Ever since I came back from a weekend trip to Boston a few weeks ago, my skin has been insanely dry. My face was so dry that there were small cracks throughout the outer layer of my skin which allowed dirt and germs to seep in and cause breakouts. On top of all the red acne bumps on my face, the dryness made my skin itchy and uncomfortable.
To help my skin recover and reset, I decided to stop using the acids and other products that were potentially irritating my skin. I stuck to this super simple routine for a week and it helped my skin tremendously.
Cleanse - I've been using the Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Foaming Facial Wash consistently and I really like it for morning and night. It's a popular Japanese drugstore cleanser and I can see why people like it so much. The foam is the perfect consistency - neither too dense nor too airy. It's unscented and not stripping at all so it's perfect for when your skin is already feeling tight and irritated.
Tone - There are a lot of fancy glycolic toners or "beauty water"-type toners on the market right now but my favorite one at the moment is a simple alcohol-free toner that simply calms the skin. It's the Kiehl's Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner. After cleansing, I douse a good amount of this onto a cotton pad and swipe it all over my skin in the morning and night. I like the faint smell which reminds me of chrysanthemum tea (calendula and chrysanthemum are apparently in the same plant family) and my skin feels balanced afterward.
Moisturize - I've gone back to La Roche Posay moisturizers which always seem to do the trick when my skin is being finnicky. In the morning I'll use my favorite La Roche Posay Toleriane Moisturizer. I've talked about this numerous times on the blog and I've gone through several tubes of this. It's a lightweight moisturizer that sinks it really quickly and provides just the right amount of hydration without feeling greasy or heavy. At night I've been using the La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 which is very thick, almost to the point where it feels like a hand cream. I warm up a generous nickel size drop between my hands and then press it onto my face. It leaves a scary white cast at first because it's a heavy moisturizer and takes time to sink in. But after 10 minutes the white cast dissipates and by morning, my skin is super hydrated and happy.
I'm still using my usual makeup removers and sunscreen but I've simplified the general three steps (cleanse, tone and moisturize) by a lot. It's proven to be super effective and my skin is almost completely healed. Now I'm wondering why I have a cabinet and drawer full of various skincare products when this super simple routine works just fine.... I'm also wondering why I didn't stock up on the cleanser and moisturizers when I was abroad because the mark up is so much higher for these products in the States. Making a mental note to pick up backups of these on my future trips.
How do you adjust your skincare routine when your skin is acting up? How many steps is your usual skincare routine? Does anyone else not have a set routine like me and reach for whatever they feel like it that day?