In my late twenties and breaking out into adult acne.
For the longest time, I never had acne until recently! Throughout my teenage years and college, I would have an inflamed pimple here & there… but never more than 1 or 2 at a time. I don’t know if it’s because my skin has change or the increase amount of stress I’ve been feeling lately.
My current skin type is oily at the T-zone and dry throughout. I easily break out & have been very careful of my skin since my teenage years. I do not touch my face often and won’t even allow my fiance to kiss me on the cheeks.
In this post, I will be sharing with you the worst my skin has ever been and what products I have been using that has been helping with my acne struggles. I am not a skin care expert nor do I know much about skincare products. I am simply just sharing what products I have been loving for my acne and what my skin routine is.
This is what my skin looks like at its worst. Red & inflamed.
My skin has been like this since late last year. I’m not too sure when it got so bad but I got so frustrated & decided to let me skin breath by cutting my bangs. I cut my bangs to cover up my acne, and for months I didn’t put any make up on my forehead. It helped a little but my acne was still there.
Skincare is definitely a commitment and it takes weeks to months to see any results. Consistency is key. I would say I’ve been having the same skincare routine since mid-January but didn’t see results til mid-February.
Here is what my skin looks like in mid February 2018:
And this is what my skin looks like now (taken in early march 2018).
My skin has cleared up so much, it’s amazing!
So here are some products that have been helping me with my acne. My day routine differs slightly from my night routine.
My day routine consists of 5 steps:
- DAY routine step 1: FACIAL CLEANSER & FACIAL CLEANSING BRUSH
Discovered this brand while I was in Japan. I was so amazed by everyone’s flawless skin in Japan. So everywhere I went in Japan, I just wanted to buy and try all their skincare products. Been loving Leaf & Botanics Face Wash because it’s a gentle cleanser that cleans and doesn’t over dry the skin.
I recently got the Clarisonic & what a difference it makes in cleaning my face! It gently massages and stimulates those clog pores and cleans them out. I have very sensitive skin so I went for the sensitive or acne/prone brush head. You will either hate or love this brush cleanser. Some people might think its too rough for their skin but I think it works well for my skin. So in the end, you have to try it to know if it works for you.
They have different brush heads for different skin types. So be sure to get the one that is best suited for your skin type. They even have a foundation brush head, too! [pictured in black]
- DAY routine step 2: TONER
I found this brand at my local K-beauty store. Ever since my colleague, Phuong, got me hooked into Korean skincare, I’ve been K-beauty obsessed and swooning over how flawless their skin looks. I’ve tried a lot of toners in the past & this one is by far my favorite. It tightens my skin and shrinks my pores to prevent further clogging.
- DAY routine step 3: SERUM
Picked this up the same time I bought the toner above. The toner above and this serum kind of go hand in hand. It also tightens my skin, shrink my pores but also hydrates. I apply this serum right after my toner.
- DAY routine step 4: SPF MOISTURIZER
Most important step of any daytime skincare routine is to make sure you use a moisturizer with SPF. Not just any moisturizer with SPF, but ones that contain active mineral ingredients, zinc oxide & titanium dioxide. These ingredients are considered physical SPF because it acts as another layer on the skin to reflect sun rays and will not get absorbed by the skin. VS chemical SPF such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate, these are chemical SPF ingredients that will penetrate into the skin. Both will still do their job and protect you from the sun. But since my skin is sensitive, I try to minimize products that will penetrate my skin that can cause further skin irritation.
Refer to these articles for more information:
- DAY routine step 5: EYE CREAM
Do you wake up with bags and dark circles under your eyes? Because I do! From all those night shifts, dark circles are inevitable with my pale skin. During the daytime, I like to use an eye cream that depuffs and brighten my under eye. I just received this eye cream a few weeks ago and have been loving it. It smells amazing, absorbs fast, and is organic. It also works well under make up for me because most eye creams leave this unwanted film under foundation that is noticeable.
After my daytime skincare routine, I proceed with my usual everyday make up. I will have to make a separate post on my favorite everyday make up products. On this post we will just focus on my current skincare routine.
And finally…my night routine consists of:
- NIGHT routine step 1: MASK (2-3 times a week)
I just got this product a few weeks ago & I’m loving it so far. It’s a quick 10 minute mask that can be used 3 times a week. It gives my face a clean tingling feeling after I use it. Bye-bye clogged pores. I use this mostly in my T-zone area then use a moisturizing mask on my cheeks where it is dry.
- NIGHT routine step 2: TONER
- Clinical Solution AC toner (same as above, day routine)
The best time to apply facial products is right after you shower or after washing your face. When your pores are open, it can absorb the products more easily. So I make sure I apply right after I get out the shower.
The next 3 products mention will be the holy grail/cure to my acne.
- NIGHT routine step 3: SERUM
I received this bottle of goodness to try out and I must say I loveeeee it. It’s known for its interesting color and bottle design. I’m getting a lot older now, and anti-aging products is also a must. On top of my current acne problem, I have to be sure to use anti-aging products as well. This collagen booster is a 2 for 1 kind of deal. Not only does collagen maintains the skin’s firmness and elasticity, but it also plays a huge role in acne and acne scars.
For more info on collagen:
- NIGHT routine step 4: OILs
I use to be scared of using oil products on my face because I thought it would make me break out even more. Boy, was I wrong. One thing I learn is…you fight oil with oil. Sometimes your skin makes an over production of oil to compensate for the lack of oil from our skin, hence clogged pores. So using the right type of oil will help balance out oil production.
This is some really good stuff, like really good. Expensive but worth every drop. This oil contains 1.5% Salicyclic Acid and its not over drying at all. Milk thistle and cucumber seed oil combat the drying effects of salicyclic acid and hydrates the skin. And the other ingredients in this bottle contains: tea tree oil, black cumin seed oil, hexylresorcinol, and licorice that will help to fight acne and blackhead build-up while also naturally brighten old acne discolorations.
I mostly just apply this to my T-zone area every other day followed by moisturizer, alternating between this clarifying oil and the retinoid oil.
The next oil I want to talk about is my Retinoid Oil. Everywhere on the internet it says to watch out and be careful when applying retinol oils because these products can cause skin cell turnover causing dry, flaky skin. But believe me…it gets worsts before it gets better.
I use this oil every other day. A little goes a long way. Taking a dime size amount and warming it in my hands and I apply it all over my face.
There are so many benefits to retinoid, it has anti-aging properties but also fights acne, and more!
- NIGHT routine step 5: MOISTURIZER
As of right now, there’s no moisturizer I’m too crazy about. So I won’t go into detail on this section. I’m just currently using Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I have been using this for years and way before I started breaking out into adult acne so I just continued to use it. It’s super lightweight and fast absorbing.
- NIGHT routine step 6: EYE CREAM
And lastly, an eye cream to finish my night skincare routine. An eye cream that does everything. This product was also introduced to me by my colleague, Phuong, and I’ve been addicted since. If you couldn’t tell by now, I learn a lot about skincare from my colleague, Phuong. (:
I’ve tried a lot of eye creams in the past and always seem to come back to this one. It reduces puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and also hydrates the under eye area.
All in all, I am NO skincare expert but just an experimenter. I love to try new products and see what’s best for my skin. These products have helped me kick adult acne to the curb, so I hope it can for you too!