Tuesday, September 02, 2014

My Current Skincare Routine

Apparently, the best thing I can do for my skin is avoid consuming anything made with coconut oil or coconut milk. That's very unfortunate considering my favorite dishes include coconut sticky rice and Massaman curry. It also means being extra careful with shower gels, hair products and even some makeup. It seems like this allergy is becoming worse with time, and I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is. But the heavenly rice is less and less worth the red angry rash and breakouts. Dealing with that and helping my skin come back to life was an interesting process. I've pared down to the minimum and with some trial and painful error found what works for me (for now).

1. I remove my eye makeup first, using micellar water. The ones I have right now are the classic one from Bioderma and Lancome Eau Fraiche Douceur. I think I prefer Bioderma, but not sure it's a rational thing.
2. Once that is done I use Tatcha One Step Camelia Oil. This is the best face cleanser I've ever tried, and I feel extremely passionate about it. This oil is suitable for eyes as well, but I prefer getting rid of all eye makeup before doing my face, and avoiding smeared mascara and eyeliner.

1. A hydrating toner-lotion. You can see some really good ones in my previous post. These days I stick with KGD, Hada Labo and DHC (they have several interesting ones). I pat the toner on or use it as a mask (see this).
2. My staple Best Face Forward serum oil (link to buy here. No affiliation, etc.). I need less in the summer, unless I'm feeling extra dry. Once the weather cools down I'll probably be back to heavier use.

Chemical Exfoliating:
Avene Cleanace K Cream Gel. It's supposed to be geared for oily skin, but this particular combination of acids (6% Glycolic Acid, 2% Lactic Acid, and 1% Salicylic Acid ) is the miracle I needed not just for clearing up troubled area after indulging in the aforementioned sticky rice, but also for allover radiance. Go figure.

Massage Balm:
Hummingbird Ranch Propolis Skin Cream. I use a generous amount and spend at least 15 minutes massaging my face while reading or watching videos. I remove it with a wet warm washcloth and moisturize as needed. Once or twice a week is enough, and it's the best facial money can buy.

Elta MD SPF 46 and Bioderma SPF 50. A lot. And religiously.

What are you using these days?


  1. How pretty MM looks in that photo. So fresh-faced!

    I always enjoy reading others' skincare regimens. Thank you for sharing yours. I'm going to look into those sunscreens...

  2. Thanks for this post! I'm in love with the BFF oil - got it after reading a similar post to this some time ago. And just ordered the Hummingbird Propolis Cream. Sounds fantastic and is shockingly/wonderfully inexpensive. Ages ago a friend suggested I use propolis drops after some dental work and I loved it so much I've been using it as a part of my daily dental care ever since (either in my toothpaste or mouthwash).

  3. I wish skincare wasn't so personal, or I'd just buy everything on your list! I really like how pared down your routine is. Sadly, I think Cleanance K irritated my skin during the three weeks I used it (odd, since typically glycolic and lactic acids work well on me) and I don't know that I get on well with oils - or that I'm willing to risk them at this point!

  4. Thank you for sharing your routine! Here's mine:

    - Shu Uemura POREfinist anti-shine fresh cleansing oil, followed by
    - Neutrogena Neutrogena® Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover

    Hydrating Toner/Lotion
    - Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion

    - Morning: Paula's Choice Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
    - Evening: Best Face Forward serum oil (I'm a big fan--thank you for recommending it!)

    - Morning: Mad Hippie Face Cream
    - Evening: Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

    - Kiss My Face Sunscreen with Hydresia SPF 40 Natural Mineral Formula (looks like it might be discontinued)

    - RoC RETINOL CORREXION Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

    - Rouge Bunny Rouge PRELUDE IN THE CLOUDS Aqua Primer
    - Cover FX anti-aging primer

  5. Thanks for the great post Gaia. I use all the same products except the Avene. You turned me on to the BFF serum last year and I absolutely love it. Best skincare advice ever!


  6. Makeup remover: Bioderma
    Cleanser: CeraVe hydrating
    Exfoliant: PC's RESIST 2% BHA daily
    Serum: PC's Super antioxidant concentrate (vitamins A, C, & E)
    Moisurizer: CeraVe PM (vitamin B)
    Sunscreen: Neutrogena of some high SPF

  7. I work in a store that sells "derm" brands & love hearing about everyone's favourite skincare recipes! (My friends called me skinfreak in high school.) So curious - do you use the Cleanance K as a removable masque or leave on?

  8. I'm always intrigued by people's skincare, being a little obsessed with my own. Do you go to Sephora to buy them, or order online?

  9. My skin reacts to a lot of different things, so I feel your frustration. I developed eczema and reactive, sensitive skin as an adult and ‘some’ of the things I cannot use are: scented/perfumed lotions or creams, scented/perfumed body washes, eye shadow, eyeliner, (anything on my eyes except certain mascaras), scented makeup including lipsticks, anything with essential oils, anything with citrus or citrus oils, mint or menthol, chemical sunscreen ingredients, and certain oils like argan oil, and the list goes on. I used to love eye makeup for instance and it was really hard not being able to use it. It made no difference what eye primer or brand I used, I still wound up with horrible reactions of the skin around my eyes and would be at the dermatologist's office again. Some of my worst reactions ever were to high end makeup and products (so price makes no difference) and also to natural and organic products. Thank goodness for skin care brands like CeraVe, La Roche Posay, Clinique, Eucerin, Mustela, and Paula's Choice. It is always hit or miss. I've even had reactions from certain products from all these brands I mentioned and cannot use everything, but their products that work for me have become my mainstays.

  10. I am totally hooked on Tatcha cleansing oil - thanks for writing about it here and bringing it to my attention. I had been using their blotting papers but I had no idea that Tatcha had a whole skincare line available. It's so good, my previous staples, cleansing oils from Nude and FANCL, are but a distant memory. Minor glitch: one of our cats seems to be obsessed with Tatcha oil's scent and tries to lick my face when I put it on. Otherwise, this is about as good as it gets. I have many sunblocks in regular rotation (at least a dozen, all pure mineral sunscreens and very tenacious) but this really takes them all off and leaves my skin clean and calm. Thanks again for this find!

  11. Makeup remover: Tatcha Cleansing oil
    Cleanser: SkinCeuticals Biomedic LHA Cleansing Gel (I've used it for 20 years, the stuff is gold).
    Exfoliant: PC's RESIST 2% BHA daily, alternated every other night with SkinMedica Retinol 1.0%.
    Serum: Obagi C RX Serum
    Moisurizer: Revale Skin Intense Recovery Treatment
    Sunscreen:PC SPF 30 for Oily skin

  12. Hi! Could you please tell where one can find the serum-oil you are talking about. I followed the link but then it looks like the shoofly farm is no longer in operation. Do they still make it? Thank you very much.

    1. Oh, NOOOO!!! Was getting ready to place a new order and, you're right - they're gone! Very sad.

    2. The oil is available. See updated link above or http://www.blueskywaters.com/bffbuy.html

    3. Updated link: http://www.blueskywaters.com/bffbuy.html

    4. Oh, huge relief!! Thank you! Clearly, I need to be more persistent in internet searches.

  13. Boring (meh, sensitive skin) routine:

    Bioderma + Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser
    Paula's Choice Resist C15 (day, allover but concentrated on pigmentation)
    tretinoin 0.025% cream (night, around eyes)
    Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler Night Cream (dehydration)
    Atopalm MLE Cream (for dryness)

    Still haven't found a sunscreen my skin likes; currently use uncomfortably heavy all physicals, but nothing I'd recommend if you can use chemical filters.

  14. DHC olive oil to clean the make-up and washing powder to wash it away. All moisturizers by Juice. (Day and evening.) I'm intrigued by the camellia oil. And looking for something to freeze the forehead! (And the occassional old-fashioned Frownie application doesn't go amiss.)


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