For as long as I can remember, my skin has waged war on my self-esteem. I think there may be one day each month where I’m actually satisfied with my skin, and can’t find a reason to pick at something.
As a matter-of-fact, I’m pretty sure there have been many days where I actually refused to leave the house because my skin was so bad I wanted to cry…like this day (which was December 1st, by the way):
Good thing I work from home.
But in the months leading up to my wedding, I was determined to achieve a flawless complexion. It looked like a nearly impossible feat to me, as I was battling stress, hormones, travel — each of which takes their toll on my skin, and were completely out of my control.
Plus, I didn’t want to completely change my lifestyle, or spend hundreds of dollars on facials and chemical peels. I wanted something simple — something manageable and long-term. Fortunately for me, a few minor changes went a long way, and I walked into my wedding day with confidence.
So, I’m going to share the steps I took to achieve a glowing complexion in just about 30 days (give or take a few, as I gave into the booze on Christmas). While I practiced all of these for about a month straight, I encourage you to pick one or two and stick to it through the month of January and see how it affects your skin.
I stopped drinking alcohol.
Just for a month! I imagine if you give up alcohol completely, you’ll never age, like Blake Lively. But, I love myself a good cosmo…or seven. Unfortunately, my skin does not, and after a weekend of drinking, I always end up with a few zits.
So, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I gave drinking up entirely. As someone who really enjoys margaritas, cosmos, and wine this was hard. Like…really hard. It was totally worth it, though.
I hydrated…a lot.
I didn’t go to sleep until I drank my body weight in lemon-infused water. Aside from internal hydration, I focused on external hydration, too.
It’s winter, so my entire face was dry. So, I snagged eye, face, and lip treatments and applied them twice daily after cleansing. I used the Bite Agave Lip Mask for my lips, First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream for my face and neck, and belif’s moisturizing eye balm for my eyes.
This helped with my skin tone and complexion, and helped some acne from earlier in December heal faster.
Surprise: I didn’t stop eating dairy.
For the past three years, I’ve self-diagnosed myself with a dairy intolerance. (You know, as any girl with a skin issue does. Chalk it up to the cows.) But after 30 days of enjoying cheese on my crackers, tacos, and pasta…and not having a single pimple, it’s safe to say that (at least for me) dairy isn’t the problem.
This led me to think that my skin issues were more of a matter of my routine than my diet.
So, I started washing my face twice a day.
I’m guilty of washing my face only once per day…and sometimes, not at all. This routine-change took a few days to adopt, but once I did, I noticed a world of difference in my skin. It felt clean and looked vibrant.
I used Murad’s Essential C Cleanser morning and night because it is gentle and smells delicious! (In general, I’m a big fan of all of Murad’s products and have been using them for years.)
I exfoliated every evening prior to bed.
As someone with a pretty lame skin regimen, exfoliating daily was an upgrade, and I think it made the biggest difference in my dry, uneven and acne-scar ridden skin.
Daily exfoliation can help you:
- Improve your overall skin tone
- Achieve “glowing” skin
- Minimize the appearance of pores
- Reduce breakouts and acne (yay!)
- Hide wrinkles
- Better absorb other products
Because I have sensitive skin, I focused on using a gentle exfoliant. First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads work wonders. Honestly, if you have acne (hormonal, cystic, whatever) these are the best thing you can buy. They clear up EVERYTHING!
Closer to my wedding, I took it up a notch with Murad’s Skin Smoothing Polish, which gave my skin a radiant glow.
I had face-cleansing wipes handy for post-workout.
My house is about 20 minutes from my hot yoga studio and my gym…which gives dirt bacteria plenty of time to make its way into my open pores. Therefore, I stocked up on these cleansing cloths from Sephora, and kept them in my purse, gym bag, and car.
And the result?
Totally flawless skin — even the morning AFTER the wedding.
As for my post-wedding skin regimen…I’m back to drinking alcohol. But, I plan on sticking to the remainder of that routine, because my skin is the best it has ever looked.