My Updated Skincare Routine | Sensitive, Acne-Prone Skin

Friday, April 14, 2017

I want to start out this post by being quite clear: I've had pretty much every skin care concern you can think of, when it comes to my face, bar cystic acne. Whiteheads, blackheads, irritation, redness, hyperpigmentation/discoloration...and to top it off, my skin is oily-prone and sensitive! It's definitely something I've wrestled with constantly over the years, and though I'd by no means say my skin is perfect, or even very close to where I would like it to be, it is in much better condition than it once was. I don't have near as many breakouts as I used to. I don't feel like I need to cake on foundation to cover my skin (though I never did this frequently, because I knew it wasn't good for my skin, there were definitely times where I was tempted to). And I'm dramatically less self-conscious of my face than I once was. I workout and get red and sweaty and don't feel like all people are going to see is my acne - but maybe that's not just a skincare thing; maybe that's also a confidence thing. (That's also a Thing for another post, because I'm talking about skincare today. ;)

As I've mentioned countless times before, the majority of change started happening when I cut sugar (and later dairy) out of my diet (for the most part) (I still splurge every now and then) (I see you, Easter...). I think so many people focus a lot on exterior products and forget to change what they're putting on internally first! That being said, it's still very important to care for that epidermis, especially as summer creeps up on us, and all that delicious vitamin D tempts us to forget SPF and get a golden glow. (Guilty as charged.)

So what is that routine? So glad you asked. ;)

I used to be team simpler-is-better! but while I still take a very minimalistic approach to skincare (too many products overwhelm sensitive skin, after all), something I have expanded is the way in which I cleanse my skin. Instead of going straight in with a foaming, water-base cleanser, I first start with an oil-base cleanser. What fancy, expensive oil-based cleanser is my daily go-to? A tub of coconut oil.

I know what you're thinking: coconut oil?? I have oily skin! But I promise, it works wonders and does not leave any residual oiliness. It hydrates your skin in the process which, as you probably know by now, is the best answer to oily skin (oily = dehydrated + trying to make up for it).

Massage a bit between your middle- and ring-fingers to melt it to its oil consistency, and massage the oil all over your face to break down the makeup. (Be careful around the eyes, as you don't want to massage your melted mascara into your skin!) This way, when you go in for the actual "cleanse," you can properly clean the skin, instead of just starting to get the makeup off (because water-based cleansers can't actually clean to the depth of an oil).

The foaming cleanser I've used for several months now, and have really been enjoying is the Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser. It's very gentle on my skin, but it does the job and is very affordable. I only wish it came in travel-size!

As you know, I've sworn by my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ for years now. It's my standby, my go-to, my ride-or-die (though I resonate with this post, too much to say that?). But around Christmas time, I was wanting a little more moisture from my routine, and I wanted to add a face oil. I browsed around, read some reviews of oils way out of my budget, and then found this Pixie Skin Treats Rose Oil Blend at Target, picked it up on a whim and fell in love. Oh my word, you guys! It smells of fresh, sweet rose petals. In some two days of using it, my skin was noticeably brighter and more glowing. I hardly even use highlighter anymore, because of this.

So: two pumps of Clinique + two drops of Rose Facial Oil, massaged gently into the skin with your fingertips. It's very probably my favorite part of my nighttime routine.

Before I put on my makeup in the morning, I wear e.l.f.'s Mineral Infused Face Primer. This is the only part of my skincare routine that I'm consciously looking to change, simply because as much as I love this primer, and it definitely makes a difference to have that second barrier between my skin and the makeup (the first being my moisturizer), I find it makes my makeup wear off faster. Anyone have any recommendations for primers to make your makeup last all day, but not too drying on the skin?

About twice a week, just to keep things lively, I'll use some sort of gentle exfoliant or, alternatively, a face mask! (More often the exfoliant, though, because I can't be bothered to go to the store and buy masks all the time, let's be real!) I do this step pre-moisturizing, of course.
My favorite exfoliants come from St. Ives, because I've never found them to irritate my skin - I've had some charcoal mask horror stories from other companies, on the other hand - and they're affordable, and come in a big tube that lasts ages. XD I've used the Nourished + Smooth Oatmeal Scrub, the Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub and the Fresh Skin Apricot scrub - all are great! (I want to try the Pink Lemon and Mandarin Orange one, now, ha!)

In re: Masks, Sephora has a lot of great little ones! I'm especially a fan of the avocado and pearl face masks! Again, they're affordable, easy to use, and a nice treat for the skin!

And that's it! Simple, but it works. I'd like to add a toner in, at this point, but I've yet to find one I'm willing to try out...any recommendations would be largely appreciated! 

What are your skincare routines?


  1. I adore the pink lemon & mandarin orange St. Ives scrub. It's my swear-by. But I want to try that Pixi skin treat stuff now. I've become a bum for moisturizing. I can feel when my skin is thirsty and it's maddening if I haven't moisturized! Haha.

    1. Well then I'll have to try it, right? ;)
      Amen to that. The more the merrier when it comes to hydration!


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