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

MORNING AFTER ADAPALENE & RETINOIC ACID

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. 
  • TONER: HADA LABO TAMAGOHADA MILD PEELING LOTION
    This contains Gluconic Acid 
  • 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. 

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY CURRENT SKINCARE PRODUCTS COST ME …. ???

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.

ONLY IDR 52K!

(Please note that prices may vary, most of them purchased on discount prices).

0 MEANS IT WAS GIVEN TO ME BY BRAND

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).

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

MY ADAPALENE JOURNEY (WEEK 1 OUT OF 12)

Since July 29 2020, I’ve introduced Adapalene into my routine.

After a lot of careful thoughts and hundreds of YT reviews that I’ve watched while #stayathome, I finally decided to just go for it. Should’ve started earlier since the beginning of this pandemic though, so it might resolve my skin problems earlier. But, better late than never, right?

If you’ve been following me on my IG and reading my blog, you’ll know my never ending fight with acne, from fungal acne back in 2018 until adult and hormonal acne (especially on chin area) in 2020. I think I have tried mostly everything, AHA, BHA, LHA, PHA … you name it! I’ve used Retinol (Drunk Elephant) and of course they are all different in what they do. Over The Counter Retinol might has fewer side effects, but it takes several months to a year for visible results. Meanwhile, Adapalene, which is a Retinoid, is way stronger, making it an ideal treatment for acne.

I’ve had the urge to try Adapalene before, but never had the courage. The risk of purging heavily for 12 weeks, really put me off by that time (that was before this pandemic #stayathome situation).

But now, who knows when this pandemic is going to end? While staying at home all the time, I guess this is the right time for me to start Adapalene, with all its’ risks. If I have to go out, I’d wear mask anyway and cover the bad purging situation.

Since I’m on a saving mode, I decided to use a local Adapalene instead of imported ones. I’m using EVALEN KRIM ADAPALENE 0,1%, it’s very affordable (IDR52K for 10gr tube). They also have this in gel format, but after I saw some reviews, I decided to use the cream version. I believe cream forms are gentler with lesser side effects.

Now, I’m going to share with you guys my skin progress on week one (I will update again on month one, so stay tune).

MY START FACE: OIL PLUGS ON LEFT CHEEK & CHIN
DAY 1

DAY 1: Was the hardest, seriously. I was paranoid all night that I’d wake up with angry zits all over my face. But, turned out, NOT! Only two zits felt really itchy, red, swollen and ready to be pop. So I use acne patches on those two.

DAY 2

DAY 2: Apparently but those two zits with puss just didn’t budge with acne patch, so (don’t follow me) I decided to pop them. Of course, I left myself with two huge PIE aka red acne marks on my chin.

DAY 7

DAY 7: I decided to show my weekly (not daily) progress on my IG stories highlight. BTW, on day 5 I decided to apply Evalen every night for more speedy progress, since (thank God) I didn’t experience any bad irritation. Turned out, those oil plugs on my chin will either became blackheads or pustules. Which I think was great, because blackheads and pustules are easier to pop (either intentionally or unintentionally).

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:

  • Start with every other night application for two weeks, than use it every night after that.
  • Don’t do it on daylight. Always apply at night time before bedtime only.
  • Better to apply and sleep with it in an Air-Con room.  
  • I strongly suggest to do 3 step moisture method beforehand. Read here on how to do it.
  • Mix Adapalene with your moisturizer with 1:2. So one drop of Adapalene mix with two drop of moisturizer. This is a way to buffer Adapalene in order to lessen the effects of irritation and such.
  • Wait for your other skincare to dry before applying.
  • Avoid areas such as eyes, around the nose and lips.
  • Make sure you generously moisturize and apply sunscreen the morning after.
  • Stay away from physical or chemical exfoliants which can lead to over-exfoliation.
  • Be patient, just like pandemic, everything takes time to heal.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

ACTIVES FOR FUNGAL ACNE

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:

MY GO-TO GLYCOLIC ACID

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.

MY GO-TO HYALURONIC ACID

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.

MY COLLECTION OF NIACINAMIDE

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.

TIPS:

  • 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.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

NO MASKNE, PLEASE

Wow, what a cool word invention during this crazy time. Mask + Acne = Maskne. OK, so what can we do about it?

Fortunately, I don’t have this problem myself. I only went out four times since March 2020, just to have meetings for an hour or so. Other than that, I did all my things online. Shop online, groceries online and food delivery online. And I only spent like an hour wearing a mask, so yeah…I don’t have maskne, but I do have regular acne showing up during this pandemic.

But I can imagine those who have to wear mask all day, especially where I live here in Jakarta, Indonesia. The sun is blasting, it’s super hot and humid out there. Mask is not just suffocating us in terms of breathing, but also our skin. It’s like sweat + oil + bacteria trapped for hours on that mask-covered area.

Though I know we can’t get away with it (until God knows when), here are some skincare tips for maskne:

  • Change your mask whenever it gets moist. Personally, I prefer disposable mask, because cloth ones need to be laundered using hot water to keep it effective (and I don’t have the luxury of washing machine with hot water, so nevermind). So far, I use this KF94 mask that I bought online (not cheap because it’s imported from Korea), but it’s the most fitted and comfortable for me.
  • Use gentler skincare options. Use gentler cleanser, hydrating (instead of exfoliating) toner and avoid using harsh exfoliants (avoid scrubs, please).
  • Choose more soothing/calming ingredients and avoid actives if possible. Hyaluronic Acid is my best bet, but some people might love Aloe. Opt for LHA instead of AHA and BHA, it’s a popular alternative with less risk of skin irritation.
  • Texture-wise, opt for gel than lotion or cream.
  • Wait for all of your skincare to absorb first before putting on the mask. Do not rush, make sure they dry completely before you cover your skin with mask.
  • Let your skin breathe while it can at home. Avoid using sheet mask that might irritate them more.
  • Bid adieu to your favorite foundation. Why bother adding another layer that will suffocate your skin further? Opt for concealer to cover any spots, or use tinted moisturizer instead.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

COMBATTING #STAYATHOME CONGESTION

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.

MY CURRENT SKIN SUPPLEMENT

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.

MY HG SUNSCREEN

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.

SKIN TREATMENT

  • 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.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

COMPARISON REVIEW: HYDRATING FACE MIST (ROSES)

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.

Plus points:

  • 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.

Plus points:

  • 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.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

NEW 10 STEPS SKINCARE ROUTINE

Lately, having #stayathome with lots of time to kill, I’ve been watching a lot of YT videos. And there’s one that I’m obsessed with: @labeautyologist.

In this video, she shared The Ultimate Self-Care Skincare Routine for maximum hydration & product penetration. It’s like her version of 10 steps skincare routine. They’re really different from the renowned Korean 10 steps, and personally it gets me because I want my skincare products to penetrate well into the skin. Mind you, this routine will involve 4 times of hydrating toner and only one active in later step.

These are her steps.

  1. CLEANSE
    It can be double cleanse (she’s more into oil cleanser for makeup removal than micellar by the way) and continue with second cleanser.
  2. TONE
    Function of toner: to increase absorption. So, she recommends to gently pat the toner (hydrating ones) before the next step (which is exfoliation) to make it works better.
  3. EXFOLIATE
    Not a chemical exfoliation, she prefers the one that we can apply and take off (like peeling gel and enzyme scrub). Do not scrub harshly, just apply gently then rinse off with water.
  4. TONE
    Yes, again to increase absorption of the next step, which is….
  5. MASK
    She chose a hydrating mask, a wash-off ones.
  6. TONE
    She said hydrating toner works best with hydrating serum.
  7. SERUM
    If your skin is prone to irritation, apply hydrating serum before serum with actives like Niacinamide or Retinol. This is the only step that allow us to use one active, so choose wisely according to your skin needs. If you’re using prescribed product from your derm, this is the step.
  8. TONE
    Last toner, to push the actives further down into the skin.
  9. MOISTURIZE
    This goes before oil because moisturizer is a mixture of oil, water and emollient. And heavier oils (except squalane which is lighter) will block the absorption of moisturizer.
  10. OIL
    If you use squalane, you can mix it with moisturizer. But other than that, oil is the last step. If you live in colder climate or you have very dry skin, opt for occlusive to lock in water.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is why I love skincare and writing about them. There’s always new techniques to try, to learn and made me excited to see the result.

Somehow, this new routine kind of reminds me of 7 Skin Method (remember the toner layering?).

Usually, I do my double cleanse step inside the bathroom and continue the rest in my bedroom (because I never put my skincare products inside the bathroom, except cleansers). As these new 10 steps required 2 more rinsing steps with water (after exfoliate and mask steps), the thought of going back and forth to the bathroom seems daunting and uncomfortable.

I guess I won’t be doing this everyday morning and night, but I’ll try to simplify the steps with my choices of products (mostly FA safe). And doing this in the evening seems more reasonable as we are more chill, yes?

  1. CLEANSE & EXFOLIATE
    Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil – for oil cleanse
    Tatcha The Deep Cleanse – it is an exfoliating cleanser, so I use this as second cleanser to skip step number 3 and 4.
  2. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  3. MASK
    Freeman Deep Clearing Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask
  4. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  5. SERUM
    Alternate between Me+ Niacinamide & Zinc Booster or Drunk Elephant A Passioni Retinol Cream
  6. TONE
    Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner
  7. MOISTURIZE
    Eau Thermale Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion is my last step, as I try to avoid oil as most of them blocked my pores.

PHOTO: SHINTA ROSVITA

NEVER-ENDING CHIN ACNE: HOW I DEAL WITH IT

And I remember my mom used to say when I was in my teenage years, “don’t worry, once you reach your adulthood, your acne problem will be gone” NOT!

After my 1st fungal acne attacked in 2018, me and acne problems is my kind of “new normal” skin situation. You name it, adult acne, stress acne, and last but not least chin acne.

First thing first, never be ignorant of what your acnes on your face are telling you.

If you see the pic above, acnes on your chin and around lip area, apparently are telling us that we have hormonal imbalance problem. It has been months that I’ve experience this, neglected all the signals that my acnes are trying to tell me.

Until one day, I had terrible tummy cramp for over two weeks. Starting from the first day of my period, which I thought was only an ordinary menstrual cramp. Well, after my period was over, I still have that bad tummy pain for a week. So I went to the doctor and had it diagnosed. After the 4D USG, it turned out, I have ADENOMYOSIS.

So, what the heck is that? Check out the pic below so you can get a pretty good idea.

Basically, it’s a condition of the womb where the cells that normally form a lining on the inside of the womb, also grow in the muscle wall of the womb. Yes, the womb gets bigger. On some, Adenomyosis can result in heavy periods (not on me thankfully). But, it sure can cause terrible period cramps, even before or after menstrual period. And no paracetamol and ordinary painkillers can tone it down. Some said, this condition comes with age (40+) and also C-section surgery (I had two, so yeah).

Chin Acne comes in various form, it can be blackheads, whiteheads, or cystic acne. In my case, they’re usually lots of congestions and some cystic acne. Because they’re caused by hormonal problem, obviously any topical treatment just won’t do. Adenomyosis caused estrogen imbalance, meanwhile we need estrogen to keep our skin clear. That’s why my chin acne just won’t heal no matter what kind of products I use. So, if a normal person’s skin got monthly pimples due to hormonal surges before period, I have them every day because of my hormonal imbalance (thanks Adenomyosis!).

TWO MONTHS AGO

If you’re having the same problems, better check and talk to your ObGyn, so he/she might suggest oral medication options. My ObGyn prescribed VISANNE for me.

When I googled it, it is used for the treatment of the painful symptoms of endometriosis. It really helps to reduce the pain without sacrificing estrogen level. And I saw better improvement on my face too after two months of consuming this. Yes, it took that long for them to clear up.

CURRENT CONDITION

Talking about consumption, also try to start addressing the food and beverage you’re taking. Personally (even if it’s hard as hell), I tried to consume less dairy and sugar, also less fried food. 1000mg Vitamin C is also a must and I’ve been doing morning sunbathing to get my natural vitamin D. And yes, being at home for more than 2 months without no makeup on did help, too!

Even though this problem comes from the inside, but still you have to do proper skincare routine. Mine is quite simple: Cleanse, Tone, Chemical Exfoliation (with Glycolic, two times a week), Hydrate and Sun Protection (in the morning). And last but not least, Retinol as twice a week treatment. Here are a few of my favorites.

Please note that I also did some research online to do this post. Before taking any oral medication, please speak to your ObGyn.

PHOTOS: ONLINE SOURCES & SHINTA ROSVITA