You have to forgive me the silence on Giant Shoes lately. A lot has been going on in my life and a whole new opportunity opened up almost out of nowhere. Being an illustrator I still kept a second passion in me, since I was little: acting. I started playing theater at school at the age of 6. After moving to Germany, I quickly figured out a way to appear as an extra on many afternoon TV-shows and even got to say a thing or two. As the years passed by, I was lucky to be in some cool short movies and never gave up the TV-thing really. In my last year at school I faced the decission between trying to get into acting school or to fight my way into design school, leaving behind around 800 other applicants. In the end I chose the latter. Drawing and designing is a part of me and the best way I find to interact ideas. I LOVE taking an idea of a client and make it speak even louder through a drawing, an interface, a logo or whatever it is that I do on a job.
However though, somehow the universe decided to give that acting part of me a go after all. I am now a character on a daily TV soap about my home town, Cologne. It has all been very exciting and juggling both worlds was quite a challenge in the beginning. Of course, all of that meant a lack of sleep, lack of hydration (I was too excited on set to think about drinking my 2l of water) and a lot of stress, even if it was positive one.
The result of all these fireworks showed up on my face: my skin became irritated. It lost the glow, became very, VERY sensitive and several nasty breakouts found their way of staying for a ridiculous amount of time. Now, I always am concerned with my appearance. I clean my face every day and normally take good care of it. But with all the make-up that I now had to wear on a almost-daily basis, my skin simply got confused – how could I blame it?!
I started off with the entirely wrong thing: I switched product after product, I now stressed out ABOUT my skin on top of all the good stressing out, I focussed on the problem, istead of the solution. Acting became a tiny wee bit less fun because of all that because, I mean, imagine acting (or doing anything, for that matter) while CONSTANTLY feeling your face. It does sound weird, but that´s exactly what I experienced. Dryness and irritation with acne bumps all at the same time made me feel self-conscious.
After days of research, several visits at the pharmacy of my trust, I came across what sounded like the perfect remedy. My skin started calming down on the same day I started with the new routine and it continues to get better and better.
Step 1: OCM – Oil Cleansing Method
It has been hyping all over the internet and man, I do know where this is coming from. It freaked me out a little to use oil on my skin because that would be the least thing you´d expect with acne prone skin. But stop right there. The right oil for your skin type is the key and you basically get rid of the bad nasty oil and instead give your face the oil that helps it recover. Here´s how you go about it:
1. Pick your oil/s
Depending on your skin type, there are many different oils you can use. I will provide you with the links that helped me on picking the right one for me in a second. Please try to get the best quality you can get your paws on. I prefer organic oils, but you will see, I am channeling my inner Miranda Kerr anyway and try to live as organic of a lifestyle as I can. The oil that I ended up using is not a mixture, as you will read about on many websites, but plain organic Argan Oil. I might add some Hazelnut Oil to it to work even more on those acne bumps, but for now I wanted to go basic on my skin.
2. Massage the oil into your damp skin
I simply use my fingers and some warm water to dampen my skin and then take a small amout of my Argan Oil (mine is by Melvita, as I said, it´s organic, it comes in a glass bottle and makes it easy to not get it all over your bathroom. You can get it at Alnatura or other Bio Markets if you live in Germany or simply order it here). Don´t rub it into your skin – you want to do as less as possible to irritate it further. Just massage it gently into your face and neck and make sure to get all the corners like the sides of your nose etc.
3. Steam it
Take a wash cloth and soak it in hot water – please be careful not to burn your hands. Then wring the wash cloth out so that you don´t burn your face either. Place the wash cloth on your face and enjoy the spa-like feeling of that comforting warmth on your face until the wash cloth reaches room temperature (1-2 min). This will open up your pores. I sometimes do it twice to make sure I got every area of my face steamed like this.
4. Remove the oil
Put your wash cloth under hot water again and wring it out again. Then, gently wipe off all the oil left on your face. It goes off really easily, just make sure you don´t forget an area. Don´t scrub here either, you want to go nice and easy on that poor irritated skin of yours.
And there you go. You will probably look better immediately! My skin looks so clean and glowy right after this and is so so soft, too!
Step 2: Toner
I love the whole Avene range and used it for a long while. But now, after OCM, I wanted to stick with the organic regiment and decided to switch to organic tones here, as well. At the moment, I use rather some Rose Water by Melvita (get it here) or some Witch Hazel Spray (and here you go, if you want that). Just put some on a cotton pad and wipe your face gently. Witch Hazel is amazing to clear your acne and Rose Water is great for calming your skin. Don´t skip this step. Your skin will thank you.
Step 3: Honey
Yes. The sticky stuff. I wasn´t sure about this one since I really didn´t expect it to be a nice feeling, having sticky sweetness all over your face. But that is not the case AT ALL! Again here, I use organic honey simply to make sure there were no nasty chemicals involved in this. You can get organic honey at almost every supermarket by now.
Personally, I put some honey in the palm of my hand, dampen my fingers and apply the honey to my face. You can instead put some water on your face instead – it will go on smoothly and not be sticky at all. Just make sure you don´t have a driping wet face, otherwise the honey will, well, drip and stain your clothes. Put on a nice layer of honey and leave it on for 1-2 min if you are on the run, or use it as a mask for about 15 minutes while reading awesome stuff on the internet or pinning those shoes to that pinboard. (I am a Pinterest addict.) Honey has antiseptic abilities and will help you with your acne. It will also help reduce wrinkles and it will also hydrate your skin.
Step 4: Take care of the eyes
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive. After going all organic on my skin, I didn´t want to use a chemical product on my skin so I gave Coconut Oil a try since it has been just as tempting of a hype as OCM was. Ladies, I have to tell you: If you have acne prone skin, using it on your whole face might not be a good idea. I did it and it did break me out a bit. However, using it around your eyes at night is divine! Just do that, you will enjoy that heavenly smell and wake up refreshed and looking like you harvested that coconut yourself on some dreamy island. Again, make sure, you are using pure organic oil and don´t keep it in your bathroom since it´s only solid at room temperature and will melt easily during your hot shower.
Step 5: Moisturize
Ladies, I am not sure you will need a moisturizer at all. I know, I am being a little bit in your face with that and I never thought I would actually say that. But yepp, my skin is very well hydrated after that regiment I just described to you. If you need one, then pick something according to your skin type. As I said, I like the Avene stuff, particulary the Hydrance range. But there are also some wonderful organic things out there. I sometimes use Aloe Gel, that works well, too.
There you go. My skin looks so much better already and I am a fairly short amount of time into that programm. I will keep you updated and will post pictures of my skin´s recovery soon.
Here are the promised links to the wonderful ladies who made me understand OCM and pick the right thing for me:
1. Crunchy Betty (awesome tipps and troubleshooting)
Do you have experiences on OCM or other organic remedies? Please let me know in the comments! Which oils do you use? What didn´t work? What worked wonders?