My Skincare Routine

My Skincare Routine

As my first post under ‘Beauty’, I thought I’d share my current skincare routine with you. Based on the poll I had on my Instagram Stories, you were just as excited as I was for this!

Some background: I have dehydrated, acne-prone oily skin. I used to struggle with severe acne as a teenager. Thankfully, now it’s dramatically reduced to random pimples here and there. I do get hormonal breakouts, and I have a hunch that my diet and stress contribute to pimples too. But remember, this might not apply to you. It’s crucial that you understand your skin type before using certain products.

I do a lot of research before committing to and purchasing products, mainly because I’ve learnt the hard way that you can’t always trust the brand’s hype on what it can do. Having a background in science also means that I want to make sense of the chemicals I use on my face; their purpose, adverse reactions they might cause and if I actually need them for my particular skin concerns. If you’ve done any sort of prior research on a product or tried reading reviews, you’ll know that not all websites are as neutral as we’d like them to be. To add to that, we all differ in tolerance and concerns, so what works for someone may not work for you.

This is why I prefer using Reddit to research products and ingredients before I purchase them. The people there know what they’re talking about, and they back up all their reasons and suggestions with science. The focus is on ingredients, concentrations, pH (very important when dealing with skincare) and if the packaging of the product is suitable to deliver its main ingredients. They also give honest reviews on how a product has worked for them, so you can compare reviews to make sure the product is worth trying. I’d usually type in the product’s name, add “reddit” at the end, and hit search. I’ve spent hours on Reddit, trying to make sense of what products I should try using, and so far its all been worth it!

I’ve added a few links to blog and Reddit posts about skincare if you’re interested in some background info. If you’re more of a video person, I’ve linked two “YouTube Gurus” whom I trust when it comes to skincare! All the products I use are linked as well.

Let’s get down to the skincare routine and products I use. Hope you enjoy!

I’m starting off with cleanser. The cleanser I use is the Neutregena Deep Clean facial cleanser, which has a pH of about 3.8-4.6. I actually switched to this particular one after reading about how using cleansers with a lower pH is better for the skin. A super basic, drugstore product that does its job. I wash my face with this in the morning and at night before my skincare routine. Bonus point: It contains salicylic acid, a hero ingredient when it comes to acne. Although you don’t usually have cleansers on for long enough to actually benefit much from the acid, it still in there, and at the right pH to work. To be completely honest, I don’t expect my cleanser to do much more than clean my face.

After cleansing, I’ll sometimes spray the Avène Thermal Spring Water as a little prep and to hydrate my skin further. I also spray this to reduce the thick consistency of the current moisturizer I’m using. A while back, I was trying The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum, and I used to apply it after slightly damping face with this product, to aid hydration.

Now that the cleansing is done, I’d use my moisturizer during the day, or The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution at night.

This toner is officially my holy grail product! I don’t have another toner at the moment, and I wasn’t using one prior to this, but this baby has changed my life! This product has for sure made my skin so much softer by reducing texture. Apparently, glycolic acid also hydrates the skin, and the toner contains humectants too, which have all contributed to hydrating my skin and giving it a more “plump” appearance. I definitely see myself using this for very a long time. In the beginning, I used a cotton pad to wipe the product all over my face, but recently I’ve been experimenting with just patting a thin layer on, about 10 minutes after using the salicylic acid serum. I only use this product at night.

Psst, be sure to protect your skin if you’re using AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) by applying sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with the sun! Here’s a link to a useful Reddit post about acids.

Girls, it’s finally time to moisturize. The moisturizer I use is the Hydrance Optimale Rich Hydrating Cream from Avène. I started using Avène after realising I needed a moisturizer to do what it’s meant to do; moisturize. I used to focus on getting products that would reduce acne or control oil, but it’s not as simple as it seems. You’d use spot treatment for acne, and hydration to reduce the amount of oil your skin produces. Using a moisturizer that does its job well means that you shouldn’t be dealing with the side effects of dehydration, aka dull, too oily skin. I completely finished up the Light Hydrating Cream, and bought the Rich one by accident. So far I’ve learnt to cope with the thicker consistency, but I’ll be repurchasing the Light one next time.

I’ve been using other products to calm my oil production, and we’ll get to those babies real soon in this post!

The next step is making sure we get that sun protection, and I use the Mega-Defense sunscreen from Origins. It’s my second bottle and I enjoy using it because the formula doesn’t break me out! It’s a physical sunscreen, and physical sunscreens can produce a white cast. This isn’t a problem in my case because of my complexion. In fact, it gives me sheer coverage all over and evens out my skin tone. Of course, this is definitely a problem if you have a darker skin tone. A helpful tip I’ve read is to use tinted sunscreens to prevent that white cast from ruining your complexion. I only use 3 generous drops and pat it all over my face after moisturizer. A bottle lasts me quite a while, which makes it worth the price.

I’ve been a loyal fan of this Luminizing Booster from Sephora, which is basically a vitamin C serum. This is my third bottle and I love the stuff, especially since its cheaper than most branded vitamin C serums. I use this to just brighten my face overall and reduce acne scarring. Does it do that? Yes. But I have noticed reduced efficacy over time, and I’m not sure if that’s due to the product oxidizing or my skin increasing its tolerance to it. I would ideally use this every night, but let’s be real, ain’t nobody got the time for that. Only 3 small drops spread evenly all over my face, 4 times a week before my moisturizer/sleep-in mask.

Side note: I haven’t been using this serum much lately, as I’ve been trying newer ones from The Ordinary, but for now it’s definitely my favourite Vitamin C one. That is of course, until I find the time to research vitamin C serums properly.

Now, here are the newer serums I’ve been trying out! I’m planning to post a more in-depth review on these products in a separate post. For now, I’ll explain why I use each one and where in my routine I incorporate them. I’ll start off by saying that they’re all from The Ordinary, a brand under DECEIM.

The Salicylic Acid 2% Solution. I’ve been using this for two weeks and so far, I’m loving it! I’ve seen it reduce the size of ‘angry’ pimples tremendously, and keep newer ones under control. I feel like it’s also been reducing the dark spots and scarring I have, because I seem to be waking up to a clearer complexion day by day. I’d definitely recommend this for acne-prone, oily skin. I use this after cleansing at night, and pat 2 drops all over my face.

The Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I’ve been using this on my face for about 10 days, on and off. At the same time, I’ve been testing it out on some hyperpigmentation from a scar on my arm. It’s definitely working magic there! When used consistently, you can really see the mark fade! So, although I can’t fully attribute it to reducing facial dark spots, it definitely did that on my arm. I’ve been recently using 2 drops of this during the day, after cleansing, so I don’t have too much going on at night.

Again, I’ll be properly testing the products out (including the Hyaluronic Acid serum) and I’ll spill my experience in an upcoming review of the 4 The Ordinary products I own. Overall though, I’ve been loving them, and I feel like I’ll be trying out more products from them. The redness on my face has reduced, and I’m not afraid of new pimples anymore. I definitely need to add an eye cream though into this routine though. Other than the review, I’m also planning of putting up a post on the face masks I use weekly soon.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting my blog! It’s been a lengthy post, so I’ll end it here. Keep in touch, and I hope you enjoyed.

Here are the links I promised:

Liah Yoo and Gothamista on Youtube

Facial cleansers pH list

Love, Dania

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