Love the Skin You’re In

Which company was it that popularized the beauty phrase “love the skin you’re in?” Well it’s taken me a long time to love the skin I have. Just about 30-something years to be exact. Actually, to be honest, I don’t love it, but I’m learning to accept and like it.

I probably have the same gripe as many women and some men — oily skin, acne prone, large pores and I’m always on the search for the “right” cleansers/beauty products.

I wouldn’t consider my skin problem skin. I get the occasional breakout, once a month (ladies you know what I mean) and I have large pores on my cheeks, closest to my nose. I have an oily forehead, chin and cheeks. I’m dry around my mouth and sometimes dry near my jaw line and eyebrows. Confession time: I’m a picker. I know it will likely leave a scar, but I can’t resist and I can tell you it does leave me with hyperpigmentation marks on my chin, cheeks and forehead.

Since I was a preteen I’ve used plenty of brands over the years including Noxema, Clinque, Clearasil, Phisoderm, Proactiv, Ambi, St. Ives, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena and Simple. Some products I gave a chance to work and some were temporary until I could find the next.

Now if you’ve tried any of the those products and they worked for you — great. I’m not knocking any of them I’m just saying they weren’t a fit for me.

Before my September wedding not only did I want to drop a few pounds, but I wanted great skin as I walked down the aisle (what bride doesn’t). So nine months before the wedding I embarked on a new skincare routine.

I did some research and decided to give Desert Essence products a try. What I discovered was the products are not tested on animals, are 100% vegetarian and the bottles and containers are recyclable. Now I’m not going to pretend I look for that in all of my products, but it was a nice bonus.

I’ve continued to use the Thoroughly Clean Face Wash and am on my second bottle. When I first used the cleanser the tea tree in it kind of stung a bit, but now it doesn’t bother me. Although I wouldn’t recommend anyone use it close to their eyes and you will get used to the tingling feeling.

In addition to the face wash, I also bought the Tea Tree Skin Ointment (it’s great for cuticles and dry cracked feet), the Thoroughly Control Oil Control Lotion and the Blemish Touch Stick.

I’ve added to my skincare routine that originally consisted of just the face wash and oil control lotion.


Note: Perhaps your routine is simple or maybe it’s a bit more complicated, but this is what I prefer.

Here we go:

  • Desert Essence cleanser. I’ve poured my face wash into a travel spray bottle because it’s easier to handle and uses less product. Most days I dampen my hands, use two squirts and lather up. I work the product in a circular motion down to my neck and wash for about a minute or two and rinse off with a warm washcloth. About two or three days a week I use a facial buffer with product on it and gently scrub my face. I use this in the morning only.
I poured my Desert Essence face wash into an easier to use travel-sized bottle and use a facial buffer about three times a week.

I poured my Desert Essence face wash into an easier to use travel-sized bottle and use a facial buffer about three times a week.

  • DIY Rose Water/Apple Cider Vinegar toner. I found the recipe online and mixed half a clean bottle with rose water and vinegar. Using a cotton round, I wipe my face and my neck with the toner. I wouldn’t recommend using this close to the eyes. The vinegar smell does dissipate, but if you can’t take the smell then add more rose water. It should last a month and doesn’t require refrigeration or a preservative.
This simple toner is made with generic apple cider vinegar and flower water.

This simple toner is made with generic apple cider vinegar and flower water.

  • Squalane serum. The squalane I use is the one I found on Amazon and although the reviews say it’s non-greasy, I’ve found it is a bit greasy. Squalane is something that naturally occurs in our sebum (the oily substance secreted by the glands in the skin) and it’s supposed to be a “super moisturizer.” Some squalane is derived from shark liver oil, but no animals were harmed in the use of the one I purchased because it’s derived from olive oil.
Timeless Pure Squalane oil is a "super" moisturizer that I use as a serum before applying a moisturizer

Timeless Pure Squalane oil is a “super” moisturizer that I use as a serum before applying my moisturizer.

  • Desert Essence lotion. I shake the bottle just to mix the product and dot it on my forehead, nose, chin, cheeks and neck. I rub it into my skin.
  • Sunblock. I haven’t always used sunblock throughout the years, but now that I’ve been pregnant it has concerned me whether I’m taking the best care of my body. So I found one that was on sale from Walgreens. Do I love it? No, but will I continue to use it? Maybe (that is until the product is gone or I find one that isn’t so greasy).
I use a "sheer" dry touch sunblock that is SPF 55.

I use a “sheer” dry touch sunscreen that is SPF 55 that is comparable to Neutrogena.

I do love trying new products so this routine may change next year or perhaps I’ve found what works. Time will tell.

Just some tidbits:

  • Tea tree is an antifungal, antibacterial and is great for acne prone skin.
  • Squalane can be added to moisturizers, used in the treatment of split ends, massaged into cuticles and rubbed onto cracked elbows and feet. It is odorless and has antibacterial properties. It can also be used as a great serum for underneath the eyes.
  • I let each product soak in while I continue to get dressed in the morning. My nighttime routine is much simpler (wipe face with baby wipe or cleansing cloth and pat squalane into face and neck).
  • H2O is the best hydration. I don’t always drink enough water in the day and no shade to Beyonce or Gabrielle Union (love her and her skin), but I can’t drink a gallon of water every day because I’d never leave the bathroom. Water does make skin more supple and less dry and flaky.
  • I employ the occasional clay mask when my skin is feeling extra dry or when I have time. I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Bentonite Clay. I mix apple cider vinegar in mine because of the benefits (treats acne, antibacterial, antifungal, and removes excess oil) and the smoother consistency. Read more about my mask in my Calgon Take Me Away post from May.
  • I used grocery store brand apple cider vinegar but you can use organic or another brand. A popular brand is Bragg’s ACV.
  • I used Honeysuckle scented flower water, but you can use rose water or another hydrosol. It can be used as a skin freshener, hair rinse, body mist or linen spray.
  • I frequently replace my facial buffer with a new one. It comes in a pack of four from the Dollar Tree and has the right amount of grit to not be too rough for my face.

Got a specific skincare routine that you swear by or interested in trying some of the products I mentioned let me know via instagram, twitter or facebook with the #lovinmyskin.

By the way, the company is Olay, if you were wondering.


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