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)

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.

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.

REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

My interest of Dermalogica’s esspenssive Biolumin-C Serum * peaked when I first tried it when I had a Dermalogica’s ProSkin30 Facial. I achieved the results below from cleansing, clay mask, toner, Biolumin-C, and a mositurizer with SPF.

proskin-facial-before-after
Gloals

My face felt very calm and comfortable for the rest of the day and I was stunned myself to see the before and after. Mind you, I was out dehydrating myself for my friend’s birthday the night before 😛

Before the ProSkin30 Facial began, I mentioned in my consultation that I was acne prone, normal to dry skin, concerned with hyperpigmentation from acne as well as preventative aging. One of the products the esthetician recommended to me was the Dermalogica Biolumin-C serum. Check out my Instagram multi-post where I took photos of my experience!

Dermalogica was kind enough to send me the Biolumin-C Serum as a gift, and I decided to give it a 2-week run to see if I would notice any noticeable benefits from it. If you’re interested in learning a bit about what it’s done for my acne prone, normal-dry skin, then keep on reading!


BIOLUMIN-C

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“A high-performance Vitamin C serum that works with skin’s own defenses to brighten and firm. Advanced bio-technology fuses ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, helping to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with advanced technology to deliver more Vitamin C into skin. This superior formula outperforms other Vitamin C products (including those formulated at higher concentrations). Other key ingredients include Vitamin C Complex for brighter, firmer, more radiant skin, Lactic Acid to accelerate cell turnover, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract to help return skin to a calm state after experiencing oxidative stress, and Salvia Hispanica (Chia Seed) Oil to hydrate and help quench free radicals.

Price: $118 CAD
Size: 1oz
Gluten-Free
Vegan
No Artifical Fragrances and Colours
Paraben-Free
Cruelty-Free

WHERE TO BUY:
Dermalogica
Sephora
In-store at select retailers


INGREDIENTS

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Lactic Acid, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Trehalose, Polyacrylate-13, Propanediol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyisobutene, Methylpropanediol, Carrageenan, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

COSDNA IL

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Lactic Acid (unknown %): exfoliant, humectant
Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract: emollient, skin-replenishing, skin-restoring
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5: skin-restoring
Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate (unknown %): antioxidant, texture enhancer
Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate (unknown %): antioxidant, skin-brightening

I haven’t been able to successfully find much online about Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phophsate or Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, not even parroted information from other bloggers. Here are 2 links I found, feel free to share with me more info!

https://incidecoder.com/ingredients/aminopropyl-ascorbyl-phosphate https://www.futurederm.com/dr-brandt-power-dose-vitamin-c-serum-20-review/

Despite the lack of online information to us mere consumers, I’ve been informed by a Dermalogica esthetician that the bioavailability score of Biolumin-C is 21, compared to leading competitors with L-Ascorbic Acid rating at 7 and 9. In layman’s terms, it penetrates the skin better than the unknown competitors.


USAGE

First Week: Used in the morning only, used AHA toner every night with OTC Differin.
Second Week: Used morning and night, no BHA or AHA, with OTC Differin.

Fragrance: Light citrus scent. Possibly the Grapefruit Peel Oil in it. It is not strong at all and you only notice it for a second.

Texture: A runny type of serum but definitely on the more viscous side.

Application: I use almost half a dropper, placing on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. I make sure to massage the product all around my face and neck, and only the undereye area. I then tap the product in until it starts to feel tacky.

Finish: Tacky and moisturized.

Initial Results: Skin feels smoother, hydrated, bright, plump.

Long-Term Results (2 weeks): Spot on face (with Differin) faded. Spot on neck (without Differin) faded.


FINAL THOUGHTS

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I like it, but I’m confused. Is lactic acid doing majority of the work? It also helps smooth skin, make it brighter, and contribute to anti-aging skincare. Is it helping the Vitamin C derivative penetrate better? Although it might be highly stable, does it just sit on top of the skin? Also, for the price, it’s asking too much of me to apply half a dropper day and night!

Despite my confusion, the product is showing results. Every Dermalogica product I have used has bettered my skin, so I am open to it being an efficacious Vitamin C derivative. They like using ingredients with endless studies proving its benefits, but also try to create innovative products using phytobotanical ingredients. Their description of Biolumin-C alone states that they formulated the serum to help the Vitamin C become more bioavailable, but unfortunately I’m not a chemist and wouldn’t know how they began to do that.

Despite my skepticism, I overall am enjoying the Biolumin-C Serum. Face feels and looks smoother, brighter, feels moisturized, works with OTC Differin, and is able to heal spots on its own (the neck spot). I feel like it cut down some steps in my skincare routine; I can pretty much use just do Cleanser, Toner, Biolumin-C, Moisturizer, SPF and call it a day (until my nighttime routine, obvs).

If you’re interested in learning more about it, Dermalogica actually talked about it on their podcast called Living Skin. Check it out here!

Do I recommend? I would recommend if this would be your skincare routine’s star player in a fairly minimal routine, and you purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale lol.
Specific Skin-Type? I think all skin types would like this. Half a dropper may be too much for oily-skinned peeps though!

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora
Dermalogica

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

Product was sent as a gift, not for review purposes. I decided to do that on my own.

September 2018 Roundup

Favourites

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Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ * – Klairs did a great job with this sunscreen; It is comfortable to use on application and finish, doesn’t add a crazy glow, and is not sticky. My boyfriend, who has normal skin, was able to use this alone and he felt comfortably moisturized. Whereas for myself, it was okay at first on its own, but I did notice my dry skin feeling dry (lol). Nonetheless I think it’s great for any skin type!
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation Y305 Soft Beige – Around this time of year I get into full coverage foundations. I’m still super happy with my It Cosmetics CC Cream (REVIEW: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50+ (Medium)), but the beauty junkie in me can’t help but gravitate towards a more polished look. I grabbed this foundation on recommendation from a couple of friends that this would be a great matte foundation for dry skin. Well, they were right! It looks very natural for it’s not a flat matte, buildable coverage, and lasts all day. I’ll give a full review when I have tried wearing it in other ways.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster Ultra Fine Liquid Eyeliner – It’s been years since I picked up an eye liner from the drugstore, but this one did not disappoint! It has a nice brush tip, is very black, easy to use, and doesn’t smudge! On the packaging it says it’s made in Japan, and I have actually been using Japanese eye liners for years. Highly recommend this product!


Empties

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ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water * – I really liked how this acid toner did not leave my skin feeling dry and somehow managed to help control my acne despite it being an AHA! It did sting a bit at times, I’m not sure if I had cuts on my face or what, but I do remember never feeling sensitized at the beginning while using this. If you’re looking for a gentle acid toner, Mandelic Acid is the one to pick and ByWishtrend’s Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water is a good option to consider.
REVIEW | [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Already repurchased my 3rd bottle! This is such a great moisturizer and truthfully peaked my interest in trying out more drugstore skincare.
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm * – A more thicker first cleanse product, but I loved that a little went a long way and it took about a year to finish up the entire tube! You’ll definitely get your money’s worth if you have been thinking about getting this. Because it’s heavier, I don’t think any oily-skinned peeps would like this and would probably want to opt for their PreCleanse.
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask – This was my second purchase of this mask, and I’m already missing it. Despite it being a clay mask, I was able to wear this for a long period of time without feeling like my skin completely dried up. My skin always looked even tone and really helped subside the size and pain around any active breakouts. Because of the size, I always had it in my carry-on back in my frequent flyer days, when I tend to get a zit or two after being on the plane for so long. I’m trying to finish up other masks right now, but definitely consider this one if you want an affordable K-Beauty mask!

I’m From Honey Mask  – I definitely had this for too long, for I feel like it lost a bit of its potency since I didn’t use it up when it was near its end. I’m definitely considering repurchasing this, for my face became clearer from breakouts, and my skin felt very moisturized to the touch and smooth.
Review: I’M FROM Honey Mask

Differin – I already cracked open my 2nd tube of this stuff, and I feel like since using it my face looks a tad bit smoother and less breakout prone. I’m not sure if I want to keep using it however, because I want a retinoid or retinol that’ll help with breakouts AND preventative aging. I’ve been noticing the finest of lines on my forehead and around my mouth, so I’ll keep using this until I find something else to tackle additional concerns.
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Hada Labo Koi Goku-Jyun Perfect Gel – I miss this one. I got the classic Lotion to try and it really doesn’t do anything for me other than make my face feel a bit more hydrated. The Perfect Gel just really locks in my hydrators and leaves my skin feeling super smooth. Maybe the Premium Lotion would be a better one to look into since it has 5% urea in it.

Mad Hippie Eye Cream – A potent moisturizing, and lightweight eye cream. Ever since I stopped using this and tried to use just my regular moisturizer my under eyes don’t have the same bright, youthful look. I definitely want to repurchase this, but first I’m going to try an eye serum.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum – This vitamin C product was very gentle and showed its effectiveness. I don’t think it did too much to help prevent breakouts, but I noticed my post-inflammatory marks didn’t last as long (especially when I used Differin at night). Defintiely recommend if you want to start using a vitamin C serum, I haven’t found other ones that worked for me (even the Ordinary ones!).

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum – Not completely finished because it oxidized. My boyfriend was using this one and we purchased another bottle for both of us to use. It is definitely more potent than the Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, but it does have 20% Ascorbic Acid, the big brother of vitamin Cs. Nick’s face has always been good and never problematic like mine, but I do notice his skin looks a tad brighter and tighter from the first bottle. Let’s hope I get similar results!


Hope you enjoyed this month’s roundup! So proud of all the empties for this month.

xo, M


This post contains affiliate links.
DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Please read my “skincare announcement” monologue before reading this post!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Breakdown
1. Makeup Removal / Double Cleanse
2. Acne Treatment
3. Hydrators
4. Double Moisturize
5. Main Active


1. MAKEUP REMOVAL / DOUBLE CLEANSE

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Double Cleansing is a MUST in my nighttime routine. I first noticed skin improvements from this step alone, especially since I used to wear a cake-ton of makeup back in my early 20s.

I’m surprised with the Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes. Gentle really is all-encompassing with this. Just a quick shake and a squirt on a cotton round removes the most waterproof Japanese mascara I own with one cotton pad, doesn’t make my eyesight blurry, doesn’t leave a residue, or feel like anything for that matter after I use it.

At the top of the list, the eye makeup remover contains a few solvent-emollient ingredients such as Isododecane, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Palmitate – ingredients that help dissolve makeup without stripping the eye area’s sensitive skin.

This eye makeup remover has been highly recommended by a few Canadian Bloggers, and I see why they love it and go back to it. It doesn’t add or subtract from my skincare (aside from makeup), so there’s really not much to it. It just works!

After I remove my eye makeup, I start off with my first 1st Cleanse using the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm *. I only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face. Despite it’s thick consistency, it spreads easily and gently emulsifies after wetting your fingers.

The main oils in this product are Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil – definitely explains it’s thicker consistency and why my face feels so soft after I rinse it off! I can see why Dermalogica advertises it as a makeup remover for drier skin types.

Even with such nourishing oils, my skin doesn’t feel like it has any residue after I wash the rest of the balm off. It also comes with a silicone mitt which is REALLY nice to use with the PreCleanse Balm, but I’ve opted for my fingers to be as gentle as possible because of the actives I use in this routine.

For the 2nd cleanse, I also use a pea-size amount of the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * .

It contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, and Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract –  surfactants and foaming agents that effectively clean skin. The foam that is actually creates is so small, and my skin feels like it’s softening as I continuously massage the Special Cleansing gel into my skin.

This is probably my favourite step in my entire nighttime routine. It’s gentle to use, my skin feels softer as I use it, and I notice my skin looking slightly brighter. Even when my sister used it, she liked it so much she bought the big bottle of it! The one downside would be that if you take too long to apply your other skincare products, your skin will definitely feel a tad dry. But this is avoided easily by following suit with my skincare products while my skin is slightly damp. I’m actually on the fence of whether or not to continue with Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser once I’m done with Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel, because I really like this cleanser too!
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm


2. ACNE TREATMENT

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Nighttime is the best time to go in with a stronger acne treatment, that way whatever irritation or redness I get will only be at night.

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash is probably the best Benzoyl Peroxide product I have tried. The ingredients are no nonsense and you only need a small amount to effectively treat your face.

As the name suggests, it has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, a very effective ingredient at killing acne bacteria quickly, and doesn’t pose the problem of bacterial resistance with continued use. I opted for the wash form that Benzagel offers because washes tend to be gentler than treatments, but just as effective if you use it long enough.

I use about a nickely to quarter-size amount and make sure I properly massage it evenly on my entire face, concentrating on my breakout prone areas. I do this for a couple of minutes until I rinse it off. I’m surprised for a small bottle it is still going! If I use it for too long I do notice my face becomes slightly drier, but most definitely nothing as severe as what I experienced in the past.

After doing this step for just over a month, I reintroduced acid toning into my routine, alternating with the wash. Since I am using Differin, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of irritation, so I stopped using my ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water * until I felt confident enough to incorporate it back into my routine. I can’t do without an acid toner because nothing works faster when it comes to smoothing out the texture on my skin.

As the name suggests, it contains 5% Mandelic Acid, the largest molecule and considerably gentler acid in the AHA family. It also helps with breakouts because Mandelic Acid is supposedly slightly lipid-permeable (don’t quote me on this).

Although I haven’t experienced heavy sensitization to my skin, I do notice that my skin is slightly more sensitive to this acid toner than it was prior to Differin. (Note: I stopped using this toner because I have been testing out a hyped up one that I will be reviewing soon. I’ll finish up this one once I’m done the testing period.)
REVIEW | [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water


3. HYDRATORS

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This step is the same as my morning routine! I’ll just be linking my morning routine here so I don’t repeat myself. This step is just as essential at night as it is morning, so I’m happy the products come in decent sizes at fairly affordable prices.


4. MOISTURIZE

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Again, very similar to my morning. While my face is still tacky, I go in with Hada Labo’s Perfect Gel, following with Mad Hippie’s Eye Cream. But to seal everything in, I follow up with a heavier moisturizer like the Cerave Moisturizing Cream.

I would typically finish off my nighttime skincare with an oil, but because I am using a retinoid, I opt for a heavier moisturizer to counteract the dryness from it. So far, it’s been working! Of course, Cerave’s Moisturizing Cream contains Ceramides, helping to moisturize and assist with my skin’s barrier function. It also contains petrolatum making it slightly more occlusive.

Despite how much thicker it is, this has never caused congestion! My boyfriend even uses it as his daily moisturizer. A bonus is you get a big tub of it and you don’t need a lot for it to work.


5. MAIN ACTIVE

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I’m glad I moisturize my skin well beforehand, because I do get quite dry with Differin. So far I have been using it for over a month and I can say I have seen some results. I have stopped using an exfoliating toner to make sure before I brought it back into my routine!

Differin contains 0.1% Adapalene, a retinoid specifically targeted for the treatment and prevention of acne. It is supposed to be more tolerant than its big brother, Tretinoin.

Although I apply this on top of my moisturizer, I find it still has shown results in the month or more that I’ve been using it. I have not gotten a huge cyst from the Crimson Wave (unless I really don’t maintain consistency), my skin looks smoother even without layers of hydrating product, and my hyperpigmentation is lightening up on my cheeks and under my jaw. I tried using it before my hydration step, and I just find my skin looks more red, gets dry really fast, and I don’t feel as satisfied with my skincare. I’m going to continue using Differin as the last step in my routine, and keeping Vitamin A as a constant active in my nighttime routine in general after I run out of Differin.


This nighttime routine has been working great for me, and I am so happy I’ve been seeing results. Paired with my morning routine, I can’t remember the last time or if I EVER felt so content with my skincare routine, enjoyed everything about it, AND saw results.

I really hoped my routines helped you out!

Be sure to check out my AM Routine: My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

xo, M

If you want to see the texture of the products and in action:


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