The BATHROOM COUNTER GLOWJOB interview series features submissions from regular people and how their beauty routines fit into their daily lives. If you’d like to be featured in this series, please contact me!
“My name is Erika! I’m originally from Indonesia, but I’m a senior at UC San Diego studying business. One of my hobbies is scuba diving. I often go on sailing dives and go diving three times a day for one week, and that is really brutal for my skin.
I guess I started my skincare routine when I was 18. I went to Madagascar, and I stayed on this island for one month doing conservation work, which also involves diving. I would often forget to reapply sunscreen on my face, and I didn’t realize it at the time because I didn’t get sunburned. I only realized how badly it affected my face after I got back to the U.S. and after not being in the sun as much, all the acne and sun spots started to appear. So I started my skincare routine using products recommended to me by my doctor, like facewash, moisturizer, a new sunscreen that fits my skin type, and a spot treatment.
After about a year, this routine works. Progress was slow, but it got me my clear skin again, with still a few dark spots from the sun. And then recently, I was sailing and diving three times a day for one week, and even though I reapplied sunscreen after every dive, the sun exposure I got was too much — the sun, and the reflection from the water, and the salt water on my face was not a good combination! As a result of that, I got severely sunburned on my face. This was almost five weeks ago, and it still hurts.
Initially, like 80 percent of my face was inflamed and red. I put on moisturizer twice a day, and OH GOD it hurt like hell. I also put on aloe vera maybe four times a day for five minutes. After about two weeks, my face is no longer inflamed, but it’s still red. The healing process of burnt skin takes a while, especially on your face.
By the third week, I started to get really dry — even on my eyelids! — which was a pain. But at least now I can moisturize a lot and my face isn’t inflamed; for the redness, I cover it up with makeup. Now, my face is not as dry, with only a couple dry spots around my mouth, I’m not inflamed, and I’m not as red. There is absolutely nothing more I can do besides wait it out.
I guess the point is: USE SUNSCREEN A LOT. The sun is the most dangerous thing for your skin. Only now I understand why my mom yelled at me so much to stay out of the sun. Wear hats, sunglasses, even a sarong on top of your head when you go to the beach. Hell, I wore a hat, a sarong over my head and a freaking umbrella, and I still got sunburned. Just be careful, I guess. Really take care of your skin.
I use all French pharmacy products. Morning and night, I use the Bioderma Sébium foaming gel as my cleanser and the La Roche-Posay Effaclar H as my moisturizer. In the morning I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ (the anti-shine formula) for my sunscreen [ed. note: this product is not available in the U.S., but the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 60 is very similar]. At night I use the [prescription] Epiduo gel with benzoyl peroxide as a spot treatment if I have any big pimples. This is a harsh treatment, and it’s designed to dry out the skin around your acne so it heals faster. You may want to put more moisturizer around that area in the morning.
Once or twice a week at night, I apply olive oil to my face for 10 minutes. You can’t use just any olive oil, you have to use extra virgin olive oil — it’s packed with antioxidants and it moisturizes your skin well. My aunt first told me that olive oil is good for your skin. I didn’t believe her at because the idea of applying cooking oil to my face seemed really strange. But after more research, I saw that it indeed works as a moisturizer for your skin, and it can heal your skin twice as fast. I decided to try it out, and my skin feels moisturized, and the dark spots appeared lighter.
Putting a lot of products can be harsh on your face, so I use little face makeup — only two products — then the rest is lips, eyebrows, and eyelashes.
After I’ve put on sunscreen on my face, I use the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Mineral compact powder in shade 13 [ed note: not available in the U.S.]. This has a really good full coverage, you really don’t need anything else. Then I apply Nyx HD Finishing Powder with a brush to minimize shine throughout the day.
For my eyebrows, I use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in granite. I definitely recommend this, I’ve been using this since I was 18. I use any kind of mascara, but right now I’m using the Clinique High Impact Lash Elevating Mascara, and then any lip balm or lipstick.
For shampoo, I use the OGX Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo to hydrate and repair my hair and also so it has a silky feel. I also use the Herbal Essences Argan Oil of Morocco conditioner to repair my hair. I apply the OGX Renewing Argan Oil Of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil to damp hair.
I love products with Moroccan argan oil! Ever since I tried it, I do not want to try anything else. My hair just feels silky smooth all the time, and it’s easy to maintain. It’s not tangled as much, and I don’t lose as many strands of hair as I used to. I love OGX for the shampoo and Herbal Essences for the conditioner. It’s just my preference. Even if you don’t use the dry oil, your hair would still feel so silky smooth. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from people on how smooth and healthy my hair looks.
—as told to Nathalie
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