I guess it's the nature of this business, but I get asked about skincare a lot - like, constantly. Every single very day (multiple times a day and also all through the night because why don't you guys sleep? Sleep totally helps with the pretty, BTW...) people are coming at me like, "Help, my face is FREAKING OUT."
It's too dry. It's flaky. It's oily. It's breaking out. What is this rash?
(Um, I don't know? I'm not a doctor! 😬)
And I end up giving a lot of advice. To be honest, I'm not entirely comfortable with giving people health advice. I can tell you what works for me, but your skin might have completely different needs. Also... I have no idea what y'all are already putting on your faces. I keep it really simple (if you can tell that from my product formulations) and there are a lot of ingredients (even in products from supposedly natural brands) that I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. I'm just not sure how much I can really help you if you're still using a ton of random products with questionable ingredients...
That being said, my overall best advice (which I spend a lot of time doling out and people sometimes take and sometimes don't...) is always pretty much the same.
(buy this and use it, basically)
1. Stop stripping your skin with soap and traditional facial cleansers. There is a reason why I only offer a powder cleanser and an oil cleanser.
2. Toning mist is a must especially if you have acne prone skin (it drives me CRAZY when people don't take this advice because I know they're not going to see the results they want. I mean, great that you got the cleanser, but please trust me on the toning mist too - toning mist from other brands may not do anything but mine does!) Sorry not sorry for the rant.
3. Your skin needs oil. Even oily skin needs oil. If your skin is oily, adding oil will keep it from producing too much of it's own and you WILL find your balance. It may take a couple of weeks but TRUST ME.
So I may not be comfortable giving advice, but I am very confident that if you follow these three rules, which I literally say to EVERYONE who comes to me for help (have you noticed?) you will be happier with your skin.
Now that I've gotten that major rant out of the way (not exactly where I was planning to go with the blog post, but hey, things happen) I want to share with you a few *extra* kind of unusual (or perhaps very obvious) things that I think have seriously transformed my own skin over the past year.
1. & 2. (because they're very much related) is changing my Diet and Ditching. Coffee.
Let me just hit you with the bad news right up front. Everything you put into your body affects the way your skin looks and feels. Overall I have always had a very healthy diet, but I recently found out that I can't tolerate nightshade vegetables. Gradually over the past couple of years, I had been starting to notice that I wasn't feeling my best, but I couldn't figure out why... I mean, I eat super healthy, lots of veggies... took my vitamins... well, one day after breaking out in hives after a lazy lunch comprised of nothing but my kid's leftover French fries from the night before - it hit me. Well, okay, I googled "allergic to potatoes?" and I realized that, dang, my diet was actually extremely heavy in healthy foods that might not actually be great for me. And there were even nightshades IN my vitamins. FAIL.
So I did a major elimination diet and unfortunately found a whole bunch of other foods that I can't eat - including raw nuts, sesame, non-sprouted legumes, a whole lot of fruits, and coffee.
Today my diet looks a whole lot different than it used to (I mean I used to put hot sauce on EVERYTHING and live on hummus #veganproblems) and to be honest, I'm still struggling to figure it all out, but my skin looks sooooo much better. I feel great too, which I suppose is more important. Like my skin was fine before but would get really red after meals (and was kind of starting to just permanently be red... yikes) and now it's totally normal! I also know right away if I've eaten something I shouldn't have because I get that tingly hot sensation in my lower cheeks that used to just be how I felt all the time but now I'm like RED FLAG RED FLAG! (LITERALLY.)
I've even added a few (nightshade free) supplements back into the mix that have been really helpful - vitamin C, a simple probiotic with strands to support my body's histamine response, magnesium, B6, and a 10% GLA evening primrose supplement (which never actually left my life because it is MAGIC.)
Again, I'm not trying to give health advice here, but I am saying that this is something that has made a huge difference for me, so if you have the means (like if you're not a self employed single mom with crappy insurance) I highly suggest getting with your Dr. or a functional medicine specialist to see if there could be something in your diet that's troubling your skin.
And if you're in the same boat as me, take your health into your own hands and try an elimination diet - there are a lot of protocols to follow out there, but at the end of the day you have to figure out what works for you and your body.
And yes, realizing that coffee was part of the problem was really sad for me for about a week. (I mean it was actually physically painful to give it up because my body was addicted to it) but I feel so much better (and a million times more hydrated) without it that I really don't want to drink it anymore. And thankfully, I can still drink tea, which is why I now have a whole tea section in my shop! (I mean, why not?!)
3. Beauty Tools
A healthy diet and good, clean products are the first steps, but don't discount your accessory choices! A facial roller, gua sha, and comedone extractor are things I've added to my routine this year that have seriously made a difference - they may super trendy right now, but I promise it's not just hype!
If you have a problem with picking at your skin (so guilty - especially when my anxiety is high!) you need to get one of these tools. A gentle press (the flat side is for blackheads and the thin, rounded side is for whiteheads) will express the gunk in your pores without causing swelling or damaging the surrounding skin, which makes that little not-actually-bad blemish look so much worse and could cause scarring.
I do this after washing and toning my skin at night before bed, (maybe once a week?) and immediately afterwards I follow with more toning mist and facial oil. You want to replenish your skin with healing, protecting oil right away so you don't end up with flakes!
Then, I follow with beauty butter, and my amethyst facial roller.
Facial Roller and Gua Sha
These facial massage tools actually do make a big difference for my skin. The facial roller is more gentle where as the gua sha is more intense, but they both pretty much serve the same purpose, which is to increase circulation, (which helps your skin heal itself more quickly) promote lymphatic drainage, decrease puffiness, and relax the muscles under your skin which improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Most people use their facial roller in the morning and gua sha at night, but I actually prefer to wake my face up with my gua sha and seal in my skincare routine with my facial roller at night. I've also noticed that I have wayyy fewer breakouts along my neck/jawline since I started facial rolling at night which to me, makes this tool worth it's weight in gold.
If you go to the Twinkle Apothecary Instagram page and look on my bio, you'll see a "morning routine" story highlight which is where I demonstrate how I use my gua sha, and a "night routine" story highlight where I show you how I use my facial roller. Go watch them right now. I'll wait!
Seriously, I really can't recommend them enough. I know that if you try them (and actually use them) you'll see results. And I know that there are a lot of gemstone beauty tools out there, but I love working with Gemstone Yoni because they're a small, woman owned business who sources GIA certified stones and I love their body positive message!
I knew that facewhip was special when I released it last year, but now that I've been wearing it every day for a year, I am convinced that it is actual magic. Even though my face usually stays pretty well balanced, I used to get a little bit of dry flakies during the winter...
Well, I didn't have any of that this year. Why? Because facewhip.
Also, I can't remember the last time I wore makeup, which is probably another reason why I've noticed fewer breakouts this year.
If facewhip isn't your thing, I recommend a light layer of my green tea facial balm at the end of your morning skincare routine, which will act as a protective barrier and feed your skin with a boost of antioxidants. I actually use both because I'm the boss and get to be extra. 💁♀️
5. Eye tint.
Okay, so technically this has really just make a difference in my eyes, but my eyes are attached to my face, so I included it on this list!
My eyes used to be red and irritated all the time, and I blamed it on everything but my mascara...
Then I invented my own mascara, and just like that, my eyes were no longer red and irritated. SO FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS, AM I RIGHT?
If you love a full on glamour eye look for day, you may want to keep your regular mascara on hand, (I threw mine out because I'm all in on this Twinkle thing...) but regardless I it's nice to have this as a natural option for casual days.
Since it is a different kind of a product than you're probably used to, I am trying to provide all of the information you need on how to use it - so stay tuned to my instagram and this blog for all of the details - but also don't be intimidated! (I get lots of "I'm scared to try this" messages - for literally everything - perfume, skincare, makeup... so what can I do to assure you that there's nothing to fear?!) 🙃
Just get the product in your hands, get a good stiff brush for it, and go to town! What's the worst that could happen?
(Also I'm starting to get the impression that people sometimes buy things without reading the product descriptions, which is where I go through a lot of trouble to provide all of the information you could ever possibly need with videos and everything, so, yeah... often if you just click on the product and read the listing, you won't have to wait for me to wake up and respond to your late night instagram query... JUST SAYING.)
But in all seriousness, I love hearing from you guys and I love helping, even when it pushes me outside of my comfort zone a bit. Hopefully this list from my personal experience helps you out a bit too, and if you have questions, boy do you sure know where to find me! LOL
Let me know what you think!