Updated: May 1, 2020
First things first, my skin and I have not been friends for about 5 years, but particularly this last one. I currently have bad acne, particularly along my jawline, and if I use too many acne products, my skin will become very dry in the matter of one night. The rest of the time, I have oily skin. I have been trying incredibly hard to find a skincare routine that isn't absolutely crazy, something easy I can do, but that helps clear my skin. I have used the same routine for nearly 3 months now and there has been a very noticeable change.
First off, I NEVER go to bed with makeup on. I can come home at 3am, but the first thing I will do is take everything off my face. The best thing I have found is raw, organic coconut oil. Coconut oil easily removes even the most stubborn waterproof makeup, while hydrating your skin as you take everything off. I take a little bit in my hand and gently massage my face until all my makeup comes off nicely. My jar is from Trader Joe's and lasts me at least 6 months. I used this for most of high school and I don't know why I ever went back to makeup wipes.
I then use a fresh face towel to get rid of all the coconut oil and then wash my face with the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Face and Body Bar. This brand is incredibly amazing. All their products are organic with no parabens, no DEA, and a list of other harmful ingredients. In addition, they are a cruelty-free, ethically and sustainably traded, family-owned company. This particular face wash is easy to use. Its key ingredients include aloe, vitamin E, and shea butter which allows you to moisturize your skin while beating the oiliness with the african black soap. In addition, the oats allows you to gently exfoliate your skin while cleaning your skin. I tend to wash my face twice, once to remove the top gross layer of my skin to remove coconut oil residue, dirt, and any other gathered materials on my skin throughout the day. The next wash allows to attack my actual skin and clean in depth not just the top layer of my skin, but also my pores. Don't forget to clean your neck and perhaps chest too in the shower! I have one of these bars by my sink and another in my shower.
After I rinse it all off, I towel-pat my face and spray a couple spritz of the Shea Moisture African Black Soap Problem Skin. This toner spray includes tamarind extract and tea tree oil. The tamarind soothes the skin of inflammation and irritation while reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Tea tree oil is one of the best things to combat acne or oily skin in general through helping acne scars, redness, inflammation, plus it has great antibacterial characteristics.
After the toner dries, I use the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum. This brand is also an organic company with non-harmful ingredients. This contains many ingredients to help unclog pores, fight acne, even skin tone, and renew the skin. A couple drops goes a long way. I usually use 3 drops for my face and neck, 5 drops if I'm bringing it down to my décolleté after a shower.
The last two steps differ on if I am cleaning in the AM or PM. I always come in with a moisturizer followed by a form of acne-specific fighting product.
In the morning, I love the Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer. I find this moisturizer to help my acne (it does contain Salicylic acid!) while ensuring my skin is moisturized. In the past, all these acne fighting products would cause dryness, however this moisturizer ensures my skin never feels dry, or on the opposite, too oily. As a makeup-wearer, this also provides a great based for my foundation. It does not move my foundation around or cause the oils to come through the makeup.
I then follow up with a target acne treatment, the Clean And Clear Advantage Spot Treatment. It helps prevent future acne while reducing the size and redness of the current ones. It does contain 2% Salicylic acid and therefore smells a little strong but it doesn't last long.
At night, I prefer a moisturizer and spot treatment that may be more to the extremes. The Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Moisturizer. It contains the same two ingredients as the toner mentioned above. In addition, I'm not sure which ingredient(s) cause this, however my skin looks immediately matte after I use it. This does not make your skin look shiny which I love. The moisturizer is not and thick as well. I use this in the morning if I do not wear makeup, however I find it too thick if I put foundation on top.
As far as the acne treatment, I use the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion. This is supposed to be more of a spot treatment, however I apply a thin layer across my jawline, nose, and forehead. This is a very effective product, therefore if you have lighter acne, I will strongly urge to just use it as a spot treatment.
Lastly, for very stubborn acne or problematic days, I will use the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. This spot treatment is the best I have ever found and have used this since I was around 13. You use a Qtip and dip into the pink ingredients at the bottom and then apply to your acne. If I'm being honest, I swipe this all along my jawline and occasionally all across my nose, along with the specific targeted spots around my face. This is such a strong product and dries out my skin overnight. Due to this, I will never use this more than two nights in a row, no more than three times a week otherwise I will become very dry everywhere. Once you know how to use it with your skin, this product is to die for. You leave it on overnight and clean your face in the morning, (repeating this skincare routine) and your skin will clear up overtime.
I've spent so long trying to figure out what works for my skin and I am finally happy with my products. Now with the combination of healthy eating, I am starting to see even more results, and others have noticed!
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