“There’s something about turning 30 that just changes your skin. Everything starts to go downhill and you start noticing all sorts of new stuff going on” said a friend of mine once. I hadn’t hit that milestone in life yet and my skin was pretty much the same as always, so I didn’t think much of what she said.
Now, at 31 years old, I know what the fuck she’s talking about.
A little history about my skin:
For the most part, I had no complaints. My skin was more combination/oily like. It was clear and glowy. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of blessed for a while. Growing up, I had no skin care routine. I was not kind to my skin at all and would wash my face with whatever bar of soap was laying around in the soap dish (I know some of you are either cringing right now or strangling me in your head). After washing, I didn’t use a moisturizer. My face wouldn’t feel tight, dry or uncomfortable either. I would go on my merry way without a care in the world.
In my mid twenties, I started using black african soap and coconut oil to moisturize. That worked for me for quite sometime.
After turning 30, I started noticing some changes in my skin. It was much, much drier than ever. The skin around my jaw was becoming rough from the cold weather. My face looked sort of gray. It was rough, tight, dull and lifeless. I also always looked very tired. I had very dark circles around my eyes. I started seeing these tiny, little dark spots appearing on my cheeks and the sides of my face. I had a red spot between my left eye and nose. It was like a blotch with a bump on it. It wasn’t a pimple, it didn’t feel like irritation, it wasn’t painful or itchy. It was just THERE and did not go away.
I’d also noticed very few but new wrinkles making an appearance. Nothing crazy, but they did catch me off guard. I started developing faint laugh lines. I also had a bit on my forehead and a small one in between my eyebrows, probably from scrunching them together any time I was presented with stupidity (Go scrunch your eyebrows in the mirror right now, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about).
My skin is sensitive now. Anytime I washed or even wet it, I’d break out into hives all over my cheeks. I’ve gotten back into makeup as a hobby and washing my face started to become a task I’d approach with dread from the discomfort I’d experience. I needed to come to terms with it. My skin had changed, and if I wanted to see improvement, my skincare routine would have to change as well.
Black african soap worked well for me in the past. When I’d done my research before, I’d read that it was suitable for all sorts of skin types and treated all sorts of skin issues. I started to feel like it was now making my face feel very dry because it was stripping too much of its moisture. Besides being uncomfortable, dry skin is also breeding grounds for wrinkles and aging. I don’t need help with the natural, inevitable process, no thank you!
I love coconut oil and used it as a facial moisturizer for years. It always left my face feeling so soft and gave it a healthy appearance. Now.. not so much. I’d read in the past that although some swear by it, many others claimed they experienced severe, even cystic acne from using it. There are many natural oils that can be used on the face and on the comedogenic scale (rates how likely a substance is to clog your pores and create acne) and from 0-5, coconut oil has a rating of 4. Yep. Yikes! A 0-2 rating is typically considered safe, so you’re taking a gamble and playing with fire using a substance with a higher rating.
Now, if you love coconut oil, find that it works for you and has been for quite some time, do not panic. It does work well for some, but is mostly recommended for the body and hair or for people who are not acne prone, at your own risk. If you’ve been using it on your face and there hasn’t been an issue, by all means proceed. Just keep this information in mind.
I decided to start looking into different face washes and facial moisturizers to suit my new facial skin needs. I needed something that did the job but because I’m a stay at home mom, affordable.
I ventured the beauty supply store, looking for anything that looked promising when I came across Aveeno. I perked up. Aveeno has a reputation for producing gentle and effective products, so that in itself interested me.
I read all the labels and decided on two products. The Ultra Calming hydrating gel cleanser, which claimed to be fragrance free, non comedogenic, hypoallergenic and non drying while having the capability of hydrating and cleansing the skin of any dirt, oil, pollutants and makeup without disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier. The cleanser retailed at $8.99. I also grabbed the Positively Radiant Sheer daily moisturizer with SPF 30 with total soy complex. If you’re looking for something preventative for signs of aging and wrinkles, you NEED something with an SPF to protect you from sun damage, STAT! This product promised to even your skin’s tone and texture, improve the look of brown spots, reduce blotchiness and discoloration, while revealing more radiant skin in as little as 4 weeks. Like the cleanser, this product was also non comedogenic, hypoallergenic, as well as oil free. The moisturizer was $19.99, not super cheap but less expensive than something you might consider buying at Sephora.
I’m a sucker for natural remedies, so I started looking into other oils I could use on my face that were non comedogenic and could treat my problem areas as well. I came across sweet almond oil. Almond oil has a rating of 2 on the comedogenic scale (safe) and is suitable for those with dry, sensitive and acne prone skin. Almond oil is jammed packed with vitamins A and E, monosaturated fatty acids, protein, potassium and zinc. This oil has the capability of keeping your skin cells in good shape, shielding your skin from sun damage, preventing and diminishing wrinkles, holding moisture and repairing irritated skin, minimizing acne and lightening dark circles. Woooo!! That was a mouthful. I was impressed by all of this information. This oil seemed to target all of the issues I’d been experiencing. I went to GNC and picked up a bottle. It was about 15 bucks, but it’s a 16 oz bottle of oil. Believe me when I say a bit goes a long way. This stuff is going to last you forever!
I’ve been using all three of these products for the past 2 weeks and I’ve got to be honest, I already see a difference.
First off, Aveeno is the s*!#. The cleanser is amazing. I honestly did not know what to expect. I never bought moisturizing products in the past because they left me feeling dirty or greasy, but not this. I was also skeptical because gentle face washes tend to be a bit TOO mild and won’t wash makeup off your face efficiently. Not this stuff. This stuff is a dream. It got rid of every trace. All of it!!! It leaves your face feeling smooth, clean and soft. The pores on my nose even looked smaller. No more dryness. No more tightness. No irritation and hives. I am able to wash my face without looking like The Thing anymore. I genuinely appreciate that.
The moisturizer is amazing as well. My skin is starting to look like it’s lit from with in, like a jack o lantern (in a good way). My skin is soft, and this moisturizer absorbs quickly. I can apply it, wait five minutes and then put on my makeup with no problem. No greasiness, no oily, shiny t-zone, no residue. My complexion straight up just LOOKS nicer.
The sweet almond oil is to die for. It’s so lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly as well. I don’t generally use oil on my body after a shower because I don’t like to wait around for it to penetrate into my skin. It can take forever. For the sake of trying it out, I used almond oil on my entire body after a shower and was able to get dressed after five minutes without worrying about staining my clothes. I mix a drop or so in my facial moisturizer and I’ve been using it around my eyes, wrinkles and the red spot I mentioned earlier. Not even kidding, I’ve noticed my eye area has brightened a bit. The wrinkles are still there but are definitely less prominent because the oil has plumped the skin up, making them less defined. That red spot? Straight up 90 percent gone. Yep. It shrunk down so much, it’s barely visible. I just noticed this morning and was shocked. That’s actually what compelled me to blog about it today. I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t wait to share.
I’ve been wearing more makeup lately to look more lively and awake but I’m so impressed with the changes I’m seeing within the past two weeks, I don’t feel I need to cover as much anymore. I am looking forward to seeing the progression as time goes on.
I am not sponsored by Aveeno (It would be nice though Aveeno!!!), I am just super excited and I figured I’d share my experience with you guys. If you’re experiencing similar issues with your skin, consider trying some of the products I’ve discussed yourself. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised!!