All things Skincare + Self-care with Sam Wormser

Guys! This was one of my favorite interviews to date. Sam Wormser is a doll and knows her shit when it comes to skincare and self care.

Not only is she so smart and sweet, but can we all just take a second to admire how gorgeous she is, too?!

I took SOOO many notes from this interview + can’t wait to try out all of the non-toxic and clean brands she recommends. Get out your notebooks because it’s time to get right into it!

Hiiii Gorgeous!! Tell us about yourself.

Hi lovely! I’m Sam – I’m a San Diego-based 26-year-old with a passion for wellness, fashion, and natural skincare – kind of a funny mix! I’ve lived in San Diego since going to SDSU from 2011-2015, and I currently work full-time as a PR Director at a digital marketing agency here in San Diego, then I have my Instagram (@samwormser) as my side hustle!

You have the most flawless skin, what are some of your beauty and wellness secrets?

Ah THANK YOU – I wish it was flawless but my skin 100% breaks out – all the time. In fact, right now I am dealing with a breakout that just wants to stick around. It goes through ebbs and flows.

I actually got super into skincare and clean beauty because I have sensitive, breakout-prone skin and have been that way since high school but more so in college. It probably had to do with sleeping with my makeup on, drinking alcohol, and not sleeping enough in college, but that is when I made an intention to really take better care of my skin. Your skin is your largest organ in your body (which I know you know!), so it is SO important that you take care of it with healthy, non-toxic ingredients in your skincare regimen.

Now my skincare routine has become more of a self care thing – I SOOO look forward to end of day taking off my makeup. I do breakout and I have very breakout-prone skin, but it is more often under control now that I have a solid routine in place. Honestly, it comes down to how I treat my skin on the outside and how I eat!

You talk ALL about the importance of skincare on your gram so I have to know – what is your AM/PM skincare routine?

I have a pretty intensive PM routine (because it makes me happy — gotta love that self care), but AM is pretty light! It depends what my skin is doing that day/night, and then I will cater to that. I really think you need to listen to what your skin is telling you – like you listen to your body with working out etc. What works for me might not work for you, and what works for you might not for me, BUT here is my standard (all #cleanbeauty):

AM Routine:

Step 1:Cleanse: I use Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening face wash – I LOVE this brand and it’s very affordable

Step 2: Tone: I either use Herbivore’s hibiscus rosewater toner (smells amazing and great item to leave on your desk at work for a spritz during the day) or

Step 3: Serum: If I’m feeling ~fancy~ I’ll use a Vitamin C serum. I use this at night anyways, but it’s great for brightening and evening skin tone and smells nice. I love the one by Ursa Major. Pro tip: get one in a dark bottle rather than translucent because Vitamin C stays more potent for longer when sunlight can’t get through.

Step 4: Moisturize/Sunscreen: I used Acure’s Brilliantly Brightening day cream forever but about two months ago changed over to Naturopathica because it smells amazing and has sunscreen in it. For sunscreen if I’m using a moisturizer without or want extra protection if I’m outside I like Mad Hippie.

Step 5: Top it off with makeup!

PM Routine:

Step 1: Oil Cleanse: I use an organic jojoba oil to take off my makeup and mascara. You can easily find one on Amazon! It’s cheaper than buying makeup remover/eye makeup remover, is gentle, and doesn’t strip your skin of the good stuff. I’ll wipe this off with a damp washcloth or flat cotton pad.

Step 2: Regular Cleanse: again with Acure to get off the jojoba and anything extra left on. Two step cleansing has changed my skin for the better.

Step 3: Exfoliate: I don’t do this every night, but every couple of days I like to use Acure’s facial scrub too. It is green and smells like essential oils and has french clay in it. Definitely a staple!

Step 4: Toner: quick spray of Herbivore rosewater or Ursa Major’s toner is great too. I switch depending on my mood.

Step 5: Serum: Love a good Vitamin C!

Step 6: Oil: a common misconception about oil is that it is not good for oily skin – it actually is! Oil breaks down oil (and makeup), which is why I use jojoba oil as a makeup remover, but I also use oil after my serum at night – never during the day or I would be an oily blob. I swear by Trilogy’s Rosehip oil. Rosehip oil is so amazing because it has vitamin A in it, which acts as a natural retinoid – basically natural exfoliant!! It helps to even skin tone, calm redness, brighten, and is antibacterial and antimicrobial, which means it will NOT make you breakout.

Step 7: Skip the moisturizer – since I have oil on, I don’t feel I need to moisturize on top, unless I use an eye cream but I haven’t found one I’m in love with – next on my list 🙂

A couple other things I will throw in based on the day/night:

Mask: I LOVE a good mask. Currently obsessed with Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy mask – great for resurfacing and for breakouts.

Spot treatment: if I have a breakout I’ll use Indie Lee’s spot treatment that comes in the pink bottle. You just let the pink settle in the alcohol and dip a Q-tip into the bottom and spot treat – works like magic.

Oils: Other oils I use other than Rosehip is Lapis Oil from Herbivore, and I also just got their fruit stem cell oil and am liking that as well, Indie Lee’s Squalane oil (very moisturizing) and have tried Acure’s version of the tansy oil and liked that as well, plus I think it’s cheaper.

Quick rule of thumb: layer your skincare products from lightest to heaviest, so toner, serum, oil, moisturizer.

Favorite skin-care product you can’t live without?

YIKES. This is so hard. Maybe Rosehip oil from Trilogy… or Acure’s face wash.

What products are really bad for your skin that most people are using?

Ugh, so many it’s hard to list. Basically lots of products have added fragrances, parabens, carcinogens (linked with cancer), and it’s really hard to tell if it’s good or bad. I use the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website or the Think Dirty app to see if a product is in the clear or not, so that makes it much easier and I would highly recommend that!

Common brands that are no bueno:

  • St. Ives
  • Clinique
  • Neutrogena
  • Origins
  • Clearasil
  • Olay
  • Dove
  • Khiel’s
  • Clarins
  • Cetaphil
  • Lancome
Tips for breakouts?

I would love to say DON’T MESS WITH IT – but we all do, and I do too regretfully. I use Indie Lee’s spot treatment at night and it works really well for me. I will also like to mask when breaking out.

Since living a healthy lifestyle has A LOT to do with perfect skin, what do you eat in a day?

I really just try to balance my meals and make sure I get greens in at every meal and stick to whole foods. I think we can all be better at drinking water, and I can be MUCH better about that. I can tell when I eat fried things like french fries or a lot of sugar it makes me breakout.

Obviously I have cheat meals and I think that is 100% okay and part of life! It’s all about the 80/20 rule.

Go-to workout?

Pilates over everything. It is the only workout that I see 100% results from when I am consistent with it. If you’ve never tried it will change your life!!

My favorite question –  biggest self-care tip?

Find time every day to do something for you. If that means meditating, reading a book for 5 minutes (that’s how long I last reading at night before falling asleep), having a skincare routine that makes you happy, exercising – whatever it may be that makes you feel good!

What does balance (in your life) look like to you?

Balance for me means saying no to things. If at the end of the day I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it. You are living your life for you, so if you are feeling pressured to do too much, it is up to you to put your foot down and say “no, I don’t feel like doing that.”

I’ve said “yes” to too much before and it left me tired and burnt out. I also require at LEAST 8-9 hours of sleep at night, so it’s really important for me to prioritize my health above all else, and that starts with sleep!

You’re a MEGA girlboss juggling a full-time job in a managerial position and killing it as an insta-blogger on the side. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I still see myself at my current workplace, managing the team that I am now but that team being much larger. I’d love to have my side hustle still going, and where I’m at now is content with both. I never want to force something, so I try to stay positive and flexible as things ebb and flow.

But I don’t think I’m having kids for another 10 years 😉

Lastly, I love to get real on this blog – what is something about you most people wouldn’t know from your Instagram feed?

I love my alone time. I can be super social in certain settings when I want to be, but I need at least part of every week to involve alone time to just do whatever I want to do. Usually that means at some point on the weekend I sit and read a book, watch Netflix solo with a face mask on, clean my apartment, go to the mall solo (usually end up at my favorite clean beauty store Credo at UTC). I actually LOVE to clean – hate doing laundry though – and I like to keep my apartment pretty OCD clean because it makes me feel more calm and productive.

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