"Why I Made Time for My Skin"

"Why I Made Time for My Skin"

The Problem

My skincare journey began around high school. I was that typical guy who used Axe body wash on my hair and face, while also wondering why I suffered from acne-prone skin. This was around the time when Proactive had just exploded onto the market, so of course, I wasted a couple hundred dollars on the Proactive three step routine, which only made the underlying issue even worse.  And it even tie-dyed a few shirts along the way because of the benzoyl peroxide.

Growing up with two older sisters, I would also use whatever products they had on their shelves in the hope that their choice in skincare would also benefit my skin and help put a stop to my acne. It wasn’t until a few years later that I went to a dermatologist who prescribed an antibiotic daily pill and clindamycin cream that helped control the breakouts.  Somewhere between swallowing pills and secretly using my sisters’ products, I still had oily/combination skin with blemishes.   I chose to see a specialist because I wasn't keen on taking a daily antibiotic for the long haul while managing my daily work life.


The Solution

I met with Dr. Renata, a facial surgeon who's spent years working on skin, from cancer to cosmetic reasons. She assured me that working with healing skin taught her one very important thing: less is better. So, I decided to give this approach a try. I stopped with the antibiotics, harsh chemicals, and products that just seemed to make things worse.


Here is where I got started:


STEP 1) Gentle foaming cleanser - Once in the morning after workouts and once before bedtime. This foaming cleanser felt great because it gets all the dirt off, leaving my skin feeling refreshed prior to putting anything else on.  One thing I noticed is that it didn’t burn, whereas all my prior cleansers stung and burned.  I used to think this meant it’s “working”.  Looking back – it did exactly what I thought:  burned my skin for the worse. 


STEP 2) Hyaluronic acid serum – OK – I admit, this step felt a bit lush.  It cost more than the average product I would normally purchase.  However, because I was trying to avoid breakouts, I was told this HA serum would get the moisture up and help calm my skin.  After a few weeks of use, I started to notice my skin wasn’t oily or dry.  It was just right.  I liked how it really absorbs nicely into my skin. 


STEP 3) Oil-free moisturizer – This was prescribed by Dr. Renata. I use the oil-free formula simply because I already have oily skin and don’t want my face to look too shiny. Also, I have tried other products in the past that contain certain types of oil and my skin seems to break out from them.  With the HA serum, this combination has served me well all year round.


About two to three months into this routine, I started to think less about my skin, and focus more on the things that mattered to me daily.  My skin looked better, so I had the confidence to meet with clients, take virtual meetings without getting out of the light, and stress less.   I started to take a few more recommendations so that I can maintain my results and get the most out of my routine.   So I felt pretty confident investing in a few specialty items to get me through the seasons and some long work nights.


SUNSCREEN - This is in all caps because it’s a MUST! I grew up surfing and thought “getting sun” was a good look.  I was convinced that my skin looked better with a tan.  However, coming out of summer, I would see my skin act up and break out once again, making the sun a temporary fix at best.  After doing my research, I now don’t leave the house without applying a mineral sunblock and, if I’m surfing, it will be triple applied.  SPF is last thing that’s applied on my face, ears, and neck after my skincare products.  I have seen some of my beach-loving friends up close over the past 5 years, and the difference in our skin quality is striking.  Needless to say, I am very happy I stopped using the sun to "cure" my skin.

Under Eye Cream – I use this after a long night out or when I’m under a lot of stress and feel that my undereye area looks puffy.  I opt for using this about 1-2 times per week during my morning routine.  It’s a rich cream so a little amount goes a long way.  Even though this was another added expense, I can see a noticeable difference in the smile lines and tiredness around my eyes.  I have to say, when I look better, I feel better - and that makes the entire process worth it for me.


If I Can, You Can

Taking care of my skin has given me more time for myself and my career. Instead of making trips to the pharmacy or the dermatologist's office, I've taken control of my skin's well-being. It didn't make sense for my skin to act up when the rest of me was healthy, and I also wanted to address sun damage from my younger days. I'm happy to report that my complexion now has a healthy glow that I hadn't seen before. In my mid-30s, I've fully embraced a simple but consistent skincare routine.  If you’re struggling in any way, I suggest finding a provider like Dr. Renata – someone who can show you the power of simple and high-quality skincare.


Thanks for reading, Mario

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