Saturday, March 12, 2016

My Skin Care Routine + Story

This post is LONG overdue and I have had a lot of people ask about my skin care routine, so I thought I would share my routine with everyone + my skin story:

I had always had very nice skin just like my parents, but occasionally I would break out on my forehead when I was stressed out.
I graduated high school in 2007 and during that summer I was preparing to go to college at Weber State University in Ogden, UT.
Besides stressing out about that big life change, I also was stressed out because I was going to be one of WSU's cross country/track athletes.
I was running, cross training, packing and going crazy with everything going on!
Long story short, I was breaking out on my forehead. Again, the only area I EVER broke out at.

Before I made the big move to Utah, my mom had set up my very first GYN appointment for a pap.
While I was at the appointment the midwife asked if I wanted to take birth control to clear up the breakout I had on my forehead.
I was naive and I said, "Uh, sure." 

That was a big mistake.
A month later and after my move to go to school, I started to break out more and this time it was showing up on my cheeks!
I even noticed a 10 pound weight gain even while working out/running more vigorously.
And, no, it was not muscle mass.
As the next couple months went on the acne became cystic acne and I was so depressed.
But, again being naive, I didn't realize it was from the birth control pills.

After hiding my face in makeup and literally running from the bathroom to my dorm room to prevent anyone from seeing my makeup free face, I went to a dermatologist.
They put me on accutane, and I finally stopped the birth control after realizing that it was the issue.

After a very long and painful 6 months of accutane, my acne cleared up and I had minimal scarring.
I was SO happy to be able to go without makeup and not cry whenever I saw my face!
And all of the awful side effects eventually went away.
I was free!

Then in the summer of 2012 I was planning my August wedding.
I went back to the GYN and told them I needed some type of birth control, but explained my side effects from the first time I had been on it.
"Oh, okay, well we can put you on a low-dose hormone birth control!"

That was the second mistake.
I broke out AGAIN. 
Like, on my wedding day I started to notice a few spots!
Luckily, you can't really tell in my pictures...
Although not as horrific as the first time, this round of acne was still bad and after it cleared up it left deeper, more noticeable scars on my cheeks.
{Go HERE to see how I cleared up my cystic acne.}
Yes, it's still embarrassing, but I own my scars and put on a smile!
And, in a way, it has brought me to where I am today: helping people transform their lives.
It's the scars that make us stronger and better people, if we allow it.

My skincare routine:

I was lucky enough to meet a fabulous esthetician in NYC.
Since she was a teenager, she has been putting food on her face and other natural concoctions to find what makes skin beautiful!
Her knowledge and expertise is incredible.
She has helped so many people, including ME!

Her name is Cecilia Wong, founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare.
If you are ever in NYC you have to stop by to get one of her oxygen facials! 
They are incredible and make your skin glow!
I have been using her skincare products for 3 years now, ever since I had that second bout of acne.
It really keeps my skin clear, smooth and glowing!
Below is my daily and nightly routine in order from left to right...

First, I wash my face with Cecilia's Vitamin C Cleanser.
Only a one small pump will do the trick {about the size of a dime}.
Lather with water and gently massage your face.
Your face will feel squeaky clean afterwards!
Be sure to pat dry and not rub.

 Secondly, I use the Chamomile Toner Mist while my face is still damp.
This locks in the moisture!
Spritz it all over your face {about 3-4 times}.
This toner fights off bacteria and keeps your skin clean.
I keep a bottle in my purse and spritz on my face a couple times a day, especially during the humid summers, to keep my face clean!

Okay, next is by far my favorite Cecilia Wong product.
The Black Currant Serum.
Just one small pump again into your palm and massage into your whole face!
Again, I put this on while my face is still kind of damp {from the toner} to lock in everything.
This is like Cecilia's number one amazing product that everyone love's! There is just something magical about black currant that keeps your skin young and healthy!
It's very light on your face {like all the other products} and soaks in nicely.

Lastly, I lock everything in with the Face Moisturizer.
I use sensitive during the dry, winter months and oily during the humid, summer months.
This is also very light and I just lightly dab one finger into the jar and that's all I use to lather on!

Not pictured, but once a week I use Cecilia's Blemish Peel Mask.
I either dab it onto a blemish and let it sit overnight {it's usually gone or gone down by the next day!}
or I do a facemark using about a quarter size of this product.
I rub all over my face and let sit for 20min and then wash off well.
{Followed by my daily/nightly skincare routine.}
Sometimes, I will let it sit on my face overnight and then do my daily skincare routine in the morning.
My face is always glowing the next day!
Just to let you know, it WILL tingle and get red because it's like a chemical peel.

Lastly, when my skin gets dry in the winter, I use coconut oil as a moisturizer which does wonders!

If you would like to try these products, use code "briana" for 10% off of your purchase at or click the image on the side of my blog :)