I always liked looking at these sort of posts and youtube videos, so I decided to construct one of my own. It's no secret that my skin is pimply, oily, and very troublesome. Laneige only made my skin clear to a point and I had to come to the realization that it was hard to get, expensive, and only had a 70% efficacy level to my skin, but I wanted more. I wanted to have nice skin. So...I made a couple of life changes:
- I cut gluten out of my diet. My sister has diagnosed gluten intolerance and I've been living in a state of denial about it for years. My mother and sister long suspected that I also had some form of gluten intolerance, to a lesser degree than my sister, and as soon as I cut gluten out of my diet my skin calmed down and I didn't have the extreme break outs of cystic acne that I used to have.
- I started to invest in sleeping. Beauty sleep is called beauty sleep for a reason. ><
I also switched to face products I hoped would be more effective than the 70% that Laneige was giving me. Right now, as you can see, I'm using a cocktail of La Roche Posay and Fresh brand items. My day and night routine are essentially the same, during the day I don't cleanse with the clarisonic, but I'm thinking about incorporating an eye cream into the whole treatment schmorgesborg, but right now this is what it is!
From Left to Right:
- The Clarisonic Mia: I found the Clarisonic to be an indispensable part to my face cleansing routine, I noticed an immediate difference in my skin. My skin is so oily and greasy that it really benefits from the daily exfoliation. I've been a bit afraid to over exfoliate my skin, so I only use the Clarisonic in the evening, in conjunction with my Effaclar Cleanser, and it really helps me cleanse my skin without making it feel tight or too dried out. I have the Clarisonic Mia, because I'm a simple girl with simple needs, and I think the Mia's one speed suits me just fine. Also since it retails for $125 and is the cheapest of the Clarisonic range it does the same job as its more expensive siblings.
- Effaclar Gel Face Cleanser: Clean, lightweight, and pH balanced this face wash lathers up nicely and does a good job of making my face feel cleansed. It does not have a strong fragrance and has the additional benefits of being soap, alcohol, colorant, and paraben free!
- Effaclar Lotion Astringent: Basically a fancy word for a toner...I sometimes still don't see the value of toners, but immediately after I cut it out from my face routine my skin becomes angry. Toners are typically meant to "close the pores" and La Roche Posay claims that their toner regulates sebum and fights against pore blockage. Personally, this step just reinforces the fresh clean feeling that I get from the cleanser. After opening my pores with a hot wash, I do get the sensation of "sealing off my skin" with the cool toner. Also, I found out recently that this toner won Instyle Magazine's Best Beauty Buy Award for being the best toner for oily skin.
- Effaclar K: This, in addition to the Fresh items, is one of the three creams I slather on my face. Interestingly enough, it's also the only "acne fighting" cream/emulsion that I use. Containing 1.5% salicylic acid, my skin more readily accepts it compared to benzoyl peroxide products that I've used in the past. In addition to the salicylic acid it also contains small amounts of LHA acid and retinyl linoleate that are helpful in "refining pores." Honestly, I have pretty moderate acne scarring and I haven't seen this product make that much of a difference in refining my skin, but it does help prevent breakouts. The biggest complaint I have about Effaclar K is the packaging, it comes in an old time-y metal toothpaste tube and since Effaclar K is slightly runnier than other creams, dispensing the product can get unwieldy. Getting every last drop out of the packaging is also tough, I always feel like I'm wasting some product that I can't quite squeeze out.
- Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum: This is essentially my oil control base, and it has a slight rose water scent, but isn't off putting. The consistency is thicker than the Effaclar K, and the cream has a yellowish tone. It comes out of a vacuum pump system so you have the dual benefits of knowing you're getting every little bit of product and that it's hygienic. Fresh is marketed as a high end makeup brand, so you'll only be able to get their products from Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and the like. I usually use two pumps to comfortably cover my face, but my sister only uses one pump; which makes her supply of the serum last longer than mine.
- Umbrian Clay Oil Free Lotion: This is the stuff that keeps my skin hydrated! It smells much like its predecessor the Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum, but instead of yellow the cream is colored an off white. As a pretty solid moisturizer it really lends itself to being the final step of my morning and evening facial routine. As a being endowed with super oily skin, the lotion manages to strike a balance between taking the excess oil away while still imparting moisturizing benefits my skin.
The face masks that I trust and use on the weekly are:
- Cure Natural Aqua Gel: A Japanese product, this aqua gel is one of the best selling facial products in Japan. From the Toyo Japan's English website, it says that Cure is made of hydrogen water that is gentler on the skin than traditional chemical peels. Honestly, using Cure is like magic. It comes out as a gel and you rub it gently on your skin: face, knees, elbows, ankles, and all your dead skin comes off in little rolls. Admittedly, I use it more often than the recommended twice a week, but soon less and less dead skin comes off so its not as satisfying as the first use of the week. ;) My only con is that it's hard to get. =(
- Laneige Pore Clear Wash Off Pack: This is the last vestige of my old facial routine from Laneige and it's the best part! The Pore Wash off pack contains witch hazel, white clay, salicylic acid. It recommends that you use a nickel size amount for your entire face, but I usually pack a little more on my trouble areas. I also usually leave it longer than the suggested 5 minutes....for me it's more like half an hour. I don't recommend anyone else do this, but I found it's what works for my skin. The mask is lightly fragranced, I usually just smell the witch hazel, and has a rather thick, creamy consistency for a clay mask. When I first started using it, the mask stung my skin, especially on my open acne sores, but now I've gotten completely used to the stinging. I assume it's because of the astringent powers of the witch hazel. To me the strongest evidence of the beneficial nature of this mask is from the time my sister used it for the first time. Her skin is much, much better than mine naturally, but she joined me in solidarity to do this face mask together. At the end when we washed off our masks, she remarked "Wow, this is the first time I facial mask has done anything to my skin." Softer, smoother, brighter and free of impurities. OH YEAH. Another con is that this mask is hard to get as well. =(
- Umbrian Clay Mask: The third part of my Triforce of face masks is the Fresh Umbrian Clay Mask. It actually has a shorter drying time than Laneige's clay mask and feels tighter when it dries. Since the Pore Wash Off Pack is mostly made of white clay, and comes out pure white, the Umbrian Clay base of this product makes the mask a greenish dark grey. It has all the benefits of Umbrian clay, olive leaf extract, chamomile and nettle to soothe oily and acne prone skin. I usually just spread a thin layer all over my face and take it out within the suggested 3-5 minute time limit. With this mask, it feels terribly uncomfortable if I leave it on for longer. It tightens up incredibly and every errant smile or wink goes punished by the unforgiving and dry clay. It really does suck all the impurities out! This is gross, but I can see where the clay has changed color when its filled with sebum and oil. So, that's an additional benefit...you can see it working. =)
There are only two spot treatments that I trust:
- Guerlain Creme Camphrea: This rocks. All I can really say! This magical terra cotta paste camouflages, heals, and cauterizes active acne. You can wear this during the day or at night and the salmon cancels out the angry red of any pimples. I have two major complaints about this product though...one is that it never dries fully so if you choose to wear it at night your sheets and pillowcases will have some salmon colored cream smeared all over them. The second is the price, I understand Guerlain is a very high end brand but a .56 ounce tube of this stuff will set you back $41. So I only use Guerlain's Creme Camphrea for true concealing emergencies.
- Umbrian Clay Mattifying Mask: You can use this as a mask, but also as a very effective spot treatment. It has all the benefits I mentioned above, but in an overnight concentrated form. The best part is, is that it dries completely! So you won't have slate streaks and spots all over your bedding. Something that people always mention is that the Umbrian Treatment Bar is a better value than the face mask and has the same properties. For me, I know that the bar would be more of a hassle to use. I talked to my Freshi sales woman and she said that he bars are so fragile that often some break in store and dissolve immediately in water. I'm the clumsiest and the worst at drying things so I usually pay for the convenience in a tube. The tube form also really lends itself to spot treatment. =)
So that's all of my skin care routine. I found out just recently that Sephora has a whole set in which you can try all the Fresh Umbrian face products for a discounted price. The shopping link is here! What are you facial routines? I love reading about new products!
Thanks for reading!