As I sit in my car on a 100+ degree day in the Sonoran Desert, I watch the heat dance around my vehicle. My camera is in my passenger seat, looking back at me with dust on its body. I immediately wipe it clean before I even think about the battle my own body endured during my time shooting outdoors for the day. In the rear view mirror,I see my dry skin, also covered in dust. If this were the Gina from two years ago, I wouldn’t think anything of it; it’s part of a hard day’s work. But present-day Gina knows that my skin is begging for some TLC….ASAP!
Being outdoors, getting roughed up and dirty is an accomplishment for most, and I used to think that way; however, it came with a price. I was breaking out more on my back, legs, and chest. Everything about my skincare routine then was rushed because I wanted to hurry up and get to editing photos for the night. Honestly, I would like to admit that rushing (in all areas of my life) is a habit that I am still trying to break.
Over the past year, I worked to incorporate a skincare routine into the evening after my outdoor adventures. It wasn’t easy at first; I made up excuses as to why I had to skip steps, products, and time to do something for myself, even if in reality it would only take a few minutes.
Skincare is self-care. Period.
I previously worked as a producer in television, which created this “grind” culture illusion. Today, I struggle to know what self-care is for myself sometimes unless I am in nature. Forming new habits is hard, but I knew that by moving to a desert town in Arizona, my old habits would need to be shattered. Number one on the list: taking time to care properly for my skin after spending the day shooting outdoors.
Here’s my routine:
Cleanse the day away
The heat here in Tucson can reach triple digits every day until October or even November. It’s a long summer full of dust storms, pop-up monsoons, and dry heat. My skin thrives in the heat but when dust comes into play, I’m in danger. (I thought dust was a natural exfoliant and did the work for me, but dust can contain many other things that can damage your skin.) Now, once I get home from the day and shower, I gently use the Superfood Cleanser on my face to help cleanse away any particles and dirt that I definitely don’t want on my skin. The Superfood Cleanser lathers up perfectly and the spinach extract helps leave my skin cool and hydrated afterward.
Overnight hydration + moisture
Overnight, I use the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. This is my favorite part of the routine because I have never felt softer skin than mine the next morning. I love to add a drop of the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil for extra moisture power. This mask is full of powerful ingredients but one stuck out to me: the prickly pear—a native plant of Tucson, along with the Saguaro—bears a fruit that is super moisturizing.
Morning prep for a day in the sun
The next morning, I continue with my routine beginning by cleansing and then using the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil and the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream to help prep my face for another day photographing the outdoors. Adding SPF 15 minutes before I go out to work and play is key!
It’s about consistency, and not putting a facial skincare routine on the back burner. Your skin is your largest organ. This routine has helped my skin to cool down, decreasing inflammation and redness after a day outside. And, it has taught me about habits. Once you break bad habits (and start new, good ones), the rewards keep coming.
As we continue to walk this earth and its ever-changing climate, we have to adapt as we fight for better practices. Advocate for your skin and for our planet and create balance within.
Photo courtesy of Gina Danza
Written by Gina Danza for Youth To The People