My Summer 2020 Nighttime Skincare Routine Ft. Retin-A Micro & Aczone

Following my 2020 Morning Skincare Routine (Summer Edition), here is a breakdown of my nighttime skincare routine for the warmer months!

Skin type: Acne prone, normal to dry. Becomes easily sensitized from drying products or environment.
Skincare Focus: Acne control, hydration, barrier protection.
What my skincare addresses: Acne prevention and healing, hydration, barrier protection, graceful aging,  fading pigmentation, minimizing pore size, reduce redness, reduce inflammation, improve texture, promote collagen synthesis, skin thickening.


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. This does not change my opinion of the product. My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE

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The products below are my tried and trues out of the rotation of items I receive from PR, gifts, and my own purchases. Each are purposeful and contribute to my skin’s overall health.

1. Eye Makeup Removal

Product: Marcelle Gentle Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes
How I use it: Apply on a cotton round and rest on eyes to break down waterproof mascara. After a few seconds, I lightly move the cotton round through my lashes to remove as much as possible.
Why I use it: My eyes are quite sensitive – any oil-based cleanser I have used around my eyes for a few seconds burn them. I need to go in with something gentle, especially when I wear eye makeup. The Marcelle one has been repurchased multiple times for the simplicity, price, and how effective it is while still being gentle.
Where to Buy:
Well.ca

2. 1st Cleanse

Product: Hada Labo Gokujyun Oil Cleansing
How I use it: Dispense a full pump and gently massage all over my face and neck. After 30 seconds or so, I wet my hands and massage my face and neck again to emulsify the oil. I do this for another 30 seconds and then rinse.
Why I use it: It’s important for me to remove a day’s face, especially in the summer time. I’m sweating a bit, my sebum production is higher, I tend to reapply sunscreen more, I still like to wear makeup, and I’m outside exposing myself to environmental pollutants more frequently. It all must go! The Hada Labo oil cleanser is cost effective for the amount you get and I enjoy using it to massage my face longer to remove grit as well.
Where to Buy:
Yesstyle
DokoDemo

3. 2nd Cleanse

Product: Bioderma Sebium Purifying Foaming Gel
How I use it: Dispense half a pump and lightly massage all over my face and neck, with a focus on my T-zone.
Why I use it: It is also a cost effective cleanser for the size and amount you get. It is pH balanced around 5.5 (last time I checked), low foaming and surprisingly it softens my skin despite its marketing for oily/combination skin. I also use it on my body as a shower gel and a shaving gel!
Where to Buy:
Dermstore
Well.ca

4. Hydrator

Product: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence *
How I use it: After patting away excess water with a face towel but skin still damp, I immediately pour a nickel-size amount onto the palm of my hand and massage all over my face and neck. Depending on how skin is feeling, I may apply another layer or 2.
Why I use it: Due to my problematic skin, I do not like completely drying out my face so I only remove the excess water. Layering something as light as a hydrating toner/essence/lotion really helps reduce my skin’s chance of becoming dehydrated without feeling congested. I also find hydrators make my skin just a bit plumper, brighter, more even, softer. I don’t find implementing this step prior to my prescriptions irritate my skin at all.
Blog Post: REVIEW: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
Yesstyle

5. Retin-A Micro

Product: Valeant Retin-A Micro 0.04% Tretinoin
How I use it: Dispense one pump and apply it all over my face and underneath my jaw. Because my skin is acclimated to it, I also bring it underneath my eyes.
Why I use it: It is the star ingredient that controls my acne. It works by normalizing my skin cell turnover so there is no buildup of dead skin, and reduces my skin’s sebum production. Tretinoin in particular is also the only FDA-approved ingredient effective at diminishing the signs of photoaged skin (pigmentation, wrinkles, fine lines). Since I’m turning 30 this year, I’m really happy I got an upgrade to my vitamin A prescription! I have also noticed it help refine my skin’s texture and minimize my pores, making my skin look overall clear and healthy.
Blog Post: SKIN UPDATE #4: Switching From Adapalene (Differin) to Tretinoin (Retin-A), Taking Spironolactone, Acne Scar Revision?

6. Aczone

Product: Valeant Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone – (prescription only)
How I use it: Once the Retin-A has settled a bit, I apply a thin layer all over face and under jaw.
Why I use it: It’s very effective at reducing inflammation around any active acne lesions, it also helps to control non-inflamed lesions. It also pairs well with my Retin-A Micro, Vitamin C serum, and chemical exfoliants. After my skin acclimated to it, it always feels mild – never sensitizing my skin, doesn’t add or subtract moisture from my skin.

7. Moisturizer

Product: Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
How I use it: Apply once Aczone has settled. Massage half a pump or more all over face, neck and chest.
Why I use it: Another cost-effective skincare item! Skin always feels comfortably moisturized without feeling congested. Calms my skin, softens it, and leave a non-greasy residue. It is pretty much my HG moisturizer at this point!
Where to Buy:
Dermstore
Well.ca

Video:


And that’s it for my nighttime skincare routine during the warmer months! As always, I hope you find this type of content helpful and informative!

xo, M

My Summer 2020 Morning Skincare Routine Ft. Aczone

If you live in Ontario, we really have 2 seasons – Summer and Winter lol. I decided this year I will share my skincare routines by season – I usually mention here or there the slight changes I do in my routine based on the warmer or colder months, but I thought it would be more helpful to not only demonstrate it, but to talk through my thought process as well when it comes to how I approach my skincare.

Skin type: Acne prone, normal to dry. Becomes easily sensitized from drying products or environment.
Skincare Focus: Acne control, hydration, barrier protection.
What my skincare addresses: Acne prevention and healing, hydration, barrier protection, promoting graceful aging, fade pigmentation, minimizing pore size, reducing redness and inflammation, improves texture, promotes collagen synthesis, skin thickening.


Products marked with * are PR Samples/gifts. This does not change my opinion of the product. My thoughts are honest, always *casts doe patronus*

All links are affiliate links. This means when you use the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

michxmash-morning-skincare-routine-summer-2020

The products below are my tried and trues out of the rotation of items I receive from PR, gifts, and my own purchases. Each are purposeful and contribute to my skin’s overall health.

1. Hydrator

Product: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence *
How I use it: Apply on a cotton round and wipe face to remove a night’s buildup or fluff. Depending on how skin is feeling, apply another layer or 2.
Why I use it: Due to my problematic skin, layering something as light as a hydrating toner/essence/lotion really helps reduce my skin’s chance of becoming dehydrated without feeling congested. I also find hydrators make my skin just a bit plumper, brighter, more even, softer.
Blog Post: REVIEW: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence
Where to Buy:
Wishtrend
Yesstyle

2. Vitamin C

Product: Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster
How I use it: Apply immediately while skin is still slightly tacky from hydrator step. Massage a full dropper all over face and neck and pat once evenly spread.
Why I use it: Mainly for photoprotection, and it’s nice that it maintains my bright and even complexion. Vitamin C is the most expensive and finnicky product in my routine – L-Ascorbic Acid oxidizes in 3 months and I can’t visibly tell if it’s working. I spoke with my derm about it, and she’s pro-Vitamin C. I decided to keep it in my routine as an extra boost to the graceful aging aspect.
Blog Post: My 3 Must-Have Actives After 3-6 Months of Differin
Where to Buy:
Paula’s Choice
Nordstrom

3. Aczone

Product: Valeant Aczone Gel 5% Dapsone – (prescription only)
How I use it: Apply a thin layer all over face and under jaw
Why I use it: Helps reduce inflammation around any active acne lesions, also helps to control non-inflamed lesions. It also pairs well with my Retin-A Micro, Vitamin C serum, and chemical exfoliants.

4. Moisturizer

Product: Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
How I use it: Apply once Aczone has settled. Massage half a pump or less all over face and neck
Why I use it: Skin always feels comfortably moisturized without feeling congested. Calms my skin, softens it, and leave a non-greasy residue on my skin.
Where to Buy:
Well.ca

5. Sunscreen

Product: La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Fluid Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+
How I use it: Apply once moisturizer has settled. Shake up bottle and pour a generous amount in the palm of hand. Lightly massage in 2 separate layers all over face, ears, and neck
Why I use it: Due to my nightly use of Retin-A Micro and other actives, sun protection is a must. I also have found that the generous amount I apply and the high UVA protecting susncreens I use have made a big difference. It’s helped to further prevent pigmentation from lasting on my skin, I rarely have irritated skin or an uneven skin tone, and in pair with my prescription topicals my skin texture seems softer.
Where to Buy:
Well.ca

Video:


And that’s it for my morning skincare routine during the warmer months! As always, I hope you find this type of content helpful and informative!

xo, M

REVIEW: By Wishtrend Quad Active Boosting Essence

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If you know me, you know I love me some hydrating toners, essences, and lotions in my skincare routine. When it comes to satisfying dehydration on my acne-prone, normal to dry skin, I prefer layering light hydrating products so I don’t feel overly congested, but still satisfyingly moisturized. By Wishtrend recently launched their newest product, the Quad Active Boosting Essence, specifically targeted for those with inflamed, acne-prone skin! I tested it out for a couple of weeks and am ready to share my thoughts with you all!


These products were sent to me by Wishtrend for review purposes. That in no way effects my opinion on the product. My reviews are honest, always
*casts doe patronus*


INFORMATION ABOUT BY WISHTREND QUAD ACTIVE BOOSTING ESSENCE

This essence is recommended as a serum booster that contains ‘Quad Active’ Ingredients: 3 Complex Ingredients (Morus Alba Bark Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract, Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water, and Propolis. These ingredients are widely known to help with anti-inflammatory, anti-pollution, and anti-bacterial effects to maintain your skin to stay healthy and lively. Also, with supporting ingredients Black Tea and Honey, it provides moisturizing effects to the skin. Recommended using this essence in between your toner and serum step!

– Wishtrend.com

  • Price: $23 USD
  • Amount: 100ml
  • Made in Korea
  • Cruelty-free
  • pH: 5.2 – 6.2
  • Free of 5:
    • Ethanol-free
    • Silicon-free
    • Steroid-free
    • Artificial coloring
    • Artificial fragrance
  • Quad Active: 3 Complex Ingredients
    • Morus Alba Bark Extract (8.7%)
    • Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract (8.7%)
    • Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract (9%)
  • Also contains:
    • Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract (10%)
    • Propolis Extract (1%)
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial

INGREDIENTS

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Aqua(Water), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract(10%), Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water(9%), Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract(9%), Morus Alba Bark Extract(8.7%), Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract(8.7%), Methylpropanediol, Glycerin, Saccharomyces/Honey Ferment Filtrate, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propolis Extract(1%), Butylene Glycol, Benzyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin

SKINTHUSIAST PERSPECTIVE…

First off… I’m not sure what the “Quad Active” ingredients actually are, since they list 6 ingredients as their key ones and don’t really focus on 4. Am I missing something? Aside from that, I am impressed that those key ingredients make up 47% of the formula! I appreciate that they share the percentages, this way we know for sure ingredients like these may/or may not be working for our skin. The only key ingredients I am familiar with are Propolis Extract and Willow Bark Extract, which are primarily soothing. I know it says 10%, but I personally would not rely on Willow Bark Extract to provide similar effects as Salicylic Acid if you were thinking this may be an exfoliating essence.

Here’s a sum of what Paula’s Choice has to say about these plant extract ingredients (no INCIDecoder list unfortunately):

Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water – soothing
Schisandra Chinensis Fruit Extract – rich in antioxidants, humectant, soothing, restoring
Morus Alba Bark Extract – antioxidant, soothing, brightening
Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract – antioxidant, soothing

Overall, a nice blend of moisturizing and soothing ingredients with some antioxidant properties, nothing that should sensitize already impaired skin.


EXPERIENCE

Packaging: Glass bottle with a spout.

Fragrance: None.

Texture: Thin and watery with some slip.

Application: Apply nickel-size amount 1-3 times, depends if I need extra moisture that day.

Finish: Slightly tacky, skin does not look overly shiny or under-replenished.

Feel: Lightweight, skin feels soft.

Instant Results: Moisturized, calm skin. I applied a bit of this on a freshly popped, not-ready-to-be-popped pimple (you know what I’m talking about) and I was surprised at how much it calmed that area! I was ready for it to increase in size and become more inflamed due to my impatience.

Long Term Results: Helps maintain skin’s moisture, clarity and calmness.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I wasn’t expecting to be this impressed with By Wishtrend’s Quad Active Boosting Essence, but I am! A little goes a long way, it’s watery texture provides a light moisturized residue, it has never irritated my skin (even on a day I felt like I had a pretty impaired barrier), and managed to calm down a freshly popped zit. Similar to their¬†Polyphenols In Propolis 15% Ampoule, there is also no additional fragrance or fragrant ingredient in the product, and the essence’s texture is mostly due to skin-beneficial ingredients. Word of caution, even if you have acne, do not expect this to be a treatment, it may just be a nice supplement in your routine help to ease some inflammation and keep skin comfortably hydrated while using more heavy-duty actives like Vitamin A or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Overall I definitely think any skin type can use it, it all just depends what you need out of your routine.

WHERE TO BUY:
Wishtrend USE “MICHXMASH15” at checkout to get 15% off (affiliate code)
YesStyle

These are affiliate links. If you click on the link to make a purchase, I earn a small commission. If you use the code to make a purchase, I also earn a commission. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

As always, I hope you found this review helpful and informative!

xo, M