How I’m Battling My Dry Skin This Season
In today's post, I'm sharing how I'm successfully battling my dry skin with a safer routine this season!
My skin and I have had a long, arduous relationship. Don't get me wrong, I don't NOT love my skin …we just have history. Growing up, I was the kid who started getting pimples and blackheads WAY before my peers. Those small pimples quickly escalated into full-blown Acne Vulgaris when I was in high school. It was TOUGH having such a painful (physically and emotionally) acne during those formative years. But, to be honest, I'm grateful for the experience. I think it taught me a certain brand of grace, grit, and humility I don't know that I would've learned otherwise. After more rounds of ineffective antibiotics than I can remember and a few attempts at too-painful topical solutions (like Retin-A), I made the decision (with my parents) to go through Accutane. I think I was about 16 when I went on my first round. We signed all the paperwork and hoped for the best. IT WORKED (it's like a nuclear bomb for severe acne) and I almost couldn't believe it. At the time, I didn't care about the potential for long-term dry skin, I was just happy to have a face that wasn't constantly in pain.
So, there's my history with acne! My skin is left with an uneven texture (from the 2+ years of heavy acne scarring), but the color of my scars have mostly faded.
Having said all that, I was also born with sensitive skin …made even more sensitive by the several rounds of “trying to fight the acne” antibiotics and Accutane. It's sensitive and it is dry, dry, dry. Maybe the dryness is a leftover side effect from the Accutane or maybe it's a combination of factors, but my goodness it is THIRSTY.
When I “cleaned up” my skincare + makeup routine about 4 years ago, in an effort to reduce my daily exposure to toxins, my dryness worsened. I avoided wearing makeup whenever possible because I was afraid that it accentuated the dryness. In my late 20's, the chronic dryness even caused me to start to see the early signs of aging. Note: I'm SO not afraid of aging, but I also want to do it gracefully. If there is *something* I can do to nurture my thirsty skin, I want to do it!
I went from a really crunchy homemade oil cleansing routine (cleansing + moisturizing with oils) to looking for products with a little more hydrating power.
I kissed a LOT of frogs over the years. A LOT of frogs. BUT, I've finally found a routine that works for me. Like any girl, I like to keep my routines fresh, rotating through new products as they're available. The products all listed in this post are what I'm using now with GREAT success! My skin usually starts to show extreme dryness when the weather starts to cool down, but I've been able to stave it off with this routine. I lean on products from a couple of my favorite safer skincare brands and have been REALLY happy with the results.
I'm breaking down my routine into face and body. I hope you find it helpful!
FACE ROUTINE for DRY SKIN
- Step 1 – Cleanser: Cleansing Balm. I have found this to be a MAJOR help with my dry skin during the cooler months. I apply a dime-sized amount to my hands, rub it all over my face (it's great at taking off makeup), and wipe away with a warm washcloth. These organic white muslin cloths are GREAT! I bought 2 packs and keep them in my towel closet. The wipe with the cloth also helps as a mechanical (vs. chemical) exfoliator.
- Step 2 – Toner: the Everything Spray by Primally Pure. A note to my fellow sensitive and dry skinned friends: do NOT skip your toner! It plays a critical role in helping your skin pH reset.
- Step 3 – Countermatch Serum. UPDATE: I am in LOVE with this serum and really, really think it adds incredible hydrating power. I've started using it day and night.
Admittedly, I do sometimes skip this in the AM and jump straight to the Day Cream.
- Step 4 AM – Moisturizer: I am LOVING the Countermatch Day Cream. I use about 1.5 pumps.
- Step 4 PM – Moisturizer: the Countermatch Night Cream is wonderful, but you could still use the day cream here if you like. In the night cream, I also use about 1.5 pumps.
- Step 5 AM – SPF: the Dew Skin Moisturizer. This is a tinted moisturizer with SPF 20 that has a dew-like finish. I apply 1.5 pumps and rub it into my face with my fingers. This goes on BEFORE makeup and, some days, I'll wear it alone with a swipe of Volumizing Mascara.
- Step 5 PM – Eye Cream: again, from the Countermatch Line (I really love it). I've found that my skin is too sensitive for the powerful actives in the Rejuvenating Eye Cream (Beautycounter‘s “aging gracefully” line). Note: if you're a skincare routine minimalist, you can absolutely skip the eye cream!
- Bonus 1 – Extra Daily Moisturizer (if you feel like you want it, it goes on last):
#1 Brightening OilUPDATE: I now believe that the #2 Plumping Oil to be even better for those of us who endure dry skin! Though I do still like the Brightening Oil on some days, this one is especially great for adding extra moisture.
- Bonus 2 – 1x Weekly Treatment: Charcoal Mask. The salicylic acid present here could really help soothe irritated skin. I'd go through steps 2 – 5 after a mask treatment.
- Bonus 3 – 2x Weekly Treatment: Blue Tansy Beauty Cream by Primally Pure. I will lather on a THICK layer before I go to bed (instead of the Brightening Oil).
I have been using the entire new Beautycounter Countermatch Collection and I really love how my skin has responded. It's softer, more hydrated, and less irritated. The Countermatch collection is formulated to help HEAL your skin (specially the your lipid bilayer) so that it can naturally hold onto more water *without* the constant use of products in the future. It is incredibly smart skincare that only delivers what your skin actually needs at the time. You can see the whole collection together HERE.
BODY ROUTINE for DRY SKIN
- Everyday Lotion: Citrus Mimosa Hand Cream. I keep this in my purse at all times! It has a lovely, not-too-strong scent and has proven CRITICAL during dry months and air travel. I really love this lotion.
- Night Cream (hands, feet, arms, and BABY BELLY!): The Body Butter by Primally Pure. My favorite scent is Vanilla Almond!
- Exfoliator: 1-2x Weekly Dry Brush! Before hopping in the shower or bath, I'll lightly “brush” my body from the outside moving towards my heart. The list of potential benefits are long, among them, help with dry skin.
- Soak: 1-2x Weekly Sea Soak! Though you can absolutely get by with a classic Epsom Salt soak, I've found this Sea Soak by Primally Pure to be especially hydrating.
- Body Oil: The Body Oil by Primally Pure is the best. I have tried and loved them all! The Lemongrass is my current go-to. These body oils are a “dry oil,” so it doesn't feel like you're applying olive oil. I will use a few pumps over each leg and each arm after I hop out of the bath or shower.
- Daily Lip Balm: The Primally Pure Lip Balm is BY FAR my favorite. I have a tube of the “peppermint” stashed in every purse and almost every jacket pocket.
- Aquaphor Replacement: the Baby Daily Protective Balm by Beautycounter is a GREAT alternative to aquaphor! Keep it on hand if you find yourself wanting something similar.