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Words by guest contributor, Jessica Levin. @jessicawlevin

In a world full of trends, palettes, and slick branding, finding a product that works for your skin can seem overwhelming, and at the very least fleeting.

The boldest statement you can make with your face sometimes is with nothing at all.  That proves to be a bit tricky for those who struggle with troublesome skin, like me.

I’m finding the want and need for this minimal approach increase as I mature and move past the days of feeling slowed down by the time and energy it takes to put on a full face of makeup. Having the grace to go out into the world with bare skin is the hardest part, though!

I discovered oil cleansing through some acne skin care wormhole I fell into over a year ago.  My skin was at a particularly low point, battling the weather, hormones and a residual conflict with cystic acne that dates back to my teens. Enough was enough. Nearing the end of your 20s, you deserve some affluence in your skin. So I pulled the trigger on CRUDE just as they were having a deal to celebrate their first year around. Why not right? I read great reviews on it and was desperate, banking a lot into this new regimen.  

Cue angelic choir praise.

This was it.  Not only did this product reign supreme, balancing my stubborn combination skin, but it completely simplified my routine.  Gone were the days of boundless industrial face washes, toners, moisturizers, spot treatments, etc.  The oil you use to cleanse your face aptly named EVERYTHING Oil is also used as a moisturizer afterward, creating a tight little system that rivals a spa treatment. Add on BLOOM Oil, specialized to target blemishes and scarring (um, perfect?!) and another geared towards men’s beard grooming called SCRUFF Oil, that doesn’t disappoint the ladies either; it zaps ingrown hairs like nobody’s business and leaves your skin supple as hell.

I finally found a system that works with my skin, instead of against it.  

Charmed, I’m sure!

I will say it took a little while to acclimate, though it really varies from person to person.  The first use really blew me away; my skin felt moisturized and extra clean.  The EVERYTHING Oil as a cleanser was gentle on my tender, abused skin and the PULL Cloths were a clever transition to the abrasive way I was used to washing my face.  Moving forward with it, the first few months were a “purging period” which is a normal process in introducing CRUDE into your regime, especially with the kind of hormonal and cystic issues I was battling.  Knowing this going into it definitely made it easier to stick with as my skin leveled out.  I think the hardest part of the adjustment period was just letting CRUDE work! I had to really mind my stress levels and stop messing with my face.  By the six month mark, things had really started to reach a stasis and I was worrying less about the reactiveness of my face.  Breakouts had become fewer and far between, and when blemishes did pop up, they were predictable and quick to heal.  

My skin was at one of the worst stages last spring.  I was caking on makeup to cover redness and weird textures from blemishes.  I was so worried about flaws in my complexion that I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing warm-toned lipstick because I thought it drew negative attention to my zits.  I was driving myself crazy! I was so fixated on how other people would judge my skin so I withdrew in a lot of aspects of my life and wasn’t happy.

Jessica Levin going nude in CRUDE.

Now over a year later, all those neuroses (well most of them) have dissolved and I don’t care too much about makeup anymore.  Of course, now it’s fun to throw on a red lip color and not be all freaked about how it’s clashing with my red marks. It is cool to be able to have a blank slate to work with as far as a beauty regime goes, but after introducing CRUDE into the care of my skin, I relish in not relying on makeup to create a look.  The natural tones and texture of my skin are true and tangible and balmy and pure. I never thought I’d be comfortable enough to leave my apartment with minimal to zero makeup (AKA: nude in CRUDE) but I find myself doing it more and more.

Skin rescue, therapy and liberation all in one fell swoop!

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