Sorry for the poor quality of the 1st picture I just got a new phone! But I was suffering from uneven skintone and scarring due to my acne. It was really bad, my forehead, around my mouth and the sides of my cheeks had clogged pores/acne.
In the After shot which was taken 7/25/2015, I have 0 makeup on. I do have on sunscreen since I just came back from the store, it is the coppertone spray on spf 30 one. I don't have acne on my forehead anymore or around my mouth. I still get them occasionally on my chin. I also have scarring from the acne on the side of my face which I hope will go away with time and care.
The sides of my face still have some scarring but its going to take months to heal. I am currently on zero oral medication. I stopped taking my minocycline over 3-4 months ago. I also stopped used Benzoyl peroxide for a period but the acne started coming back. So I have benzoyl peroxide in my routine. The only negative side effect I get from benzoyl peroxide is dry skin. So far the thing I desperately need is a good mosturizer for the day.
So here is my "skincare box", because I use so many products I find that keeping them in a box by themselves is handy.
This is the first item I used after I come home from work. I use it to remove my makeup. I use around 2 pumps and it removes my makeup very well. I would not recommend using it as a cleanse. I originally use it for that purpose and I felt like the oil would build up on my skin and clog my pores. I did not have any issues using it solely to remove makeup.
Next I follow up the oil makeup remover with this Benzoyl peroxide 10% face wash. There are super tiny micro beads which help exfoliate. It was doctor prescribed but more drug stores carry over the counter Benzoyl peroxide face wash. It removes the residue of the oil wash pretty well.
Around 2-3 times a week following the benzoyl peroxide face wash I would use this Acure brightening facial scrub. I especially love this item. This was a sample given to me to try by a friend. I love this product so much I plan to do a review on it in the upcoming post. This scrub has sand like size grains to help exfoliate your skin.
I use my lancome alcohol base toner with cotton pads. I did try the hydrating pink toner, but it had parabens in it and was disagreeing with my face. In general I am not a big fan of toners, especially this one. Toners are suppose to "neutralize" your face's ph levels. However, suffering from acne where most of the cures involve using something either high in acid or base, use of a toner would work contrary to my acne medication.
I do use alcohol base toners but ONLY after extraction. When I use to break out very badly I would do extractions every day or every other day. As a result my face did dry out more. However, due to my improving skin condition, I do it around once or twice a week.
It is very important to disinfect the skin where an extraction was done to prevent infection. I put it on the cotton pad and gently pat the areas where the extraction was done. I dislike this toner because it was expensive (around 25 dollar mark) and they added pretty strong fragrance which is not good for the skin. That is why I avoid paraben toners. You do not want to be putting parabens and fragrance on broken skin.
I did purchase this toner for the free gift set that came with it. It gets the job done, but I will look for a cheaper alternative. The only upside is this toner does not have added color dyes. I was actually surprised how many toners had color dyes, color dyes are not good for broken skin either.
The next item I use is this Tea Tree Essence 90 serum. I will say it helps with acne but if I was to use this item by itself without other acne products it is not very effective. I love this item because I can put it on after an extraction and it soothes my face. It has no fragrance, no artifical colors, no parabens, and it evens out my skintone very well. I suffered from dark patches everywhere due to acne scarring. I am already on my second and last bottle.
The price of this item has unfortunately gone up and it is hard to find in the states. I am considering ordering more from KoreaDepart but because of the cost of shipping will have to find items to bundle it with to make it a good deal.
ALSO after the serum is when I use my face mask. I use them when I have dry skin. I tried a couple and my favorite one has been the XO memebox hydrogel one.
This is my holy grail item, plain benzoyl peroxide. Without this baby my pores slowly clog up and my face starts breaking out everywhere. This is the item keeping my face clear. It doesn't matter what brand you buy as long as it is benzoyl peroxide. I usually go for the cheapest one. I had a doctor prescription for 5% but the drug stores I went to only sold it in 10% or 2%. 2% is too weak for me as my skin is used to 5%. So the trick is to pick up a 10% and dilute it. I used 10% without diluting and it dried out my skin pretty badly.
I dilute it with anyone of the bottom picture items.
Holika Holika Aloe 99% Soothing Gel
This is a light weight mosturizer, really good for sensitive skin. I mix with with benzoyl peroxide in my palm and spread evenly on my face, avoiding the eye area. Nice clean aloe scent and I think its fragrance free. It has fruit extracts and is 99% aloe. It is also free from color dyes and parabens. I have 2 other Korean beauty aloes and will do a post on Korean aloe vs the typical stuff you can get at a drugstore for sunburns.
This moisturizer is really light and depending on your skin might not be moisturizing enough. I usually layer this with another moisturizer because I find it to be inadequate by itself. It is also nice to put on in the summer after being refrigerated.
I don't really like this one. I have a suspicion it attributes to my pores clogging. I don't use it very often but I am trying to finish the item. It is almost done and I don't seem to have any issue with it if I use it once a week or less. This Leejiham Tea Tree cream is a light medium moisturizer. It is more moisturizing than the aloe gels.
This is physicians formula Argan wear oil. It is very unique in that it is an oil that dries out my skin without breaking me out. I do not use this often. Only if my skin gets oily. A couple of drops will do the trick, apply over whole face. You can apply the benzoyl peroxide over the oil, but not under or mixed together. Be aware just because it has the effect of drying out my skin doesn't mean it will do the same for all skin types.
This is Clinique's renown dramatically different moisturizing gel. I really love this product. It is fragrance free smells a bit medicinal, like its good for your skin. Moisturizes about as well as the Tea Tree Cream which is about a light medium moisturizer.
This is Olays regenerist regenerating serum. I haven't been using this a lot on the count that I have the Tea Tree Serum. I feel like layering on too many products may lead to clogged pores. I do like this product and sometimes use it after the Tea Tree Serum.
I use this item only in cases of extreme zits. I use it as a spot treatment. If I use it over my whole face it dries it out. It was prescribed by my doctor and meant to be layered over my benzoyl peroxide 5% cream.
This is Aquaphor, it is like vasline. Very thick and heavy, extreme end of the moisturizer scale. I almost never use this except when my skin is sun burned, or so dried it hurts. It is especially good for the eye area. I recently got sunburned around my eyelids. I applied sunscreen before I went to the park, but guess I forgot my sensitive eye area.
Upon returning home I noticed my eyelids stung when using any skincare product. Slightly on the Tea Tree Serum and pretty badly with just the clinique. Aquaphor doesn't sting or irritate the damaged skin. It healed it pretty quickly and honestly looks quite nice on the eyelids. It gives it a bit of shine like a good highlighter.
Despite its heaviness it didn't give me clog pores on my eyelids. You know those bumpy dots you see on the eyelids. Those are clogged pores and some eyeshadows cause clog pores. I am considering using this on my face when my skin gets really dried. If I try it I will let you know how it goes.
This mist is my favorite one. Unfortunately it is alone one of the more expensive ones. I currently own 4 face mists. The spray is perfect, light, and even. Product has a nice clean smell, but not too strong. Feels cool and refreshing and is great for setting makeup. Also good for re-hydrating face prior or to lotion application.
That is what I am currently using. I don't stack a lot of products. I feel sometimes simpler is better. It does go ip to 8 steps on days when I use my face scub and do extraction but otherwise on most days there is only 4-5 steps. It is not time consuming.
I have made 2 large memebox orders and a boxy charm orders. I am a sucker for sales and Memebox had some great ones lately from a 20% whole order sale to a $5 items (which I missed) and items starting from $1 sale (which I got so many goodies from)! I was sad the $11 blush discounted to $1! was sold out. Hopefully I will have a nice haul post for you guys soon. Ciao.