My Skincare Routine with Aczone and Differin

Since I incorporated Differin in my skincare routine back in November 2018, the products I focus on to use alongside it has changed. My approach in curating a new skincare routine was to use products with more minimal, and effective ingredients. I figured the less lengthy the INCI list is, the gentler it’ll be on my skin as I’m using prescriptions for the first time in a long time.

For context, please read my Skin Update [#1] December 2018 post.


THE -SIMPLE- ROUTINE

Looking back in late 2018 to early 2019, my routine itself wasn’t that minimal because I was rotating too many products in the first couple of months. Below is the general breakdown of my skincare routine in the first 3 months of using Differin and Aczone together. I share my must-have steps and a youtube demo featuring some of my favourite products. The ingredients lists are fairly minimal and none of them irritate my skin. They are alsoa good price point and I have repurchased some of them multiple times.

For reference, I’m 29, acne-prone, normal to dry.

MORNING:

1. Cleanse for 30 seconds. At first I used only water, then switched to a cleanser because I felt it helped reduce the flakes or dry patches I would experience.
3. Apply Hydrator on damp skin to prevent further water loss.
4. Apply thin layer of Aczone.
5. Moisturize, sometimes add an occlusive to intensify the moisture.
6. Apply a generous amount of sunsreen, I aim for 2mg/cm2.

NIGHTTIME:
1. Double Cleanse with an oil cleanser and low pH cleanser. 30 seconds each, I try not to go past 2 minutes.
2. Apply Hydrator on damp skin to prevent further water loss.
3. Apply thin layer of Differin. I added Aczone after 3ish weeks.
4. Apply Hydrator again because face would start feeling dry quickly from the Differin.
5. Moisturize with a mix of an occlusive (roughly a pea-size).


Hope you found this skincare routine helpful, especially if you don’t know where to start in your first 3 months of Differin use. This routine can also be applied to other Vitamin A prescriptions.

xo, M

SKIN UPDATE #3: 1+ Year using Differin

Wow, it’s been 1 year since I started using 0.3% Adapalene! Crazy how fast time passes when you get older heheheh….

If you haven’t already, please be sure to read my previous skin updates so you understand what I talk about in this post and other actives I use that I do not mention here.
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars
Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Breakdown of what I’ve been doing to my skin since my last Skin Update August 2019:

  • Got too cheeky and started eating eating crappy food and drinking sugary drinks, thus getting breakouts so big that 10% Azelaic Acid couldn’t handle it 🙂
  • Have repurchased a 5% Benzoyl Peroxide wash which does the job very quickly. However…
  • Contemplated why I stopped using 5% Dapsone, and realized that the moment I had a mild side effect (redness) I freaked out. I began the purchasing spiral to find an OTC product to help with breakouts, when I could’ve just continued using Dapsone.

ACNE

My cystic breakouts have been on and off. As mentioned in my recap, I’ve been eating shitty food lately, and both my boyfriend and I know the triggers (refined sugar). Since the holidays, I have been cutting back on sugary snacks and drinks. Reflecting back on older photos, my acne is definitely is more under control than it has been in years. Here are some posts for reference when I started 0.1% Adapalene. You’ll notice dark red marks and lots of hormonal breakouts along my jaw:
2018 Skincare Routines
Some By Mi Review

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From this year of using many actives (do as I say, not as I do lol), I found that Benzoyl Peroxide in wash form (Benzagel 5 Acne Wash) and my 5% Dapsone gel prescription have been the most effective at treating inflamed acne lesions quickly and making my skin smoother from bumps. I’ll continue using both, mostly 5% Dapsone on my face 2 times a day (as advised) and use the BP wash for emergencies.


PIGMENTATION

Due to the increase in some breakouts, my chin in particular has more red/purple marks than usual. However I don’t find it to bother me much, since Differin really helps to diminish them quickly, alongside an SPF50+ sunscreen. I also find Azelaic Acid has been great in speeding up their healing process. Incorporating it into my routine definitely makes my complexion brighter, more even tone, and assist with fading any pigmentation.

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I actually prefer it over Vitamin C serums, which have never shown (in my experience) to help with red acne marks. I currently am near the end of Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster in my collection, and I don’t plan on getting the unprescribed 15% Finacea any time soon. The PC one while nice is quite expensive and it is difficult to find unprescribed Finacea, even if I look on eBay. I think I need to be patient and either a) ask my Derm about prescribed AA, or b) wait for F.C. from SimpleSkincareScience to launch his AA serum!


ATROPHIC SCARS

And now the big update! Please watch my Youtube video showcasing my scars after a finishing a whole tube of 0.3% Adapalene (over 1 year). I couldn’t for the life of me replicate the exact angle and lighting of my face and it looked different with every photo. The video will give a better idea.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCfCXjQHOQw&w=560&h=315]

Like I have mentioned here or there, every time I see family and friends, they always compliment how much smoother my skin looks. Usually awful lighting was the teller of all tales for my complexion, and I even notice that my skin looks so much smoother! Although my skin isn’t 100% smooth (I don’t think it will ever be to be honest), the texture has definitely improved for the better with continued use of Differin.


FINAL THOUGHTS + MY PLAN

Although it’s a lengthy process, I’m happy that my skin has been overall improving for the better since starting 0.3% Adapalene. This plus other actives has also given me more mental freedom, and I see myself (literally and figuratively) in a more positive light. The quality of my skin has been a constant focal point in my thoughts for years, and I finally have the clarity to not care about how I look without a face full of makeup.

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I already picked up another prescription of Differin, so I will continue to use it. It seems that more evidence is popping up that it can also help with photoaging, so hopefully this will also contribute to my skin’s quality in that aspect. In addition, I will continue to use 5% Dapsone morning and night even if I am lesion free (it’s supposed to help prevent as well), and book an appointment with my derm if I ever have concerns.

Now that I have finally used up a full tube of Differin, I am going to FINALLY start microneedling again to speed up the healing process of my atrophic scars and to help prevent my subtle fine lines from getting worse. I know I mentioned this in my last skin update, but I decided to just see what topicals solely did for my scars.


As always, I hope you found my post helpful and informative.

xo, M

My Updated Skincare Routines 2019

Hey everyone,

Here are the videos of my current morning and nighttime skincare routines! I’m proud to say that I’ve simplified my routine even further, and yet everything is very purposeful and contributes to my skin’s health.

Morning Skincare Routine:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huZn7IPp_bo&w=560&h=315]

Nighttime Skincare Routine:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5rUcudhigA&w=560&h=315]

Note that these routines are on the days/nights I do not test out new products, or if I need to give my skin a break.

Before you watch, please be sure to take a gander at other posts / videos related to my skin:

I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

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

Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

Thanks for watching!

xo, M

Skin Update [#2]: August 2019: My Skin’s Progress so Far!

I forgot to schedule this because my mind drifted during the Long Labour Day weekend 🙂

It has been around 9 months since starting 0.3% Adapalene, so it’s about time I do a skin update and show you my skin’s progress!

Be sure to read my first one so you’re up to date: Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve been doing since my last update in December 2018:

  • Still have not used a microneedling device since November when I reviewed the Banisher 2.0.
  • No professional facials done, just stuck with topical products I purchased.
  • Using Differin almost every night since I got it end of November 2018.
  • Aczone was good up until the 4 month mark, then I switched to Finacea (AA). I noticed Aczone would dry out my skin and make it look darker and red.
  • Upped my chemical exfoliators to 2 times a week – still using Krave Beauty’s Kale-lalu-yAHA and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  • Have been attempting to apply minimum SPF50 PA++++/PPD 16 up to 2mg/cm2 of sunscreen on exposed areas.

BEFORE / AFTERS

NOTE:

  • It’s really hard to match exact lighting and angle!
  • I also added the same photos with increased the shadows and highlights to emphasize the texture – even then it’s hard to truly depict what’s happening on my face
  • Ignore that cut on the bottom part of my face – I shaved and cut myself (yes I’ve been shaving my face! it’s quite magical)
  • TIMEFRAME: November 27, 2018 – July 13, 2019

michxmash-before-afters
Top: Befores, Bottom: Afters

michxmash-before-afters-2
Emphasized shadow and contrast. Top: befores, Bottom: Afters

ATROPHIC SCARS

In general, they look like the got smaller, and my face generally looks smoother. At first I thought I really wasn’t getting a good angle for the photos; but maybe, just maybe… they actually look that much better! My mom said my skin looks smoother every time she sees me, that has to count for something lol.

PIGMENTATION

I find a lot of the pigmentation I had lingering lightened up ever since I introduced AA and applied proper amounts of higher UVA protecting sunscreens to my routine, and a general boost in my skin’s health.

ACNE

I definitely don’t get as many breakouts since last year, and they are well under control. When I do experience a bad breakout, the connection is from eating too much processed food and drinking very sugary drinks. I find the actives I use in my routine however really help rid any active breakouts quickly, and I don’t find myself stressing over cystic spots as much as I used to.

OVERALL SKIN CONDITION

  • Clearer – acne is under control, pigmentation does not last for months
  • She is slow, but there have been some improvements with my atrophic scars
  • Feels fairly normal since we’re in summer, but still prone to dryness
  • I find my skin gets sensitive to products that I used prior without issue

And that’s it for my 2nd Skin Update! It’s by no means perfect, but I’m happy it’s getting better. Healing old scars as mine with topicals can only do so much, and I’ve accepted that, but at least there’s SOME improvement!

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ACTION PLAN

  • Continue with what I’m using, sticking with Differin
  • Use micro-needle again to boost the process
  • May look into the vampire facial, or other professional treatments to help speed the process for my atrophic scars. It’s so expensive doe ;_;
  • I like my skincare routine at the moment ko, so I’ll be sticking with what I’m currently doing and share it in good time!

It’s always nerve-wracking sharing my skin like this, but I really hope these updates help you out, especially if you’re going through the same skin struggles as I am!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnjfTFowhlo]

xo, M

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.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URaVSJ1pcP0]


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.

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:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbGD0aBi3I4]


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