I’ve been thoroughly obsessing over my skin since I was a preteen. I – like most preteens – had horrible acne. I hated just looking in the mirror. My skin was always red, flakey, and irritated (I’ll stop there with my description and spare you the details). The very minute I saved up an allowance, I went straight to the drug store to buy whatever face wash would save me. The “I wish I knew then what I knew now” maxim rained all over my clear skin parade and here is why: For years I was using products that were heavy on chemicals. I’ve learned the hard way. These products stripped my skin and further stripped my confidence. Take it from me – stay away from harsh chemicals. Stay away. Stay far, far away. Happy to report that I no longer have issues with acne. But here’s the thing. I’m an avid runner. And though I love it, it does create the occasional flare-up. Hello, sweat. Having to tweak my facial products then and now to fit my active lifestyle, I figured out what works best for me. Here is my personal step-by-step list of life-saving skincare products for runners who care –
First step: Prep. I wipe any excess makeup from my face with a cleansing face wipe (I usually use Neutrogena, but I also alternate between this one and whatever else is on sale (these things go fast) . I’m a really big fan of the Neutrogena wipes because they really get everything off, including long wear mascara and lipstick. I keep these stashed by my nightstand for nights when I’m really exhausted and I can’t be bothered to wash my face. Never go to bed with a grimey face. Try to keep to your routine if you can help it.
Second step: Cleanse. I cleanse my face with the Fresh Soy Cleanser. This product contains soybeans and is suuuuper gentle on the face. I like to pack this in my gym bag for morning workouts to cleanse my face after a workout, it’s light enough to use again. This step is to really get any remaining residue off the face before we jump into deep clean cleaning.
Third step: Cleanse. Again. I use my Clarisonic (everyone should own one of these because they’re heaven sent) and cover the whole round brush with the clarifying Murad cleanser. I lightly press it on my face in a circular motion. I know what you’re thinking – 3 steps of cleansing? Well think about it this way, would you spray your overly priced perfume on dirty clothes? Yeah, didn’t think so. So long as you do not cleanse your skin harshly, you can clean your face well enough to get rid of residual makeup. This way you’re not just slathering your makeup around. The product can actually seep in and do its job.Fourth step: Exfoliate. But not everyday! My skin is very sensitive and this would dry my skin out too much, but I do need to scrub away some of the dead skin building up from the week so this is an important step to make sure all products are penetrating the skin. I’m a fan of this Korean brand SkinFood because it isn’t too harsh so it doesn’t strip the skin.Fifth step: Tone. I wet a small cotton ball with witch hazel and pat on my face, remember no need to be harsh when using any of the products. This step should feel really nice since it’s basically calming your skin from everything you just used and balancing the skin’s natural Ph.
Sixth step: Mask. Just apply it and chill. Depending on how my skin feels that week, I use a mask to fix the problem. Sometimes my face gets really irritated and red, so I’ll use a mask that has a cooling ingredient such as cucumber. A sulfate mask is another great option which will get all the gunk out of your pores. My new favorite is Peter Thomas Roth’s Therapeutic Sulfur Masque, it really made a huge difference on my skin and I can truthfully say I vouch for it for acne prone skin.Seventh step: Serum. Do serum, day or night. For daytime, I use Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA acne clearingel, which is a nice light gel that doesn’t dry into a sticky mess. For nighttime, I use the Caudalie Overnight Detox Oil. There’s this misconception that it will break you out however, you just have to find an oil that works best for your skin. In my case I’m a big fan of this one in particular because it’s made with plant based products. I wake up with my skin GLOWING.
Eighth step: Moisturize. You MUST moisturize. I started using the Belief True Cream Aqua Bomb during the summer because it was a light water based moisturizer and was surprised at how well the cream transition into the winter season. My skin is left soft and supple after applying this.
Ninth Step: Protect. If there’s one piece of advice I can give to someone, it’s to live by SPF! Apply it before you go out – RAIN OR SHINE. My favorite is Korres SPF, not only is it light and doesn’t leave a white residue behind, but it also smells pleasant unlike many other sunscreen lotions.
I know it seems like a lot of product for the average person to wear, but it’s actually nice to unwind at night and pamper yourself for a few minutes (it honestly doesn’t take longer than 15 mins, the exfoliant and mask isn’t an everyday thing). So go ahead and treat yo’ self right. Your face deserves it.