My first step is a cleansing oil, and it depends on whether or not I have makeup on. My favorite things to use are extra virgin olive and coconut oils because they champion even the toughest smudge-and-budge-proof formulas. Using just my first three fingers, I massage the oils lightly into my face and neck area, ears too! It helps the start with a little dab of oil on each area and then add more as I need it too. The best part about this step is that it's the pre-moisturizer that stops my facial washes from stripping my skin of what little natural oils it has. I use a dampened cloth to take the rest off and then go straight to a cream based or exfoliating cleanser.
This step cleanses the rest of my debris and oils away and give me a totally clean canvas to work with. Exfoliating three times a week is enough for me, I like to use scrubs or peels that has mild debriding agents like SKIN79's Crystal Peeling Gel, or a rice enzyme peel. My go to cleansers are Tony Moly's Tomato Complexion bar and the Baking Powder BB Deep Cleansing Foam from Etude House. They are great for thin/dryer skin types that are prone to break outs or inflamed acne. I feel I achieve the best results if I used an automated exfoliation device or extension, but they work all the same when applied the regular way. Sometimes the complexion bar can be a bit drying, so I tend to use if I've been wearing heavy makeup and religiously using cleansing oil.
The hardest part is doing my moisturizer routine in a way that ensures that all the products I put on my face work in harmony, so I've been pretty flexible about what I will put on my face and how much. Right now, I do three drops of oil on my damp skin and then layer the serums according to their density and benefits. I use to try to do them all and once and my face was a hot mess of gunk, some runny and some so thick it stuck to my fingers while I was trying to massage it in. If you're familiar with the new turn therapy line, then you probably know the correct order to apply these products in. Please tell me, I have no idea :). I start with the White-C serum, then the Wrinkle-tox, and leave the Amino Acid Repair serum and oil for last; I just go by how thick the serum is. That tiny jar all the way to the left is an anti-inflammation gel by The Skin House that I bought like a month ago. I only use it when I'm experiencing a severe breakout or after I've steamed my face. It's cool to the touch and reduces the redness and swelling associated with breakouts. I bought this in person and a hole in the wall shop and I will say for as much as the shop person talked it up, it was worth it. HOWEVER, it is not useful underneath makeup, that's the only point I disagree on. This is what I'm working with right now:
- Cleansing Oil*
- Tomato Complexion bar or BB Cleansing Foam
- Crystal Peeling Gel or Powder*
- White Serum
- Wrinkle Serum
- Amino Serum
- Three dabs of oil for extra conditioning
- Soothing Gel on any local breakouts*
- A face mask to set the products
- Regular facials
- Actually going to the dermatologist.
Can I just say that I cannot stress the last step enough? I've had problematic skin all my life but I knew I would, just like I have always known that self diagnosis is not all that helpful for problematic skin. A doctor will be able to pinpoint the source of your acneiform problems and walk you through short and long term treatment options for what ever your troubles are. There's probably not a magic pill or something that will stop us from ever having a zit again, but there are other great alternatives and they are all at the butt of a formal examination and consultation. In the long run, it's much better than spending ten grand a year just for skincare and cosmetics, and it won't put you out of business. Well, it is officially one in the morning on my end so I'll stop here for now. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below or send an email. Cheers!