Alexis Salazar | The L.A. Girl Who Knows All About Gua Sha

The #BBTRstories highlights our real community of readers, while they take us through their bathroom cabinets and vanities to share their real-life routines. Want to be featured? Contact us at hello@beautybythereal.com or tag us on Instagram at @beautybythereal #BBTRstories for a chance to be featured. 

"Hey there, friends! My name is Alexis (@alexissalazarr) and I'm 25 years old. I live in Los Angeles and currently work at an animation studio. When I’m not there, my free time is spent doing whatever might make my soul happy that day – sometimes I’ll write, hike, veg out, take a random road trip or just do nothing with my friends because that means we’ll laugh a lot. However, if given the choice then I prefer to be outside. Since that means time spent in the harsh California sun, I try my best to keep my skin healthy and protected through it all.

I grew up in the (very) humid South and never really had any skin issues except minor texture annoyances every now and then. However, that quickly changed just a few weeks after I moved to LA. The reality of living in such an opposite climate hit me in the face like a freight train. My skin went from being blemish-free and low maintenance to an oily - yet somehow also outrageously dry? – mess. Plus some lovely cyst breakouts every few months to top it all off! 

I had to adjust everything. I did this solely through trial & error since problematic skin was so new to me … and girl lemme tell ya, it was a rough road there for awhile. However, after about a year and some lifestyle adjustments, I think I've finally nailed a routine that keeps my hot mess of a face (mostly) under control!

First off, I'm going to be that person we all collectively roll our eyes at, but your skin glows on the outside when you're kind to it on the inside! Trust me, I'm not winning any awards in this category either. I'm human and still actively need my pizza/ice cream/Netflix nights in order to function properly. However, I notice my face is so puffy and the oil is much more out of control when I'm dehydrated and have overloaded on the sugar or salt. I’ve always reacted so badly to that mixture. Everyone is different! I’ve watched my friends eat the exact same thing as me and somehow look better the next day?! Listen to your body and find what works best for you! I always tell myself you can never go wrong drinking more water and force-feeding yourself more veggies.

Secondly, I try to use organic and alcohol-free face products whenever possible. My cleansers are an exception because they’re the only ones I’ve found so far that my face didn’t have an awful reaction to. Although the ingredients aren’t THAT cringe-worthy, they are definitely not all organic. With that being said, I will still vouch for the Seaweed Range skincare from The Body Shop. An added bonus that they don’t test on animals! I’m obsessed with this line specifically because it's formulated for oily/combination skin and the products smell like pure ocean salt.

I begin my skin routine by using the deep cleansing facial wash, followed by the pore-cleansing exfoliator with a facial brush. Then I take a cotton pad and wipe Organic Witch Hazel all over my face, concentrating on my larger pores. I personally love the Humphreys & Thayers brands. I follow that with a few spritz of a facial spray consisting of aloe, cucumber, and green tea. I adore the one from Mario Bedescu because it feels amazing and the smell is iconic – and it’s suitable for all skin types! I finish my routine by first moisturizing with a layer of hyaluronic acid serum, which I let soak in for about 10 minutes. I then top it all off with a layer of the oil-control gel cream from the same seaweed range.

For my body care, I like to keep it simple but significant. Thanks for that handy life tip, Don Draper. I use 2 products, sometimes three. In the shower, I lather with Dr. Bronner's 18-in-1 Organic Pure Castile Liquid Soap. I love how the consistency of this soap is like water yet it cleanses so thoroughly! It’s so gentle on the skin. I sometimes follow that with a body scrub for exfoliation 2-3x a week. I always finish by moisturizing my whole body with Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil. I almost feel incomplete without it now. I love this one because it doesn't contain mineral oil or petrolatum – the two things my skin hates most. It's a big reason this oil actually absorbs into the skin and doesn't just lay there on top like a Band-Aid. 

Additionally but not always, times where I feel my face is a bit too puffy (hi again, Netflix nights) I’ll use an ice roller I always keep in the freezer. Sometimes I follow that with a face oil on my jade gua sha - which is finally my last skincare tip!

Read all about it, it's a Chinese medical practice of facial massage with a jade stone tool that stimulates the lymphatic system to get the blood, oxygen and nutrients flowing in your face. All I can say is that it is a Game. Changer. I spent more hours researching than I care to admit before I bought my gua sha and I am so glad I did because it has made a world of difference. My fine lines, pores and overall complexion always look better after a quick self-treatment. The tool itself is designed to fit the contours of your face so I tend to concentrate on my cheekbones, nose, under-eye and forehead when I need to relieve a headache. It’s such a simple and relaxing practice that has quickly become the most enjoyable part of my entire skincare routine. I would expand even more but I feel as though I’ve rambled on entirely too much ... you just gotta trust me! (or slide into my DM's if you’re interested cause I love spreading the good word!)

I said that was my last skincare tip but I lied – oops. My actual last tip … the most important part of any skincare routine … the one I cannot stress enough ... is to LATHER. ON. THAT. SUNSCREEN!! Wear it under your foundation and powder. Wear foundation and powder that contain SPF. Wear hats. Keep a travel size tube or spray in your purse. Protect that beautiful, fragile skin!

I hope my tips come in handy for anyone else who might have been thrown a curveball and needed to completely adjust how to care for their skin in their mid-20's. As a girl who has always had an affinity towards makeup, hair and having the perfect canvas to create your masterpiece, any and all skincare/beauty talk is my jam! If you ever have a question or suggestion to share, please feel free to send it my way.

Anyway, that’s all for now folks. Trust me, you would officially be sick of me (as if you aren’t already) if I continued on to any of my hair or makeup routines … because it’s a lot. Some would possibly say too much. Let’s be real, my friends didn’t affectionally nickname me “Alextra” for no reason … but if there is any way I’ve possibly helped one person or made them smile from this then it has been a happy and successful day ♥"

-as given to BBTR


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