If you’re a regular reader here, then you know that it wasn’t that long ago that I struggled with acne, an excessive number of clogged pores, and dull skin. The hormonal acne on my jaw was enough to make me feel too embarrassed to go bare faced. On top of that, my forehead in particular was so textured from clogged pores I felt self conscious about having my photo taken, even when I was wearing makeup. After buying and trying way too many products in an attempt to clear my skin, I’ve finally found a routine that is non-irritating and works for me, so I thought I would share it with all of you here. Hopefully this can save you some time, money, and frustration and get you the results you’re looking for ASAP.
I should note before we get into everything, that a big part of preventing further breakouts was switching to a mostly paleo diet. There is another post I wrote about my experience with the Whole 30 and what an amazing affect it had on my skin. If you’re finding that no matter what product you try, your acne persists, you should think about looking into your diet and what might be affecting your skin.
In the morning I wash my face with Manuka honey, which is a honey made from Manuka flowers that has more potent anti-bacterial properties than regular honey. I like to use a more mild cleanser in the morning to keep from drying out my face with over-washing. Then I put on my serum, which is actually a mix of four products.
Don’t judge me.
The mixture consist of: 2-5 drops of face oil (I currently use the one from Palmer’s), 3 drops of Paula’s Choice Niacinamide Booster, a pump of the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Gel, and a pump of the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Serum. The oil and B-Hydra Gel help to hydrate my skin, while the Niacinamide works to shrink pores, and Vitamin C helps to prevent and heal acne scarring and hyper pigmentation (something I’m still working to clear along my jawline). Then I apply my eye cream, and the Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream moisturizer, which has more oil in it to help keep my skin hydrated and glowy. My final step is to apply some of the Dr. Jart BB Cream, which is basically a great SPF and tinted moisturizer in one. I always wear SPF because Vitamin C and other active ingredients in skincare make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. Plus, I’ve read that SPF helps to not only prevent, but also reverse the signs of aging. If I’m not wearing the Dr. Jart BB cream, then I’ll put on a CeraVe moisturizer with sunscreen.
At night I’ll wash my face with the CeraVe cleanser with salicylic acid to help with blackheads (more on that here). My serum concoction, eye cream, and moisturizer stays the same except I switch out the Firma-C serum for either the Drunk Elephant TLC Glycolic Serum or a CeraVe retinol serum (I alternate between the two). Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, while retinol helps encourage new cell growth. I’ve learned that to keep my skin clear, I need products that help promote a constant turnover and exfoliation of cells. The right balance of these two things help to keep my skin soft and smooth. =)
WEEKLY (OR AS NEEDED)
On top of everything else, there are a few masks/treatments that I love to use about once a week, or as needed. The Clinique Even Better Brightening Mask or the First Aid Beauty Oatmeal Mask are both great for extra moisture. I usually wear them as a sleeping mask over my regular night time products. I haven’t used my green clay mask in awhile (you can get this particular one at Whole Foods), but it is good for soaking up extra oil. The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid and 9% spot treatment are both great for fighting blackheads and extra clogged pores. The 9% spot treatment is actually amazing – it helped clear out the clogged pores in that weird area under my eyes and to the side of my nose (you know, where your glasses sit).
The real stars of this section are the Clarisonic and the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial. On Sundays, I like to wash my face using the Clarisonic and then follow up with a facial. This is my at-home version of the Glycolic peels I was getting over the winter in order to help fade my acne scarring. I can’t stress enough how baby soft my skin feels after this routine and it’s such a great way to end the weekend. A little self pampering is the best for easing your way into the work week =p.