I've recently begun a new skincare routine and it is doing wonders for my face. I have combination skin (oily in some spots, dry in others) and on top of that I started breaking out a lot around the end of last year. I had had breakouts before but never to this extent so it's essentially taken me a year to figure out exactly how to correctly care for my skin.
I wear makeup almost daily (on the weekends I tend not to) so cleaning it all off at the end of the day is extremely important so it, along with other dirt and bacteria, don't clog my pores. I learned that this was one of the two primary reasons I was breaking out. I thought I had been completely cleansing my face but I had been missing a couple of steps to really get that deep clean.
Additionally, I hadn't been eating enough healthy fats. I figured this out over the summer and remedied it asap by adding avocados, eggs, oils, and more peanut butter to my diet. Coincidentally I also hadn't been eating enough to keep up with my workouts so these improvements to my diet for my skin also helped my health in general.
Below, I've added photos, links, and prices for the products I use as well as the step-by-step description of how I incorporate them into my routine.
For my morning routine, I stick to steps 1 (cleansing) and 4 (toning). I don't really need a moisturizer because the oil cleansing helps with that but I do like the have some sunscreen on so I use this CeraVe lotion ($17) with SPF for that. For my nighttime routine, I follow all steps.
From Left to Right:
1. Pumpkin Seed Oil ($11) - I stumbled upon this blog last year and read about how high-linoleic oils are beneficial for acne-prone skin because they help clear up the hard sebum stuck in pores. The author of the blog recommended mountainroseherbs.com for oils so that's where I purchased mine and I don't think they sell a 4 oz. size anymore so the 8 oz is the smallest available. I also use evening primrose oil to cleanse in combination with pumpkin seed. If I have makeup, I'll rub it off using the oil, wipe off the oil with a makeup wipe, and use some more oil to rub off any makeup I missed before rinsing. I know it may seem odd to cleanse with oil (Doesn't that make you breakout more??), but it actually helps dissolve the stuff that's lodged in your pores.
2. Charcoal Mask ($20 - $27) I've been alternating between two masks: Derma-E's purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and Origins' Clear Improvement Mask. I only have the trial size of the Origins mask but I've already gotten four uses out of it and there's still product left. I think I prefer it over the Derma-E mask because it doesn't have microexfoliants (or whatever you call the little scrubby things). It's completely smooth and very little of it is needed to create a thin layer on the face. After I cleanse with the oil and rinse it off, I dry my face (pro tip: only pat your face to dry it, DON'T wipe it as that can irritate the skin), put the mask on my nose and cheeks, and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Charcoal scrub ($5): I found this amazing scrub at ULTA for just five bucks so I was happy. To remove the mask, I put a bit of water on it first, then scrub it off to really get all the gunk it's pulled out out of my pores. Finally, I rinse off the scrub and pat my face dry.
4. Rose Petal Toner ($7): I think this and the charcoal mask have caused the biggest improvements in my skin texture. I soak a cotton pad in this toner and rub it all over my face, but especially on my cheeks. It smells absolutely amazing and hydrates your face.
5. Rosehip Oil ($14) and Tea Tree Oil ($12): The final step in my skincare routine is to moisturize. I put a drop of rosehip oil on each cheek and a drop of pumpkin seed oil on each cheek and blend them together. For any breakouts I see coming on, I dab on a bit of tea tree oil. I don't recommend putting tea tree oil on your face without some other product because it's very strong (both in its physical properties and its smell).
For a deep cleanse, I do a clay mask weekly, usually Friday or Saturday night. I love this one ($10) because you can feel your pores being cleansed and tightened. I mix it with apple cider vinegar ($6) so it turns out completely smooth. I've tried making the mask with water and I don't like the texture nearly as much. I apply it to my entire face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, then soak a towel in warm water, hold it to my face, and gently (emphasis on the gently) scrub the mask off.
I know this is probably a lot of info to take in (and a lot of products), but remember to make sure to tailor your routine to you. This is what works for me so hopefully it can be a starting point. I've also accumulated these products over time so I know buying all of them at one time could get rather pricey. If you want to try one or two, I definitely recommend the toner and the charcoal mask first and try the others out later.
May your skin become clearer and you, happier :)
Make good choices,