As someone with sensitive skin and skin allergies, finding skincare products that “work” for me has been problematic. I have an allergy to Salicylic Acid, ruling out the vast majority of acne-clearing skincare. Many products that promise radiant skin either end up totally drying me out or making my face very oily. Over the past few years, I have really committed myself to finding a skincare routine that works with my skin, not against. This post only outlines what has worked for me – I have no idea what will work with your skin because I might not even know you (though I’d like to) and I’m not a dermitolgist. If you’re like me, however, and have very sensitive combination skin, some of these products might really help you – because let’s face it- there’s way too many products on the market to sift through and we could all use some help (so if you know of a great product, please share it with me in the comments!)
Even though I have read articles singing the praises of not using water on your face, my skin breaks out every time I do not wash it with hot water both morning and night. I get the best results using a Clairisonic brush and a hydrating cleanser. I love Clarisonic’s Gentle Hydro Cleanser, but being the bargain huntress that I am, I decided to pick up Lacura’s hydrating cleanser one day at Aldi’s (that’s right – the cheap-o grocery chain). I have found that I get just as good results with the cheap stuff for a fraction of the price. Hooray!
If I ever stop trying to use Mario Badescu’s Alpha Grapefruit Cleaning Lotion, my skin flips out. This product goes the extra mile to clean out my pores without the super stringent feeling that comes with stronger, alcohol-based toners. It absolutely does not dry out my skin, but leaves it feeling neutralized and soft. Out of all of these products, I have used this one the longest – about 10 years.
After years of searching for a moisturizer to replace Mario Badescu’s Oil Free Moisturizer, which suddenly stopped working for me after years of use, I was turned on to Murad’s Skin Perfecting Lotion. It can be a little dry, which works out since I follow this up with a serum sunscreen (see below) or a BB Cream (with SPF, of course). This moisturizer actually improves the look of my skin be eliminating acne and a lot of the little bumps that pop up just under the skin. I cannot stop singing this product’s phrases, and I don’t care how expensive it is, I will not stop using it. It’s really that good.
It was not until recently that I started using sunscreen on a daily basis. It might sound crazy, but I can tell a difference in the quality of my skin. Supergoop’s City Sunscreen Serum is my go-to, whether under a full face of makeup or on its own for hiking on a sunny day. Combined with serum-based foundations or BB creams it can be a little greasy, but it works well with my beloved Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation.
At 25, I still struggle with acne- bummer. I really thought I would be over this by now. Only compounding my frustration, most harsh products on the market for acne only make my skin worse because of my sensitivities and allergies. Mario Badescu’s Drying Cream is a dream come true. It heals acne quickly, and because it contains aloe, it is not drying. I can use this treatment day and night. Bonus: due to the coloration of this product, it sort of conceals the redness of breakouts, which is great because concealer over acne is bad, y’all. Many thick, greasy concealers clog your pores and do not let your acne heal. Mine heals much quicker since I stopped using concealer over it on a daily basis.
About once a week I want to treat my skin to something special – because let’s face it – your epidermis is pretty great to you and you should thank it. Every mask I have ever tried has either done absolutely nothing or caused giant eruptions of zits all over. Perusing Pinterest one day, I saw this trick to remove blackheads – all you have to do is combine lemon juice (fresh works better) and baking soda. Upon further research, I read that people were using this all over their face. I had to try it. This cost-effective combo promotes clear skin and exfoliates like nothing you have ever used. It still hasn’t removed all of my blackheads – but hey – you can’t always get what you want.