when it comes to superficial compliments, few instill any sense of pride in me, mainly because they’re often related to factors that are completely outside my control.
“you’re beautiful,” is nice to hear (unless it’s from james blunt), but it has more to do with genetics and the eye of the beholder than choice.
“i love your dress.” cool, i’ll tell the designer if i ever meet him or her.
“cute haircut!” i’m glad michelle, my hair stylist, did me a solid with that one.
there is one thing, though, that encourages me because it’s something i work very hard to maintain, and it is when somebody compliments my skin. yes, part of it is good genes, but i have also actively fought to prevent damage to my skin since my late teens. my parents, lovely as they are, have both had multiple cancerous spots removed from their skin over the years, and, call me crazy, i’d like to avoid having to do the same if i can help it.
i’ve tried all the products, treatments, and miracle vitamins i could find over the years, but i’ve realized i don’t want or need to rely on a twelve-step regimen in order to maintain a healthy complexion. in fact, i’ve whittled my daily routine down to three to four products, and i exfoliate and use a mask a couple times a week. i cleanse my face in the morning and night, then i apply my serum, eye cream, and, in the morning, my day cream with spf 20. i use products held to the european standard since they ban over a thousand harmful chemicals and additives from skincare–let’s not forget that the skin is our body’s largest organ, and we should care as much about what we put on our body as what we put in it. i cleanse with avène’s eau thermale cleansing foam, and i use a tiny amount of arbonne’s re9 corrective eye cream around my eyes and their re9 advanced restorative day cream on the rest of my face. i skip a night cream completely and just use a generous amount of my serum, though it can also be layered under a night cream if you prefer extra moisture.
i first concocted this serum a couple winters ago when my skin kept drying out then over-producing oil to counteract the dryness. i learned that jojoba oil almost mirrors sebum, the skin’s natural oil, and can help heal dry spots without adding the heaviness that other oils would; it basically gives your skin the moisture it needs so it doesn’t keep over-producing oil. i was also using a (rather expensvie) 100% argan oil on my hair and occasionally on my face, so i combined the two for added moisture and tried it out. after a few days, my skin was smooth and glowing again, despite the winter cold. i made more of the serum and added frankincense and rose hip essential oils for more anti-aging and skin-smoothing help, and i have used it every day since. it is light enough to use in the hot summer months, but it packs enough of a punch to combat cold, dry winters. basically, it is a life saver. i now make it using base oils from trader joe’s (shoutout to my boy, joe, who never does me wrong) and with NOW foods essential oils. it feels like luxury without breaking the bank. give it a try, and i promise, you’ll wonder how you’ve survived this long without it.
My Miracle Serum
you will need a dark-colored (amber or blue) dropper bottle for the serum. i prefer a 2 oz bottle since it is carry-on approved, and i don’t travel without this stuff.
- 100% jojoba oil
- 100% argan oil
- frankincense essential oil
- rose hip essential oil
- mix equal parts jojoba and argan oil in dropper bottle (for a 2 oz bottle, 4 tsp of each is perfect)
- add 25-35 drops of each essential oil
- close lid and shake to combine
- after cleansing skin, apply a dime sized amount to face and neck and massage into skin
- allow 5-10 minutes to absorb, then apply moisturizer (if desired)
other tips for a glowing complexion:
- drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day
- eat your veggies
- take a collagen supplement (i use vital proteins collagen peptides and add them to my morning cup of coffee)
- sleep–it’s called beauty rest for a reason
- limit your alcohol consumption
- exercise–revving up your cardiovascular system and sweating out toxins might make you look flushed and shiny at first, but it’ll improve your skin in the long run
- keep your skin moisturized (i love moisturizing with coconut oil) and protected from the sun (spf 30 or higher, people!)
- exfoliate and treat yourself to a mask once or twice a week
- take a break from makeup and let your skin breathe
- get an annual skin cancer screening from a reputable dermatologist, and have your hormone levels checked at your yearly physical
- find a way to relax–stress breakouts are an indicator that you need to CTFO
do right by your skin, don’t sweat the imperfections, and find what works for you. i hope you enjoy the serum and my awkward selfies.