Why is My Skin So Ew?
Youth, I miss you.
Happy Wellness Wednesday.
I don’t know about you, but the cold weather months are not kind to my skin. The second temps drop below 60 degrees, my skin looks dry, dull (wrinkly even, as of late, wtf), and all-around gross.
The morning after a night of drinking? Forget about it. One-two glasses of wine I’m talking, my face looks like it has aged 10 years when I look in the mirror. My eyes are heavy, tired and droopy, and my skin looks like a band of toddlers ran their Tonka trucks over it. It’s sickening and really frustrating.
What gives? Is this what happens when we get older?
While factors like hormones, age, and genetics certainly play into what our skin looks like, it’s important to remember that everyone’s skin is different. Some people are more acne-prone than others, for example, and some are simply blessed with glowy, perfect skin.
Genetics aside, there are things we can do to make our skin look and feel like the Clear Skin Goddesses we are and deserve to be, 365 days of the year.
Side note: Taking care of your skin is not vain just in case anyone feels that way — far from it, actually. How we look affects the way we feel, and the way we feel affects everything — from our self-esteem to our work performance and everything in-between.
Whether you’re home alone dissecting every flaw in your bedroom mirror or are speaking face to face with a VIP client in a fluorescent office, the case stands the same — if you don’t feel 100% comfortable in your skin (literally in this case), you are not going to be able to put your best self forward. And THAT is a real shame which will not be tolerated in my book.
Here are expert-backed ways to prevent ew-looking skin (aka wrinkles, blemishes, dullness, etc.) along with things we can do to keep our skin bouncy, soft, and clear, every single day.
Let me preface this by saying what I love about the CLEARSTEM girls is that they actually give a shit. There are a bazillion products out there claiming they are the best of the best and the founders of the brands stating they “really care,” but these women legiteimately do care, and I highly recommend giving them a follow and listening to any/all podcasts they’re on.
Stop touching your face.
Altogether, forever. No more touching your face. This is especially hard for me because I get SUCH satisfaction out of plucking my beard hairs. But every time I do, I break out. Every. Fucking. Time.
Wash your face with cool water.
You don’t like cold water on your face because it’s winter and you’re already cold? TOUGH COOKIES. Warm water may feel nice and relaxing on your skin, but it is incredibly harsh on your skin. Hot water also inflames your skin, worsening conditions like dryness or redness, and preventing your skin from being able to breathe freely. Put on your fuzzy wool socks and suck it up. Cold water is your friend.
Sidebar: Hot water is not to be confused with steam, now. Aka a sauna for example, which is good for the skin, and is what one dermatologist states is “exercise for your pores.” Don’t have a sauna? (me neither) Good old fashioned sweat (from a vigorous workout) will do the trick. Just make sure you shower right after.
Don’t fall asleep with your makeup on.
Not even once, don’t do it. I spent the better half of my college years sleeping in my makeup, and I think it’s finally catching up with me. An old hairstylist of mine told me for every night you sleep with your makeup on, your face ages 5 years. I don’t know how much truth there is to that, but my god.
Not washing your makeup brushes is something that is often overlooked, too, which I’m currently guilty of. If you can’t remember the last time you washed your makeup brushes (or replaced them), it’s time.
Stay the hell out of the sun.
I also think the many summers of lathering up in baby oil is finally catching up with me. Do you ever notice how Asian women have the most beautiful, flawless, almost fake-looking skin? Or how black women seem to not age, ever? It’s because they are sun smart. They stay out of the sun. And when they are in the sun, they protect themselves with sunscreen.
On the sunscreen front, the skincare gurus say it’s best to apply sunscreen in the afternoon, as sunscreen is basically nonexistent after two hours of application. They state that most sun damage happens when we sit outside for lunch or take a sunset stroll.
Hot tip: Don’t forget about your hands. If you’re driving to work every day, the sun is definitely hitting your hands on the steering wheel, and if they aren’t protected, you’re going to get Old Lady Hands quicker than necessary.
Pay attention to what you eat.
What we eat directly affects our skin. If you’re skin-sensitive like I am, it’s a good thing when you’re trying to figure out your skin trigger foods because you feel it (and maybe even see it) immediately after eating or drinking whatever is irritating your skin.
If I have a glass of wine containing too much sugar for example, I will feel it on my face with the first sip. Same goes for over-processed foods like a pop-tart or anything cinnamon-based. Feeling skin-inflamed and irritated is my cue to stop eating/drinking whatever is making me feel like I want to itch my face off.
To reduce inflammation and make your skin glow (when it comes to food), they recommend consuming fall-season foods like sweet potatoes, broccoli, beets, carrots, pomegranates and turmeric, as they are all rich in antioxidants and high in vitamins, aiding in glowy skin.
Last thing: If you’re feeling particularly inflamed (i.e. you just broke out, your face is red and blotchy), they say one of the best things someone can do for their face is apply a cold compress to it. Direct ice is too harsh, but a cool compress will calm down the inflammation. It’s basically meditation for your skin.
They give many, many more in-depth skin-specific tips via their IG and so forth, but I thought the above were keen reminders to anyone out there who is experiencing annoying skin issues.
Thank you for reading.
See you next week. Happy Halloween.
Keep being you. A prettier skin you.
Take A Sip is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. HINT: Paid subscribers have lots o’ perks.