My Skincare Routine

I became obsessed with my skin, because I care. Over my years online, the clarity of my skin has fluctuated, and the peak of my pimple era was in 2020/2021 and I did everything i could to try to clear it (I definitely did too much) BUT at last, I figured out a routine that world for my combo/oily skin and learned SO MUCH along the way, and I wanted to share that journey here 🙂I have acne prone, oily/combination skin and I went through a few years of “unexplained” breakouts. Truthfully, I was probably just using really pore clogging ingredients on my skin. That, and I think I went through adult puberty – look it up, it’s a thing.

Something I learned is that our skin can change. For a long time I categorized my skin as acne-prone, super sensitive, and very oily. Because I put myself in these boxes, I was scared to use products that I was sure wouldn’t work for me or break me out, like moisturizers or even sunscreen. Now, with daily use of cleansers, gentle toners, hydrating creams and SPF, I have maintained the health and clarity of my skin for 1.5 years now and don’t consider my skin acne prone anymore. 

@manesbymell I could cry making this. All I wanted for Christmas was clear skin and after many years of skin struggles, the sun is finally shining (and I’m wearing SPF) #HappiestYear #skincare #skintok ♬ Jaymes Young - Happiest Year -

On that note, this is my current skincare routine – I may update this blog as needed but full disclosure – I still get the odd breakout here and there but I don’t stress out about it anymore and I try my best not to pick at my pimples. I hope you find this helpful! *I am not an esthetician or doctor, this is just what works for me*

Cleansers, toners, creams and SPF, these are all so important to me as someone still working on fading my post-blemish marks.

Step 1: Cleanser

CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser (am + pm)

Paula's Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Cleanser, Salicylic Acid Acne Face Wash, Redness & Blackheads, 6 Fl Oz
  • FIGHT ACNE WITHOUT DRYING: Salicylic acid (BHA) dissolves pore-clogging impurities to help prevent acne breakouts, blackheads, redness, uneven skin tone, and dullness. This acne face wash gently removes dirt, makeup, and excess oil.
  • Formulated with a soothing gel texture that refreshes & calms skin, Paula's Choice CLEAR Pore Normalizing Acne Cleanser effectively cleanses & refreshes skin without irritation. Uniquely formulated to meet the needs of acne & blemish-prone skin, this cleanser is suitable for all skin types and all ages. It's even gentle enough to be used on sensitive skin.
  • Use this gentle, blemish-fighting cleanser twice daily as the first step in your morning & evening skincare routine/ Follow with your favorite Paula's Choice toner, exfoliant, serums, spot treatment & moisturizer. For daytime use, always finish with SPF 30 or greater.

This cleanser is fantastic if you have oily skin and if you are breakout prone or experience breakouts or textured skin – it has a small amount of salicylic acid which is a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) which are super effective at dissolving excess oil and sebum, as well as gently exfoliate the skin.

Farmacy Beauty Green Clean Cleansing balm (pm)

Farmacy Natural Cleansing Balm - Green Clean Makeup Remover Balm - Effortlessly Removes Makeup & SPF - 100ml Makeup Cleansing Balm
  • The Farmacy Way: Our goal is simple. We want to bring out the best version of your radiant self with the best possible, naturally derived ingredients. Each skincare and beauty product we craft uses cutting-edge science to harness the healing powers of ingredients that Mother Nature has been so kind as to provide for us.
  • Melt That Makeup: Sunflower and ginger root oils gently remove even the toughest long-wear makeup without stripping or drying, leaving skin hydrated and silky smooth. All-natural Moringa extract lifts away impurities from pollution so your skin stays younger, longer.
  • Natural Exfoliation: Natural enzymes found in papayas exfoliate and provide you with a wonderful, healthy glow — no makeup required.

I use this at night to remove my makeup, it easily melts everything off my face. I use a cleanser like the one above after this!

Step 2: Toner

SKIN BALANCING Pore-Reducing Toner (am + pm)

Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner for Combination and Oily Skin, Minimizes Large Pores, 6.4 Fluid Ounce Bottle
  • MINIMIZE PORES AND ENHANCE THE YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE of your skin with our Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner. Fight the effects of aging, reduce blackheads, and shrink pores, for smooth, unblemished skin. A great addition to your day or night routine. PACKAGING MAY VARY.
  • Contains antioxidants and hydrating ceramides, making oily areas less noticeable and skin more even. This toner is specially formulated for use with oily skin, combination skin, enlarged pores, blemish-prone skin to balance, refine, and protect your skin.
  • Our SKIN BALANCING Pore-Reducing Toner with Antioxidants balances oily, combination, and blemish-prone skin. Use day & night after your favorite Paula's Choice cleanser to remove the last traces of makeup, clear pores, & renew skin before moisturizing.

Toner is arguably an optional step in your skincare routine, but I love using this after cleansing with a cotton round or just by pressing into my skin with my hands for hydration and to balance my skin after cleansing. It’s basically a liquid moisturizer plus it has antioxidants, ceramides and niacinamide, which is known to help with oil

overproduction. It keeps my skin less oily throughout the day.

PC 2% BHA (am/pm)

Paulas Choice--SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant--Facial Exfoliant for Blackheads, Enlarged Pores, Wrinkles & Fine Lines, 4 oz Bottle
  • GENTLE NON-ABRASIVE LEAVE-ON EXFOLIANT: With 2% BHA (Beta hydroxy acid), to unclog & diminish enlarged pores, exfoliate dead skin cells, smooth wrinkles, and brighten and even out skin tone. Combats redness, wrinkles, aging, enlarged pores, and blackheads.
  • Dramatically improves skin's texture for radiant youthful even-toned skin. Beta hydroxy acid (BHA, also known as salicylic acid) mimics the natural exfoliation process of younger skin by helping it shed extra layers while unclogging and clearing pores.
  • HYDRATE, BRIGHTEN & SMOOTH FINE LINES: Our unique, non-abrasive, leave-on exfoliant is gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. Exfoliates dead skin cells while clearing pores for a more even tone, plus it visibly reduces fine lines & wrinkles.

This is a TREATment for the skin. When I apply this liquid gold – enriched with 2% salicylic acid & green tea (antioxidant) – it absorbs quickly into my skin and leaves a satin finish with instant glow. Personally, this helped clear up any pesky blackheads and whiteheads I had on my skin especially on my nose, and I use it maximum once a day but when I’m on a good streak, only 3x a week. It is perfect to use daytime (followed by SPF) if you love that glowy skin look or up to twice a day once you work up to it and if you have very resilient skin.

Step 3: Treatement

PC BP (am + pm)

Paula's Choice CLEAR Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide for Facial Acne and Redness Relief, 2.25 Fl. Oz.
  • FIGHTS ACNE WITHOUT DRYING SKIN: This daily-use, highly-effective acne treatment works on contact to minimize acne, prevent future breakouts, calm redness, and control excess oil while hydrating skin to diminish dryness and flaking. No harsh or aggravating ingredients that leave skin looking red, irritated, or uncomfortable.
  • Paula's Choice CLEAR Daily Skin Clearing Acne Treatment is uniquely-formulated to fight acne using benzoyl peroxide while also hydrating & soothing skin with non-fragrant, nourishing plant extracts. This blemish-fighting solution works well for all skin types and it's even suitable for skin prone to cystic acne.
  • Formulated with benzoyl peroxide to help fight existing acne breakouts & prevent future blemishes on the face and body, this effective treatment delivers best results when used daily. Apply after cleansing and exfoliating, always finishing with an SPF 30 or greater for daytime use. Sets to an invisible matte finish & looks great under makeup.

I used to spot treat with this wherever I had a blemish but once I started using this

REGULARLY and applying a thin layer over my cheeks and chin (my trouble areas)

2-3 times daily, everything changed. Benzoyl Peroxide helps to kill acne-causing bacteria. This lightweight lotion is oil free non irritating and in my experience, soothing to the skin.

PC Azelaic acid (am + pm)

Paula's Choice BOOST 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Cream Gel, Licorice Extract & Salicylic Acid, Oil-Free Skin Brightening Serum, 1 Ounce
  • CLARIFY SKIN, SOOTHE IRRITATION: This highly effective serum booster is a multi-action powerhouse, featuring Azelaic Acid, known to reduce the look of blemishes and acne, while also helping to fade brown spots and marks from previous acne breakouts.
  • Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster also contains salicylic acid (BHA) a gentle exfoliator. The multi-tasking formula boasts a lightweight, oil-free texture that works beautifully on its own or mixed with other acne treatments, like benzoyl peroxide.
  • Use this booster alone or add a couple drops to a moisturizer twice daily as part of your morning & evening skin care. Use along with your favorite Paula's Choice cleanser, toner, exfoliator, spot treatments & moisturizer with SPF for daytime wear.

This rich cream has been amazing for fading my post-blemish marks and scars – and it’s lightweight, oil-free, and anti-inflammatory, plus has 0.5% salicylic acid. It’s both moisturizing and soothing to the skin while it targets redness and uneven tone and I’m absolutely obsessed with it. I apply a thin layer AM&PM over my cheeks and chin where old pimples lived.

Step 4: Vitamin C

Farmacy Waterless Vitamin C (am)

Farmacy 10% Vitamin C Serum for Face - Waterless Vitamin C Face Serum & Dark Spot Remover for Face - Antioxidant Serum with Ferulic Acid (30 ml)
  • First of Its Kind: This breakthrough vitamin c facial serum uses waterless technology that stabilizes L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C!) for superior efficacy and penetration. Maximum potency — until the very last drop.
  • Brightens & Targets Dark Spots: 10% L-ascorbic acid, the purest, most potent form of vitamin C, brightens, firms, & smooths skin texture, while 1% alpha-arbutin targets dark spots. A difference you'll be able to see, and feel!
  • Hydrating Boost: The skin brightening serum also contains upcycled tangerine peel & sugar beet (betaine) to boost your skin’s moisture for a radiant, recharged complexion.

Listen. I stayed away from vitamin c for a long time, I was skeptical and cynical and I didn’t think it was necessary in a skincare routine and it’s NOT unless you want brightening. It really helps. I’ve been using this for 2.5 months – 4 drops pressed into my skin and it really gives a whole new glow. Plus vitamin c is an amazing antioxidant.

I use it in the AM in before moisturizer/spf – ALWAYS SPF!!

Step 5: SPF

PC SPF 50 (am)

Paula's Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Moisturizer SPF 50, UVA & UVB Protection, Chamomile & Vitamin E, Sunscreen for Oily Skin, 2 Ounce
  • RESIST AND RENEW: This lightweight moisturizer provides broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent premature aging of the skin and boosts your skin's defenses with a blend of potent antioxidants. Has a water-light consistency & matte-finish.
  • Paula's Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer provides effective UVA & UVB protection plus hydration for a healthier younger-looking complexion. Its satin-matte finish leaves skin feeling smooth & hydrated.
  • Use Paula's Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 daily as part of your morning skin care routine along with your favourite Paula's Choice cleanser, toner, serums, spot treatments, exfoliators, and eye creams as needed.

No routine is complete without sunscreen and there’s no excuse not to use one. Especially when it’s mixed into an amazingly light moisturizing formula. I’m obsessed with this for my skin – no white cast, no greasy texture or breakouts.

Step 6: Repair

Skinfix Skin Barrier Restoring Gel Cream Moisturizer (am +/pm)

Skinfix Barrier+ Skin Barrier Restoring Gel Cream: Formulated with Niacinamide & Peptides, Ideal for Oily and Blemish-Prone Skin, Restores Skin Barrier, 1.7 oz
  • SHINE-FIGHTING AND PORE-REFINING: Loaded with shine-fighting and skin-nourishing ingredients, this gel cream supports the skin barrier to help improve skin hydration while absorbing excess oil and refining the appearance of pores, promoting a smoother and more balanced complexion. It is also free from known fungal blemish triggers.
  • POWERFUL INGREDIENTS: With 1.84% Saccharide Isomerate, it soothes and supports the dry skin barrier, ensuring long-lasting hydration and comfort. The inclusion of 2% Niacinamide evens out skin tone, absorbs excess oil, and reduces the appearance of pore size for a more refined look. It is also free from known fungal blemish triggers.
  • HOW TO USE: This moisturizer can be used daily AM and PM. Apply to face and neck after cleansing morning and night. Apply to clean, dry skin. Follow with Skinfix Barrier+ Triple + Collagen Eye Treatment and Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Collagen + Lip Treatment.

My. Favourite. This moisturizer supports skin function, reduces trans epidermal water loss or TEWL, restores, strengthens, balances and protects the skin without clogging pores or making your skin look greasy. With Zinc PCA to help control excess sebum production and calms redness and irritation and Niacinamide to help even skin tone, smooth bumpy skin texture, control excess oil and refine the appearance of pore size. It was love at first use. This was made for the oily skin peeps!

My routine may change from time to time, so I may update this list as needed but each of these have made such a difference in my routine, I wanted to put you on. I hope you found this helpful and remember – everyone’s skin is different – what worked for me might not work for you – see a dermatologist if you are seriously struggling and – remember you are beautiful even with your blemishes. Love you okay ciao for now!!

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