get the most out of your creams and lotions use them RIGHT after your skin touches water, so right after you wash and dry your hands (for example). When your skin is wet it's got lots of moisture but as the water dries up it actually takes moisture from your skin leaving it drier then before, so you want to get that moisturizer on in that window between soft and dry. Applying lotion to dry hands throughout the day is not effective, using lotion right after you wash your hands is very effective!
Skin care companies will say almost anything to get us to buy more of their products, including the lie that you must wash your face twice a day. If you have very oily skin then using a cleanser on your face morning and night may be beneficial but if you have just minor-average acne or normal skin or (especially) dry skin then washing your face twice a day is a waste of cleanser and time. Simply splash water on your face in the morning, pat dry with a towel and moisturize. A splash of water is enough to wash away anything that may have accumulated on your face during the night (assuming you washed your face before bed) and it preps your skin for your moisturizer which all skin types benefit from (including those with oily skin). Picking a moisturizer is hard, that is very true. I like Nivea soft for my face and a nivea eye cream because I have dark circles. Cetaphil also makes great moisturizers and they are often featured in beauty magazines favorite products. But finding a good moisturizer is really a try it and see situation. A good thing to know is that skin cells take about 23 days to turnover, which means it, takes about a month to see what a product does to your skin. So if you try a cream for a week you really don't know if it was good or not. Knowing this one-month rule has really helped me find good skin care products. If a product makes you break out, it will take about a month to show, so don't judge a product on the pimple that you got a day after you bought it. To find a good product ask people whose skin you admire what they use, and check out online reviews. Often if you go to YouTube and type in the products name and "review" tons of video reviews will come up. I also love makeupalley.com, which is a site full of people discussing products they do and don’t like, and you can sort through reviews by age or skin type of the reviewer, which is very helpful.
I personally do not use sunscreen on my face because every facial sunscreen I try causes a major breakout for me. This is because sunscreens work by sealing all of your pores shut. So for right now I just try to avoid the sun and I use a foundation with SPF but I doubt that gives me much coverage. I do use a lip balm with SPF when I'm outside a lot though because my lips don't break out and they are very thin skinned so they need lots of care.
You may wonder why I am writing a section on Vaseline, and it is because I LOOOOOOVE Vaseline, it is one of my main broke-beauty secrets. Vaseline makes my elbows soft, my feet smooth, my shoulders glisten, my lips moist and plump, and my cuticles gorgeous! How? Well petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is the BEST at keeping moisture in (you'll see it listed in many moisturizers ingredient lists), so for a dry skin girl like myself it's a godsend. After I shower I coat my body in body lotion (I like st.ives but most body lotions are created equal) and then I glob Vaseline on the soles of my feet (that I lightly pumice in the shower) on my elbows and shoulders. When I have Vaseline giving my shoulders a nice glow people ask me if I've been working out because my arms looked toned (little do they know I'm a master couch potato teehehe). I rub it into my cuticles before bed when they are dry and I wake up to beautiful hands and I coat my lips in it before I go to sleep so my lips stay moist while I snor for 8 hours (okay it's more like 5 hours, I need to sleep more). I have even been re-growing part of one of my eyebrows by rubbing lots of Vaseline in it before bed. If I were stranded on a desert island, I’d be fine until I ran out of my Vaseline.
Acne is the bane of most teenagers’ life and 80% of Americans between the ages of 11-30 suffer from acne (that’s a real statistic). Acne is cause by the devil, I'm just joking it's not but it seems that way doesn't it? Acne is cause by sebum (skin oil) and bacteria and skin flakes etc clogging up your pores, we can also blame hormones, stress, and salty foods. I feel now is the time I say CHOCOLATE DOESN'T CAUSE ACNE! Things like salty chips and fries do, but mostly it's hormones and your skins natural oils and sometimes skin care product and cosmetics. If you have really bad acne I suggest going to see your doctor because the effective acne creams are prescription only and when I was a teenager that’s how I finally conquered my acne. It's scary but you just go to your doctor and say "I'm tired of suffering from painful zits and the scars they leave behind, please prescribe me something to help me deal with it" I would suggest getting something topical before trying out an anti-acne pill just because the pills can be a bit risky, and your your a girl their are birth control pills formulated to help get rid of acne and it will also lessen your cramps and shorten your periods, yaaaaay.
If you can avoid popping your pimples, it can cause scarring and even more pimples. But if you must pop then pop and wash and don't put acne creams on open wounds. I put polysporin on the scabs of pimples I’ve popped (because I'm weak and I hate having mountains on my face). Also take steps like AVOID TOUCHING YOUR FACE, don't lean with your face in your hand don't rub your face when you're tired. It's a hard habit to break but if you work at it will become natural and your skin will look better as your reward :). Also washing your pillowcases once a week helps to because well your sleeping your sweat and skin cells get into your pillowcase and can then later clog your pores.
To some it up:
At night wash your face with a facial cleanser, not a bar of soap because they contain waxes that can clog your pores, then moisturize and head to bed and when you wake up splash water on your face pat dry and moisturize. All done :)