A thing I have not been updating on is my current overall skin care routine. Lets check it out!
1. Oil: Argan or jojoba oil
2. Cerave foaming cleanser
3. Cosrx BHA
4. Cosrx AHA
5. Missha FTE
6. Mizon All in One (brown jar)
7. (sometimes) CeraVe PM
Notes: I’ve been applying the BHA and AHA basically on top of each other. On days when I’m exercising, and thus starting my routine earlier, I’ll hold off on the rest of my routine until I’m brushing my teeth and going to bed. Otherwise, I try to wait for them to dry, then go right into the rest of my routine. Some folks suggest that wait times can be important in maximizing the effectiveness of active ingredients like acids, but my current schedule just doesn’t support it.
You will also note that I’m really not wearing any makeup these days. Again, primarily a time issue. Also, since my skin has greatly improved, my job doesn’t require it, and I’m lazy, it’s nice to not ‘have’ to.
1. Rinse with water or Cerave hydrating cleanser
2. Missha FTE
3. Mizon All in One (brown jar)
I’m still not 100% satisfied with my sunscreen choice, and I blame my impatience and also the really opaque product descriptions. I like the Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence sunscreen, it really has a very nice finish. Since it’s been cooling off, I’ve been reaching for it more often and I am less concerned with the fact that it isn’t sweat/sebum/water resistant. In the hot sweaty stick southern summer though, I think it’s probably a joke, given that I can’t walk to my car without sweating, which I why I picked up the Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV Milky Essence. Unfortunately, it tends to leave me shiny, except on rare occasions and I’m not sure what I’m doing differently on those days. :( I’m excited to try a Biore Milk sunscreen soon.
One issue brought up by exercising more AND getting obsessed with skin care AND using ingredients that increase sun sensitivity is that I have to think a bit more about how I’m going to coordinate my exercise with my skin care routine.
For me, the easiest so far has been to exercise after work. At this point, the sun is setting (or already set if I’m getting started late), so there is minimal sun exposure, and I still have the remnants of my daily sunscreen on. By the time I’m done, the sun is basically set (if I didn’t start in the dark!), so it doesn’t matter if I’ve sweated off the remainder of my sunscreen and I can just do my usual wash routine in the shower and then go right into my nightly product(s). If it were any earlier in the evening and/or if the sun was more up, it would probably make sense to reapply the sunscreen before going running. And since it isn’t UNGODLY HOT anymore, I’m not sweating as badly either.
When it was hotter, I was liberally applying my go-to US sunscreen: Coppertone for Kids/Babies Tear Free. It’s hella water/sweat proof, and if some days I double-cleansed twice a day, so be it.
I’ve gotten a little suckered into the whole ‘Asian skincare’ craze, and it’s inspired me to step it up a bit in terms of taking care of my skin and working on clearing up my ‘adult acne’ that I’ve been battling for years and years now. Step 1: document what I’m doing now and how well it’s working.
- Remove makeup/sunscreen with either Jojoba oil or an argan oil that I got from Marshalls that is probably not (entirely) argan oil.
- Wash face with CeraVe foaming face wash.
- Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence.
- Target-brand anti-fungal around my nose for seborrhoeic dermatitis redness/dryness/flaking
a. Epiduo (benzol peroxide + tretinoin, expired)
b. AHA+ (glycolic acid) from Acne.org
c. skip both if skin is looking good OR too irritated.
- Optional, depending on previous product application + skin condition + humidity/weather: jojoba oil as a final moisturizer. In the winter, I have to go to a much heavier moisturizer.
- low-dose hormonal birth control
- Rinse face with water
- Misha First Treatment essence
- Target-brand anti-fungal cream
- Olay SPF 15 for sensitive skin moisturizer.
I’m not really wearing much makeup these days. If I’m wearing anything, its some eyeliner and mascara. I don’t have time/am not motivated to do foundation/blush/anything else, and it’s gotten hot enough that it’d all melt off anyway.
- Jojoba oil. I bought mine from Acne.org. It makes for a good medium-level moisturizer for me, except in the winter when it isn’t moisturizing enough. My bottle from Acne.org has lasted for at least 5 years of intermittent use as both a moisturizer and makeup remover.
- CeraVe foaming face wash. This one is supposed to keep your skin closer to it’s usual pH, which is supposed to help your skin’s natural barrier function. I’m hoping this helps with both my acne problems and my seborrhoeic dermititis issues (abbreviated to seb derm on some forums). Spending a little more time gently rubbing my face with this seems to also be helping with general blackheads. This seems to be more effective than the Cetaphil face wash I was using for a while.
- MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence. Since my skin is a special snowflake that is both very oily by nature, and also dries out at the drop of a hat, I’m intrigued by the idea of Asian products that seem to understand this is a thing. Many Western/American products seem to assume that if you have oily skin, you never have a problem with dryness, or your skin is always dry and you never have excess oil on your face. I’ve been using this for a few weeks, and I like it quite a bit. If it is more humid or warm, this works as a good moisturizer over night to keep things from drying out, but doesn’t make my face sticky all night and doesn’t break me out. It also goes nicely under my usual moisturizer/sun screen (though I’m looking to change that up soonish). It is also supposed to have similar properties to the much more expensive SK-II Treatment Essence, but as much as I love Cate Blanchett (their spokesperson), I’ve never tried it. Maybe if I can find a sample that seems legit…
- I’ve had off and on problems with dandruff around the edges of my scalp that got much worse in grad school. It’s mostly under control, but a few years ago, I started getting red itchy flakey spots around my nose. I haven’t had a diagnosis from a dermatologist, but it clears right up with regular treatment with an anti-fungal cream, which matches the symptoms of seborrhoeic dermititis aka dandruff on other parts of your body besides your scalp. I just use the target brand because it works and is cheap.
- Epiduo was proscribed to me by a dermatologist I was seeing briefly. The tube I have now is pretty well expired, but it still seems to work. I use it when I’m seeing a lot of inflamed spots on my face, or I’m seeing a big uptick in whiteheads/clogged pores. It looks like maybe they’ve changed the formulation, and it’s something not Tretinoin now?
- AHA+ from Acne.org. I’ve also used this intermittently for 5+ years, so it lasts a long time. Works well, stings a bit if there are any recently popped zits or other major irritations of the skin. Possibly exacerbates seb derm. Seems to work best when applied generously. According to The Internet, chemical exfoliators like AHA work best when the accompanying products are of a certain pH range, but I haven’t really read up on this one yet.
- Olay moisturizer SPF 15 for sensitive skin. I get the sensitive skin kind because it does not have aveobenzone (a sunscreen ingredient) that irritates the ever-loving heck out of my eyes. If I’m wearing something with aveobenzone on my face, my eyes start to itch uncontrollably after ~4 hours, so I read the ingredient list of any sunscreens that is going on my face pretty carefully. Since I started doing that, I haven’t had any problems with eye irritation, so I feel pretty confident that aveobenzone is the culprit. I’m in the process of researching a new face sunscreen since I’m not 100% happy with this sunscreen/moisturizer combo.