Friday Favorites: Skincare Edition

Greetings, Friends. I hope your Friday night is more happening than mine is. Currently, I am sitting on my couch enjoying a beer…so I thought ‘what better time to write a blog about skincare?’ Full disclosure, beer is definitely terrible for your skin, but life is all about #Balance.

Backstory…my skin has NEVER been cooperative. I’ve gone through good phases, and I’ve gone through some major flareups. Most recently last year…I had really bad cystic acne all down my cheeks and sides of my chin. It wasn’t fun, it made me feel unattractive, and it caused more stress (which in turn caused more breakouts).

The left pic is Oct. 2017 – most of my blemishes are covered in makeup, but you can tell my skin was rough and uneven. The right pic is from a few weeks ago. I am wearing minimal foundation, and my skin is glowing and smoother.

It feels like I finally got my skin in check. Granted, I still find a nice ol zit every now and then (today would be one of those days), but I’m less panicky about it, and I feel more prepared to handle it.

I am lucky to have a friend who is an aesthetician. When I told her about my aggravation with my skin, she recommended some products for me and gave me a great jumping off point. I am so grateful for her. Having a skin regimen is SO important. My Mother would tell me that growing up, but of course I never listened. It wasn’t until it was too late that I wish I had.

I am not a dermatologist or a doctor, nor am I claiming to be one. I am simply sharing some of my favorite products that I’ve grown to love and have found some success with over the past year. Everyone’s skin is different, everyone’s skin reacts differently to things. What works for me, may not work for you. So please keep that in mind.

Additionally, no one is paying me or providing me with products or services to write this post.

Before I post any products, I would like to mention that my skin got 100% better when I stopped touching and poking at existing breakouts. It should be common sense that putting your dirty hands on your already inflamed skin is not a good idea, but that idea gets blurred and ignored when you’re so anxious about your appearance that you’re willing to try anything to expedite the healing process.

Then, I got ahold of was a good cleanser. I’ve really fallen in love with the m-61 line from Blue Mercury. When I first started, my skin was very oily and breakout prone. The Power Cleanse with glycolic acid was a great option for me. My face felt very clear and clean after using this.

Once my skin got its act together, I noticed it was looking a little dull from all of the acne products I was using. A store associate recommended the Jet-Glow Cleanse, which is for retexturizing the skin. I have been very happy with it. A coworker even told me my skin looked like it was glowing immediately after I started using it.

My friend also told me I would need to get ahold of a good toner. I started with the SkinCeuticals LHA toner for problematic skin. I was so happy with the results from this, I went to repurchase it when I ran out. At the time, they had stopped production on it since they were redesigning the bottle. So the store associate recommended the Avene Cleanance Mattifying Toner. I like that this toner is more affordable than the SkinCeuticals one, and it lives up to it’s ‘mattifying’ name. My skin feels fresh and not oily after using it.

I was also told to look into a good moisturizing serum. Because my skin is oily, I was told to stay away from creams and lotions that would only make that problem worse. A serum is lighter on the skin, but will still give you the moisture you need after using drying acne products. You are allowed to layer serums, so I use two: one for moisturizing, and one for helping my acne scars heal.

The Hydrating B5 Gel from SkinCeuticals gives my skin the moisture it needs, without clogging my pores. Before applying that, I use the SkinCeuticals Phyto+ Gel. Along with hydrating, it helps with any discoloration and hyperpigmentation your skin may have. I’ll be honest, these serums cost a pretty penny, but the plus side is you don’t go through a lot of product all at once, so they will last you. And the results are worth it.

Another serum I have grown to love is from the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa – the Pro Perfection Serum. The aesthetician I saw there recommended it to me – it is a serum specifically for adult acne. She explained that adult acne and teen acne are two very different situations. This serum is not as harsh and as drying on your skin as teen acne products are. Even though I have found some links to this product online, I order it specifically from the spa I went to, and was told they do not sell it online. So I will not provide the links I found.

The next product I use is something you’ve probably heard of – Differin Gel. Up until recently, it was prescription only. Now, retinol products are able to be purchased OTC. I get mine at Target. If you do use this product, you must be careful of sun exposure. Always use a sunscreen with it.

Now that I’m in my late twenties (I puked a little typing that), I’ve incorporated anti-aging products in my regimen. My Mom bought me an anti aging set from Boots No 7 for Christmas. It is the Early Defence line that is geared for women around my age who are starting to feel the effects of aging. I use one cream at night, and one in the morning. They also contain SPF, which is great as I mentioned before. I try to use a thin layer of these creams, as I don’t want to clog my pores. But I really haven’t seen issues with them.

The products I listed above are ones I use on a daily basis, some even twice a day. Below are two products I like to use occasionally to supplement my skincare.

m-61 PowerSpot Pads and PowerGlow Pads are great when I have to spot treat a breakout. I do not use both on the same day. The PowerSpot Pads are better for fighting blemishes, and the PowerGlow Pads are great for exfoliating.

Another product I love for spot treating blemishes is the EradiKate Acne Treatment from Kate Somerville. I dab a little on my problem area with a Q-Tip before sleeping, let it dry overnight, and when I wake up, the redness and size of my blemish is significantly reduced. It’s important to not pile this on with any other spot treatment product, as you don’t want to dry out your skin.

I definitely do not have the solution for your skin problem, but I hope my post has inspired you to find a regimen that works for you! Don’t be afraid to ask questions – visit your local skincare stores and ask the staff anything that comes to your mind. The ladies at my Blue Mercury were so comforting and really made me feel better and less alone about my acne. When you get a facial, although it’s relaxing to stay quiet through it, I encourage you to talk to your aesthetician, because they are filled with knowledge that will really improve your skin situation (your skintuation?)

Until next time!

Diana

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