TRIED & TRUE TIPS: How I Repaired My Dehydrated and Dry Skin!

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I thought I’d start off a new blog / video series called “Tried and True Tips” – basically I share tips that like many of us, go Googling for all over the internet for that I have tried, and have worked!

Since it’s now snowing here in jolly Ontario, I thought  it would be the perfect time to share my Tried and True Tips on how I repaired my dry/dehydrated skin! Before I do, quick recap:

  • I was oily-skinned for ~24 years
  • Past 4-5 years, after working in a stupidly dry environment and aging in general, my skin became so dry, it not only felt uncomfortably tight, there was no moisturizer, or oil in general to be found on my skin when I touched my face!

After many a months to a couple of years of trial and error, I finally found what has been working for me in maintaining my skin’s moisture! If what I’ve gone through sounds similar to your current circumstance, then keep on reading!


1. GET A HUMIDIFIER

Picture from Costco.ca

The most common tip, and for good reason! To start improving your skin’s hydration levels, this is an easy way to set it up for success. Like I mentioned, my skin gets easily sensitized in dry environments, so having a large humidifider that lasts hours was much needed for my place.

The one I purchased: Homedics Humidifier
Costco
Amazon.ca

2. PLAN YOUR MORNING CLEANSE ACCORDINGLY

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All these cleansers have a pH around 5-5.5

As demo-ed in my Morning Skincare Routine, I do not wash my face in the morning, and go straight into my Vitamin C serum. Most of the time, my skin doesn’t feel like there’s a heavy layer of product, feels oily, or crusty, so skipping morning cleanse in these instances work for me. It’s particularly beneficial for dry skinned folks because as we know, every time we cleanse our skin, we are promoting Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL); So limiting the amount of times you wash your face in a day helps. However, on the off days where I do feel like my skin has a greasy buildup or feels so crusty my skin texture is uneven, I use a low pH cleanser for 30 seconds in the morning. While cleansing, I already feel my skin becoming softer and smoother than before. Since the cleanser is pH balanced, it doesn’t dry out my skin and I can comfortably follow with my skincare routine; Sometimes my skin actually feels more moisturized! By planning my morning cleanse accordingly, I haven’t had the urge to jump into a chemical exfoliant right away, which overdoing could make your dehydrated skin worse!
Products:
Bioderma Sebium Purifying Cleansing Foaming Gel *
Dr. Sam’s Flawless Cleanser (reviewed)
Cerave Hydrating Cleanser * (PR)
Dermalogica Active Clearing Skin Wash * (Previously Medibac)

3. KEEP YOUR SKIN DAMP

In relation to the previous tip, when washing your face, try not completely drying with a towel. When we completely dry out all the water on our faces, we’re helping speed up the process of TEWL; This leaves our faces tight and uncomfortable, and now we’re using more skincare products than necessary to replenish what we helped lose. My face never feels tight anymore and I don’t feel like I need to use as many replenishing items or layers to feel comfortable again.

4. ADD IN EXTRA HUMECTANTS, EMOLLIENTS, AND/OR OCCLUSIVES

Rule of thumb for finding a moisturizer is that it should contain a good balance with all 3 types of ingredients mentioned above to help retain and prevent water loss from your skin – humectants to attract water, emollients to soften and smooth skin, and occlusives to seal in the deal (See Chemist Confessions post explaining further!). Depending on our individual skin concerns and our preferred products, you can incorporate an extra step into your routine to further help your moisture level.

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Using a hydrating toner, essence, lotion, and/or gel moisturizer is my favourite way of adding in extra moisture! They’re typically humectant rich, some may have emollients as well. I use these all year round, but come winter, I either layer a light one, or swap for a hydrator with a thicker consistency, and one that may leave a film.
Products:
I’m From Rice Toner (PR Sample) *
Laneige Cream Skin Refiner *
Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid Lotion *
Hada Labo Premium Lotion *
Hada Labo Perfect Gel *

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Plant oils are another easy way of incorporating something more emollient into your routine. Oils I have tried and liked are Marula and Rosehip Seed Oil. Another popular oil is Squalane; I have never tried this one before but I constantly see it appear in people’s skincare routines!
Products:
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil *
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil *
Not shown cause I forgot: Jordan Samuel Soothing Facial Oil

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If my skin is in dire need, I will go in with the big guns and either mix or add a pea-sized amount of the best, cheap occlusive of its kind – petrolatum! Applying Vaseline or Cerave’s Baby Healing Ointment were some serious game changers in providing my dry skin with relief, especially when I started using 0.3% Adapalene around this time of year!
Products:
Cerave Baby Healing Ointment *
Vaseline *


And there you have it, the tried and true tips that have helped me fix my dehydration / dryness!

I know this isn’t a super long list, but I wanted to share the very effective ones that worked so well for me! Hope you found this post helpful and informative.

xo,

M

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #5: CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

Product was sent to me for review purposes.


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ABOUT:

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“Developed with dermatologists, CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 provides UV protection while helping to restore the protective skin barrier. This lightweight, with a matte finish and non-greasy lotion, with 3 essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, provides all day hydration after just one use.”

ADDITIONAL CLAIMS:

  • For normal to oily skin
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Price: $17.99 CAD / USD
Amount: 50ml

UV FILTERS:

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Type: Chemical
Homosalate 10%
Octisalate 5%
Avobenzone 3%
Octocrylene 2.7%

Protection: UVA/UVB
Strength: SPF 30

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:

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Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyacetophenone, SodiumAcryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Citric Acid, t-Butyl Alcohol, Ceramide NP, Phenoxyethanol, Ceramide AP, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ceramide EOP

CONSISTENCY: Light lotion


FRAGRANCE:
No noticeable sent.

APPLICATION: Spreads easily and doesn’t feel greasy.

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FINISH: Not matte, but not overly shiny or greasy. Nice subtle glow compared to other sunscreens I’ve tried.

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FEEL: Light and surprisingly moisturizing for my normal-dry skin.

STINGS EYES? Another surprise, it does not!

WHITECAST / TINTED? No.

WATER RESISTANT? No.

SKIN BENEFITS?
I love Cerave for the ceramids and essential fatty acids, but I’m still surprised that this is able to moisturize my skin well! Probably because 1) The amount I use 2) It’s very lightweight.

UNDER MAKEUP:
I haven’t been wearing foundation lately, but this doesn’t have a very greasy finish, so I can see it sitting fine underneath makeup.

WHERE TO BUY:
Ulta
Shopper Drug Mart

PROS:

  • Light feel
  • Doesn’t sting my skin or eyes
  • A good drugstore SPF option
  • Able to add additional moisture to skin

IN BETWEEN FEELS:

  • SPF 30 – This isn’t bad, but I’m a SPF 50 kinda gal
  • On a bit of the pricier side for a drugstore SPF

CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 knocks its sister sunscreen, the AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 out of the park! It is way more cosmetically elegant and enjoyable to use strictly because it doesn’t feel greasy and it doesn’t pill! This is a great additional product to their line and I recommend this to any skin type.

xo, M


[RELATED CONTENT]

SUNSCREEN SUNDAY:
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
Sunscreen Sunday #2: CANMAKE Mermaid Skin Gel UV SPF 50+ PA++++
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #3: Bare Republic Tinted Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #4: Neostrata Defend Sheer Physical Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Matte-Finish Tinted Sunscreen PA++++

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!

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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)

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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!

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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!

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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.

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

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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

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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.

October & November 2018 Roundup

Jeez, I missed one month! Where was my head at!? Either way, the roundup is not lengthy at all but they are items worth mentioning!


Favourites

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Makeup

Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick “Girl Next Door” – The latest and current favourite lip product in my collection. It’s a neutral pink colour, and it’s the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve tried. Instagram Post

Butterfly Social Eye Lashes *– At first look, you’d think they’re an underwhelming pair of lashes because of how natural they are. But they looked so natural once applied, no one could tell I was wearing falsies! They match the length of my lashes and make my existing lash line look fuller. Instagram Post

Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Boho – It took me a while to like this colour let alone try it! I had some creative urges this fall and this colour inspired me to wear more cold colours. This isn’t my favourite formula from Nudestix, but I found prepping my lips before hand does the trick to wear it comfortably! Instagram Post


EMPTIES

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Skincare

Cerave Moisturizing Cream – Used day and night by Nick, used on my body and face at nighttime, it is finally an empty! Although it does moisturize well, I found it took a bit of a wait time until the moisture actually kicked in. I’d have to play a fairly generous layer to get an instant satisfaction.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Another one bites the dust! And in the nick of time too. It got cold fast in Toronto, and I felt like I needed to use a lot of this to feel satisfyingly moisturized. I’m finishing up my Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream I’ve had on the backburner, but I am looking to purchase an Avene moisturizer. Recommendations?

Cuccio Naturale Non-oily, Hydrating Butter Milk & Honey *– A lovely butter I used for my hands before bed. They felt velvety after use and the smell was so relaxing!

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – One of my favourite peeling gels because I can use it on a wet face right after the shower! It provided just enough manual exfoliation to rid my face of some extra flakes, and didn’t sensitize my skin.

EltaMd UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ – I was holding off on finishing this one because Amazon is just so tricky when purchasing it! My face felt moisturized, smooth and even tone after using this, plus it was great at sun protection. I have quite the amount of sunscreens to go through but I am missing reaching for this one in my collection.

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask * – Received my second one in the mail shortly after finishing this pot! If I didn’t get one sent to me, I would’ve purchased it. It’s one of my favourite sleeping masks I’ve tried, and I definitely recommend it to dry skin types!

Makeup

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ – This is an OG spray if you just want your makeup to look less cakey, however it doesn’t contribute to longevity. I purchased a Pixi Mist instead, but the fragrance is SO heavy and artifical! Any recommendations for an affordable finishing spray that kinda does it all without a heavy fragrance?


Tosses

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Skincare

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop – A Vitamin C serum that gave me the glow, even tone and hydration, but didn’t tackle my hyperpigmentation! (Didn’t mean to rhyme lol).

Timeless 20& Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum – Did similar things like the previous Vitamin C serum (or any other for that matter) but it stung my face almost every time I used it, causing my face to be slightly red until it settled. This has been hyped as a dupe for the Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum, and Angie from Hot and Flashy did an awesome test on it along with other ones! This unfortunately wasn’t my favourite, I actually still prefer Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum out of the two.


And that’s that for October and November! I can’t believe it’s the end of the year. Enjoy the holidays!

xo, M

RELATED CONTENT

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask


This post contains affiliate links.
Disclosure