BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Skincare

I feel like with every passing year, I always learn a different aspect of skincare. I found this year I focused a LOT on scientifically proven ingredients, as well as new, popular ingredients that are commonly talked about in the beautysphere. This was also the year I showed more interest in drugstore products! Out of everything I tried and used up this year, here are the skincare products that really stood out to me this year and deserve some praises.

Before we get into the individual products, I want to give a shout out to a few brands that have impressed me with almost every product I’ve tried from the line. If I didn’t, I feel like the list would be a lot longer! I also have product shoutouts along the list as well. They may not be my top pick for the year of 2018, but again, they deserve a mention since I did enjoy using them.


BRAND Shoutouts

DRUGSTORE: Cerave – If you need affordable, effective skincare with a simple ingredients list, this is the brand to turn to. Almost any skin type can turn to this brand! I’m looking forward to trying more from the brand and provide you all affordable alternatives in skincare.

MID-RANGE: Krave Beauty – I actually would have featured everything in this post, but since I only started using them near the end of the year a handful of times, I’ll leave the praises for a future post *hint hint*. A new skincare line created by acne-prone, sensitive-skinned beauty Youtuber Liah Yoo. The brand is all about respecting the skin’s natural function and makes sure to promote its helf rather than further sensitizing it.

HIGH-END: Dermalogica – She may be pricey, but she works, and a little goes a long way with every product I have tried! I love the combo of science-backed ingredients mixed with botanicals and essential oils in their formulas. This is one of the few skincare brands I’m willing to splurge money on because I’ve reaped nothing but benefits!


skincare-faves-18-1

Makeup Remover

Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes – Favourited by a handful of Canadian Beauty Bloggers, and I can see why. It is simple, it is gentle, it works really well at removing waterproof makeup, all the while never irritating my eyes or drying out my eye area!

Cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – Jesus where was this when I had worse skin problems? Cerave has impressed me this year as a drugstore brand and this is one of their standout products to me. Preferably used for my morning cleanse, I find it softens my skin when massaging for a minute or so and does a decent job at removing overnight fluffs. If you need a very gentle cleanser, I don’t think you’d be disappointed with this one!

Shoutout:
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – She’s expensive, but she also has a lovely texture, amazing second cleanse, and a little goes such a long way it took me forever to finish it!

IMG_20180707_183504.jpg

Hydrator

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence – I seriously miss this from my routine! I’m currently using Secret Key FTE which is nice, but COSRX is pretty much the same but with my preferred consistency! It wasn’t until I started using this that the plateau I was experiencing in my skincare ended. Face felt more hydrated, looked even tone, and I actually started noticing improvements in my hyperpigmentation.

Shoutouts:
Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner *
Some By Mi AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner *

I already threw out the COSRX Essence so I couldn’t take a new solo photo :3)

skincare-faves-18-4

Moisturizer

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel – I pine for this. Has the different HA molecules, Urea, Ceramide, and Squalane! A seriously lovely humectant moisturizer that I’m highly considering repurchasing.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Surprise surprise! But seriously, I really am surprised that I liked a drugstore moisturizer so much. It worked with my dry skin and I see the workings of the 4% Niacinamide.

Klairs Vitamin E Mask * – Love it as my night time moisturizer in the colder months, and it’s also just a joy to use because of the texture and the instant brightening effects. The bonus is that it is a heavier mask that doesn’t aggravate my acne or enlarge my pores!

skincare-faves-18-3

Actives / Treatments

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – I cringe that this is a favourite because of the price point, but it’s SO GOOD! It does everything you could want in a vitamin C serum – hydrate, brighten, create an even tone, lighten pigmentation. I felt like it just simplified my morning routine when I used it.

Differin OTC 0.1% Adapalene – My gateway drug into retinoids (lol). After years of experimenting with skincare outside of prescription, and learning so much this year about its benefits, I decided to go back to Vitamin A. It was definitely a turn for the better, because I’ve only noticed my skin improving since incorporating it into my routine. I now use prescription Differin with a higher percentage, but Americans are very lucky to have easy access to this in your local drugstores!

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – Simplest, gentlest BP product I have ever tried. It was very affordable, I was surprisesd at how long it lasted, and yes, I found it very effective at killing any spots within a few days. I never thought I’d like a BP product as much as this!

Exfoliator

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – Gentle and easy to use, and I like that I can use it on wet skin!

Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * – Must be used on dry skin, but love how my skin is noticeably softer after using this. This one is particularly good for not just it’s quality but the low cost!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – Out of all the products I’m mentioning, this one is probably the gentlest. I always anticipate a stinging sensation when using this, but it’s always soothing and moisturizing! Like I’ve said before, it’s like an acid essence. My skin always looks bright and even, and pores look smaller.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA * – This year’s AHA favourite. Love that it’s gentle, especially now that I am using a retinoid, and still effective as an exfoliant for my skin. I especially like how both this and the PC product can be used under my eyes!

skincare-faves-18-6

Sunscreen

Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen – We hear time and time again from skin professionals, experts and enthusiasts how important sunscreen application is, and this is the one I used that really made me enjoy applying sunscreen. I also consider this a gateway drug into trying out many other sunscreens!

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++ * – How can I not include this? Seriously one of the best Klairs releases. Chemical sunscreen with photostable UV filters, doesn’t sting my eyes, is slightly moisturizing, doesn’t have a cast, and comes in a great size for a great price.


And there you have it! I’m impressed that I managed to keep the list * rather * short this time around. Hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check out the related content below!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup
BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: SKINCARE
The Best of Beauty 2016
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


This post contains affiliate links.

Advertisements

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup

2018 flew by so freaking fast! It’s been a personal journey for me, but let’s reflect on the interesting stuff: MAKEUP! Below are the ones that hit me in the feels when I use it (I mean that in the best of ways). I understand the product, I look forward to using them, and I trust them.


BASE

mu-faves-18-base

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (Medium) – One of the best Western CC Creams that I have tried to date. Provides great coverage, literally makes it look like my skin but better, lasts a long time. It’s no surprise that it’s one I favour, for it’s made in Korea, the place where BB Creams became heavily popularized! I do sometimees notice my face looking paler than usual when using this, but it’s in the off lighting that you’ll barely catch me under xP

MAC Cosmetics Studio Face & Body Foundation (C2) – A great reach for when you literally want just a tint. The base is on the glowier side, so I find this more suitable for the winter time when my skin is more susceptible to looking lack-luster. I also found the coverage of this tint buildable compared to other ones I’ve tried.

MUFE Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation (Y305 Soft Beige) – She is found – a natural looking, buildable, matte-satin foundation for DRY skin. Here’s the catch – the matte look doesn’t last that long, but it wears the way I want it to for a night out, which is when I tend to reach for this. I’ve worn it for a whole day and it will get quite dewy, but heck, the finish is there when it matters most and it’s been a while since I’ve been so comfortable wearing a foundation. Since it is buildable, I can also use this to spot conceal as well. It’s not 100% non-transferrable, but definitely better than when I used to use Too Faced Born This Way Foundation!

Pixi Beauty H2O Skin Tint (No. 3 Warm) – One of the better drugstore complexion finds I have found to date. It’s not orange, it’s an actual undertone. It always gives me a lovely satin finish, with a slight blurring effect.

mu-faves-18-base-spray

Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist – At first the heavy fragrance in this turned me off, but it’s so damn good that I put up with it. Before makeup, it gives my skin a great healthy glow without looking oily, and really diffuses the texture I’m concerned with on my forehead. After makeup, gets rid of the dry, powdery look if I did overpowder.

I encourage you to check out my previous posts if any categories are missing. Like I said, I only include the ones that really hit me in thefeels the year I discovered it!


EYE AREA

mu-faves-18-mascara

Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara (Super Waterproof, 01 Jet Black) – Black, waterproof, buildable. I can wear it for a natural look, and build it up when I do a more eyeshadow heavy look. Seriously, the Japanese know what to do with mascaras!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam Palette – Hands down most used palette this year. I was really fond of using Orange Soda, Burnt Orange, and Sienna this year, all year long. Lately I’ve been loving a brown smokey eye!


CHEEK

mu-faves-18-cheeks

Clinique Cheek Pop (Melon Pop) – So glad to have given cheek pops a try, and I was lucky enough to first pick out my favourite daily blush! I’ve watched Korean MUAs use them for its water-colour type finish. And they were right! It adds a beautiful hue to the cheeks and lasts.

mu-faves-18-cheek-swatches

Winky Lux Strobe Balm (Lit) – I actually like this better than RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer! While that one is natural, the WL one is thinner, hence easier for me to use on top of any base. It’s also more dimensional and I find it works as a nice base for other highlighters.


LIPS

mu-faves-18-lips

Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick (Girl Next Door) – The best neutral pink lip product I have come across. I can make it work with a warm and cool look, and it doesn’t make my lips look pasty or buttholey.

mu-faves-18-lip-swatches
Left to right: Shu Uemura “S RD 150”, Bubz “Girl Next Door”

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine Liptisck (S RD 150) – The perfect hot pink colour! Love that it leans warm, and you can wear it sheer or really build the colour. It really moisturizes my lips and I never have problems wearing it for the whole day. I’ve been searching for this colour for so long!


 

makeupfaves2018look

And there you have it, my makeup faves from 2018!! If I didn’t mention a product in a specific category, check out my previous “Best of” posts, I’m most likely still using the same stuff! In the selfie above, I used all products I mentioned (except 3/4 foundations… Cause you know, I only have so much face). List of products used are already captioned in my Instagram post.

Hope you have had an amazing 2018, and 2019 has been treating you well so far! Stay tuned for the Best of Skincare!

xo, M


BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: MAKEUP
The Best of Beauty 2016


*This post contains affiliate links.

December 2018 Roundup – I DID IT!

*clap clap clap* I have somehow managed to do a roundup for every month this year, and use up a ton of products along the way! Here are my favourites and empties for December, and stay tuned for the Beauty of Beauty posts!


Favourites

IMG_20190116_151956.jpg

Skincare

Cerave Baby Healing Ointment – The regular one isn’t available in Canada, but I swear these have similar ingredients! This is my current go-to occlusive for around my eyes, smile area and any dry spots (let’s be real – my entire face). It has 45% petroleum, mineral oil, as well as *drumroll* CERAMIDES! You guessed it lol. Basically this is less greasy to use compared to straight up Vaseline (although still greasy) and is easier to thin out or mix with my moisturizer.

Tools

Sephora Pro-Diffuser Brush #64 – Another solid recommendation from my friend. This brush is the best complexion brush I have ever used. MAC Face and Body, MUFE Matte Velvet, cream blush. powder blush, general blending… Bless this brush, for it does everything!


Empties

IMG_20190116_151752.jpg

Skincare

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – One of the best BP products I’ve ever used. It was really gentle when I used it, lasted WAY longer than expected, and worked well with OTC Differin.
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment – Love it more than the Phytopolleine I had prior. It worked fairly quickly at balancing my scalp, and I actually found I didn’t have a need for it until I *unbalanced* it with other hair products I’ve been trying. Will probably repurchase this.

CNP Brightening Daily Fluid Sun Essential Fluid Formula SPF50+ PA++++ – Loved it when I first bought it because of how milky it was. However near it’s end it seemed to pill on my face a LOT! Also I can’t rely find a reliable link even if I wanted to repurchase.

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – After much reflection on all the Vitamin C serums I have tried this year, I have concluded that this was the best one. Mainly because it benefitted my skin in a variety of ways, and the one major con is the price.
REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – Holy cow, this took so long to finish, I actually used it in the morning as well. I got this back in October 2017 And pretty much used it every night since (aside from testing other stuff). A little went a long way and despite the price you really do get the full value of this cleanser!

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream 30ml – You all know I purchased the 60ml size, ’nuff said.
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream – This moisturizer will always have a special place in my heart. The only moisturizer I  could rely on when my skin was Going from oily to dry while still breaking out from getting off of BC.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, 60+ EMPTIES LATER.


TOTAL EMPTIES

January – 4
February – 4
March – 6
April – 5
May – 4
June – 5
July – 3
August – 7
September – 10
October & November – 7
December – 7

62 MO’FREAKIN’ PRODUCTS! I know my bf helped me with some, but majority of them were on my own damn face! Keep in mind I didn’t purchase all these products, some were gifts and PR.

For 2019, I’m really going to try being more diligent at using up products I have before purchasing another one. I thought I was doing pretty good, but receiving PR that I care to use after review makes it difficult.

Hope you enjoyed my Roundup series! This year I may just do current favourites and empties based on the season so the video is more focused on a topic. Stay tuned for my Best of Beauty 2018 posts, they are almost done!

xo, M


*  This post contains affiliate links.

REVIEW: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm

…with Ecinachea GreenEnvy!

I can’t stop seeing this product on Youtube and Instagram. It was driving me quite mad actually. What is so damn special about Farmacy’s Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm!? I picked it up during Sephora’s surprise summer VIB Sale to find out.


CLAIMS

 

Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm instantly melts into the skin, dissolving away makeup and pollution residue so even the boldest eye makeup and sunscreen applications are easily removed. It refines the skin’s surface for a younger looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types, Green Clean can be used even on dry and delicate complexions.

The balm features sunflower oil and ginger root oil to gently cleanse and nourish the skin for a glowing complexion. Extract of the Moringa tree, a native tree to India and Africa, helps to purify and refresh skin by removing impurities caused by pollution. Papaya extract acts as a natural exfoliator to help renew the look of the skin’s surface. An aromatic blend of lime, bergamot and orange essential oils revitalizes the look of skin. It features the unique patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, GreenEnvy™, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical Cichoric Acid, a potent natural antioxidant that promotes an evenly toned complexion.

AMOUNT: 3.2oz / 90ml

PRICE: $34 USD – $44 CAD


INGREDIENTS

IMG_20181209_144930-1.jpg

As listed on Sephora

“-Echinacea GreenEnvy™: Promotes an evenly toned complexion.
-Sunflower Oil and Ginger Root Oil: Gently cleanse and nourish the skin for a glowing complexion.
-Extract of the Moringa Tree: Helps to purify and refresh skin by removing impurities caused by pollution.
-Papaya Extract: Acts as a natural exfoliator to help renew the look of the skin’s surface.”

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Peg-10 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Amino Esters-1, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Amber Powder, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid.

COSDNA IL – Lists basic functions of each ingredient.

Funny that the highlighted ingredients are all at the bottom of the list, while the essential oil fragrances are all on top… I can’t seem to find anything about a dosing issue for ecinachea topically, and not gonna lie, I’m bothered that these ingredients are not higher up; It makes me question if they’re truly significant in this balm. Even in the description on Sephora, it states, “An aromatic blend of lime, bergamot and orange essential oils revitalizes the look of skin. It features the unique patent-protected variant of Echinacea Purpurea, GreenEnvy™, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical Cichoric Acid, a potent natural antioxidant that promotes an evenly toned complexion.” So both the essential oils at the top of the list as well as their Ecinachea GreenEnvy help with improving your complexion. Maybe the Ecinachea is for long-term whereas the EOs just impart an instant brightening effect?


USAGE

 

I’ve been using it every night since I ran out of my Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm.

SCENT: Light lime scent. Not overpowering and doesn’t linger.

TEXTURE: Despite being in a balm form, it is quite light and I find oily-skinned peeps will find this very approachable and pleasant. Think “sherbert balm.”

IMG_20181119_225235_749.jpg

APPLICATION: Scoop of a nickel-quarter size amount for my face and neck. I’d use the latter amount if I was wearing a lot of makeup that day. Melts quickly and goes on very thin.

FINISH: No residue or heavy moisture like the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm.

INSTANT RESULTS: Clean, not green face!

LONG-TERM RESULTS: Nothing fancy.


FINAL THOUGHTS

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181209144522592_COVER-1.jpg

The Farmacy Green Clean Meltaway Cleansing Balm is nice. It’s a light texture, smells pleasant, removes all the makeup from my face, removes the beady dirt/dead skin, and doesn’t compromise anything. I’ll definitely keep using it since it is serving it’s purpose, although I’ll probably hold off on repurchasing. This didn’t do anything overly amazing for my skin that I would miss. I upset myself, for I wanted something significant! I’m interested in going back to a regular cleansing oil, and the affordable, simple Japanese cleansing oils are capturing my interest. If I start traveling more frequently, I may consider picking up the small size of this, or just go back to Banila Co. if I decide I want a full-size balm again (better price too).

Do I recommend? For the funsies. Get the mini first, especially if you travel a lot.
Specific Skin-Type? Any skin type will enjoy this if you prefer a thinner, light balm.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Sephora

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT:
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars

It has been ~6 months since I stopped dermarolling and started using OTC Differin 0.1% Adapalene. I have done quite a few things for my skin since then, and I thought I’d do a Skin Update if you were curious about my progress and my current approach to achieving healthy skin! As seen in the title and main image, these will be the main focus of this update.

Before we continue, please be sure you’re caught up with the following, that way you have a better understanding about my skin and my approach to this post!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
REVIEW: Banish Acne Scars Banish Starter Kit

RECAP:
– Did 4 at-home dermarolling sessions with the Banish Kit. Stopped microneedling in general because I had no control over my acne breakouts. (March – April 2018)
– After microneedling, used OTC Differin for ~6 months. (May 2018)
– Sun not as strong, reintroduced chemical exfoliators back into my routine. BHA in the AM only on days when I workout, and AHA every other night. (September 2018)
– Tried Banisher 2.0 and did another 2 microneedling sessions. (Novermber 2018)
– Saw a dermatologist after 10 years of not seeing any skin professional; Got prescribed Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone + Differin 0.3% Adapalene to heal acne lesions and prevent breakouts. She was okay with my at-home microneedling. (November 2018)
– Created a more focused skincare routine in consideration of the new prescriptions. (Decmber 2018)
– Spoke with a Medical Esthetician about a PRP (Vampire) Facial. (December 2018)


Acne

IMG_20181209_144157-1.jpg

Differin 0.1% Adapalene for 6 months
After using OTC Differin 0.1% Adapalene for 6 months, here’s what I have noticed:
– Skin is subtly smoother, but not by a lot
– Quickly reduced pain caused by active acne
– Helped acne to quickly heal
– Red acne marks fade faster

Overall, OTC Differin was a great introduction into my skincare routine. Any skin professional will tell you Vitamin A is the most superior ingredient for improving acne and anti-aging, and this one is easily available for Americans (*shakes fists of jealousy*). However, after half a year of use, my skin plateaued. By that I mean it was working okay, but not great – not significant. Quite frankly, I really disliked how I was still breaking out into large, painful cysts. Definitely a sign to me that 0.1% was only doing so much.

Dermatologist Visit
My family doctor booked me an appointment to see a dermatologist about a few spots I noticed on my body (FYI: no skin cancer, yay!), so when I went in for the visit I also expressed concern about my persisting acne breakouts after YEARS of trying to get it under control (antibiotics, birth control, previous prescriptions, cleaned up diet).

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20181128115502296_COVER.jpg

The derm prescribed me Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone to help heal current inflamed acne lesions (painful AF cysts) and non-inflamed acne lesions (blackheads and whiteheads), and upped the Differin to 0.3% Adapalene to better prevent blocked pores as well as treat inflamed skin. I’ve currently been using Aczone in the day and Differin at night (since Nov. 27th), and I, as well as family members and BF, have already seen a difference. Current inflamed acne lesions subsided a lot, and I find my skin way more even tone and smoother than usual *no placebo effect, plz*.


Scarring

I’ve hoped for years topicals could help me with my acne. I’ve been trying this for 5 years. Half a decade. And only recently I decided to incorporate Vitamin A into my routine and speak to a professional. I feel like a dummy, but at least I’m still in my 20s and I got over my fear of prescriptions (due to my poor routines years prior) and understand my skin concerns enough to address them with a professional.

As I previously mentioned, Differin 0.1% Adapalene made my skin appear subtly smoother, but frankly, there was no significant change. In attempts to take a Before/After photo (the Before photo being my last picture in my dermarolling post) I found it not only difficult to remember the exact lighting angle I used, but also my atrophic scarring didn’t look THAT different. On top of that, I am still breaking out so you can see red marks despite previous ones healing fast, as well as active acne *le sigh*.

I’ve seen Chemist @kindofstephen post a study on 0.3% Adapalene helping with acne scarring just before I got prescribed Differin 0.3% Adapalene; After reading the study, I am more enthusiastic about my higher prescription and the potential results.

IMG_20181209_143756.jpg

Reintroduced Acids
Before I saw the derm, I began using chemical exfoliants in my routine once the sun became less strong and we started moving into the fall. I’m currently using Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid in the morning only on days I workout. In the PM I was using Krave Beauty’s Kale-lalu-yAHA, a 5.25% Glycolic Acid toner *, but now rotate it 1-3x a week due to prescription use. PC’s BHA Liquid makes my face lovely and smooth every time I use it, but AHAs seem to always be my bestie when it comes to scarring. I’ve been using KB’S toner for just under 2 months now and I already notice my face looking smoother. I think I’ll keep using the AHA all year round just because it’s probably the only topicals easily available that I notice makes a difference in my skin. Also I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this, but I got 2 free BHA Peels done by George Brown College Students in downtown Toronto last year (2017) because it was free.

At-Home Microneedling
If you read and watched my brand review on Dear, Klairs, I did mention that I started microneedling again. I had the opportunity to review Banish’s new Banisher 2.0 * and have done 2 microneedling sessions since receiving it. These were done before my derm visit, so now that I have new prescriptions to get used to I won’t be using the Banisher 2.0 for another month or so until I get a better understanding on what’s happening with my skin.

original vs. 2.0

Considering a Professional for Microneedling
I told the derm I’ve done 6 microneedling sessions total with 0.5mm titanium needles and she was okay with that. Actually, she said microneedling or Fraxal laser were my best options for getting rid of my scars completely since topicals can’t do it themselves *le sigh*. My boyfriend’s mom (Medical Esthetician) discussed the Vampire Facial (PRP) with me and suggested to have the facial done through her friend who is an RN. I’m planning to meet her soon for a consultation. I also asked my sister (who’s now in Seoul working) to scope out the prices for PRP. In the meantime, at least the at-home 0.5mm dermastamp will assist in the appearance!


My Current Skin Goals & Routine

After all I have just said and done, my skin goals have not changed much. Acne Control, Hydration, and Barrier Protection are still my top priorities for maintaining and achieving healthier skin! Instead of using so many products like my previous routines, I want to achieve these goals by attempting a more minimal approach *key word: attempting*.

I’ve also been watching way more skin professionals online, including dermatologists, so I have a better idea (and patience in general) on how to incorporate the prescriptions in a routine with products I like to use. I’m going to try my hardest to keep an efficient daily routine, and leave the fun stuff for bath time or lazy times. I’d say my approach is inspired Dr. Davin Lim’s Vitamin ABC’s, but it seems like my routines always had them!
Vitamin A – Differin 0.1% Adapalene to 0.3%.
Vitamin B – Niacinamide (B3) is da besttttt.
Vitamin C – Using a derivative at the moment, but will try to focus more on L-Ascorbic Acid with future products.

TBH, I’m having a hard time with the C. I currently am using Dermalogica’s Biolumin-C Serum * and in November I received the Banish Oil * when testing out the Banisher 2.0 *. I just find the effects I usually get from Vitamin C (even skin tone, brightening, glowing, reduced hyperpigmentation), are also coming from/being assisted by the other Vitamins, and I don’t know if there’s really a purpose for the C. Or maybe, they all just work best together, which is why I haven’t noticed anything individual! I’ve heard great things about Melano CC Essence and have ordered it from DokoDemo along with a couple of other items. I’ve also been curious about Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma, but we all know that shiz is esspenssive. Skincare peeps, what do you think?

Now that topical prescriptions have been introduced to my routine, I want to make sure what I use with it has effective ingredients and helps offset any dryness or irritation I may expect.  I will share my updated skincare routine once I have comfortable used all the products.


And that’s that for my skin update! I hope you found it informative, especially if we’re on the same healthy skin journey! Stay tuned for an updated skincare routine with Aczone and Differin!

xo, M