A Nightly Winter Skincare Routine (That Has Saved My Face)

I used to find my face so inconvenient. It scars easily, it’s too dark to some, I get pimples in crazy places, and hair removal makes it explode into an atlas of bumps. There was nothing great to me about my own personal flesh suit, so for years I just avoided it all together. You might be wondering, How can you ignore your face? Well, for me that meant never taking the time to nurture it. Beyond slathering on lotion I mostly worked around acknowledging how my body was doing, especially on the surface.

In 2017 I decided to recommit earnestly to my own mental health, self-care, and wellness through therapy first, but then it began to bleed into other aspects of my life. Now, I’m in a place where I don’t see my face and skin as an inconvenience, but a monument to who I come from. It’s all mine and mine alone, which makes it more precious than gold. I began to experiment with all manner of skincare essentials from oil cleansing (good in moderation for me) to a knock-off Clarisonic exfoliator (too harsh on my skin). Along the way I’ve picked up some really good habits and products that have helped me to see the fun in loving my face.

facial massage GIF
Refinery29

Today I want to share what products I’m using this winter to aid in keeping me looking fresh. I live in California where it isn’t nearly as cold as other parts of the country, but I’m still battling the dryness that accompanies a drop in temperature. As someone with naturally dry and sensitive skin, these products are helping to keep me from fully transforming into a mummy. I currently do this routine at night only, and so far it has helped to keep me hydrated a full 24 hours. The best part? Each product is under $50, and some under $20.

The details are below!

 

Target

First up is the bliss  in the honey mask. After a good cleansing with my generic face wash I will apply a quarter-sized amount of this yummy smelling goo all over my face and onto my neck. I let it sit for about 20 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.  This mask is hypoallergenic (great for my sensitive skin parts), phthalate free, paraben free and cruelty free, so I feel much better about myself in addition to getting skin like butter.

Amazon

I don’t think I’m ever going to stop singing the praises of rose water. I’ve written about my obsession before {here} when it comes to using it on my hair, but I’ve since learned that rose water also works great as a toner! After I’ve rinsed off the majority of the honey mask, I spray my face and neck with rose water, let it sit for a few minutes then jump to the next step. It makes me feel like I’ve just rolled in a field of (thornless) flowers.

 

Sephora

The Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb  was part of a splurge I gave myself at Christmas, and I am so glad I did it. I had been in the market for a good eye cream for quite some time, because I am not exactly gentle with my peepers. I rub them, strain them, and have all around neglected the skin under my eyes for too long. I’m predisposed to saggy and dark eyes, yet I wanted to help them look their absolute best. This product has helped me tremendously. After the rose water has settled I will use my pinky finger to apply a small dab of the product under each eye. Then, I gently massage it in, mindful not to get it into my eye, which I did once and instantly regretted! All in all, I love this little bomb of power.

Sephora

Last, but not least, in my nightly routine is the Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. This product is the truth and the way for my prolonged facial hydration. At first, I was slathering it all over, but now I’ve learned that a little goes a long way. You truly don’t need much to reap the benefits of this moisturizer. After I’ve applied the eye cream and let it sit for a minute or two I will then apply a quarter-sized dollop of moisturizer to my face and neck. I again let it sit for a few minutes before I head to bed.

 

There’s one other secret weapon I only use after a particularly drying day – like after a hike or a flight:

Sephora

The Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask from Belif is a great alternative when you’ve put your face through the ringer. I use it in lieu of the moisturizer after a particularly rough day. All I do is skip the moisturizer, apply a very thin layer to my face and neck, go to bed, then wash it away in the morning. I have to admit I was worried about my sheets, but it didn’t create any lasting damage. If you keep the layer light the effect will be the same as applying the moisturizer

 

facial harvey beaks GIF by Nickelodeon
Giphy

 

That’s it for today, kids! Enjoy your week and moisturize!

 

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. 

ZIIP Beauty Nano Device: Is It For You?

by Jesse Kadjo

I am a certified skincare junkie. I have suffered from chronic acne since I was 13, which immediately sends you on a quest for relief. After trying every acne and skincare product Walgreens had to offer, I graduated to the good stuff. I tried Biologique Recherche’s famed P50 Lotion after reading about it on Into the Gloss. It improved my skin texture by reducing the number of pimples I got. But I still had skin that was extremely oily in the day and dry in the night. I started experimenting with Korean Skincare after going down a YouTube hole of videos from K-Beauty maven, Gothamista. The combination of both a K-Beauty cleanser, essence and serums, along with the P50 has really regulated my skin on a more long-term basis. I still get hormonal acne but much less than before and less acne during the rest of the month.

Image result for P50 racked.com
via Racked

Now at 30, going on 31, my major skin concerns are hyperpigmentation. As with many dark skin women, I have acne scars that take a long time to fade away. I’ve tried creams with hydroquinone to good results, but you can only use it for 3 months in a row before it starts to darken your skin. So that was a bust. I’ve used Vitamin C and still do for all it’s antioxidant properties. It has worked to give my skin better overall clarity but does not fade the scars at a rate that I would like. In comes the ZIIP.

The ZIIP is a nano current device designed by celebrity electrical aesthetician Melanie Simon, that sends waves of electrical currents into your skin to address different skin needs. The device is a small and handheld, looks like a computer mouse and has two positive and negative charged discs on the bottom. It syncs up to an app which offers seven different “electrical cocktail” treatments. It comes with a gel that you put all over your face and allows the currents to be delivered to your skin. My favorite programs are Total Clearing for acne, Pigment Treatment for hyperpigmentation and Instant Gratification for exactly what it says, instantly plumped and brightened skin.

ZIIP
via ZIIP Beauty

At $499, the ZIIP is not cheap. But does it work?

I should start by saying I think it takes 60 to 90 days to see lasting results from any product. That being said, first impressions can be powerful and if you see something at the start, it will likely get better with time. The first night I tried this, I slathered the gel on my face, opened the app and synced the device to the Total Clearing Program. Each program comes with a step-by-step video that is easy to follow along. Initially I felt nothing, but then felt a sting. Melanie Simon says the sting is the electricity killing the bacteria. When there is no bacteria left, you feel nothing. The sting feels satisfying, in the way that extracting a pimple does. I went IN and did a Pigment program and the Instant Gratification. When I was done, my skin was super soft – baby soft – softer than it had been in a while. It was glorious.

After only 7 days, I can say this: I still have the same hyperpigmentation and I just got 2 huge pimples ( period is on it’s way). This was to be expected as it takes 30 days for my skin to turn over and longer for the spots to fade. However, in terms of instant gratification, the texture of my skin has improved, it looks brighter and my makeup goes on smoother and looks better longer.

So do I recommend it? Yes, but with an asterisk. Taking time out of your day to care for yourself is important. If you can do so with a state of the art device that gives you professional results over time, even better. If this is not within your budget, get yourself on a good skincare regimen in line with what you can afford. Skincare is not about getting every new product or treatment.  It’s about using the right products for your skin type with diligent and consistent use. No one serum or device can give you great skin. It takes a good diet, good skincare and above all, sleep to truly get that glow.

 

Jesse Kadjo is an activist and writer living in Oakland. You can follow her healthy life journey on her food blog thechocolatemousse.com or Instagram and Twitter @JesseKadjo

Girl. Let’s talk about Finipil

This might sound masochistic, but I enjoy getting waxed. Upper lip, underarms, legs – I’m here for it all, because I like the way my skin feels after. Now, we could dive into a discussion about body hair and sexist perceptions of femininity, but today we’ll stick to the fact that I like myself more without a ton of hair. I don’t do it for anyone but myself, which feels great. What doesn’t feel great, however, is the side effect of hair removal. Thankfully, I’ve got a pretty sweet remedy.

I turned to waxing in college after years of shaving and tearing up my skin. I would get ingrown hairs and inflamed bumps that left my skin horribly scarred. Waxing did less damage, but I still encountered the ingrown hairs and tender spots after the monthly sessions. About three years ago my aesthetician – a position that requires almost the same level of confidence as a therapist – recommended I use finipil to combat the discomfort and heal my skin. My first instinct was to say no, but I trusted her judgement as the person with the most intimate knowledge of my various nooks, and bought it.

I’ve never regretted it.

Finipil is an antiseptic cream sold by by Nufree Nudesse that treats ingrown hairs, infection, or any other damage your follicles might encounter from waxing or shaving. It essentially keeps the skin free of the dirt and bacteria that clog or damage the skin. They recommend daily use of the product, but I’ve found if I use it for 3-4 days after shaving or waxing I have fewer issues with my skin.

As soon as I return home from the salon I gently cleanse my body, pat dry, then rub a dollop of the product where it’s needed. The formula creates a cooling sensation that brings down any discomfort I felt from the hair removal process.  I still get ingrown hairs here and there naturally, but I no longer get them to the crazy extent I did. What’s really made me into a believer is how smooth my skin has become overall. Gone are the huge bumpy patches and discoloration.

So, dear reader, if you have skin that goes buckwild after a wax or shaving like mine does this might be the product for you! A little goes a long way, so you won’t be cycling through bottles at break-neck speed (unless you’re slathering your whole body with it). I use it after ever wax or shave, my husband uses it after shaving his face and head, I also dab it on zits, and we still manage to make it last 6 months or more. You will get your money’s worth.

If you’re interested, you can read more about finipil here

Thank you as always, and take care!

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.