A month or so ago, a friend/colleague of mine messaged me to make one of her closest’s friend a skincare kit. She explained that her friend’s skin has become so inflamed, clogged, and agitated. This girl started wearing makeup, and not removing it properly, leading to more congested pores and breakouts. She receives a ton of compliments at work when she wears makeup though. This made her feel good, but at the same time, like she would never be called pretty unless her acne was covered. Her skin was so bad, her skin started to crack. Money is very tight for this girl, so more expensive products are out of reach. She does not know much about skincare, and doesn’t know where to start with healing her skin.
When I heard this, I thought of myself, and how I used to feel when I was tight on money (where I couldn’t afford a $40 phone bill and a metropass in one month), and how helpless I felt that I would never get clear skin because I was so damn broke. Makeup definitely boosted my confidence, but I also felt like a person that somebody would call a liar/fake for being good-looking if I went makeup-less and showed my bare skin (queue in, “How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking” by Jenna Marbles). Going through this was a real emotional toll, and it felt like it would never get better.
However, my first ever post on this page was the “One Routine to Rule Them All,” a super affordable, effective, minimal and natural skincare regimen I created myself based on a ton of research and trial and error. This Skincare Kit I created for this girl is pretty much based on that, as well as few additional items to help out, as well as make the regimen as easy and understandable as possible.
I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I’m someone of tried and true. I’ve gone through this, and it really, REALLY worked. This is exactly why my friend asked me to help this girl out. I know everyone’s body chemistry is different, and there will never be a set routine that will work with multiple people, I just hope it’ll work for her. I hope she can gain some confidence and see more brighter days and a clearer face.
This routine I’ve compiled is natural, minimal, and affordable (except for the cleansing oil, and I’ll explain why I bought an expensive one). I would never ever put together products if I didn’t 110% believe in them. And I am super picky about my skincare products!
Without further ado, onto the post! (Listed like a night time routine)
Let’s start off with the most expensive item that doesn’t fall under “affordable”: Shu Uemura POREfinist Anti-Shine Cleansing Oil ($38 5oz)
This was the first brand I thought of when it came to makeup removal. This girl may not be properly removing a day’s face, and she wears makeup on a daily basis. It’s a vicious cycle for bad skin, no matter who they are. I absolutely had to get the makeup removal process right on the first go, and make it as easy for her as possible. Shu Uemura is well known for their cleansing oils, for they’re easy to use and very effective. Less than a pump is needed to remove an entire face of makeup. It’s a very thin consistency, and it emulsifies once it makes contact with water. No need for a hot towel or cotton round to remove it! The pink bottle I bought is also more suited to oily, acne-prone skin individuals because of its thin consistency, and just because I’ve used it myself and it went well with my skin. The 5 oz bottle also lasts up to a year! I’m sure she’ll find on her own a more affordable way to do the job after she runs out of this baby.
Now for the more affordable items!
I am personally a fan of the cheap, minimal ingredient ABS bar (~$5-6, lasts long time, minimal amount needed to lather), but this girl doesn’t know where to start with skincare, so I’m not going to complicate her life by giving her the bar and telling her to do x, y and z with it so she uses it properly. Instead, I opted for a pre-made cleanser. I have never tried the cleanser before, so I am hoping it is pH balanced enough. Its ingredients are limited to just African wild bee honey, palm kernel oil, plantain skin, and pure cocoa butter. With this minimal ingredients list, I’m sure it will treat her poor skin well. If it proves to be too intense, she can just use it at night time and follow up with a well soaked cotton round of toner.
I’m a Clarisonic user when it comes to makeup removal, but this is an affordable skincare kit, so I opted with the sea sponge they sell at the health food store I went to to pick up all the goodies. I have a big version of this in my shower, and I quite like it (don’t know how else to describe it). I found using the Clarisonic (or a cleansing tool in general) really helps to remove all the makeup off on the skin, especially if you wear a heavy foundation on a daily basis. I figured to start with a super gentle face sponge, and she could work her way up to a konjac sponge or a face brush once she’s ready. Also sponges need little product to create a good lather, so hopefully this tool will help her cleanser last longer!
Thayer’s Cucumber Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe, Alcohol-Free ($9.99) (Find in store – price is not as inflated)I am absolutely in love with their rose water toner, but alas, it was sold out. I opted for the cucumber out of their multiple selection just because I’ve noticed it to be another popular one among a couple of reviews. Since ABS is so high on the pH scale in general, and is potentially drying (even though it claims its moisturizing), it’s always good to have a toner to calm the skin and create a clean surface for layering products.
Herbaflor Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($17.99) (Find in store – price not as inflated)
I believe I came across Rosehip Oil because I was searching for ways to clear up my hyper-pigmentation. When I used it a couple of years ago, I noticed the redness around the marks have diminished in size, my face became more even toned, healthy looking, and I was breaking out less. I figured if this oil did this much with my skin, why not for her? It’s starting off simple, and hopefully she’ll switch to a better moisturizer once she gets a hang of this skincare thing-a-ma-jig.
Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Mask (12.99) (Find in store – price not as inflated)
I’d consider Sukin one of the best, affordable natural skincare lines on the market. I’ve tried quite a few of their items, and none of them have ever caused a negative reaction to my skin, despite my concerns for some ingredients (eg. cocoa butter in their moisturizers – I was afraid it would clog my pores, but they made it a nice, whipped consistency that it went on very light, and ended up not moisturizing my skin enough lol (moisturizers mentioned here)). Moving on, one of the best items I ever bought from them was their rose clay mask. Unfortunately, I did not see it on the shelf, but this one I picked up looks just as promising, and something I’d buy for myself. It has a nice list of ingredients, and a clay mask is always, ALWAYS a good item to have for breakouts. When I used to break out heavily, I used the mask every other day after removing my makeup with an oil and a hot towel. Even after the shower works as well!
Dat’s coo. Now, how the hell does she use all this stuff?
Here’s a step by step on how I’m going to recommend to her how to use it (but obviously if she has a better system developed, by all means… Do you, boo boo)
1. Apply less than a pump of the Shu Uemura Cleansing oil. Massage gently on skin for around 1 minute, wet hands, continue massaging for another minute while the oil emulsifies. Wash off.
2. Soak AK Cosmetic Face Sponge with water, and apply a little amount of the Mother Africa Original African Black Soap. Lightly brush upwards on face for a minute, focusing on the problem areas (for me, it was my entire face. Hah). Leave alone with soap still on for another 1-5 minutes, if your skin can handle it. Wash off, and PAT your face dry with a face towel; do not rub, or just air dry it.
3. Soak your cotton pad with the Thayer’s Cucumber Witch Hazel toner. Enjoy the nice cooling effect, and wait until it all dries before the next step.
4. Apply a drop of the Rosehip Oil to the forehead, cheeks and neck. Massage into skin gently (you can massage it around your eyes as well).
1. Don’t do anything (for some this works, other’s not). If this doesn’t work…
2. Don’t do step 1 in Night Routine.
3. Step 2 is optional, sponge not really necessary.
4. Wash face with lukewarm water.
5. Do 3 and 4, and go a little bit lighter with the RHO if you don’t want to look glowy during the day
When/how to use the mask:
Make sure your face is always clean and free of makeup (follow steps 1-2)
Personally, I always find a face mask effective by applying it right after I get out of the shower.
If you aren’t planning on showering, soak a face towel with hot water (hot enough that you can tolerate touching your face, not if it’s burning) and let it sit on your face until it cools down. Then apply mask (similar effects as getting out of the shower).
You must all be LOL-ing or SMH-ing when I say this skincare kit is affordable. Aside from the Shu Cleansing oil, it’s all around $68CAD after tax. Although ideally my friend and I wanted to keep it under $50, I wanted to make this an easy, no brainer routine, as well as make sure she had the proper tools and full system at her disposal. Plus, this routine is going to last her a long time, for all these items require a little amount. (And let’s be real, the Canadian Dollar is like, equivalent to an international quarter right now).
Hope you found this helpful if you’re considering “greening” up your skincare routine! Most importantly, I hope it helps my friend’s friend to achieve a clear face and get her confidence back.