It's all about #skincare these days. Perfect skin is hard to achieve no matter who you are. There are countless filters, full coverage foundations, and photoshopping that can help you achieve that smooth skin, but its not the same as actually having nice skin. Some people are blessed with great skin, my mom is one of those of people, me not so much.
Growing up, like any teenager, I had some acne. A pimple here every now and then. I’ve always considered myself to have had a ‘normal’ or ‘combination’ skin type, mostly normal sometimes oily, a little dry in the winter. Once I hit my mid-20s, my skin took a turn and I had no idea what to do about it. I was in a high stress daily environment, my surroundings had changed and my diet. Due to these factors, my skin began to break out like it never had before. I used to get cystic acne, those bumps under the skin that are so painful. Along with those, I used to get regular acne that would come to a head and small tiny little bumps that added texture to my skin. So like any other person I googled and hit the drugstore. For awhile, drugstore stuff was alright. I used benzoyl peroxide, acne face washes with salicylic acid, makeup for acne prone skin, noncomedogenic creams, different face washing tools and skincare and probably tried everything the internet has suggested. I didn’t have time to go to a dermatologist, or really have time to focus on my diet so much. I did get on the pill to see if it would help and took over the counter meds that my GP prescribed. But while those kinda helped my skin, the side effects were awful and I didn’t want to continue it. It was two years full of acne, some self consciousness, and lot of acne marks (I can’t help it but I pick at them). But, over the years, with lots of trail and error I have finally figured out my skin.
I’m a very lazy person when it comes to certain things. I’ll admit it. Sometimes I just don’t “feel” like doing things such as wearing my retainers though I know it’s good for me. Also, I like to sleep a lot, so waking up early to put on makeup is usually out of the question. Often times makeup enhances the pimple and the texture. If you’ve had any acne you know that all those topical medicines make your skin so dry. By no means am I saying my acne was worse than others who have to go through more drastic measures, such as accutane, but this blog post is to help those who are like me, have skin like me, or want to try some of the products that they’ve seen that are ‘good’ for your skin.
Everyones skin is different and reacts differently to products so just try and see what works and doesn't work.
First rule of good skin: stay hydrated! Water does do wonders. I can tell when I've been slacking on my water intake. My skin feels drier and rough.
The first thing I did was changed my face wash from all of those Clean and Clear, Noxema, Nuetrogena skincare to African black soap. A lot of products that say they are good for your skin really aren’t. I’ve tried both the Shea Moisture and the Nubian brand soap. I prefer their bar soaps, but they do have exfoliating washes that come in the tube. I use this with the Sephora Collection Precision Pore Cleansing Pad. It’s gentler than the clarisonics and other knockoffs of them. It’s made of silicone, so it’s easy to wash, too. It makes my skin feel so clean. The African black soap also helps with the oil control.
Garnier Micellar Water
Makeup wipes never truly take everything off. This product is a must have if you wear makeup. It comes in regular, water proof and a mattifying one.
I usually use the Sam's Club brand makeup wipes. They are a great dupe for the Neutrogena ones, and you can by them in bulk and cheaper.
Moisturizing & Serums
I changed from those heavy cream fragranced moisturizers to something that was water based. I took the plunge and bought the TATCHA Water Cream. There’s something about Korean brands. They just know beauty and skincare. It was the first expensive product I bought and I can say I love it so much. It’s light weight, not too oily and makes my skin feel so soft. At $68 it better have been a miracle product. It was for me. I honestly am about to spend $68 again to repurchase this.
Along with the Water Cream, I looked into the brand The Ordinary. It seems a bit daunting and very medical. But their products are just simple with no added fluff and that was what I was looking for. I use a multitude of their products, because they are so affordable. They are no longer available on Sephora’s website, but you can get them from their DEICEM site and beautylish.
Glycolic Acid: It’s basically a toner. It helps even out your skin and is great for oil and acne control.
Their Hyaluronic Acid serum is amazing, especially before I do my makeup. It makes my skin so plump and even helps under the eyes. My eyes sink in slightly and every time I use it my mom makes a comment that I look well rested.
Salicylic Acid: I mean, do we talk about acne without mentioning this stuff? It’s great for those spot treatments.
Granctive Retinoid 2% Emulsion: This is mostly for hyper pigmentation, or where the skin is darker in some spots due to marks, or just natural tone. Also it’s good for unclogging pores, acne and reducing clogged pores. I use this twice a week only and don’t mix it with the Lactic Acid.
Lactic Acid 5%: It’s good for fine lines, smoothing, age spots, uneven complexion and brightening up your skin in general. It is a peeling solution. I use it twice a week. Let me tell you it makes your skin look so nice the next day. I definitely can tell a difference when I use it.
I recently purchased a new item for my skincare routine—the Laniege Water Mask and Lip Mask. It has rave reviews. The lip mask is AMAZING! It'll leave your lips so soft. The water masks does hydrate your skin a lot but I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'll be able to tell more when it gets colder and my skin will need more hydration.
I swear by the Tony Moly Masks, Sephora sheet masks, along with the Glamglow. A mask always makes you feel a bit pampered so I suggest everyone take some time out and mask.
Spot Treatment: Benzoyl Peroxide does the job for the most part!
Foundations & Makeup Primers:
A lot of the time your skin can breakout depending on your foundation or primers that you use. If you think its one of these things causing you to break out try go a week without wearing it and see if it makes a difference. I've had foundation that I wore that I knew the next day would have my skin breaking out (Revlon Colorstay and L'oreal True Match, and the Mario Badescu Rose water all break me out).
Make Up Forever HD Foundation: doesn’t clog pores and gives you medium coverage. It’s great for oily skin, too.
Becca Aqua Luminous: much more dewy, but it is water based so that’s always a good thing!
Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream : acne medicine, lightweight, great for a daily wear.
Becca Backlight Primer: doesn't break me out and keeps my skin looking glowing.
Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick: it is discontinued but it keeps my skin so smooth and matte. The Milk Makeup Pore Stick is very similar from what I've seen. I'll most likely be trying this one out when I run out of my vanishing stick.
Also, if nothing works, take a look at your diet. For me, it was Biotin in my multivitamins that were causing me to break out even more. The moment I take anything with Biotin in it, I have a breakout the next day. So take a look at what you’re consuming. I know dairy is a big thing for certain people, but cheese is something I refuse to give up! I have always been on 2% milk; and lately the lactose free milk isn’t half bad! I prefer it over Almond or Soy.
Well these are my skin care products and routine. While my skin isn’t absolutely perfect, it has gotten much better. If I eat too much sugar, or wear makeup for way too many days, or slack on my routine, I still get a break out or two or three or more. But these products have tremendously helped my skin from what it was. So hopefully if you have had any reservations in trying these products I’ve mentioned reach out and I’ll be happy to answer any questions. Here’s to all of us having clearer, smoother, baby soft skin!
My skin photos over the past year or so.
Still some bumps and discoloration but its not as bad as it once was. I wish I had more photos to show when it was at its worse.