• Andrea Kurian

Skin Care Secrets

Hey guys! In the past two years I have developed an obsession for a healthy skin care lifestyle and it has taken me until the last four months to finally perfect my routine (for now). Since skin care can easily get confusing and complicated with all the latest social media trends and endless options of products, I have decided to share my routine with y’alls to hopefully make things easier. So before you decide to buy anything I recommend - I have combination skin, that leans towards oily, and I am prone to discoloration and blackheads. Thus the products I use cater for these issues. However, I follow the suggested steps recommended for all skin types such as cleansing, toning, moisturizing and so on. All of the products mentioned are affordable and easily available. I have also added (am) and (pm) beside each product indicating what time of the day the product is used.

Disclaimer: you may not experience the same results even if we share a similar skin type.

Step 1: Cleanser,

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (am) & Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser (pm)

I start my skin care routine off with a gentle cleanser that gets rid of dirt and oil without leaving my skin feeling tight and dry. It’s a smooth feeling cleanser that leaves the skin feeling soft and refreshed.

At night, I go for a stronger face wash by The Body Shop. Firstly, this 100 % vegan cleanser is great for blemished skin as Tea Tree fades dark spots and prevents acne. Secondly, it is perfect for oily skin as it thoroughly gets rid of grease and dirt without stripping off too much of natural face oils! Bonus point; the refreshing Tea Tree fragrance.

Step 2: Toner,

Thayers, Rose Petal-Witch Hazel Toner (am, pm) & Aloe Vera Gel (pm)

Toner is equally as important as using a good face wash as it gets rid of hard-to-remove dirt and rebalances the skin after cleansing, especially if you wear make up. It is possible to get toners according to your skin care needs. In my case, Rose Petal and Witch Hazel are perfect for hydration while Aloe Vera gel helps in calming inflammation and redness.

The Rose Petal toner gives my skin a radiant glow and has helped my skin achieve an even skin tone. This natural astringent controls oil production, locks in moisture and tightens pores. I would definitely recommend this product, more so if you are new to developing a skin care routine as it is affordable and very easy to use while providing multiple benefits.

Usually, I choose to apply Aloe Vera gel on my nose and cheeks after using the Rose Water toner. Aloe Vera gel has helped with the redness and discoloration of my skin while fading acne scars. I only use this gel on alternating nights as it tends to dry my skin slightly. It feels sticky at first but after a few minutes it absorbs right into the skin. Pro tip: Add some gel, thrice a week, to your scalp and roots to promote healthy, soft and thick hair. Aloe Vera comes with numerous benefits for your skin, face and hair.

Step 3: Serum,

Kiehl’s, Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (am)

Face serums are light weight moistures that penetrate into the deep layers of the skin in order to deliver strong active ingredients. Additionally, serums provide a firmer, smoother texture to the skin thus making pores appear smaller. This specific serum contains Activated C, White Birch extract and Peony extract. These ingredients prevent the formation of skin discolorations, even skin tone, restore hydration and protect against oxidative damage. This is the most expensive product in my routine but it works miracles! In the last two months, a few drops daily have helped in fading my acne scars at a rapid rate! It also gives such a beautiful glow to the skin, as if you have applied highlighter. I definitely recommend this product if you are serious about your skin care routine!

Step 4: Acne Products

Differin Gel/Retinol (pm) & Neutrogena, Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Spot Gel (pm).

Differin Gel is the first over-the-counter acne treatment to contain retinol. And OMG, IT IS A BLESSING FROM THE FATHER ALMIGHTY! I started using this when my break outs got increasingly problematic and within one week I could see a huge improvement in my skin’s texture and appearance. This gel clears acne, prevents breakouts (blackheads and whiteheads included) and unclogs pores. It’s slightly expensive for the amount of product you get but then again, one small tube has lasted me four months. However, as I recently discovered, you need a prescription for it outside of USA. I assure you that it is worth the trip to your GP/Dermatologist for the prescription.

Following this, only if I have an active break out, I use the Neutrogena Spot Treatment gel. This product contains benzoyl peroxide and is extremely powerful so make sure you only apply an adequate amount on JUST the acne otherwise it may cause burns. Sounds scary but this spot treatment is by far the best I have come across! It gets rid of the inflammation and redness in a matter of hours and any one who has used it also agrees. This literally zaps the zit away. I would suggest buying a small sized tube at first as mine has lasted over a year.

Almost done, promise….

Step 5: Moisturizer

Vitaderm, Purifying Treatment cream (am, pm)

Now, this is the most important and final step. Choosing the right moisturizer for your skin type is crucial but more so making sure it is NON-COMEDOGENIC is even more vital. Trust me, you are going to want to remember that word. Non-comedogenic basically means that it allows your skin to breathe and doesn’t clog your pores. Unfortunately, I spent four months using a moisturizer that wasn’t non-comedogenic and it ruined my skin (Thank you, Ponds). So look for that word on the packaging of your moisturizer! Even though I had a kick-ass skin care routine, this one mistake caused my skin to have constant break outs! Eventually I figured what caused these breakouts and switched to this new moisturizer. It has taken a long time to break down all the gunk in my pores due to this. I particularly love this moisturizer as it contains Vitamin C and salicylic acid but any drug store product should do the trick.

So there it is, my detailed skin care routine! I know it sounds long and effortful, but it doesn’t take more than ten minutes and the results have been so satisfying. If you are concerned by the number of steps, I assure you that the skin does not feel heavy on the face as the first three layers absorb deep into the skin and are extremely weightless. I hope these suggestions benefit your skin care routine and journey!

Please let me know your thoughts on my routine, experiences with your own routine and/or any tips you may have.

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