I really can’t believe I’m writing about skincare AGAIN. I’m so sick of thinking about it!
Luckily my skin has improved significantly over the past few months so I’ve been able to think about it less and less. The real turning point was when I started using a Differin prescription I got from YoDerm (which I reviewed here) in conjunction with finding a foundation and moisturizer that my skin mostly liked.
(I say “mostly liked” because it still took me a couple more months to pinpoint some ingredients that were still disagreeing with my skin.)
I switched to Bare Minerals foundation because the only ingredients in it are pigments and physical sunscreens. I figured, let’s go back to basics and if simple pigments and sunscreen irritate my finicky skin, well, I’d better just lay around indoors for the rest of my life. But in all seriousness, I’d used Bare Minerals throughout college so I kinda knew it would work for me. I use the original one, which has SPF 15.
As far as moisturizers go, I tried to find one without the ingredients I know my skin hates:
No fatty alcohols. That means cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol…basically anything that ends in “-yl alcohol”.
There’s nothing inherently wrong about fatty alcohols; in fact, they’re extremely moisturizing for your skin. But for some people they do cause irritation, and after a loooong process of elimination, I determined that this group of poor, unfortunate, irritated-skin-having souls includes me.
No silicones. This one took me forever to figure out.
I had found a moisturizer I liked and used it for a few months but wondered why I still kept getting clogged pores that sometimes turned into big zits. It wasn’t the Bare Minerals makeup, it wasn’t the acne medication, it wasn’t my hair products. Had to be the moisturizer.
I was disappointed by this development because the moisturizer I was using feels and smells great. If you’re looking for a gel moisturizer and your skin doesn’t mind silicones, definitely give it a go: Dr. Jart Water-Sure Gel.
Soooo with those two ingredients out, I wasn’t left with much to go on. Since I’d gone back to basics with Bare Minerals makeup, I thought I should do the same with my moisturizer, and what’s more natural than oil?
The prospect of using an oil as moisturizer was a little scary after all the oil-free indoctrination I went through as a teen, but I figured the results couldn’t be worse than with anything else I’d tried over the years.
I did a lot (A LOTTTTT) of research and landed on this extremely informative blog post that discussed the fact that all oils are composed of several acids, including oleic acid and linoleic acid. People with skin that’s prone to clogged pores (me) are usually deficient in linoleic acid, so moisturizing with a high linoleic oil is beneficial.
After some hemming and hawing, my choices were this grapeseed oil and this rosehip seed oil. In the morning I mix two drops of each in my palm and apply to my face after cleansing. At night, I do the same thing, just after letting my acne treatment dry.
And YOOOOOOOO. My skin is looking great.
No pimples, no clogged pores, just an overall clear tone and some residual scarring on my chin from past breakouts. Are you kidding me?! Why didn’t I try this sooner?
Let’s look at the progress pictures all together:
Um yeah, I’ll let the results speak for themselves.
So if you have easily clogged pores and struggle to find a moisturizer that works for you, try an oil that’s high in linoleic acid. I’m shocked at how well this has worked for me. You may have to do some experimentation to find the right blend, but here are the ones I’m using:
Oils, I’m sorry I ignored you for my entire lifetime. Please forgive me.