Unfortunately my skin is also quite sensitive, so I can't treat it as aggressively as I would like. I can use a salicylic acid face wash, but lotions and spot treatments that stay on my skin make my face red and angry. I also realized recently that my skin isn't some crazy combination of super dry and super oily, like I've always thought it was; it's actually just really dry and flaky, and my skin was compensating for the light, ineffective moisturizers that I'd been using by overproducing oil.
We're finally a bit more settled, and there are a few things that I've been doing to help rehab my poor, spotty face.
1. Makeup comes off every night. No excuses. Even if I'm utterly exhausted and ready to drop, I'm removing my eye makeup and washing my face. Makeup remover for waterproof mascara is key if you don't want to wake up with bloodshot raccoon eyes.
2. Exfoliate, but gently. Scrubbing too aggressively can irritate skin, but the buildup of dead skin cells clogs pores and makes skin look dull. I use a gentle physical exfoliant at night before I go to bed, which gives the redness time to subside.
3. Moisturize like crazy. I could never figure out why my skin would be so tight, dry, and flaky after washing, then turn into an oil slick later in the day. Now I use a gentle, moisturizing face wash in the morning, followed by a creamy lotion and a layer of face oil. My makeup goes on smoother, and while I still need to blot my nose in the middle of the day, on the whole my skin is much better behaved.
4. Use full coverage foundation and concealer, but use less of it. My skin scars like crazy from acne, so even after the pimples are gone, I still have lovely red spots to remind me of where they were. I'm also about as pale as a person can be without some form of albinism, and my skin gets red and blotchy at the drop of a hat. I used to apply several layers of sheer foundation trying even out my skin tone, but lately I've been in love with full coverage stick foundation. It goes on quicker, and I find that I'm using much less of it to much better effect. I'm also using a thick, creamy concealer, which magically erases red spots and dark circles.
Products I'm loving right now
1. Maybelline Expert Eyes Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover. This stuff is gentle, effective, and doesn't dry out my eye area.
2. St. Ives Oatmeal Scrub+Mask. The original St. Ives is ridiculously harsh, but they've got some nice new formulas that are much easier on the skin. This one does a great job of exfoliating without irritating or over-drying my skin.
3. Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. Gentle, but effective. (You might notice that's kind of a refrain here.) I use this in the morning since it's very easy on my face, meaning I don't have to cake on makeup to cover redness.
4. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I bought this after I had some kind of allergic reaction and ended up with a face full of hives. Really not fun. It's very moisturizing, but it absorbs quickly and is not greasy. It's got colloidal oatmeal, which is great for soothing sensitive skin.
5. Jack Black Epic Moisture Nourishing Oil. I love men's products because they're so refreshingly straightforward. One pump of this oil, smoothed over my face and neck, leaves my skin smooth and glowing, but it absorbs quickly and smells great. At $32, it's a bit of a splurge for me, but it's been worth every penny.
6. Maybelline FitMe Shine Free Foundation. I love how easy it is to smooth this foundation on and go. It offers medium to full coverage and stays matte throughout the day.
7. Benefit Boi-ing Concealer. This stuff is such a wonder. I just tap my finger in the pot to pick up some product, tap my finger on the spot a couple of times, and boom, it's gone.