olive oil skincare

Skincare has never been my strong suit – growing up, I had terribly acne-prone skin, dry patches, and all the wrong products. During my worst acne years, I tried just about everything under the sun to avoid medication – specialty soaps, bar soap, $100 topical treatments, derma-facials, extraction facials – you name it, I’ve tried it. And sure, most of my issues were hormonal acne in my teens, but this problem (though not nearly to this degree) plagued me throughout college and the years since. Since then, I have struggled to keep a routine that is easy, manageable, and affordable. Now 25, I could try seaweed facials and at-home peels, but the one thing that has completely revolutionized my skin AND that I have successfully maintained as a routine has been extra virgin olive oil.

I first heard of olive oil as a skincare regimen from The Skinny Confidential. She mentioned how many women, myself included, feel as though makeup wipes tug at facial skin, leaving it dry, burned, irritated, or even just unclean, and how expensive & wasteful this routine was. Every girl I know has face wipe, eye makeup remover, face wash, and moisturizer in her drawer for the off chance she may one day take her makeup off after a drunk night out (still not me, smh). However, olive oil could successfully complete all of the expected tasks of each of these products, and at a cheaper price tag and quicker routine time.

Sign me up.

I first started using extra virgin olive oil about 8 months ago, as winter was about to begin. I have always struggled with dry spots that turn acne ridden due to the weather and my naturally oily skin attempting to overcompensate for the changes in humidity out here. This past winter, I decided to try olive oil as a means to avoid the seasonal breakouts from the dryness and combat my oily skin from producing more oil (old tip – stripping oil from your skin only tells your skin to produce more oil – instead, focus on moisturizing your skin so it doesn’t have to produce those pore-clogging oils we all hate seeing in group pics after a day wine tasting with the girls). Additionally, as a habitual sleep-with-my-makeup-on-er, I wanted an easy and quick all in one step to help my drunk and sober (lbh, when is this?) self to take makeup off and take care of my skin at least 2% more than recent events. I went to my favorite grocery store, walked down the organic aisle, grabbed an unnecessarily large bottle of EVOO, and began my routine.

First things first – to successfully use EVOO in your skincare routine, you also need cotton balls and/or QTips. When I first began, I poured the olive oil in my hand and rubbed it on my face before bed. This left me ULTRA moisturized (we’re talking upper lip olive oil sweat at 3am) and with all my makeup on still, as all I had successfully done was spread it across my face and neck. The best technique for me has been a cotton ball lightly covered in olive oil and then soaked with hot water. The hot water helps cut the oiliness so you aren’t sitting around waiting for a bowl of pasta to land on your face, but doesn’t stop the oil from doing the moisturizing magic it’s here for. Plus, the cotton ball helps to remove the makeup from your face rather than take your mascara to your neck for a trendy new look.

Initially, the smell was strange to me, but I was able to overcome this. I now look forward to the smell because my fat ass loves olive oil and it satisfies some deep fat girl cravings within me. My routine currently and for the last 8 months consists of at least once, ideally twice a day EVOO cleansing of my skin.

Now, if you’re an overachiever, which I can assume you know I am not, you would want your routine to look like this:

1. Lightly douse cotton ball with massive and heavy bottle of EVOO

2. Soak cotton ball in HOT (not cold, it doesn’t cut the oiliness) water and squeeze out excess

3. Use cotton ball to remove makeup from face/neck/eyes (THE best waterproof makeup remover ever ever ever). Use multiple cotton balls if a cake face or you deem necessary

4. Wash face with cleanser and something exfoliating (like a Clarisonic or similar)

5. Tone face with a light toner like Kate Somerville

6. Repeat 1&2 and use cotton ball to moisturize face in circular motions, moving upwards as to avoid the effects of gravity and postpone the all-inevitable wrinkle

7. Top with a topical ointment or oil (more on this later, when I’ve tested my new ointment for a few more weeks)

8. Go to bed satisfied

If you’re lazy like me, you do 1-3 and call it good. You’re welcome, face, that I even took the makeup off.

As an oily-skinned girl, this has resulted in a huge change in the quality and texture of my skin. I now have maybe 1 breakout/pimple every month, usually hormonal, and have minor blackheads/white heads since this change. Sure, my skin isn’t baby-soft, but I’m also doing the bare minimum and I am still pleased with the results. As a formerly acne-ridden high schooler, leaving the house with no makeup on is a huge win.

I would recommend anyone with dry or oily skin try this routine for at least one month. You may feel excessively oily at times – if so, take a hot, wet cotton ball (no oil) and go over your face one more time. This will help pick up any oily residue you may have left. But don’t be afraid to use natural oils to treat your skin. Olive oil is non-comedogenic and will not clog your pores, so the only thing you have to really lose is your silk pillowcase (recommend you ditch that if you’re using olive oil at night). I have loved olive oil as skincare, makeup remover, and moisturizer for over 8 months now and will not go back. I am now doing this routine year-round, and loving it. Plus – I’m still using the same bottle I originally bought, rather than purchasing 8+ 30-day packs of makeup wipes that neither remove makeup nor moisturize.

Try it, let me know your thoughts. Worst case scenario, you now have nice, organic EVOO to cook your pasta. You’re welcome.

no, that’s just my facial massager

for the last three weeks, every weekday, i have been engaging in *facial massage*.

i’m sure by now you’ve heard of this, unless you live under a rock or actually listen to things of importance instead of podcasts about your skin. but if you haven’t, i’m here to give you the scoop & my version of the perfect facial massage.

i first learned about facial massage from The Skinny Confidential, a blog and podcast i’m disgustingly obsessed with. author and podcaster lauryn evarts mentions ‘lymphatic drainage‘ like ten times every episode, so i dug a little deeper to learn what she was talking about.

little had i known, your face actually holds a lot of fluids that are a part of your lymphatic system. this system helps drain toxins from your body, but can often become stagnant because they have nothing keeping them flowing. typically, the lymphatic system flows due to exercise and massage – hence, facial massage.

lymphatic massage for your face does wonders. it reduces puffiness, dark circles, and helps show off the contouredness of your cheeks and jawline (sorry kim k, guess i don’t need your contour kit after all). while you can get one professionally done by your esthetician, which i’m sure is the superior method, us budget-gals gotta diy that shit.

first, buy a little vibrating massager FOR YOUR FACE on amazon. yes it’s weird but just do it. i bought this one for a couple bucks and it came in like two days. i love the bar because i feel like it delivers a more focused massage.

next, wash & oil your face. i’ll be writing a blog post on this soon too, but oil is so so so great for your skin, even (& especially!) if you’re already oily.

now, you can be an overachiever like me and do this massage in the car while you’re driving to work listening to podcasts, or you could wake up early enough like a proper adult to do this before putting on your makeup not at your desk.

i always start at my forehead – go from the center of your head to the end of the eyebrow in one direction 15-20 times. this is draining the fluid from your forehead to your temples. i like to do one side and then the other, but i don’t think it really matters. work the whole forehead from hairline to brow bone.

next i do my eyes. this is the part where i spend a lot of time, because i tend to have pretty puffy under eyes from the loads of salt i consume on a daily basis (working on that). i start at the nose and glide over the puffiness to my temple and repeat another 15-20 times. then i move a little lower and repeat over the cheek.

by now, i’m feeling like there’s a frog in my throat from all the fluid that’s getting moved around – but that’s okay! just means it’s working and fluid is being drained from the face.

next i do from my mouth to my ear 15-20 times, and along my chin to my ear another 15-20. always do this massage as if your face is in half, rather than going from one ear to the other. always start in the center and work out.

lastly, i drain whatever is left. starting at the temple, i move down past my ear and down my neck. this helps drain from the neck too so i don’t look like some roided out 90s athlete. once i’ve done that 15-20 times, i go from the jawline to the collarbone in straight lines.

et voila! a beautiful, contoured face pre-makeup. this has become a staple in my day-to-day beauty routine and i feel tighter and less puffy. long term benefits also include reduction of wrinkles and fine lines, which i’m already hyper aware of at 24 (and you should be too!)

give facial massage a try by using your fingers first if you want, before moving to a tool! let me know your thoughts & if you love the benefits. also let me know how you do yours! focused me-time? passive multi-tasking? either way, enjoy!

my skincare ritual

those who know me know this is huge – i have a skincare routine. i know, it’s wild. the way a parent feels when they see their baby walk for the first time is nothing compared to the joy this brings my friends.

summary for lazy readers: never did skincare, now i do, wash your face, use exfoliators, toss in a toner, oil is good for you, sunscreen is crucial, don’t get crepey, clean your pillowcases, sicko 

as a long-time makeup wearer, acne sufferer, and skincare novice, i recently decided to fix my skin both inside (read more on my new keto diet here) and out. acne just is so 2007 (if you’ve seen the short hair pic, you know) and at the ripe age of 24, i figured i better start now.

usually for me, skincare after a night out (or frankly even just a regular day) consisted of: go to sleep. no makeup wipes. no washing. no eye makeup remover. gross. then i would sleep on the same damn pillow case i slept on the night before in my nasty makeup, wake up in the morning, MAYBE rinse my face in the shower and apply makeup, again. rinse and repeat.

this left me with “fine” skin – i’ve never been the girl with small pores or an even skintone, and i’ve always had closed comedones (those fugly little white bumps that just never go away). finally i have been fed up and decided to start being better about my face.

now, i wake up in the morning and wash my face with Dr. Dennis Gross’s Alpha Beta Peel wash, just using warm water and my hands. i pat dry, put on a few drops of Josie Maran Light Argan Oil and Sunday Riley UFO Oil and rub it in before applying my makeup. in the evenings, i come home and take off my makeup with a generic wipe. i’m not picky about this because to me, they’re all the same. i wash my face with my Murad anti-acne cleanser and my Clarisonic Mia, and pat dry. every other night i then exfoliate with Boscia’s super weird but super effective gel exfoliator, and rinse off with a towel (that shit gets all in my peach fuzz so i need a little washcloth assistance). pat dry, tone with Kate Sommerville Toner, finish with a few drops of Josie Maran & Sunday Riley again, and i’m good to go to bed. this sounds time consuming, but i swear it isn’t. maybe 5 minutes MAX if i’m being a suuuuper slow poke about it. there’s no excuse, just do it. i don’t care if you’re drunk or at your man’s house, he’ll be grateful in the long run too. already in just 2 weeks of mostly consistent focus on this routine, i’ve cleared up a ton of those closed commedones. lots of people have commented on my skin actually, which is a fun feeling.

*quick note – if you’re reading this and you’re like ‘whoa that’s a lot of fucking oil you pschopath’ then you know nothing, jane doe (slight GOT reference there). oily skin ESPECIALLY needs oil – your skin produces oil because it isn’t getting enough! then the oil your skin makes turns into your acne. if you provide your skin with the oil it craves, it doesn’t have to produce the gross stuff that makes you breakout. oil yourself, you’ll thank me later*

one of the most CRUCIAL parts of my new skincare routine has been sunscreen. i have never been a sunscreen wearer. everrrrrr. for the longest time i would bed tan, spray tan, suntan, anything to get a solid glow. if you’ve never cocktailed your tan before, you’re missing out. BUT i’ve changed. new me.

you see, i realized that wrinkles are not cool. and as a person who is blessed with oily skin, i know i have less likelihood of getting major, deep wrinkles, but i want to look young forever i’ve decided, and the sun doesn’t help much with that. i would rather be 80 with tight baby’s butt skin and a crap load of bronzer on than 50 with crepey, drapey skin. not sexy.

my biggest tip when it comes to sunscreen is do the places you don’t think of doing. when you see an old lady, you know she’s old by a few things. sure, her hair is thinning and her wardrobe is less than contemporary, but if you truly look at her, it’s often the quality of a woman’s skin that leaves us thinking she’s older than she is. think sun spots and thin skin. this isn’t just on her face either, its her neck, chest, and hands. those are my number 1 sunscreen spots now, because they are the most sun-seen and the quickest to show your age. anti aging is all about preventative measures, so why not start now.

i am currently using the Peter Thomas Roth powder sunscreen because it goes over my makeup or on my chest, neck, or hands without ANY residue. it’s easy to pack so i can reapply throughout the day and always have with me. a necessity for anyone who hates regular sunscreen as much as i do.

my last tip is wash your damn pillowcases, you nasty. okay, yes, i’m guilty too, but we all have to be better about this. it’s funny because even since starting this new regimen, one side of my face is wayyyyy smoother than the other – the other being the side i most often sleep on.

if you think about how nasty a pillowcase is, you might be inclined to follow my advice. first, your dirty skin is sleeping on it all night long. ‘oh but i just washed and exfoliated and toned, my skin isn’t dirty’. listen karen, you’re an idiot and your skin is still dirty. it’s skin, and you don’t live in a creepy sterile lab. i hope. sure, you’re better off than you were before but in two seconds you’re gonna touch your face again with your damn hands and lord knows where those have been. so imagine your dirty nasty face, and your dirty nasty hands all up against that pillowcase all night long, just having a bacteria party. then throw in your hair – greasy, freshly clean, wet, dry, i don’t care, that stuff is getting all over your pillowcase and helping to plan your demise. you can wash your face all day long but if you keep spending 8+ hours a night on a dirty pillowcase, you’ll see limited results.

i’m not saying to change your pillowcase every night because hello we all have lives and we aren’t serial killers with a million pillowcases. but it could be good to have either cycling pillows (meaning one night you sleep on one, then a different one the next, yada yada yada until you’ve run out of pillows) or change your pillowcase out every few days. if you’re like me, washing your sheets doesn’t happen nearly as often as you pretend it does, so just keep a nice little pile of pillowcases for your lazy i-dont-wanna-strip-the-bed days and keep your skin bright and shiny.

you’ll thank me later. or you can do it now. you’re welcome.