This past Friday, I shared my current morning skincare routine. Today we’re getting into the really lengthy part, my nighttime routine. My routine works well for me but I don’t care for how long it is and could see myself cutting out a few of these steps in the future. In case you didn’t read my morning routine post, I’m going to recap all my basic skin information and then talk about the products.
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. Here are 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. My primary focus now is getting rid of my acne scars but I’m overall very happy with my skin. Let’s discuss my routine!
- My nighttime skincare routine starts in the shower. I wash my face with bar soap which I know is a huge skincare no no but it hasn’t bothered me so far. I then use some kind of salicylic acid at a 2% concentration. Salicylic acid is a BHA that helps remove the outer layer of skin and is commonly used to treat acne. WalMart stopped carrying my favorite salicylic acid wash so in a pinch, I picked up the equate Beauty Oil-Free Daily Face Wash. This brand is WalMart’s in house brand and is very affordable; this wash is $3.00 for 6.5 ounces. To the best of my knowledge and research, equate Beauty is cruelty free. Their products claim to be cruelty free on the packaging but it’s impossible to get an answer directly from WalMart, I’ve tried. I advise you use this brand at your own discretion. This isn’t a bad face wash but I still prefer the Acnedote Wash from Alba Botanica and I hope I can find it when I run out of this.
- If I’ve worn makeup that day or my skin is exceptionally oily, I like to use the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Apple Cider Vinegar Mask+Scrub. I never use this as an actual mask but I love using it as a scrub because it has a very fine grit. I feel it really cleanses my skin without scratching it. It is $4.29 for 6 ounces.
- Around once a week or when my skin feels oily, I will use the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Manuka Honey+Tea Tree Oil Mask+Cleanser. I apply this when I get into the shower and rinse it off before I get out. It leaves my skin feeling so clean but not dry. It is $4.29 for 6 ounces.
- Once out of the shower, 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.
- The newest addition to my routine is the Cerave Resurfacing Retinol Serum. It’s made specifically for treating post acne marks. It contains: encapsulated retinol to help resurface the skin, ceramides to help restore the protective skin barrier, licorice root extract to help reduce the appearance of post-acne marks and niacinamide to help calm and soothe skin. It is $20.00 for 1 ounce and I use it every other night. I discovered that using it every night was just a little too drying for my skin. Something I feel needs to be mentioned is Cerave’s cruelty free status. Cerave and Cetaphil 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 have another Cerave product that I have been using that will be mentioned below. I fully understand why someone would choose not to use this brand but for me, my current skin issues and my budget, the use of these products are necessary for now.
- On nights that I don’t use the Cerave Serum, I use the Alpha Skincare Enhanced Renewal Cream. It contains 12% Glycolic AHA which helps to remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and it supports collagen production. This cream also contains peptides to help plump and improve skin’s texture. My skin has gotten used to this cream but when I first started using it, it burned like CRAZY. I don’t recommend this for very sensitive skin or for use every night. This is $18.00 for 2 ounces.
- My first step of moisturization is some kind of oil. I love and have raved about the Pura d’Or Argan Oil. Argan oil can moisturize the skin, treat acne, help heal skin infections and reduce oiliness. It’s my go to oil and can also be used on the hair. It is $20.00 for 4 ounces.
- A newer step to my skincare routine is the e.l.f. Cannabis Sativa All the Feels Facial Oil. It contains hemp seed oil to nourish the skin, squalane to improve elasticity and rosehip seed oil which is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. It is $12.00 for 1.01 ounces. I typically don’t like e.l.f.’s skincare but I do enjoy their oils and this one is no different. It’s very moisturizing but not greasy. It isn’t necessarily a dry oil but it also doesn’t feel heavy on the skin.
- My last true skincare step is the Cerave Moisturizing Cream. It is non-comedogenic and fragrance free. It contains hyaluronic acid and three essential ceramides. It is $19.00 for 16 ounces but it’s much cheaper at WalMart. To put it simply, I love this moisturizer. It’s not thick or sticky and I do feel it has helped my skin overall.
- 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.
I’m sure there are parts of my skincare routine that aren’t the best but for now, this is working well for me. My skin looks and feels the best it has in years. I hope that if you’re struggling with issues similar to mine, or skin issues in general, that this gave you some new products to look into. Skincare is tricky and just takes a lot of trial and error. I’d love to know what your skincare must haves are! Thanks for reading and have a great day!