Confidence and Clear Skin

Over the past few months, my skin has had its ups and downs. Sometimes it will be clear with just a few tiny spots here and there, but as recently as last week, I had spots all over my face, even in places I never get acne (thank you airplane air). When I was feeling frustrated, I was talking to my mom about it and complained how when you’re a teenager everyone tells you your skin gets clearer when you’re in your twenties. But honestly, my skin was better then than it is now. My mom is wonderful and assured me it was normal and had been the same for her.

Just to give you a little information on my skin, I am on the dry side and my skin is very, very sensitive. I have allergic reactions to non-mineral sunscreens and random products. I have a lot of redness in my skin as well from what I believe is mild rosacea (dermatologist has said I have it in the past, but its been a while). Normally I just get breakouts during the week before my time of the month, but it’s become a bit more random in my adult life.

I have been trying out new products more often in the past year, so that might be partially to blame. Or my skin is just going through a phase. Who knows! (Might also be from too many sweets as of late!) But from this experience, I am now currently going through a mental shift about my skincare. I’ve started pulling away from the “trendy” products and trying to focus on choosing simple ones. That’s where The Ordinary comes in. I first heard about this brand on YouTube and was intrigued over the company’s ideals. They acknowledge that there’s some great ingredients being discovered for skincare, but that brands are using them and then jacking up the prices. Their slogan is “Clinical formulations with integrity.” They take pride in honesty and want to provide customers with quality skincare at affordable prices. I can proudly tell you they have seriously delivered on that promise.

The Ordinary does not test on animals and all of their products, including ones from their parent company DECIEM, are free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, formaldehyde, and so much more. You can find the full listing on their website. I love that they give you only as many ingredients as you need and no more.

I ordered 3 products – 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, and Advanced Retinoid 2%. Their descriptions from the website are a bit scientific, but take the time to read them to decide what products are best for you. For the most part, all of their products are serums.

I have to say the winner for me is the Advanced Retinoid 2%. I had a smaller bottle of Sunday Riley’s Luna Night Oil, which I did like but the price tag is $$$$. When I first heard about The Ordinary’s version, I read that the retinoid ingredient is very similar to the Luna oil. And it’s just under $10. I was shocked! I’ve been using it for a few months now on and off and it’s a game changer. This formula claims to be gentler than typical retinol, which I completely agree. When I was first using Luna, I had to go every other day because it was a lot for my skin. Not so with The Ordinary! I can use it every night without making my skin drier or irritated. When I have had breakouts over the past few months, it’s been when I haven’t been using this serum. But then I start applying it every night again and my spots don’t last nearly as long as they could.

Throughout this entire adult acne experience, I have learned how much it affects my confidence. When my skin is at its worst, I want to hide. I know those are the times when I shouldn’t be wearing makeup to let my skin breathe and do what it needs to do, but if I don’t, I become so self conscious when I’m teaching or talking to anyone because all I can think about is that they must be staring at the big pimple on my chin. But then when my skin clears back up, I proudly walk around with no makeup and my hair pulled back showing my skin off for all to see.

I am trying to get more comfortable on the not-so-great skin days, because we’ve all experienced acne at some point in our lives and others really don’t notice it as much as we think they do, but it’s a work in progress. On the flip side, because I know how my skin is deeply connected to my confidence, I’m trying to nail down a quality skincare regime for myself. I’m finally starting to find products that are simple, clean, easy, and work for my skin. Is this what it’s like to be an adult??

It’s been a fun and interesting process both for my skin and for my understanding of myself. I hope to continue discovering amazing brands that are honest, natural, and actually work. What products do you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

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