My Vacation Skincare

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If you guys are anything like me vacations are amazing but also a bit of a skin nightmare. Unless its a staycation I definitely have to prepare for going anywhere for anymore than a few hours.

So my parents live in California and Chris’ parents live in Boise so anytime we go visit either of them my skin has no idea what to do. In Boise it is super dry (like more dry than Rexburg which I did not previously think was possible) and where my parents live its pretty humid.

I know that when I am in Boise as soon as I wash my face my skin feels like fabric stretched over a drum. However, because of this my skin likes to overcompensate and kick oil production into overdrive.

Usually the day before we leave I make sure that I shower and wash my face earlier in the evening (I am a firm believer in showering at night because I don’t like waking up any earlier than I absolutely have to) and I make sure to use a great moisturizer or skin serum. This helps my skin to get some really good moisture without making it too over oily. The morning of departure I use a really light and water-based moisturizer. This helps my skin to retain everything from the night before and it helps it to be able to not feel so tight the next day.

First of all, generally I don’t wear foundation on a day to day basis but especially not when I am traveling and my skin is confused. I also have to be very careful with the kind of moisturizer I use. Right now I am using a pretty heavy moisturizer at night (the Shea Moisture Daily Defense Moisturizer) and something lighter in the morning (either the Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Moisturizer or the Simple Moisturizing Gel Cream.)

Another thing that I think is both a blessing and a curse on vacation is sunscreen. On one hand it keeps my skin protected from the sun but on the other hand it always clogs my pores. I know that there are a lot of great sunscreens out there that are really light and not oily for your skin but I definitely have the type of skin that has very easily clogged pores. I have always used kids sunscreen for my face because it seems to be the only thing that doesn’t irritate it.

If we are traveling somewhere a little more humid then I have to change up my skincare routine. I still use the same face wash but in the morning I use a really light moisturizer because I know that my skin is going to kick into hyperdrive oil production throughout the day. At night I make sure to wash my face with really warm water so that I can get all of the sweat and oil out of it and make sure that it is squeaky clean. Then I use a moisturizer that is somewhere in the middle between light and heavy. Usually here I’ll use a baby lotion because I feel like it makes my skin feel really good in these conditions. I usually go for the Johnson & Johnson night time baby lotion.

Let me know if you guys have any other vacation skincare tips and how you take care of your skin on vacation.

 

Sephora vs. Ulta Beauty

For me the two biggest stores for beauty and makeup have been Ulta and Sephora. I have spent all my life living in California and Idaho and these were always the stores available to me for higher end makeup.

Sephora

Pros:

I have always liked that Sephora is very centered on makeup. They carry a lot of really great brands that I don’t find anywhere else. I love that they cary brands like NARS and Kat Von D and Fenty that aren’t available in many other stores.

I think the sales representatives are also really knowledgable. They know the products really well and can generally suggest something for whatever random suggestion I happen to come in with.

Cons:

Personally, for as many good experiences as I have at Sephora I think I have just as many bad ones. Whether it be a rude sales representative, the products not being in stock, or not having a product I’m looking for. Some of their selection seems to be limited even though they carry many brands.

Ulta Beauty

Pros:

I like that Ulta is centered around general beauty. I like that they carry everything that you need beauty related. I like that you can really start from the bottom up and build your way up. Like i like that you can start with face wash and work all the way to setting spray. I like that there is such a wide variety of skincare items and beauty tools. For me this makes it a really great store.

Sometimes I do struggle with the fact that they don’t carry a lot of the higher end brands but this also keeps me from spending my entire paycheck all at once so maybe it isn’t really that bad of a thing. They carry almost all of my favorite brands and they also have a lot of other drugstore brands that I love like NYX that I don’t find in a lot of other stores.

I also LOVE the small samples that are next to the checkout stand.

Cons:

Some of my favorite brands like Kat Von D and NARS aren’t carried here. I don’t really have any other complaints here.

Conclusion:

I think that for me I am more willing to go to Ulta but Sephora still hold a very special and very large place in my heart. I see so many great things about both of these stores and I love that they are a little different. With my wedding coming up (92 days!!!) I am looking for some good makeup and trying to get a really good routine down for myself so that I don’t have to pay anyone else to do it.

Let me know what stores you guys shop at and where you but your beauty products!

My Skincare Routine

 

For how much I talk about my skin and my skincare I realize that I haven’t shared much about my journey this far so here it goes!

This is what my skin looked like 8 months ago:

 

 

In these pictures I had on makeup and I was definitely using some snap filters. If you have skin that looks like this you are still a beautiful human being and are not defined by the condition of your skin. If you are looking to improve your skin, I have been in your position and I am here with all the advice I can give.

Here is what my skin looks like now:

In the picture on the left I’m not wearing any makeup and in the one on the right I have on the same amount of makeup as in the pictures above.

I think for how badly I want better skin, it would surprise people how few skincare products I use on a daily bases. Before I delve into the details of my skincare I do want to say that I have tried a LOT of skincare products and what I do use is very carefully selected.

About 3 months ago I had a really complicated skincare routine. Now I only use three things (plus my prescription) and I have seen significant improvement in my skin in comparison. All I use right now is face wash and moisturizer.

The last thing that I use isn’t technically something that I use. Its time. I went in this week for a dermatologist appointment and he told me that even with prescriptions and the best skincare products I could find it would still take time.

I think for me personally, I think that the more products I use and the more often I change products the more my skin doesn’t like it. Consistency is key. The idea of my skincare routine now is that I clean all the oil, dirt, and makeup out of my skin and then I replace the moisture in my skin and that’s it. The more I try to do my skin’s job for it, the more that it doesn’t get better.

I know that there are a lot of people who can use products and see results immediately but I have never really been one of those people. My skin is a bit too stubborn for this.

(I feel like I should also mention that I have been working out and drinking a TON of water throughout this process as well.)

Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask or a pore strip but overall I keep my skincare routine as simple as possible. My skin can do a really good job of staying clean and I just try to help it along.

Skincare update: What I’m using and what I’m loving

So I realized that I have been neglecting writing about my skincare and how things have changed since I started that using the prescriptions that I have. Right now I am using Adapalene and Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzol Peroxide gels as well as a pill that I take twice a day.C3A2oCyhRhOVK8SkTp9yig┬áThese have been helping a lot with the scaring on my skin however…

MY SKIN IS SUCH A WEIRD TEXTURE.

The prescription makes it really dry and my skin tries to overcompensate by producing more oil than it usually does. But my skin still manages to be dry. Please tell me that I am not the only one with this problem.

So what I have been doing to help combat this has been a lot of trial and error. I have used the Noxzema Classic Clean face wash for a long time and I still swear by it.

However, now that my skin is dryer it is a bit too harsh. I have since switched to the Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity Vitamin C Facial Wash and I have seen a lot of improvements. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about it and here is my opinion. It smells amazing and it makes my skin feel so clean. The scarring is also going away slowly. (So so slowly.) L6IzhZhGR8aAoTV6nt8AmQ

I have also been using the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupacu Daily Defense Moisturizer with Passiflora & Pistachio Oils and I really like it. This stuff smells AMAZING. It smells like sweet and fresh and clean and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t soak in as quickly as other moisturizers but I feel like it leaves my skin moisturized much longer. I tend to use this more at night and in the morning I use the Neutrogina Pink Grapefruit moisturizer.

As far as other skin products I use I tend to keep it pretty limited. Every once in a while I’ll use a face mask and my favorites tend to be the Body Shop Green Tea Skin Clearing Clay mask and the Garnier Charchol Clay mask. I think that when I need a little more moisture in my skin and I want to treat myself I’ll put one on and rinse it off with warm water. I love how natural smelling the Body Shop face mask smells. I think that it is so refreshing and leaves my skin so soft and glowy (if thats a word).

Another product I use is the Biore Charcoal Pore Strips. My nose is very prone to blackheads so when I am having a bad skin day I’ll put one on and its kind of fascinating to see all the blackheads on the dry strip. Maybe that sounds kind of gross (and it is) but its also kind of satisfying.

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As far as skin serums I have only ever used the mon amie Rose and Collagen Face Serum. This serum I only use at night when my skin is in desperate need of some moisture. It definitely smells very rose-like and it leaves my skin so healthy. It is a very heavy moisturizer so I don’t use it very often.

While I am on the topic I also want to share my favorite moisturizers for the rest of my body. As far as body wash I can’t say that I have found one that really amazes me but I absolutely love the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe lotion. I have never found another lotion that leaves my skin so soft and is so lightweight. I generally don’t like moisturizers that I use daily to be very oily because then I feel like I leave little oil handprints everywhere I go.

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However, two or three times a week I will use the Johnson’s Aloe & Vitamin E Baby Oil Gel. I use this as soon as I get out of the shower on my legs and feet and then I wear sweats and socks to bed so that it doesn’t rub all over my sheets all night. This leaves my skin so so so soft and I love using it.

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These are the products that I am using and loving right now and these definitely change and I will be updating as that happens!

Skincare

Another goal I have before the wedding is having better skin. My skin is bad to say the least. I have a lot of scarring and marks on my skin that make it really hard to convince myself to leave my apartment without makeup when it feels like I’m walking into a sea of porcelain-skin-beauties.

Over the past year since my skin started to get bad I have tried just about every home remedy and well-known skin tip known to man so I finally decided to go to a Dermatologist and see what could be done.

I went to Alpine Dermatology here in Rexburg and they were so nice to me. They explained all my options thoroughly and answered all of my questions. We came to the conclusion that I would be prescribed two creams and a pill and in two months there would be a follow up appointment to see how things were going.

I was warned that it would make my skin really dry for the first two weeks and if I could make it through that then I should start to see some improvement in my skin.

I really underestimated just how dry it would get. The first few days were a little more dry than normal but nothing too bad and I was thinking, I got this. My skin will be clear and I can move on.

It definitely wasn’t that simple. Last night I took my pill at dinner and then I washed my face and put on my creams and then my moisturizer and then my skin started burning.

Now I have gotten tattoos in some of the most painful places and I have also had my belly button pierced and this was more painful than both of those combined.

My skin turned red and burned and the only thing that seemed to offer any solace was putting a cold washcloth on my face.

After a couple hours it subsided enough for me to lay down and I discovered that if I kept my window open then the breeze cooled the burning enough for me to get some sleep.

This morning I slept most of the day so I skipped my morning pill (oops) and the only thing I have done to my skin is rubbed some rose and collagen serum on it which seems to be helping with the moisture problem.

Sorry for the long story but as far as a rocky start to my “better skin journey” I think this was pretty good.