Two weeks ago I sat down and wrote a spring cleaning checklist. Each day I tried to cross off one or two of those tasks, like organizing my junk drawer or scrubbing down my fridge. And I’m feeling so great that I want to take the “spring cleaning” spirit to every area of my life – including my skin.
Confession? I have hardly been washing my face lately. With a new baby, a wild preschooler and a new season of House of Cards . . . I have shamefully climbed into bed in a zombie-like state . . . with zombie-like skin to go along. I can’t believe I’m admitting that I go to bed with makeup (and dirt, grime, pollution, oil) clogging my pores. But it’s true. I’ve been slacking and my skin has been suffering for it.
Here is my skincare spring cleaning checklist:
1. Declutter the skincare: I really don’t need a medicine cabinet bursting with creams and cure-alls. I got rid of everything I didn’t like or didn’t use, along with anything more than a year old. Bonus points for me: I also tackled my makeup!
2. Like, LITERALLY clean the dkincare: If my skincare bottles and facial tools are covered in germs and makeup dust, how much good is it to get my hands covered with that stuff and then go rubbing my face?! Yuck. Warm soapy water and some clean towels made everything look fresh and clean. Oh yeah, and the same goes for makeup, makeup brushes, etc. I also cleaned the storage zones for my toiletries, just because I was feeling a tad overachiever at the moment.
3. Analyze and make a wish list: After decluttering and cleaning, I analyzed what was missing in my skincare products, like an eye cream, a new mud mask and a big stock of nose pore strips, which I’m always running out of. I made a wish list and have slowly started looking for the right products to fill those skincare needs.
4. Set up for success: I created a face-washing station. I filled a cute basket with some headbands, hair ties, bobby pins and clean white washcloths to dry off with. And of course my favorite cleanser and lotions. Instead of having one bottle of cleanser that goes back in forth between shower and bathroom counter, I bought an extra for my shower! If you travel a lot, take this time to have your toiletries bag stocked with all your best skincare items. Make it easy to be good to your skin!
5. Be a realist: I SHOULD wash my face properly before going to bed. But as Voltaire once said, perfection is the enemy of good. So I loaded my bedside table drawer’s with a package of the wonderful Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin Facial Wipes. If worst comes to worst I can at least get the top layer of gunk off before heading to sleepy town. I also included a container of Neutragena Acne Stress Control Cleansing Pads, in case I am feeling extra oily and a tad ambitious.
Alright, so now I am feeling a huge improvement in my skincare. Do you have any other steps to spring cleaning your skincare? Comment make me happy and just might cure your seborrheic dermatitis.*
*No, it won’t. Sorry. That was manipulative.
(For your convenience I linked to some products on Amazon. For my convenience, they are affiliate links! Thanks!)
UPDATE: One year later, I’ve changed up my routine. Check out My Latest and Greatest Skincare Routine. Something from below might interest you, so check this out first. Also, I’ve learned much more about coconut oil and another update is coming soon. (Oh, and I’ve also added some affiliate links to my fave products so I can contribute more time and money back into this site.)
I’ve been struggling with seborrheic dermatitis on my face for over a decade! I’ve always tried to ignore it, to be honest. Plus, it sort of comes and goes. But a few months ago, things gone downright ugly- flakes and redness and, just . . . ewww. So I went on an information binge, which turned into a fantastic solution for my face and the launch of this very blog.
So here’s MY routine for curbing the facial flakes and redness:
Wash my face with my Clarisonic Mia. I don’t do this every morning, but I truly think my skin is best when I do. I always thought my sensitive skin would freak out from this much exfoliating, but it is so gentle and just leaves my skin soft and clean.
I use Beauty Society’s Easy Going face wash. It is so mild and soothing. They even reccommend it for people with rosacea. Beauty Society is sold by independent contractors. It’s like a more modern version of Mary Kay. So find someone local to support! One bottle last me FOREVER so it is totally worth it.
After washing my face, I smear on some moisturizer. Right now I am using Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF15. I want to try some more options, because I HATE that there is fragrance in this lotion. It does seem to calm my skin though, but I plan on trying something new next time.
But I also incorporate my secret ingredient: Pur Minerals Correcting Primer in Green. This stuff ain’t cheap ($30), and I also have a huge complaint about the pump, which worked for a like a hot minute. Also, I found that putting the stuff on “as is” leaves my face looking a little chalky, ashy . . . and just, well, green. Too green. But if I mix a dab into my moisturizer? Bingo! Decreases the redness just perfectly. It also makes my morning routine go quickly. I’ll get more into makeup for seborrheic dermatitis in some other post.
I use make-up remover wipes some nights to get off the bulk of my makeup. I don’t like when the makeup ends up all over my precious Clarisonic. If I’m in the shower, I just rinse with the warm water first.
I use my Clarisonic Mia and Beauty Society face wash to get my skin all clean and lovely.
After washing, I slather on Cocount Oil. That’s right. After spending small fortunes on fancy-shmancy moisturizers, I’ve realized that the best treatment for my facial seborrheic dermatitis comes from Trader Joe’s at just $6.99 jar . . . and that lasts for months on end. I also use coconut oil as my hair product, scalp treatment, skin moisturizer and much more. It is super oily at first and your spouse or child will be scared to go near you for the first twenty minutes. But then your skin absorbs it and you wake with gorgeous, glowing skin. I truly feel that it wouldn’t work as well without the Clarisonic, though. These two finds were what really improved my skin. I am so glad I splurged on the Clarisonic, and now that I spend maybe $14 a year on my night cream . . . it all evens out.
So that is what works for ME. Talk to your doctor before you try some hair-brained Internet scheme though, ha! What is YOUR best solution for seborrheic dermatitis on your face? Give us your best tips in the comments, please!
Here is what works best for treating the sebhorreic dermatitis on my scalp, but only if I’m totally committed. (Some of the product links below are affiliate links to help fund the blog.)
You must have three or more different types of dandruff shampoo on hand, plus one regular shampoo.
1. Wash hair with regular shampoo first to clean scalp (sometimes I skip this to save time)
2. Wash hair with one dandruff shampoo. Let it sit there for a few minutes. Rinse well.
3. Wash hair with a second dandruff shampoo, let it sit, rinse very, very well.
Note: Cycle the dandruff shampoos constantly and introduce new ones often. Make sure they feature different ingredients. For example, on Monday I might use Nizoral and Selson Blue. On Tuesday I might use TGel and Head & Shoulders. On Wednesday, I might use Selson Blue and a tea tree oil shampoo.
4. Then I condition my hair, but keep it away from my scalp. Once again, rinse well!
5. I blow dry my hair or let it air dry down. If I put my hair in a ponytail wet, it turns into this green house or something and my dandruff goes bananas!
I sometimes dab on some coconut oil to the worst spots on my scalp and I want to try doing a full-on, crazy-lady coconut oil treatment weekly for awhile, to see if that helps. I only wish I had a Clarisonic I could use on my scalp? How weird would it be to use an electric toothbrush on my scalp? Yeah, you’re right. Pretty weird.
So that’s how I deal with my scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis) . . . but it is not going nearly as well as the solutions I have found for my face.
Leave your best tips in the comments on how you deal with your scalp flakes!
At one point, I am assured by old family photos, I had lovely porcelain skin. That flawless epidermis was soon splashed with freckles, which were replaced with pimples in adolescence. I started suffering from acne when I was 11 or 12.
To both combat and conceal the blemishes, my mom shuffled me straight to the Clinque counter, hoping that excellent skin care would fix the problem and that quality makeup could boost my sagging self-esteem in the meantime.
But no dice. It was another nearly ten years of dermatology appointments, antibiotics, birth control, topical creams, infomercial products, homeopathic treatments and lots and lots of tears before the acne subsided.
At the same time, I had weird patches of dry skin. Itchy, too. I remember in the afternoons I walked home from school, I would rub flakes from my forehead or nose with the ribbed fabric of my black hoodie. I’d pull the wrist of the hoodie over my hand and rub like crazy. I felt like I could rub my skin forever and never see an end to the flakes. They were tinted beige, thanks to the gobs of foundation I used.
When the acne started to fade away (never completely, but good enough), I had a few moment of actually feeling like I had pretty skin. Ah, bliss. Those were those days.
Soon, though I was struggling with those dry patches. I had never been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, and I had never even heard of it. I only though of my skin as “dry and sensitive.”
Once, my husband and I were about to head out on a trip to New York City. It was a dream vacation for me, until I woke up with red, dry, itchy, flaky, splotchy skin! Even after exfoliating gently, applying cold compresses and carefully applying makeup, my skin still sucked. I was crying, wishing I could just cancel the whole trip. With minutes to spare, I raced to a local health food store and bought a product that claimed to treat Rosacea. I washed my face again and reapplied my makeup on the way to the airport. The product buuuurned my skin, but improved the appearance slightly.
As soon as we returned, I booked an appointment with a dermatologist. She looked at me for about twenty seconds, cocked her head and proclaimed, “Seborrheic dermatitis . . . Maybe a touch of Rosacea.” She wrote a script and was out the door in under a minute.
Once I started using the sulphur wash and Elidel, my skin improved dramatically. But when I got pregnant, my doc told me to stop using the Elidel for the Reston my pregnancy and while nursing. Since I planned to breastfeed for a year or longer, I felt a sense of panic at what would happen to my skin!
I think topical prescription creams can really save the day when your skin is at its worst, but I realized that I wanted to find a lifestyle treatment so I wouldn’t have to depend on these prescriptions, even if the risks are low. Since then, I have been trying to figure out the right skin care for my skin and scalp. I have been frantically reading everything online and trying different options.
No, it’s not the end of the world to have a little dandruff or red, flaky skin. But it can be physically painful, or at the very least aggravating. And we all want to look our best. I am still searching for the magical cure for sebhorreic dermatitis. There is actually a huge void of information online, in my opinion. I’m going to gather and post as much as I can on this website. Kiss your flakes goodbye!