26 July 2017

My Skincare Routine: Combination + Acne Prone Skin

I have been wanting to write this post for you all for quite some time now. However, I really wanted to find a skincare routine that worked for me first. That was easier said than done and then I decided to wait 12 weeks before being able to tell you all that my results have been maintained and my skin just keeps getting better. I had some new skincare brands that I was trying and through this specific combination, I have been able to enjoy acne-free skin for the past 3 months. This has personally been a huge breakthrough for me and I am so happy with the products that I have been using over this time. I have combination skin that is oily through my t-zone and normal/dry throughout the rest of my face. I also have hormonal acne around my mouth and chin. This is certainly my biggest problem area. If you'd like to know what products I use to keep my skin clear and how I use them, please keep reading!

So one of the biggest things that I implemented with my skincare routine was literally starting back from scratch and creating a brand new routine. Despite having products that historically had worked for me in the past, I knew the combination I was using just wasn't right since I was continually breaking out, with my skin looking its worst especially before my periods. I would often have 5-6 breakouts around my chin and mouth all at one time.

Luckily, I did lots of research and found two new skincare brands to try, while looking for brands that were free from harsh chemicals and also not overly complicated! The two brands I found were Danish Skincare and TruSelf Organics. I'll chat more about the specific products from these brands that I have incorporated into my skincare routine below.

Morning Routine

My morning routine is honestly super simple. Why overcomplicate things? I use the TruSelf Organics Clear Skin Foaming Cleanser to remove any oil or dirt that has built up over night. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling super soft and clean. I thought I hated foam cleansers but this one has completely changed my mind. Some of the ingredients in this cleanser include coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, aloe vera leaf juice, tea tree oil and shea butter.

I follow up the cleanser with the Danish Skincare Perfect Skin Day Protector* which is a day cream filled with vitamin A, aloe vera, green tea, buckthorn, chamomile, cucumber, vitamin B5, vitamin E and allantoin. These ingredients combine to make it a super nourishing (but not greasy) daytime facial cream. It is designed for acne-prone skin and does not clog pores or feel heavy on the skin. It is calming to the skin and also contains SPF15 so you are protected throughout the day.

Evening Routine

My evening routine is the time when I put in a little more effort and use products to specifically treat my acne and acne scarring. I enjoy setting aside 10-15 minutes to remove my makeup and go through this routine each night.

First up, I've been using the TruSelf Organics Clear Skin Foaming Cleanser again to remove my makeup. No need for another cleanser, this one works amazingly well at removing makeup because of the oils it contains which work to break down makeup so easily. I wet my hands, use 2 pumps and it quickly emulsifies and leaves my face feeling squeaky clean.

Next, I use the Danish Skincare Smooth Skin Treatment* which has completely replaced all my facial scrubs and chemical exfoliants. This one is specifically a treatment to deep clean the skin and remove dead skin cells. It contains 2% BHA (salicylic acid) and niacinamide to improve skin's collagen production and improve texture. This product has been a game changer for me and I believe it has significantly reduced my breakouts and improved my skin's previously bumpy texture. You apply by adding some liquid to a cotton round just like you would with a toner.

The next product is specifically for my acne scarring, so if you don't have acne scarring you could potentially skip this one. The Skinstitut Rejuvenate 15 Serum* accelerates skin renewal and contains vitamin A, aloe vera, as well as antioxidant vitamins and minerals. I have found this product has significantly reduced my acne scarring and redness and I will continue to use this to help even out my skin.

Finally, the last product I use is this moisturiser. The TruSelf Organics Ocean Mineral Moisturiser is my go-to moisturiser and can be used during the day or night but since this one only contains SPF 6, I prefer to use it in the evening. It is lightweight, yet feels super nourishing and hydrating to the skin. This product is designed for dry to combination skin and contains aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil, green tea and ocean mineral complex.

Optional Extras

So the AM and PM routine is definitely non-negotiable. I have remained committed to that routine for the past 3 months and rarely forget to use these products. The products you see here are some extras that I generally do use, but I add them in when/if needed as I see fit.

The Swisse Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask has been my favourite facial mask for a long time. I have already gotten through an entire pot of this stuff so I know how good it is. It contains aloe vera, white clay, honey, seaweed, salicylic acid, and eucalyptus. The mask is very detoxifying but doesn't leave my skin feeling tight or dry. I use it once a week and it also works well as a spot treatment.

Second, the Clinique All About Eyes is my favourite eye cream. I generally use this each night along with my PM routine, but I didn't think it needed to be included in my core routine. This eye cream is super gentle, but feels rich and nourishing which I love. This is a cream/gel formula that works to reduce dark circles and under eye puffiness. It contains mulberry root extract, olive fruit extract, and green tea extract. It feels cool and calming on the skin.

Finally, I love love love the Skinstitut Multi-Active Mist* to use morning or night. I generally use the mist as the very last step in my routine before I go to sleep. I love the way it smells and how it feels on my skin. This mist works to improve skin radiance, texture and tone. It is also super hydrating as it contains vitamin B3, ginseng, green tea and licorice root. This works well under or over makeup or on bare skin. I am onto my second bottle so definitely a yes from me!


BEFORE: 8th April 2017

As you can see from my BEFORE picture, which to be honest is quite embarrassing, my acne was very much concentrated around my hormonal areas of my chin and mouth. Although the acne wasn't all over my face, I found it very debilitating and lowered by self-confidence significantly, even with makeup on. My skin's texture was extremely bumpy and inflamed.

AFTER: 22nd July 2017

In the AFTER picture, my skin definitely isn't perfect but I can see a drastic improvement. The redness you see in my cheeks is from mild rosacea which I have always had. You can see around my chin and mouth area that I have no active breakouts, and just some acne scarring which has already faded significantly. My skin's texture, although difficult to tell from a picture is much smoother and more refined. 

Overall, I'm super happy with my current skincare routine and I hope that this post might help you to discover a new product or two that you'd like to incorporate into your own routine. Starting off from scratch allows you to slowly build new products into your routine each 1-2 weeks. I started off with just the cleanser, and moisturiser, then built up additional products from there. This ensured that I could immediately tell if any product was causing my skin to react badly. Now, even during peak hormonal times, I am barely breaking out and if I do get a blemish, it is gone within 1-2 days and much less severe/inflamed compared to how it was previously. 

A good skincare routine is imperative if you want your makeup to look the best that it can! I am a big advocate for using high-quality skincare products so I hope this post was useful to you to give you some more information into the products that I find helpful. Be sure to do your own research and try samples where you can. Most importantly make sure you allow at least 4 weeks before you look for results because skincare takes time and you need to be consistent.

PS: All products mentioned are cruelty-free, except the Clinique Eye Cream. If you have any other eye cream suggestions from CF brands, please let me know! 

What are your favourite skincare products at the moment? 
What has your biggest game changer product been?

*This product was sent to Bows & Pleats for consideration. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. For more information please read my 
disclaimer. This post was not sponsored.

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