While I love my Kroger brand Fake Oil Of Olay, I don’t have a really strong opinion about what brand you should use. Just promise me the following:
1. You will use something that is oil-free.
2. You will use moisturizer even if you’re greasy. (You need it because of #3.)
3. You will use a moisturizer with an SPF. For the love of God, use something with an SPF. This is quite possibly the only thing more important than exfoliation. (Did I just say that? WHO AM I?!)
4. You will give some thought to a body lotion with an SPF. My hand to God, Lubriderm’s SPF 15 body lotion will not make you feel all gross and oily.
If you get a little peely in the winter, go ahead and get a heavier, non-SPF moisturizer for night. I like Night of Olay, which comes in a little jar that you can later use to store your earplugs so the cats won’t run off with them. Everybody has that problem, right?
While we’re on the topic, if you get peely spots under your eyes, you might want to try Garnier’s Anti-Puff Eye Roller. I question whether it will make your eyes less puffy (and I have yet to meet a product that helps with under eye circles), but it will give you a little moisture so you’ll stop having flakes in your concealer. Also, did I mention exfoliation 100 times yet?
Pretty much all of the zit creams in the grocery are the same. 10% benzoyl peroxide abounds. Neutrogena’s On the Spot treatment is a bit gentler and good if you have serious acne or abnormally badass dry patches, but for everyday upkeep, “whatever’s on sale” will work for most of us. For the record, I tried ProActiv back in the day and didn’t find that it was any better or worse than my usual arsenal of Neutrogena products.
A word of warning:
Most zit creams are based on benzoyl peroxide. What this means is that you stand a very good chance of bleaching your pillow cases/blankets/etc. if you put your face on them after applying the stuff. I even had it make a bleached spot on my tank top at the gym because I blotted my face sweat. At the very least, buy a couple of white pillow cases so you don’t mess up other people’s stuff when you spend the night or learn to sleep with a hand towel covering your pillow.
As with moisturizers, I don’t have any strong opinions about makeup, except that whatever you get should be oil free and preferably contain sunscreen. I like Cover Girl True Match, but that’s mainly because it’s one of the few makeups that comes in my shade: “Super Pasty White Girl Who Wears Lots of Sunblock.”
Don’t touch your face.
OK, look. I know you really, really want to pick at that zit. It’s taunting you. It hurts. But keep your freakin hands off it of it. Picking at zits can cause bruising that’s often worse than the zit was in the first place, and it can even push the contents of the zit down further into the skin, which can cause permanent scarring a la Edward James Olmos. Instead, before you go to bed (and after washing your hands really, really well) put a dab of zit cream right on the zit, let dry, and then go to bed. If you have an old zit that’s in the “dry and peeling off” stage, a little Neosporin will help it along. Just be careful and spot-treat: Neosporin has oil in it, so you don’t want that all over the place.
Don’t let anybody else touch your face.
Finger pads (all finger pads everywhere, all the time, no matter how clean you are) are ridgy little bastards that collect dirt and oil. To add insult to injury, you touch EVERYTHING with said ridgy little bastards. So, don’t let them near your face. I only touch my own face right after a shower and make a conscious effort to not touch anything else (phone, tv remote, computer mouse) with my right hand until I’m done touching my face. So, explain this to your significant other and point out that everybody’s hands are filthy, not just theirs, and then tell them to never, ever touch your face. If they forget and do it anyway, feel free to emit a high-pitched squeal. I hate to be the only one doing it.
“Does greasy food mess up skin?”
No. Food grease and face grease have no correlation.
“Will birth control fix my skin? Make it worse?”
This appears to vary for everybody.
“Do I really need to use moisturizer with SPF? I barely go outside.”
Yes. Even if you work in an underground bunker, the amount of sun you’ll get driving to said bunker is enough to cause sun damage.