Last Monday I posted my morning skincare routine and gave an update on my hormonal acne. I will repost the acne progress pictures down below just in case you’re not interested in the morning routine. I’m also going to reiterate all of my skincare history as well, for the same reason. Here’s a summary of my skin issues, I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and one of the main symptoms of PCOs is hormonal acne. Of course, you can have hormonal acne and not have PCOs and vice versa. I am trying to get pregnant so I can’t take any oral acne medication because all of them can harm a pregnancy. I went to see a dermatologist for the first time in December of 2018 and she gave me two different topical medications that I will talk about below. My skin type right now is combination that tends to be more oily with occasional acne, scarring and large pores.
*I will link to my previous reviews for all of these products. If I haven’t reviewed them, I’ll link to where you can purchase them.
The top two pictures were taken the day of my dermatologist appointment in December 2018 and the bottom two pictures were taken in June 2019. I honestly didn’t realize how much my skin had improved until I compared these pictures. Now for my nighttime routine!
- My first true skincare step at night is to wash my face, however, I don’t have a specific soap to recommend right now but I am trying a few out. After washing my face, I use a salicylic acid, a BHA. This type of acid helps to exfoliate your skin. My preferred salicylic acid is the Alba Botanica Acne Dote. I purchase this at WalMart for around $6.00 for 6 ounces. It contains 2% salicylic acid and is also free of parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. This leaves my skin feeling so clean and refreshed.
- Almost every night, but especially if I wore makeup that day, I use the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Apple Cider Vinegar Mask & Scrub. It’s $4.29 for 6 ounces. The apple cider vinegar in this can help balance the skin’s pH levels, stop acne and provide anti-inflammatory/bacterial benefits. This scrub has very fine particles and is gentle on the skin. If you’re wanting a really intense scrub, this probably won’t be the best choice for you but it’s perfect for me. It also works well as a mask but it can by drying or irritating if left on for too long. It smells like delicious apples, gently removes dead skin and just leaves my face feeling clean.
- Next is another Freeman Feeling Beautiful product, their Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask & Cleanser. It is $4.29 for 6 ounces as well. This is probably my favorite mask. I typically use it while I do what I need to in the shower and then rinse it off before I get out. The Manuka Honey in this can help the skin retain moisture, diminish acne and it has anti-inflammatory/bacterial benefits. Meanwhile, the Tea Tree Oil can help prevent acne, redness and peeling. This has a very clean scent with a hint of honey. It claims to be good for oily and breakout prone skin but I’ve used it even when my skin was dry and it always leaves my face feeling smooth and clean but not tight or dry.
- My first step once I’m out of the shower is to use the Derma E Radiance Toner with Glycolic Acid and Rooibos. This is $15.00 for 6 ounces. It’s a bit more pricey than the Thayers Witch Hazel Toner I was using but the difference in how it makes my skin feel is so worth it. This toner makes my skin feel clean but not dry like the Thayers Toner did. The glycolic acid in this helps to exfoliate dead skin cells while the rooibos is soothing for sensitive skin and full of antioxidants. This toner truly lives up to its’ name and makes my skin feel radiant.
- After my toner, I use one of the medications prescribed for me by the dermatologist, Clindamycin Phosphate. This is an antibiotic used to treat inflammatory acne. It works by killing off acne causing bacteria and reducing redness and swelling. This has been a true miracle worker for me. Where as my pimples used to linger for one to two weeks this dries them up within a few days. It’s also very gentle on my skin and doesn’t burn or cause any irritation.
- Next I use the second medication prescribed by my dermatologist, Azelaic Acid. Azelaic Acid helps clear pores, exfoliate the skin, reduce acne causing bacteria and helps to even skin tone. My Azelaic Acid is a 15% concentration and can only be gotten through prescription. However, you can purchase a 10% concentration from the website Paula’s Choice or from the brand The Ordinary, available in Sephora or on their website. Azelaic Acid has worked very well on my skin BUT my neck is sensitive to it. The irritation does go away within a few hours but I wanted to mention it. The skin on my face does not react negatively to it.
- After the Azelaic Acid, I use the Alpha Skincare Enhanced Renewal Cream. This is $17.00 for 2 ounces. I know that doesn’t sound super affordable but a very small amount of this goes a LONG way and this is the cheapest Glycolic AHA I have found. It contains 12% Glycolic AHA which chemically scrubs away dead skin cells and help prevent lines and wrinkles. This does sting my skin but it’s worth it to me. I do believe that this has helped my skin’s overall appearance.
- A pretty new addition to my routine is the Derma E Scar Gel. I tried this scar gel maybe two years ago and it did nothing for me but I was having constant breakouts at that time. I wanted to try it again now that my skin is clear. This gel is $20.00 for 2 ounces but you only need to use a VERY small amount. This jar will last me around three months. I will say, before when I tried this it was unscented and now it smells like lavender essential oil. I’m fine with that because lavender can help skin irritation but I just wanted to make a note of it.
- For moisturizers, I start off the with the Pura D’or Argan Oil. This bottle is $20.00 for 4 ounces. I love this oil so much! Not only is it super affordable compared to other oils but it provides so many skincare benefits. Argan Oil can moisturize, protect from sun damage, treat acne, heal the skin and so much more. If you’re wanting to get into oils, I’d start with this one. Also, it’s not pictured but I recently started trying out another oil, the Live Clean Dry Body Oil. I picked this up at TJ Maxx for less than $5.00. It’s a multi-purpose oil that is supposed to help with scars. I’ll review it within the next few months.
- If I don’t feel my skin is moisturized enough from the oils, I use the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. Before I get into the info about it, Cetaphil is one of those gray area brands when it comes to their cruelty free status. They do claim to be cruelty free but they’re not Leaping Bunny approved. Once I use this bottle up, I probably will not repurchase it. Like most Cetaphil products, this is more expensive at Ulta. It’s $13.99 for 16 ounces there. I believe this is around $10.00 at WalMart. I really like this moisturizer but only at night. It is pretty thick for the face and it doesn’t melt into the skin so your skin will feel sticky all day if you use this in the morning. It’s non-comedogenic and fragrance free. It claims to be a light moisturizer but again, I disagree with that. A little bit of this goes a long way so this big bottle will last forever.
- Last but not least is the Mario Badescu Facial Spray. I’ve tried almost all of their sprays but my favorite is the Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater. It’s $12.00 for 8 ounces. I’m not sure if this provides any real skincare benefits but I like the way it feels.
That is my entire nighttime routine! Don’t forget to check out my morning routine and also let me know if this was helpful to you! Skincare can be very overwhelming and I’d like to help simplify it. Thanks for reading and have a great day!