Over the last 6 months or so, I have become extremely passionate about taking care of my skin. I've implemented a lot of changes, tried new products, tools and methods, altered my diet, and have seen such a huge improvement in my skin that has, of course, fueled the skincare fire in me, but has also sparked a self-love / self-care shift in my perspective and attitude on life. I've realized just how easy (and fun) it is to give my body the TLC it needs to thrive and function in the way it was designed to. It has been a fun and eye-opening journey that has helped me grow in appreciation and care for all that God has given me.
But Rachel, why skincare?
I realize that this topic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. But I've really begun to learn and love what it takes to keep my skin clear and my body healthy, which has, in turn, brought me boldness and strength that I did not have before. It’s been empowering, and I want to share that with others! I've become comfortable and confident in my own skin by learning how to take care of it. I mean, is that not what Happily Ever Ginger is about? Illuminating and expressing the passions in your heart and finding the freedom and boldness to walk them out? Loving yourself, just as you are, and living your best possible life? I have developed a passion and love for skincare, yes, but more importantly, for taking care of myself, heart, mind, soul and body, and I want to share that in the hopes of helping and encouraging others in whatever season they may be in.
My Biggest Skincare Secrets
Clean Up Your Diet
I’m officially a firm believer that what you put inside shows up on the outside. It’s no secret that sugars and things like dairy and gluten are not good for your skin (or the rest of your body). I’ve been gluten-free for about nine months now, and we try to eat fresh, healthy foods on a regular basis (though I’d be lying if I said we didn’t love Mexican food *shoulder shrug*). I can’t even begin to explain the amazing transformation my skin has gone through since cutting gluten out of my diet. What a lot of people don’t realize is that your gut health plays a huge role in the overall health and appearance of your skin, which means that cleansing your body on the inside is key to making your skin glow on the outside - just some food for thought *pun intended*. To put it simply, if you eat garbage, you'll not only feel like garbage, but your skin will most likely look like garbage. I suffer most from dry, tight skin and hormonal acne. So I’m in the process of working on cleaning up my diet to include things that will balance out my hormones, be healthy for my gut, and hydrate my body.
That being said, if I had one huge but simple piece of advice for those of you wanting to start clearing up your skin and taking care of your body, it would be to drink your water! I'm not a big fan of water, myself (translation: I hate water), but I am learning to love it for the incredible benefits it brings! Drinking the proper amount of water not only flushes out all of the unwanted toxins and such from your body, but it is also the best way to hydrate and bring life back to your skin!
I will shamefully admit that I have never been great at being consistent with taking care of my skin. Growing up, I would, of course, wash my face in the shower, but that was pretty much the beginning and end of my skincare routine. Throughout my teenage years, my mom was always on me about taking care of my skin, *Hi Mom!* but I saw it as an annoying chore that took up more time than I was willing to give. And it showed. I was always left with dull, dry, congested and acne-prone skin, and the crazy part is that I thought that was normal! I didn’t know the first thing about what healthy skin looked or felt like. Now, I do, and I’m extremely intentional with the consistency of my routines, making sure my skin gets some TLC in the morning and evening every single day, without fail.
You don’t just want to be consistent with your routines. You’ll also want to make sure you’re consistently washing your pillow cases, cleaning your makeup brushes, and swapping out for clean cleansing brush heads, wash cloths and towels. They are all great places for dirt, bacteria and body oils to sit, so even if you’ve just washed your face or body, you’re transferring all of that junk back onto your clean skin.
Finally, make sure you’re exfoliating consistently! I cannot even begin to tell you how huge this has been for me! Your products can’t effectively push through a layer of dead skin, and no amount of moisturizing will be able to revive it. If you’re like me, dry skin can cause your body to overcompensate by producing excessive amounts of oil (and not the good kind), which will then turn right around and clog your pores. Exfoliating gets rid of that barrier and gives you a clean slate to work with.
Know Your Skin Type - Shop Your Skin Type
It’s important to remember that your skin type is the biggest factor when it comes to knowing how to treat your skin. If you’re using products that aren’t actually meant for your skin type, you’re wasting your time and money, and most likely making your problems harder to treat further down the road. Just because something is cool or popular, doesn’t mean you need to put it on your face - the ingredients and purpose of that product may not be what your skin actually needs. If you don’t have oily skin, don’t buy products for oily skin. If your skin is sensitive, don’t layer on harsh products meant for deep treating cystic acne. Make changes and try products that are tailored to the problems you’re having. Personalize and customize your routine to fit and treat your skin.
Strip It Down to the Basics
When I began to really get in to taking care of my skin, I wanted to try all the products. Anything that was popular and being talked about, I wanted it on my face. I watched videos, read blog posts and did a lot of my own research (which, at the time, solely consisted of looking at the star ratings on the Sephora website), coming to the conclusion that the more I can get, the better! I mean, it’s kind of like vitamins for your skin, right? How bad can it be? Over time, I began to see that even though I was using good quality products, my skin was actually still in pretty bad shape.
Fast forward to about six months ago, and I realized that not only was I not shopping my skin-type or paying attention to ingredients, but I was just putting way too much onto my face at one time; the products were clogging my pores and not getting deep enough into my skin to actually do any good. You don’t need 5 different oils, 4 serums, 3 moisturizers, 2 eye creams, a toner, and a facial spray, on top of any additional treatment products you may use. Less is definitely more when it comes to skincare. Give your skin the chance to breathe and your products the chance to sink in and work!
Keep it simple and strip it down to the basics. Now, my morning and evening routines consist of very minimal products with ingredients that I know work well for me, and my skin has definitely thanked me for it.
This one is technically a personal preference, but perhaps one of the best things I’ve done for my skin is switch over to all-natural, clean products. Almost all of the products I use are completely natural and vegan, as well as chemical, fragrance, dye and cruelty-free. I love using the Think Dirty app to check out the toxicity levels in my products. There are a lot of ingredients in beauty products that, when absorbed into the skin, can actually be harmful to your body, and Think Dirty helps make some sense out of all of that! Almost all of my products are rated at a 3 or below on the Think Dirty app (the lowest levels of toxicity). The couple that aren’t, I continue to use simply because I’ve found that my skin reacts really well to them. But don’t worry, I’m currently on the hunt for clean, healthy alternatives!
I’ve found natural products to be the most effective and beneficial for my skin, and I feel great knowing that what I’m using isn’t harming the rest of my body. I love researching ingredients and trying out new products, brands, tools and methods as well as learning about the ins and outs of clean, healthy skincare.
What is something that you’re passionate about that has brought you boldness and confidence? How has it become a part of your life or daily routines?