When I made the appointment for my very first facial, I never imagined I was signing up to be berated for two hours by an esthetician. I always thought the condition of your skin was just something you’re either born with, or wealthy enough to afford expensive cosmetic procedures to fix. Unfortunately, I was not born rich or perfect looking so I sort of stopped caring about conforming to an ideal a long time ago.
Apparently I was totally wrong. Unlike the rest of your body, the skin on your face is actually a product of your mannerisms and habits, and even small adjustments can totally alter the quality of your skin. So today my shame is your gain, as I will condense my beautician’s chastisements into 5 simple steps you too can take to get a flawless face. For the record, I have tried all 5, and can truly say that they work!
- DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE
Unlike the skin on the rest of our bodies which is protected by clothing, our face is out in the open, all the time. This means that most of us touch our faces more than any other part of our bodies. We touch our faces with our hands and fingers, which apparently are always filthy. Everytime you touch your face, you are rubbing all the dirt and grease and bacteria that is on your fingers, into the delicate pores on your face, creating a perfect environment for a blemish. Gross.
Changing an unconscious mannerism is difficult. Once you become aware of it, you’ll be shocked at how often you touch your face throughout the day. I just keep my esthetician’s lecture about how dirty my hands are in my head, and that pretty much curbs any desire I have to let my fingers wander anywhere near my face.
- Cut Back on Dairy Products
As a former vegan, I already knew about the negative effects of dairy on the human body. After all, it is unnatural for mammals to drink breast milk after infancy. But, I had no idea that dairy products like milk and cheese can compromise your complexion. According to my esthetician, Patricia Plikshe, your body cannot properly break down dairy products (this is why so many people are lactose intolerant). When your body is unable to completely process stuff like junk food and dairy, it comes out in your skin. I guess you really are what you eat!
Another reason why dairy is so problematic, is because most large scale dairy farmers inject their cows with heavy amounts of hormones to keep them perpetually lactating. The added hormones get secreted into the cow’s milk, which then goes into our bodies when we drink it. This extra jolt of hormones we get from milk wreaks havoc on our complexions. I have since switched to soy milk and stopped eating cheese. Guess what? I lost weight AND got clearer skin. Win/win!
- Throw Out Cheap Products
This is where money gets involved, folks. To my shock and horror, those cheap, 5 dollar face lotions I had been buying at the grocery store were one of my main problems! Cheap products are filled with ingredients your skin can’t absorb. Many lotions even contain petroleum. Yup, the same crude oil found in gasoline is going onto your face if you penny pinch in the cosmetics department. When your skin can’t absorb this stuff, it just kinda fills up your pores, causing tiny white bumps and small cysts on the skin known as mila. Once mila forms, you need to exfoliate and use a good product with glycolic acid to get rid of them.
Trust me people, it’s worth it to shell out the 25 extra bucks on the high quality, all natural products recommended by your esthetician. Spending some extra cash, means you no longer have to put lotion laced with gasoline on your sensitive face think about it.
- Watch How You Wash
Since our faces are constantly exposed to the elements, and absorbing whatever grossness is on our fingers, your face requires a more thorough washing than you might think. Even if you use high quality face wash, in order for it to be completely effective, you should rub the soap into your skin for 60-90 seconds per wash. Taking the extra two minutes to wash properly is like giving yourself a mini-facial everyday. The results will surprise you!
Also, I was dismayed to hear from my esthetician that I had to perform the whole face washing ritual twice a day. I’m a pretty low maintenance chick who rarely even goes to the salon for a haircut, so hearing that I had to end and start each day with pampering my face was not good news. The first question I asked was, “Why do I have to wash my face before and after I go to bed? How could my face get dirty while I’m asleep?” (Obviously I’m not a model client). Well, apparently your body detoxes when you sleep and pushes impurities out through your pores. If you don’t wash your face right when you wake up, then all those toxins just sit there on top of your skin. Eww.
- Don’t Try and “Do it Yourself”
The most common way people destroy their skin is by trying to pop blemishes themselves. Trying to be your own esthetician will do irreversible damage to your pores, and will only make your complexion worse in the long run. Besides, you are never supposed to touch your face, remember? Doing this can cause infections and create permanent scars. The amount of force that is created by two fingers pressing down and breaking skin, will surely leave a scar that will be far more unsightly than letting a little pimple run its course.
I recommend just letting an esthetician handle what goes on with your face. During a facial, they will safely perform “extractions” if they feel it will not do damage to the skin. Let the fate of your face rest in the hands of a qualified professional!
Jessica Ruane is a freelance blogger for Instant Checkmate. She specializes in writing about personal growth, beauty, social media, and more. Follow more of Jessica’s work on Google+ and ChrunchBase.