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Non-Skin care Skin Care Tips

I know I will sound a bit OCD in this post, but I wanted to share some daily habits of mine that might help you guys have better skin. And I do apologize for making this post text heavy. It's my nature :'( I like writing in a lengthy manner (so old school, LOL)

To start off, I just want to put it out there that my skin has changed since my puberty ended. Nobody in my mom or dad's family has acne or pimples and I am the only one (out of all my family and relatives) that has acne and pimple problems. It started after I hit 20, and ever since my first breakouts its been all downhill =_=

So I guess this is acquired knowledge from past mistakes or things I really didn't care about :p
I am only going to address some life style tips here and nothing directly related to putting something on or doing something directly to your skin.

1. Take a shower at night

I have oily hair and used to take showers in the morning so my hair could stay nice and fluffy through out the day. But think about how much dust and dirty stuff your hair collects while you are outside. It's like a magnet! And think of sleeping on that hair and everything in that hair.... unless you sleep on your back with your hair pulled back, that hair is going to get on your face while you tumble and toss while sleeping. And even if your hair doesn't get on you, it's on the pillow and the pillow is rubbing on you.
So what I do is, after I am done with my outings, I take a shower and don't go out anymore (shower occurs usually between 9PM - 12AM).
If you think about it, it makes complete sense to take a shower at night. You have worked or done something all day long and your body has secreted so much stuff, and your hair has so much in it - it is logical to clean all of that up before you get into bed. Fresh and clean :D
After I switched to night-showering, my acne problems (especially those around the borders of my skin and hair) have calmed down significantly.

* I know this is an off-topic issue, and I know it's cultural difference and I really don't care unless it happens to me, but one thing I never understood was people getting on their beds with their shoes on... To me, a bed is an extremely clean, holy place :p I wouldn't even go near my bed with even socks or jeans on. Anything that has had outside contact or was been in a sweaty shoe is not clean enough to go near my bed. Yet when I watch TV, so many people seem to have no problems getting on the bed with their shoes on. It's like bringing the streets on to your bed. Maybe it's just me :p and maybe it is just the city I am living in. NYC streets are really ghetto and filthy. You can see rats running around diners, garbage bags are always piled up on walkways, weird liquids are always leaking out of the bags and people step all over it.. And some people seem to have no problem getting those shoes on their beds :( But it's just cultural difference, and like I said, unless someone does that to my bed, I really don't care. I'm just throwing it out there. It's like some people thinking Asian people are dirty and weird for taking their shoes off when entering a house - everything is cultural and there's no right answer to the issue. It is just something I thought was interesting. *

2. Wash your pillow case often.

This is related to number 1, if you go to sleep with clean hair your pillow case should equally be cleaned often. Try using a natural and mild detergent (I use Seventh Generation's Ultra Concentrated Natural Baby laundry Detergent)

This will at least minimize risking your face rubbing on unclean surfaces.

If your pillow looks even remotely as dirty as this... just.. just.. throw it away...

3. Look at your shampoo label.

I wrote a post about shampoo and chemicals in it, but you should really get into a habit of checking labels especially if it is something you are either going to put on your body, or consume it.
Same with shampoo. If it is heavily loaded with cheap and harmful ingredients like SLS (or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) or questionable chemicals, might as well try to get a more natural ingredient concentrated one. I think shampoo is important because shampoo and conditionor residues could easily stay in your hair, and your hair really has a lot of contact with your face. Some may argue that they can't invest a couple more dollars into a better quality shampoo and are happy with their current shampoos, but it's like sacrificing a lipgloss for two bottles of really good shampoo. Now that doesn't sound so expensive does it? :)

4. Wash your hands often and watch what you're touching.

I wash my hands like a mad man. It's probably because I touch my face (to be specific, my acne spots) alot, and I touch a lot of other stuff too. I flip my hair a lot, I touch door knobs, I touch the elevator buttons, I touch the subway pole when the train comes to a sudden stop, I touch money, I touch a lot of things and if I don't wash my hands often, my hands are going to wander off to my face. It will be like rubbing my face on surfaces that god knows who or what touched.
I know this sounds OCD, but there's really no harm in washing your hands often. Especially if you like picking on your face like me.

5. Get enough sleep!

Whenever I have bad sleep or am super stressed out, my skin has an outbreak overkill. I try a lot of things, but the best remedy (for me, at least) is sleeping enough, or catching up with my missed sleep - aka the beauty sleep. I put aside my worries and try to force myself to sleep at least an minimum of 8 hours. Usually what happens is, after 2-3 nights of doing so, my skin starts to clear out.

6. Eat properly.

If you know it is bad for you, cut it out.
We all know junky food does us no good, except excite our taste buds for a few seconds. Snacks and coke were my closest friends in my early 20s. I would skip regular meals because I was always full with snacks and other junk food. And then I would feel extremely guilty, and try to make up the overloaded calories by skipping some meals, and then I'd get really hungry and binge on snacks again (such a vicious cycle!)

I drastically changed my diet after I met my boyfriend (which is almost 2 years ago).
I cut out meat, I eat everything organic (or at least natural), anything artificial is almost 99% cut out of my life, I don't eat out as often (eating out is fun and the food is tasty, but there's not a lot of healthy options out there), meals are all home cooked, I don't fry anything (everything is baked in the oven), no white rice, no white bread, no trans fat, no partially hydrogenated anything, and so on. And my skin has really improved.

* If you have a whole foods near you, I recommend shopping there. People have this misconception of whole foods being expensive, but if you compare it to other grocery stores, whole foods has extremely competitive prices (most of the time I find it cheaper than food emporium, morton williams or other places to shop). Whole foods is a huge chain and they always have great deals and sales so go get your fresh veggies and healthy food at whole foods :D

It's like a health nut's heaven. The products are heavily leaned towards natural, organic and eco-friendly products. The selection is wide so it's not like you get stuck with a product you are unwilling to buy.

* If you don't live in the states or don't have whole foods in your country, try to buy products that are fresh and organic.

Cutting out bad eating habits doesn't necessarily have anything to do with body mass. I do have to admit you do lose a good amount of weight if you cut out bad junky food, but it's more about getting healthy than losing weight or changing your figure.

I know some people are going to roll their eyes and think being healthy is annoying, but there's no reason to be appalled with one trying to be healthy. It's a gradual change and investment in your own life - even in the near future regarding your skin and beauty, so you should really be careful of what you consume.

When I was like 20, 21 so many people worried about my unhealthy diet. I had a huge ego thinking that I was exceptional and special, I could stuff my face with junk food and I'd be just as fine and young as I were. Oops, but no. My unhealthy diet really got at me, and if I could turn back time, I would have never done such damage to my body and health. So don't think you are okay because you are young and beautiful at the moment. Your health and body is a long term investment.

Okay, that was an insanely long post :p I feel like I wrote a testimony on here, but try to look back at your tracks through out the day. Just being aware of simple stuff and changing some daily habits could really result in a big change! (living example here :p)

This is how bad my skin got at one point.

I still have the scars left (because I was stupid enough to pick on them), but other than that, after changing some life style habits that I've listed above, I no longer have huge outbreaks like this. So even if you aren't gifted with the "perfect skin", don't give up and try to make your skin perfect in the right way :D

Take good care of yourselves :)

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  1. i can't agree with ur skincare tips more.. i change my pillow sheets very often, I try not to touch my face( esp when my hand is not clean) and stress for me is the best trigger for pimple outbreak which I hate :) I can really relate to your skincare tips :)

  2. Ooooh I SO agree with washing hair/showering at night!!!!! People always think I'm weird for not showering in the morning, but you're so DIRTY at night from being outside all day and being exposed to pollutants and who knows what else. I can't stand to put my head on my clean pillow case and sheets knowing that I haven't showered :(

    ps - love your blog and youtube videos!

  3. I also need to take shower every night and once I take a shower I don't want to go out again. Even sometimes I just want to take a nap during daytime at home, I would rather sleep in the sofa or even on the carpet, but def not in my bed, lol.

    Some of the elders at home (I am a Chinese), they said people shouldnt wash their hair at night or otherwise they would have serious headache all the time when they are getting old. Some of them even said women / girls shouldnt wash their hair during period otherwise they would get dark circles around the eyes. Well yes, I have headache sometimes and I have a pair of panda eyes but i dont want pimples and spots around my face.

    I love this post.
    This is EXACTLY how I feel about EVERYTHING.
    Especially the showering at night and keeping-the-bed-clean part, haha.
    I always make sure I'm clean before getting on my bed. wow...
    People think I'm crazy for "worshipping" my bed but omg...yeah.
    i love this post!

  5. Your tips are so right! I agree wholeheartedly. I also do many of the things you do and not that I'm trying to brag but people compliment my skin because I follow these similar tips (even though sometimes I might not get enough sleep, exercise, or healthy food intake).
    Also another thing is that often people don't use facewash in the morning but it's so important! All of the oils from the night secrete onto your face and judging from the amount you sleep, you have 5-8 hrs of oil secretion on your face... Then regular skincare should be applied.
    I agree too, I love taking showers at night and I can't understand how people can sleep dirty and take showers in the morning! T_T
    Thank you for the tips again!! I can really relate :)

  6. you're so right! this was a really great post!!

  7. Hey Catalina, I think I would write very similar things if I were to post on skin care tips! I don't follow everything that you mentioned exactly, but I'm a big "germophobe" and I do care about my body. I don't know how I can live without white rice though. I've been experimenting with vegetarian foods (cuz animal farming practices are so cruel) but I don't see many food options for vegetarians. I would love to know, what kind of food do you cook?

  8. this was extremely helpful, thank you so much!!! and I totally agree with you about how some ppl go to bed w/ outside clothing and shoes on. It is never allowed in my family, but I see my friends doing it all the time, I guess it is a cultural difference. My parents always taught me to take off my outside clothes as soon as I go home and change into cleaner ones that's specifically for home.

    I wash my pillow cases and sheets every weekend, sometimes I feel like I should do it more often, but it gets too time consuming and wasteful for me, since we use a kind sized sheet at home and it takes over almost the whole load :( I should go get another sheet and interchange it. I have been esp. careful these days because my sensitive skin has been acting up and itchy every since the weather got colder!

    I think you are doing great with eating healthy food and not eating out so much, I should learn from you and stay away from junk food! that has always been my weakness!

  9. Thanks for the great tips...washing and changing ur pillow case really does make a huge difference!!! It really wasn't long ago that I had bad acne too... (it's medication controlled now) but i'm pretty sure that all these contributed to my hormonal acne.
    I'm a lil ashamed to say that I still don't have enough sleep at night... a bad routine ruined with years of staying up for assignments at uni~~~ But I'll try harder and force myself to have an early night :)

  10. Loving this post, Cat. That's exactly where I'm at now...I've never stuffed my face with so much junk food before. XD I'm going through my 20-21 age phase where I tell myself, "Oh this is yummy! Eat eat,'s too short!" XD I'm taking a lot better care of my skin now...I'll cut down on junk. I can't let go of my meat though. I love veggies too =) I agree with you on the haircare, shampoos and changing pillows and such.

    Take care and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day Weekend! <3 Aika

  11. Thanks for this post! I couldn't agree more. My face used to look horrible. But now that I've started taking care of it, stopped touching it, cleaning my pillow case more often and sleeping on my back, my face is so much clearer. :)

  12. ur skincare tips is really great..i hv similar skin condition like in ur pic..i think i need to hv more u mind sharing ur skincare regime? as in wat products u used during d acne period? PLS!!!!!

  13. @Blovet: yeah, if only we lived in a stress-free world :'( worst thing is, if you start breaking out, that stresses you out even more!! bad cycle!

    @Kechiko: LOL totally agree :p I never really thought of it when I was a morning shower person, after switching I was like "ah... the way of life!" LOL

    @CutieShiny: That's very interesting! I never knew that! I wonder if that is the reason for my chronic headaches ... - _-.. hmmm..

    @Kelly Kim: haha, I practically worship my bed too :p It's like holy land for me LOL

    @Beauty Snap: Hey sweetie :) how's studying going? I'll send you an e-mail on this link I found helpful. and you're totally true. 8 hours is like 1/3 of the day.. yet many people treat it like its 1/30 of a day :p

    @Charlene: aww thanks :D

  14. @Miss K. You: LOL, I can't live without rice either :p I just eat brown rice. hehe. There's tons of options out there. I was posting food of the day for a while, and then kind of lost track, but there are a lot of substitute food that taste exactly like meat (if you like the taste of meat and you fee l like you're going to miss it). Whole food carries a lot of those kind of products, I think the best brand that does vegetarian food is morningstar farms ( And Amy's and Boca make good veggie products too :) pasta without meatballs, mac and cheese, seafood stuff (if you eat seafood.. I don't :p), or veggie burgers, etc. there's a lot of options out there :D

    @Lulu: haha, yeah, bed really has to be clean :( It's kind of funny because I picked up the "holy bed" habit from a friend who almost screamed at me when I sat on his bed with my outside jeans. He explained how outside clothes are disgusting and I had an epiphany then :p and yeah.. junk food is like the demons. If you cut that out, your life changes drastically.

    @Uinisan: aww, honey you should really get a good amount of great sleep every night :) I always had bad sleeping habits too, and overall, it's just really tiring

    @Aika: haha, have a nice holiday :) well, just try to cut back on bad junk food and work out as much as you eat, at least that will somewhat balance things out :D

    @kuri♥ayu: yay!! I'm glad to see so many people agreeing :p I really should have gotten into these good habits earlier so I wouldn't have ended up with these acne scars (rawr!)

    @chan: Oh, hmm I do have a post that reviews all the cleansers I've used. To tell you the truth, the best combination for me was Neutrogena's oil-free acne wash + cetaphil, that really helped me calm things down :D but it doesn't eliminate, but it was most effective out of all I tried

  15. the same thing happened to me! i didnt breakout till i was 24! which is probably due lack of slept, working 16 hrs a day and drinking every weekend.But ever since getting lots of sleep and not drinking as much or working as much my skin has gotten a lot better. However, i am left with the scars that i cant get rid of ><

  16. Hey catalina!
    after reading your post, i think im going to strt showering at night.. ive been breaking at like crazy these days and i think im going to go crazy!
    if you shower at night though, doesnt your hair feel all nasty in the morning and throughout the day?
    maybe its just me, but i cant stand having greasy hair.

  17. I remember you said in one of the videos that you don't know what to do with your acne problem and people tell you that just stop putting make-up on and you don't think that is the real cause? Well, I totally think you're right. I actually only get pimples when I stop wearing make-up and I think it's because that I just manage not to touch my face when I think touching it might damage the make-up. On the other handk, without make-up covering my face I just cannot control my fingers from exploring for things on my face that I can squeeze or scrape. Besides, it might sound weird but I kind of think that make-up actually screens your skin from the air and all the other unfriendly stuff in the air as well. Sooo, in conclusion, we might as well just wear make-up.

  18. As soon as I saw your "before" photos, I was like 'I feel your pain' :(
    My skin looks EXACTLY like that right now. Maybe a little worse. I've pretty much exiled myself in my house because of my acne.
    Problem is, I do everything you have said in your post other than the meat part.
    I wish this had happened when I was younger and really did not care about my appearance.

    Haha, I can't make my housemates go shoeless but I have a no shoe rule in my room & people think I'm just neurotic about germs.

    Keep it up Catalina!
    You're amazing :) and so gorgeous.
    I hope my skin recovers as well as yours has.

    - Anna

  19. Nice blog! I've just come across it while trying to find YouTube vids on how to put eyeshadow on asian eyes. Thanks for the tips!

    Anyway, I laughed when I read this post. My husband is white, and showers in the morning. Being Chinese, I grew up showering at night. Poor hubby. I keep telling him to not put his "bus pants" on the bed or pack travelling bags on it either (ew, airports!). He doesn't quite get it.

    Like you, I also notice the grossness of public floor surfaces. Chinese restaurants and other public restrooms have loads of pee all over them. When you drop your pants, the hems touch the floor! I'm really not a germaphobe; I just think it's common sense. (Or just "Asian" sense?)

  20. love this post!
    what shampoo/conditioner do you use?

  21. Hi^^ I am watching your tutorials on youtube all the time, because I really like them. And finally I found your blogger. Anyway, I want to say that's really impressive that you are so natural, I mean, you don't hide with your skin problems, because (in my case) I am very self-closed (I hope you know what I mean, because my english isn't very good) and shy, when I must go to the people and live around them. I like poeple, and laughing, but I have a lot of complex because of my skin. I am trying to eat healthy, and I am doing it quite good. How do you do, that you are so brave and hm... optimistic even if you have skin problems? Please, give me some adivces :(

  22. OMG!! thnx alot for the tips!!
    I [heart] this post !!!
    i'm so glad i found this and thnkful to you who put a LOT of time in thiss post!!!
    i get a lot of acne an my face esp the red spot they r just like the ones that you showed in the picture!!
    i definitely need to change many of my habits esp the ones where i shower in the morning..
    thnx 4 ur tips!!! ^_^

  23. Thank you for this post :) .

  24. I thought I was the only person who did those things O.o!! ohh jeese..cuz when i was at residence my roomate would have her dity gross shoes everywhere and put them on everything!! .. on top of that.. residence isnt amazingly clean. like i doubt that the cleaners/residence owners would bother with shampooing their carpets at all. and i know they dont, becuase when i saw my roomies feet one day.. the bottoms were all black!!! eeeeik!! ohh nasty and my roomie took showers in the morning too!!!!!!! oh dear.. some ppl :O! in the end i thought i was just a clean freak but since i see so many ppl doing the same thing as me! feels so much better and ill contiue doing all those things no matter how "weird" ppl think i am :PP!

  25. I think the bed is a "holy place" too, all my friends sit on their beds and mine with dirty clothes they wore outside and I'm just like "..." *changes sheets after they leave*
    People let their shoes on their beds?! What?!

  26. Really good tips!
    Esc the part shower @ night...
    My mom always say don't shower after 7pm...
    and feeling stick & dirty for all night?!
    Sorry, must break the rules...


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