A few weeks back my forehead (and only my forehead) was breaking out constantly into tiny bumps. Bumps which would overnight become sore and painful and also manage to have more baby bumps around them!
I tried treating them with spot solutions only to find new bumps next day, and soon my forehead was a battle ground; bloody, spotty, sore and very very painful. I blamed my hair, my hair products, the change in weather but nothing helped, obviously. It doesn’t get more frustrating than when you have a problem and you cannot put a finger on why?
I eventually realised two things : a) I was not cleansing properly or cleansing enough and b) I was back into trying too many things too frequently and really pushing my skin to a breakdown! Here is what I have been doing now in terms of products and procedure at night and thought I’d let you all know.
Step A : Cleansing, and really cleansing
I have sensitive combination skin, which tends to be dry everywhere but the T-zone and that usually is a normal condition for most skin types. My issue here is sensitivity and having a very redness prone face which I have to be very gentle with. And, which I’m usually not.
I have switched to an elaborate cleansing routine this month in order to make sure I have every trace of sunscreen and makeup off at the end of the day. I have never really understood the importance of getting EVERYTHING OFF until now. Sunscreen and makeup thats left on the face clogs pores and causes breakouts and its just common sense. If you have stuff left on your face and then you pile one more non-porous stuff on it and there is no way in hell your skin is going to be happy about it!
As you can see I am pretty extravagant in the cleanser territory. I usually have a two step or sometimes three step routine which looks like this, depending on how much makeup I wore that day:
Evening : Bioderma – Eye Makeup Remover – Oskia
Evening : Bioderma – Eye Makeup Remover – Cleansing Oil – Tata Harper
Evening : Bioderma – Eye Makeup Remover – Cleansing Oil – Aurelia
Morning : Oskia/Tata Harper/Aurelia one of the three
I don’t skimp on cleansing, clearly. It takes up most of my night routine but I do it anyway. The third cleanse is the one which I really enjoy and the one thats the least price effective! I have been using Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing gel exclusively as my balm cleanser for a couple of years now and I won’t lie I feel the boredom at times! I am open to trying others and its always good to try a sample first! Aurelia’s (Probiotic Skincare) Miracle Cleanser was part of the reason why I spent so much to get CultBeauty’s Spring Goody Bag. A good 30ml of it was included among other goodies and as soon as it arrived I pulled it out and put it on the shelf to use. Given that I am now on the verge of cutting the tube open to get every last bit out, should tell you that I LOVE IT.
Aurelia is an all natural organic brand and their cleanser is pretty popular. I hadn’t tried it before but now I have and I think I’m a fan too! Its a creamy product much like a thick moisturiser than a ‘balm’ and spreads easily with fingers. It stays on the skin and doesn’t vanish while I massage, which I appreciate. I use it on dry skin then add a little water before I rinse it off with luke-warm water, same as what I do with every other cleanser! I find that after washing it off it leaves no residue or film in contrast to Oskia, which could be a good thing for summer evenings. Also, it leaves my skin more hydrated and I can actually go upto fifteen minutes post cleansing (not recommended!) without needing any moisturiser. This is such a contrast to Emma Hardie’e infamous Moringa Cleansing balm which I felt stripped my skin and was not hydrating at all! Is it possible I had a dud?
The good thing about Aurelia is that it comes off clean without any need for a muslin cloth action (which they very helpfully provide with the cleanser). I do not use muslin or any cloth on my face because a) it doesn’t feel very gentle, b) its a high maintenance habit which I don’t find the time to keep up with, and c) it consequently can lead to unwanted grime back on the face!
A running theme with all my cleansers (except makeup removers) is that they are all natural. Not intentional but I’m glad that as a last step I am using something with good ingredients.
Step B : Toning and Treating
Now here’s where I believe in going easy. I have been using pure rose water on my skin after cleansing, forever, and that hasn’t changed. I love all naturally sourced pure Rose water spritzes equally and right now Kama Ayurveda’s Rose Water spritz is in use. This feels soothing and somewhat quenching right after cleansing. I love this step and can usually be seen spraying my entire bathroom when I am at it! oops.
Next, I am back to using my Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. I have cut down on the oils at the moment because of the weather, which is hot, and also I know that ANR always helps keeping my skin clear when I really need help! This is a fragrance free serum, and in fact the only serum I have ever actually bought and used. Thats says it all. I really trust it to clear my skin out and also prevent future breakouts, be it hormonal or otherwise. Its expensive but for me its a staple.
Step C : Adding the moisture back
The combination of ANR and Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask has been my go-to for years. This fragrance-free moisture mask seals in the serum and all the good things I have put on the skin before it. I have been using it as my night moisturiser for all this time and I don’t see why not? Usually night creams don’t come cheap, although a good one is the Trilogy Rosapene Night cream, and price per ml for a moisture mask compared to a night cream wins every single time! After I’ve used a serum as potent as the ANR all I need is a moisturiser to lock it all in and not feel oily or uncomfortable before I go to bed.
I’m glad my skin is back to normal! Its very easy for me to go off track and crazy with products which I am duly reminded of through breakouts. The skin has its ways!
Whats your favorite skincare product right now?