How To Deal With Combination Skin

Hello,

As you guys know I have combination skin. I tend to be very dry on the chin and around the mouth but oily on the nose, cheeks and forehead. I often have acne on my cheeks and jawline and black heads on my chin and nose. After seeing a dermatologist and trying many products, I have managed to put together a routine that keeps my skin pretty clear.

I should point out, I am not a dermatologist nor a doctor, so all of this is based off my own experimentation with products. If you also have combination skin and have found other products work really well for you, please let me know so that I can try them too!

Daily Use Products

Micellar Water

I use micellar water every morning and night before any other product. It’s able to lift dirts and oils from the skin and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. If I’ve been sweating I use it to remove the sweat from my face to reduce the bacteria from trying to move in. I love using it to remove eye make up as well as it is very gentle around the eyes.

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Salicylic Acid

While this solution does contain alcohol which dries the skin, it is able to penetrate lipids and disinfect. It kills the bacteria both on and in your skin, treating acne. I use the Clean and Clear Astringent because it’s inexpensive and it works. This is a morning and night daily product for me.

I also use this salicylic acid moisturizer to help reduce bacteria on my skin throughout the day. While it does leave my skin feeling hydrated, the hydration is short lived. This moisturizer is more of an anti acne product that it is a hydration product. Nonetheless I like it and have found it to be very useful.

Hyaluronic Acid

This is an acid naturally found in the body and it helps keep moisture in the skin. I love using it after my acne treatments to hydrate the skin. It’s also thin enough to be used for facial massages. Most evenings when I apply it I massage my skin with it thoroughly, reducing stress in my jaw muscles and the underlying muscles on my forehead.

Tea Tree Oil

I use this night mask from the Body Shop for two reasons. The first being it has visibly decreased acne, the second being it’s a little sticky which helps me not touch my face. It has a strong scent at first but dissipates quickly after applying it.

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Bi-Weekly Products

Benzoyl Peroxide

While this product is drying to the skin, I love it. I use it as a mask a couple times a week in the evening. It is also capable of penetrating the lipids so using it as a mask allows the product time to really get in there and kill bacteria. The formula is use is also a Clean & Clear product and I find after using it as a mask, a lot of my dry skin sloughs off with it when I remove it using a face cloth. I should warn you that this product will bleach your wash cloth and towel, so either use white or commit one face cloth and towel to your benzoyl peroxide days.

Microneedling

I use the derma roller twice a week before applying my hyaluronic acid. You can read here about my experience with the derma roller. You do have to vie very careful with disinfecting both the skin and the tool or you can risk infection in the skin. It’s important not to use it near the eyes, but when properly used it allows for much deeper absorption of products applied. I would recommend this tool to any adult who wants to hydrate, reduce acne scarring and help the collagen production in their skin.

Collagen

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I use the Mario Badescu Super Collagen Mask. While it has a whipped rubber texture, it dries into an incredibly tight chalk like mask. I’ve noticed improvement in over all pigmentation after use.

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Exfoliation

I love my Mary Kay microdermabrasion product. I use it once or twice a week as an exfoliator. The particles in it are small enough that I have never torn my skin with it, but sturdy enough that my skin feels incredibly fresh after use and I can see no dry or dead skin left on my face.

Lifestyle Changes

Hydration

As we all know, hydration helps skin. Drinking enough water helps my skin and removing coffee and other caffeinated beverages from my diet has helped keep me hydrated as I am no longer ingesting diuretics.

Daily Bathing

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I take a bath nearly every night, which gives me time to relax, but more importantly in this case, gives me a good amount of time to invest into my skin care. It also ensures that the sweat and dirt of each day gets removed from my entire body each night. I used to shower every two to three days, and I found my face and back had more acne at the time. I can read a book while masks dry or medicated masks do their work, allowing me relaxation and productivity at the same time. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

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Establishing Routine

Skin care routines only work if they are routines. Establishing one can be difficult, especially if you have a partner or children, as their needs may need to come before your own. This is why establishing a routine daily is important. If everyone knows it’s your time to take care of yourself, you are more likely to be able to commit to it. Whether that means waking up earlier than others in the home or taking a daily bath, without consistency a routine won’t work.

Cutting Out The Junk Food

We all know nutrition and skin health are linked and a lot of people notice changes in their skin when they remove something from their diet. In my case, removing dairy and greasy foods leads to better skin. All in all, a healthier you will have healthier skin.

Thank you for being here today and taking the time out of your day to read this post. As always I love being able to talk to you through the comments on on social media! My links are in the bar below and I hope to hear from you soon.

Skin Care Practices

While I was looking through some old binders while cleaning during this period of isolation, I realized I could use some old course outlines to share information about the basics of cosmetology. This will be much more in depth than it is casual.

I am not a doctor and no information in this article or on this site should be taken as medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional should you have any skin or health concerns.

Let’s start with establishing your skin type. Your skin type will likely change over your lifetime so checking every once and a while to ensure your products and treatments are the most effective for your present skin type. There are a few ways to figure out your skin type, but the simplest is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. After half an hour, look in a mirror and see if your skin has an oily sheen. If you have oil all over your face, you have oily skin. If you have oil forming on your nose and forehead but not the rest of your face, you likely have normal/combination skin. If your face feels tight and dry when you smile or talk, you have dry skin. If you have a combination of tight skin and oily patches, you have combination skin.

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Let’s talk about cleansing per skin type. Double cleansing is often recommended, especially for those who wear cosmetics or sunscreens. In order to double cleanse an oil cleanser is used first, then the appropriate second cleanser like a foam or lotion cleanser is used depending on the skin type. For dry skin cream cleansers are ideal as they clean the skin without stripping it of essential oils. Micellar water is another great choice for dry skin as the tiny oil particles in the water lift dirt off the skin. Oil cleansers are also a good choice for dry skin, as they work well with every skin type. Oily and combination skin benefit from gel cleansers, foam cleansers, clay cleansers, powder cleansers, bar cleansers and exfoliating cloths and mitts.


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The next step is the use of a cleanser. There are a variety of cleansers available depending on skin concerns. For acne and black heads, astringents with salicylic acid are often used. For dry skin botanical cleansers are soothing. When toners are purchased they should be picked for the current issues with the skin. Toners with high amounts of alcohol can dry out skin. Ones with witch hazel, aloe and urea are generally good for soothing and minimizing pores. Some toners that work well for dry and combination skin include ingredients like vitamin c and hyaluronic.

Eva Blakeman – Hyaluronic Acid

Let’s get to nourishment for the skin. These are ingredients that have an effect on the skin that are found in skin care products. Cassia Augustifolia Seed is an extract that binds water which hydrates the skin. This ingredient does not have any barrier properties, so silicone or other petroleum products should be applied or also in the product to keep the moisture in the skin. Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, is a strong anti-inflammatory. It increases blood flow and is beneficial during breakouts. Aloe vera is very rich in antioxidants and vitamins that soothe and calms dry skin. Vitamin E is a natural water barrier that protects the skin that is also full of antioxidants.

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In this skin care industry active ingredients are often marketed without much explanation as to what they do, so let’s clear that up. For a more complete list of ingredients click here. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is a common chemical exfoliator that often uses lactic and glycolic acids. Benzoyl peroxide is a common anti acne ingredient that often dries the skin but does penetrate the skin very effectively with it’s ability to kill bacteria. Caffeine is often marketed to reduce the appearance of cellulite and puffy eyes. While it does work, it is not a long term product, but it does work short term, though it may cause irritation to some people. Collagen is a protein that binds water to keep skin hydrated. A very common ingredient is glycerine, a humectant that moisturizes and softens skin.

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Protecting the skin is just as important, if not more important than moisturizing. There are three ingredients found in sunscreen and some cosmetics that protect from both UVB and UVA to different degrees. Avobenzone protects from both very well but is a chemical ingredient not found in plants or animals, which some do not like using. Zinc oxide is a mineral ingredient that works just as well as avobenzone for dual protections. Titanium dioxide is another mineral ingredient that protects from UVB fully but offers limited protection from UVA.

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Let’s talk about sanitary practices. When working on yourself you don’t have to worry about blood-borne diseases or infectious diseases when not sharing any products or tools. On that note, do not under any circumstances share tools, brushes, or any other items that could transfer mucus, blood or any other method of disease transmission. For personal use items they should be washed with an antibacterial soap, scrubbing away anything on them, then sterilized with isopropyl alcohol. For cosmetics, they can be sprayed with isopropyl alcohol.

I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any questions, suggestions or advice to share please do it in the comments below!

My Favourite Skin Care Products – May 2020

Just for reference, my skin type is combination dry and oily. I have found this products work well for a variety of reasons, but I only have experience in my own skin type with them. Some of the tools and products are considered to be universally good for all skin types but you really don’t know if it works for you until you try them.

Eva Blakeman – Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Mario Badescu Facial Spray – This product was one I wasn’t really sold on until I owned it myself. With such simple packaging and labeling the cost is minimal. The spray is almost addictive and actually makes a decent setting spray over makeup. I’ve found that mid day when I’m slowing down a little a quick spray makes my face feel less oily, the scent is very refreshing and the mist itself wakes me up a little. I don’t think it’s a product that would change your life, but I certainly like using it.

Eva Blakeman – Derma Roller

Derma roller/ microneedling – Another item I wasn’t sold on until I used it. I did a lot of research on derma rolling before I purchased one and I have to say that hygiene and sterility is incredibly important with this tool. It is a 0.3mm needle roller with just over 500 needles. I have found my skin has evened out, cleared up and stayed more hydrated since using it twice a week. It really helps my hyaluronic acid absorb deeper into the skin. It is mildly uncomfortable and if you don’t feel comfortable using a product like this, you shouldn’t use one. Dermatologists ofter provide treatments with these, but for me, I like having control over my skin care at home.

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Eva Blakeman – Mary Kay timewise

May Kay timewise – For a physical exfoliator I find this one to be just wonderful! The particles are very very small and after years of use I have never had any issues with it. My dead skin comes off very easily with little effort with this item without pushing the product hard into the skin. One day I think I will switch to a chemical exfoliator but that will wait until my skin gets a little older. Unlike a lot of drug store exfoliators, this has never torn my skin or caused me any pain while using it. I think it’s very good for sensitive skin.

Eva Blakeman – Sephora Mask Stick

Sephora Bamboo mask stick – This item was an impulse buy and it is one I do not regret at all! The item says it has enough product for 15 uses but my experience is that it has enough for about 30. I don’t think it has any long lasting effects but it is very cooling to irritated skin on my nose and chin. It feels hydrating and the next morning my skin still feels smoother. Above all other things, I like having a quick mask that makes me feel good with it’s scent that I can wear without it flaking into my book as it dries.

Eva Blakeman – The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Mask

The Body Shop Tea Tree Night Mask – Another inexpensive product that I have loved for years. The scent is a little strong but I have noticed a significant reduction in blackheads when I use it regularly. It has a cooling effect on the skin and the texture is that of a thin jello. It doesn’t combine well with other night time products, so I have to use it on it’s own which sometimes doesn’t feel like enough hydration, but combined with an under eye cream and moisturizer on the neck I wake up with my face feeling fresh.

Eva Blakeman – Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer

Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer – This moisturizer and I go back many years and I have always found it to be a good product. It hydrates well while treating acne at the same time. I often use it over an oil (yes I know moisturizers don’t penetrate through oils well) because it matte-i-fies the oil, allowing me to go into public without looking very oily.

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Eva Blakeman – Micellar Water

Micellar Water – I love the Bioderma and the Garnier micellar waters for make up removal and mid day skin cleansing. I know I’m prone to touching my face and over time my sunscreen becomes less effective so mid day I really like wiping off the old sunscreen, cleansing my face and re-applying sunscreen. It also takes off mascara and eyeshadows beautifully.

Eva Blakeman – Illumine Lab Face Oil

Illumine Lab Face Oil – This has been a daily staple for the better part of the year. I love how well it hydrates my skin and how easy it is to do facial massages with this oil. It has a lovely, mild scent and it absorbs very quickly into my skin for an oil product. Hyaluronic Acids do wonders in skin care. I also liked the Roche Posse Hyaluronic Acid, but admittedly it was much more expensive than this one. I don’t feel any noticeable difference between the two when it comes to my skins texture and hydration after use, though this one does have a warmer, less clinical smell to it.

Eva Blakeman – Favourite Skin Care

Understanding Skin Care

Understanding the ingredients in your skin care can help you take care of your skin better!

With thousands of years of history and endless products on the current market, skin care can be a confusing thing to understand. Ingredients, products types and tools can blend together and the true purpose of them can be lost. Let’s unravel it all and talk about skin care simply.

Information below should not be taken as medical advice. Please see a doctor before using medicated products.

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Retinoids

Retinoids increase the level of collagen produced in the skin and increases the production of new blood vessels. Collagen reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin whereas new blood vessels means more blood, oxygen and nutrients traveling to the face.

Hyaluronic acid

This nearly clear substance is naturally created in the body, mainly found in connective tissue and in the eyes. It retains water and increases lubrication, increasing moisture when applied to the skin.

Salicylic acid

This acid is commonly used as antiseptic, anti bacterial and as a food preservative. Due to its ability to kill bacteria and germs it is commonly used to treat acne. It is capable of penetrating and breaking down fats and lipids, allowing it to penetrate into pores to kill the bacteria within them.

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Benzol peroxide

Similar to Salicylic acid, this medication works by killing bacteria. This product does deactivate most retinoids so be aware of which products you are working with to keep them efficient. It may cause drying and peeling of the skin. It is important to wear sunscreen after using this product.

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Glycolic acid

This acid works in the upper layer of the epidermis, weakening the lipids that hold dead skin cells together. This allows for “chemical exfoliation”.

Nicotinamide

Another acne treatment that works by reducing the sebum secreted in areas where it is applied over a long term period. It is also an anti-inflammatory, which is why it is also used in treating inflammatory skin condition.


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Lactic acid

Lactic acid can break apart normally unbreakable lactates. This means it can make water soluble things that are usually not. It is also used as a disinfectant in cosmetics.

Zinc Oxide

This white powder has the ability to absorb both UVA and UVB ultraviolet radiation. It is commonly used in sunscreens and in some SPF foundations to protect the skin from sun damage.

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Jojoba Oil

Derived from the jojoba seed, this oil is used in cosmetic and hair products to increase the moisturizing effects of the product. It is an indigestible oil and is most commonly found in products labeled “all natural”.

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Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat acne, scent, dandruff, lice, insect bites, fungal infections and bacterial infections. Effectiveness has not been definitively proven. It is poisonous if ingested and considered unsafe for use on children.

Alpha hydroxy acids

AHAs and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) are ingredients commonly found in chemical peels that allow the skin cells to break apart and allows the newer skin cells below to be at the surface.

Astringent

Astringents are the strongest form of toner, usually containing a high level of alcohol, used as an antiseptic to the skin. They can remove lipids from the skin, but can also be very irritating to the skin. For less irritating astringents, look for alcohol free ones.


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Toners

Toners are designed to remove lipids from the skin while also keeping the skin moist with humectants like glycerine. Some toners like acid toners are designed to create micro tears in the skin to permit exfoliation. Skin tonics are another type which are designed to hydrate skin.

Microneedling

Commonly done at home with derma rollers, micro needling is used for collagen induction therapy. This means that using these needles can force the skin to produce collagen. Due to its piercing of the skin, it also allows other products and medications to penetrate the skin.

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Face rollers

They commonly come in jade, quartz and metal. When cooled before use they can soothe your skin, reducing puffiness and tighten pores. General use benefits include improving blood flow to the face, lymphatic drainage and it can help distribute skin care products.

Dermaplaning

Through use of medical grade blades, the top layer of the skin is removed in a physical exfoliation. It also removes hair on the face. It is said to reduce fine wrinkles and acne scarring. It is highly recommended to have the cosmetic procedure to be performed by a certified dermatologist.

I was very excited to write this post. Being someone who wants to be preventative through skin care in regards to aging, I dug deep into researching to formulate a skin care routine that would benefit my skin the most. I think the age old advice holds true though. Wash your face twice a day, wear sunscreen daily and never go to bed with make up on your face.

I would be very happy to make another more specialized list on cosmetic procedures, tools or products if you want it! Let me know in the comments or like the post to let me know you want more.

The reason I wrote this is due to my interest in preventative skin care in regards to acne, aging and sun damage. Not everyone is interested in these topics, but to me they seem rather important. Looking at my family on both sides I have seen both very graceful aging and less so graceful aging and the difference has been skin care and commitment to protection from sun damage. I do not want to age quickly, nor do I want to have acne scarring for my lifetime, so looking into and committing to preventative skin care is a part of my daily life.

Great Skin Care Under $25

In a world where everything can show up at your door in two days, why bother leave your home to have great skin? So here is a list of great skin care products under twenty five dollars you can get on Amazon. (All prices shown are CAD).

All products are linked to the Amazon page in case you are interested in them. I am not presently affiliated with any of these companies or products and am not making any money by linking to them. This list is based on my opinion of great products.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

AMAZON – AZTEC HEALING CLAY

$11.69 – This clay claims to be the worlds most powerful facial. Reviews state that it reduced acne, oily skin and flaking. Seemingly it helps with all skin condition. Bentonite Clay is very commonly used in skin care as it does absorb oils and toxins.


Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

AMAZON – CETAPHIL

$12.00 – This gentle cleanser is great for sensitive skin as it is oil, fragrance and soap free. It is also non-comedogenic, so it won’t build up in your pores. I have used this personally and I really enjoyed it with its simple scent and almost lubricating qualities, my skin felt refreshed after using.


Thayer’s Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel

AMAZON – THAYERS FACIAL TONER

$14.39 – This product hosts a plethora of effective ingredients for healthy skin and acne treatment. With citric acid and grapefruit extract acne will be treated. With aloe vera and glycerine skin will feel hydrated and cleansed. Not to mention the rose scent is quite nice. There is an unscented version of this product as well.


The Body Shop Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream

AMAZON – VITAMIN E MOISTURE CREAM

$24.00 – This vegan product has a light texture that claims to restore the moisture barrier of the skin. Designed for dry skin it packs a hydration punch, but is likely not great for oily skin types.


Sun Bum Clear Zinc Oxide Face Cream

AMAZON – SUN BUM FACE CREAM

$12.99 – This hypoallergenic product is non-comedogenic and water resistant while having a rating of 50 SPF. It is cruelty free, oil free and PABA free. With aloe vera and vitamin E it is a great way to moisturize while protecting your skin from harmful rays.


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

AMAZON – GARNIER MICELLAR WATER

$7.59 – This product is alcohol, oil and fragrance free, lending itself to all skin types. Excellent for removing cosmetics, dirt and oils from the face. Gentle enough to remove eye makeup without causing discomfort.


Clean & Clear Cleaning Astringent

AMAZON – CLEAN & CLEAR DEEP CLEANING ASTRINGENT

$6.97 – This deep cleaning astringent is designed for sensitive skin. With salicylic acid, glycerin and aloe vera, this cleansing product will remove oil, dirt and anything else that’s weighing down on your skin. This product will dry your skin a little, so don’t forget to moisturize after use.


Mario Badescu Facial Spray

AMAZON – MARIO BADESCU FACIAL SPRAY

$10.00 – This facial spray has chamomile and lavender to destress. With vitamin C it is meant to help hydrate your skin. It also comes in a variety of other formulas intended for different purposes.


Let me know your favourite skin care products or your experiences with these products in the comments.

Eva Blakeman – Skin Care Under $25

Testing Out Spiderman Themed Skin Care

The other day Ryan and I were killing time before a hair cut appointment, so we wandered into a store called Miniso. This little store was packed to the ceiling with Marvel products. As we wandered through the aisles Ryan kept coming to me with Spiderman products and kept saying “for a video”, so naturally, I accepted that I was going to make a review video of these products. The video portion is taking longer to edit and get online, so here is a written review of them!

Nose Strip

This little trip works the same way a Biore strip does. You wet your nose, place the strip onto the wet skin and let it dry down into your skin. Unlike a Biore strip, it removed absolutely nothing from my nose. It did not irritate my skin, but it was ultimately useless. While it is cute, it is not worth buying. The sleep mask on my head on the other hand, was a great find as it is soft and comfortable with an elastic band. Light does not permeate the mask and it is absolutely worth buying.

Steaming Eye Mask

The concept of this product is to help reduce fatigue after flights, work or a long time at a computer screen. It works the same way a hand warmer does when its iron, vermiculite and carbon combine and create heat. I found it to be too warm to comfortably keep on my eyes as it caused my eyes to sweat quite a bit which I found very uncomfortable. It took a few minutes for the ingredients to activate. I could see other people enjoying this product but it just isn’t something I could see myself using ever again.

Sheet Mask

This sheet mask did exactly what a sheet mask does. It moisturizes your skin. I didn’t notice any irritation but it also wasn’t especially great. With little to no scent it did moisturize my skin, but no better than my usual moisturizer would. For the purpose of relaxing and taking a few moments to unwind it does that, but I also found the mask was a little too small for my face. The holes for the eyes, nose and mouth were too close together.

Nail Polish

It wasn’t by any means a bad polish. nice colour, fairly decent dry time and a solid coverage with a single coat. The issue comes in the brush. It was very rigid which made it difficult to spread out the product and avoid spilling onto the side of the finger. You can always clean up the side of your fingers so this isn’t a deal breaker and I think I will enjoy using this one for a while.

Overall the products are okay, but you could get better quality in the $2-$5 range in your average drug store. I think the novelty of the whole thing is very cute but it doesn’t equate to better products.

I hope this review was helpful, and I look forward to trying more products in the future. If you have any recommendations for products I should test out, I would love to hear about them in the comments!

My Evening Skin Routine

I, like many, have acne that must be constantly tamed, and after years of trying products I finally put together a routine that really helps me keep my blemishes in check. I spent a long time believing that more was more, but as I kept trying products I realized I was drying out my skin worse by being too aggressive to my skin every day, so I cut back on the amount of products and tried to balance products that dry my skin with moisturizing ones. My skin is combination/dry. I have an oily T-zone but the rest of my face get’s very dry, so this routine works well for my skin.

Step One – Make Up Removal

My Favourite Remover

I can’t say this enough, be gentle! I use micellar water to remove my make up and it works very well, but to allow it to do it’s job without irritation to your eyes you do have to let a soaked cotton pad sit on your eye for a few moments before wiping your cosmetics away. Scrubbing on your eyes isn’t comfortable and you’re much more likely to get products into your eyes this way. I remove as much make up as possible from my face and neck with the micellar water before going to the next step.

Step Two – Exfoliation

My Soap Is A Little Less Pink, But You Get The Gist

I use a bar of hypoallergenic soap, unfortunately the one I use is not available for sale because I make it myself. I can’t reveal all my ingredients but it has a bentonite clay base and it has soothing ingredients. I wash my face and neck with my hands, then use a wet washcloth to scrub my skin with the soap still on there. I use the washcloth as my gentle exfoliator, going over dry patches multiple times gently, never scrubbing hard. Once my skin feels nice and clean I rinse the cloth and remove all soap from my skin.

Step Three – Astringent

My Favourite Astringent

This is the point where my skin gets its first dose of a medicated product. I use the Clean and Clear astringent on a cotton pad all over my face and neck. I will warn you that this does sting a good bit, and if you’ve exposed acne while exfoliating it is going to burn.

Step Four – Moisturizing

My Favourite Mediated Moisturizer

Depending on the time of year I will use a moisturizing oil, but at this time my skin is happy using the Clean and Clear Salicylic Acid Moisturizer for my face and neck. Under my eyes I use hyaluronic acid as it helps keep it moisturized and firm.

My routine is very simple, as I don’t like extravagant routines, and I do have a once a week routine that is a little more aggressive in its exfoliation and moisturizing. My routine (including brushing my teeth and hair) takes less than five minutes and makes my skin soft and plump. Each individuals skin has its own needs, so please let me know your routine in the comments!

How To Deal With Acne

As teens, everyone experiences acne from one degree to another, and unfortunately, not all of us get to grow out of the acne stage. Throughout the years we have heard endless reasons why we get acne, a lot of which was just misinformation being spread like wildfire. Washing your face twice a day does not guarantee to rid you of acne, though it does prevent a lot of bacteria based skin infections that we include under the title of acne.

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Wash Thoroughly

A quick use of an Oxytocin’s pad does not count as washing your face. Grab that bar of soap, a face cloth and some water and scrub your face. Exfoliation reduces the likelihood of pores being blocked by dead skin cells. Make sure to switch out face clothes often, as they will become mildewy and collect bacteria as they stay in your washroom.

There are a lot of “exfoliating” products on the market these days, all of whom promise to rid you of your acne, but these are just overpriced soaps that don’t rid your skin of as much dirt, oil and skin as a good old fashioned washcloth. A lot of the exfoliating products will actually tear your skin as they are too aggressive, which can lead to bacterial infections and cause acne rather than prevent or treat it.

Make sure you take off all of your make up! Foundation stuck in your skin over night is a nasty way to get acne, never mind styes and other issues with your skin. Always make sure to remove it before bed time, and let your skin breathe. Heavy make up around the eyes can lead to styes forming, and depending on their location, they may have to be removed by a dermatologist. Better off just taking a minute to wipe it off.

Make sure to always thoroughly rinse your face after washing to remove the skin, dirt, oil and soap. Dry your face with a clean towel and avoid touching your face any more than you have to.

Acne Treatment

There are two common topicals we use on acne. Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Salicylic Acid is what you would find in astringent products, and it disinfects your skin. You will recognize the telltale stinging of this product in things like Oxy Pads and Clean And Clears Astringent. Salicylic Acid is proven to help reduce black heads, which are oxidized pores but it can’t do anything about pores that are actually blocked and filling up with white blood cells.

Benzoyl Peroxide has been marketed as if it could wash away all your worries, but in reality, it’s a very harsh and drying product that causes its own plethora of skin problems. Unless told by a dermatologist to use these products in conjunction with water based moisturizers, avoid them. Not only will your face feel like an alligator, benzoyl peroxide bleaches any fabric it touches. Say good bye to your nice towels.

Diet

Let’s start this one off with, everyones body is different, and different foods will trigger people differently. That being said, common foods linked to acne breakouts include; dairy products, wheat, chocolate and gluten. If you are curious to see if your acne worsens with ingestion of certain foods, keep a food log and track acne vs foods over time.

It is always recommended to stay hydrated and eat nutritious foods to help fuel your body and keep yourself healthy, and that include your skin. Drink plenty of water, eat your fruit and veggies and you’re on the path to a clearer complexion.

Exercise

We hear all the time that exercise helps your completion, and while that is true, not cleaning your skin after exercise can lead to worsening acne. After heavy sweating, take a moment to clear your skin of the heavy sweat and get changed into clean, dry clothes.

Genetics & Hormones

Some folks suffer from terrible cystic acne in their early teen years, then in their twenties have clear skin, whilst others might have mild acne their entire lives. Genetics have a lot to do with this, as do hormones. As many know, women tend to break out around their mensural cycle, and this is common up until menopause. Some individuals might break out in their mid fifties should they be stressed out. Essentially what I’m saying here is, depending on your genetics and hormones, you may have to struggle against acne for the better part of your life. Not to be discouraged of course, as no one in the world other than yourself cares that you have a pimple on your cheek.

Now it can be disheartening to wake up to acne, and certain individuals in your life may find sick amusement in trying to make it an insecurity, but almost everyone has acne in their lifetime, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. When I was a young teenager I thought I would grow out of my acne, but that is simply not the case. Over the years I learned how to manage my skin, and I can usually keep my skin clear. I gave up on my hope of having effortlessly clean skin when I realized that my family members, who are thirty years older than I, are still dealing with acne themselves. So I took the time to develop a skin care routine that was simple enough I could commit to it, while it still being effective.

My routine consists of Miscellar Water (if I’m wearing make up that day), then my bar of soap and washcloth. I rinse my face then use an astringent, and lastly I moisturize with a light, oil free, water based moisturizer. I do this morning and night and it works well for me.

If you want to leave your routine in the comments to help others, please do!