Let’s talk about skin. I’m no expert (officially), but when you start dealing with cystic acne at age 13 and it continues well into your adult life, you become quite familiar with the world of skin and skincare, in fact, it’s entirely consuming.
Here’s my story in a nutshell: around the time puberty so kindly waltzed into my life, acne started popping up all over my face. I’m not talking about your run of the mill pubescent breakouts, I’m referring to large, deep and painful cysts, located mostly on my temples, cheeks, jawline and neck. These continued and got even worse all the way into my 20s, and I tried just about everything under the sun. The only thing that gave me some relief was hormonal birth control, but for personal reasons, I didn’t want to remain on it. About two years ago (around the time I started Vibrant&Pure), I got to thinking: “There has to be some way to fix this on a holistic level.” My skin seemed ANGRY. There was something happening inside my body that was causing this acne, I just didn’t know what it was. I was sick of using band-aid solutions to “fix” the problem rather than eradicating the root of the problem. I started incessantly researching ways people cured themselves of acne. It’s funny to me now, but I truly had NO idea there was any connection between the foods we put inside our body, and what was reflected on our skin. I was absolutely mesmerized by what I was discovering, and I began to change my diet and lifestyle. I’m going to go into the ways I healed my skin through diet on another post (will add link here once it’s up). But for now, I’m going to focus on the helpful external changes I made in my skincare routine.
I wish I had the courage to show you some before and after photos, but I simply don’t yet. There’s this degree of shame that acne brings, even though it shouldn’t at all. It’s not our fault that we have acne. Yet, I was ashamed. I’m happy that in hindsight, I never really let this shame affect my life socially or my happiness, although it definitely got me down sometimes.
A few years ago, I would’ve been HORRIFIED at the thought of someone seeing me without makeup on, all of my breakouts and significant acne scarring out for the world to see? No thanks. Now, I can’t believe that I leave the house everyday wearing nothing but SPF.
Here are the basic tenants of what I’ve learned about skincare and some important things to remember:
- LESS IS MORE
This is true with everything that has to do with your skin. Less is more: less cleansing, less product, less messing with your face. I used to wash my face constantly, and use harsh cleansers that messed up the pH balance of my skin and stripped it of its natural oils. When you strip your skin of its natural oils and get the balance out of whack, it starts overproducing oil to catch up, then this overproduced sebum becomes trapped, and voila, more breakouts. Use less products, it can be exciting to use 4 different serums and oils and moisturizers at once, (especially when you turn into a skincare junkie like me, and start discovering amazing products) but it’s important not to overwhelm your skin. Find out what you like and what works, and use 1 or 2 products at a time, you can alternate every night.
2. OIL IS NOT THE ENEMY
Oh wow. If I could go back in time and rip the benzoyl peroxides and salicylic acids out of my hands and tap myself on the shoulder and say “GIRL, YOU NEED A FREAKING MOISTURIZER”, I would. I used to have oily and acne prone skin (obviously) so to me, oil was always the devil. Everything marketed for acne would read “oil free” and that seemed to be the most important thing. I thought that as long as I stripped my face of ANY and ALL oil and it was slick and dry as a bone, my acne would disappear. I could not have been more wrong; but it’s not my fault, or yours, this is how acne treatment is presented to us and unfortunately it’s mostly for the profit of the acne treatment companies. I don’t want to get all conspiracy theorist on you, but think about it, if the acne treatment companies really worked so well, would they be able to keep selling product to you? This is why it’s important to get to know your skin and trust your intuition, you need to know what’s right for your skin, and not trust every promise the skincare industry offers you in its next “miracle” product. I’m such a fan of oils that I often wash my face using hemp or jojoba oil, then I’ll apply marula oil, rosehip oil, or one of Leahlani’s oil elixirs to my skin before bed.
3. NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER POP
Okay this is a short one: never ever pop your pimples. My mother told me this countless times and I didn’t listen. Not only does it leave horrible scars, but it aggravates the skin and introduces new bacteria leading to more breakouts.
4. READ YOUR INGREDIENTS
You need to read the ingredients of the food you eat and the products you put onto your skin. For ingredients- ‘less is more’ definitely applies. This is why I’m obsessed with Leahlani Skincare, they have all their nourishing ingredients available for you to see, and spoiler alert: they’re all fantastic. Not only are they organic and pure ingredients, they are carefully chosen to deliver you real results and a magical ritualistic skincare experience. Seriously, don’t even get me started on the scents: it’s truly as if they figured out how to bottle up the intoxicating and tropical scents of a Hawaiian beach.. If you’re a neroli fan like I am, you’re going to die for the bless balm. (more on Leahlani later…+ how you can get the “Vibrant & Pure Mask and Aloha Alchemy Ritual Trio)
5. GET TO KNOW YOUR SKIN
This may sound kind of weird, but you have to get to know your skin. I used to be so befuddled and angry with my skin, rather than paying attention to what it was trying to tell me. Whenever you try a new product, or change something about your lifestyle, notice how your skin reacts; although some changes take months and even years to show up, many will show up right away, and it’s important to be in tune.
6. BE PATIENT
I know it’s hard to have problematic skin, and we all want that quick fix, but it simply doesn’t exist (unless you want to deal with side effects way worse than acne). If you want to heal your skin from the inside out and truly fix the problem, you have to be patient.
7. LOVE YOURSELF
Dont laugh at this notion, loving yourself is important. It’s even more important when you don’t love the way you look and you need it the most. I promise, you will be able to eventually clear your skin, but even if you’re not happy with it yet, you’re still beautiful and need not be ashamed.
OKAY, now that we got the rules out of the way, here’s the fun part: FREE LUXURIOUS SKINCARE GIFTS FOR YOU.
I am ridiculously humbled to have partnered with Leahlani Skincare to create a limited time ‘Aloha Alchemy Ritual’ and all of the components to make the ‘Vibrant Mask’. Their products are the real deal, so you are paying for quality. I would NEVER introduce a skincare brand to you that I didn’t feel had extremely quality ingredients and integrity, not to mention, they are the sweetest and ‘glowiest’ humans alive.
HERE’S THE DEAL + GIFT:
Normally, you have to spend $200.00 for free shipping, but for this limited time offer, using code ‘VIBRANTANDPURE’ you can get free shipping by spending only $75.00 and the first 50 people who place an order will receive the limited time offer “Vibrant & Pure Aloha Alchemy Trio” as a bonus. You will receive the ‘Kalima Cleansing Powder’, ‘ Meli Glow Nectar Mask’ and ‘Aloha Ambrosia Elixir’ to create an intoxicating an nourishing skincare ritual for yourself.
Some of my favorites:
For all you mermaids out there: this mask is insanely good. It’s sticky and green and magical. It’s made with ingredients like Hawaiian spirulina (just like my mermaid toast!), raw honey, sea buckthorn, Moroccan chamomile, geranium, white lotus flower. It leaves your skin feeling seriously soft and cleansed.
“Bless is a delicate and silken moisture melt for your skin. Rich, organic butters coalesce with the most lush organic and cold pressed beauty oils to nurture and bless your skin for an unparalleled softness. From her pink, velvety texture to her sweet and grounding essence of orange blossoms and blue tansy oils – every element of Bless will envelop your skin and senses with love, vibrancy and aloha.
Bless beauty balm melts tenderly between your fingertips, leaving your skin feeling smooth as silk. This concentrated beauty balm is free of water, wax and emulsifiers ensuring that every last dollop is full to the brim with 100% potent and pure skin softening and skin loving ingredients. This precious, pink beauty has been infused with an abundant amount of aloha.”
“Say aloha to a soft, supple and more even-toned complexion with Meli GLOW. She’s our illuminating nectar fusion mask, filled with enzyme and vitamin rich tropical fruits, nutrient dense beauty oils, skin moisturizing and plumping hyaluronic acid and stimulating clays steeped in the creamy fusion of organic Hawaiian nectar.
Meli works at the molecular level to increase blood circulation and oxygenation. She will deeply nourish and strengthen the barrier of your skin, delivering a bountiful dose of active enzymes and antioxidant rich oils to each cell on your precious face.”
“An exotic, superfood feast for your skin. Her feather-light consistency and silken texture absorbs beautifully into the skin, infusing each cell with the essential nutrients it needs throughout the day- leaving your skin well fed, perfectly moisturized and wholly nourished. Aloha Ambrosia is lavishly overflowing with youth enhancing antioxidants and vitamins derived from organic mangosteen, goji berry, guava and passionfruit oils. Bonus? She smells of jasmine flowers and tropical rain showers and she will leave you with the most gorgeous aloha glow.
Jasmine oil helps to restore the skin by balancing moisture, reducing dryness, gently fading scarring and minimizing breakouts due its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The delicate scent of jasmine is heavenly and connects with the heart, awakening romantic and poetic feelings while evoking a happy state of being. Jasmine stimulates the release of serotonin, which results in an uplifted mood and a burst of creative energy- the perfect way to start the day for your skin and spirit. ”
“Mahina is our moonlight magic, and she is what skincare dreams are made of. Her luxurious and rich coalescence of organic and cold pressed moringa, marula, prickly pear and chia seed oils will work in harmony to deeply nourish, soften, plump and replenish each cell on your precious face while you get your beauty sleep. Sealed with a kiss of soft vanilla and sweet citrus, your skin will drink in every last drop of this treasured potion as she breathes youth into your pores, leaving you with a supple, dewy and gorgeous radiance.”