This post is dedicated to the routine that helped me achieve a clear face! After doing this routine consistently (even on the party nights) for almost a year, I went from breaking out less to none at all, my face was not inflamed and I could tell what my skin colour was again! It was a relief knowing that all these products were very affordable (save for the one obvious one I will mention below), easy to buy and comes from mother earth herself. Below I share my thoughts on the products that lead to better, brighter, clearer, GLOWIER, days! I have listed the daily routine done with CAD prices so you can get an idea of how affordable these products really are, plus they will last you months. Also, I will only be going into detail of the products I used daily; the miscellaneous items (masks, exfoliants, supplements) will be saved for another post! Now let’s get to the routine!
Having been a couple of years since using this routine, I thought I’d give an updated blurb on my feelings towards this post and some information I feel necessary to add so you understand my skin journey more (a more detailed post will be made in the future).
I still stand by this routine, because it really helped form the skincare routine I have today. I started this routine at the time I finished Epiduo samples my family doctor gave me, and began Diane-35 birth control. I never got the full size of Epiduo because at the time I had a real fear of going back to what my skin was when my previous prescriptions stopped working and didn’t know what skincare was (aka, the face full of cystic acne and a perpetual red face). I started breaking out again despite being on birth control; the BC helped control the number of breakouts, but I was still getting them on my cheeks, nose, and jaw (so looking back, it didn’t even work that much lol). At this point, I wanted to find a way to clear my face without relying on topical medication.
Since using this skincare routine, I’ve learned the importance of oil cleansing and finding a pH balanced cleanser, especially for the heavy makeup-wearers like myself. Toning is still a crucial step in my routine, but with a hydrating toner that offers more to the skin. I do not rely on facial oils as a serum or my main moisturizer. It just can’t work for me in a bustling city, where I need a more moisturized and protected skin barrier.
This routine down below was the start; It was simple, clean, I kept consistency and saw results. I overall learned patience and what to look for in my skincare (and how to look for it!) So when you read this routine below, keep in mind it’s a start, not forever.
If you’re wondering, I’m not on birth control anymore. Actually, I had an awful, inflamy, never-ending zitty chin once I got off of it! Skincare Series 1.1: My Daily Skincare Routine
Enjoy the read down below, I plan on doing an updated skincare routine in the near future!
1. Cleanse with a little piece of African Black Soap (ABS), lather with hands ~$5-15 depending on quantity
2. Apply Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner with Rose Water and Aloe (alcohol free) with a cotton pad on face, eyes, neck, and hold on breakouts ~$10
3. Apply a drop of Rosehip Oil to forehead, cheeks, chin, neck, and lightly massage into skin ~$20-25 depending on brand
1. Apply desired oil for the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) onto face, massage for 1-2 minutes, put hot cloth on face until it cools, then wipe oil off (My personal mix is 2/3 avocado oil 1/3 castor oil blend – eventually stopped using castor oil, or coconut oil by itself) ; ~$10-$50 depends on what oils you decide to use, the brand, and the size of the bottle
2. Follow by cleansing using ABS with Clarisonic MIA 2 ~$179
3. Apply Thayer’s Toner with a cotton pad
4. Apply drops of Rosehip Oil
Miscellaneous (items incorporated in my Night Time Routine 2-3x a week)
1. Clay Masks after showering $10-$70 (I know, right? It’s all about the brand, baby)
2. Chemical Exfoliant after showering
3. Physical Exfoliant while in shower
African Black Soap
I have heard about ABS since I was 17 and never thought much of it until in my 20s. Originally I thought something so inexpensive and all natural couldn’t possibly work, and that I’d rather get a recommendation from a dermatologist. The first bar I bought was only $5 at a store near my house, with 3 ingredients; My face felt super smooth after using it, and I was so surprised as to how one small piece was able to lather up so easily. As the days passed, I strictly used ABS day and night, and left it on my face for at least a minute. During this time it never felt like it was leaving my skin dry, but it did pack a heaping punch to my face after consistent use. My face burned. I’m talking about red splotches after (no fear, they cleared up right after completing my whole routine.) After that fiasco, I started to dilute the soap more after I lathered it into my hands with whatever facial oil I had lying around (jojoba, rosehip, avocado, coconut, etc.) and I began only using it at night. A few months have passed, and I noticed my breakouts became less and less, to none at all. After I don’t know how many products I bought, my family and I myself saw a change in my skin! Unlike prescribed topicals, my face wasn’t left flakey or dull; it was left smoother, brighter, and clearer. Overall, ABS was a game changer for me, and a big surprise that my clear skin mostly came from a cleanser. I highly recommend grabbing this product from your local health food store and giving it a try; there’s many different types so don’t be afraid to pick one up if the ingredient range is 3 to 10 – as long as there are no harsh chemicals and the main ingredients are there – why not for $5?
Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner with Rose Water and Aloe (alcohol free)
Thayer’s WH Toner is without a doubt, the loveliest toner I have ever come across. After watching multiple YouTube videos and reading about the excessive skincare routine Korean’s use (harharhar) – I decided to hunt for a toner. Immediately I went to the same health food store where I found my ABS and purchased a bottle of the Thayer’s WH Toner for only $10! It appealed to me because it had witch hazel as its main astringent, aloe for calming and it was alcohol-free. The plus side is that it contained rose water, an ingredient I didn’t know much about, and the ingredients were minimal. What a score this toner was – it has not only protected the pH balance of my skin, it was soothing, kept my face clear, and made my skin baby bum soft! I used it day and night after cleansing with a cotton pad, and haven’t changed my toner since. I received so many good things from this toner, it was as if it fed back all the good things I lost over the years. I have been a dedicated fan of the Thayer’s WH Toner for a few years now and I have never strayed from it. Minimal ingredients, no alcohol, and it does the job very well.
After many trials and tribulations with different types of moisturizers, serums, oils…. Rosehip Oil (RHO) has been the only one that stood out to me as effective for my oily, acne-prone skin. RHO appealed to me because it was lightweight, absorbed easily into the skin, contains essential fatty acids and vitamin E to aid in skin renewal, AND I could use it to make my mineral powder foundation into liquid! Talk about a multi-tasker. I’d say the most consistent I have used this has been twice a day (3 times if you count mixing it with my mineral foundation), for 3 months straight (Again, I tried a lot of different moisturizing elements). What stood out to me the most after using RHO was that it kept my face smooth, redness gradually diminished around my hyperpigmentation marks, and of course, I had that JLo glow going on. Truthfully, the reason why I stopped using RHO is because I got bored, wanted to try something new (our endless need to find something better!), and realized that I needed to search for a moisturizer that goes beyond the surface of the skin, which moist facial oils will only tackle. Although I stopped using RHO, it is still a staple for my must-have oils, and I highly recommend it becomes yours too.
Clarisonic Mia 2
This is where the routine gets pricey! After once again, extensive research on YouTube, online blogs, and coworkers recommendations, I dished out the moola for the Clarisonic Mia 2. Let’s just say my mom wasn’t impressed with how expensive it was! I think by now in 2015, we’ve all heard that there is a “purging” that the Clarisonic will do to your face, and then your skin magically clears up with the power of the oscillating system of the brush. I never experienced this, because my face was already “purged” – as in, big painful bumps all over my cheeks, jaw line, NECK…. Yeah, I couldn’t even complain anymore. I did however manage to control my “clear skin urges” and use the Mia 2 only once a night instead of twice a day. After using it the first time, I was truly amazed as to how much makeup was on the brush! That’s when it really hit me – I was NOT cleaning my face properly. As someone who was highly dependant on foundation for maximum coverage, this should have been the priority in my skincare routine. Needless to say, this is why I love my Clarionic Mia 2 – I can always count on it to effectively remove all the makeup 100% off my face, and I will always have smooth, polished skin. I don’t wear as much base as I used to, but when I do, this pricey gadget is a must when washing my face at the end of the night.
Oil Cleansing Method
OCM is another must-do routine when it comes to achieving a clear face and glowing skin. Would you believe me if I said I also discovered this from the Internet? The main reason I began the OCM is because I wanted to balance out the oil production of my skin. My face was an oil slick. After taking such effort to find mattifying products, I’d have to blot, wipe or touch up my face within the hour. Truthfully, I never used moisturizer until I was 21 years old. I know. Don’t hit me! It just never crossed my mind when I was younger that I had to, especially because I’ve always been told by family AND an acne specialist that I didn’t have to or else I’d break out more. And wow, was it ever so wrong to listen to the old and knowledgeable! So I followed the simple rules (according to the internet), melt oil and massage into face for 1-2 minutes, take a hot (not too hot) wet face cloth and keep on face until it turns cold, repeat if desired, wipe oil off. After a few weeks of using coconut oil as a makeup remover, I understood the hype. It removed my makeup properly (though with the amount I wore, I ALWAYS followed with a cleanser), my skin became less oily and red, and I wasn’t breaking out as much as before! If you are willing to do anything to clear your face, start with what’s in your kitchen; a cold-pressed, unrefined, extra virgin oil might be near by waiting for you! The OCM is all about finding a facial oil you like, and there’s plenty to try!
What are your holy grail items for clear skin?