Having acne is the absolute worst. And what’s even worse than having acne is having acne as a 14 year old? Having acne as a 20 (side-eyeing, you, 30) year old woman. I started color-correcting my skin when I was in middle school after reading a magazine article in my mom’s Cosmo magazine that said green corrected redness. So I remember buying some nonsense from Walmart and smearing it all over my face. Fast forwarding to high school where I had full range to wear whatever makeup (and I SURE did) I wanted. Anyway this is all working towards the idea that I started caking my face as what I would consider a toddler all in an effort to cover up the fact that I didn’t have great skin.
After I started really getting serious about makeup skills, I felt like I could never really do what all of these other gals are doing because my skin was so shitty. I decided I was over all of the skin issues that I had and I went to a doctor. Things went badly and I ended up not getting the results I wanted. I had really bad side effects from antibiotics that I was prescribed. I used them for about 5 days before I just stopped using all of it.
I really immersed myself into figuring out a skincare routine and after trying out about a million products I feel like I finally found some products that fixed most of my issue. I started using a routine and really getting serious about my skincare about a year ago so the first picture that I included would be from about a year ago.
I remember reading somewhere that you should wash your face for every layer of makeup that you’re wearing. I always use something that’s more oil-based to get all of my makeup off. I will put this on my dry skin to get my makeup moving around and rub it in for about a minute before I rinse it off. Then I will follow up with a cleanser that is more geared towards my skin type for more of a treatment.
Removing makeup before bed
I used to be the worst at this. I would come home after work and just hit the hay because I was too tired to deal with taking my makeup off. Now I force myself every single night, no matter what, to take my makeup off and/or go through my whole routine regardless of how tired I am. I know that everyone always says the same thing about this and they are right. I have seen such an improvement when I wake up in the morning that it makes it worth the extra 30 minutes.
Space out your steps
If you’re into doing a skincare routine, I have noticed that it works best if you give the products some time to really work before going in with your next step. especially if you’re using a retinol, which is works best if you wait about 30 minutes before moving on to your next step.
I have oily skin and I was complain about it, but I still use a moisturizer that is suitable to my skin type. I will always use a light gel moisturizer during the day. At night, I am able to use something more serious and let it really work overnight. I have found that I really like hyaluronic acid for nighttime and a gel moisturizer for under my makeup.
3 week rule
Whenever I start to use something, I give it 3 weeks. As much as I would love to say that you can go out and drop $100 dollars on a serum and wake up looking photoshopped, that is just not the case. It takes so much time before something can really work. Most of the time with more harsh products, using them a couple of times a week instead of everyday is really helpful as well to avoid your skin from spiraling out of control.
I use a different combination of these products everyday and night and these are the things that have really made the most difference. Some of them I use every night and some are masks and treatments that I use once every few days. I suppose that this might be considered a little much, but given the state that my skin was in when I started, it did require a lot of extra work and likely more products than the average person might need.
Glamglow Powercleanse Daily Dual Cleanser ($39)
I use this to take off my makeup before I actually wash my face. It has an oil component that mixes in with a mud cleanser that does a fantastic job to get everything moving to take everything off. I will apply this to my dry face with my makeup still on and rub it in for a minute and then rinse. There are a lot of other products in a balm or oil form that would do something similar to this, so it is really not super necessary to use something super expensive just to remove makeup. If you’re looking for something higher-end, this one is great. Glamglow Powercleanse
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Exfoliating Powder ($30)
I just started using this but it is such a different product that I had to include it. I love using charcoal to clean my skin because how well it works for acne prone skin. Once my makeup is off, I mix some of this powder with a little bit of water and I can feel an instant different in the texture of my skin. It is a physical exfoliater, which I really enjoy. MY only problem with this is that it can be messy and if you use it twice a day as the packaging suggests, it will not last long. You can also use this product as a mask so sometimes if I will leave it on longer so the active charcoal can really work into my pores. Origins Clear Improvement
Son & Park Beauty Water ($30)
I use this as a micellar water to remove anything leftover and I also use it as my toner in the morning. I am really not into layering a ton of products on my skin before putting on makeup because I am not into the way my makeup layers on top of them. This is light and hydrating and it works. This has a pH of 4.5 which should reset the skins natural pH after cleansing. This also has rose water, and willowbark which will clam skin after washing. Son & Park
Biologique Recherché Lotion p50 1970 ($27-$112)
I have gone through 2 bottles of this and I am convinced that this is what really changed my skin. It smells awful and it pretty intense stuff, but my pores look so much smaller and my skin feels balanced. This is because of the amount of chemical exfoliation that my skin is getting from this product and the acids that are in it. You cannot find a lot of information about this formula online, but I can attest with all of the other crazy skincare bloggers that this little mystery bottle is worth the hype. My skin is always super super oily which is likely from it not being balanced but this stuff seems to have fixed it (at least for the most part). It is an acid toner that works for an enormous amount of sin issues. I always reorder this before I run out. It’s a lifesaving product. This product contains Phenol which is a numbing antiseptic that has some safety concerns. There are a few different versions of this lotion/toner and I will most likely switch to a less intense version of this once I feel like I am where I would like to be with my skin. Also you cannot waltz into a store and purchase this product. It has to be purchased from a spa or through that spa’s online shop. Rescue Spa
Sunday Riley U.F.O Oil ($40-$80)
This is a dry oil that is made for oily and congested skin. It has salicylic acid and tea tree oil. This will help with active acne and will also help with post-acne marks. I would normally have reservations about putting this type of product on acne prone skin but I always see good results from this and there is nothing about this product that irritates my skin when using it with other products as well. I so grateful that you are now able to purchase the smaller version of this to make it cost less upfront for those that would just like to try it out. I find that the smaller bottle still lasts a considerable amount of time when I am using it every other night or so. Sunday Riley
Herbivore Lapis Balancing Facial Oil ($72)
I use this when I am not using the Sunday Riley U.F.O oil. This does not have salicylic acid, but it is still geared towards oily skin. This is a great moisturizer and works well to get rid of redness. This also is non-Add to dictionary and does not contain any silicone. Herbivore
Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum ($65)
Retinols are great for both acne and anti-aging purposes. This particular retinol is a 1.5% strength which is a medium to high level of over the counter retinol. This is in a oil form with vitamins C and E to combat any irritation that you might get from using a stronger strength retinol. The important thing to remember is that when you use a retinol that there is always a chance that your skin can get pretty over exposed and sensitive very fast. It is one of those things that you would want to incorporate slowly. It does take a while for it to start working as well so you will not see immediate results. I always use one and I have really experienced good results with most that I have tried, but it is a lifesaver for those with adult acne. Retinol Fusion
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel ($27)
I use this every morning under my makeup and I will likely not ever switch to anything else. I love that it’s a gel so it works the best with oily skin and it absorbs instantly. I am able to layer makeup products on top of it without them sliding around 2 hours after application. This one of those things that once you find something that works you just keep using it. I can’t quit this one. Clinque Dramatically Different Gel
Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot Skin Brightening Corrector ($75)
This is what I have been using to get rid of the dark spots that I have from past acne marks. There are a lot of products that are mean for this purpose that contain hydroquinone, which is an ingredient that has some mixed reviews in regard to it lightening skin. This product is hydroquinone free and contains newer ingredients that can produce the same results. I use this only at night although the package says that it is to be used twice a day so I will not see results as fast as those that are incorporating it into their routine more. So far I am pleased with how much my past marks have lightened and I will likely continue to use this product. De-Spot
Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel ($55)
This is ten minute peel treatment that helps with skin clarity and texture. I use it every couple of days and I love the results that I get right after rinsing it away. Vitamin C is great for lightening marks and overall appearance. This does burn a little bit when you put it on and according to the website this would be comparable to a ‘spa peel’. I was able to keep this one for the full ten minutes when I first started using it; however, if your skin is sensitive I would probably use it for less time until you get used to it. Murad
Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48)
I use this mask only when my skin starts breaking out or acting weird. When I first got it, I used it much more and the instruction suggests to use to it 4 days consecutively to see quick results. Which I did. It works so well for reducing the amount of texture I had on my face. I do not have as many little bumps as I used to, but I still find use for this mask once a week. The smell is not great and the consistency of this is a little slimy but overall it does the job when you are first starting to clear up your skin. Blue Tansy Mask
The important thing to remember about a skincare routine is that you really need to find one that works for you. I am not a skincare expert by any stretch of the imagination but I have gone through my fair share of skin care troubles and I am starting to feel very confident in the products and formulas that I am incorporating into my routine. Also, this post is not sponsored (but if you guys are trying to send me some skincare, I’m not opposed) and all of the pictures are owned by me.