leo’s combination skin care routine

*Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or skin care specialist; I simply want to share what has been working for me! This might not work for everyone.* 

Some things to note before reading my routines: 

  • You may have combination skin if you notice that you produce an excess of sebum (natural oil) around your nose, chin, and/or forehead yet have drier skin in other facial areas. 
  • Problem areas I am addressing with my routine are blackheads, acne, and small forehead acne. I do not have sensitive skin.
  • Here are product recommendations that work for me. As always, I recommend doing one’s research to better understand what one’s skin needs.

Morning Routine

  1. In the morning, I like to wash my face with a gentle & mild cleanser. For the mornings, I don’t have much to clean off, so I avoid deep cleansing. Currently, I am using the Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar [~$3].

This bar helps wash away the excess sebum in your face that could clog your pores. If I am using my hands, I like to rub the bar on my palms and create foam before massaging my face. This cleanser contains glycerin, a substance that helps contain the moisture in your skin. My skin does not feel slimy or icky after I use this product. 

  1. A tool that I have fallen in love with is my Mia Clarisonic Prima Facial Cleansing Skincare Device[~$99]. The Clarisonic brush penetrates deep into your skin to cleanse your face with the product of your choice. A more budget-friendly alternative is the EcoTools Facial Cleansing Brush [~$6]. When you use either tool, be sure to use it in a gentle manner. (I cannot emphasize how gently you should use these tools.) 

You want to wash your face using small circular motions; One to two minutes is enough. If you feel as though your skin gets irritated with daily use, cut back usage. If irritation persists, I would recommend looking into a silicone face massager instead. Either way, these tools are meant to provide a deeper cleanse than if you were to just use your hands.

The benefits of a facial brush are the following: 

  1. The gentle exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that clog pores or make the skin appear patchy. 
  2. The bristles help the product you are using to penetrate the skin in a more effective manner. For instance, with the brush, cleansers with salicylic acid are able to help break down the oils clogged in your pores.
  3. After cleansing, I spray my face (avoiding my eyes) using Thayers Witch Hazel Astringent with Aloe Vera Original (~$11).

Comments on witch hazel:

  1. Witch hazel has antibacterial components and helps with irritated and inflamed skin. 
  2. As a toner, witch hazel also helps remove sebum and address mild acne. But, do not apply to the drier areas of your skin, as it could make it drier. If dryness is an issue, get an alcohol-free version.
  3. Also, avoid the eye area (your eyelids and under the eyes).
  4. I then apply my moisturizer: CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion (~$13).

This moisturizer has Hyaluronic acid in it, which helps retain the skin’s moisture throughout the day. It’s light and does not leave the skin feeling sticky or heavy! 

  1. Finally, to finish off and go about my day, I like to add sunscreen. Sunscreen is super important. I will need to write a whole new article to explain just how important it is. But for now, I will recommend Neutrogena’s Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55 (~$12).

This sunscreen is easy to blend and does not leave you with blue or white traces. You can apply this product generously, and it won’t look greasy once it sets in. Although I have not noticed any breakouts from using this product, it is important to note that you should wash your sunscreen off at the end of the day!

Night Routine

  1. To begin, I like to use my Mia Clarisonic with my Bioré Charcoal Cleanser (~$6).

The salicylic acid in this product has helped reduce the blackheads in my nose and chin area. Blackheads are caused by clogged pores that have dirt and oils trapped. The salicylic acid helps break down the oils and unclog the pores. If you are a first-time user of cleansers with salicylic acid, try to incorporate this product into your routine gradually. You do not want to dry out your face or irritate it. 

Although the Bioré Charcoal Cleanser has been working for me, I plan on switching to the CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser (~$13) once I finish my Bioré product. The reason for this switch is because CeraVe has salicylic acid as well as hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide. Niacinamide helps make pores smaller in size, among other skin benefits. 

Tips for washing your face

Before washing your face, splash your face with warm (not hot) water to open up your pores. Then, with warm water, create a foam with your product and wash your face. When you are finished, rinse your face with cold water to close the pores you just cleaned. 

  1. Every other day I like to use The Ordinary’s Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% (~$6) on my forehead and chin.

Niacinamide, according to The Ordinary, helps reduce the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. 

  1. I then spot treat with Thayers’ Lemon Blemish Stick (~$9). I roll the product on any small blemishes that you may want to peek through. This product contains tea tree oil which is known to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help treat acne. Some people even use it to reduce acne scars!    
  2. Lastly, I like to moisturize my face with the same CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion from the morning.

That’s my routine! Stay tuned for my recommendations for face masks and other skin care/makeup tips!

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