Just skin

Skin — something that is so personal to everyone, especially women. Unique in appearances, textures, reactions, movement, and the list can go on. It’s one of the first things people notice about you. Acne, dry, oily, pigmented, scared, smooth, wrinkled, freckled…. all words used to describe it.

Every single person skin journey is personal, special, and specific to them. Each one concocting their own routine, or lack there of, product line up, and makeup application. Hopefully acheiving whatever the desired results maybe.

I personally have had a very deep insecurity with my skin. I battled some pretty nasty teenage acne that has followed me into adulthood. Mine and my sisters acne was so bad we were able to participate in clinical trials for new acne medication. Long before the world of Differin gel and all the fancy prescriptions that they have now, I tried various antibiotics, topical creams, and hormonal pills to try and combat it. None of it really worked. So I would slap on as much salicylic acid as my face could take, get whatever non-acne producing cream my dermatologist would recommend and spot treat my entire face religiously.

As I entered into young adulthood and resources were more readily available, I started working towards not hating my skin and boy, has it been a journey.

Basic things to know about my skin, it’s EXTREMELY oily. Those Italian-Mediterranean roots are strong. I do still struggle with the occasional little breakout. I have SERIOUS dark under eyes; it’s definitely hereditary, and at this point it has a lot to do with the general shape/placement of my eyes on my face. Some discoloration (redness) and a little bit of acne scaring is about the only other issue. My overall goal is to protect, prevent, and maintain the overall health of my skin.

The other important thing to know? I’m cheap. fifty dollars on an eye cream? I don’t think so… I tend to do a lot of list scanning, asking my go-to skincare obsessed friends, and general research before I even remotely shell out that much money. Most of the time I’m looking for well rated, results-driven, wallet friendly products. There are some brands worth splurging on and definitely a few product here and there, but overall if I can get the results I want without breaking the bank, I simply won’t. I also want to say that while I have my routine down-pat, I do like trying new products and alternating in different things to try. Finally, like I stated above, everyone skin is uniquely different, what might be amazing for me might not do anything for you and vice-versa.

Here’s my current routine:

AM

  1. Wash my face first thing (unless I’m working out) with MaryKay’s 4-in-1 TimeWise Age-preventing Cleanser (I linked to amazon, but you can always got to a local rep)
  2. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  3. The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG
  4. (depending on what my skin needs…) MaryKay Oil-Free Hydrating Gel
  5. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Mist Sunscreen Spray

PM

  1. Remove any makeup — I don’t currently have a favorite makeup remover… I LOVE Lancome’s Double Action Eye Makeup Remover, but haven’t wanted to committed to the $$$, so I’ve been using MaryKay’s Makeup Remover until I run out and then I’ll be shopping again. MK’s isn’t bad, but it’s not as gentle as Lancome’s. I’ve tried a few other products I’ll review later.
  2. Wash my face again (sometimes twice to remove everything) with MaryKay’s 4-in-1 TimeWise.
  3. MaryKay’s TimeWise Replenishing Serum C
  4. And again just a little bit of spot treatment for any dry spots using MaryKay’s Oil-Free Hydra-Gel

A few things I want to point out. First, the Ordinary products are half the price at Ulta. Second, I did sell MaryKay products for a period of time, I no longer do, but yes I still love a lot of what they have to offer and no they stuff isn’t crap, it’s just from an MLM company. Lastly, the reason I am very light on moisturizing is not because my skin is oily, but because my dad has a background in toxicology and pharmacology and while he is in a different industry now, he originally started in the pharmaceutical/beauty/cleaning industry. He specifically ran clinical trials on the long-term continual use of moisturizer on peoples skin and basically he said that the more you use it, the more your skin starts to adapt and expect it as the barrier for moister on your face — i.e. your face stops producing it’s own necessary oils/moisturizer etc. Both my mom and I are very light on the amount of product we put on our face in general. The BIGGEST factors for deterring aging is sunscreen, retinol, diet, moisturizing (as needed), and genetics.

So what’s your skin story? Do you use any MUST HAVE products? I would love to know what! Remember, we are all beautiful in our own skin, created as image bearers of the true king.

(*** all links are affiliate links with amazon ***)

Fake.

I’ve noticed this growing trend on social media. I know the algorithm is just trying to tailor itself towards what you click on/look at and how much time you spend looking at it, but what I’m finding really alarming is the amount of plastic surgery and “transformation” videos/reals/clips etc. that keep popping up. I know the algorithm is seeing my “engagement” as a good thing… But is it?

I end up putting my phone down thinking “one day that procedure will work so well on my face,” “I wonder if this new technique works now? Would it correct X?” Then I’m fixated. Should I talk to a professional? Is this something that might cure or fix X? Should I try this new product or that new hack? I stand in the mirror and just correct, correct, correct, correct. Even if I try and counter act it with more “authentic” and “real” accounts to follow, I still critique and criticize my own face and body. Endlessly.

And the gram just keeps showing me more.

Is it bad that I want to try and find a solution for some things that bother me? No, I don’t really think so. But it IS bad for me to think that there’s something wrong. That there’s something wrong and it needs to be FIXED. Every body and every face is made differently. Carries features differently. Connects joints, fat, movement, etc. differently. If I’m really honest and stop nit-picking, take a step back and try to look objectively? My mom is right, I don’t need whatever latest and great procedure I sent her. There’s nothing that needs to be “fixed.” There’s nothing even wrong.

I saw a post about normalizing real houses and homes, not these fancy-social influencers’ half paid-for brand-new renos or builds. It made me think of my face, my perception of my face and my body. No, it’s not perfectly curated to optimal “attractiveness”. My biggest hate is my dark circles and sunken eyes along with my middle love-pouch.

But here’s the truth, my skin has NEVER looked or felt better. The dark circles? I don’t think anyone has ever told me they legitimately notice them, especially with the concoction of skin care I use. And my body? Never been more in shape and in-tune with itself. Stronger then I thought I would be and determined to keep improving. THAT is the truth. No earthly fix is going to solve the fact that my body is NORMAL. Completely and totally normal. Better yet? I get to trust that the one who made me doesn’t think I’m ugly.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14

In fact, most of the bible instructs us not to put too much emphasis on external appearances or put much stock in people who make it their everything. We’re told it’s fleeting. What does it say about me if my top focus is looking better? If I let it consume almost every action and thought throughout the day?

It’s hard. Everything is in our faces comparing everything. Try this or do that. Talk to this professional, look at these results. So let’s change it. Let’s #normalizenormalfaces because they’re beautiful and they’re real. And they mean so much to the one who made them then anything we can do to them. Hopefully, I’ll start remembering that.

#normalizenormalfaces

Glowing

Let’s talk skin. Everyone, everywhere is on the hunt for the perfect skin. Filters and photo editing have created an extreme false narrative and fake realistic standard of what is actually achievable.

I’m so grateful that I did not grow up with a smart phone and instant access to “perfect.” I can only imagine how much worse my self image would’ve been. I had horrible acne starting around 11/12 years old. My acne was so bad we were able to participate in acne studies for new products. It has taken me many years to learn to LOVE my skin and take care of it well. To be honest, it really hasn’t been until more recently that I’ve been willing and able to invest in quality skin care products. I had a system and it mostly worked, but it was definitely on the cheaper end, which isn’t bad at all, but I’ve since learned that quality is something to consider.

I started using MaryKay about a year ago and joined the team to support one of my dear friends. I will say it is not the only skin care and makeup I use, but it is my primary and I have to say my skin has never looked or felt so good. I love the products, I love supporting a morally grounded company, and I love being apart of a system that lifts women up, whether your selling or buying.

While MaryKay is set up to be a total system, I firmly don’t believe it has to be used or applied that way. There are so many different products in a variety of MaryKay lines that can be pieced together or used separately with your existing skin care routine to create or target your desired areas. There are so many other good quality products and brands out there ranging from crazy expensive to super cheap. I love trying and using them all! It makes me feel more authentic in either a) what I’m using on my skin and monitoring results and b) more secure and confident in what I feel I can offer and sell you from MaryKay. My biggest goal is to help you LOVE your skin as much as I love mine. I will tell you what I do or don’t like and what I do or don’t know.

Whether you’re interested or not, check out what MaryKay has to offer. Whether you’re buying from me or not, feel confident that while you are putting money into a big makeup company, you’re also helping grow the small business of the person you’re buying from.

Comment or shoot me an email with questions or tell me how much you hate/love a product or something MaryKay sells.