Written by Caisi Calandra
Hello! And welcome back to another lovely semester here in the (very) hot and humid Salem, Virginia. Seeing as it’s my senior year, I should be used to the heat and humidity by now . . . But, oh, it’s anything but.
My skin has been on a journey ever since I came down here freshman year. I’m originally from Massachusetts, so you can imagine the turmoil my skin went through when it was above 95% humidity for seven days a week — for multiple weeks. Most girls that I know take birth control as a form of control for hormonal acne, which is mostly what I had all throughout high school. Hormonal acne, for those who don’t know, is acne caused by a fluctuation in hormones — mostly testosterone. (Protip: if your family is against birth control, you can actually acquire some from our health services [confidentially] and/or Planned Parenthood.)
The stress of college quickly got to me, and, even though I was on birth control, I was still getting acne. (Stress affects hormones — you can see where this is going.) The one big thing girls like me need to focus on when coming down South is being privy to switching up your skincare routine. Not only can stress affect your hormones, which in turn messes with your acne, but it can also cause your skin to produce more oil (because of a rise of cortisol in your body). Seems like a lose-lose situation, right?
After three years of coming down here and having to flounder to fix my face all over again, I knew I needed something concrete. If you’re thinking about stopping birth control for personal reasons, the idea of letting go of your acne-crutch can seem daunting. Of course, expect your skin to stay normal for a few months as your body readjusts to the lack of birth control. But, while you’re waiting for the storm to it, research skincare routines that might fit the description of your skin.
If you’re oily, a skincare routine that targets excessive oils will obviously help. Most people think this only pertains to washing your face and moisturizing, but using extra face masks, which can be found for cheap on Amazon.com, can help rejuvenate your face and add extra vitamins to your skin for a more plump look.
If you’re worried about the transition from summer to fall, I got you covered. One of the main things we overlook when the seasons change is the hydration of our skin. We get so caught up in a specific moisturizer during the summer (to minimize oil) that we forget that, as soon as fall hits, we’re not moisturizing enough. So this fall, head on down to your local drugstore (or Sephora if you were in your bag this summer) and pick up a slightly thicker moisturizer. And, while this isn’t quite face-related, definitely try out a moisturizer for your body. Fall takes a while to get here, but it’s probably better sooner than later.
And just a quick reminder! Sometimes the price of skincare doesn’t matter. I know we’re getting caught up in a weird YouTube trend in which beauty gurus are flashing $300+ worth of skincare, but I’m calling BS (insert shrug emoji). Over the summer, I religiously used Rodan and Fields’ Unblemish Regimen, which costs roughly $200, and it didn’t do jack. Alternatively, I purchased some products from Clean & Clear, and my skin had never been better for the low price of $15.
Just pay attention to what’s actually in the product and give your skin the time of day it deserves!