Some Current Skincare Favorites + Mini Haul

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I was going to do a post on the beauty products I like for hot summer days, but decided to postpone that since there are some other items I want to try before writing on that topic. So here's a random skincare post instead!

*FYI, I have incredibly oily skin constantly ridden with cystic acne and blocked pores. On the parts of my face where I'm not breaking out, there's a ton of discoloration and acne scarring to deal with. (And yes, I am one of those girls who wants to slap every dry-skinned, pore-less chick who gets a tiny pimple and complains about how bad her skin is).

Now I really don't have a specific product routine since I'm always trying new things, but it generally goes like this--in the morning: cleanse, tone, acne treatment, eye cream, moisturizer with SPF. In the evening: makeup removing wipe, cleanse, tone, hyper-pigmentation/acne scar serum, eye cream, moisturizer.

It sounds so simple, and yet my bin of skincare items has managed to engulf my entire vanity. This isn't everything I use, obviously, as you'll notice some key pieces missing, but just a quick glance/review of some of the things I'm using and enjoying at the moment.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar K: I already have the Effaclar Duo, and I like it, but have always wondered about this product since I never really understood the difference between the two. Now that I have both, it seems that the Duo is meant to be more of an acne treatment, while the K deals with all the byproducts of acne-ridden faces--enormous pores and bumpy, rough skin. The fabulous Laura from Buy Now, Blog Later mentioned that she likes to use this as a primer, and I completely agree. It really seems to smooth out the surface of my skin and sit nicely underneath makeup. While I used to think of the Effaclar treatments in terms of one or the other, I actually think it makes more sense for the two to be used in conjunction. That's just a theory, though--it'll take a few more weeks of trying them together for me to say anything for sure.

Alba Botanica Even Advanced Sea Kelp Toner: As a whole, Alba is really growing on me! I've used some of their face creams before, and don't have a bad thing to say about them, and between their natural philosophy, prices and availability at drugstores, I have very little to complain about. This is probably my favorite toner I've tried in a while, and I really think it could be good for any skin type, with the exception of very dry skin. I don't like how squeaky clean some toners for oily skin leave my face, and this one delivers the perfect dose of fresh cleanliness without contributing to, or taking away from my skin's moisture. This is the first toner I've tried that's supposed to promote an even complexion, but I have a feeling that's just marketing shtick. Regardless, I definitely plan on repurchasing and maybe even buying some more products from the Sea Kelp range. I tried the moisturizer with SPF 15 recently and really liked it--lightweight, but still nourishing without giving me a shiny appearance. All the Sea Kelp products, by the way, smell gorgeously clean and fresh, kind of like a laundry detergent with some seaweed? (That description is meant to sound more appealing than it actually does).

Lancome Bright Expert: My mom gave this to me a few weeks ago, and it's been love ever since. This is one of those glowy, moisturizing serums that I don't always feel the need to follow with moisturizer (though I usually do, just to seal the serum in). I'm not sure how much it's done for my uneven skin tone and acne scars, but it makes my face look so plumped up with a bit of a glow. This is one of those skincare products that instantly makes me feel prettier, and I've definitely noticed that my face looks fresher in the morning after having this on through the night. Sadly, this is just a sample bottle, so I'm trying to use it sparingly. As much as I enjoy it, I wouldn't pay the $90 for the full-priced tube, so I'll enjoy this while I can.

Lumene Arctic Touch Deep Cleansing Peat Mask: If you were reading my blog a while back, you'll know how much I loved the Burt's Bees Pore Refining Mask (post) before they very annoyingly discontinued it. I've been looking for a dupe of it ever since, and while this Lumene one isn't quite the same, it's definitely become one of my favorite masks. What sets it apart from your average clay-type mask for oily skin, is that this manages to tighten up your pores while leaving the skin really refreshed once washed off. That might have something to do with it being a tingly peat mask as opposed to a standard drying clay mask, and while the funky moss-green color is unappealing, I'm really liking the switch. This is one of those products that just makes you feel brighter, cleaner and altogether fresher once you've washed it off, and at a mere $12, I'll definitely be repurchasing.

Pond's Evening Soothe Cleansing Towelettes: I first showed these in a haul and am just now getting around to talking about them. My go-to makeup wipes are usually the Boots No 7 Quick Thinking (post) but I actually think these might be even better. While I definitely prefer the texture of the Boots wipes (these have a strange paper-towel type of feel that could almost be rough if you have sensitive skin), the Pond's ones definitely have more moisture. The first few wipes out are almost dripping, and I find that the ones toward the end have more remover on them than the Boots by the time I get around to using them. What really makes Pond's the winner, though, is that they're cheaper (almost half the price of No 7) and much more accessible. My closest Target is a pain to get to, so it's much more convenient for me to run to CVS and pick up a pack of the Pond's--and you can catch them on "buy one get one free" every now and then.

Continuing with the skincare theme, I picked up two new items today that I have yet to try but can't wait to crack open:

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Tinted Mineral Sunscreen: I've heard great things about LRP sunscreens and the fact that this one has a tint to it makes it all the more appealing. I know Bioderma makes a similar product (with SPF 100, I believe?) so if you've tried both and know how they compare, leave me a comment.

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturizer: Simple is one of the latest skincare brands to hit the drugstore, and since I was out of my night cream, decided to try this out. I don't have sensitive skin (which is what the line is catered to) but I figure it couldn't hurt to use products with fewer chemicals and such, right? By the way, does anyone else feel this bottle is a strange design? It looks more suited to holding eye makeup remover than a facial moisturizer, but I'll hold off on the judgement until I actually try the product inside. 

This post was a total ramble, I know, but it felt like I hadn't talked about my skincare for quite some time.

Leave a comment if you have similar skin and would like to recommend any products! (Or just want to commiserate on the evils of acne and hyper-pigmentation!)

My exams are finally over and I'm off for a well-deserved night of Moroccan food and karaoke!

Hope you're well!


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