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I hope everyone is dealing with their weekday blues well. 😛 Anyway, the heat is becoming unbearable here in my city and it is the only time of the year I am thankful that I have a boring desk job. Please keep yourselves hydrated girls, it is especially more important since we forget to drink water when in an air-conditioned environment. Not just for your skin but for your body as well.
I am a firm believer in giving more significance to my skin care routine instead of using layers of base makeup to make my skin look flawless. Some are blessed with clear glowing skin while the rest of us have to work a little harder. In this article, I wanted to share some of my Holy Grail products along with the right usage as well as some other tips that I swear by to keep my skin problem free.
So I will start off by giving you a back ground of my skin type, I have oily, sensitive and highly acne prone skin. My skin has the ability to breakout from products which seem to perfectly suit everyone around me even those who have oily acne prone skin. Hence I am extremely careful when I pick products, I like to do a lot of research and know the ingredients which go into my products well before I actually use them. I also wanted to mention that I have had nearly problem-free clear skin all through my teens and started suffering from adult acne only in the last 2-3 years. Also I do not have cystic /hormonal acne, treating that can be tricky and visiting a dermatologist is definitely recommended in that case.
My morning skin-care routine:
Cleanser/Face wash: I wash my face with Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam, the product directions instructs that we keep it on the face for 3-4 minutes before washing it off. Hence, using it while in the shower is convenient. This face wash helps in killing any acne causing bacteria and restoring the skin’s pH level to 5.5. This is very important to stay pimple free in my opinion. The more alkaline your face is the more prone it is to become a breeding ground for bacteria. Try to keep it towards the acidic side.
Toner: I don’t use one in the morning. But I am planning to incorporate a natural rose water to freshen up and beat the heat. I am eyeing the Kama Ayurveda one. Please stay away from rose waters by Dabur and other inexpensive brands, they are not natural and only fragranced. Not to mention that they break me out.
Eye cream/gel: I like to use an eye gel during day time as it is light and very cooling to eyes. Also, this step should precede your moisturizer as face moisturizers/creams hinder the absorption of eye cream due to different molecular sizes. I am using the Aroma Magic one right now.
Moisturizer: I will admit that until a year back I assumed I did not need a moisturizer and skipped this step every single day. Whatever skin type you have, you need a moisturizer. Finding the right one is key. I have been using Sebamed clear face care gel and it is the only moisturizer which suits my skin and does not break me out. It also prevents me from getting too oily during the day.
Sunscreen: I end my morning skin care with a non-comedogenic sunscreen. I use the Lakme 9 to 5 mattifying sunscreen. I have tried so many sunscreens in the past and all of them broke me out. This is the only one I trust and works for me. It does leave a white cast at first but it disappears within a minute. Also don’t forget to use a lip balm with SPF.
My evening skin-care routine:
Cleanser/Face wash: As soon as I get back from work, I like to wash my face as I don’t want all the gunk and oil to sit on my skin for too long. If you use makeup or sunscreen, it is recommended that you double cleanse since a plain face wash will not get rid of everything. I do not use makeup but since I use SPF, my first cleanse is cleaning my face and eyeliner/kajal with some cotton and Bioderma. The second cleanse is with Kaya soothing cleansing face wash. The Kaya face wash cleanses my face well and I haven’t found another product which does the job as well as this one.
Moisturizer: I use the aloe vera gel from Patanjali right after cleansing as it soothes and calms my facial skin after a tiring day.
My night skin-care routine:
Cleanser/face wash: Since my skin is pretty much clean after the evening cleanse, I use a very gentle face wash such as the Cetaphil cleansing lotion for sensitive skin before my night treatments. I like this as it does not foam yet leaves my skin soft and clean.
Toner: I use a dedicated toner at night time to get any excess dirt off and balance the pH of my skin. I use the Kaya acne free toner since it is alcohol free. I am not extremely loyal to this one and would probably try a few others in the market but I think it is a decent toner.
Night treatment: I use La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo + on the problem areas of my skin (like my cheeks and forehead) and on any active breakouts.
Eye cream: While the La Roche Posay is getting absorbed I apply my Sebamed Q10 lifting eye cream.(review coming up) I like to pat it on the under eye area with my ring finger instead of rubbing or massaging it. I feel it gets absorbed much better that way.
Night cream: I alternate between two night creams – Kaya nourishing night cream and Vichy night detox. On days I feel my skin is a little dry I use the one from Kaya and on other days I prefer Vichy. Both are quite light weight and don’t break me out.
Some skin care tips I follow:
1. Cleansing your face well is extremely important. Any residue of makeup, sunscreen or dirt can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Also any product you apply after cleansing will not work to its fullest potential unless your face is completely clean.
2. Pat your moisturizers/creams on your face instead of rubbing them in. It helps in locking hydration much better.
3. Keep a separate face towel and change it every 3-4 days.
4. Exfoliate your skin twice a week with a non-abrasive scrub and follow it up with a mask. The mask would work 10x better on exfoliated skin.
5. Keep an eye out on the ingredients of products and make sure that they figure in the first half of the ingredient list in order for them to be potent. Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, Glycolic acid, Sulphur are some well-known ingredients for acne prone skin. Experiment a bit and find out which ones work for you.
6. Keep a bottle of water at hand always. Aim to drink at least 2.5-3 liters a day. I can immediately see the difference in my skin when I am dehydrated.
7. To spot treat a new pimple use some ice and pat it on the breakout for a couple of minutes. It will surely take the redness away and reduce the size of the zit. It is better to stay away from kitchen remedies, toothpaste etc. They have always backfired on me.
8. Lack of sleep, stress, erratic lifestyle, etc. breaks me out easily and learning to deal with them has made my skin behave much better.
9. Also as soon as I cut dairy out (only milk, curd does no bad) my forehead acne completely disappeared. Sugar consumption also irritates skin, breaks down collagen and causes inflammation.
10. Finally, deficiency in Vitamin B12 or Zinc can cause your skin to break out. I personally take B12, Zinc and Fish oil supplements. Fish oil is known to be very beneficial for acne prone and scarred skin.
Hope you find this article useful and enjoyable to read. It is important to be patient with skincare instead of jumping from one product to another. Doing your research and finding the right ingredients for your skin type is extremely important before you actually start out with a proper routine. All the best!
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