It was only a couple of months before my best friend’s wedding (hey Em!), and I’d never felt more hopeless about my skin. Since my first year of college, I’d battled acne, uneven skin tone and the scarring left behind from particularly awful breakouts.
Products would come and go, as would my confidence. Occasionally there were good skin days, but I don’t remember ever going without makeup by choice. I often dreaded things like camping trips and beach vacations (things I normally love!) because I’d be seen sans-foundation.
Fast forward about five years, and I was a full-blown adult, still frustrated with what I considered an adolescent complexion, plus the angst that came with it.
Emily and I were out and about—actually, we were on the hunt for the best Brazilian wax place in Houston (a lurid tale for another time… I promise!)—when we happened upon a spa that offered organic, customized facials. We chatted with the woman at the counter and grabbed a brochure, my interest piqued by the beautiful skincare products lining the shelves.
Two days later, I booked my first facial with an esthetician. *gulp*
My fears turned out to be completely unnecessary because my facialist, Katia, was absolutely amazing, talking throughout the session about everything from my daily cleansing regimen to what I eat for breakfast. The appointment began with about seven minutes of facial steam, which prepped my skin and opened up my pores for a thorough cleaning. Katia explained every product she was using—cleanser, dermafoliant, masque, toner and moisturizer.
I was surprised by the extractions (Hello, needles? This is a thing??) but a few uncomfortable minutes and some watery eyes later, it was all over. What exactly are extractions, you ask? Essentially, many facialists will use their gloved fingers or metal tools to carefully remove blackheads and whiteheads from the skin if they see a particularly clogged pore. If this isn’t your thing, just ask your esthetician for no extractions. Remember: just like your health care, you get the final say when it comes to your treatment. If you aren’t comfortable with something, feel free to speak up! A good esthetician wants nothing more than to make you—and your skin—happy.
When the appointment was over, my face was very red (pale skin + any scrubbing at all = Ms. Tomato Head), but it looked a thousand times more glowy than it had in over five years. I didn’t know it then, (in fact, I was still a little worried about the whole thing) but my skin was finally on the road to recovery.
Katia sent me home with a bit of homework that day that I still try my best to follow even now:
- Drink more water than you think necessary. Limit caffeine. (One cup of coffee in the morning is fine, she said. A few months later when my doctor told me the same thing, I took the advice and ran with it. I can’t live without my morning cup of joe!)
- Eat more fiber. Oats, celery, apples, etc. Get things a-movin’ down there.
- Change your pillowcase every night.
- After cleansing, dry your face with a fresh washcloth or paper towel.
- Never touch your face. Especially if you have a blemish, don’t make it worse by poking at it. (Erm…guilty.)
- Begin an entirely new skin care regimen. She introduced me to my first set of Eminence products, and I’m never looking back.
More than ready for a real solution to my skin woes, I followed all of her instructions to the letter. Slowly but surely, I began noticing improvement in my face. I have far fewer breakouts, almost no painful cysts, less redness, and even my scarring has begun to fade. By no means is my skin perfect, but I now go without makeup frequently. I don’t cringe when my boyfriend kisses my face, and I take photos without worrying if my foundation has worn off. These things might seem trivial, but to anyone who has been ashamed of their skin for a long time, it’s groundbreaking. Now, the only thing I have to hide from my boyfriend is my moisturizer because he steals a little for himself when I’m not looking. (I’m watching you, babe.)
My New Skincare Regimen
I highly recommend Eminence Organic Skincare, but more than anything, I’d suggest seeing a professional esthetician first for a personal evaluation. They could be the answer you’re looking for, too! It might seem scary. Trust me, the idea of someone other than me getting up close and personal with my skin was pretty much terrifying, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I use this nightly, but it’s gentle enough to use twice daily. It removes my makeup* and cleanses without ever making my skin feel stripped. It has a particular cucumber-minty scent, which takes some getting used to, but I love it. A bottle of this cleanser actually lasted me six months!
I simply rinse my face with warm water in the morning, and apply a little moisturizer. Listen to your skin and see if cleansing more or less works for you.
*I should mention I use a little organic coconut oil to remove my eye makeup before cleansing. I rub a pea-sized amount between my fingers to warm it up, wipe it around my eyes and into my eyelashes, and use a cotton pad to wipe clean. Works like a charm, even on dark eyeliner, and moisturizes my delicate eye area too. Rinse with warm water, and you too can ditch your chemical-laden makeup remover for good.
Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer
Never greasy, but so perfect for my often dry skin. I use about a dime sized amount morning and night, and my skin feels soft and supple throughout the day. My face doesn’t get overly oily anymore, even in my t-zone.
Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant
I use this every 2-3 days for a gentle scrub. I just sprinkle a little into my hand with my cleanser in the evening and lather up. (Note: Don’t leave it open near or in the shower. Moisture in the bottle will make it cake up. Not that I speak from experience. Even though it warns against this very thing on the bottle… 😉
Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment/Clear Skin Probiotic Masque
About once a week, I’ll do a masque while I’m taking a bath for a truly deep, tingly clean. After exfoliating, I mix a quarter-sized amount of these two masques in my hand and apply generously to my face and under my chin. I leave it on for about 15-20 minutes and then rinse with warm water, applying moisturizer as usual.
And…that’s it! No more bleached pillowcases from harsh chemicals, no drying or unnatural serums, and no more medicine cabinets filled with products that don’t really work. The first round of products was a little pricey to purchase all at once, but I’d rather invest in something organic (that actually works) than keep throwing money away on ineffective products.
I try to return to Katia every couple of months for a thorough and relaxing session, and every time I go back she comments on how much better my face looks. I can truly say she saved my skin. Even better, the ingredients are so safe, I can use these products for every stage of life—pregnant, nursing, aging, etc.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are our own. This is not a sponsored post.
Co-Founder | Kristen is a ninth-generation Texan with a taste for quality margaritas and even better books. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013 with an English & American Studies degree, meaning she knows entirely too much about Ernest Hemingway, dependent clauses, and the Puritans. In “the real world,” she is married to a pretty awesome US Air Force pilot, loves planning their next adventure, and is probably telling her rescue dog, Ralph, how handsome he is. She’ll start the first draft of her novel, just as soon as she finishes this cup of coffee. Promise.