I'm just gonna say it. I'm about to be THIRTY.
And to be honest, as much as that number freaks me out, I've been waiting for this for a long time. I've always had a knowing that my 30's were going to be "my" decade. It's not that I didn't learn some incredible lessons and grow a f-ton in my teens and twenties but, let's be honest, thirties are just more my speed. I've always been the "responsible adult" by default - I've never drank (no, not even a sip), I've never smoked and I've never done drugs. That isn't to say I dislike those things if you choose to do them (if you're asking I believe Marijuana to be a powerful plant medicine that helps a ton of people and it should 100% be legal) but no, they were never for me. So as you can imagine, this made my formative years, well, unique. I had friends and was social but I always sort of felt like I wasn't being 100% true to who I was - I prefer morning over night, I prefer rain over sun, I prefer a hike over the bar, I prefer long, deep chats over beer pong or small talk. Now that I'm older I feel like I can be honest about those things (I will also now add that I prefer cats over dogs...tried to fight that one for years) and I can finally DO what feels right. This change is not external but internal, I have finally gained enough knowledge about myself to be confident in who it is I am, and to deeply love that person.
Part of that person, is a minimalist. As a kid, "I" (aka my mom) used to collect dolls and books and different toys. My mom would display these things on the bookshelves in my room, only for her efforts to be met with them placed neatly on a pile on the floor in the hallway. It wasn't that I didn't like the stuff but it's just that the visual clutter gave me a general sense of anxiety - along with pretty much everything else, but that is a story for a different day. Spaciousness, organization and cleanliness has always given me a sense of ease - I literally get butterflies when I see a spotless desk or bookcase. So, I guess, I was always a minimalist at heart. I am not always proud of my "when in doubt, throw it out" mentality because it can be wasteful but I am working on that part of things. Spending the last few years in a remote part of the country really aided in kick my minimalist curiosity into full gear. "Stuff" wasn't as easy to access which severely lessened temptation for me (I do have a bit of an impulsive online shopping problem that I will fully admit to). One of the first places I truly began to minimise after my closet was my medicine cabinet - ridding myself of all the excess products that did nothing more than collect dust felt SO good! I realised how much of that stuff I bought because of good marketing (such a sucker) rather than the fact that I actually used it. So I employed a technique - I couldn't buy a beauty or skincare product unless I first ran out of an old one and... it worked! I use everything I own and wow, it feels so good to not have that excess clutter even if it is hidden inside my medicine cabinet! And yes, I suppose a true minimalist would have a bar of soap or nothing at all when it comes to this stuff but as a person of extremes, it's important for me to practice balance to prevent burn out.
What's that? Im blabbing? You came here for the skin care stuff , you say?
Oh right, so about that....
Now, even though I've skipped out on all the tanning, drinking, smoking and partying I wouldn't say I have abnormally young looking skin or perfect skin or anything like that. I think genetics have a lot more to do with it than people admit so if I'm being real my skin is super dry and and there is some discoloration and hyperpigmentation, I've got some zits and blackheads and some minor wrinkles starting to show up around my eyes but all in all, I love it regardless. Actually, the older I get - the more I love my face and the less makeup I wear.
P.S If I was more brave, I'd insert a photo of me from highschool here with full-on emo raccoon eye - no matter how cool I felt, I can now admit that was NOT cute!
Skincare has always been something I thought about - as a kid I remember sneaking my moms eye cream because I believed the creases under my eyes and on my neck to be wrinkles -LOL, NOW I know the difference. Anyway, I have struggled with finding the right balance over the years. I've spent a TON on products that promised it all and did nothing and what I've learned is that yea, LESS IS MORE.
In addition to less is more I also learned another big lesson recently - INVEST in your skin like a boss. Like most of us, I am on a budget but instead of buying cheap products that are ineffective and run out quickly, I have learned to invest in quality products that actually work and last a long time. That doesn't mean that all the products I use are pricey but they are high quality, organic and always cruelty free.
Skincare is as unique as you are, and what works changes over time. I have grown to love myself more as I age and I hope you do too - I am excited to see what this next decade brings both for me, and for my skin. As long as you are committed to the routine and ritual of self care I believe that through trial and error you can find what works best for you, too.
Without further ado...
HERE ARE MY BASICS:
I keep it simple.
I have a feeling most people won't think this is "enough" skincare but hey, it works for me. And believe me, I've had the complicated, expensive routines in the past and I notice the best results now, with this no-frills approach.
I drink at least 3 LITERS of water, daily.
Cue the eye rolls. Yes, water is skincare. If I don't drink enough I notice the dryness in my lips and skin very quickly, I also notice it in my, ahem, digestion. From an ayurvedic perspective (which is where I get a lot of my skincare advice from) digestion is the root of all your bliss or all your woes -if you have poor digestion then you will suffer. So, chew your food and drink your water - flavor it with lemon or fruit. Get a big water bottle and keep it close to you all day. Sit down to drink water don't get up til it's gone. I should also mention eating plant based here, a vegan diet did help to clear up my skin but not maybe as much as I was hoping. I guess the other touchpoint here is sleep, yes sleep is essential for literally EVERY bodily function to take place properly,, and while I do try to get my 8 hours, it doesn't always happen - I am great at rising with the sun though, so there's that!
I wash my face once a day, at night, with a good cleanser.
Yup. Once a day. One of my favorite youtubers said she did this a while back and I thought I'd give it a shot and it really works for me. Of course if I have a super sweaty workout I will give my skin a rinse but in most cases, with my super dry skin, that is all I need. In the mornings I just splash my face with cold water and follow up with moisturizer and my makeup.
I exfoliate a few times a week using my DIY *super inexpensive* recipe...
A year or so ago facialist told me I needed to exfoliate more, and I love her, so I did. She actually told me to do it everyday but I usually remember a few times a week (usually when I'm in the shower) and it does help with the flakiness around my nose and forehead. I used to have this amazing ***expensive*** exfoliant that worked wonders, but then I ran out and at about the same time I came across my D.I.Y exfoliator on facebook, of all places. I love it because its super gentle, its actually hydrating instead of drying, and it really works to help keep my skin bright and glowy!
Coconut Oil Exfoliator:
1 part coconut oil, softened + 1 part baking soda + 1 drop essential oil* (*optional)
Mix the two ingredients together to form a paste and that is it! Massage your face and neck gently with the mixture and wash off thoroughly- dab your face with a towel to dry and then add a bit more oil if needed.
I moisturize with oil (face and body).
I know, I know. According to all the Korean beauty bloggers I need a moisturizer AND an oil AND a serum. I've tried it, not only do I not notice a difference, MAN that shit is expensive. I have used argan oil, squalene, coconut, almond oil and rosehip oil on my face as my moisturizer (morning and night) and they all work well for me. A good friend of mine suggested an oil years ago long before they were en vogue and I cringed at the thought, but I tried it then and NEVER looked back. My super dry skin soaks up the hydration and I feel like its locked it for longer than with moisturizer, plus I just love the way it feels. At night I double up with oil and I probably look like a shiny crazy person for the first ten minutes but I just love the act of gently massaging it into my skin.
I moisturize my body every time I shower, rubbing myself with oil before I lightly towel off. Again I have super dry skin all over and I've noticed it has become more so as I age but this technique (along with wrapping myself in a robe for at least 10 minutes so the oil can sink in) has kept the flakiness at bay. In the warmer months I love to use coconut oil on my body (it's cheap and effective) but in the cooler times of year I love a richer oil like almond oil. A few times a week I like to employ the ayurvedic technique of abhyanga, or self massage - it lets me slow down and connect to my body in a way that modern life does not often facilitate. I take about 10-15 minutes to massage my entire body using almond oil mixed with an essential oil of choice (the one below is my current favorite) and it is always an experience I look forward to. I also like to dry brush before I hop in the shower - this is one of my favorite ways to remove dead skin cells and get the lymphatic system pumping.
I get a facial every season.
Okay, I haven't been consistent with this one lately but I promise I will get back into it because I have a feeling that this is the one thing that *really* keeps my skin looking vibrant. Yes, facials can be expensive but if you find a good facialist (I have one on the east coast and one on the west coast) it is SO worth the investment as they can be a truly magical and ritualistic experience. In my opinion, I will take a face massage over full body massage ANY DAY.
I treat breakouts by leaving them alone.
Um... I'll be real, this is NOT entirely true but I'm working on it. I have a history of picking BUT I've gotten much better, mostly because with my skincare routine on lock I breakout less resulting in less desire to squeeze! What I really mean is, I no longer use drying products (like tea tree oil) on my zits - for me personally they just created more trouble (read: pimples buried under excessively flakey dry skin) than they were worth.
I have a morning and night ritual.
I stay consistent with this part of my self care no matter where I am and what I'm doing. Sometimes I'll add in extra stuff, too! A mask or a mini self face massage. Often, in the morning, if I am feeling super puffy or allergy-plagued (hellllllloooo Spring!) I will also use my jade roller which helps with inflammation and just feels soooo good - I just make sure I use a bit of extra oil before hand as it helps the roller glide easily across the skin. If you don't know about jade rollers click the link - having this little tool on your dresser makes you feel like a natural beauty maven and they are very effective, especially around the eyes!
I make sure all my products are CLEAN, organic and cruelty free.
No compromises there. Your skin is your largest organ and it absorbs everything you put on it. Show yourself the respect of keeping your products clean. To make it easy follow the link to my dear friend Jennie's online shop, Copal Clean Beauty.
Now...Here's a few products that I LOVE:
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
Squaline Facial Oil
I Liter BPA Free Water Bottle
Juniper Ridge Essential Oil
Nugg Soothing Face Mask
Did you like this post? Do you want to see more content like this?! - Maybe my minimalist makeup essentials?! Let me know in the comments below! :)