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November 19, 2018

A Simplified Skincare Routine & The Products That Made My Skin Happy Again

Hey there! It's been awhile since I've popped up a proper skincare update post, and with the recent changes I've made to my routine, I thought now's a better time than ever. About a month ago, I was having a bad hormonal breakout and and my all-over-the-place skincare routine seemed to aggravate the problem even more. I was testing new products, using multiple different serums every day, and pairing up all the acids in hopes I could just dry my skin up and scare the bumps away. Well, needless to say...that didn't quite work out for my skin. Instead of clearing up, it got angrier with me and flared up even more.

I wouldn't say that I'm someone who has sensitive skin, but my combination skin seems to know what it likes. However, in the name of #bblogging I sometimes get carried away with trying out popular products that I sort of already have an inkling won't work for me. More often than not, this ends up in a bout of bumps that weren't even there to begin with. So, after my last skin nightmare, I realized it was time to strip back my products to ones I know my skin is happy with...and then I'd allow myself to add a few key products back in to combat discoloration, clogged pores and dullness.

Less than a month into my simplified routine, here we are! While I'm still battling a few scars from blemishes I poked and prodded at (wish I could turn back the clock and stop myself from touching my face too much!), my skin feels and looks so much better. I thought I'd share the tips I've learned along the way and the products I've been using steadily to help bring things back to a balanced state. 
Skin Needs Balance!
This is probably the biggest skin mistake I've made continuously throughout my adult life. I've always had combination skin that can get quite oily in the t-zone, so I've had the tendency to layer up acids and drying clay masks in hopes that the oil would just evaporate away. Boy, was I wrong. Instead, I was dehydrating my skin to the point that it was producing even more oil to bring itself back to homeostasis, thus causing unnecessary breakouts.

Part of the problem was that I was using the wrong kind of moisturizers; thick creams that sit on top of the skin may work wonders for those with dryer skin types, but my skin can't breathe when I use them. I ended up realizing that I do need moisture still, just nothing too heavy.

 Instead, I've found my new go-to moisturizer in serum form; I've been using the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum every morning and evening for balanced skin that feels soft and looks just the right amount of glowy without leaving a film on the skin. At night, I've been combining this serum with the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (just a pump of each mixed together). This way, I get some exfoliation action from the acids alongside the moisture from the Hydra B, which my skin has been really happy about. And, in the spirit of being smarter and more in tune with what my skin needs, if I'm feeling tight or dry I won't use the acid, and instead will add more moisture where necessary. I've been loving the Dior Hydra Life Hydration Rescue Intense Sorbet Cream when my skin feels dehydrated, and sometimes I'll even add a few drops of the Rodin Olio Lusso into the cream to amp up the hydration. I've been using this oil on and off for a long time, and it's one that has a lower viscosity than others, so it doesn't cause congestion. I can't speak enough to how much of a difference finding a moisturizer crew that works for my skin type has made!
Clean, Cleaner, Cleanest
I've always been on top of the double cleanse method; my eye makeup refuses to budge with just one cleanse, so it sort of forced me into this routine. However, it really has made improvements to my skin over the years as I used to get breakouts from leftover makeup sitting on top of my skin. (Am I the only one who likes to pretend that my past college habit of using face wipes (!?!?!?!) didn't happen?) Since I know how well this whole routine of ensuring I had the cleanest possible skin has worked for me in the past, I decided it was time to go a step further and become diligent in the toner department. 

I've been swiping my skin with a Sisley Floral Toning Lotion-drenched cotton pad both morning and night after cleansing and my skin has been loving it! It's actually a toner made for sensitive skin, and it contains witch hazel, corn flower and rose, which sooth and soften my skin while preparing it to receive other serums/treatments. When I use this, I can actually see the small amounts of makeup residue being wiped clean, so I believe it has helped keep my skin clear of dirt and makeup-related breakouts.

Tailor the Extras
Prior to this new routine, I was going overboard with what I liked to call my "skincare extras" - which include masks, eye creams, or serums that I use once or twice a week - and my skin was getting irritated by the frequent change of ingredients being slathered on it. By asking myself which products actually provide my skin with a certain benefit that it needs, I've been able to streamline this edit of extras to a few items that give great results.

As I mentioned earlier, I use the Rodin Olio Lusso when I need a serious dose of hydration, but for sloughing away dead skin cells and clearing out pores, I rely on the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. At 25% AHAs, this stuff is potent; I believe I read that the results it gives are some of the closest you can get to getting an in-office peel. I tend to get red if I use it for the recommended full 20 minutes, so I am easing my way up to that. Really, I just listen to my skin and remove the mask when it feels as though it's done enough sloughing, and let's just say, it has done the job. This mask makes my pores appear smaller, has helped decrease breakouts, and gives me a soft rosy glow after each use.

And, last but certainly not least, I have been using the La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex as my eye cream. It's hard to even call this an eye cream, as it is more like an eye "serum" in terms of texture. I've talked about this product extensively in the past, but it cannot be beat in terms of its lifting, brightening and depuffing qualities. When I use this, I don't need anything else for my eye area, which makes the investment worth it!

What skincare routine works for you? Share your tips below!

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