Hi! This has been one of my requested posts and originally I was going to do a full Youtube video on my skincare routine (I might still actually…), I wanted to go over my skincare journey with you all. I’ve, like many others, have battled with acne issues with my whole life. When I was younger, I would go through some lucky months of never breaking out to some months where my face was just covered all over with acne. Sometimes it was very small, and sometimes my face would blow up (lol). Battling with acne and trying to figure out a good skincare routine for myself was definitely a struggle and I became very insecure of myself because of it. Thankfully, I’m slowly beginning to love my skin and myself again and I hope my story can help you in any way possible. (None of this is sponsored, I just really love the products I’m about to talk about)
Back in late 2015 to most of 2016, my skin was its worst ever. I was lucky enough to not suffer any acne scars when I was in highschool to college, however… I had the most difficult fight with acne ever. My face suffered through constant outbreaks and after every outbreak, scars or a red pigmentation would be left behind on my skin. Not on just one area either, my forehead, my cheeks, under my lips, and the side of my face was the areas my acne decided to make camp. It got so bad that I hated seeing myself in the mirror, foundation was a must for me, and I went through so many products to try to fight my acne issue I can’t even count. I’m about to show some pictures I’ve been so ashamed to show anyone until now.
I honestly was so sad and felt so helpless. I might get some kind of hate right now of people wondering why does this matter to me so much to the point where it made me dislike myself. I’m not going to lie, I want to look good and feel good and part of that, to me, is having skin where I feel confident in and this was not making me confident whatsoever.
First step is to realizing and accepting that I have a problem. LOL kidding. But after reading through several skincare blogs, I realized that me freaking out over my skin and putting hella random shit was NOT the way to go. I made my skin even more unbalanced than ever by constantly changing my skincare routine and acne creams, I wasn’t giving my skin a chance to take in these products. I needed to be more patient and getting more informed about the life cycle skin was very essential. I also figured it was time to invest in better skin products. If I was going to splurge on anything, I am 100% fine with it being skincare products. I know some people don’t agree but hey, to each their own! I also learned about the Korean 10-step routine and that had a BIG influence in how I started caring for my skin.
STEP ONE: DOUBLE CLEANSER WITH AN OIL AND FOAMING CLEANSER.
I used to use the Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover from Sephora or a make-up wipe like the Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes from Target. Don’t get me wrong, I still like these products but I realized that these weren’t doing the job I needed it to do. These products didn’t really help remove all the make up I had on my skin (no I don’t wear a shit ton of foundation on my face okay!) and I needed something different. For my facial wash, I used generic brands from Target (that I can’t remember the name of) to some Korean brands that focused on brightening the skin. I remembered I used to love and use Japanese products like Shiseido and I made the decision to start looking for Asian-based skincare. Personally, for me, I thought this would better suit my skin because to me, at the time, it made sense that I should use skincare made for Asian skin. It kind of seems silly to me reading it over, but OKAY.
Currently for the past half a year or so, I’ve been using Tatcha and ohmyGOD I love it. I currently use their Camellia Cleansing Oil and the Polished Rice Enzyme Powder for combination skin. I used to use the one for sensitive skin but I didn’t see my skin improving from that. I like to use cleansers that’s aimed to brighten up my skin and smooth out unevenness and I feel like this does the job best for my skin.
I really do see an improvement in my skin complexion after I moved onto a 2-step cleanse rather than just using make-up wipes and using a general facial cleanser. My skin honestly feels cleaner, free from the days worth of make-up and oil (:
STEP TWO: EXFOLIATE EVERY OTHER DAY/2-3 DAYS.
This step isn’t needed, you’ll get different opinions of this. Some recomend exfoliating everyday because of the products we have in the market now, it’s made so that it’s gentle enough for our skin to be exfoliated everyday and not feel as dry. However, since I am lazy sometimes and from my personal choice… I use an exfoliate every 2-3 days.
I switch between the Sunday Riley Good Genes Exfoliator and the Bio Peel+ Lemon Exfoliating Pads (Recommended by Jennim!). I don’t want to go too much indepth about the Good Genes exfoliator but it’s a pretty strong product. I still don’t really know if it’s meant to be an everyday product or every other day. I use it 2-3x a week for now. Sometimes when I want a quick exfoliate to feel extra clean with my skin, I use the Bio Peel pads. I think this step is crucial because it helps take away the dead skin and helps clear excess oil and clogged pores. I DON’T NEED ANYMORE BREAK OUTS. I also think this helps by gently scrubbing away my acne scars.
STEP THREE: TONE TONE TONE TONE TONE.
I used to never use toner because I was a lazy butt and I 100% admit it. I remember my mom would nag me to use toner and I never saw a point in it. NOW I DO. pH BALANCE. PORE SHRINKAGE. EXTRA CLEANING. I’ve seen the light and I recommend anyone who doesn’t use a toner, to use one. It doesn’t even need to be expensive… just get some kind of toner (that’s a decent brand of course) on your skin and it’ll scream “thank you”. I use the toner from Tatcha, and honestly I feel like I could try something else … but for now I just use it because it’s part of the same skincare line.
STEP FOUR: CUROLOGY. MY SOLUTION TO MY ACNE.
This is not a sponsored post but holy SHIT, I’m so glad I found Curology. This goes back to my story about switching from product to product on acne products, so much I actually think I broke myself even more. Once I realized that acne care is not an overnight solution nor is it a one month solution, it’s something that needs to be worked on over several months depending on your skin, I started becoming more at peace with myself. I used to use Tea Tree Oil to Salycylic acid spot treatment to Proactive and Proactive +… nothing worked. I was beyond upset. Then one day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a sponsored ad for Curology, the online dermatologist. I saw all the pictures and stories of girls getting their acne issue fixed/improved… and at that point I honestly thought I had nothing left to lose so I signed up for the subscription. It’s a bit pricey to be honest, $39.90 for a 2-month supply of this product.
I’ve been using this product since December 2016 and I went through a roller coaster with this product. The dermatologist I was matched with assured me that my issue won’t be fixed over night and it will take about a minimum 3 months for me to see results. There was one point my face broke out even more and I was beyond angry but I still stuck with it because she said my face was probably purging. Initially I started out with a different formula but after 4 months of it, I asked for a stronger medication because I didn’t think the formula I was initially prescribed worked for my skin. Here’s my new formula:
I honestly think Curology is the main factor of how my acne conditions improved. I didn’t see improvements until 6 months after but I noticed my scars and hyper pigmentation were slowly dissapearing. If you are currently going through acne issues, I highly recommend this. I think they also have a trial period where the first month is only 5$ instead of the full!
STEP FIVE: USING SERUMS ON SOME DAYS.
When I want to be hella extra with my skin, I use the Tatcha Deep Brightening Serum. Yes, I want to brighten my skin if you didn’t know that already. The description says “Uses skin-safe ingredients to visibly improve hyperpigmentation, dark spots and uneven skin tone without whitening skin, resulting in a naturally bright radiance.” I really like how it feels on my skin, it has a light feeling and doesn’t leave me feeling too oily.
STEP SIX: MOISTURIZER.
I think this is the most basic step you can do for your skin, KEEP THEM DRY FLAKY SKIN AWAY. However, I’m very careful with what I use to moisturize my skin with. I realized that I have a combination skin but I’m a bit more on the oily side. If I use moisturizers that is very moisturizing, I can actually break out from it. I try to use products that isn’t that heavy feeling and even when I use it, I use a small dab on my finger and I pat that all over my face. I use the Tatcha Silk Cream as my moisturizer. Be sure to get one that works for your skin for example, I can’t use the Clinique moisturizer because that actually makes me even more dry… very interesting.
PRO TIP: COSDNA.COM AND NON-COMEDOGENIC PRODUCTS.
So I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “non-comedogenic”, if you haven’t…
“Noncomedogenic is a term applied to oils, lotions, and skin creams that do not block pores. Noncomedogenic products are also sometimes referred to as non-occlusive. The theory behind using lotions that do not clog pores is that, by not blocking pores, they will reduce the incidence of pimples.”
I went through my whole shelf of skin products and made sure they were non-comedogenic, and to double check if they actually were non-comedogenic (because some products can say they are but still have some ingredients that can clog pores), I used cosDNA.
So this website http://www.cosdna.com is my holy grail. If you don’t know about it, here you go. For EVERY product I’m trying to use, before I buy, I search up either the product or the ingredients on this website to make sure it’s low on acne and skin irritants. This is very important especially when it comes to make up. I try to only use products that have a 1-2 rating, sometimes a 3 is okay. But if any product has a 4+, I don’t even think about it. I found this site very very useful for me because I get to know what ingredients might be causing my break out and lets me figure out what skincare product to switch out much easier.
MY MAKEUP TIP: GET A GOOD BB CREAM AND A ACNE FIGHTING MATTIFYING PRIMER
This isn’t really part of my skincare routine but it does play a part with how I deal with my acne. First thing, I stopped using foundations all together. I realized I didn’t like how foundations looked on my face, it was very heavy for me and I couldn’t find a product that worked for me. But one big factor that made me stop using foundation was that I saw that it was one of the main products that broke my skin out. My foundation gave me acne and how I found out was through cosdna.com. Please note every skin is different, so while things might break me out it might not break yours out. I was using the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation. It had pretty good coverage for my skin but my skin just didn’t like the product whatsoever.
I’ve been using BB creams now because I love how it provides the right coverage for my face as well as brings me so many positive benefits for my skin. I found Cover Fx Acne Fighting Mattifying Primer and Dr. Jart Pore Perfecting BB Cream and those two products have been my holy grail. Nothing about it irritates my skin and I like how it blends onto my skin, it’s not too heavy and it’s pretty natural. I can go more about this if I do my make-up routine. I also bought a new Korean BB Cream called Missha so I’m excited to try that. I used it for two days so far and I haven’t broken out so I have high hopes for this product. But anyways! Yes, I switched from foundation to BB cream and I won’t be going back.
ANOTHER TIP…(Sorry last one): USE SUNSCREEN.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THAT UV AND DISCOLORATION. Honestly, use sunscreen on your face. It helps. A lot. Don’t be lazy on this. I use the Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen.
CONCLUSION: INVEST IN A ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND REALIZE YOUR SKIN TAKES TIME AND LOVE FOR IT TO IMPROVE!
I chose to use the type of skincare that targeted the problems I had – pigmentation, discoloration, overall brightening effects, pore minimizing, and products that don’t make my face blow up with oil. You can choose whatever you want but I think it’s best to stick with something that works and stick with it to see the benefits over time.
I really hope you guys enjoyed my skincare journey with you all. It’s been an interesting year for my skin, I still have some leftover scars and hyperpigmentation but I’m only looking up from here.
I’m not saying to use these products to get better skin, these are just what I used and the steps that I chose to follow that I felt worked best for me. It was honestly a long battle of trial and error. Hopefully, I made you feel a little better and gave you hope if you have acne problems. IT GETS BETTER.