I’ve struggled with my skin since high school. I had the most stubborn acne and none of the prescription pills or creams seemed to make it better. I eventually tried Accutane. I had heard a ton of terrifying stories about Accutane, but nothing else was working. So I gave it a try and it worked! It was not without some weird side effects though. I’m pretty sure I would not have survived Accutane without learning about Aquaphor because my lips were so dry. It did leave me with less acne, but it also left acne scarring. Since then, I try to be diligent about my skin. I never want to go through Accutane again. I also try to use products with safer ingredients when possible. So these are my ride or die skincare secrets.
My number one tip is to ALWAYS wash your face at night. Don’t consider it optional. Your skin repairs itself at night. Leaving makeup on limits skin’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do. Not to mention you’re leaving your pores clogged which is an open invitation to acne. Also, If you don’t wash your face before putting on your nighttime serums or moisturizers or whatevers, then your skin cannot absorb the products to their full potential. Products are expensive! Do what you can to make the most of what you’re buying. Also, Washing your face once may not be enough. That’s why I take my makeup off using these wipes and then wash my face with…
PCA Skin Facial Wash Cleanser. I love this face wash. It has worked wonders for me and my husband. My esthetician recommended this brand to me and it is wonderful. It’s not too tough on skin by drying it out, but it has significantly decreased breakouts for both my husband and me. If I am having more issues with breakouts, I will use the “Oily/Problem Skin" version of the wash but normally I just go with the “Facial Wash”. This thing lasts a long time too. It’s pricer than I’d normally spend, but you don’t need to use a ton. I usually get several months out of one bottle with both of us sharing it. The moisturizer/sunscreen in their line is also really nice and light. I am a fan of it as well.
If I do have some very serious breakouts that are not going away, I’ll up the ante and go with a Sunday Riley kit called the Space Race to Fight Acne, Oils and Pores at Warp Speed. The kit is $65 but you get a toner/moisturizer, a spot treatment/mask and an oil. Using all three at the same time tends to be too much for me so I switch it up. If I’m struggling with a pimple or two then I use the mask as a spot treater. If it’s all over I’ll either use the mask or use the oil after I wash my face with the product above. This stuff is STRONG. The oil has 1.5% salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and black cumin seed oil (among other things) in it. The mask has Sulfer in it so you know it’s not messing around. These products have a very strong smell and they do sting me a little but they do their job well.
I’m pretty oily naturally but I found a DIY face oil that has helped me immensely. If I’m not breaking out to the point where I need Sunday Riley products (which I normally don’t because they are so strong) I’ll use this. I’m linking the video here where I got this recipe. This girl knows what she is talking about. She’s an esthetician and makes an anti aging face oil. She even tweaks the recipe according to whether you’re dry or oily. I sleep in this face oil most nights and I can tell a massive difference in my oil production. The oil helps to balance out what I’m naturally producing. I also add about 20 drops of Doterra’s Frankincense to my oil mixture. Frankincense is expensive but considering that you can end up paying $90 for one bottle of serum I think this is the way to go. At least it has been for me. I bought the rest of the products from Whole Foods, besides the Frankincense, and it lasts me about a year. The Rose Hip oil expires after about 6 months but that product is not very expensive at Whole Foods. Make sure your oils are cold pressed and put them into a colored jar to block sunlight from messing with your ingredients. This diy oil is a GAME-CHANGER.
I have really dark undereyes. I know I’ve mentioned the makeup products I use to cover those here. But I also love the Origins GinZing Eye Cream. It helps to brighten my undereyes like crazy. It’s also not super heavy either. I get those little white bumps under my eye from using products that are too heavy but this has not done that to me once. I highly recommend it.
Masks are a favorite of mine too if my skin is driving me crazy. One of my favorites currently is the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask. If I feel like my skin looks dull or uneven, this helps a ton. I’m also a huge fan of Freeman and 7th Heaven masks. For Freeman, my favorite is the Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask. And for 7th Heaven it’s the Hot Spring Sauna Face Mask. Ulta used to sell this 7th Heaven, self heating mask but I can’t find it anymore. Walmarts are sold out online too. So I’m still working on the best place to buy them. Let me know if you come across one!
When I have Dry Skin I use the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyluronic Cloud Cream. (I’m beginning to feel like these companies compete for the longest names.) I have very sensitive skin and a lot of moisturizers that were recommended to me have broken me out. This one didn’t. It’s very moisturizing but it absorbs into the skin pretty quickly too. Normally this is I bedtime product for me but I will occasionally use it in the morning too. Just leave enough time for it to absorb before applying your primer and foundation.
If you give any of these products a whirl, please let me know what you think! Remember, Sephora will give you 3 free samples a week so take advantage of that. I always do samples for skincare and foundation there. Its a fantastic way to give those really pricy products a try before diving in to purchase!