Every time I post one of these photos, I get several requests for my skincare routine, but I've never shared it because I have some skincare beliefs that are... odd.
During graduate school I had the privilege of editing a small luxury beauty mailer. One of the perks of the job was being able to test out just about every high end skincare goody on the market now, from devices to serums and everything in between, for free. But, the privilege quickly began to seem more like a pitfall. Most of the things I tried didn't do anything noticeable for my skin... except the ones that caused breakouts, or even worse, irritation. Within a single year I basically gave up on high end skincare entirely.
Abandoning the cosmetics counter, I went to the dermatologist instead. He turned me on to two very cheap grocery store products, and one prescription retinol gel. These three things (which I will share below) cleared up my mild acne, and kept my skin fresh and hydrated. Basically, they did all the things cosmetic skincare items had promised to do, but never delivered on. If you take one thing from this post let it be this: if you have acne, deep wrinkles, flakey dryness, or any other major skin concern skip Sephora and head to the doctor instead.
Here is the Western portion of my current skincare routine.
STEP ONE: Cleanse
I swear by Cetaphil Dail Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin. I use it morning and evening, religiously. It gets off every last bit of makeup (even the waterproof stuff!), without stripping my skin. Plus, you can get it by the jug at the grocery store.
STEP TWO: Chemical Exfoliant
My doctor explained to me that there was no reason for me to suffer through even my mild, monthly cycle fueled acne. He recommended a prescription retinoid to promote the turnover of surface skin cells, keeping my pores open and clog free. It worked right away, and I've been using it every night after I cleanse for years now. Since this is medical I'm not going to plug the brand I use. Rather, I'm just going to say that if you struggle with acne, even the mild kind, go talk to your doctor about it! Your money is much better spent on a visit with a real expert than all the drying lotions and clay masks and weird devices behind the cosmetic counter.
STEP THREE: Hydrate
The second drug store product my doctor told me about is CeraVe moisturizing lotion. This stuff is extremely hydrating, to the point of giving me a solid glow, without being oily or clogging my pores. I put this on morning and night, and it doesn't interfere with my makeup.
I used this simple routine and nothing more for two years. I had zero complaints, and couldn't see how my skin could get any better... Until I cam to Hawaii and began experimenting with Asian skincare products. I will be detailing my Asian additions to this basic routine in part two on Wednesday!