It has been a full YEAR since I did an updated skincare routine post. I meant to do one back in the summer of 2019 but I kept switching up products so I kept putting off the post. I have a pretty solid routine right now and thought it would be a good time to share what’s been working for me.
If you’re not familiar with me or the struggles I’ve had with my skin, I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOs is a hormone disorder that can cause severe hormonal acne and it did for me. In December of 2018, I was done trying to fix my skin myself and I finally went to a dermatologist. Seeing a professional was literally the best decision I ever could have made. My dermatologist prescribed two medications and I will talk more about them below along with everything else I currently use. My skin type now is combination with acne scarring and the occasional pimple. My morning and night routines are fairly lengthy so I’ve decided to split them. Today I’ll share my morning routine and my nighttime routine will be up Monday but first, here’s some before and after pictures…
The top two pictures were taken the day of my dermatologist appointment in December 2018 and the bottom two were taken in January 2020. I honestly still can’t believe how much my skin has improved. My primary focus now is getting rid of my acne scars but I’m overall very happy with my skin. Let’s discuss my (excessive) routine!
*I accidentally photographed these in the wrong order; I like my products to go in natural reading order from left to right. The Belli Facial Wash should be on the left because it’s my first step so I’m still going to talk about it first.
- I start my morning routine by washing my face with the Belli Beauty Anti-Blemish Facial Wash. It’s $22.00 at Ulta for a huge 6.5 ounce bottle that lasts me around 6 months. It is an AHA wash which helps to remove the top layer of dead skin. This cleanser contains lactic acid, green tea, cucumber and a ton of other great ingredients. It is very gentle and safe for pregnant women.
- Next up is toner. I’ve been testing out a ton of toners lately and my favorite is the Derma E Radiance Toner but it’s not the most cost effective. My second favorite and what I’m currently using is the Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner with Coconut Water. It’s $10.95 for 12 ounces. A toners main job is to cleanse the skin but this coconut water option is supposed to also hydrate the skin, combat signs of aging, be anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
- After 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 Ordinary. Azelaic Acid has worked wonderfully for me.
- I don’t use this product everyday but for spot treatment of acne I use the Belli Acne Control Spot Treatment. It’s $17.00 for 0.5 an ounce. That doesn’t sound like much but you need a VERY small amount of this product for it to work. It contains colloidal sulfur, tea tree oil and chamomile. It works wonderfully on acne but it does reek of sulfur.
- My first step of moisturization is the Skinfood Peach Jelly Soothing Gel. It’s usually $8.00 for 10.14 ounces; right now it’s $4.00. This is a slightly tacky gel that does dry down. It has a wonderful, light peachy scent. It claims to refresh stressed skin and while I don’t think it does anything miraculous, it does make my skin look and feel healthier. However, I’m pretty sure Skinfood is going out of business. All of their products are super cheap at Ulta right now so I’ll eventually have to find a replacement for this.
- Next I use the Acure Radically Rejuvenating Eye Cream. It is $17.00 for 1 fluid ounce. It contains CoQ10, Chlorella, Argan Oil and Edelweiss Extract. It claims to provide deep hydration and protect the skin’s moisture barrier. I really do like this eye cream but once I use it up, I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase it. I think my regular moisturizers can do the same thing and I’m trying to shorten my routine.
- For all over facial moisturization, I’m currently using the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion. It’s $14.00 for 16 ounces (cheaper at WalMart). It’s non-comedogenic, fragrance free and contains vitamins E and B5. Cetaphil and Cerave are both pharmaceutical skincare brands. This is why they’re recommended by most dermatologists. They work well, they’re accessible and affordable. However, they’re not technically cruelty free. Both brands claim to be cruelty free but they can never truly be so as long as they’re considered to be pharmaceutical brands. As pharmaceutical brands, they’re held to the same standard as medication which means they might be tested on animals or sold in China. It’s a true gray area because for those of us with skin issues sometimes these brands are all that work and/or are available. I do plan to search for another cruelty free moisturizer when I use this one up.
- 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 use this spray when I finish my skincare and again when I finish my makeup. I’m not sure if it’s doing anything truly beneficial for my skin but it feels soothing and it’s not hurting anything.
That is my entire morning routine and as I said above, my nighttime routine will be up Monday. What are your favorite skincare products? Thanks for reading and have a great day!