Summer Beauty Woes: Congested Skin

By Megan Schwarz.
Seed to Serum

It’s hot, you’re sweating, and before you know it —bam! Breakouts. Just when you thought you had a great routine going, unexpected congestion rears its (literally) ugly head. Don’t fret! I’m here to help with a few tips and tricks that have been a great help to me:

 

image courtesy of de Mamiel

image courtesy of de Mamiel

 

Ditch the crappy diet. I know, I know, you are tired of hearing this. You like your cheese and pasta. That’s fine—in moderation! Sugar, dairy, and processed foods all cause unwanted inflammation. Over time, this can lead to a whole host of skin issues, including premature aging, redness, and you guessed it, acne. I won’t lie and say that I’m perfect. Not in the least. But I balance out my indiscretions with a lot (A LOT!) of fruits and vegetables.

 

image courtesy of Lee & Lou Cook

image courtesy of Lee & Lou Cook

 

Will changing your diet instantly clear up your skin? Nah, probably not. BUT it will help. Why? Because every little bit that you can do to ease inflammation helps. So grab those greens and get blending because nothing says summer like a vibrant green smoothie. (My current favorite: almond milk, baby kale, frozen mixed berries, banana, and rolled oats!)

 

Exfoliate. I’ve recently incorporated gentle daily exfoliation into my routine. Yes, that’s right: I exfoliate *almost* every day (if my skin is feeling particularly sensitive or inflamed I skip it).

 

image courtesy of May Lindstrom

image courtesy of May Lindstrom

 

My favorite exfoliator right now is a little bit of May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt mixed with The Honey Mud. This combination is breathtaking—it’s cushy, but effective, and smells FANTASTIC. Only May can make the act of scrubbing away dirt, debris, and dead skin cells feel decadent. I tend to exfoliate at night prior to applying a face serum and rich cream, but it can be a beautiful morning ritual, especially when skin is looking and feeling less than bright! (As an aside, this section is not meant to imply that everyone needs to exfoliate every day. Not at all. Everyone has a different skin type and different skin conditions that they are dealing with. All that I am trying to point out is that the conventional wisdom of exfoliating once or twice a week may not be right for you. Experiment. Play. Get to know your own skin. Don’t be afraid to break the rules!)

 

image courtesy of May Lindstrom

image courtesy of May Lindstrom

 

Deep Clean + De-Stress. I have recently fallen back in love with balm cleansers. Oils and balms seem to pull gunk from pores (sorry for the visual) more effectively than other cleansers. Twice a week, I like to follow this with a little gentle exfoliation (see above) and a heavy-duty detox mask.

 

image courtesy of de Mamiel

image courtesy of de Mamiel

 

My favorites for this bi-weekly treat are de Mamiel Restorative Cleansing Balm (oil cleanser/cleansing balm), de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse & Exfoliate (exfoliator), and May Lindstrom The Problem Solver or Mahalo Pele Mask Concentrate or Laurel Facial Mask: Detox (masks). But feel free to use any combination of products that you like! The importance of this ritual cannot be understated. Not only does it deeply cleanse and purify your skin, but it also gives you a chance to relax and restore. Stress is a one-way ticket to breakouts. One of my favorite things to do while I mask is to meditate. It feels wonderful to just turn your mind off (even if it is only for 30-45 minutes!)

 

image courtesy of Laurel Whole Plant Organics

image courtesy of Laurel Whole Plant Organics

 

If nothing else, take the time to establish a routine for your skin. Protect it. Nourish it. And then relax and remember that good things will come!

 

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