Try This Triple Moisture Layering Method for Dewy Winter Skin

Often on IG I’m asked about my skincare routine. Initially I was like, I don’t have great skin - I have plenty of breakouts, am currently nursing some scarring away, and am in the fight DAILY to keep blackheads, bumps, and wrinkles/creasing at bay. Hello 30’s!? While my skin is certainly not without its issues, overall, I think I made out pretty well in the skin arena not because my skin is clear all the time, but because of its ability to bounce back from the various breakouts and scarring it’s experienced over the years. I’ve had some gnarly breakouts, y’all. Like nickel-sized mounds of acne (a bump, inside of a bump, inside of another bump…ugh) that when I popped it, left large holes in my face and took FOREVER to heal. Birth control turned my skin into a human pizza pie in my teens and early 20’s, and I have had really dark scarring to heal because I couldn’t stop picking and popping. I know, so gross - sorry y’all but look, my point is that I’ve had my share of scary skin. That may seem hard to believe, but listen, IG and Snapchat filters have been a gift to us ALL, ok!?

Let me tell you a bit about my skin, specifically the skin on my face - it’s combination. While I wouldn’t say any parts of it are oily, some parts are more moisturized, like the top of my forehead, the apples of my cheeks, and the dead ass center of my chin . Everywhere else, especially under my cheek bones, the area around my mouth and along my jawline, are more dry. I breakout mostly in these drier areas.

I was using moisturizer daily and I was wondering why I was still having these breakouts. Although I was moisturizing morning and night and sometimes a time or two throughout the day, my skin would feel slightly dry (but wouldn’t be flaking or peeling for more noticeable dryness), and irritated. The benzoyl peroxide was helping and I’d been breaking out far worse without using it, so I felt like that couldn’t be the culprit alone. It came to me to up the moisture, however, I knew I couldn’t use any heavy creams or butters because I’d failed with that, so I started looking for a way to get the moisture I needed without buildup and heaviness.

After quite a bit of experimenting I created a method that’s been working for me. It was inspired by the natural hair moisturizing methods where women will seal the hair with different moisturizing agents to achieve high levels of moisture for the hair. (For example, the LOC method). I was like, ok, can I do this for the skin though? I narrowed down my product list and call my method The Moisture Method for skin. The key for me to get maximum moisture in my skin has been through the application of buildable light moisturizing layers.

The Moisture Method

I came up The Moisture Method after analyzing my skin over the years and started to think that most of my breakouts were due to dryness in comparison to oiliness, being dirty, or hormones. The thing about dryness is that you can think your skin is hydrated, much like with your body, but it’s not. Here are some key things that I had to consider to hydrate my skin:

  1. Diet - but that’s a whole different post. In particular, coffee tears me up and eating plenty of greens gets me glowing.

  2. Moisturizer type - my skin tends to absorb oils, lotions, creams, and gels over butters, even in colder seasons.

  3. Moisture layering -building thin layers of moisture on top of one another and giving each layer time to soak into the skin before applying the next layer.

 African Black Soap not pictured.

African Black Soap not pictured.

Morning

For my morning routine, I begin by cleansing with my African Black Soap. The week before my period, I will sometimes leave the soap on my face to deep cleanse to help prevent any pre-period breakouts. I like this soap because it’s 100% natural in ingredients and WORKS.

Next, I tone with my DIY moisturizing mist. This mist contains vetiver essential oil to help heal scars as well as witch hazel to help combat breakouts. Lastly, I added vegetable glycerine to help give the skin a very light layer of moisturization. I tell you how to make it in this blog post.

Next, I prep my skin with another thin layer of moisture, either jojoba oil, or my Tree Naturals. Jojoba mimics the skins natural sebum and is light and absorbs easily into my skin. I like the TN oil because she steeps it in herbs like chamomile and adds tea tree oil to help sooth inflammation and kill bacteria. I mix about 5 - 6 drops with a little water in my hands and smooth over my face. Then I give it about 2 -3 minutes to sink in. I find that doing this step BEFORE using and acne treatment products helps a LOT with my skin dryness.

Next, I put about a quarter sized amount of the benzoyl peroxide all over my face. I did have to work up to using this twice per day to give my skin the proper amount of time to adjust. There are instructions on the acne.org site on how to use the product as well. 2.5% is a lower concentration that studies have shown gives the same result as higher concentrated products without as much irritation and dryness. Even still, it was drying me out so the previous step is a must before I apply this. I give my skin about 5 minutes to absorb the BP.

Now, I add a thin layer of my gel-cream to rehydrate after using the BP. I love using a gel product at this step because it’s light, absorbs well, and gives the right layer of moisture to my skin after the BP. I let absorb about 2 minutes before moving on to the next step.

Then, for the day time and because I use a glycol acid a few times a week, I use a moisturizing SPF with about 5 drops of oil. I mix this in my hands, then apply gently all over my face.

Lastly, I’ll mist my face with a couple of sprays of my DIY mist to seal everything in and honestly, it just feels good.

Night


For nighttime, my routine is the same except I will do the following:

After cleansing, I’ll mask. I follow the instructions on the product and rinse clean after about 20 minutes for either mask. I use the enzyme mask on days I don’t use AHA. I’ll use the chamomile mask more around my cycle time as it’s a great spot treatment and great at presenting breakouts.

For my moisturizer, I use a mix of 1 part AHA+ (alpha hydroxy acid) and 1 part of the acne.org moisturizer (jojoba oil based) about 3x/wk. I mix this and put it in a container, so I’m not mixing parts together each time. The AHA+ helps with cell turnover which helps with dryness, promotes clear skin, and helps to even out the skin tone. On nights I’m not using the AHA Moisturizer, I use the Olay with 5 drops of jojoba oil I use in the daytime.

Results

2016 - this year I was using all natural everything and I had some of the worst skin (but far from thee worst skin) I’d had in a long time. I was using products like shea butter and coconut oil, and was doing the oil cleansing method.

2017 - last year I saw some improvement in my skin as I started to incorporate a blend of natural and non-natural products in my skin, benzoyl peroxide being one of them.

2018 - this last year, I really started paying attention to my skin more and started to troubleshoot what could be wrong and started focusing more on the method, then I got into the products, and this is the routine that’s come from that thus far. I’m happy with my results, however, my goal is to be able to have a fully natural routine that keeps my skin this balanced or even better. I’ll keep updating this post as I make changes and make new discoveries.


What Are Some Ways You Keep Your Skin Hydrated + Breakout Free in the Colder Months? Share in the Comments!


Shera Lee