Skincare has been a crazy journey for me and it has taken me awhile to fall in love with my complexion and to learn how to take care of it! Growing up we were told to stay out of the sun and were handed skin whitening creams (started from the bottom now we here).
During my teens, I suffered from pretty aggressive acne which resulted in blemishes from trying to clear my face manually (oops). I also grew up around the time where the only skincare line marketed towards us was Proactiv – and from memory it had the same scent as my beaker in chemistry class after mixing liquids together. Once I had a decent skincare routine happening around 17 years old, I got cancer and chemotherapy changed my skin and left super hyperpigmented bleomycin scars, resulting in starting my skincare journey from scratch.
My acne however pretty much cleared when I finished high school with tiny breakouts only happening once a month, if that. That doesn’t mean I kept my fingers away from my face… My main concern was how to deal with the chemo scars, blemishes and the texture of my skin. I have always struggled with describing my skin type as during summer it is super oily and during winter I basically have to soak my face in moisturizer. I follow a step by step routine to get the most out of the products. Remember we want our skin to soak in all the goodness and keep out residuals.
Day Time Routine
- Eye cream
Night Time Routine
- Double Cleanser
- Scrub (every three days)
- Eye cream
- Peel (every other day)/Mask
- Treatment serums
- Hydrating overnight mask OR
- Night cream
As I said above, I still haven’t found the self control to keep my hands off my face so if I do get some bleeding action, I put a thin layer of pawpaw ointment on straight away. I have found that blemishes are hardly noticeable. For the old blemishes, I SWEAR by Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil – this is heaven sent. This oil has basically removed all stubborn blemishes and I cannot thank the lovely worker who recommended this product to me.
For my everyday cleansing, I don’t look past Body Shop’s Vitamin E range – I use their cleanser, gentle scrub three times a week and toner. I have very sensitive skin after chemo and this range is super gentle and smells amazing. For my skin peel, I use the Body Shop’s Drops of Youth skin peel and do this at least 3 times a week. This gentle peel lifts dead skin cells and residuals whilst keeping your skin super soft. I have even got my friends onto this and they couldn’t get over it!
On the days I don’t scrub I like to put a bit of retinol in the areas that experience a lot of movement (above eyebrows, smile lines, eyes) as its great to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles. Enzymes in the body convert retinol to retinoid acid, an active form of vitamin A. This increases cell turnover, stimulates collagen and elastin production. Thus it is appropriate for treating everything from pigmentation, cystic acne and wrinkles. There is also strong research that it clarifies and evens skin tone. In many ways it is considered the miracle ingredient, but it is important to note that, if used improperly, retinol can compromise the epidermal barrier which is why you should only use the tiniest amount each time you apply it to your face.
I use two brands and both of them have a crazy price difference. I first used Drunk Elephant’s 1.0% Retinol and loved it!
You won’t find what Drunk Elephant calls the “Suspicious 6” in their products (essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes, and SLS) making them, in their opinion, appropriate for all skin. They believe that these six ubiquitous ingredients are at the root of almost every skin issue we see, and when entirely removed from one’s routine, (“a clean break”), skin can reset and return to a healthy, balanced state.
However, my best friend introduced me to The Ordinary skin care line and prices were…. less than a 1/10 of Drunk Elephant’s price. I also used Drunk Elephant’s Vitamin C serum so when I splurged with The Ordinary, I got their retinol solution, caffeine solution and Vitamin C suspension which I would totally recommend as a cheaper option to Drunk Elephant’s line. When using retinol, I will not put anything else on my face and when starting, use it once a week and then increase up to 3 times a week.
On the other nights, I will use the caffeine solution under my eyes to brighten, vitamin C serum all over the face and moisturiser before going to bed. Every Sunday and Wednesday I love to take a bit more time with my routine so I add in a face mask. I LOVE the Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask – it is infused with bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves that act as a scrub when taking it off and my favourite tea tree oil. If I want something on overnight, I use the Hemp Overnight Nourishing Rescue Mask – this is literally the drink bottle your skin wants. It hydrates your skin overnight without the greasiness, leaving your skin super soft, plump and ultra-nourished. I have linked all of the products mentioned in this post below and I hope this adds value to your skincare journey!