Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Skincare - Acne Skincare Update

It's my FAVORITE part of the entire beauty scene - skincare! I don't know where my genuine love of an involved skincare routine really started. I've had pretty difficult skin since my late teens. So I've become accustomed to doing much more than just washing my face. But somewhere along the way, I began to enjoy the journey of figuring out which ingredients worked for me, which didn't, and why that was.

As the hot, humid, Florida summer crept up, I knew it was time to start changing my skincare routine around. The weather was changing AND I was suddenly having skin problems. The kind of skin problems I had at 19. Yep. Pimples. Zits. Acne. Whatever you want to call it. I suddenly had a major breakout of cystic acne (that I somehow managed to contain and conceal pretty well) and had to figure out how to not only combat this breakou, but also prevent future breakouts.

Now, I'm pretty sure getting off of Yaz (that's a whole different post) is what triggered it. And at 19, the only thing that worked for me was Proactiv. But I'm trying to avoid going back onto that entire system because, while it works, it also is something that took forever to wean my skin off of. In a weird way, my skin gets addicted to it. (Anyone else?) On top of my new/old pimple problem, I still have to continue preventing sun spots and uneven skin tone. Well, this skin care challenge... I accepted.

So here are the products I've been using that have worked to keep acne at bay, heal the breakout I had, protect my skin from the Florida sunshine, and still allow me to have some anti-aging ingredients in my skincare routine.


Face Wash/Scrubs


1. Proactiv Step 1 Acne Wash

Let's get this one out of the way. Yes, I went back to the wash. It's a tried and true. The scent of the wash reminds me of my college years. It's expensive... which is the only thing I don't like about it. I only use it at night after I use the scrub below.

2. ACURE Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub

I've been using this one for awhile and, honestly, it's one of the best scrubs I've ever used. It has enough grit to really exfoliate, but not so much that it's irritating. It doesn't break me out and I love the natural ingredients. It's not bad price wise at full price. But I can usually find it for CHEAP at Marshall's/TJ Maxx.

3. Neutralyze Face Wash

I found this guy on Amazon. I tried the entire system but ended up only really liking the wash. It has mandelic acid (think brightening and skin clearing effects of Glycolic Acid but without the purging) and salicylic acid. It feels and smells like an acne wash from the dermatologist. For some reason, I like that. It feels more legit that way. I noticed a difference in my skin after using this. My skin tone was more even and there were fewer blemishes forming. The price isn't bad (about $15) but I go through it quickly even though I only use it in the morning with my Foreo Luna Mini.

4. Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

This is a brand that is completely new to me! And I have Youtuber Gothamista to thank for that.  It's a Korean skincare brand that offers high-quality products at a low price. I use this refreshing face wash on the mornings that my skin feels a little dry from using my acne spot treatments (more on those later). One bottle lasts a while, it feels nice on, and it doesn't leave behind any residue. Plus, it contains tea tree oil to help fight blemishes.

Toners & Serums

1. Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner

I LOVE this toner. I started by spraying it onto a cotton ball and using it that way. But now I just mist it onto my face. It has glycolic acid in it and really helps with the overall look of my skin.

2.  Whamisa by Glow Recipe® Green Tea Serum Toner

Yes, I STILL use this serum toner. Still love it. Still love that it makes my skin look and feel so smooth. There are days when I skip this step, but I still use it most days/nights.

3.  HARISU Cosmeceuticals's AHA 15% Gel

Another new addition. Does this gel serum help with acne? I'm not sure. But it does give my skin a glow. It doesn't smell great and does not have a luxurious feel to it. But it is a quality product for under $7.

4.  Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

This is my tried and true! It's about $20 so I've tried to find a less expensive alternative, but I always come back to this one. I just haven't found anything that even compares to this serum.

Day Moisturizers

1. Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap

To be honest, I'm still on the fence when it comes to this moisturizer. I like how it feels, I don't think it breaks me out, but I haven't been using it long enough to see any results.

2. Garnier SkinActive SPF 30 Face Moisturizer with Vitamin C

I've used this in the past and went back to it. Once my skin started breaking out I had to stop using most of the more natural based products I was using. Why? Because they all contain several different oils. And oil combats oil. However, my issue stems not so much from being oily, but from having pores that clog easily. And oil clogs my skin up! So I went back to this oil-free SPF moisturizer from my past.

Night Creams

1. Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Overnight Recharging & Refining Moisturizer

This is where things usually take a pricey turn. I have a hard time finding effective drugstore night creams that work for my skin. So I turn to higher-end brands. This one by Philosophy isn't too bad price wise. It doesn't make my skin break out, contains glycolic acid (seeing the trend?), and is moisturizing without being greasy.

2. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Cream

If I had to pick a skincare brand that I really trust, I'd pick Ole Henriksen. Yes, their products are pricey but I found this cream at Marshall's for about $6. Yep! It has licorice root extract and vitamin c which both brighten skin. This is another non-greasy option.

Spot Treatment

1. Mario Badescu Drying Mask

Not the drying lotion. The drying mask. It smells awful. I mean, it is probably the worst smelling skincare product I've ever used. But it works. It contains zinc and sulfur. It dries, shrinks, and reduces the redness of blemishes.  I mix this with the product below before applying them to blemishes.

2. Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Spot Treatment Cream

This is a 10% benzoyl peroxide treatment. I honestly think any benzoyl peroxide treatment would work. This just happens to be the one I have.

I also use a couple of LED photon treatment products- but that is another post I will be doing soon!



My Routine (it's a lot)

Morning

1. Foreo Mini with Cosrx face wash OR Neutralyze face wash
2. Cosrx toner
3. Green tea toner serum
4. AHA Gel mixed with Derma E serum
5. Cosrx oil-free moisturizer
6. Garnier SPF moisturizer

Evening (let's be real. Like 10pm)

1. (Sometimes) LED Photon mask
2. Acure scrub
3. Proactiv face wash
4. Cosrx toner
5. Green tea toner serum
6. AHA Gel mixed with Derma E serum
7.  (Sometimes) Ole Henriksen cream
8. Hope in a Jar cream

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