When I was 13, I was itching to wear makeup. The beautiful colors of eye shadow, frosty lipsticks… Everything about cosmetics in the 90’s was alluring and exciting. After a few years of hormones, my teenage awkward years were in full swing, and I had a nice farm of teen-angst-fueled acne brightly shining from my fairer than fair skin. The sooner I could get to concealer, the happier I was. I became a quick pro at covering up my under-eyes and awesome at disguising an angry pimple or two. But, let’s be honest: I wasn’t so awesome at washing off my makeup every night either in my teens, so it wasn’t a surprise that going into adulthood, I still maintained some of my skin problems from my younger years.
Eventually, in my 20’s I decided enough was enough. I was constantly searching for the “Miracle Product” that would erase all of my unsightly red bumps. I began seeing dermatologists and trying cream after cream and gentle cleanser after gentle cleanser with no results. My bathroom product stash was reaching an all-time, over-cluttered high, and I certainly was seeing my wallet deplete faster than new products were being manufactured.
A couple of weeks ago, I went back to the doctor to try out yet another prescription in an attempt to battle a new crop of cystic acne lesions that I rooted on my forehead and cheeks. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an encounter with a cystic acne bump, but let me tell you: some of mine can take up to a month to shrink. Who has a month to spare when they’re practically growing a unicorn horn out of the center of their forehead?
My dermatologist gave me a prescription for a new hormone based antibiotic that required baseline blood work to be done and a whole lot of time out of my hectic work schedule that I didn’t have for something that might not even work for me.
I decided that since Spring is a time of new beginnings, I was going to do a cleanse of sorts. I decided that for 40 days, I would not drink alcohol, try to eat healthier, and go to yoga 3 times a week. I threw away all of my skincare as I knew it and purchased only naturally based products.
As I said to my lovely partner Ananda, “Giiiiiiiiiiirl, I should have done this a long time ago.”
Not only have these products tamed my bi-polar skin, but the second best part: everything on this list is under $30.
Yogi Tea Skin Detox
1 Box $3.99
I am a believer in the morning ritual, and part of my ritual is my big mug of tea that I have every morning as I walk my dog. I discovered this delicious little blend while grocery shopping after yoga one day, and after a couple weeks of drinking this in the morning and afternoon at my desk (in addition to my usual big tumblers of water), my skin was starting to develop a supple lit-from within glow. Sometimes a skin detox has to start from within. Something I also love: their inspirational tea tags. Follow them on Instagram at @yogitea to catch all their #teatagtuesday posts!
Small $16 Large $29
To use: Wipe a small amount (I use the size of a quarter or less) over your entire face—even your eye area. Soak a wash cloth with warm water, and gently remove the product. I like use a tiny bit and do a second cleanse for good measure… Just in case some of my mascara found a new home in the pores near my nose.
How it Did: First off, this stuff removes everything. Not only does it remove literally everything, but my skin was left so soft, hydrated, and even. Even though the cream feels like you’re rubbing straight-up butter onto your skin, the end result is so luxuriously perfect. I like to think it leaves my skin feeling like it did when I was a kid… before pollution, NYC dirt-laden air, and liquid makeup took their toll.
Eau Roma Toner Spritz
Small $9.95 Large $21.95
To use: Spritz on freshly cleaned skin, and wipe away using a cotton pad.
How it did: I am a fair skinned girl, and when I get a red spot on my face, it shines brighter than Kim Kardashian’s 20 karat engagement ring. (True story.) This toner has two mega-stars of the natural world working in your skin’s favor—and I don’t mean Jay –Z and Queen Bey! I’m talking about Lavender and Rose water. A few spritzes of this wonderful mist on my face, and any and all redness (be it a spot or rosacea) almost instantly lessened. It’s also alcohol free, so it does a good job at prepping your skin to receive moisturize as opposed to drying it out before your day or night cream can get to working.
To use: Warm up a small amount of this cream between both of your hands, and press into skin and over eye area. Don’t be alarmed at the “grease.” Just like they say on the peanut butter jar, separation is common for natural creams. Plus, that part’s the magic.
How it did: When my partner and Bloom co-Owner Ananda Ambrose first showed me this super rich cream, she told me it was the only thing she’s found in the market that did everything her beloved Crème de La Mer did (arguably, better) for not even a fraction of the cost. She squeezed a bit out of her tube for me to try, a bit of the separated oil running down my finger, and my immediate reaction was, “Girl, bye.” But let me tell you, if there is anything wrong with your skin, apply a little bit of this wonderfully luxurious super-cream, and by morning your complexion will be dewier than J.Lo’s. After a few days of using it, my skin looked healthier and happier than it ever has. For the first time in 22 years, I didn’t want to put makeup on. For a girl who loves her blush, this says something.
Tip: I generally use this as my night cream (for my day cream, try this), because your skin gets its maximum regeneration on while you’re catching your beauty rest. Also, don’t be afraid to use this all over your body. The dry skin on your hands will be equally as thankful.
Bloomies, be sure to follow the links so you can snag some of my new game-changers. Are there any products you can’t live without? Shout them out in the comments below.