In all fairness

by Sarah Flores

Sarah is a Client Manager at cleverbridge – a global e-commerce organization that provides subscription billing solutions that digital goods and services companies need to sell their products online.  She dedicates most of her free time being a mentor and alumni chair with FUERTE, and most recently recruited as an alumni mentor at her alma mater, Roosevelt University. She has an insane passion for travel, cooking, photography, and being able to exercise her creative muscle within the social media marketing realm as a side hobby. She enjoys exploring new coffee shops and going for walks through her charming neighborhood, Oak Park, with her two adorable fur babies and her fiancee. 

Sarah landed coverage on the Latinas On The Plaza - How I Became A Global Leader in 30 Days with FUERTEFollow her on Instagram and the blog she manages,

Photo courtesy of Latinas on the Plaza

Photo courtesy of Latinas on the Plaza

Skin care has always been an essential part of my lifestyle. More so because I’m very fair with reddish undertones, prone to bad sunburns, and skin cancer runs in my family on both sides. To add to all that, I suffered from very bad acne growing up and my skin has always been super oily. It took me years to find the best products for my skin type that didn’t contain oil that could cause me more breakouts, and that were gentle enough for my sensitive skin.  Besides using the right products, eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, not smoking or over drinking, contributes immensely to the condition of your skin. I definitely had to limit myself on the occasional glass of red wine that would break me out like crazy.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I had realized the best thing for my skin was SUNSCREEN! Yes, you heard that correctly: sunscreen. I am obsessed with anything that contains SPF and, rain or shine, I lather a generous amount of it on my face before leaving the house in the morning. At most I use SPF 30 which does the trick for me. Anything higher than that tends to get greasier and heavier and my skin can’t breathe. I am very sensitive to the sun (although I love being sun-kissed and having that summer glow), but SPF has given me the protection my face needs to prevent sun rashes and breakouts. However, before all of that goes on to my face, I make sure I have a nice, clean canvas to work with. Every morning, my routine consists of:

  1. Washing my face with warm water and alternating between the classic Dove White Beauty Bar (because it's very gentle and mild on my skin, but cleans thoroughly) and Garnier Clearly Brighter Argan Nut Gentle Face Exfoliator. I don't exfoliate every day as it can strip away extra skin cells and natural oils that serve as a protective layer; your skin becomes more sensitive the more you exfoliate. I exfoliate 2-3 times a week at the most, and in between I use Dove. I rinse with warm water, and give my face a final splash with cool water to close up my pores. I pat my face dry. I never rub or else my skin gets more irritated.

  2. Now that I have a clean face, I remove any excess makeup with Micellar water. My current favorite is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. This is awesome to remove any leftover mascara or eyeliner that Dove didn’t remove.

  3. Since I'm nearing my 30s, I realized that I needed to step up my anti-aging routine and start using a serum. I found Dirty Works 8-in-1 Miracle Serum Marshall's, actually. It's a gel-like serum that absorbs super quickly, smells amazing, and does a million miracles to your face and neck . I let it dry before applying my SPF in the morning. My skin has a healthy glow to it and the serum leaves my skin smooth and supple.

  4. I follow that up with my facial moisturizer: Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer with SPF. It gives me just the right protection, while still hydrating and controlling my acne prone skin.

  5. I allow my face to dry completely and absorb the lotion before applying any makeup (which, by the way, also contains SPF). I finish it off with Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in Porcelain. I use a tiny bit only on the areas I truly need it. It’s enough coverage for work and to even out my skin tone a little bit. Its super absorbent, lightweight, and has a very natural feel.

My night routine consists of the following:

  1. On days when I’m not feeling lazy, I make time to wash my face with Dove soap. However, I don’t use a night cream. I haven’t found a good night cream that doesn’t break me out by the time I wake up. I also don’t like the greasy feeling on my face before I go to bed.

  2. I remove any excess makeup with Micellar water.  I love the smell and the feeling of micellar water that I just apply it to my whole face and I kinda use that as my night time moisturizer since it absorbs fast and I’ve read so many great things about it. Micellar water is packed with so many skin-loving ingredients and leaves my skin feeling refreshed, moist, and so clean.

  3. On the days where I feel too tired to get to the bathroom, I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes. I loooove the way they smell, and I can reach over to my nightstand, wipe my face super clean with a swipe and just call it a night. I wipe until nothing else is on the wipe itself. These wipes are awesome for oily skin and removes makeup amazingly well.

  4. After cleansing or using face wipes, I apply the serum again and head to bed.

I don’t like to use too many products on my skin and I tend to stick to brands that contain natural and few ingredients on the labels. I feel that the more ingredients something has, the less natural it is and I’m not too keen on that.

I’m very practical when it comes to the quantity of products that I have, and even my cosmetics bag is small. I don’t believe in caking on too much makeup or wearing too many products if I know I have good, youthful-looking skin. The most I do is a little foundation, mascara, eyeliner, fill in my brows, and add a touch of bronzer for my “porcelain” skin. This way, I don’t look too pale. Of course, if I have a big event or a date night, I will get a little more bold with makeup, because its fun! I’m also obsessed with Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm. It drenches my lips with tons of moisture while still giving me a subtle color. I love the quality of their products and just how natural they are.

But seriously… if it came down to what really makes my skin feel great it's:

  1. Drink tons of water
  2. Always always always wear sunscreen
  3. Take the time to get to know your skin type and invest in a good product
  4. Cleanse every day …whether you wash or remove with makeup wipes, but get into that habit.

The fact is that cleansing, to me, is such an important step because we have so much bacteria that piles up throughout the day. Our skin naturally cleanses itself as we sleep, but if we don’t cleanse it ourselves, it will disrupt the cleaning process and we will wake up with breakouts.

For anyone with fair skin like mine, I'm happy to discuss any similar issues you might have!