MY SKIN CYCLING ROUTINE

We exfoliate, we use retinoid, we take care of our skin barrier, but still no progress?

Well, thanks to dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, now there’s SKIN CYCLING. Looking at these two days actives and two days resting kind of thing, then I realize my skincare routine sin. I use gentle peel toner every morning, and that is not right! Yes, even it is a gentle one like PHA. No wonder I felt my skin was not at its’ best condition, foundation won’t stick and my pores look bigger than ever with occasional acne on my forehead (which never happened before). 

So I started my Skin Cycling Routine, and these are all the products that I’m currently using for that four nights cycle. Yes, this method is for night time only. 

Night 1: Exfoliant

After I double cleanse, because I use makeup almost every day now, I pat dry my skin and go straight to chemical exfoliant. From my own experience, BHA works better on my skin, so I’m using the 2% one. But if your skin can tolerate other actives like AHA, you can continue using that. Top that off with (heavier) moisturizer, just to make sure our skin is protected. 

Revox B77 Just Salicylic Acid 2% & Cerave Moisturizing Cream (all safe for Fungal Acne)

Night 2: Retinoid

If you already using prescription strength Retinoid, you might want to continue using it. But if not, use a gentle one, an OTC kind. Same rule applies: double cleanse, pat dry (real dry!), apply retinoid then moisturizer. 

Kiehl’s Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum & Cerave Moisturizing Cream

Night 3: Recover

This is the step that we all have to be careful and read the ingredients on our skincare products. Make sure all of them are not containing any active ingredients. Double cleanse, use gentle cleanser, apply hydrating serum while skin still damp and moisturizer. 

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Ultra Repair Serum & La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide (all safe for Fungal Acne)

Night 4: Recover (again)

Same rule applies: double cleanse, gentle cleanser, hydrating serum and moisturizer. 

Vichy Mineral 89 & La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

How about morning routine when doing this skin cycling?

Pretty simple, I must say. Cleanse with gentle cleanser, anti-oxidant serum (my skin can only tolerate THD ascorbate at this point), light moisturizer (because we are still using mask due to pandemic here in Indonesia) and SPF. 

Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Serum, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide & Lancôme UV Expert Youth Shield Aqua Gel SPF50 PA++++

Like most skincare routine, do not expect miracles happened on the fourth nights. Look at it to accomplished long-term skin goals, not a quick fix. Good luck!

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

SKIN UPDATE: MASKNE & STUFFS

Long time no skin update, so here we go.

I sleep like this, yes like a grease-ball. Hydrate and moisturize are super important steps at night. Now that most of us are still half masked almost every day, taking extra care of our skin is a must. 

Thanks to my carefully self-curated fungal acne safe products, I haven’t been dealing with fungal acne ever again (and God forbids).  But, new problems arrived: blackheads on nose, maskne and big pores. 

Instead of attacking them with more active ingredients, I decided to keep it simple. Cleanse, tone and moisturize, plus sunscreen in the morning. I’m just going to let my skin heal by itself, because I know they can (you just have to trust the power of nature, really!)

If you’ve been following me, I used to apply retinol on the whole face every night. But these days, I only used it on my chin and below the nose where maskne usually appears.

Here are my currently used products, the simpler the better.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

[UPDATED] MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE (BEHIND THE MASK AND STAY AT HOME VERSION)

I have different routine for the mornings. One, if I go out and have to wear mask, and if I just stay at home all day. 

BEHIND THE MASK

Cleanse: with antibacterial face cleanser, to zap out bacterias on face before covering them with mask and create more problems.

Serum: use vitamin C serum, because skin also need anti-oxidant and we still want to glow behind the mask, yes?

Sunscreen: opt for a gel texture, to avoid any melting behind the mask.

STAY AT HOME

Cleanse: using gentle face cleanser, to avoid any dryness especially in this uncertain weather.

CSM on cheeks area for 10 minutes, which is great for redness and irritated skin.

Serum: using HA serum first, then layer with Niacinamide serum (5% or below to avoid irritation)

Moisturizer: using soothing gel, because it feels lighter on skin.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

[UPDATED] NIGHT TIME SKINCARE ROUTINE (NO TRETINOIN – FUNGAL ACNE SAFE)

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. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

[UPDATED] SUPER SIMPLE MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE 

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.

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

HOW TO GET HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN WITHOUT MAKEUP

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.

ME-BEFORE AND AFTER

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.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

HOW I PRACTICE SKINIMALISM

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):

CLEANSE

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. 

ACTIVES

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)

MOISTURIZE

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).

SUNSCREEN (AM)

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+++

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

5 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RETINOL

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. 

WHEN I STARTED IN AUGUST 2020, AND CLEARED UP IN OCTOBER 2020

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).

MY SKIN CONDITION (FEBRUARY 2021)

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. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE

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.

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA