How to Care for Stressed-Out Skin
We all know the struggle of keeping blemish-free skin during the school year. All the studying, essays and exams stress us out, causing us to eat things we only come to regret, and our skin takes the hit. What if I told you there are simple ways to cure those bad days? My methods vary in price, but all of them are easy and show results almost instantly.
First off, you may want to upgrade your soap. If you haven’t heard, Dr. Bronners Organic Castille Soap honestly works wonders. It is made from natural ingredients (including coconut, jojoba, and hemp oils) and stays away from harsh chemicals which can cause cancer. Dr. Bronners can be bought online or in stores. I know Target carries it, but I don’t think WalMart does. And just a forewarning, a little bit goes a long way. Honestly, two or three drops in your palm will allow you to wash your face and neck. A 4 ounce bottle will last you two semesters if you only use it on your face.
I know it may sound weird, but there’s something so soothing about using a coarse rock to exfoliate my skin instead of a washcloth. When I exfoliate, I do it while the soap is still on my skin and rub my rock in a circular motion all over my face. I start on my right cheek, go towards my nose, over to the left cheek, down to my chin/mouth area (you can even get your lips!), and then up to my forehead. This will make sure dead skin is off of your face, allowing for different treatments to penetrate deeper and more evenly.
Once your skin is clean, there are a lot of different things you can do to treat it further! One thing you can do is hold your face over a pot of boiling water. The steam coming off of it will open your pores. While your pores are open, rub a slice of lemon over your skin. If you have blemishes, this may sting a little. The lemon contains anti-bacterial properties that will fight the bacteria causing the acne.
Another thing you can do is make and apply a clay mask. My favorite way to do this is by using a dry clay powder (Now Foods European Clay Powder is what I use). It’s easy to prepare and offers amazing results. You definitely want the mask to be warm when applying it to your skin to work best and open your pores. The way to do this is by putting about 2 inches worth of water into a small pot. Put whatever liquid you’re using with the clay in a small ramekin and place the ramekin into the water. Heat the pot of water with the ramekin inside to get the liquid warm. Remove the ramekin from the water, turn the stove off and add the clay to the ramekin and mix together until smooth.
There are various liquids you can use for this technique depending on what outcome you need.
To relieve redness, use green tea. To minimize pores, use sour milk (the lactic acid will do this… weird, huh?). To fight a break out, use hydrogen peroxide. If you have no issues with your skin, use water or homemade rosewater.
Putting the mask on your face is simple. Just use your fingers to retrieve the mixture from the ramekin, and spread it all over your face. The more layers you put on your skin, the thicker it will be. You don’t need it too thick. Let it fully dry (this will take about 30 minutes) and then take the mask off with water. You could also use your rock to help you in case its stubborn and doesn’t want to come off.
Here are some recipes:
Redness reducing mask
1 Tablespoon European Clay
1 Tbsp fresh green tea (more if needed)
Acne fighting mask
1 Tbsp Clay
1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
Soothing clay mask
1 Tbsp clay
1 Tbsp homemade organic rosewater
½ Tsp honey
½ C fresh organic rose petals (use organic because you don’t want chemicals from the pesticides in your water)
1 1/2 C water
Put the rose petals and water into a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to lowest setting that still allows water to simmer. Simmer until the color of the rose petals has faded (5-10 minutes) Leave the lid on and let cool completely. Strain out the rose petals and store in the fridge for several weeks.
The final step to our skin care regimen is to moisturize. Personally, I prefer to use oils on my skin. I find that lotions tend to be made with fillers, and are in turn, a waste of money.
The oil I use everyday is cold-pressed avocado oil. This oil is wonderful! It doesn’t feel greasy and you can even find it at Walmart. Just make sure that whatever oil you use is cold pressed. There are oils made by manufacturers who heat the ingredients to make the oils, but heating them takes the nutrition out.
Another good oil to use on your skin is hemp seed oil. It penetrates the skin nicely and smells good too.
If you have oily skin, the best oil to use would be grapeseed oil. This oil is very light, which makes it good for hair too!
I hope these suggestions help to restore your confidence and take away your stress over your skin problems. I know firsthand about the struggle between wanting to do well in life and also wanting to look good for the picture. Have a good day