Monday, January 19, 2015

Flawless Foundationless Skin in Three Steps

As promised in last week's post about going foundationless, today I am going to share my tips for achieving flawless no-foundation-required skin. I was a broke out mess less than a month ago; I really wish I had a "before" picture for you because it was downright mutinous. The picture above was taken last night and I solemnly swear to you there is not a dab of foundation on my face. 

I've singled out what I believe are the four most essential steps to clearer skin based on the changes I made that I believe led to mine clearing up so nicely so quickly.

1. A Quality and Consistent Cleansing Routine

I know this seems like a no brainer, but hear me out. There are a few easy things most people could do to improve their skin care routine. For me a quality cleansing routine requires 4 things:

1. A Solid Makeup Remover

I use Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser and I could not be more in love. You rub in on your face like lotion and then wash off with a cloth and warm water. It is safe to use on eyes and tackles even the most waterproof of mascaras. It doesn't leave your face feeling oily like most removers and after I use it my face is so freaking soft. Seriously a baby's bottom would be envious. Best of all, it is both a remover and a cleanser, so you don't have to worry about washing your face again after taking your makeup off because who has time for that? 

A little bit goes a long way and it is ridiculously affordable. I got my jar (9.5oz) for something like $8 at Walgreen's. I'm sure you could find it- or something similar for my UK readers- at almost any corner drug store.

2. Double Cleansing

I actually learned this trick from another blogger, but it was months ago and I for the life of me cannot remember who it was. 

Before you wash your face, use just a little bit of cleanser first to wash away surface dirt and oils. Then go on to use the normal amount and fully wash your face. This technique lets you get a deeper and more thorough cleanse. I also recommend doing your full face wash in the shower because the hot water will open up your pores, enabling you to clear them out even more.

I like to use Biore's Charcoal Cleanser for my first cleanse and follow it up with my Neutrogena Deep Clean. The charcoal draws out impurities, enabling me to get the most out of my first cleanse, and the Neutrogena cleanser uses rice protein to keep my skin oil free all day. The Neutrogena is also great because it doubles as a face mask. I use it as a mask after I get out of the shower normally twice a week.

3. Toner

Toner is an absolute must-have. It helps close your pores up to prevent dirt from getting into them after you've washed your face. It also helps reduce the visibility of your pores, which is something you'll probably want to do if you're planning to go foundationless. I use it twice a day- once in the morning before I put my makeup on and once at night after I've taken my makeup off or used my cleansers.

Most of all make sure you are consistent. As tempting as it may be, do your best to resist going to bed without removing your makeup. Your skin will thank you for it.

4. Moisturizer 

Finally, a good cleansing should always end with moisturizer. I also always use it before putting on any makeup. It helps keep your skin from drying out, reduces redness, and just generally makes your skin feel awesome. I alternate between Biore and Aveeno face lotions. 

2. Skip the Soda and Drink More Water

I gave up drinking pop as a New Year's Resolution and made it a goal to drink more water in place of it, and it has already made a world a difference for my skin. If you were to do only one thing to clear up your skin, it should probably be drinking more water. It is a natural moisturizer and it helps flush toxins out of your body. Going the step further and cutting out pop will drastically reduce your sugar intake, which will definitely lead to less breakouts.

If you want to give your body a little extra help flushing out toxins you can also try a detox water. I drank them pretty consistently for the first week of January in hopes of speeding up the caffeine withdrawal process after giving up pop. Mine was pretty simple- just a few orange slices and a handful of blueberries- but there are all kinds of different recipes floating around on the internet. I use an infuser bottle to make mine but you can just drop the fruit into a water bottle and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. 

3. Clean Eating

The other major change I made at the start of the new year was to cut out fast food from my diet entirely and to start focusing on eating better. Since then my grocery cart has been filled almost entirely with fresh foods; I hardly buy anything from the inner aisles of the store any more. And within 2 weeks my skin has already started thanking me for the switch. Healthy eating means less greasy foods clogging up your pores, which means far fewer breakouts. 

Clean eating does take a little bit more work, but it is so, so worth it. And you get to enjoy better food too!  If you need some inspiration/ideas, might I recommend my veggie packed shrimp stir-fry? I also have quite the collection of recipes on my Food Porn Pinterest board. I'll be blogging more and more recipes as I continue on my healthy eating adventure, so be sure to stick around!

And of course healthy eating doesn't mean cutting out everything. I ate a piece of ice cream cake while taking the pictures for this post. I would consider cutting out fast food though, or at the very least limiting how often you eat it. Plus, you might be surprised how many delicious alternatives there are to your favorite unhealthy foods. Sweet potato fries have been a godsend for me personally.

There you have it! I hope you all found this post useful. These 3 things helped me clear up my skin in under a month. Obviously everyone is different, but I can guarantee that following these 3 steps will at the very least improve your skin. They had me going foundationless in less than a month. I hope they work just as well for all of you!

Do you ever go foundationless? Do you have any other tips for clearing up your skin? Have you had success with any of the tips I've offered? Let's chat about it in the comments!

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