My Skincare Thingamajigs

To be honest with you, I’m not really the best person to ask about or give any tips about skincare, nor did I ever give a facade that I am in the first place anyway LOL. At best, I have none. I do keep some small products here and there and have started out little routines for myself on the weekends, but I don’t religiously follow a nightly or daily step-by-step routine since I’m way too lazy and, let’s be honest, a little broke to have one. BUT that is definitely not an excuse to skip the sanctity of this practice altogether, and I still believe that giving your skin the utmost love is an A1 decision.

Hell yes, Charcoal Face Mask!

Here are some tips, tricks or what-have-you that I can share about taking care of that skin:

KNOW YOUR SKIN’S CONDITION. I’m not sure how common this is, but I think a lot of people always miss this crucial first step — even I did. Knowing your skin type and its conditions is very important because it’s these information that will give you idea on things like how much care, repair or damage control you should be giving your skin, what products you should/n’t be using, what type of food you should be eating/avoiding, what causes you to break out, etc. It is still recommended to get it done with a dermatologist, but in case it’s not in your budget to visit one, there are also free skin tests in some cosmetics stores. From that, you can read up on your skin type and ingredients that work for you, as well as do patch tests to see how your skin reacts.

EAT CLEAN, LOOK CLEAN. I am a firm believer that whatever you put inside your body will manifest in your outside appearance. Meaning, if you are eating shit, you’ll more than likely look like shit. Let’s take genes out of the equation (since there are more of us mere peasants who are not lucky enough to be in that gene pool, lol), but your eating habits can have a huge impact on skin. I’m pretty sure you know that oily and salty food when it’s excessive, can cause some problems on skin. It isn’t necessary to be a strict healthy food junkie but try your best to stay away from those two primary things. Sugary and nutty foods can cause breakouts too, because it overproduces sebum. ALSO, always keep yourself hydrated. I cannot stress this enough. It is kind of a big thing and may take time, but one of the most rewarding things to work at.

GIVE NATURAL INGREDIENTS A CHANCE. Aside from food intake, I am also a believer of natural products. I know, I know — you think I’m just hopping on that bandwagon of millenials who are switching to brands that pride about being 100% natural. But you know what, it makes perfect sense. Why would I put harsh chemicals on my skin? Not to say that natural ingredients might not cause any redness or itchiness too but compared to chemicals, chances are slim to none. My favorite natural ingredients are apple cider vinegar, lemon, brown sugar, green tea, used coffee grounds and honey. Really works wonders for your skin. Later, I will share to you some of my simple recipes for natural skincare items and how to use it to your advantage.

Photo from Tarte Cosmetics

CONSIDER NATURAL OILS. I know it’s a matter of preference, but I looove using oils as moisturizer before I go to bed and sometimes before I put on my makeup. It is just more hydrating for me than creams, which usually gives me the itch. And yes, to debunk your doubts, using natural oils actually doesn’t make you oilier or give you more breakouts. My favorites to use are Ilog Maria Royal Jelly Facial Oil and/or Tarte Maracuja Oil. I also prefer it than cream or milky ones since I have observed it to be more effective in keeping my skin soft and supple when I wake up. Just 2-3 small drops and you’re good to go. Oils can be very helpful as well for hair and for body. My favorites for those are Almond oil with Vitamin E extract or natural Argan oil for my luscious hair and this honey-infused oil from Ilog Maria for my body. Curious to know which natural oils you can use? Click here.

DON’T GO HAM ON FRAGRANCE. As much as possible, try to stay away from facial wash or products that are heavy on fragrance and stick to fragrance-free or natural/light fragrance. It may not be that apparent but fragrance is one of the leading causes for drying out, skin irritation and redness and of course, breaking out. A lot of products are used with fragrance either to mask an unpleasant smell in the mixture or just to make the product more sellable. My favorite brand to use for facial wash is Etude House Flavor of the month/Mud mask or Ilog Maria Honey Glycerin Facial Soap. The Etude House facial wash is very light on smell, foamy even with just one penny-sized drop and effective on washing away dirt and gunk while the Ilog Maria facial soap has a deep, sensual but natural smell, lightweight and leaves the skin clean and dry without harming it.

Photo from India Mart

BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. Fair warningI’m not a medical practitioner and with this, you REALLY should get yourself checked out first before you try anything. I’m including it in the list purely because BCP took care of my skin ever since. If I go off it (and I have for a few months when I had no access to it), pesky breakouts will slowly start coming back along with longer, heavier and painful menstruation cycles. I have been through 5 different brands of BCP and the best for me when it comes to skincare reasons is Althea (from Trust) and Diane35 (from Bayer). Like everybody else, it took awhile for me to find what works best for me, especially since most pills take at least 3 months of regular intake before it fully kicks in. The ingredient that helps keep breakouts at bay that you should look out for is: Cyproterone acetate and a good combination of progestin and estrogen which are all present on a combination pill. It definitely is not something you should just try out for kick and needs to be consulted with your doctor first before anything, but I can say it’s worth exploring.

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, EXFOLIATE. Exfoliating your skin is such an essential as you’re lightly removing dead skin cells and dirt or gunk that have deeply seeped through your skin. As much as possible, stick to products that have light and natural exfoliators like fine sea salt and stay away from those beaded ones as they’re harsher. can cause more damage to your skin, and open your skin to being more vulnerable. My favorite light exfoliator is Lush’s Ocean Salt and Magnaminty. 

Takeaway? When I was much younger, my level of care for my skin is close to 0. I wasn’t much into cosmetics, and skincare products because I used to think it’s a pesk and a waste of my time. Plus, it’s not like I had incredibly bad skin problems anyway. But growing up, my thoughts about skincare slowly evolved and I have come to accept that whether or not I like it, the age where people care a lot more about this is here to stay. As is all other things in life, it doesn’t magically become better overnight. But is it worth it? Of course it is.