Monday, November 15, 2010

The Myth of the Perfect Skin

Hello OhMyGosh Readers :)

I'm here today to talk about skin care.

To all of you who, like me, does not have that perfect complexion, here's what I do to keep the zits and future wrinkles at bay.

Well first of all, here's a little about my skin. All my life it has been as oily as french fries. Yeah, gross, I know. But that's how it is and I can't fight it, I had 15 long years learning (read > fighting) how my skin worked to finally have it the way i like it. Smooth, clean, not too shiny (I had to come to grips with that) and clear of undesired spots (mostly). As you can see, I have succeed up until a point...

On a daily basis I....

1 - I wash my face twice a day. When I wake up, before moisturizing and in the shower at night. In the morning I use a neutral soap, nothing special, just something that won't dry up my skin. At night I wash it again in the shower, the last thing I do before turning off the water. In doing that you are cleaning your skin with all the pores open and you are able to remove more of the pollution and sebum. I use a vegetal sponge, it is soft when it's wet and exfoliates just the right amount of skin.

2 - Moisturize. I use an anti-age cream by Natura called Chronos 30+ Poucos Sinais. It is meant for 30+ women with none to very little age signs. Since I'm 29 i guess one year will not make a difference here. It has a SPF 15 and I use it every day in the morning after washing my face.

3 - On occasion, my skin forgets I'm 29 and decides to travel back in time and surprise me in the morning with some, or some times a lot, pesky zits. For them I use Benzoyl Peroxide 5% ONLY on the red/white spots. Some 4 days doing this and they disappear.

4 - To keep my skin looking young, for the past 4 years, I have been using Retinoic Acid 0,05% on and off for 3 months in total each year. Sometimes I use it for 1month, sometimes 2 weeks but always end up with 3 months of use scattered during the year. When I use it, every night before going to bed, I also have to use SPF 40 sunscreen during the day and keep away from direct sunlight, so, no tanning (as if I did tan.... *sigh*). This helps to keep the skin looking fresh, it vanishes most of the freckles and acne coloration, prevents and treats minor wrinkles, reverts sun damage (to a certain point). Even tho I love my freckles, I had to chose between having freckles or aging in a normal rate... So, goodbye freckles :)!

What do I do to keep the excess oil in check?

Wash my face twice a day and moisturize. Excess oil can be caused by several different things. Hormones (my case), excess heat (my case also during the summer, when I have zits the most), overproduction to protect against the sun and excess washing, wrong products and makeup, etc.

I can only talk about what I experienced in my life and I learned that despite my polyscistic ovaries and therefore excess testosterone, my skin used to produce too much oil because I washed it too much or had acne because I washed it too little. As I learned my skin's cycle I saw that I could not use drying soaps because my skin turned out 3X oilier after a couple of hours than with normal soap, same went with drying creams and lotions. One even gave me a wrinkle under my eye!

I do not use full facial makeup every day. It's a simple fact, when I put on foundation, no matter if it is oil-free, light, tainted or anything, my skin will react and produce more oil to "wash" it off my face. Same goes with cream blush and cream eyeshadows.

I often use Helena Rubinstein's mattifying gel, it keeps the excess shine at bay for around 5 hours during winter and practically just 2h during summer.

What makeup do I use daily?

Lipstick & lipbalm, eyeshadow with a good shadow base to prevent creasing, mascara, sometimes eyeliner. Blush over the bare skin sometimes and when there's a party, I use a combination of mattifying gel and mineral foundation to keep the excess shine at bay. I try to sleep well and moisturize the area around my eyes to prevent dark circles so I won't need to use concealer.

And accept that some spots, red marks and such are part of me and I will not cover them.

Sunscreen.... the bane of my existence

Yes, I hate it. It makes my skin sticky, shining like plastic and feels like it clogged every pore in my face. I confess I don't wear it often, even tho I know I should. The anti-age cream I use during the morning has a SPF 15. I know it's not enough but it's better than nothing. I'm still trying to find a smooth non plastic sunscreen. I accept suggestions!! :):):)

You are what you eat.

We've all heard that one before but it was only after I increased the amount of fiber in my diet that I really saw that it was true. My skin changed completely. It is now softer and less oily. I eat fruit and veggies (tho I'm not a vegetarian lol) and eat very little meat on a daily basis. My skin reaction was a side effect of my weight loss diet and that gave me even more strength to keep on going.

Finally all I can say is. There is no perfection. Accepting who, how and what you are is the best way to look good. Listen to your body and work with it to make it look it's best without abusing it.

Until next time,
Huggles to all!



  1. Great article! You indeed should be pride of your skin in general. It seems to be very smooth. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Such a useful post. Thank you so much!
    I have oily skin too and it drives me crazy at times, so this post will be a great help :)

  3. I'm glad you like it. :)
    If you have any questions, feel free to ask! :)

  4. Great article indeed!
    I have combination skin with a t-zone that used to be very very oily.
    Just like you, it took me some time (read: years) to figure out what my skin needed, and now my skin is ok :D.
    I do think that you should like your skin and be kind to it, because it's very important, and when you find out what the best skincare is to match your skin, your skin will be nice to you too!

    Btw, I think your skin is beautiful Paula :D.

    Keep these posts of yours coming, I really enjoy reading them!