If you were party to my first post on acne wrangling, then you know my skin is not cooperative. It is sensitive, acne prone, and just generally hates me. Once a month it takes a total hiatus from rationality. To top is off I am quite pale in that every little red splotch shines like Rudolph’s red nose. I try to stay pretty consistent with my skin care, but it is an ongoing battle to determine what will “cure my acne.” I would just settle for keeping it under control. Though growing out of my acne seems like an impossibility at this point, I do feel like I have been able to find things that help keep the spots simmered down.
One major thing I have started doing is double cleansing when I wear makeup. I have started working from home in recent months, so wearing makeup has gone from everyday to once a week. You would think that my skin would improve with this, but honestly it has stayed exactly the same. Unfortunately for me, I just have to see it more. Good news though, this saves me a crap-ton of money (yes this is a real measurement) on foundation. I mostly look crazy and wear no pants 24/7. I actually got this idea of dual cleansing from someone on youtube (Sharon Farrell’s youtube channel). I was basically doing this to begin with, but I am now doing it with a more conscientious effort. I start by using a waterproof eye makeup remover. Currently I am just using one from Neutrogena. Then I take a cleanser (usually my first aid beauty cream cleanser), and begin to scrub off my makeup. It is usually in this step that I use my facial cleansing brush (especially with matte full coverage foundation). After my face is essentially clean I take my Clear Days Ahead cleanser from Philosophy and wash my face again. This is a gentle salicylic acid cleaner. It is great to stop breakouts and prevent future ones from occurring (well, I hope that it will do this anyways). Typically I cleanse my face twice a day, once when I wake up and once before bed. If I eat anything too greasy I will do a quick wash afterwards as well (All hail Taco Bell). The big thing to bear in mind with a medicated cleanser, you can dry you skin out if you over cleanse (or if you don’t moisturize).
Once a day (or every other day) I use my enzyme peel from Amore Pacific. I do this immediately after washing my face. I have said this before, but it is worth mentioning again, this is the most gentle and effective chemical exfoliator. As you can see, this comes in a powder format. It could definitely be mistaken for drugs if left out on the counter. You just take a small amount in you hand, add a little water, and work into a bit of a lather on your face. I rub this on my skin for 30 seconds to 1 minute then rinse. The product runs around $60, but it lasts for months on end (I have had the same bottle for 6 months, and still going strong). I have never had a problem with it irritating my finicky skin. I will also follow an intense exfoliating mask with this product. Glamglow, which is still a part of my skin care routine every 3rd day (See my review here), takes care of large dry patches. This product exfoliates chemically and keeps your overall skin texture smoother with regular use. After this step, if my skin is particularly angry, I use my chlorella serum from Skin Inc. This helps calm any redness down, practically overnight.
One big change I made was to steer away from cream moisturizers. I have been trying a plethora of gel moisturizers through trial and error (mostly error). I started with one from Neutrogena (which ended up having dyes that I am sensitive to), and ended up with this one from Bare Minerals. Their newest skin care line has impressed me so far. I reviewed the Dirty Detox Mask from them and loved it, so I took a chance on this gel moisturizer from them. This is the True Oasis Gel Cream that I purchased from Sephora for $32. This is what I bought after the debacle with the shimmery mess that was the Glamglow moisturizer from my High End Skin Care Haul-A Glowy Mess. After a string of what I could call bad luck, but is actually just me not paying attention to what I am buying, I struck gold with this product. The product is thin feeling, but effective. It also feels true to the gel formatted product (lightweight, dries quickly). Once it sinks in for a few minutes, it is safe to wear under foundation. The only think I dislike about this product is the smell. It has a slight medicinal smell to it. This isn’t something that lingers for long, and it isn’t terribly offensive. It won’t deter me from using the product in the future. The biggest benefit of using this type of product is that it doesn’t leave me oily (I mean, it does say it is oily fee), and thus less breakout prone. I follow this moisturizer with an eye cream. I am not picky about my eye creams. I don’t feel that this is absolutely necessary in my routine at this point, but I want to be preemptive in my anti-aging. Plus I have so many samples that I have gotten for free. Currently I am using this one from Lancôme.
I tried to incorporate nose strips into my routine. I bought a couple of the ones from Sephora for $3 a piece. They are a bit expensive, but they are supposed to really get the blackheads on your nose (which I have a problem with for sure). They did as they claimed, but almost too well. I ended up have really red irritation in my nose creases. A few days later I even had some peeling there (this is usually an oily area for me). I am not a huge nose strip fan, and I will pass on these in the future. Overall, I am happy with my current routine. I am going to see a dermatologist about my acne soon. One problem I keep running into, is that around the time of my period, I break out like mad (no matter the amount of water I drink). I would like to explore some options to keep it under control all month long.
All and all, just remember that skin care is personal. What works for one person, may not work for you. Take if from someone who struggles, keep trying. You will find something that works for you. Thank you for reading!!