this week i did the unthinkable: i left the house foundation-free! multiple times! it was so liberating, you have no idea. i’ve been inspired by these makeup looks from burberry. the models look so polished and pretty without wearing heavy makeup. since going foundation-free, i’ve been focusing more on playing up my eyes/brows with a neutral palette and lots of mascara. i’ve noticed that there are several things that have made a big difference when it comes to keeping my complexion blemish-free.
1. using a salicylic acid toner: my skincare routine consists of three basic steps: cleansing, applying benzoyl peroxide, and moisturizing. i stopped using a toner for a month or so thinking it was an unnecessary step, but it wasn’t. the toner picks up whatever my cleanser didn’t remove, and a totally clean face is a huge part of keeping acne under control. the fact that my toner has salicylic acid is even better, because it fights acne at the same time.
2. don’t skip benzoyl peroxide: if i get lazy about benzoyl peroxide, my face shows it. i have to be consistent about applying it every night before bed in order to maintain clear skin.
3. maybe it’s the spf: i have such a hard time with spf since most brands make me break out. i switched to this one, which has helped tremendously.
4. don’t touch your face: it’s one of the first things people tell you when it comes to acne, and it’s because it’s true. the more i picked and prodded, the more i broke out. bacteria spreads, and the last thing you want to do is create more blemishes. i noticed that my inclination to touch my face came from knowing i had something to touch. since there isn’t anything glaring for me to mess with anymore, the urge no longer exists. i never touch my face and i never linger in the bathroom. if i sit in front of the mirror long enough, disaster will surely ensue. so i cleanse my face, apply BP, and leave. if i happen to notice a clogged pore or small blemish, i’m content with slapping on an extra amount of benzoyl peroxide on it and calling it a day.
5. easy on the makeup: this is a vicious cycle because makeup hides acne, but might also be contributing to it. in my case, i still relied on foundation well after i stopped breaking out because i developed hyperpigmentation and my skin was not in great shape. now that my complexion has evened out considerably, i can forgo the foundation entirely and just use a little bit of blush/bronzer. if i do happen to have some visible discoloration or a blemish, i use a bit of concealer here and there. if you’re looking to minimize the appearance of pores, try a loose powder or pore-minimizing product instead of foundation. if you can’t totally eliminate foundation from your routine, try switching to a tinted moisturizer first.
6. exfoliate: every time i read an article about exfoliation, it seems as though people recommend doing it once a week. i need to (gently) exfoliate daily/every other day in order to keep clogged pores under control. i alternate between manual exfoliation with my clarisonic mia and chemical exfoliation. over time, exfoliation will also help even out your complexion and fade dark spots so you don’t need to wear as much foundation.