TLDR: I'm getting lazy, my skin is doing okay, there's some products that I use.
ANYWAY, my skin is: oily, not super tight - but def not saggy, generally even in tone, not too much hyperpigmentation, a generally even texture, pores as big as the moon's big-ass craters, very congestion-prone, not super smooth (but not rough. no rough patches or rough textures), and oily. I am oily.
Quarantine Skin Status
Now that we're in a pandemic, I'm lazy as fuck. You'd think, because I have all the time in the world, that i'd be taking care of myself because there is literally nothing else to do. Guess what? No. I wake up lethargic, sometimes anxious, sometimes still tired, not exactly "ready to start the day." Because what am I going to do today? nothing. I don't care how positive these beauty product instagrams are, I do not feel like "beating my face" or "getting lit" to go to the living room. I feel like sleeping all day most days. Wow that was dark. Anyway, here's what my skin's been like:
My skin is so oily. Even in -35 degree whether on a windy day in the east coast, I'm glistening. Nothing dries this face out. It's a gift and a curse - but mostly a curse. People always say not to touch your face - especially now - but sometimes I gotta touch it to know what it feels like right? Well, I can tell you that if I wash my face in the morning everyday, my skin is definitely not as smooth as it is when I don't. I guess oil is somewhat good.
As an oily gal, I'm very much acne-prone. I def had probs with pimps aka pimples growing up (fuck you hormones), and some time in my mid-20s it just went away (thank you hormones). Now that I don't have full blown big-ass pimps anymore. I have something else that's also gross but hey, that's life. I am self-diagnosing here, but I think I have whiteheads: comedones that come in the form of tiny little bumps in certain areas that are light-coloured or skin-coloured. Basically I can lightly scratch, and that little bump goes away and doesn't really scar. However, they do contribute to non-smooth skin.
Okay I know my skin looks dull and vampire-like, because sometimes I don't eat that much in the day and I basically look like I'm going grey. Other than that, I just don't get much daylight or vitamin D for my face. Everytime I go out for essentials I definitely throw on sunblock even if it's cloudy, but it's amazing what light can do to your skin. Light is really a natural brightener for so many reasons.
Quarantine Skincare Routine
I've become lazy, so IF I feel like it, here's what a good day looks like:
- Cleanse: Since I can't get to sephora and Amazon is not holding me down with their long ass wait times (respect for the essentials tho), I get my cleanser from the drugstore. And honestly, this cleanser is a ride or die for me as a second cleanser or a single cleanser in the morning: CeraVe - Hydrating Cleanser. This is great for my oily skin, it doesn't irritate me and I can get it even on lockdown. I know, I can still order online from sephora, but honestly? I'm laid off. I don't need the negative energy of high prices right now.
- Sunblock: Don't judge me, I often forego moisturizer in the morning (pre or post pandemic) because sunblock is like an all-in-one for me. My ride or die as of recently has become: Supergoop - Unseen Sunscreen. I love this because the texture is smooth, there's no whitecast, no irritating smell, it doesn't pill when I put it on top of any other products, it's lightweight and it absorbs quickly. My face feels hella smooth and moist after I apply this - that's why I don't need moisturizer. My oily skin + Unseen Sunscreen = Dewy.
- Cleanse: I don't really cleanse right before I go to bed because I don't always know when that will be, so I generally pick a time where I know I'm winding down for the day. Typically, this has been after dinner, before netflix binging or joint smoking. I cleanse with my old faithful: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. I don't wear make-up so I don't really need a heavy-duty second cleanser, and I don't go out so.... Also, I don't have money for a second cleanser rn lol.
- Mask: Love me a good mask. I have been going back and forth between 2 right now. I use the Alya - Australian Pink Clay Mask. Yes, it was bought off Instagram. Yes, it works. I'm not going to hype it as much as IG does, but I will say that I notice a smoother and brighter complexion after. The other mask I use is a ride or die for me: Origins - Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. I love this mask because it actually does help control my oily face, and everytime I feel congested (which is all the time right now in this stuffy 1-bed apartment), my skin feels soooo much cleaner and balanced. I actually really like the Origins face masks.
- Exfoliating Toner: To keep these whiteheads at bay, I need to use a gentle exfoliating toner that I can use everyday. My ride or die for 2 years has been The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I recommend this all the time (to oily folks). I know, I know, I just did a mask, but then I throw this on and I feel like it really kills any congestion whatsoever. I love it because of the results. It's not particularly nice smelling but it is NOT strong. It does burn a little when I'm super congested. I do get slightly pink in the face if I apply a lot. Fair warning. But honestly, I love it. I use it every night.
- Vitamin C Serum: I use a a bougie Vitamin C (no, it's not Skinceuticals) and it has (unfortunately for my bank account) become a ride or die: Tatcha - Violet-C Brightening Serum. I got a giftcard to sephora once, so I used it to try this and now I'm hooked :( I'm hooked because of the results. This serum helps me with getting smooth-ass silk skin. In the packaging, they provide an estimate of how many days/weeks it takes to see results. They proved accurate for me. I notice smoother skin in 3 days. Even when I don't use it and my skin gets fucked up, as soon as I use it for 2 or 3 days in a row - I'm back to balanced.
- Moisturize: This moisturizer is only optional. If I'm feeling really dry, I don't do the Vitamin C and I replace with The Ordinary - 100% Cold-Pressed Marula Oil. This is my go-to moisturizer for night. I noticed that it moistens up my skin while also evening my skin tone. In fact, yes, I do feel glowy when I wake up the next day.
- Normally the blogs and skincare gurus tell you that cleansing, toning and moisturizing are the 3 must-haves. For me, I say, do what makes you feel good. It's cheesy, but it's true. I used to follow the CTM regiment pretty faithfully, but I didn't notice much of a difference. So use and don't use whatever the fuck you want.
- In steps 3 and 4 of my evening routine, you'll notice I used an acid toner followed by a vitamin C serum. Some people are like "omg, why, you're cancelling out the effects of the vitamin C because of the acid." I haven't done the research to verify that statement, but I can tell you that I don't notice a shitty result. I wait for the acid toner to dry a bit (do that air waving thing towards my face with my hands), and then I put the vitamin C on. This works for me!
If the products you're trying aren't working for you, don't stress. If they aren't harming your skin, don't stress. If they are harming your skin, don't stress - just stop using them. I've played with skincare products my whole life. I know my skin really well, and I know that it can handle the products that I put on it. That's why I can do a mask and use an acid toner without burning my face off or drying it out. Be patient with yourself. I've used products that appear to do nothing, but I use them anyway because slathering my face with lotions and potions, and massaging or patting them into my skin is selfcare for me. Thank you. Goodbye.