Since using Adapalene & Retinoic Acid as a daily nighttime routine, I have been using gentle cleanser as my second cleanser for my PM routine.
Why gentle cleanser? I just don’t want to over-do my skin. I want to balance between the prescription-strength treatment and the actual skincare. Cleansers that are too harsh, might disrupt the skin’s barrier function. And I personally believe there’s no need to use second cleanser with actives, especially if we’re going to use actives in steps after cleansing, like toner and serum.
Scroll down for my favorites with each of its’ pros and cons ingredients.
If you’ve been reading my blog posts and follow me on IG, you’ll notice one thing missing from my skincare regime. It’s Vitamin C.
First, I don’t enjoy Vitamin C serums turn brown due to oxidation. To think about my hard-earned money, and it turned bad easily, I don’t think so. And that oxidation process is obviously a destructive process, so if you put that on your skin, it will cause further skin damage. Ouch!
Second, Vitamin C is a great anti-oxidant, but it’s possible to become a pro-oxidant when in contact with metal/iron. Unfortunately nowadays, iron is a significant pollutant in the air and water (according to the FDA), and that means our skin comes in contact with iron every day. So, if we apply Vitamin C and our skin comes in contact with the air, it was like inviting problems to occur.
Last but not least, Vitamin C is one tough cookie to be mixed with others in the skincare ingredients list. It should never mix with AHA, BHA, Retinol, and Benzoyl Peroxide. If you’re a fan of layering skincare like me, better watch out and read ingredients list very carefully.
Moral of this post, my skin can’t take a topical Vitamin C, especially in concentrated serum format. It broke me out, caused redness and it tingled badly. So I did some research online, and I did find some interesting facts. Apparently, antioxidants in skincare are BAD when they are in concentrated form and disrupt the body’s natural ability to fight off bacteria.
TIPS & TRICKS:
Use Vitamin C in other format than serum for lighter percentage. Personally I use GOOD MOLECULES NIACINAMIDE BRIGHTENING TONER. It contains 2-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (number 6 on the ingredients’ list), a quite stable form of Vitamin C
Try the serum as a dark spot treatment only. Resist the temptation to apply it all over the face. I had great success with GOODAL GREEN TANGERINE VITA C DARK SPOT SERUM, that helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots.
This is going to be a simple review, just because this moisturizer is that simple.
Simple ingredients’ list, simple packaging, and simple intended customers. Basically, those who want to simply moisturize without worrying that it’ll break you out or irritate you further. And the best part, it is safe for Fungal Acne! (Finally, a Krave Beauty product that’s safe for FA).
It fits right in to my current 3 Steps Moisture Method craze (thanks to Olena Beley who commented to my IG video earlier this month). Read here if you missed my post about Olena’s tips.
I use this as the final step of my hydrating steps, because it does contain Capric Triglyceride and Squalane, the perfect emollients to seal all in. And being on Adapalene journey, my skin also needs soothing moisturizer, so this just completes me, by having Oatmeal Extract as one of the ingredient. Yes, I also mix this with EVALEN Adapalene Krim 0.1% to reduce the concentration and lessen the risk of Adapalene’s side effects. And this moisturizer helped me a lot during my Adapalene’s nights (so far I’m only at week 1, but I’ll write about the journey soon).
Look at its’ luscious white and milky texture. It has no scent, and it just glides softly when applied. It also mix wonderfully with almost everything that I applied before it (actives, hydrating toner, humectant). It melts right away in contact with the skin, and absorb really well without leaving any film or dewy look.
It’s silicone free, gluten free, fragrance free and essentials oil free. For me personally, there are only two misses for this moisturizer, it still contains Butylene Glycol which has comedogenic rating (luckily it didn’t trigger mine). And the jar packaging. Being a practical girl, I don’t really dig plastic jar. It took a while for me to finally close the lid properly. I wish it comes in pump packaging instead.
This post was inspired by Olena Beley’s 3-step moisture method.
Let me explain my current #stayathome battle: clogged pores especially on chin and left cheek, less hormonal acne, and no fungal-acne attack.
For your information, I still try my best to stay away from non-safe for fungal acne skincare products, just because I know that yeast are still inside our lovely skin, waiting for the right time to strike again. So do acne bacteria. But the one that constantly evaporating from our skin is water. They call it TEWL, Transepidermal Water Loss. Just drinking water might not help for this situation. We all need moisturizer for our skin, not to put moisture into them, but to prevent them from evaporating moisture quickly. And Olena said, “Hydrated Skin is less prone to clogging”.
While I still do my other skincare routine, I inserted her 3-step moisture method. It is Water, Humectant, and Emollient. I really hope that if my skin is hydrated enough, maybe my clogged pores problem would be solved for good. Let see, while I will update you guys in a month time.
Here’s how I do it twice daily now (I literally just started, so mind me):
Start with water, because we shall never use moisturizer on a clean, dry skin. Instead of plain tap water (which I’m afraid our local water contains lots of unwanted chemicals), I prefer to wet my face after cleansing with Hydrating Toner. I use Abill First Starting Toner (which contains just 4 ingredients and totally feels like good water) that I pour inside a mist bottle, to make it spread nicely rather than just splashing. Making sure skin is only damp not dripping wet.
While still damp, apply humectant. Olena recommended Hyaluronic Acid or Sodium Hyaluronate (its’ salt). I use two pumps of Vichy Mineral 89, which contains Sodium Hyaluronate instead of plain HA (later on this matter, as I just found out that some people are reactive to HA).
Then quickly apply a pea sized only of emollients to seal the deal. Olena recommended ingredients like Capric Triglycerides or Squalane. Mine is Eau Thermale Avène Tolérance Extreme Emulsion, which contains those two (Capric and Squalane, how convenient).
Wait, WTH is active? It is the ingredient in a product that addresses our skin concern. It has been proven in a lab by research to change our skin in each of its’ own way.
Check the ingredients’ list on your skincare products, and you might found familiar actives such as Vitamins (A, C & E are the most common ones), Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, AHA, BHA, and Benzoyl Peroxide.
Based on my experience, I’d probably recommend not to use any actives if your fungal acne is still flaring up. The simpler your skincare routine is the better. But, if you decided to add one to your regimen, based on my own personal experiences, I’d recommend these:
EXFOLIATING ACIDS Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid. Lactic comes from lactobacillus which you might suddenly think of yoghurt. Well, this specific active might help to control the production of the yeast. Glycolic is a type of AHA (same like Lactic) that’s derived from sugar cane. Salicylic Acid is a BHA, known for reducing acne & keeping pores clear. You have to try which one is the best for your skin, though.
HYALURONIC ACID Also known as hyaluronan, it’s actually a substance that can also be found in our body and naturally produced by our body. It helps to hold water and keep our skin hydrated and plump.
NIACINAMIDE It is a water soluble derivative of vitamin B3, that help to visibly minimize enlarge pores, improve uneven skin tone and strengthen a weakened surface.
The downside of using active ingredients is the risk of potential adverse reactions, so it’s recommended to start with lowest concentration levels of actives.
Even though some actives are usually compatible with others, like Niacinamide with AHA, BHA or Vitamin C, better to go solo. Yes, use one active at a time due to FA attack.
Stick to the rules on when to apply each of them (day or night or twice in a day), do not go overboard.
So, we believe we’ve done a good and proper skincare, even when this world looks like it’s going to fall apart. But still, clogged pores are haunting our skin. Welcome to my club!
Whitehead, blackheads, comedo, whatever they name it, that’s our skin being congested. Thanks for the lethal combination of oil, dead skin cells, dirt, debris, and bacteria.
Read on to find out what’s the best & the worst thing that we can do to combat congestion during this crazy time.
SAY BYE TO COMEDOGENIC INGREDIENTS You can analyze your skincare ingredients on cosmily.com to see if they are comedogenic or not, and then try to part with them gradually. Famous comedogenic ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Mineral Oil, Lanolin.
INSIDE COUNTS Over-active oil glands can also be triggered by hormones, poor gut health and diet. As much as I hate to say this to myself, try to eat more veggies and fruits. And limit those sugar intake (being a sweet tooth myself). You can also add supplements for skin’s health.
WATCH OUT FOR THE SUN…SCREEN Chemical UV-blocking agents might cause clogged pores. Yes, mineral sunscreens and waterproof ones might leave our skin with clogged pores. But do not skip them, like..ever. Again, I recommend to check the ingredients for non-comedogenic sunscreen.
Always double cleanse at your PM routine. I use cleansing oil with high Linoleic Acid and cleansing gel as second cleanser.
Exfoliate. I prefer BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid), a chemical exfoliator that will help loosen dead skin cells. Salicylic Acid is the most common one, so try to look for it in the ingredients list. If you are new with this, try the low dose first (0.5%) then gradually move up to 2%.
Use Retinol to increase skin cells turnover. It can also reduce our sebum production.
OK, this is tricky, folks. If you ask me “do I need to buy face mist?”, I’d probably say “No”. Because, if you’re on a budget (like me), I personally believe that you don’t need to purchase one. You can easily create your own face mist by putting your regular hydrating toner inside a mist bottle, and voila!
But, if you currently using hydrating toner (the type that you have to pour from the bottle and pat), you’d probably will love using these for their practicality. Let see: pour and pat, OR spray and leave? Which one will you choose?
Both of them are Fungal-Acne Safe (yeay!) and roses scent fans, you can thank me later.
Let’s begin with:
TRILOGY HYDRATING MIST TONER
It’s a NZ brand
Claim: instantly delivers moisture to thirsty skin. Leave skin toned, cooled, hydrated and dewy.
Can be use as toner, makeup prep and makeup setting spray.
Great for hot humid climates
How to use: Hold at least 30cm away from the face and gently spritz. Allow mist to dry naturally. Or you can spray them onto a cotton pad and wipe.
Price: IDR410K for 100ml
HERITAGE STORE ROSE WATER
It’s an US brand
Claim: calms redness, tones & soothes skin.
Minimal ingredients: only two listed, Purified Water and Damask Rose.
Formula hasn’t changed since 1969 (very reassuring for me).
No coloring, no alcohol, no preservatives, no sulfate and phthalates.
Can be used as hair, scalp & body mist.
How to use: Hold at least 30cm away from the face and gently spritz. Allow mist to dry naturally. Or you can spray them onto a cotton pad and wipe.
Price: IDR65K for 59ml
MY THOUGHTS: – Both of them use essential oils (Trilogy has 3 of them, while Heritage Store only 1), so if you are sensitive to essential oils, better watch out. – Trilogy gives that dewy look more than Heritage Store (just like they claimed). Dry skin will love Trilogy for its’ hydrating ability. – Personally, I love to put them inside the refrigerator, for extra coolness on a very hot day. – Trilogy comes with a glass bottle, while Heritage Store in plastic. – In term of sprayer, Trilogy is way better than Heritage Store, just make sure not to go overboard while spraying.
Unlike some people who don’t think it’s important, I do enjoy using toner and will never stop using it.
Some use toner for that pH balancing purpose, but I believe my skin is clearer (free from oil plugs and such) when I use one. And I can definitely judge the effectiveness of my cleansers, just by looking at how dirty my (soaked with toner) cotton pads. I found it very satisfying.
Personally I prefer toner with no scent and water-like in texture.
Here’s some of my favorite Fungal-Acne Safe Toner, and I include the ingredients analyzed by cosmily.com (which I thought is more detail than skincarisma.com)
Literally like water with no viscosity, no scent too!
Perfect to use with cotton pads. No matter how I cleaned my face, my cotton pads will get dirty somehow when I use this toner.
Big size (500ml). Perfect size for toner fans like me, and it’s very affordable.
It is a gentle exfoliating toner, so I don’t recommend this for toner masking.
Great if you have whiteheads and sensitive skin. It didn’t sting at all.
No Butylene Glycol inside, so it won’t trigger comedo.
Same thing, literally like water with no viscosity and no scent.
Only 4 ingredients inside, which I love.
Can be use as first toner with cotton pads, or if you’re using exfoliating toner, use this as hydrating toner with no pads.
Or you can use it for toner masking, it is that gentle.
Affordable price but not much of my local online shops here carry this brand.
Great daily toner, feels just like water with no scent and no viscosity.
To be use with cotton pads as first toner. Somehow, I always see dirt left on cotton pads when I use this.
Recommended for sensitive skin.
It’s a drugstore brand, but they don’t have this officially where I live. But some online shops do carry this from neighbors’ countries like Singapore or Malaysia.
PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA & SCREENSHOT FROM COSMILY.COM
Disclaimer: this is not a comparison review, but both are Vegan.
I agree when someone said “Serum is like the Couture of skincare”. And just in case you are still wondering, serum and ampoule are basically the same. Both belong to the same step, after essence and before emulsion/moisturizer. But I believe, ampoules are slightly thicker than serums, so in accordance with the thinnest to thickest rule, always apply serum before ampoule. And according to Director Pi, if you already use Essence in your skincare routine, you can skip the Ampoule.
ALPHA-H VITAMIN B WITH COPPER TRIPEPTIDE SERUM You know how I love their Liquid Gold, so when Sephora Indonesia had a (rare) sale, I know I have to purchase this too. This vitamin serum contains powerful natural antioxidant Chia to assist in plumping and hydrating, plus Ferulic Acid (extracted from Rice Bran Oil) to help diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone. And of course, it has Niacinamide (you know it’s my favorite too) and Copper Tripeptide (Copper with Amino Acids) to prevent premature ageing and promote elasticity.
They recommend to apply twice daily, but considering the hefty price tag, I’m using this at my PM routine. I can say this is the ‘do it all’ serum for me, for its’ ability to prevent moisture loss, regulates excess oil, boost skin immunity and reduce hyper-pigmentation.
Price IDR787K for 25ml
Full Ingredients List: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Methyl Gluceth-20, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Wheat Amino Acids, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Lactobacillus Ferment, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydroxyproline, CI 42090 (Blue 1)
ROVECTIN LHA BLEMISH AMPOULE I guess this launch earlier this year, but stay under the radar. But I believe this deserve some attention, people!
It doesn’t use purified water as their main ingredient, but they use 85% of Neroli Flower Water Extract, known to help soothe and calm skin with its anti-inflammatory properties.
As the name stated, it contains LHA, excellent yet gentle exfoliant (with pH 5.5) to combat clogged pores. So gentle, it can be use day and night everyday.
Texture is thick like a light gel, that’s why it’s easy to use as a spot treatment. But, I dislike the droplet as it’s slightly hard to pick up, and the size (it’s only 15ml). Other than that, I love everything about this ampoule. It instantly calms down the redness of a huge pimple within hours. Might be a bit sticky at the first application but after it absorb, it feels like nothing on my skin. Will definitely repurchase this, and using it only as a spot treatment.