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"Requested: Current Skincare Routine"

Some of you have been asking about my skincare routine, so I thought I’d do a quick listing of what I do and use, and see if it might be useful information for anyone. 

I always feel the general rule of thumb is: If you can get away with less, use less. (Except when it comes to sun protection.)

Disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different, and what works for me might not work for you, so do always be your best judge and consult with a licensed dermatologist if you have severe or recurring skin issues that over-the-counter products can’t treat!

AM

There are only a couple of things I focus on in the mornings; cleansing off any excess grease, and then protecting the skin for the day ahead. I keep it fairly simple.

1. Cleansing: I try not to use strong scrubs or soaps in general, so I simply cleanse with a little soap (usually something from LUSH, like Snowcake) and splash clean. No hard rubbing or exfoliation, since your skin is unlikely to have gotten dirty through the night.

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2. Moisure: I’ll usually apply a light serum that has strong protective and antioxidant properties, and this is where I spend a little more money usually. I actually use Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair in the day, or Lancome’s Visionnaire LR 2412 Advanced Skin Corrector. You can use any serum you like; there are great ones in the drugstore from brands like Olay as well. If you have oily skin, you might want to try a corrective or calming serum for oily skin from brands such as Vichy, etc.

Just make sure it comes in a sealed pump-action bottle that isn’t transparent, as many antioxidants can be disabled by light long before you apply it to your skin.

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@colormyworldcmyk: Thanksfor the comment! I know it’s not really a moisturizer, but I usually find a good sun lotion has enough moisture in it already, and applying a separate moisturizer is a bit too much except on dry areas, so I just skip it!

3. Protect: Sun protection!!! A good lotion or serum can retain water and repair oxidative stress on the skin, but the best thing is prevention. If you have oily, breakout prone skin, it’s even more important to make sure you protect your skin daily because this allows it to repair itself and for dark acne scar marks to fade faster than if you don’t.

I always look for lightweight lotion-like textures from brands like Neutrogena or Clarins.

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Aside from this, I’d say stay hydrated, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but I have to admit I probably don’t do it as often as I should…

PM

In the evening, it’s about a more thorough cleanse to remove makeup, and then more antioxidants and maybe a lightweight barrier cream since I sleep in air-conditioning. 

1. Cleansing: I usually use a micellar (removes both oil and water) cleansing lotion from a Japanese brand called Bifesta (the Asian version of Bioderma’s Crealine) to cleanse of most of my makeup. It usually works, but if I want a deep-clean, I will use a cleansing oil like Shu Uemura’s Bio-Performance Cleansing Oil.

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Then I follow with regular soap and water.

2. Moisture: I usually use the same serum I used in the day. Antioxidants are antioxidants!

3. Barrier protection: If I need a lot of moisture relief, I might pat a bit of 100% pure shea butter or jojoba oil under my eyes and on my lips. No additives, just pure oil. I also use a touch of these on any scars that I need to heal up quicker.

4. Treatment: If there are any spots or the beginnings of spots, I will dot a little Mario Badescu drying lotion and leave it on overnight. Sulfur has always worked the best for me in terms of killing bacteria. Your skin might be different.

SPECIAL CARE

There are always a few MVPs we whip out from time to time when we need a little extra help. Here’s mine:

1. Flaking skin: Shea butter or petroleum jelly. I don’t RUB these into the skin. I melt a little on my fingers and pat-pat-pat it onto the flaking areas only. Then I let it sit a little and blot if I need to apply makeup. 

2. Congestion/Blackheads: Once in awhile when my skin is starting to feel clogged, I apply a very thin layer of Clearasil Ultra over my T-zone, chin and inner-cheek areas and leave it on overnight. Like any 1-2% salicylic acid based product, which means it can sink into your pores and dissolve oil plugs slowly. This means it will always work better as an allover preventive or skin maintenance product than a spot treatment. If your skin is sensitive, go for 1%, apply the THINNEST layer and don’t do it more than 1-2 times a week.

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3. Breakouts: I don’t use antibiotics like Benzoyl Peroxide regularly because bacteria can get resistant to it with regular use. I find sulfur-based products (e.g. Mario Badescu) to be a better alternative for “day-to-day” use. But once in a long while, if you need to control a breakout fast, I have either Clean & Clear Persagel or Proactiv Advanced Blemish Treatment on hand. And I don’t only apply on the spot. I apply all over the surrounding skin because the bacteria is not just on the red spot. 

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4. Hives, rashes, sensitivities…: Cortizone 10 Intensive. FIRST, DO NOT USE CORTISONE CREAMS DAILY if you have sensitive skin. These are for emergencies. If you have chronic sensitive skin, you need to get to a dermatologist for proper care and a list of non-sensitizing products to use in your regime. Cortisones are steroids and can help to calm a flare-up faster but they also will cause your collagen matrix to deteriorate with prolonged use. Use only as needed for temporary issues.

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5. Flare-ups: Sometimes if I’ve been picking at my pores (yes I do it too…) and everything is just all red and inflamed, I need to calm it down quickly. I’ll use Mario Badescu Healing Cream when I want some soothing but want to do it without using cortisones. This contains Peru Balsam, which is a soothing compound that is used to treat exzema and rashes, but a small percent of the population is sensitive to it, so you should always get a sample to try first. 

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