A Coachella Sandstorm Skin Recovery Regimen, Because My Face Is Falling Off

Sandstorms aren't as exfoliating as you might think. Quite the opposite, really.
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Publish date:
April 19, 2013
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masks, pores, cleansers, fresh, face creams, face mists, irritation, redness, weather, coachella, Avene, biore, Freeman

Coachella 2013 was fantastic! Until the sandstorms began.

As the unwashed, exhausted masses began their migration an undignified mile out of the polo grounds, the wind got crazy and kicked up a biblical-style sandstorm.

I was luckier (or smarter?) than most, as I had a denim jacket, long dress, and pashmina to wrap myself into a protective cocoon. But even all that AND my oversized sunglasses couldn’t save my face from being sandblasted.

When I finally arrived back to the house my friends and I were sharing, my face felt REALLY gritty. Every pore was clogged with microscopic sand, which I’m sure also has traces of horse excrement AND dried hippie sweat.

My face was all red and irritated, like someone had taken sandpaper to my face. Mother Nature is NOT a good esthetician, you guys.

I opted to skip out on the final night and drive back to LA. When I arrived home to the welcoming arms of the man I love, I said, “Darling, please go right now and get me these items, while I de-louse myself in a long, hot shower,” and quick like a bunny, he was off and back. He’s the BEST. Also, he probably prefers when his girlfriend’s face doesn’t look like roadkill.

I opened my pores up in a very hot shower, and gently used Fresh Soy Face Cleanser to wash away only surface dust and caked on sweat. I love this product, because it’s not only gentle, but the amino acids in it still wash away grime while leaving my face soft.

Then, I exfoliated with a trusty product I’ve used since high school, Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser. Usually, I don’t use it in LA because it can be drying, but I hoped the little micro-scrubbers in it would loosen up some of the grit firmly implanted in my face.

I applied more Fresh Soy Cleanser to my face and left it there as a gentle mask. After about five minutes, I washed it off and patted myself dry. My face felt cleaner, but still rough, which was ALARMING.

So, I reached for some Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips to apply to my nose and forehead.

After 10 minutes of my face turning into a virtual plaster cast, I pulled them off, hoping to see a gratifying amount of dust and grime stuck to the strips, which I did. However, the rest of my face was still VERY unhappy.

Next, I used the fantastic Freeman Cucumber Peel Off Mask. The soy cleanser and this mask both have the cooling and moisturizing effects of cucumber, so that made my face (and mind) calm down. When the cucumber mask is applied, it’s as thick as hair gel, so I pulled your hair back.

After 15 minutes, I peeled it off, and HOLY CRAP--the side that had been skin-down was like sandpaper. Seriously. Wow. I cannot express what a relief it was to see so much sand come out of my face. I LOVE THIS MASK.

Extrication of grit aside, my face was still as red, so, THANKFULLY I had a tube of Avène Cicalfate, which is a restorative skin cream used by French dermatologists to prevent infection and scarring. I had it on hand to prevent scarring, but it’s also used after skin treatments.

When my face felt dry hours later, I sprayed on Avène Thermal Spring Water, which is majorly soothing for irritated skin.

Then, I rested.

It’s a few days later, and my skin feels raw still, but the redness is gone. I’m hoping this concoction of products—or a dermatologist--will get my skin back to normal soon.