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Skincare? Cleanse? Tone? Moisturize?


MariahSnow

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Hey ladies,

 

I know the "Making Faces" thread was a giant hit so I'm curious about starting one for skincare.

 

What kind of products do you use? Why? What have you found that works or doesn't work? Any ladies out there who use oil to cleanse their face?

 

I'll go first. I typically wash with Aveeno I think it's a "skin brightening" cleanser or something in a greenish bottle. I use the same moisturizer from that line when I can get my hands on it (sometimes it's in my gym bag, sometimes it's at home). If not, I pretty much use any moisturizer I can put my hands on, even the really greasy awful L'Occitane tube I have had in my desk for years. But I've been getting a bit of a make-up kick again and I'm actually wondering if I should do more for my skin... since I am approaching 30...

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I will follow this thread gladly, because I am constantly trying to figure out a skin care routine that works. I've also had similar thoughts as I approach 30 too!

 

Currently I use a homemade toner (thyme and alcohol-free witchhazel), which is supposedly good for acne-prone skin. I honestly cannot tell if it has helped me or not, but I *think* my breakouts have been fewer and less severe. I generally have hormonal outbreaks near the time of the month. I use it at night before bed and again in the morning after I shower.

 

At night I also use alpha hydox wipes (14%) because it's suppose to help with acne and sebaceous filaments (not blackheads but kind of look like them? I don't know, here's the reddit thread). Haven't seen any improvement there yet, but I've only been using them for about a month, so there's more time to see.

 

In the morning I also exfoliate in the shower, use my toner, then use moisturizer (I loved this argan pumpkin seed oil, but also use jojoba, coconut oil, or whatever is available in my bathroom/depending on the weather. Currently using this from Paula's Choice because it came in my birchbox last month), then sunscreen if it isn't in my makeup or primer, and finally primer before makeup. 

 

So yeah, my skincare routine is needlessly complicated and I'm not sure if I'm seeing improvements. I have combination/on the oily side skin with acne, but I'm beginning to suspect some dehydration issues too (which is why I have some dry areas despite the oily?). I also need to work at it from the diet front as well.

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Honestly, I've just simplified my routine drastically. I used to use super expensive Philosophy Purity cleanser and Philosophy Hope In a Jar moisturizer with a Clinique toner. My skin still sucked.

 

On the recommendation of a friend who works in a dermatologist's office, I switched to Cetaphil for face wash and moisturizer and ditched the toner. Inexpensive, soap free, and so far working well for me. Then again, since I switched around the time I started my Whole30 it's not an entirely fair comparison - I'm sure cleaning up my diet has helped too. 

 

Honestly, I don't think we need expensive products to have nice skin (with the exception of people who have a legitimate skin condition, of course). Take care of your diet, take care of your body, and your skin will start to take care of itself. Also, we're all going to get old and I think it's crazy to blow thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars over a lifetime to try to stop it by rubbing expensive stuff on our skin. Just my $0.02!

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When I started making my own soap my acne got noticeably better. I realized that the lack of parabens probably did a lot, so I've been making most of my skin products since then. I also put essential oils with anti-inflammatory/microbial properties in my soap.

 

I wash my face with that soap in the morning and moisturize with aloe vera gel. When I get home from work, and if I'm feeling extra oily sometime in the evening, I use a toner I made from white willow bark and witch hazel, then more aloe. If I wore makeup I take it off with remover I make with jojoba oil, witch hazel, water, and tea tree oil. This usually requires a quick wash with soap afterward.

 

I live a very healthy lifestyle and my acne still isn't clearing up as much as I would like, but I often forget to moisturize. I'm hoping that remembering the aloe regularly will help. I always get a bad breakout before my period so I suspect that my acne will never actually clear up unless I go back on Accutane. I did go to a dermatologist once but didn't appreciate their attitudes when I told them I wasn't on birth control.

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When I started making my own soap my acne got noticeably better. I realized that the lack of parabens probably did a lot, so I've been making most of my skin products since then. I also put essential oils with anti-inflammatory/microbial properties in my soap.

 

I wash my face with that soap in the morning and moisturize with aloe vera gel. When I get home from work, and if I'm feeling extra oily sometime in the evening, I use a toner I made from white willow bark and witch hazel, then more aloe. If I wore makeup I take it off with remover I make with jojoba oil, witch hazel, water, and tea tree oil. This usually requires a quick wash with soap afterward.

 

I live a very healthy lifestyle and my acne still isn't clearing up as much as I would like, but I often forget to moisturize. I'm hoping that remembering the aloe regularly will help. I always get a bad breakout before my period so I suspect that my acne will never actually clear up unless I go back on Accutane. I did go to a dermatologist once but didn't appreciate their attitudes when I told them I wasn't on birth control.

 

What is with Dr's using birth control to treat acne? When I was "acne-prone" as a kid, like 14ish, my Dr tried to put me on birth control. It just wasn't necessary, in my opinion because I didn't even think my skin was that bad and I certainly didn't think a good way to help my skin was to completely change my hormones. Seems really unnecessary. Accutane is a totally different story, and I've heard the full range of "it changed my life" to "it ruined my life". Anyway, I digress.

 

I've been getting some pretty hefty bonuses at work, so I decided to splurge. I went to Sephora and asked for help. My skin is oily and always has been but I also tend to get dry skin around my eyebrows (like uni-brow area), and on my chin. So I ended up with this Caudalie cleansing milk. I've actually always had a problem with "foaming" soaps, and actually tend to use shampoo without sodium lauryl sulfate in it, so why would I use that on my face? Anyway, a cleansing milk is kind of a massage/makeup remover in one that you rub into your skin and then wipe off with a wet wash cloth. Those familiar with the oil cleansing method would like milks, I think. Anyway, after that I have a Caudalie make-up remover cleansing water. This is basically a toner, just to remove anything I missed with the milk and hydrate the skin a put. Applied with a cotton pad. After that I went for Philosophy take a deep breath which is a gel-based moisturizer and felt really nice and rich to me. It doesn't have spf which is fine with me because I work in an office, and the Maybelline BB cream I bought earlier has SPF. I also epically splurged on some Caudalie eye cream and the woman at sephora was so proud and happy that I was asking about eye cream even though I'm young. Anyway, I'm excited to try it all out and see if I can get rid of some of this dullness.

 

I had acne as a teen with some scarring left over, but not much. For a long time I was washing (read: scrubbing) my face with really harsh cleansers, everything had salicylic acid in it, and I found that just made my skin worse. I actually switched to the Cetaphil/Purpose gentle soaps and that helped immensely! I've never really looked back and I find a lot of "acne" products in your typically drugstore are waaayyy too harsh, at least for my skin. I tend to agree with Ripple for the most part on skin routines. If you're heathly and your diet is good, then your skin should look good. Except mine doesn't. And I also feel that that's an oversimplification because it assumes a lot about your life that you can't control necessarily. If I lived in a place with crisp clean air and nice clean water, I think my skin would look radiant. But instead I live in a very smoggy, very humid environment. And I'm also pretty harsh to my skin, spending 40+ minutes in a highly chlorinated pool several times a week. And I think all that grime and all those chemicals can pile up on your skin.

 

Wow this is a long post. You might be asking, Mariah, what sparked this insane curiosity about skincare routines and products? Well, let me tell you. I worked a really, really boring shift yesterday in which almost nothing happened. Which means I turned to YouTube for entertainment and found myself watching video after video of Pixiwoos makeup tutorials. Those girls are so great and I love their accents. Anyway, I saw a related video to their chat with a woman named Caroline Hirons who is all about skin... check it out!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3tRjufnWr8

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I tend to agree with Ripple for the most part on skin routines. If you're heathly and your diet is good, then your skin should look good. Except mine doesn't.

 

Same here! I don't think there's much smog around here but it does get quite humid.

 

The doctor wasn't wanting to put me on birth control at that point--she was getting my medical history and assumed that a woman in her late 20s would be on birth control. When I said I wasn't she gave me a baffled "Why not???" I explained that I was not sexually active, had never been sexually active, and was not inclined to become sexually active in the near future, and her expression said that she figured I was lying. What she ended up prescribing me was some sort of hormone-level-fixing thing that didn't really help.

 

I took Accutane for about ten years. It did help a lot, but I finally got fed up with jumping through all the hoops it takes for females to get it. Again, they had a hard time believing that my two forms of birth control were "abstinence" and "abstinence."

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I took Accutane for about ten years. It did help a lot, but I finally got fed up with jumping through all the hoops it takes for females to get it. Again, they had a hard time believing that my two forms of birth control were "abstinence" and "abstinence."

 

I hate that. I'm married, and we use the Fertility Awareness Method, and my OBGYN still gives me the stink eye whenever I go see him. Umm hi... we've had one kid that we planned... pretty sure it's working.

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There is a road, no simple highway,
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And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

 

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Clean and Clear deep cleaning with micro scrubbers (morning and night), Neutrogena AHA anti-wrinkle cream in the morning before I put on my makeup (CC cream, light eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, tinted lip balm), Neutrogena light night cream before bed.

 

My skin's pretty clear - I get the odd little pimple once in a while, but for the most part it's really cleared up - I used to get big, painful cystular pimples on my chin when I was younger.

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I loooooove oil cleansing and make my own mixture that I vary based on the seasons and my skin. I use my clarisonic and then steam my face before massaging it off. I follow with witch hazel and rose water toner and my own custom face oil moisturizing mix (again mixed based on the season). I dab tea tree oil on any blemishes as I notice them starting. In the morning, I use Ponds original and then Aveeno skin-tone evening with SPF.

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Once or twice a year I'll get on a kick and think that I need to treat my skin better but then I always slide back into old habits. I mostly wash with whatever is in the shower in the morning (I rarely wash my face at night unless I'm taking a shower)--Dove, Dial, Suave shampoo, etc.--and then for moisturizer I tend to use whatever lotion is in the bathroom. Sometimes it is actual facial moisturizer (usually Oil of Olay or Aveeno) but, more often, it is the leftover hair cream residue that is on my hands after putting it on my hair. Today it was Lush Helping Hands lotion. I get compliments on my skin and people are horrified when they hear all of this. I usually tell them that I just have good skin genetics because I have no other explanation for it.

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I'll pipe in just in case it helps anyone ... I got to a point of using no skin care products. That's what ended up working for me. I try to get in the shower after every work out so my face gets really clean from water, as well as getting off any makeup I wore that day. Otherwise, I hardly ever wear makeup anymore either. (That may change with age!). Going completely product-free for me stopped the too-dry too-oily breakout/uneven skin tone cycle. It took about a month for me for my skin to even out naturally and get used to using nothing.

 

Every now and then I'll exfoliate my face with local honey and plain sugar. It's mostly for physical exfoliation that I use about once a month. If I wear a lot of makeup one night, I'll take it off with rubbing alcohol -- which is very drying and I use it very sparingly. Other products are probably better than that, but I'm cheap and since I don't need to use it very often, its what I stick with. :)

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Good idea, I was pondering this the other day. Why didn't I think of consulting the best resource on the planet? (that being nerd fitness of course)

 

I occasionally use honey / apple cider vinegar / almond oil as a cleanser / toner / moisturiser, but mostly while I was trying to stop using the useless array of commercial things. Now I'm a bit like WorkedTooHard, I just let my skin be unless it's really really dry or gunky. I also don't bother with make up, meaning I don't have to worry about trying to get it off. xD

 

think my minor case of the occasional pimple is less severe, but I struggle more with red patchy skin and scars from old pimples that I just can't leave alone then constant acne. My face and lips also get quite dry when I don't drink enough H2O. Any suggestions for fading patchy skin and old scars?

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Two words: Paula's Choice.

 

Seriously. It's the only stuff that doesn't make me break out and get rashy. I especially like their Skin Balancing products, though I use the resist serum. Right now I'm using the Skin Recovery cleanser, but trying to dry out my nose a little too much, so now I'm overproducing oil there. Once I've used it up, I'll go back to Skin Balancing. I've been trying to find a good wipe to use to remove my makeup, but so far all of them give me a rash. So, every night I use the cleanser, toner, AHA gel, serum, and moisturizer. In the mornings I will usually just splash my face with water and then use an indie product from One Hand Washes the Other called Black Magic (which, if your skin likes it, is amazing and I can't recommend it enough), then use the serum and moisturizer. It sounds like a lot, but my face is SO MUCH HAPPIER.

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Clean and Clear deep cleaning with micro scrubbers every morning and night followed by vaseline intensive care essential healing for moisturizer. I switched to this moisturizer a few months ago after I found a coupon for it at the grocery store. Since then I don't get break outs (unless it around that time of month), my skin has cleared up, become more smooth, and less dry and red. 

 

Also, once a week a do a baking soda scrub and use the tips of my fingers in a gentle circular motion. I never use the palms of my hands for scrubs since it can cause micro abrasions and irritate the skin.

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So we're in the dry air of winter out here.  I've given up on aggressive cleaning stuff in favor of moisture - basically I would rather have a small breakout than dry wrinkly skin.

 

I wash my face with warm water or warm + Dr. Bronner's bar soap and give it a little exfoliating scrub off with the towel.  I moisturize with whatever I get my hands on:  sometimes it's the fancy "seaberry oil" I bought for my face, sometimes it's Burt's Bee's body butter, and sometimes it's the giant vat of coconut oil.  The wind is really drying and I've noticed as I've cruzed through my 20's and hit 30, moisture is more important than anti-acne stuff.  I still breakout, but there are fewer big scary breakouts.

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I'm sort of obsessive when it comes to my skincare routine (damned cystic acne decided to reappear years after accutane). I'm allergic to most of the generic products, though. Here's a run-down of my daily routine:

 

Fall/Winter

Morning: Tone skin with Thayers witch hazel with rosewater. Apply Tea Tree oil to spots as needed. Moisturize with pure Argan oil.

Evening: Remove makeup with coconut oil; I warm the oil up in my hands and then slather my face, let it sit a minute, and remove the oil, dirt, and makeup with a soft, washable cloth. Following this I wash my face with local raw honey. This removes the last of the makeup and dirt. I then tone my skin with the rosewater witch hazel again and apply tea tree if needed. My cystic acne is connected to hormonal stuff so my doctor recommended taking Evening Primrose oil. It threw me off emotionally but did help the skin. I started applying it topically instead so I use that as my serum at night. Then I apply Argan oil again (face and neck)and a bit of pure whipped shea butter to any extremely dry spots (usually my cheeks). I also have eczema around my eyelids so I apply rosebud salve to my lids as well as lips. 

 

Spring/Summer:

Same as above but I use straight witch hazel instead of the rosewater kind and use Maracuja oil rather than Argan.

 

When my skin is really acting up I mix up a honey/clay mask with the raw honey and Rhassoul clay. I keep it on about ten minutes and then wash it off.

 

It's a lot I guess... but it keeps it fresh and in check.... and I don't break out in hives. xD

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Before I switched to a paleo diet, I had very oily skin and would break out with cystic acne on my chin before my period every month. Other spots were not too common after puberty ended. Now, I don't use any cleanser. Just water and some rubbing/massaging in the shower. Sometimes I use a tiny bit of baking soda as a scrub, but that can be a bit drying so I use Aveeno lotion after (just a little).

 

For spots that come up when my diet isn't great, I dab a little tea tree oil and keep my hands off. 

 

In the winter, my scalp gets super confused and my hair goes super dry. I'm trying some no-shampoo methods to try and deal with it. My face is suffering as well, getting super dry. I will probably try a very very light amount of coconut oil after showers. A little goes a long way, I've found. If I use too much, it clogs my pores and I break out.

 

Coconut oil also works well as a make-up remover! Just don't use it if you have a coconut allergy!

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I suck at skin care.

Soap to cleanse, usually an organic oatmeal soap or goats milk soap, found at a little place just down the road. If my skin feels yucky I use St Ives apricot scrub and moisturise with sorbolene or emu oil moisturiser.

I'm in my 40's and have changed my skin care routine not a jot since having kids with eczema and going organic for their sakes. I guess I am lucky though I have never had problem skin, my poor kids however weren't so lucky.

Wait! What............?

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For as much of a beauty product junkie as I am, it's shameful that I still haven't found a skincare routine that works for my finicky-ass skin. (Oily in general, but as I'm getting older, getting to be more combination, acne-prone, clogged pores, starting to be sensitive in a way it didn't used to be at all... yeah. That's fun.)

 

For right now, I am removing my makeup with either MAC wipes or MAC cleansing oil, both of which irritate the piss out of my eyes, unfortunately. But after that, I cleanse with philosophy Purity Made Simple, then moisturize with a thin layer of Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil (yeah, even on my eyes).

 

I'll keep using the oil, but trying to find a less irritating brand/product to remove my eye makeup.

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For as much of a beauty product junkie as I am, it's shameful that I still haven't found a skincare routine that works for my finicky-ass skin. (Oily in general, but as I'm getting older, getting to be more combination, acne-prone, clogged pores, starting to be sensitive in a way it didn't used to be at all... yeah. That's fun.)

For right now, I am removing my makeup with either MAC wipes or MAC cleansing oil, both of which irritate the piss out of my eyes, unfortunately. But after that, I cleanse with philosophy Purity Made Simple, then moisturize with a thin layer of Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil (yeah, even on my eyes).

I'll keep using the oil, but trying to find a less irritating brand/product to remove my eye makeup.

You could consider mixing your own - in small batches at first so you can eliminate anything that may be irritating your skin and eyes. http://wellnessmama.com/7569/skin-oil-cleansing/#comments

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You should be able to use olive oil or other cooking/skin oils you might have around to remove eye makeup. Jojoba and almond are both good choices, but more expensive. Maybe not castor oil because it's so sticky. Obviously you then have to wash your face to get the oil off, but it sounds like that's part of your routine anyway.

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*Pokes head in*

 

Regarding acne issues, obviously I'm a guy so it might be different for women, but I've had good luck with peroxide. I would take a hot shower, get my pores opened up, then get out and use a cotton ball to rub peroxide on. Seemed to help quite a bit...

 

It even seems to help if I spot check a pimple, just use a q-tip dipped in peroxide and hold it on the pimple, do this every so often and it seems to help it go away quicker.

 

Both are just observations, I haven't done much in the way of research on it..

 

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*Pokes head in*

 

Regarding acne issues, obviously I'm a guy so it might be different for women, but I've had good luck with peroxide. I would take a hot shower, get my pores opened up, then get out and use a cotton ball to rub peroxide on. Seemed to help quite a bit...

 

It even seems to help if I spot check a pimple, just use a q-tip dipped in peroxide and hold it on the pimple, do this every so often and it seems to help it go away quicker.

 

Both are just observations, I haven't done much in the way of research on it..

 

*leaves*

 

The probably works because peroxide will dry the skin out. I don't know why that helps heal pimples, but it does. Tea tree oil works in the same way, plus they both have antibacterial properties.

 

I've also read that it's good to finish your face cleansing routine by splashing cold water, to help the skin/pores tighten up and keep dirt out. Not sure if that's broscience though.

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The probably works because peroxide will dry the skin out. I don't know why that helps heal pimples, but it does. Tea tree oil works in the same way, plus they both have antibacterial properties.

 

I've also read that it's good to finish your face cleansing routine by splashing cold water, to help the skin/pores tighten up and keep dirt out. Not sure if that's broscience though.

I didn't have dry skin issues with doing peroxide, but I may have extra oily skin....

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My skin tends to break out horribly if I consume dairy, processed food, or fast food. So, when I am in the mood to care about my appearance/ skin, I try to avoid those things. Unfortunately, that seems to be all about crisis management for me; I break out and modify my nutritional choices for a while, then resume the cycle...I'm here hoping to fix that problem! [emoji12]

Usually, I use Lancôme for everything. They've got great products, but they cost a lot. My second choice is usually Estée Lauder's Hydrationist Line. If I'm in a pinch, I like Neutrogena. I scarcely use toner, but if I'm not exfoliating and moisturizing, I can see a difference!

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