Meet Sarah—she’s super pale, like her favorite star, but suffers from the sensitive skin that often accompanies a porcelain complexion. Among her woes: looking too young for her age. Hmmm, Sarah, we’re not crying for ya there! But we do want to know your tricks…
Age: 28 (with the misfortune [truly!] of looking 18 [I say misfortune because until people hear that I am 28, there is an unfortunate tendency to lecture me as if I have never experienced the "real world."]
Current Weather: The best summer ever! I just moved to the East Bay and it gets into the low 70s at the most lately.
Hair: Short, pin straight, fine but lots of it.
Skin: Super pale and painfully reactive and sensitive. My chin in particular likes to breakout when it gets touched.
Favorite star or icon from the past: Christina Hendricks (not really from the past but she plays someone from the past… that counts, right? And she’s gorgeous.)
Before the bath…
I dry brush every day, everything but spots that have active outbreaks of eczema. I love that it has made my skin feel delightfully soft. Sometimes I do a mask before I bathe, either a sample of one I got from Spirit Beauty Lounge or straight yogurt (I bought a huge thing of yogurt and then remembered that I don’t actually like yogurt so I’ve been using it as a mask.) Anything that provides some serious moisture that I can wash off (pure aloe vera was nice too.)
In the bath…
I mostly bathe (I know they’re not environmentally friendly so mostly it’s just pretending I’m in a hot spring and using a dipper to dump water from the faucet onto me), sometimes for long periods of time, mostly for as long as it takes to wash my body. I’m a total minimalist when it comes to products. I want one product that does its job perfectly. So in the shower I use California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Bodywash. It’s unscented and has minimal ingredients. That goes on the bits that need regular washing. One pump is all I use for my body and hair (oh yeah, I get away with this because I have a pixie cut) so whatever is left from the bits-washing goes in my hair, just enough to make sure my fine hair doesn’t go limp from oil. The California Baby wash triples as my shaving cream. My face gets washed with a Konjac Sponge Company French Pink Clay sponge. No cleanser, just the sponge. My heels get pumiced if I remember.
Outside the bath…
My washing takes far less time than it does for me to moisturize and finish the process. I have super sensitive skin and get patches of eczema in various places (my wrists are FINALLY healing up) so moisture is super integral to keeping my skin from mutinying. I use a DIY oil that is fractionated coconut oil with 1 part jasmine grandiflorum essential oil and 2 parts jasmine absolute (jasmine is my all-time favorite scent.) I use that oil all over my still damp body, head to toe, just enough to cover everything without making me greasy. Then I brush my hair with a bright green Widu hairbrush that makes me so happy (the color is so fun!) and distributes the oil, preventing the grease effect (I walk a very fine line between moisturized/glowy and tragically greasy.) If I have a serious eczema outbreak I put a dab of Egyptian Magic on just those spots. It’s so rich that I have to alternate the days I put it on or my skin gets these weird bumps it only gets when it’s over moisturized. They go away but I try to avoid getting them with sparing application of moisturizer. Next is DIY deodorant (the winning recipe form the No More Dirty Looks DIY Challenge) and DIY body powder (arrowroot powder and the jasmine oils along with some rose hip powder because I felt like it.) Lastly, if I have a spot of cystic acne (it runs in my family and I got the least serious case; I only get one spot about 4 times a year) I dab it with tea tree oil, which is magic in a bottle and makes those spots disappear (I always put it on top of my face oil since tea tree oil is so strong and my skin is so sensitive.)
Most days I wear either no makeup or Couleur Caramel black cils longs mascara on just the top lashes. That goes on after curling (a must since my lashes are quite long but painfully straight.) If I’m feeling fancy (this feeling has nothing to do with what I am doing and everything to do with what I want to do), I add W3ll People universalist 2 on my cupid’s bow, lids, and lips, along with one of the following on my lips: W3ll People universalist 1, rms beauty lip2cheek modest, W3ll People nudist lip shine 8 all topped with hurraw! balm in black cherry (in keeping with my ‘give me one spectacular product’, hurraw! balm is the only balm I use. I have one stashed next to my bed, in my purse, and in my bathroom. The chai and coconut ones for around the house and the black cherry one, which is tinted, for when I am out and about.) If I know I’m doing a lot of outdoor things, I also put on my homemade sunblock (I just made it from a recipe I found on the internet and it’s the first time I’ve been able to wear sunscreen in years. I am allergic to most of the things that go into sunscreens OR they are too rich for my poor skin and cause serious breakouts [waxes are the main culprit.] The one I made has 3 ingredients: zinc oxide, fractionated coconut oil, and borage oil.) I only do sunblock when I am going to be out and about a lot because sunblocks tend to disrupt the flow of my skin and I prefer to just wear a hat and avoid long periods of sun exposure. Since it’s summer I am also painting my toes with Vapour Organics polish in Captive, the perfect deep blood red (the only color I will wear.) I searched long and hard for the perfect color and finally found it in Captive.
All that having been said, the most important beauty products for me are actually my diet, exercise, and fish oil. I take fish oil every day and eat a mostly vegetarian, veggie and fruit packed diet. This, along with regular yoga sessions, has done more for my skin than any product ever has. Maybe I should stop my clean living so I won’t be mistaken for a teenager…
Wow, great routine (and lifestyle). We’re super intrigued by the DIY sunscreen—anybody else made their own? What else here have you tried?
Here’s the latest from GOOD:
Cosmetics companies just love to sell you on the idea that each new season calls for an arsenal of new products. And why wouldn’t they? It means you’ll ditch your half-finished current bottle of snake oil in favor of one that comes with the same crap on the inside and different claims on the out. Cha-ching.
Of course, it’s true that cold weather and even clock changes can have serious side effects for skin. But if you’re the sensitive type, switching out your entire regimen—i.e. risking reactions to new products—right when the temperature is dropping, is likely to do more harm than good. In fact if your skin is at all finicky, we strongly advocate sticking to routine in this area.
So how to beat your winter skin woes? Click “Next” in the slideshow for tips that will matter most for winter skin.
Illustrations by Brianna Harden