Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer / Fall Skincare Routine

I haven't posted a routine since the beginning of the year since I've been dealing with constant skin issues. Now, my skin has finally calmed down in what feels like ages, and I can get away with wearing little to no foundation or powder. I thought I'd post a routine for those of you who suffer from hormonal or genetic acne and are still struggling with choosing the right products. This has always been a challenge for me because I risk dehydrating and irritating my skin while treating the acne, and then causing more acne and oil when treating the dryness and flakes.

I've heard from many sources that birth control is an excellent way of managing acne, but I'd prefer to ingest hormones as a last resort. So far, this routine is helping aplenty.

My skin type: Normal-Combination, sometimes dehydrated and flakey, slightly oily on T-zone area by mid-day.
Prone to deep cystic acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, and comedones


1. Wash with DHC Mild Soap (any light, non-drying soap will do) or rinse with only warm water to take off the impurities and oils from during the night.
2. (Optional) Dab tea tree oil or acne medication on blemishes. I personally do not dilute my tea tree oil before applying, but most people prefer to.
3. A moisturizer that contains SPF. I've been rotating high-end and drugstore brands; anything will do as long as it is moisturizing. I prefer to use only products with SPF during the day, but you are welcome to use a moisturizer that doesn't contain sun protection properties.
4. High coverage sunscreen for face and eyes. My current favorites are Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 55 PA+++ and Shiseido Sun Protection Eye Cream SPF 32 PA+++. Wait a few minutes for everything to dry before applying makeup.

Because my morning routine is very simple, I cram in all the treatment and renewing steps at night.


1. Wash off all the day's dirt, pollution, makeup, and oils from the face and neck with a cleansing oil. I use DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.
2. Cleanse with a tough duty cleanser to clean off any remaining dirt or makeup and residue from the cleansing oil. I recommend using liquid facial soap, cleansing pad/cloths, or foaming facial cleanser formulas. I am currently rotating between Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub and Dove Daily Hydrating Cleansing Cloths.
3. A couple times a week, exfoliate with a salicylic acid scrub. A good sign you need to exfoliate is when blackheads appear. I recommend using an aspirin mask (instructions easily found through Google) or St. Ives Medicated Apricot Scrub for Oily/Acne Prone Skin.
4. Tone with a gentle toner. Try not to use toners with alcohol. Any brand will do, even one from the drugstore.
5. (Optional) Use an exfoliant serum like Bliss Peeling Groovy, Clinique Turnaround Concentrate, or Estee Lauder Idealist Skin Refinisher. This helps your skin absorb the other skincare products as well as slough off dead cells.
6. Wait a couple minutes, then apply a moisturizing, anti-aging, or renewing serum. I like to use Jurlique's serums for brightening the skin.
7. Apply tea tree oil on any blemishes or pimples. Dilute with water if pure tea tree oil is too strong.
8. Apply a face and eye cream containing retinol. A great drugstore choice is Roc.
9. (Optional) Apply an additional moisturizer over the retinol cream. I am currently rotating between Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, Egyptian Magic Cream, and DHC Virgin Olive Oil.

You do not have to use a retinol moisturizer every night. I started out with using retinol maybe once or twice a week, and then increased the frequency to 3 or 4 times a week. However, the combination of tea tree oil and retinol along with salicylic acid exfoliation is what helps really bring the acne down, so be sure to stick to it!
Of course, also pay attention to your health. Drink plenty of water, get enough exercise and sleep, and eat as many fruits and veggies as possible.
Hope this helps! Let me know if it works for you!


Anonymous said...

Если врач знает название вашей болезни, это еще не значит, что он знает что это такое. Никогда не приписывай человеческой зловредности того, что можно объяснить обыкновенной глупостью. Человек может долго жить на деньги которые он ждет. Реальность это иллюзия вызываемая отсутствием алкоголя. Женщины едят за разговорами, мужчины едят заедой.

momo x3 said...

Hey :] i was wondering which tea tree oil do you use or if you know any good tea tree oil?

Rachel said...

Momo: you can use any tea tree oil for the pimples. I got mine at CVS, but I know places like Whole Foods and the Body Shop also sell tea tree oil.

Tortiz said...

I wash with the ROC exfoliating cleanser, and it is my friend, my sking is pretty smooth and the pores are smaller.

lorialcorn2006 said...

Nice blog I also have a fashion and beauty reviews blog I have tried this product Roc night cream and wow is it strong I can only use it 2 times a week unless I want to look like a lizard LOL this will make your skin peal and flake and really burn if you are not careful with it . I am following your blog and I hope you have a look at mine . I'm just starting out though and yours is much nicer :)