FOR SENSITIVE ACNE-PRONE SKIN
At the beginning of this month I had a nasty reaction to a couple of new makeup products and it felt like all the hard work I had done to clear up my skin this year had immediately been undone. I broke out terribly and in my attempts to cure it, I managed to over-exfoliate my skin and thus irritate it even further. I was left with rough skin texture, flakiness and an overall uncomfortable state due to skin dehydration. I had to call out a skincare SOS.
I did a mini skincare shelf overhaul, eliminating any harsh or heavily scented products from my routine, and paused my Differin regimen for a week. The last products standing were used morning and night religiously until my skin went back to normal. I wanted to share my routine in case anyone out there is experiencing bouts of increased irritation and sensitivity.
Cleanse - Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
I use this morning and night. It's gentle, free of synthetic fragrance, doesn't sting my eyes and it's good at removing makeup, too.
Hydrate - Bioderma Hydrabio Serum
This next step is important: I stopped using a towel to dry off. I take a couple of pumps of this lightweight hydrating Bioderma serum and pat it into my skin along with the residual water on my face. This enables the hyaluronic acid in the serum to bring in some of that hydration from the water into the skin and it makes my skin feel so refreshed, also alleviating tightness. It has a light fresh fragrance to it and while I would prefer this product without any synthetic fragrance, the scent is very very minimal and I do not find it irritating. Bioderma Hydrabio Sérum is a great option if you have oily but dehydrated skin. If you have drier skin, you might not find it hydrating enough by itself so you might want to pair it with the Hydrabio Créme. I personally love the serum and it's perfect for me, especially leading into the warmer months.
Treat - Pai Copaiba & Zinc Serum
This gentle natural blemish-busting serum is loaded with soothing ingredients and while it will not heal blemishes as quickly as hardcore clinical ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, it's all that my skin can handle at the moment. Zinc PCA has antibacterial properties and is able to kill acne-causing bacteria as well as reduce inflammation. I also started taking Zinc supplements in order to give my body a boost from within.
Treat 2.0 - Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator
OMG, this stuff is amazing. I am already dreading the day it runs out and am planning to repurchase. If you have combination-oily skin and suffer from adult acne and an uneven skin tone, you need this in your life. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated without a hint of stickiness, greasiness or discomfort. Leaves a satin finish on the skin and I have no problems layering makeup on top of it. If you have dry skin, this is not the product for you.
It is designed to be the last step of your skincare routine (or semi-last step if you use it during the day before sunscreen), so layering a hydrating serum underneath works like a charm for my oily yet dehydrated skin. It's loaded with great ingredients that help reduce pore size, refine skin texture and promote clarity of the skin. I love that it has a satin finish, it sinks in really fast and doesn't leave my skin oily or shiny after I apply it. I love it for both morning and evening use, and I appreciate the fact that it comes with a pump. Love Love Love!
Sealing It In - La Roche Posay Cicaplast
This has been a skincare cupboard essential for many years. I always repurchase it and have it on hand. I first discovered it back in 2012 when I started getting lots of professional grade acid peels and my skin needed lots of help to heal and regenerate. It's a product designed for post-procedure skin and it forms a protective antibacterial barrier, speeding up the skin's healing process. I applied this all over my face when I first started using Differin and my skin got really irritated. I now use it just on spots where I have active breakouts or post-blemish marks that need a little bit of extra help to heal. If you are prone to irritation and you have sensitive skin, you will appreciate this product.
It's been a little over a week of this routine and my skin is feeling really nice and balanced. It is no longer tight from dehydration, it is no longer flaky, and the active blemishes have subsided. Hallelujah! I have since started incorporating Differin back in my evening routine - I skip the Pai serum and use Differin 30 mins after my skin has dried completely post cleansing & Bioderma serum.