How I Went from Very Oily Skin to Almost Normal Skin

It’s been a long journey to get my skin to calm down. Since hitting puberty, I’ve had the oiliest skin I’ve ever known anyone to have. I went through a round of Acutane, which helped for a while, and then after a couple of years, I was back to square one (though the acne was dramatically improved). It didn’t help that I was living in the humid Ohio River Valley. I reached a point where I was okay with very oily skin and just learned to cope with it. Somehow, I never quite gave up, though, and kept looking for ways to get it under better control.

I finally have, and I want to share with you what I did to do that. It was only recently that I got it completely under control, which is why this post isn’t making it out there until just now. I used to do everything the dermatologist suggested: wash with a special acne wash, blot your skin, make sure you use makeup remover, etc. etc. I went through the Clinique line and their four (I think it’s four) step program. I did everything the dermatologists and cosmeticians were telling me to do. Things didn’t improve until I decided maybe bombarding my skin with chemicals wasn’t going to fix anything, and even if it didn’t fix anything, it would still be taking better care of my skin if I removed chemicals from my routine. As such, I tried things like oil cleansing (rather messy and leaves a lot of greasy laundry to do). Oil cleansing was fine, but it wasn’t so good for removing makeup, so in the evening I went back to my good old Neutrogena. Eventually, I heard about cleansing with lemon juice. Lemon juice easily removes excess oil without dehydrating the skin. Perfect! Except it doesn’t remove makeup. Okay, so lemon juice in the morning. This was one of the best discoveries of my skin journey, because lemon juice is simple to use, a natural astringent if you have oily skin or large pores, and it really does do a great job of cleaning the skin without drying it out.

So what about removing makeup? That was my last challenge. I had been using Neutrogena for my evening routine to remove my makeup, because it was the only thing I knew that would really get my face clean. I had been using it for my body wash as well, because my back, chest, and shoulders were especially prone to oiliness as well. Then I heard about sulfate-free cleansers, and I thought I should try a sulfate-free cleanser on my body to see if it would get the oiliness under control. Well, I saw a difference immediately. Then I decided to try it on my face. If it works on my body, it should work on my face. And it did! It removed the makeup and didn’t cause my face to get horrifically oily overnight. I was already using sulfate-free shampoo to help control the seborrhea on my scalp. I don’t know why I didn’t think to use it on my face and body sooner to control the seborrhea everywhere else.

And that’s it. I use lemon juice in the morning. It’s so inexpensive! I get a lemon and squeeze as much juice out as possible into a small brown cosmetic bottle and keep it in the fridge. You can also water it down if it’s a little too potent for your skin. I use a cotton pad by putting it over the mouth of the bottle and shaking up twice, and then simply wipe over my face once, and I’m done! Now in the evening, I use a sulfate-free cleanser (I also want to try a cleansing milk) and washcloth to remove makeup and buff my skin smooth. I then apply a small amount of borage (or starflower) seed oil, and that’s all I need! I’ve even started applying a small amount of starflower oil in the morning before I put my makeup on to keep my skin supple for application. It works beautifully! My chest and back don’t get oily at all anymore. It’s saved a lot of my clothes, because as you may know, oil can be rather destructive on clothes and difficult to wash out. My skin has never been so healthy!

I hope this revelation I’ve shared helps you in your skin journey!

For my body wash, I use Madara Refreshing Soap. Once I find a sulfate-free facial cleanser or cleansing milk, I’ll share that with you as well!

Foundations for Very Pale Skin

I just came across this fantastic video reviewing foundations for very pale skin. Whenever I have to switch foundations, usually because the one I was using is no longer being made, I struggle to find the right shade. It’s always such a challenge! It is never easy. This video is great, though I found several of the lines she mentions are no longer sold. Having moved from the US to England recently, I’m having to find a new foundation that is available in England, so once again, I will get to face the challenge.

Here’s the article with the video where the products are also listed:

Brightening Up Your Eyes When You’re Very Pale

When I was younger, people used to make fun of me for my almost ghostly pale skin. I always kind of liked it, though. In a way, enjoying my pale skin, not using bronzer, tan-in-a-bottle, or intentionally spending hours in the sun just to darken my skin was my way of rebelling against the tanned-look fad. Besides, shouldn’t you love what you already have? It makes for a much happier you.

There are challenges to being porcelain-skinned, though, especially when it comes to finding the right shade of makeup. My whole life has been bouncing from one makeup brand to another, looking for a shade light enough for my skin. Once I would find one, the line or brand would always inevitably disappear!! It was always so frustrating. Right now what I use for liquid foundation now that works flawlessly is Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide in Crème (this is the neutral undertone shade) and for powder Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation in Porcelaine (which is actually a bit too dark, but I still have a full container, so I make it work). For concealing, I’ve found nothing that works better than Cover FX Total Cover Cream (which is actually what has now replaced what I have–go figure) in N0. Granted that the new line is the same as the old one, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth the splurge and will last you ages.

Now the tricky part: for covering up those dark under eye circles and brightening up around the eyes, when you’re just short of being ghost white and need a lighter shade, what do you use? Use white!

I found on Amazon UK a white mineral concealer from JTshop. JTshop also has its own website with free shipping. I love this concealer, because it’s very creamy and very pigmented. A little goes a very long way. So I like to use this first under my eyes and cheek bones to blend it out a bit (like in this video). Then I put the Cover FX concealer over it to give it a skin color rather than white. I also like using the white concealer above my eyes just under my eyebrows to brighten my eyes up. It works fabulously.

Four Easy Ways to be Kind to Your Skin

I’ve always been a big fan of natural means for skin care, so I wanted to share some of my favorite tips for treating your skin right!

Use Sulfate-Free Products

Recently, I discovered how big of a difference it makes switching to sulfate-free body wash and facial cleanser, especially if you tend to have oily skin. One of the top ingredients in 90% of cleansing products is a sulfate-based compound that is very irritating to the skin and dries it out. This ingredient also can be found in most shampoos, and can be harsh on the scalp and hair. One of the best things I did for my skin and hair was to completely get rid of sulfate-containing washes.

Delicious Treats for Your Face:
Honey and Sugar

Nothing feels more refreshing than a spa day at home. I try to do face masks and scrubs weekly. My favorite face scrub can be made using things from your kitchen: honey and sugar. Honey has moisturizing and antibacterial properties, which helps if you tend to have breakouts. It is also very soothing. I try to buy high quality honey to get the most out of my scrubs. Sugar will help exfoliate the skin and make it nice and smooth.  Use only maybe 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of honey and maybe a teaspoon of sugar for your whole face. Use just a few drops of water once you have the honey and sugar on your face to make it easier to spread and scrub.

Delicious Treats for Your Face:

Another face treat I love is a simple yogurt mask. It’s especially refreshing during hot summers. Yogurt will moisturize and smooth skin while dissolving dead skin and helping pores shrink. Apply generously and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Sun Protection in a Tablet

I do not like sun block. My skin tends to be oily, and sun block makes it worse. Most people don’t realize this, but taking vitamin D acts as natural sun block. When the body has enough vitamin D, the receptors in the skin that receive vitamin D from the sun close. You will still tan from sun exposure even if taking vitamin D, but if you take enough, you won’t burn. I usually take 5,000IU a day. If tablet size is a problem, I recommend Nature’s Bounty 1,000IU gel capsules if you’re in the US (you can find them in almost any store), or Epsilon 5,000IU tablets if you’re in the UK (you can order these on Amazon).

UK Lolita Shops

I’ve been looking around for lolita shops and websites based in England and have been surprised how difficult they are to find. Even though England has a very large alternative style demand, especially for retro, pin-up, and vintage clothes (you can find brands like Lindy Bop on Amazon), there aren’t many lolita stores.

I did recently find out about Dreamy Bows. In fact, I found a bag I will order from them. They don’t have very much, and most of their clothes are more street style rather than lolita, it is a good start!

If you know of any good UK shops that sell lolita items, please let me know!