My battle with hormonal acne these past few years has been never-ending---and sadly, it was one where I was losing. However, I switched up my skincare routine lately and incorporated a few products that seem to be working harmoniously. I have been on the green beauty grind for about three months now and I made the difficult decision to let chemical-based products back into my skincare routine. Using only all-natural skincare products really helped balance out my skin's overactive sebum production and uneven skin tone, but the products just weren't strong enough to stop those hormonal acne flare-ups. I am happy that I ventured into clean beauty though because it has taught me to really look into the chemicals I use on my skin. Although I won't be limiting myself to all-natural products, I will definitely still continue to avoid using products that contain toxic chemical ingredients or chemicals that don't react well with my skin type.
Lark Skin Co. Beauty Balm
Lark Skin Co. reached out to me on Instagram with a discount to try out their products. I figured why not? What really sold me was the fact that the founder shared very similar experiences with her skin as I did. Living with problematic skin motivated her to formulate these simple, multi-purpose products that are organic and chemical-free. The Beauty Balm was a standout product for me. It smells like coconut & lavender and contains a chockful of natural, skin-conditioning ingredients. It also contains a small amount of peppermint oil which I honestly find to be really soothing. Initially, I was worried that my skin would not react well to the coconut oil. My skin broke out a bit when I first used this as an oil cleanser. However, the breakouts stopped after about 3 days. It might be because I finally got the hang of oil cleansing with an oil-based product that doesn't emulsify haha. Now, I use this as a makeup remover & first cleanse and as the last step of my routine to moisturize any dry spots I may have.
Glossier Phase 1 Set
There's just something so effortless about Glossier products **sighhh... Recently, I decided to try out Glossier skincare. I had been wanting to for a long time because I am a firm believer in their makeup products. Naturally, I caved and ordered the Phase 1 set. I only photographed two of the products contained in the set: the Priming Moisturizer and the Milky Jelly Cleanser. (I'll write a review on Balm Dotcom later because it's my absolute favorite Glossier product!)
My second step in my nighttime routine is to cleanse with the Milky Jelly Cleanser. I cannot stress how important it is to double cleanse to really make sure your skin is clean of a day's worth of makeup and grime. I was super excited to incorporate the Milky Jelly Cleanser into my routine because I was so curious about why it was such a hyped-up product. I've honestly jumped on the bandwagon with this one. It's everything I look for in a cleanser. Multi-functional, moisturizing (no squeaky clean), gentle. It doubles as a makeup remover if needed. Plus it smells like roses! I've been using both these products morning and night and have not experienced any breakouts or irritation, so I'm thoroughly pleased.
After toning, I like to go in with the Priming Moisturizer mixed in with an oil-based serum. The Priming Moisturizer was actually the first Glossier product I tried a few years ago and I wasn't too impressed by it. My skin has honestly changed so much since then, so I decided it was time to revisit this moisturizer. It's safe to say, I've fallen back in love with it. It's been so great for calming redness and soothing random dry patches. It also leaves my face glowy and helps oils absorb easily into my skin.
Urb Apothecary Sun Worshipper Serum
Most nights, I like to mix one pump of this Sun Worshipper Serum (my go-to night serum) with a dollop of Priming Moisturizer. I've expressed my love for Urb Apothecary products many times on my blog already. This serum is my favorite. It heals my acne scars like no other because it contains helichrysum (or immortelle) essential oil. Helichrysum is the all-star ingredient for cystic acne and it also has many health-related benefits as well. However, it's definitely on the pricier side. This serum only costs $28 for a 1 oz. bottle, which is a really fair price for such an effective product. That is why I love Urb Apothecary so much---it doesn't break the bank!
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
For the last step, I like to apply this Buffering Lotion as a spot treatment. The first time I used this, I was really surprised because it straight-up smells like rubbing alcohol. Alcohol in skincare has always caused me to break out more, but this wasn't the case with this product. It takes some practice to apply this correctly because the texture is really runny, but after getting some advice on how to use this from a fellow Instagram beauty blogger, I saw drastic results. The Buffering Lotion basically obliterated my cystic acne overnight. I also haven't been breaking out as much either even though it's currently my time of the month. It's a miracle! So you don't make my mistakes, here's how you should apply it. First, shake the bottle until the mixture is not separated. It's best to hold your index finger over the opening when you shake the bottle because it creates a tiny crater in your finger. Then, deposit a drop in the crater of your finger and apply on the affected area. Repeat this process until you have covered all affected areas. For more severe cystic acne, you can apply another layer of the lotion.
I didn't mention toner in this routine because I am still using my old faithful Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. If you do choose to try some of the products I've mentioned, I really hope that they will bring you similar results. As always, you can get 20% off Glossier products with my referral link and help me continue to fund my love for Glossier. Let me know in the comments below if you have any products that you use to tackle hormonal acne!
Until next time, Megan.