First skin update of the year. Here’s my skin condition these days.
After I did Face Toning & Growth Factor treatment at Jakarta Aesthetic Clinic (consecutively on December 21 and January 22), I haven’t been using Tretinoin for awhile now. You see, after both treatments, we’re not allowed to do any exfoliation for two weeks. But after two weeks had passed, I can see and feel that my skin became less oily and no hormonal acnes shown up. So, I skipped Tretinoin for almost two months already. I guess my age also catching up with me, so I can feel my skin is getting more dry (hello mature skin), and I’m super prone to redness on my cheeks.
Here are the products that I’ve been using for my night time skincare routine lately (no worries, they are all safe for Fungal Acne):
CLEANSER: I use Micellar Water as first cleanse and face cleanser as second cleanse.
TONER: I don’t use toner with cotton pad at night, but I do 7 skin method. I know how it was so 2017, but so far so good with my dry skin. While skin still damp, apply serum immediately.
SERUM: Some people might have problems with Hyaluronic Acid. Fortunately, my skin drink them up well. Make sure it absorb well first, then spray with Thermal Water to make it slightly damp, before applying moisturizer.
MOISTURIZER: Last year, I was so into gel moisturizer. But in my current skin state, I prefer light cream texture.
It has been awhile, so I thought I’m going to update y’all about my current skincare routine.
I found this routine to be super effective on my fungal-acne prone and hormonal/adult acne prone skin. Especially I live in always hot and summer weather, plus using mask during the pandemic. If you notice, I do skip moisturizer step, just because I try to avoid clogged pores under the mask. But as I always mentioned, skincare is personal, so what work for me might not work for you.
Currently, I swear by these 4 products only:
1. Facial Cleanser: Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser My all-time favorite, one of the best basic face wash for sensitive skin. Unlike many who skip face wash in the morning, I just can’t. I wore Retinol at night and it feels icky and oily when I wake up.
2. Exfoliant Toner: Gallinée Face Vinegar It contains Lactic Acid, the gentlest member of AHA for sensitive skin. This toner will help to promote slightly more acidic environment on the skin, in order to make Vitamin C serum absorb better and work more effectively. If you dislike the vinegar scent, you won’t enjoy this.
3. Vitamin C Serum: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum It’s fungal-acne safe, non-irritant, and by far the greatest vitamin C serum that I’ve ever tried. Expensive, but worth it.
4. Sunscreen: Missha Aqua Sun Gel Spf 50+ PA++++ I’ve been using Skin Aqua brand for ages, but currently trying something new just for a change. It looks like milky white lotion but when applied, it won’t leave any greasy feel or white cast. So far I’m loving it.
Use antioxidants. There you have it, thanks for reading this post. Just kidding!
Don’t get me wrong, I do love makeup, but I love my skin more. No makeup will look good on blah skin, so I swear by this jargon: skin first, makeup later.
Trust me, our skin has the ability to glow naturally without any help from highlighter and such. It is up to you how to achieve it. But let me tell you one thing that I feel after hundreds of stay at home days, my skin glows like never before. Because I rarely went out, and if I did I’d wear mask, my skin is sort of free from environmental damages like pollution, sun, smoke and stress.
Here are some of my tried and tested antioxidants products:
Vitamin C, the superhero of antioxidant. If you have sensitive skin, avoid L-Ascorbic Acid, and opt for the less irritated vitamin C, THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate).
Retinoid, only for the brave (LOL). It’s my HG, and the truest meaning of ‘beauty is pain’. If you dare to purge and face that retinol uglies, for the sake of glowing and healthy skin 8 weeks ahead, you won’t regret it (seriously).
Niacinamide, great if you have blemish prone skin. Just make sure it’s 5% or below to avoid any irritation.
Hyaluronic Acid, which is not only for hydrating, people! It helps to prevent free radical damage and stimulates wound healing.
It’s not a cult, it’s just I want to save on money, time and unnecessary ingredients. Less products mean less waste too (great for this unwell world we live in).
Let’s focus on our skin needs, and what made them happy, because face it, skin are also a living organ. You know you, so pick the right ones for your skin.
Here’s my Skinimalism Routine (please note that they’re also fungal acne safe products):
No more cleansing oil and cleansing balm. If my skin felt super dirty and oily (usually after a workout session), then I’d just splash water on my skin and use micellar water before face cleanser. Mine: Bioderma Sensibio, Vanicream Gentle Cleanser.
What, no toner? Yes I skip toner and go directly to actives. Make sure your skin is completely dry before applying any actives. Mine: Azelaic Acid 20 Gel (AM) and Adapalene (PM)
I practice 3 steps moisture method by Olena Beley (click here for the details) After the active is completely dry, spritz (don’t splash) water to dampen (not wet) the skin, then quickly apply humectant followed by emollient. Mine: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum (humectant) and Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Soothing Gel (emollient).
Staying indoor for most of the time doesn’t mean that UV rays won’t catch us. They will cause collagen and elastin in our skin to break down. So, if you want your skin to stay firm and bouncy for longer, please do apply sunscreen. Mine: Skin Aqua UV Super Moisture Gel SPF 50+ PA+++
Got a few DM on my Instagram about Retinol, so I guess I’ll answer them here while also giving you update on my skin condition.
Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist, so these are totally based on my own personal experience.
Q: If I successfully cleared up acne after using Retinol, shall I continue using it or stop? A: Based on my own experience, I tried to reduce the usage to once every night. So on non-Retinol night, I’ll use other actives serums like AHA or BHA (depends on my skin’s condition).
Q: Will the acne be back even after you manage to clear them out using Retinol? A: As long as I’m alive, I guess I’d still have acne hanging around. My mom used to tell me that after I passed my teenage years, my acne would clear up by themselves. Well, they didn’t. Hormonal acne on chin area are the worst for me, so they’d pop out uninvited, no matter how clean I cleansed or how diligent I am with my routine.
Q: What’s the correct order to apply Retinol on one’s skincare routine? A: First thing first, use it at your night time skincare routine. Mine would be: double cleanse, hydrating toner, Niacinamide serum (just because it works well with Retinol), moisturiser then Retinol. If you’ve been following me, you’d probably know that I use two types of Retinol, Adapalene as base and Retinoic Acid as spot treatment. Please don’t apply them on their own, at least you can do is to mix with your moisturiser after cleansing.
Q: How about the skincare routine for morning, after using Retinol? A: Best that you can do is to treat your skin gently in the morning. Cleanse with gentle cleanser, use hydrating toner, moisturiser and never forget your sunscreen (even if you are not out and about like me).
Q: What type of Retinol are you using now? A: Evalen Adapalene Cream 0.1% and Vitacid 0.05% Retinoic Acid Cream. Adapalene went first for the whole face, then Retinoic Acid as spot treatment (on acne and acne marks). Both are local products, so they’re affordable.
Thought I’d be sharing you guys my current PM routine during these never ending #stayathome nights.
Disclaimer: this isn’t a one-size-fits-all routine. Remember, you know your own skin best!
First Cleanser: SULWHASOO GENTLE CLEANSING OIL Even though I didn’t wear makeup anymore since the pandemic began, but I still apply sunscreen in the morning. And I do feel it’s necessary to clean sunscreen with cleansing oil, even though I haven’t found cleansing oil or balm that are safe for fungal acne. But the trick is to rinse the first cleanser well with warm water then quickly continue to the next cleanser.
Second Cleanser: VANICREAM GENTLE FACIAL CLEANSER My new HG cleanser, for sure. I prefer gentle cleanser with the main and basic purpose, to cleanse. Yes, leave the actives on other products such as serum or ampoule. Gentle cleanser won’t strip our natural oil and disrupt skin’s microbiome that can cause irritation. Just use gentle cleanser like this if you are active with actives (you know what I meant right?).
Toner: ABILL FIRST STARTING TONER Again, a simple toner with very minimal ingredients list. I use the exfoliating toner for morning skincare routine, but never on nighttime. Because I will use prescription strength treatment, I try to keep the basic steps basic. I use cotton pad and never leave it dry until next step.
Moisturizers: VICHY MINERAL 89 SKIN FORTIFYING DAILY BOOSTER & KRAVE BEAUTY OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM With skin half damp because of the toner, I apply Vichy first then Krave. Great layers of hydration and emollient to make my skin ready for the next powerful stuffs.
Treatment: EVALEN KRIM ADAPALENE 0,1% &VITACID 0,05% RETINOIC ACID CREAM I can imagine if I don’t layer my moisturizers, I will end up ruining my skin since I use these two prescription strength treatment. Both are local brands, and it worked like a charm if you know how. I’m glad I took these while staying at home most of the time during the pandemic. And I guess seeing the result on my skin (bye clogged pores), I’ll use these continuously just to maintain.
Apologies for such long hiatus. Writer’s block, LOL.
In this post, I’ll share you what I currently use for morning skincare routine after using Adapalene & Retinoic Acid at night.
FYI, Adapalene & Retinoic Acid are two prescription-strength creams that will definitely open our pores, but they won’t exfoliate them. We still need help from exfoliating actives like AHA or BHA, in the morning. You can choose only one active in one product (like toner only or serum only), but if your skin can stand it, go all the way from toner to serum.
CLEANSER/MORNING MASK: SEBAMED CLEAR FACE ANTI BACTERIAL CLEANSING FOAM Contains Montaline C40 that will zap acne bacterias and Panthenol.
SERUM: DUVADERM CLARIFYING SERUM This contains 0,5% Molecular BHA
MOISTURIZER: SEBAMED CLEAR FACE CARE GEL & KRAVE OAT SO SIMPLE WATER CREAM As you know I’m on my 3 Step Moisture Method, that’s why I’m using double moisturizer after natural moisturizer which is water. Steer clear of any actives in the moisturizers’ ingredients lists.
SUNSCREEN: SKIN AQUA UV SUPER MOISTURE GEL SPF 50+ PA++++ It has been my HG because it didn’t trigger my Fungal Acne & Comedo.
This post is dedicated for my followers and readers who always think highly about my skincare budget (thanks but it’s not true).
I rarely purchased high-end products, if you can tell. I am more into K-beauty products, drugstore products and (lately) local products. And being a skinfluencer really helps on my budget a lot, especially if brands are sending me products that I can actually use (because they’re safe for FA) in in my skincare routine.
These are my current skincare products that I use everyday, and all of them in total cost me below IDR 2mio. Some of them are given to me, that’s how I save some money.
(Please note that prices may vary, most of them purchased on discount prices).
Tips on how to save:
Wait for discount, online or offline (trust me, there will be always that time).
Be a smart shopper on marketplace. Choose trusted sellers with the lowest price offered.
Trying a new product? Buy sample size first if available. Don’t buy share in jar/bottle please ( you might not know the hygiene of those).