I once read that “Women who don’t wear make-up are lazy.” As someone who hasn’t worn make-up for 4 years, I can affirm that that’s 100% true. I used to wear make-up in high school, despite my complete inability to get eyeliner within 3 inches of my eyes.
Then sophomore year of college hit and I was literally running around campus in my business professional outfits trying to make the next meeting. I condensed my morning routine into an efficient 10 minute process that involved me sprinting to the community bathroom to get ready and eating most of my meals while in class (sorry, professors). The application and removal of synthetic materials on my face simply didn’t make the cut of essential activities. When you’re at the point when you’re choosing between sleep and dinner, you’re not worried about aesthetics.
My initial break-up with make-up was because I was lazy/way overbooked, but I haven’t incorporated it back into my routine because I just like my face better without it. As an added bonus, my skin is 100% better than it ever was with make-up.*
Confession time: I now use absolutely no products on my face. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Adios lotion, sayonara face wash, see you later exfoliating scrub.
It took my skin a solid 2 years of adjusting to the make up free life before it learned to self-regulate oil and dry patches. In the meantime, I’ve become a huge believer in the idea that the body can take care of itself better than all the aisles in the beauty section of CVS put together.**
If you’d like to save 10 minutes in the morning or are just grossed out enough by my facial product free lifestyle to be curious, here’s how I did it:
1. Switched from medicated products to cleansing ones (big fan of Cetaphil)
You might be thinking that using no facial products is fine for someone with naturally perfect skin, but believe me, my skin had its fair share of puberty-induced acne, irritation, and dry spots. I tried Proactiv and even went to a dermatologist for some heavy duty cream. But honestly, it never made sense. The internet told me that drugstore solutions were designed to addict your face to them so that you could never go off of them without breaking out again and the prescribed variety actually said on the tube that it would make your face break out MORE for the first 6 months. No, thank you!
2. Reduced how often I washed my face
3. Started switching from store-bought products to homemade ones
Instead of lotion, I started using coconut oil to moisturize my face once a day. I ditched the astringent for a witch-hazel & apple cider vinegar combo that not only cleans without drying your skin, it also reduces redness and irritation. Let me know if you’d like the recipe!
At this stage I still used Cetaphil to wash my face.
4. Ditched store-brought products entirely
I ran out of Cetaphil once and decided to wait a few days before buying more. The craziest thing happened. Nothing. No new pimples, no oily skin, nada. I still used my homemade astringent since the apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and does a great job cleansing.
5. Went to every other day
Instead of applying astringent every day, I started only doing it every other day. This time, my skin actually started to improve!
6. Committed to au naturale.
No products, no problem. My skin produces the perfect amount of oil to keep it from drying out without causing my face to break out. I still shower every day, so my face does get rinsed regularly and I wipe it down with a wet towel after I work out so the sweat doesn’t soak into my pores.
On the rare occasion that I find a blemish, I simply go back to using my homemade astringent and it disappears in days.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different. This worked great for me who had combination skin. It’s also worked great for my husband who trends on the more oily side.***
Has anyone else made the leap? I’d love to hear what worked (or didn’t work) for you!
* I am not at all anti-makeup. I’m super impressed by all the women out there who have mastered what is truly an art of applying eyeliner on the actual eye area of the face and I think it looks great. It’s just not for me at this time of my life.
**This journey all started with my hair, when I stopped washing it in high school. But that’s another blog post entirely
*** Disclaimer: This will NOT work AT ALL if you have the habit of picking at your blemishes. It does everything you’ve been warned about–spreads bacteria, creates scars, makes it harder for your skin to heal.