I mentioned in one of my first posts that 2016 was the year my skin officially decided to turn against me. I never had much acne growing up, and even during my awkward brace-faced puberty stage, a few clearasil wipes did the trick. Boy, did that catch up to me.
When I took the leap and switched my birth control from the pill I’d been on since I was 16 to the Mirena IUD, all hell broke loose. I was so surprised at how quickly my face started breaking out. I’m pretty holistic when it comes to any type of medication, but after about 3 months went by and my face was physically in pain- it was time to see a dermatologist. I was prescribed a spironolactone pill to take every single day and some very pricey (and sometimes painful) benzoyl peroxide.
Thankfully, even though it wasn’t instant, I saw some serious results after about 2 months. I got to the point where I started testing out not taking the pill to see if anything would pop up, and even after a few days I saw no changes. My hormones had rebalanced themselves (thank the lawd) and I could stop putting medication in and on my body that I didn’t think was necessary. Then came the hard part- keeping up with my skincare all on my own.
I did a whole lot of research online regarding combination skin and got a few recommendations from friends. I’ve been using the same products for close to a year now and my face is in great shape! I always use Cetaphil to wash my face, and the majority of the time CeraVe is my all the time moisturizer. Check out my go-to extras below.
Aztec Indian Healing Clay Mask
So this mask is pretty much the best kept secret in the beauty world. I have it on my face as I’m typing this. I have no idea how this company hasn’t bumped their prices up yet to make a killing. The all natural calcium bentonite clay comes in a decent size twist off container. You take the powdered clay and mix it with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar- yep, apple cider vinegar. Mix it up to a consistency you’re happy with, and put it on your face. I use an old makeup brush to apply it because it’s very very messy. I also put this in cheap plastic ware and keep the excess in my fridge to use it again. The hard part is taking it off. If you try and just wipe it off you’re going to end up in pain. I get a washcloth wet with really warm water, wet all of the clay as much as I can and gently rub the mask off. This is a process for sure, and your face will be red as all hell after the fact- but I CANNOT recommend this product enough. My skin drastically changes after using this. And for eleven dollars on Amazon, you really can’t beat it. Buy it here.
Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask
I’ve used Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for acne for the past few years and have been a fan of the brand for awhile now. It really is high quality, isn’t super overpriced, and whole-heartedly works. So when I got a recommendation for this Collagen Mask, I took the plunge and bought it. I also apply this with an old makeup brush to avoid the mess. This is much more like a traditional mask you would use, and is relatively easy to remove. It helps with my wrinkles and laugh lines, and makes my face feel genuinely tighter afterward. It’s a much more cosmetic mask than the aztec mask (which I use for evening out skin tone and acne control). Buy it here.
Caudalie Glycolic Peel Mask
This mask was one of my skincare splurges. It works in just ten minutes, so I usually use it in the morning on the go when I’m getting ready for my day. It noticeably reduces the sizes of my pores, and helps to even out my combination skin. My skin can be very sensitive, and I never have to worry about this product irritating it in anyway. It helps to exfoliate, which I don’t do nearly enough of. I usually reach for this when I’m looking for a little extra radiance, and it never disappoints. Buy it here.
I could go on about the benefits and uses for jojoba oil all day long. It can remove your makeup, be used in your hair, your oil diffuser, your bubble bath, you name it. It’s magic in a bottle (and a pretty big bottle at that). I try to only use oils and serums on my face sparingly, but I’ve never had a problem using jojoba oil regularly. I usually put it on right after I wash my face. The oil absorbs pretty quickly, so I wait a minute or two and wipe off the excess with a towel. I love putting this on my lips as well! Buy it here.
Fig and Yarrow Facial Serum
Friends, meet my other skincare splurge. This tiny little itty baby .5 oz bottle was $38. You read that right. And I’m going to be honest, when I’m done with it I’ll probably replace it. You luckily only need very few drops of this to make a difference. This is my once a week, maybe once every other week nightly serum. The smell alone makes it worth it for me. With a mixture of rosehip oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and rosemary- I’m sold. I’m just sold. It does a little bit of everything that your skin needs and I always wake up with noticeably more beautiful skin. Buy it here.
So there you have it, my favorite skin care items (for the moment.) What is your holy grail skincare product? What’s your favorite under $10 staple?