Step 3: Treatments and Serums

Disclaimer: I am obviously not a professional in this field. All of these opinions are my own. I encourage you to do you own research. Thank you!

Treatments and serums is a tough subject. Why? Because, there are endless options. All of these options can be extremely overwhelming so I think it’s important to keep it simple and pick one area that you want to work on. Hydration? Acne? Anti-Aging? It all depends on you and you want to make sure your skin is healthy before applying any harsh treatments or serums.

When I first started, I was so excited to use acne treatments and serums meant to brighten and reduce scars. I ended up over exfoliating, irritating my skin, and leaving it compromised which led to more of the problems I was trying so hard to get rid of.

I kept hearing people say “less is more” but I didn’t think that applied to me. I thought my skin was tough because I had done so much to it and it didn’t fall off. Turns out my skin was begging for a break.

When I started getting microneedling treatments, I had to eliminate all harsh ingredients and keep it very simple. I basically had to treat my skin like it was super delicate, because it actually was. So, I ditched my Retinol (Vitamin A) and my Vitamin C serum and any exfoliating products and opted for Krave Beauty’s Great Barrier Relief. This serum is my ULTIMATE favorite and the one I went to for months and continue to go back to if I feel like my skin just needs a little extra love.

After my treatments finished and a couple months went by. I thought my skin was ready for something more intense. I was wrong. I didn’t realize how sensitive my skin was. I feared that If I didn’t use these more intense treatments and serums that my skin would suffer. I thought the simple-less-is-more routine wasn’t going to be enough for me. I was wrong again.

I had to find a way to keep my skin barrier healthy, avoid acne, reduce redness, and excess sebum (oil) production. I had no idea where to turn.

Luckily, The Inkey List which is one of my favorite brands, released a new acne treatment! This product has been my skin’s savior. It’s called the Succinic Acid Blemish Treatment. That was super helpful for my acne until I was ready for the next step and now I’m using the Biossance Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum and Biossance Squalane + 10% Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum. So far, my skin is reacting really well and I’m thankful I gave it the time it needed to repair itself so these Biosssance products can have the best conditions to flourish in.

You’re probably thinking, but how do I find the best treatment or serum for me? The answer that I was told but didn’t want to hear is to keep it simple, try one product at a time, and be patient until your skin tells you what it likes. Yes, I know that can suck but it’s worth it.

Here are some videos to help you find good brands and products to start with:

Minimalism: Where It Started For Me

When I sat down to write this post, I asked myself where did minimalism start for me?

It’s been around for a while but the true answer is that it was hiding between the lines of the messages sent between my therapist and myself back at the beginning of the pandemic. While we never talked about minimalism, my therapist was helping me recognize why I wasn’t as happy as I could be and what I needed to do to change that. The answer was gaining control of my own life. Money, expectations, drama, and ego were taking over my life and I felt like I was falling with no parachute.

I was suffering from being a β€œnormal”: I was impulse buying, following trends, believing advertisements when they said I had to have something. I was letting others tell me what I needed to do with my time and money and I didn’t realize I was being manipulated and used.

I started to declutter items; mainly clothes. I was selling tons of clothes on the selling app Mercari which was really cool because I was making money at the same time and that was motivating. I stumbled upon a couple youtubers: A Small Wardrobe and Ashlynne Eaton. I have no idea how I ended up on their channels but now I look forward to every video they release and they keep me accountable and bring a smile to my face. I also found the podcast Frugal Friends with Jen and Jill. These two literally changed my life. Lastly, I watched a documentary on Netflix called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. (Netflix just released another amazing documentary called The Minimalists Less Is Now. Highly recommend.) I don’t know which came first but it feels like all of these came to me at the same time and I was overwhelmed but in a good way and I was excited. I finally felt some control.

I never sat down and said I want to be a minimalist! I still don’t feel like a “minimalist” and I have a hard time saying I am one because of the negative connotations behind the term.

I don’t exactly know what I want to share yet. Part of me wishes I took pictures of just how much stuff I got rid of but unfortunately I didn’t do that. I think I just want to shed some light on how I got to where I am and the processes that got me here and also share where I’m going. I’ve started to journal some of the more harder topics that have come to me through minimalism and I’d love to share those thoughts.

To me, Minimalism is a continuous journey. It’s about finding what makes me happy and making space for it. When something no longer makes me happy, I need to be able to appreciate what happiness it did bring me and let it go. It’s about holding myself accountable. It’s about breaking habits and digging deeper than I ever thought I could.

I see Minimalism growing in 2021 and I’m just thankful that I can share my experiences.

Books I Read In 2020

Thankfully, at the end of the year, my love for reading was rekindled. Here are the books I read at the end of 2020.

Making the Love You Want By: Mike Johnson

The Song of Achilles By: Madeline Miller

Steal This Books By: Abbie Hoffman

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue By: V.E. Schwab

They Don’t Need to Understand By: Andy Biersack

An Update: Decluttering and 2021

As we all know, 2020 was tough. I took a step back from this project to reflect and make some changes in my life. Now, I’m working on happily adding this blog back in to my life.

I wanted to share some positives changes and experiences that came out of 2020 and what I’m looking forward to in 2021.

In 2020, I committed to micro needling treatments for my acne and scars. This was a huge leap for me and I’m excited to share the results. However, the largest change I made though was discovering minimalism. I decluttered a huge chunk of what I owned and I’m still in a constant state of decluttering. This allowed me to made room for objects that actually make me happy. It also allowed me to make mental room so I can work on myself more. Decluttering was the biggest part of my year and it also led me back to my love for reading physical books.

In 2021, I plan on writing posts on skincare, minimalism and decluttering, and books.

Some of my goals include reading 1 book a month, curating my closet, and starting this blog back up! I can’t wait to share it all.

Top 10 Skincare Accounts to Follow

  1. Skincare by Hyram
  2. LA Beautyologist/The Golden RX
  3. Susan Yara/Mixed Makeup
  4. Beauty Within/Rowena and Felicia
  5. Dr. Dray/Andrea Suarez
  6. Casandra Bankson
  7. James Welsh
  8. Dr. Vanita Rattan
  9. Liah Yoo
  10. The Style and Beauty Doctor

Above are the people who have changed my skin and who continue to teach me everyday. These are in no particular order. I love them all equally and they all offer something different. Enjoy!

1. Skincare by Hyram. He got super popular on TikTok recently so you might already know who this is! Hyram is a skincare specialist and what is unique about him is his ethos. He talks a lot about sustainability, fragrance-free products, and ethical companies.

https://www.youtube.com/c/Hyram

2. LA Beautyologist/The Golden RX. She was the the first person who introduced me to skincare on Youtube. She is a licensed esthetician and the creator the famous #60SecondRule.

https://www.youtube.com/c/TheGoldenRx

3. Susan Yara/Mixed Makeup. Susan Yara is the owner of the brand Naturium which is one of my favorite brands of all times! She has been in the skincare world for years. She offers a lot of great videos but she specifically has videos for skincare while pregnant.

https://www.youtube.com/c/Mixedmakeup

4. Beauty Within/Rowena and Felicia. I love these two so much, they review so many products it’s insane! They feature a lot of Koren beauty options and make the science behind skincare really fun and easy to understand.

https://www.youtube.com/c/BeautyWithin

5. Dr. Dray/Andrea Suarez. A board certified dermatologist who is REALLY honest about skincare. I enjoy her videos for the educational/science side of skincare. She teaches you how to not fall for marketing and offers practical and professional skincare information. She also doesn’t just talk about facial skincare, she talks a lot about scalp and body care as well plus a lot of medical conditions.

https://www.youtube.com/c/DrDrayzday

6. Casandra Bankson. A medical esthetician who has been on all sides of the skincare world. She suffered from really severe acne and is also a no BS skincare Youtuber similar to Dr. Dray. If you want to learn more about the science behind skincare, she’s your girl.

https://www.youtube.com/c/CassandraBankson

7. James Welsh offers a lot of fun videos and great product reviews. He always has me laughing and I appreciate his honesty and no BS approach. His podcast (The Double Cleanse Podcast) features a lot of insight into the world of skincare influencers.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPP291gN79qI1QZY1znOscg

8. Dr. Vanita Rattan. Another professional in the field who offers amazing information but more specifically makes videos for people with darker skin. There is a lack of representation and consideration for people with darker skin so I highly suggest her. See also #10

https://www.youtube.com/c/vanitarattan

9. Liah Yoo is the founder of Krave Beauty. Creator of my favorite skincare product EVER, their Great Barrier Relief Serum.

https://www.youtube.com/c/LiahYoo

10. The Style and Beauty Doctor/Danielle Gray, again another professional spreading amazing information but more importantly information for people with darker skin.

https://www.youtube.com/c/styleandbeautydoctor

5 Audio Books to Listen to Right Now!

  1. Ego is the Enemy By Ryan Holiday
  2. How to Stop Feeling Like Shit By Andrea Owen
  3. The Four Agreements By don Miguel Ruiz
  4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success By Deepak Chopra
  5. White Fragility By Robin DiAngelo

If you look up any of these books online, you’ll see incredible reviews, descriptions, and videos. I wanted to make this short so I’m just going to talk about how I found this book and why I’m recommending it.

Before we get in to it, I got all of these on Audible. Audible is the right option for me because I can pause, cancel, and renew my subscription with ease. It saves me a lot of money. The books are available immediately. Another big reason is that I don’t have time to sit and read. I’m busy like a lot of us are and having the ability to put my headphones in and listen is incredible. The last reason is that, for me, audio books are more sustainable. I do love holding and displaying the physical book and I understand anyone who wants to do that. Tip: there are lots of ways to buy used books!

#1 Ego is the Enemy By Ryan Holiday $15

This is my most recently finished book. I found this simply by searching “ego” because it’s the topic I’m currently learning about. When we see the word ego, I think a lot of us see an arrogant egomaniac and think this book isn’t for us. Ego is much more than that. I finished this book in one session and already started listening to it a second time. I wish I could properly describe the depth of what ego does in everyone’s life. So, I’ll share a few personal examples of how my ego is my enemy. My ego tells me life isn’t fair, that I deserve something, and that everyone is talking negatively about me. These thoughts hold me back from my potential and this book is helping me control my thoughts and also opening my eyes to how other people’s ego shows itself.

The one really cool thing about this book is the author explains his points through various people throughout history. Some you’ve heard of, while others you haven’t. So at the same time, I felt like I was getting a much needed history lesson.

#2 How to Stop Feeling Like Shit By Andrea Owen $15

This book is awesome. I think it just came up as a suggestion from Audible and I’m so happy it did. It came with an accompanying PDF file with journal entries for each topic. The author goes really deep into 14 habits that we do that make us feel like shit. Examples: being the strong one, isolating, people pleasing, blaming, etc. All of these habits are easily broken down and she asks really thought provoking questions that make us think, why do we do this and how can we stop? If you like to journal, this is a great one for you because of the PDF with all the prompts.

#3 The Four Agreements By don Miguel Ruiz $7

I learned about this book while I was learning about Yoga. The four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.

Those all sound great but, they can be very hard to incorporate into our life. This book will help you.

#4 The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success By Deepak Chopra $8

This is another book that I was introduced to while learning about Yoga. The Law of Vibration, Relativity, Cause and Effect, Polarity, Rhythm, Gestation, Transmutation. What the heck does that mean? This book will tell you and teach you life changing habits. I can’t describe the importance of this book either. It’s simply essential just like The Four Agreements.

#5 White Fragility By Robin DiAngelo $10-$15

This book has become really popular recently. This was the first book I listened to when I realized I had a lot of work to do surrounding being white and what that means in this world.

Every white person should read this book. Period.

Thank you everyone for reading this post! I would love to know if any of you have read these books or ended up getting them after seeing this. I’d also love to know your suggestions!

Skincare Websites You Need To Know About

What the heck do those long words on the back of your products mean? Do you know what is in your products?

Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary-the easiest way to look up an ingredient and a helpful tool for deciding what products you want to use.

https://www.paulaschoice.com/ingredient-dictionary

I. USE. THIS. ALL. THE. TIME.

Holy crap why is this product so expensive? I wonder if there is a dupe out there…

While there isn’t a dupe for everything, there are definitely dupes out there.

https://skinskoolbeauty.com/

This website helped me go from a $70+ product to a $10 product. Good skincare doesn’t have to be expensive!!