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Just remember that everyone`s skin is different. We react differently to different products and what works for me, not might work for you. What I can say is that if you have VERY dry/oily or acneic skin, this blog post might not be the answer for you. You might, however, find this helpful if you have normal or combination skin (that is or isn`t acne-prone) or even confused (because you might not be sure about your skin type).
Before we get started, you need to know about my skin first so that you can decide if you should keep reading. Growing up and all through high school, I`ve always had `normal` skin. I didn`t even have dark circles. I did, however, have blackheads on my nose which appeared when I entered puberty around the age of 13-14. I tried Neutrogena`s Blackhead Eliminating Scrub (contains salicylic acid). I bought two because it was BOGO. The first bottle dried me out, but then the second cleared up everything (weird, I know!). I didn`t bother buying another bottle because I thought I had `cured` the problem and I didn`t want to be a slave to skincare products, but the blackheads came back.
Already you can get an idea of my skin type. I don`t have an oily shine, just black heads and sometimes dryness in certain areas. My skin is more the `normal` type, even though it might seem like `combination.`
Fast forward to my early years of college and my time in beauty school. The blackheads were getting a little darker and I just really wanted flawless skin, again. So I started getting into salicylic acid because hey, if it worked once right? Well, I guess my skin was drier then than when I was 14 because I started breaking out in my T-Zone pretty badly. Even worse, my skin was getting irritated! I wanted to believe that it wasn`t the skincare products, so I kept using them. Long story short, I did ALOT of experimenting with my skin and after testing so many products, I made the tough decision to cut my dependence on SA.
After switching to `normal` products, I started breaking out in new places outside my T-Zone and I started developing whiteheads on my forehead. It really scared me, but you know that saying? It gets worse, before it gets better. That definitely holds true for skincare, so believe it! After ruining my skin with SA, I found that I now have a shiny forehead so my skin is a little more combination than it was before, but still pretty normal. I also found that I have sensitive skin (possibly even eczema), not very, but it still affects the choices I make.
Here are the products that work for me, a SA-free skincare routine. Warning though, there`s parabens (TBH, they`re hard to avoid and even found in higher end products).
- Olive oil
Just for eye makeup.
- Baby or makeup removing wipes
For when I`m lazy or just too tired to use OO. I try really hard to avoid sleeping in my makeup. Even after a nap, I will break out--guaranteed. Also, I don`t think baby wipes are comparable to legit makeup wipes. Kirkland brand wipes my fave.
Twice daily; once in the morning, once at night. Double cleanse for makeup.
- Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash (sold only at CVS)
I also love the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, but I like to try new products and Sebamed has the same principles as Cetaphil: basic, but effective for even sensitive skin.
1-2 times a week
- Korean peeling gel
- Homemade scrub (i.e. sugar, aspirin, etc.)
- Tools (more on this later)
I don`t have a set scrub. I tend to fall in love with everything, but I think aspirin and honey is my favorite right now.
- Boots Botantics Organic Rosewater Toner (discontinued) or any rosewater toner
For me, it controls shine and makes my moisturizer more effective. Can also be used as makeup setting spray.
- Witch hazel
I use it with the rosewater when I`m breaking out. It`s even better as an astringent after zit-popping.
- Eucerin Sensitive Skin Everyday Protection Face Lotion
Perfect amount of moisturizing and I`ve found that my face is less itchy. SPF was also a requirement for me (as it should be for you). Since, it`s a little pricey for me and I feel weird about using SPF at night, I only use this in the daytime.
- St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer
My night time moisturizer. Just picked the cheapest one and it turned out to be the most amazing thing ever. Water-based, so good for oily skin too. I`ve gone through three tubs already. The popularity has gone up, so they`re a little harder to get now.
- vitamin E oil
I need a little more moisture so I include a drop in my night time moisturizer. Can feel a little greasy.
- Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil
Even better than vitamin E oil because it has the benefits of oil minus the greasy feel, but expensive, so I use sparingly.
Once every other week, for 10-20 mins per session.
- Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque
Literally sucks your zits dry.
- Cloth masks
For when I want something more moisturizing, but I also have ones for acne. TIP: After using, don`t rinse. Massage the excess liquid into your skin.
- Homemade masks
My homemade scrubs double as masks.
- Scrub brush (The Body Shop)
Really popular right now, but I`ve had mine forever. Don`t use as much anymore because my skin is too sensitive. The next tools are better.
- Blackhead scrub brush (Daiso, eBay)
Made of silicone, popular in Asia. I use to lather my cleanser.
- Double-sided scrub pad (Dollar Tree, 3 for $1)
One side is terry cloth and the other is sort of a mesh. I use the mesh side to exfoliating (when I`m not using a scrub) and the terry cloth side to remove product.