Monday, May 16, 2016

My Current Skincare Routine for Spring/Summer 2016

I think sharing my routine is one of my favorite things to post about on this blog. I love being able to share what's been working for me as my skin transforms and (with any luck) improves.

If you're new to my blog or you need a refresher; I'm 30 years old with oily skin and hormonal cystic acne. My skin is also dehydrated (meaning the oiliness gets better with added moisture), sensitive, and is starting to show mild signs of aging (like small lines and wrinkles). I have been battling hyper-pigmentation from sun damage and acne scarring, which has improved greatly over the past few months.

So here's my current heap of products that I currently have in rotation:


Most of these I'm sure you've seen from me before. It's been a rough year and I haven't tried much in the line of new products, but what I have used it working great for me, so no complaints, as boring as it may sound to some. I don't use all these products daily, and I don't always use the same products daily, but today I am going to share my base routines with you that I use most often and know I can use no matter how my skin is acting.


MY BASE-LINE MORNING ROUTINE

Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
I've heard people with dry skin say this is too stripping but I personally find it to be perfect, and have family members with dry skin who also enjoy using this, so of course Your Milage May Vary (YMMV, not everything works the same for me as it might for you). It has a tea tree scent, and leaves my skin feeling smooth and looking clear. The scent usually perks me up in the morning too. It is a gel cleanser, but it also foams up - on it's own or using a foaming net - and I think that also makes it a bit more enjoyable to use when you're struggling to stand by the sink in the morning.
You can pick up this cleanser on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, Amazon*, and Jolse.

Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner
This is a very calming toner, and I even use it occasionally as a cleansing water when I really don't feel like going through the whole process of washing my face. Centella is great for calming irritated skin and acne, so it's perfect for me. It's very gentle, and I find it easily tones down redness my face has in the mornings.
You can purchase this toner on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, and Jolse.

Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence
This is one of my very first Cosrx purchases, and the item that drew me in to explore their products further. It has a very light fermented scent and uses it's galactomyces to lightly hydrate and prep your skin to allow it to absorb the rest of the products in your routine better. This essence also contain 2% niacinamide which helps brighten my skin as well - a positive for someone who is trying to fight off hyper-pigmentation.
You can purchase this essence on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, Amazon*, and Jolse.

Neulii Snail Bee Anti-Wrinkle Serum
This is a more recent addition to my routine and I'm really enjoying it so far. It's much lighter than the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence which is great for my skin in the summer months. The heat this time of year really kick starts oil production in my skin, and while hydration still helps with the dehydrated end of things, there is still a bit of plain old oiliness that lingers when it's hot outside, so this serum is perfect for hydrating without making my skin sticky or over-hydrated. Another plus with this serum is that is contains my current favorite skincare ingredient: propolis - so it really is a winner for me as far as treating my skin's current conditions and fighting off additional signs of aging and acne.
You can purchase this serum on Jolse and RoseRoseShop.

Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (with Birch Sap)
I've reviewed this lotion on my blog in the past, and it's still a great hydration in my opinion. It's lightweight but it delivers a great deal of moisture, and it perfect for daytime for me. This lotion does contain butylene glycol, which can cause a greasy film on the surface of skin, so I make sure to pay attention not to over-apply, but it plays nice with all the sunscreens I've tried so it's seemingly earned a permanent place in my daytime routine.
You can purchase this lotion on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, and Amazon*.

Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream
My first Cosrx cream, recommended to my by Cosrx themselves since I have oily skin. This has a thin creamy gelish texture, and is slightly sticky in traditional snail mucin form. I find this cream works great for my skin during the day when my skin is flaky or dry from tretinoin or just other products I'm testing out. It absorbs nicely and does not contain butylene glycol like the birch sap lotion, so it won't leave a film if that ingredient tends to cause a problem for you. Snail mucin is also good for regenerating the skin, so I enjoy using this to not only help heal skin that has been plagued by acne but also for regenerating skin that has fine lines or is loosing collagen.
You can purchase this cream on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, and Jolse.

Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream
Oh Cosrx, how I love thee.. I've already reviewed the Centella Blemish Ampoule, which also features centella as the star ingredient (as does the toner mentioned above) but the cream is like my "heavy hitter" for stubborn blemishes. Cystic acne is a painful, terrible, painful, swollen, painful thing to deal with, and after trying so many different creams and liquids, this is what I found to work best for me. The daytime is worst for my acne because I'm awake to feel the throbbing pain and am more apt to touch it and sigh in disgust over how nasty it is. This cream does a great job at toning down swelling and redness, and by the end of the day there's a noticeable difference in how big and painful my cystic acne is.
You can purchase this cream on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, and Jolse.

Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sunblock
You'd think within 30 years I'd have been able to find a nice handful of sunscreens that work well for me - but then my life would be just a hint easier, so of course that's not the case. In the past year I've thoroughly tested a few different Asian sunscreens that fit my criteria of being alcohol free and only containing physical filters, with a few more on my list to purchase (when I earn enough for a new blog review haul). This sunscreen from Innisfree is the only one so far that doesn't break me out or cause such intense dryness that my skin literally peels off during the day (I'm looking at you Sunkiller Baby Milk, aka SKINkiller). It is mattefying, hence the "no sebum" in it's name, but even on my drier days this pairs perfectly with my snail cream and I experience no unusual dryness. This does, however, leave a white cast, which I counteract with a tinted face powder or light coverage bb cream.
You can purchase this sunscreen on Amazon*, and Jolse.

MY BASE-LINE EVENING ROUTINE

Elizavecca Natural 90% Olive Cleansing Oil
I have a lot of samples of cleansing oils that I've tested lately, and while I love some (like the illi Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil), none of them really leave my skin feeling the way this cleansing oil does. It's thicker like olive oil, but it gently lifts away dead and flaky skin as well as clogs in my pores. It emulsifies very well too! I've noticed my pores seem much cleaner when I use this daily, which I haven't experienced with other cleansing oils, so I really think this is "the one" for me.
You can purchase this cleansing oil on Memebox USA*.

Papa Recipe White Flower Clear Up Enzyme Powder Cleanser

I have reviewed the Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash on the blog in the past, and at the time I really loved it, but it started to dry out my skin with regular use so I had to lighten up my usage. Then I met this powder cleanser and I really think it's love this time around. This powder cleanser has tiny grains, and they dissolve quickly and easily with a small amount of water  - I just dampen my hands and pour a small amount of powder on one, then rub them together to dissolve and foam the cleanser. This powder cleanser is a much gentler alternative to the Tosowoong powder wash, and runs along the same price range - it's a win win!
You can purchase this cleanser on Memebox USA*, Amazon*, and WishTrend.

Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Another earlier Cosrx purchase of mine that I still haven't gotten around to reviewing, but have repurchased many times already. This is a toner with a small amount of acids to lower the pH. Some people think this toner is too harsh but I personally have had no issues with this toner drying out my skin or causing any irritation. This is perfect for prepping my skin for acids, or just cleaning up after cleansing my skin. The low price point and the fact that it's lowering my skins' pH level and (hopefully) helping ward off bacteria-causing acne keeps me coming back for more.
You can purchase this toner on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, and Jolse.

Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
I want to note right away that I use this interchangeably with the Papa Recipe White Flower Clear 8% AHA Gel - but find that the Cosrx is much easier to locate so it's what I have been repurchasing the most. In terms of performance, I find both AHA products work similarly, despite the 1% difference in AHA strength. Since I am using tretinoin (explanation below) I only use Alpha Hydroxy Acid once or twice a week to assist in lightening hyper-pigmentation and speeding up cell turnover and clear out clogged pores and battle acne.
You can purchase this active on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, Amazon*, and Jolse.

Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence
Hyaluronic Acid has become my best friend since I discovered my skin is actually dehydrated and not just super oily. HA can hold up to 4,000x it's weight in water, so it pulls liquid from the outside of your skin inward and holds it there until it's absorbed. Cosrx uses sodium hyaluronate (a derivative of HA) to allow the molecules to penetrate deeper into your skin. This product has been a godsend in decreasing (when kept up with application - eliminating) my flakiness and dry patches on my otherwise oil-slick of a face. It's also greatly decreased my skins' oil production to a near-normal level. HA is also plumping, which helps out with my fine lines around my forehead and eye area as well.
You can purchase this essence on Cupidrop, Amazon*, and Jolse.

Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule
This is a newer product to my arsenal too, but it's quickly rose to the top and become one that i have backups for already, because it really works that well for my skin. I at one point thought I was sensitive to propolis because of my bee allergy, but it seems that it's more dependent on those select products as a whole vs the ingredient popping up in a fair number of products my skin hates. This ampoule contains 80% propolis extract, and has a thin gel texture. It applies easily, however, and soaks into the skin like water. This ampoule makes my skin look so much brighter and healthier, and the propolis has antibacterial properties that help fight acne. I've also heard it can help fight signs of aging, so, you know, prevention and all that.
You can purchase this ampoule on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, and Amazon*.

Goodal Camellia Firming Water Oil
I really like Goodal for their fermented ingredients but find their products often contain too much fragrance for me. I prefer this Camellia Water Oil over the newer (green bottle) Waterest Water Oil due to texture and scent. This water oil has a gel-like consistency that leaves a slight oil film when applied, that absorbs very quickly. I use this product purely for prevention against signs of again, and so far I feel like it has possibly helped firm my face a little more, as my fine lines have been not as noticeable lately. I use it daily now but I am still undecided if I'll repurchase it or try something similar once it's gone.
You can purchase this essence on Memebox USA*.

Guerisson 9 Complex Essence
I've reviewed this essence on the blog before and talked about it a lot on my Instagram, and it's still a favorite of mine. Horse oil is high in linoleic acid, which is lacking in acne plagued skin. By adding in oils high in linoleic acid it helps your skin naturally combat acne - so there we are. The oil itself is similar to our skins' natural sebum, so it tricks my skin into thinking it's already made enough oil, plus the oil has the properties needed to also be part of my acne-fighting skincare team.
You can purchase this essence on Memebox USA* and Amazon*.

Curology
You've probably seen my updates about my progress with Curology in blog posts by now, and I'm still very pleased with the results I'm receiving with this tele-dermatology service. My current prescription includes .04% tretinoin (treats and prevents wrinkles, stimulates collagen growth and fights acne), 1% clindamycin (antibiotic and anti-inflammatory to fight acne causing bacteria), and 7% azelaic acid (lightens dark spots; antibacterial, anti-fungal, and unclogs pores).
You can receive your first month free using my referral link.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Sea Salt Cream
Another newer addition to my routine, but I have fallen madly and deeply in love with this cream - on evenings when my skin is extra oily and breaking out anyway. This is a gummy gel textured cream that massages onto the skin leaving a damp dewy residue behind - But a mere few seconds later it vanishes and just sinks straight into your skin and leaves a plump, bouncy yet matte finish behind. What could be better than matte hydration? Well, the sea salt helps dry out my acne without drying out my skin - I seriously have no complaints about this cream, and it actually works well during the day too!
You can purchase this cream on Amazon*.

Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Cream
This cream came as a surprising love for me. I tried a sample from Sam at CANIPUTITONMYFACE, and couldn't believe how well it worked with my skin. It has the texture of Vaseline, and freaked me out at first thinking it would just clog my pores. But much to my surprise it actually absorbs very well, even on my oily skin, and leaves my skin hydrated and seals in the previous hydrating products very well. If that doesn't convince you that you need to try it, then imagine using a cream that smells like fresh sweet honey - yum - heavenly.
You can purchase this cream on Memebox USA*, Amazon*, and Jolse.

Cosrx Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask
This is one of my favorite Cosrx products. It has a gel texture and contains 85% propolis. This sleeping mask actually contains propolis, not honey - and as I mentioned in my excerpt about the Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, propolis is great for fighting acne, lightening hyper-pigmentation and fighting signs of aging. This is a very hydrating pack that leaves my skin bouncy and plump, but doesn't leave it sticky and it absorbs into my skin (even on top of everything else) perfectly. It really is a great product, and sometimes I use it as a day cream too. I've yet to find anything else with such a light texture but can hydrate so well, and offer so many benefits to the skin, like this honey mask can. And on top of that, it's affordable, so I can go through it as crazily as I have without feeling guilty.
You can purchase this pack on Memebox USA*, Cupidrop, MelodyCosme, Amazon*, and Jolse.

So that's it!
My morning and evening base routines that I build off of each day. If you've read my post about depression you know that I don't always use this many products, and sometimes I use more if I'm in the mood. These are the products that are, basically, my current favorites based on my skin concerns and the weather, but sometimes interchange with other products from my arsenal.

How does your routine change when the weather starts to warm up?

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The Glitter Chic blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. If you have any questions, please contact me at gothickornchic at gmail dot com. This post may contain affiliate links, marked with an "*" and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using one of those links - which costs nothing to the consumer but does help this site. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

5 comments:

  1. Hello Samantha :)

    I have very similar skin problem to you, oily with hormonal cystic acne (mainly along the jawline). That's why I'm kinda hesitant to use oils on my face because well the climate where I live is always hot and humid all year and I already get really oily by noon. But I'm quite interested on goodal's water oil and found your blog while googling, and I wonder if the water oil leaves an oily feeling / residue on your skin? And have you tried the other variant which is the toning lotus water oil?

    Also I just want to share that I find Japanese sunscreens to feel better on my oily skin, for example the ones from biore. Have you ever tried one of those? Some do contain alcohol but they don't feel harsh at all on my skin.

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    1. The Goodal Camellia Water Oil does leave a slight residue on my skin after application, but it soaks in after a few minutes. The Waterest Lasting Water Oil I also have but it leaves my skin feeling sticky so I don't use it. I have not tried the Lotus Water Oil, but it is on my list!

      I have heard nothing but good things about Biore sunscreen, but unfortunately my skin cannot tolerate alcohol or chemical sunscreen filters - so I have to stick with physical only sunscreen and need to watch for alcohol/ethanol in all my skincare. It's a hassle, but it keeps my skin from reacting badly!

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  2. Great routine! I don't have same skin type as yours, but my bf does. He has inflamed, acne-prone, dead skin cells nesting, oily, dehydrated and huge pores skin! He took some medicine back then but stopped because they werent of great helps and they made him feel bad internally. I was thinking, what would you advise for skin types like his? You certainly have good knowledge of those, but your skin seems a lot better than my bf as well. Oh, my bf is a super picky person. He doesn't like the COSRX A-Sol I gave him, but he likes LJH tea tree essence. Lols!

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  3. Hi! I have a question. I bought cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence. I have combination skin and i want to buy a serum to be used after cosrx essence i mentioned above. Should i use neulii snail bee serum? Or what other anti aging serum would you recommend? thanks so much 😙

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    1. I think the Neulii Snail Bee Serum would be a nice choice - it's one of my favorite anti-aging serums =)

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