So my good friend keeps asking me what I use on my skin, but I find it so tedious to answer that because I use SO MANY gosh darn products! Yes, I’m a skincare junkie. I think it’s because when I was younger, my mom didn’t believe that skin care products could help me – she would just say “Just wash your face more often!”, so I was only allowed to buy the cheapest kinds (ie. Clean & Clear – blechhh). So now, I am always on the hunt for better & more economical products to use, since I go through skincare really quickly.
To be honest, the main reason my skin has improved dramatically is due to prescription products from my dermatologist. But as my skin begins to age, it’s becoming a lot more sensitive, so it can’t take the harsh chemical-y creams daily. Also, any oral medication he prescribes I try my best not to take, because I’m trying to void my organs of having to process any more chemicals than it already has to (from foods, air, cosmetics, etc.)
So this collection of products is a mix of trying to balance oily/acne prone skin, with super dry/sensitive skin, with pore/blackhead control products and anti-aging products. Basically, my skin has tons of demands.
Left: Philosophy's Purity Made Simple | Right: The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Facial Wash (gel)
As you can clearly see, I prefer Purity over the Tea Tree Oil. I bought TBS’s facial wash because they were having a 2/$18 sale on all Tea Tree products, and this is a best-seller. It’s good enough, but doesn’t REALLY help with oil/acne control, and I always have tons of makeup residue left if I only used my fingers to massage it onto my face.
I just bought Purity last week, and so far (using it day & night), it’s helped a lot in healing my dry skin and balancing it with my oily skin (that’s what it claims to do anyway). Smells nice & does a better job at getting rid of makeup…but I did a test by following up with an Equate facial wipe after using Purity, and I still had traces of foundation on my face. I still really like it though – it hasn’t made me break out like it did for Pursebuzz! FYI: I asked the MUA at Sephora why Canada doesn’t have the foamy version, and she said it’s because there is an ingredient that hasn’t been approved by the CFDA in it. So I guess Ebay it is for those who prefer it!
Olay's Daily Facials in Deep Cleansing
My mom bought me these from Costco (pack or 3 boxes) and they’re awesome! I take a sheet with me every time I go to the gym or pool, because they’re easy to take with me and are disposable after use. I don’t exfoliate at home, but using these sheets 2/3 times a week @ the gym count as my exfoliation. Super convenient tip: After using it on your face, there is tons of leftover foam & soap left in the sheet. Use it as an exfoliating body scrub!
Left: Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner | Right: The Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Freshener
I can’t stress how much I LOVEEEEE the Rose Petal witch hazel. It smells fabulous & does a great job of getting rid of traces of makeup, and moisturizes while it tones. The Thayer line has tons of different types of witch hazel toners (lemon, aloe vera, original, etc.), but I chose the Rose Petal one because it moisturizes and helps with maintaining youthful skin (plump skin = younger looking skin). This bottle lasted me for about 6 months, and I just bought a new bottle. Available at organic shops for $8.99 (at Kensington Market). I also saw it at Whole Foods for $12.99 in the Beauty section.
The TBS toner is clearly the old school bottle, but the product is still available in the new packaging. This was a gift from my sister. I rarely use it anymore because it is too harsh for my skin now, but back when I was super acne prone, this felt like it was doing something good underneath the surface of my skin. I still use it on my T-Zone in the mornings to control oil throughout the day (doesn’t really work, I just like the idea of it!)
Left: Clinique Superdefense Very Dry to Dry | Centre: TBS Tea Tree Oil Blemish Fade Night Lotion | Right: TBS Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream
After reading about Superdefense on PB, I decided to try it out. As I approach mid-20s, I’m constantly thinking about how to prevent further damage on my skin-in-transition (previously, I was using Chanel’s Beauté Initiale Energizing Multi-Protection Cream; but way too pricey to keep using – but it really was great!) The Clinique counter I went to had run out of Combination/Dry formula, so I ended up getting Very Dry to Dry, which is great for the winter, kinda too oily for the summer (but my mineral makeup does a great job of hiding that). It will probably be good for me when I move to Montreal, because I hear the winters there are KILLER! I like the built in SPF 25, but it comes with a mild SPF scent. It was around $50 (but got it with a GWP deal) and is lasting me forever and a day since I use it with a spatula (which prevents contamination, and wastes less product because you can scoop the product more precisely).
The Blemish Fade Night Lotion is very pricey for the tiny tube ($19) but if you wait for the 2/$18 sale, it’s a steal! This is my second bottle because I love it very much. Really does help with fading old scars, and works wonders as a spot treatment, day or night. I currently use it on my T-Zone at night time.
The Vitamin E cream comes in different formulations, but I got the Intense version so that I could use it on my mildly eczemic cheeks at nighttime. Very moisturizing and not heavy feeling at all. Smells very pleasant. I’m on my second jar of this stuff, but I recently bought Egyptian Magic cream after watching Tao rave about it. I think that will replace this stuff (and I prefer that it’s a more natural alternative too!)
Biore Skin Preservation See the Future Eye Cream
This is from Biore’s new line of products aimed at 20-somethings who are between teen acne and wrinkles/aging skin. So far I like it – doesn’t irritate, very good moisturization, and smoothes out nicely along my eyes without having to tug and rub it in. Box says to use it during day, but it doesn’t have SPF, so I only use it at night. For day eye cream, I just gently & carefully tap on my Clinique Superdefense around my eyes (because it has SPF 25)!
Left: Jojoba Oil (100% Pure Expeller Pressed) | Right: Bio-Oil
I bought the jojoba oil after reading about it on tons of natural makeup forums (good for OCM & any other moisturizing solutions). This tiny bottle was kinda pricey, but I hardly use it. When my skin got super crazy dry and flakey in the winter, I would drop some of this oil into my jar of TBS Vitamin E Intense cream and use it as a moisturizer. Jojoba oil is the only oil that is the closest match to our body’s natural sebum, so it doesn’t clog pores. My only complaint is that it’s a little hard to thin out – kinda viscous, but not like, syrup viscosity.
I bought Bio-Oil after seeing commercials that it is great for getting rid of scars. I had tons of acne scars so I started using it on my face, but it made me break out! So now I use it only when my jawline is getting rather dry (because I don’t break out there), and on scars on my body that I would like to fade away. My mom uses it on her allergy rashes (around her eyes), and it does a great job of soothing them away. I have friends who have used it for their stretch marks during pregnancy, and that has helped as well.
Left: Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser | Right: Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It
I bought the Pore Refining cleanser on a whim when it was on sale thinking that maybe I’d see some results using it as a cleanser. NOPE!! Just burned my eyes because of the AHA/BHA in it. Also, cleansing your skin with it doesn’t allow the active ingredients to actually work on your skin during such a short time. So I went online and found out that many people were using it as an at-home mask! Because of the AHA/BHA, it acts like a mild chemical peel while helping tighten the look of pores. I don’t know about the pore part, but it does make my skin smoother. Even though I have sensitive skin, it doesn’t irritate it – leave it on for about 10-15 minutes and wipe off with facial cloth.
I bought the Scrub Your Nose in It mask just last week, and I’ve only used it twice. I love the tingly feeling when I put it on my T-Zone, and how it scrubs as your massage it onto your face. I don’t see dramatic results yet, but my pores do look less gunky right after I remove it. $12.99 @ Shopper’s Drug Mart.
Left: The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Face Mask | Right: Mario Badescu Silver Powder
I thought I’d round out my Tea Tree collection by getting the mask. I like the idea of it “drawing out impurities”, so I’ll keep using it till it’s done. I don’t think I’ll repurchase though. It doesn’t dry on your face, which I love, and I do feel like my skin is smoother/squeaky clean after I wipe it off. I don’t really need the Tea Tree effects any longer, so time to move on when the jar is finished.
I bought the Silver Powder from Blu3’s blog sale a while ago. The white powder has silver in it to soak up oil and gunk from your skin, so I use it on my T-Zone. This tiny little jar lasts forever, because you have to wet the product, which makes you use a lot less than you think you need to use. When I wipe it off though, I get a lot of powdery fall out over my counter, and my pores have powdery residue in them (which I suppose means that it’s really getting in there and sucking out the oil). So I just have to scrub a little more diligently in those areas. I dunno – it’s hard to gauge how well it’s working when you don’t actually see little blackheads coming out (like pore strips).
Overall, I use masks at least one or two times a week, interchanging between all of them as my skin sees fit (if I’m breaking out, I’ll use the Tea Tree mask, if I’m feeling super oily, I’ll use Mario Badescu, if I’m flaky I’ll use Neutrogena, etc.).
I use ALL these products regularly. My most basic routine is Purity to cleanse, Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, and the appropriate moisturizer for the time of day (morning/night).
My skin isn’t perfect, but because I am diligent with taking care of it, I believe that that is why my skin is as nice as it is! I can’t help pollutants in the air, but I can try and prevent them from damaging my skin with the right products. I also believe that what you put in your body shows up on your skin. So I eat tons of fruit and veggies (which is great because I really enjoy them!) I also highly recommend getting a dermatologist and consulting with them.
That’s that I suppose! Thanks for sticking by and reading the whole post – this took half a day to compile and write! If you have any questions/concerns/suggestions, please leave a comment! I will respond as a reply on this post.