My last post on skincare is pretty outdated, and considering my rotation of products is often changing, I felt it was about time for an updated skincare post.
These are currently my favorites skincare products.
Below each product, I will give you a little description + why I love it. There’s a few questions I get asked all the time, like “how to get rid of acne scars” so I will weave in replies to your FAQs as well.
Keeping up with a skincare routine that includes all of these categories of products has been instrumental in improving my skin texture after getting rid of cystic acne. Here is the typical order of products in my skincare routine:
MORNING: cleanser, toner, vitamin c serum, moisturizer, SPF
EVENING: cleanser, retinol or other serum, moisturizer
Once a week: exfoliating/brightening mask (used before all other products– if I use this, I’ll steer clear of other acid serums/toners in my routine)
I classify this product as more of a “treatment” or “mini chemical peel” vs. a mask — it’s the real deal and I’ve repurchased it many times over the years. I’m never without this product.
This mask contains 25% AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) + 2 % BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to resurface skin texture (and get rid of those pesky acne marks we’ve been discussing). It also has nourishing pumpkin ferment extract + and brightening chickpea flour which is said to combat dullness and brighten + balance skin. I don’t entirely know how all the ingredients work— all I know is that this mask works.
I use babyfacial either once a week or once every 2 weeks– it is pricey but it’s so concentrated and lasts such a long time.
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
I’ve loved this cleanser for years. You probably saw me going on and on about it in my last skincare post and I still love it. It’s a great natural option that feels luxurious. It smells like fresh strawberries and I think it does a great job at removing everything off my face– which is ultimately the goal of a cleanser, right? There’s some cleansers that are super fancy and luxurious, but I’m left with makeup or residue on my face– no thanks.
**Sephora also has an Indie Lee Discovery Kit that includes the brightening cleanser + their amazing CO-Q10 toner + facial squalene oil if you want to try out a mini version of the cleanser first + try some other products.
Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm
I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock– but I only recently heard about “double cleansing”. Double cleansing is just what it sounds like– and apparently it’s kind of a must if you really want to wash your face. The idea is that (especially if you’re wearing makeup) you need one initial cleanse to get all the makeup and grime off your face, and then a second to actually let the cleanser get into your pores and do its thing.
I love using this manuka honey cleansing balm as my first cleanse. It takes off makeup like a dream and feels soooo soothing on the skin. If you are someone with really inflamed acne– I’d highly recommend using this product as your cleanser because it’s nourishing and doesn’t strip the skin causing it to overproduce oils and get even more inflamed.
This is one of those cleansers that makes you want to wash your face all the time– just for the experience. It smells so fresh with a hint of lime– I can’t do it justice with my explanation, just trust. I love this brand and their whole line– if you’re looking for a quality cleanser with clean ingredients, definitely give this a try.
Moon Juice ‘Beauty Shroom’ Exfoliating Acid Toner
I saw someone recommend this on Instagram— saying that it replaced Biologique Recherche’s Lotion p50 for them. I was immediately sold. I’ve used BR p50 (a cult product from the french skincare brand) for a few years, and it does work well but a) it’s SO expensive b) it uses not the safest ingredients c) it smells terrible
This Moon Juice toner on the other hand, smells like fruit loops— in the best way ever! Using an exfoliating acid toner is really important for people with acne prone skin. You want to exfoliate off the layers of dead skin so that your pores don’t get clogged– and using a physical exfoliant can be really damaging to the skin. Exfoliating toners with acids like this will also help with resurfacing and getting rid of acne marks.
Youth To The People Kombucha Toner
I absolutely love this toner for the same reasons as the one above. I find this one to be a bit stronger, but my skin is used to exfoliating acid toners so I don’t mind it. I noticed some people complaining about the texture of this on the sephora reviews saying it’s sticky— but I actually love that. It gives me an immediate glow; and the “stickiness” is active ferments going to work on your skin. I let it soak in for a minute and then I top it with Vitamin C serum and moisturizer.
Vitamin C Serum
Drunk Elephant C Firma Vitamin C Serum
This product is still my holy grail. I am never without this— whenever Sephora has their 20% off sale, I stock up.
Vitamin C serum is a must if you have acne scars/marks aka post inflammatory hyper pigmentation. The goal of a vitamin C serum is to brighten and even skin tone. I believe this product to be one of the most helpful in brightening my acne marks and reddish brown spots.
I typically use a Vitamin C serum in the morning and a retinol at night (more on that later). Both vitamin C + retinol products make your skin extra sensitive to the sun, so SPF is an absolute must even if it’s not sunny! The sun will just darken those spots that you’ve been so diligently working to brighten up and get rid of.
I’m very picky with moisturizers. These are my absolute favorites, I am always repurchasing these 3. The Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is technically a mask— but I use it as a face cream and I love it.
SO soothing and truly plumps and hydrates my skin. If I’ve ever over done it on the acids and my face is feeling irritated- I go for this.
Just as soothing and great as Ceramidin– but also contains elements that calm redness.
I love to use this when I’m traveling (maybe it’s the name) but I’ve also started using it as an everyday moisturizer. I especially love to use it after applying a retinol product to soothe and hydrate.
Drunk Elephant A- Passioni Retinol Cream
I’ve used quite a few retinol based products in my day. Retinol is pretty much a necessity to anyone trying to combat acne or wrinkles and since I’m trying to combat both– it’s a must for me. Retinol is a form of Vitamin A and long story short, it increases cellular turnover, revealing fresh skin. This will help with acne + getting rid of acne scars. This formula from Drunk Elephant has really impressed me. I’ve had hardly any irritation–which is hard to come by with a retinol product.
Here are my favorite face SPFs in no particular order. None of these have caused me to break out and I really like the way they apply to my face.
Coola Spf 50 Face Sunscreen ‘White Tea’
I like to use a retinol every other night, on my night off, I like to alternate between these two serums. I’ll also sometimes use the Volition serum during the day for extra hydration before applying moisturizer. I’ll also sometimes use the Farmacy honeymoon glow in the morning instead of a vitamin C serum.
Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum
This stuff is pretty amazing. I tried it in Sephora and immediately had to get it. It instantly hydrates and plumps the skin. It makes you look like you just drank 2 liters of water. The glow is real.
I always used to love Sunday Riley’s good genes (and still do) but I found this resurfacing serum from Farmacy to do the same job at a lower price. You can feel this working immediately, it may sting a little bit but it will pass.
As mentioned, I often get questions about shrinking pores, resurfacing texture, and brightening dark spots and scars— a serum like this will do wonders for all of those concerns.
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