**Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way**
So almost everyone has their bad skin days. These days, anything can casue acne so the trick is knowing how to keep your skin clear.
For the last 5 years, my answer had been the pill and a skin care routine that was minimal – a face wash and a moisturizer. The pill was a blessing in disguise and I didn’t even know it. However, I have recently moved over to the Mirena, to read the full story you can click here. Since my switch, my acne has come back as vigorously as ever and it also doesn’t help that I tend to pick at it almost all of the time.
I have found the need, now more than ever, to find a skin care routine that helps reduce, if not get rid of, my acne.
I have comodonal acne, which in simpler terms is blackheads. Now the lots and lots of blackheads is not a problem, the problem comes in when I go and pick at the super unsightly things on my face. It is the picking that leads to the more visible acne like pimples and pustules. Pustules are caused from inflammation in the skin, which is one of the main reasons for most acne. Ladies and gents that suffer from acne often suffer from inflammation in the skin. In my case, I don’t suffer from inflammation but I cause inflammation when I pick at the blackheads.
Over the past few months, through trial and error, I have found a routine that has finally helped clear my skin problems. It has reduced the number of blackheads and calmed down the inflammation. I don’t stick to a single brand of products, and nor do I stick to a single range from a brand. I like to mix and match my products until something works for me.
My evening routine:
I wear makeup almost everyday and so it is important for me to have a good makeup remover. I find that makeup removers, even those that are for sensitive skin, tend to dry my skin out and make it feel tight. So I use the Bioderma Sensibio H2O which leaves my skin feeling hydrated and balanced once I have removed my makeup.
A good habit to get into, especially if you suffer from acne, is to remove your makeup before getting into the bath or the shower. I love to have a bath in the evenings and wind down after a long day. However, I never wash my face first thing (another good habit which I will explain later). The problem with not having removed your makeup and not washing your face first thing is that as you sit in the bath and warm up, your pores start to open and your makeup will end up sitting in your pores – this is the start of clogged pores and that is why its best to remove your makeup before climbing in.
As I near the end of my bath, I will use Lamelle’s Serra Cleansing Gel to wash off anything that is left on my face. The Lamelle Serra range is well known for the correction of the skin’s Lipid Bi-Layer. A bi-layer that is impaired causes sensitive skin and leads to inflammation and skin imperfections, so I use this gel cleanser because it is very gentle on sensitive skin.
This entire range is great for sensitive skin problems likes eczema, dry skin, or rosasia and I would highly recommend it to aid with such skin problems.
Once or twice a week I will exfoliate in the evenings. A physical exfoliant is not a good idea for those who have sensitive skin or acne. Most acne suffers feel as if their skin is dirty and that it will get better if they scrub the heck out of it. Please don’t do this! This is not true! Rather opt for a chemical exfoliant that convinces the skin to shed dead skin cells on its own and at its own rate. I use the Cathepzyme Corrective from Lamelle (usually number 2 but they only had 1 in stock when I last bought my products). This exfoliator contains an ingredient called Cathepsin D which helps the skin turnover dead skin cells naturally.
So another good habit to get into is to leave no more than 3 minutes between washing your face and applying face cream. 3 minutes is how long it takes before the elements or environmental factors start impairing your lipid bi-layer (mentioned before). For this reason, I leave washing my face until the end of my bath when I am ready to get out, and it for this reason that I also advice that you only wash your face after you have got out the shower. Try and avoid washing your face in the shower and rather wash it in the basin after you have stepped out. This keeps the time between washing and applying cream to your face minimal.
This habit also helps you to have better control of the temperature of the water that you use to wash your face with. The water should not be hot like water that is typically run into a bath or turned on in the shower. Water that is too warm can damage the lipid bi-layer and so it is best to keep the water luke warm.
Once I am out of the bath and ready to put cream on, I turn to a retinol based cream. The one that I use is the Lamelle’s RA Cream. Retinol helps with cell and skin turnover which in turn prevents blackheads from forming. If you suffer from comodonal acne then a retinol based cream is a must because it is the only thing that will make the texture of your skin better.
On days where I feel like pampering myself, because who doesn’t have days where they just want to lie in a bubble bath with a beautifying mask and some cucumber slices on their eyes, listening to the some music recorded in the depths of the Amazon.
Just picture it……….
Oh, I’m off topic, where was I? What was I saying? Oh yes… Okay, so on the days where I just want to relax a little bit more and spend some more time on my skin, I love using the African Extracts Rooibos 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub, and Mask. This mask has a very muddy feel and texture to it and helps reduce the shine from oils, clear imperfections, and helps to unclog pores. Everything an acne sufferer needs.
My Morning Routine:
My skin tends to get very oily during the night and so I use a foaming cleanser to help break down the oils on the skin. My cleanser of choice is the Lamelle Clarity Active Cleanse. I like to start my day off with oil free skin just to make my makeup apply smoother and to help it last longer. My skin gets oily during the day and so starting off the day with an oil-free skin is very refreshing.
Because of my oily skin, I will always stay away from rich creams. They make my skin break out, and I hate spending the day feeling like an oil slick, or having my makeup run down my face. Rich creams are just to heavy for me. I have found that the Lamelle Nourish Revitalise Lite gives me the perfect balance of feeling like I have moisturized but I don’t feel like I have put a heavy cream on. Also, because I use a retinol cream in the evenings, which is very hydrating by the way, I actually have no need for a heavy moisturizer.
On days where my skin is super sensitive or I have found myself picking at it, I use the Bioderma Cicabio repair cream to help sooth my irritated skin. When I pick at my skin, I don’t just give a little squeeze here and there… oh no… I really hack at my skin. I make sure that the little bugger has been hurt so bad that he is afraid to return to that spot. So naturally I need something to help my skin heal. This cream is the absolute business. It is an antiseptic and so it can be used for pretty much anything that needs to be healed. It’s a real decent product to keep in the first aid kit.
On days where I have a little spot, I tend to use a spot treatment on them. There are always one or two resilient spots that make their way through all of the grooming efforts. The spot treatment that I normally use is the Skin Ceuticals Age and Blemish Defense, but I have not bought any recently because I am trying to finish all the half empty bottles in my bathroom cupboard. For the purpose of this post, I got myself a sample so that I could show you what the product looks like (it looks like the picture only bigger J). So at the moment I am actually using Young Solution’s Spot Drops, which burns like a ‘B’ with and ‘itch’ but it does get the job done. I keep this with me during the day and will reapply it when I remember to. If I do this it takes roughly 2 days for the spot to disappear.
I have been using Lamelle, Bioderma, and Skin Ceuticals for some time now and I have to tell you that I am hooked on each one of them. I am too scared to try anything else because this combination of products that I am using right now has helped me so much that I am afraid trying something else will cause a breakout.
These brands are definitely worth a look and a try if you have any skin condition that you need to sort out or keep under control.