Thursday, November 7, 2013

Let's Get Personal: The Routine Part 2

Welcome back and thanks for sticking with me on this long journey that is my face routine. If you missed the backstory or part 1, you can check them here and here. I really will cut down on my routine and simplify it more in a few months. Holidays are coming up and I can't afford to spend any excess money. It's all about the budget! Plus we're looking forward to moving soon, so any little bit I can cut out to save a few bucks I will do away with. Moving on, let's get to it.

Ok so I use a variety of oils. Again, I had to do trial and error to find the ones that worked the best for me. The only ones that worked really well were argan oil and maracuja oil. Maracuja oil is passion fruit oil that is high in nutrients and skin goodies, similar to most of the other oils out there. I use either one after the Dr. Gross peel, usually after my acne treatment. They both sink in and absorb really well (moderation is key as it is with everything) and in the morning my skin is gorgeous. Currently the only maracuja oil I can find is from Tarte and it is pricey, but worth it in my opinion. I usually alternate between maracuja and argan oil to stretch it out.

As much as I wanted it to work out, jojoba oil didn't help my skin when I used it as a moisturizer, so I use it with Jamaican black castor oil in a 1:3 ratio for OCM (Oil Cleansing Method) and sometimes add a few drops of rose hip seed oil for an extra burst of vitamin C. I thought it was crazy at first using oils to wash my face, but after I read this XOvain article on OCM and tried it, I have to say it works. Like dissolves like, so the oils and dirt of the day come right off without stripping your skin of all moisture. Also using OCM melts makeup off my face like nothing else, even waterproof mascara. I don't OCM daily because it is time consuming and I don't have enough wash cloths to keep up. I do it when I have a lot of heavy makeup on (eyes, lips and face) or when I want to really open up my pores and get a deep, deep cleaning. The hot wash cloth is good to let more pores open up and release some of the gunk before I rinse in cold water to close them up. It's therapeutic to massage with the oils and they release an inner glow without being harsh. Take it easy with the castor oil and play around to get your ratios right. Castor oil can over dry your skin, depending on skin type. 

During the summer it was so humid, I didn't want to put anything on my face. While the oils worked great at night, during the day when I was out and about, they weren't cutting it. I went back to the drawing board and came up with rose water + glycerin for a home made moisturizer. I figured why not. Rose water makes a pretty good setting spray for my makeup and it smells so amazing. I played around with different combinations before settling on 1 part glycerin to 4 parts rose water to get the right consistency for me. Too much glycerin made my face sticky, but too little wasn't moisturizing enough. Once I got the combination down, I was in heaven! It absorbed in so well and kept my skin hydrated without making me greasy or being heavy on the skin. I loved it! But now with the weather getting cooler, and my skin getting drier, my rose water + glycerin isn't cutting it anymore, so I have been using traditional moisturizers. I alternate between Mario Badescu's Aloe Moisturizer with SPF 15 and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing gel. It depends on how dry my skin is, but I am finding the Clinique to be a little too greasy lately. I guess I have to play around more with my routine for the colder months, now that I have it down for the summer. 

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment has been saving me for some time. I do see a difference in the size of bumps and redness when I use it regularly. For really bad breakout days, I use it 2x daily - once in the morning and once at night. It doesn't burn my skin or make my face redder, and I feel it working almost immediately. I've also learned through trial and error that only the name brand version works. Though the store brands of this product may be cheaper, I can say that they are not as effective. Most of the time I'm all for cheaper instead of name brands, but with this product, there is a difference.

You can never have too many. I love mixing the different types of clay with ACV. The Moroccan red clay was too strong for me when used solo. My skin was red and tight for a few hours. The Aztec Indian Healing clay is green clay and alone it works well, but I mix a tiny bit of red in there and boom. Perfection. It really brings everything to the surface. And sure the ACV is smelly, but it mixes with the clay more evenly than water - no chunks. Just be sure to use plastic or glass bowls/utensils because metal will interact with the clay and you don't want that.

The Queen Helene Mint Julep mask has green clay in it, and is great for leaving on pesky spots over night. Bumps either dry up and disappear or come to a head and then disappear. It's also great for when I want to cut some time and just smear on the mask without worrying about measuring and mixing things. It was actually the first mask I was introduced to years ago, but never bothered to keep up with until my recent journey.

The Origins Clear Improvement activated charcoal mask is pretty good too, but it stung too badly for me to use on an everyday or more frequent basis. It's similar to the sensation I get with an all red clay mask where I can only leave it on for about 2-3 minutes before I'm running to wash it off. On the off chance I decided to leave it on longer, the charcoal mask doesn't leave me red or sting for as long as the red clay does. I have read on the internet that you can buy activated charcoal capsules/powder and just make your own mask, so I may try that and see if it's less harsh than the Origins version. 

And this ladies and gents, concludes my routine! Yes I'm terrible with the amount of products I use. Because quite frankly, it shouldn't take so many products to get the results I want. But I'm going to make the changes slowly. I don't want another freak out after everything I've worked so hard for. Because being able to walk out of the house confidently without makeup has been amazing :) Now it's to keep it up where the work comes in.

Hope this was helpful to you.

- L



  1. since i'm a "save friendly" budget too I'm definitely gonna cheak out that clean and clear advantage spot treatment. I've been breaking out lately and I'm tired of not doing anything about and just letting it come and go

  2. Give it a try! I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Just start out using once a day (maybe overnight) to see how your skin reacts to it before jumping in with 2x a day.


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