Our bodies are affected by hormones, genetics, the environment, stress, diet, drinking etc. Products and routines work differently for everyone – what might work for one person, might not work for another. There is no ‘cure all’, this is just what works for me.
Anxiety and stress have the greatest impact on my hair and face – not to mention my general mental and physical health. In my youth, I suffered from break-outs but as I got older, this changed. During periods of stress, I have had bright white patches on my face, huge spots, dryness or major oiliness too. When I’m anxious, my hair can thin, my scalp can become so dry or get overly greasy. It’s unpredictable (sometimes new problems crop up too) and incredibly aggravating.
Despite these moments, I think I’ve found some products and a routine that work for me most of the time. I do have spots, scars, wrinkles and so on but then again, everyone does! Click on the links to check out the products.
My hair has never been dyed, chemically-straightened or permed.
When I was younger, I had insanely greasy hair – I had to wash it every day! At the end of 2014, I started setting my hair more (read my setting post here) and I read up on the effects of over-washing, so I made a decision to wash my hair less. After a week or two of pretty grim-looking locks, I got used to washing my hair only once a week. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made – I use much less product, my hair is thicker, softer and shinier too. I wet-set my hair more often than not now and I think the lack of heat on my hair has made a difference as well.
Products I use:
- Coconut oil – I use this as a mask before I wash my hair once a month. It’s usually best if you wrap your hair and leave it overnight.
- Dr Organic Tea Tree shampoo – My scalp is really sensitive and after seeing my doctor, I looked for a shampoo that was SLS-free. Although it foams less than your average shampoo, it leaves my hair feeling clean.
- Dr Organic Tea Tree conditioner – I massage this into my scalp as it’s not a heavy conditioner. I’ll leave it in my hair for as long as possible.
- Avocado Co-Wash – I use this with my conditioner but I use it on the ends of my hair as it is a much richer conditioner. Again I’ll leave it on for as long as possible, rinsing out my hair first with hot water and finally with a blast of cold water.
- Tangle Teezer – To make sure everything is well-distributed through my hair, I brush it through a few times.
- Hair Custard – Whether I’m setting my hair or not, after I towel-dry my hair I always run a little of this through my hair as a leave-in conditioner.
- Tresemmé Thermal Spray – If I’m using any form of heat on my hair, I always use a liberal amount of thermal spray.
Altogether, it looks like a bit of a long process but it’s only once a week and takes around half an hour.
At most, I wear a full-face of make-up twice a week. I am often make-up free or I use a little powder and lipstick.
I have combination-oily skin which means I need to use products that are both mattifying and moisturising. When I started a skin routine as a teenager, I used quite harsh, drying products on my skin. My skin wasn’t getting any better so a friend suggested using more natural products. For over a year I’ve been using gentler products – I can see and feel a real difference.
Products I use:
- Don’t Look At Me face mask – I use this once or twice a week before a shower. It makes me skin feel so clean.
- Herbalism – This is my daily face wash/cleanser.
- Let The Good Times Roll cleanser – I use this once or twice a week in the evenings as it’s more moisturising than Herbalism.
- Simple Micellar Water – I started using this after my friend Alisha recommended it to me. I use it after I was my face and I feel like it takes off any leftover dirt or make-up.
- Enzymion – I use this as my nightly moisturiser as it leaves my skin quite greasy.
- Moisture Surge – I use this in the morning straight after I’ve used the Micellar Water.
- Vitamin E Emulsion – I use this on top of the Moisture Surge as it contains SPF30. Although I know I’m less likely to burn, I also know how damaging the sun can be. This is the only SPF I’ve tried that isn’t too heavy or greasy.
Again, it seems like a lot but all my products last for quite a while – I don’t use much. I’ve also had to learn to touch my face less, which has had a positive effect on the state of my skin.
As I’ve said previously, this is what works best for me but there is no magic formula – this may all change in five years’ time!
What works well for you? Which factors affect you most? If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Thank you to @darktechsupport for taking these bare-faced photos of me!