"Skin," A Comedic Drama by Morgan Chapman.

Zits. 

Wrinkles. 

Dry patches. 

Large pores. 

Greasy t-zone. 

Creeping into our 30's, it's a real shit storm to have problematic skin. Trust me - I'm there. Which is to say that I am no expert on this topic - I wish my obsession with makeup bled more into the skin care arena, but I just can't be bothered to learn it all - and there is a lot to know! So, I will stick to what I do know, and point you in the direction of where you can learn more. My main focus for skin is creating a nice canvas for makeup. Yep. I really don't care about much else except having nice skin so that my makeup looks nice. Sure, it would be nice to have nice skin without makeup on too, but when that's happening, I mean I REALLY don't care. It's full slob mode! I really DGAF what anyone thinks about my naked zits. 

Here are what I think are the most important tips for improving common skin concerns, while also getting your skin in great condition for a makeup application. 

1) Cleansing

Especially if you're wearing any sort of makeup, cleansing is so important and will help prevent any of the other problems I'm going to discuss below. Here's the sometimes-forgotten kicker about wearing makeup - you have to 1) remove your makeup, and then 2) cleanse your skin. The two are not one in the same. This is called double-cleansing. 

TAKE DAT MAKEUP OFF GORL. Never forget. Even after like 5 margaritas. I swear to god I will hunt you down with a makeup wipe. That's the bare minimum. Just take it off. Wipes, micellar water, oil cleanser, cleansing balm - whatever. Any of these methods will do to dissolve the products on your skin and get 'em down the drain. Then, cleanse! This will pick up anything leftover in terms of makeup/dirt, and will then actually clean and condition your skin. Again - anything works - gel, foam, cream, bar. Whatever. Cleanser is cleanser - it goes down the drain. But do find one that you like and suits your skin. 

HOT TIP: If you wear makeup often, or if if you enjoy really clean skin - try a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic or a cheaper knock off version from Amazon. I've used this one for years and I just keep it in the shower to do a deep clean and deep exfoliation usually every other day. 

2) Exfoliation

As just mentioned, a cleansing brush is great for a deeper exfoliation, but if you're not into going through the whole shebang of getting one, there are a lot of other ways you can easily slough off dead cells sitting on your skin and promote skin turnover. IMHO exfoliating on a regular basis is the best way to get a really nice smooth baby soft canvas for makeup. From touching lots of people's faces (not in a creepy way, but in a makeup artist way) I know first hand that most people do not exfoliate enough. If there are any rough patches on your skin, do yourself a favour and get yourself an exfoliator. It will also help premature aging for some other reason I don't have the science to tell you about rn just trust me. 

There are two types of exfoliating: chemical and physical. Most of you are probably familiar with physical exfoliation - scrubs with beads, the aforementioned cleansing brush, and even a face cloth are physical exfoliants - they manually brush off dead skin cells. Some people need to exfoliate more than others to have smooth skin or to prevent breakouts - I exfoliate errrrryydayyyyy in some way shape or form. Chemical exfoliants are ingredients usually in toners that will dissolve dead skin cells simply by being applied to your skin. Glycolic acid, BHA, AHA - those things they name on the Olay commercials and you dunno what the f*ck theiy're talking about, yeah, those. My top recommendation suitable for pretty much anyone with any skin need in this department is the Paula's Choice BHA - just check the reviews on their for a whole bunch of testimonials about what it can do for your skin. 

3) Treating Zits

I'm seriously so mad at my zits right now that I don't even want to write this. WTF FACE?? SERIOUSLY? 

Leo gets me. So I will tell you what I do know. I do know that following all of the top tips in this post will help prevent zits as much as possible. Be real clean with your skin. Scrub it up a bit. Moisturize real nice. The usual. However, they may still happen anyways, and there are some things you can do to make sure they heal fast and can be covered with makeup. The biggest mistake I've made in my long zit career is drying them out. This is no bueno. Forget about spot treating zits -  it's NOT going to happen. The aforementioned BHA will help with messed up pores that can cause zits, and an antibacterial like benzoyl peroxide will also help kill zit germs. Since I switched from spot treating with BP to a light layer all over, I saw improvement and prevention. This also isn't going to leave you with dried out crusty ass healing zits that are so textured they can't even be covered with makeup. That is what nightmares are made of. I know you want to pop it and dry it out, but do the opposite - moisturize and leave it alone and nourish that skin and just let it heal. Plus, a smooth bump can be easily covered with makeup. 

In addition, I use Proactiv. And it worked. And then I went off the pill and now I am a pizza face.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

4) Moisturizers

Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Even if you have oily skin. In a sick attempt to overcorrect, oily skin is often the result of dryness or dehydration. So, drink lots of water and moisturize and see how she goes. If you're dry, then you already know the importance of moisturizing. Products in a pump style bottle are lighter in texture and better for daytime, and products in a tub are thicker and better for nighttime (although tubs aren't best for product preservation but that's another story). Slap that shit on at night and let your skin do it's thing while you snooze. Like REALLY GO FOR IT OK. Don't be shy. Find moisturizers that work for you - perhaps consider mixing in a skin oil like argan or whatever the hot new one these days is. 

Do all of this crap in this order. 
Remove makeup > cleanse > tone > exfoliate > treat zits > moisturize. Boom. 
Instead of thinking of it as "urgh, I have to do all of that?!" - think, "treat yo'self," "me-time," and "I'M WORTH IT." 
 

Resources: 
If you want to know more about skin, check out these places: 
- Beautipedia - you can look up your skin care products and find their reviews, often based on ingredients, etc etc etc.... very cool information but also remember this is not a bible and sometimes they are wrong. 
- Caroline Hirons - this lady knows her shit. 
- Brianna Stanko - another lady who knows her shit. 
- Stephanie Nicole - a lady who is new to me but I have a feeling she also knows some shit. 

Et Voila! I hope that remotely helped... and if you can help me... please help me. Help me.