Hello beautiful people

I posted an update regarding my skin on Instagram recently. The quarantine has allowed me to do the full program every day and I am delighted about the current condition of my skin. And no, it wasn't always like this, I didn't always have good skin. My teenage years were plagued with acne, really bad, pizza face level acne. Luckily it was hormonal so I was able to clear my skin with pills. If you do have severe issues I advise you to see a dermatologist first to find the root of the problem.

The products I recommend in this post has worked for my skin type, which is oily & dehydrated. It might not work for you but you will discover some good brands. Then you can look for a product that's made for your skin type within the said brand. I don't use any products that specifically target anti-aging as I am 23 and don't need it yet. But lots of products I mention do contain ingredients that have an anti-aging benefit. None of the brands in this post will break the bank, in fact, all of them are pretty affordable. I will cover my favorite face masks in another post.

for the Glow

Pixi - Glow Peel Pads

These are my favorites when it needs to be quick or whenever I would travel. It contains glycolic acid, which has the smallest molecules in the AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) family. This allows for easy absorption. It also means that it can reach deeper layers of our skin. Additionally, its ability to remove dead skin cells prevents clogged pores, which would turn into blackheads & acne if left untreated. The pads feature a slightly textured surface as well to provide a mild mechanical peel.

Pixi - Glow Tonic

You probably heard about this one already. It's the cult glow tonic with glycolic acid for daily use. I already mentioned the benefits of glycolic acid above. This Toner contains 5% of it and therefore can be used daily without any hesitation. I use this in the evening and a hydrating or refreshing toner in the morning as acids does make the skin more vulnerable to sunlight. For that reason, I don't incorporate any products with acids in my morning routine. However, you can use it during the day time, just make sure you're wearing SPF. It also includes a range of different skin-conditioning ingredients to moisturize the freshly exfoliated skin.

The Ordinary - 30% AHA 2% BHA Peeling solution

This blood-red elixir looks very scary upon the first gaze but it's actually magic in a bottle when it comes to textured skin. I saw results after the first use! The Ordinary added hyaluronic acid as a build-in hydrating agent and vitamin B5 that promotes healing. If you don't have any acids in your routine, I would recommend you to start with other less concentrated acidic products first, as your skin needs to build a tolerance. I don't use this product in the morning since the acidity does make my skin sensitive to the sun.

Clinique - Pep-Start 2-in-1 exfoliating cleanser

This 2-in-1 product acts as a cleanser and mechanical exfoliant. 2-in-1 products will save you a lot of time. I don't do much in the morning, mainly because I prefer to sleep more. For that reason, I use products that allows me to be quick. Mechanical peeling only exfoliates the surface layer of the skin. I use it as a spot treatment too, when I see some dead skin that are already on the verge of peeling off.

for Hydration

The Ordinary - 100% Plant-derived Squalane

I was struggling to find a product before that hydrates my skin enough during the winter and still won't break me out. Then I discovered the miracle ingredient that is squalane. Due to the fact that it is identical to our body's natural oil, squalane absorbs quickly without leaving a film of oil on your face. It is also one of the few extremely moisturizing ingredients that are suitable for all skin types. Long-term usage promotes collagen production so it even has a bit of anti-aging effect. The Ordinary's version is so pure that it only has one component, which is the plant-derived Squalane.

Clinique - Moisture Surge

There isn't really much to say about this product other than the fact that it just works. It's available in a lightweight version for normal to oily skin, and in a rich version for dry to very dry skin. The formula contains both humectants (attracts water) and emollients (soothing), plus a variety of different antioxidants.

The Inkey List - Polyglutamic Acid

This is brand and product is a recent discovery of mine. Polyglutamic acid boosts the production of natural moisturizing factors in our skin. It holds approximately 4'000 - 5'000 times its weight in water, which is 4-5 times more than hyaluronic acid. Despite popular beliefs, it isn't in competition with hyaluronic acid, quite the opposite, in fact, they are great companions. Hyaluronic acid penetrates into deeper layers of the skin while polyglutamic acid archives more surface-level hydration. In addition, it helps hyaluronic acid break down less quickly, so your skin can stay hydrated for a longer time.

Caudalie - Organic Grape Water Spray

For the longest, the perception of facial mists has been rather negative. They are deemed as a gimmick or simply expensive water. I believe they've been misunderstood. Facial mists aren't supposed to achieve miracles, especially not on their own. They are complementary to more concentrated products. Furthermore, since a spray will go all over your face, meaning the eye area too, the selection of actives that can be used is pretty small. For that reason, it also can't be too concentrated to avoid irritation. This spray only has essential ingredients. It can be used with humectants to increase the skin's hydration level or to refresh.

L'occitane - 3-in-1 Delicious Multi-Balm

I've been using this balm both as my personal lip care as well as my kit staple. The balm melts upon contact with the warmth of the lips and restores moisture within minutes. Apply before doing your makeup and by the time you're done, you will have extra soft & smooth lips. It can be used as a lip primer when applied thin or as an overnight lip mask when applied thick. The formula, which is rich in occlusives (seals moisture), helps to prolong the effect of the balm.

for troubleshooting

Kiehl's - Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner

While this product is primarily marketed towards dry and sensitive skin it has done a great job with my oily skin. Alcohol-free means no stripping of your body's natural oils and damaging the moisture barrier. This toner contains a mix of humectants and emollients. The reason why I put this product under troubleshooting is because I use it as a toner mask (sheet mask soaked in toner) after extractions. It helps to calm my irritated skin and tighten the pores.

The Inkey List - Caffeine Eye Cream

Caffeine is not only a great pick-me-up when ingested but also for your skin. It restricts blood vessels and by doing that, reduces inflammation and puffiness. Please note that caffeine only helps if your dark under-eye circles are caused by puffiness. If there are other underlying issues then this unfortunately not the solution. One disclaimer I have to put out there is that caffeine is not a treatment to cure puffiness, much like flu medication it just helps to ease the symptoms.

The Ordinary - Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

Since I am aiming to have glass skin, I definitely need a product in my routine that evens out my complexion. Similar to other highly effective products that show instant results, this suspension isn't very gentle. Due to the fact that it is a very concentrated vitamin C formula, I recommend using it diluted with a moisturizer at first. The suspension feels a bit gritty upon application as it does contain L-Ascorbic Acid powder (Vitamin C), buts it fades quickly. At the end it's all worth it 'cause my skin looks plump & glowy ever since I started using it.

Biore - Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser

I picked up this cleanser out of curiosity because I really like Asian brands and seeing Biore in your local drugstore in Europe was very unexpected. Unlike many other cleansers made for oily skin, it does not make my skin feel like it has lost all the moisture after use. A Common issue with oily skin cleansers is that they're too aggressive. This may trigger your skin's natural defense mechanism to produce more sebum in order to compensate.

*This post contains affiliate links. You won't pay more and I certainly won't retire early from the profit. But it might pay for the diet coke I drink while writing :D


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