I previously posted about it last Winter and re-reading it now, I realize the staples have stayed pretty much the same. But I have made a few additions to my routine, and a few changes to the way I use the staples.
First of all, I have stopped using moisturizer during the day quite a while ago. Between the fact that I use moisturizing foundations and/or some kind of SPF or primer under it, I get enough hydration and adding a cream makes me look oily.
What I do now is use the Advanced Night Repair serum for daytime, under the Idealist one. This trick was given to me by an Estee Lauder sales associate, and since my skin likes the Night Repair so much, why not?
My evening routine, though, has changed quite a bit. I have declared war to blackheads and pores (that's my current obsession, come back in a few weeks for a different one as per usual).
Also I have been reading a lot about how to prevent wrinkles etc... this also made me get a few new products.
I have replaced mechanical exfoliation by chemical one: I now use Avene Cleanance Mask, which contains AHA, BHA and kaolin. Why? Because only AHA will actually sink into the skin deeply enough to remove the dirt into your pores, also known as blackheads.
You apply it to dry or wet skin, wait for 5 minutes, then massage and rinse off. You can do that once or twice a week, and the kaolin helps keeping your skin less oily.
AHA and BHA can be drying, so I sometimes do this on the T-zone only and skip the cheeks so I won't make them dry.
I have also started using the Avene Cleanance K moisturizing gel with AHA and BHA. Now you have to be careful with this product: not all skin tolerate AHA and/or BHA very well. The best thing to do is to start by using them once every 3 days, then gradually increase frequency. This will help tightening the pores and keeping the skin clear. Again, I use this only on the T-zone, every 2 or 3 days, and NOT right after the mask to limit the risks.
Lastly, to even out the skin surface and prevent wrinkles, nothing better than retinoids and glycolic acid - I find these in Avene Diacneal. That's actually the highest retinoid concentration you can get without prescription. I don't use this every day, and I don't use it everywhere. This is something to put on zits, even cystic ones, and it really speeds up the healing process. I also put it all over my t-zone and cheeks when my skin surface looks uneven. This also works 'diluted' if you use it on top of your regular moisturizer, which minimizes the drying effects. No need to mention I don't use this on the same days I use Cleanance products.
(Note: Avene also have a retinoid product without glycolic acid, called Ystheal +, and that's safer to use if you have dry skin but want the anti-aging effects of retinoids).
Now for my morning routine I have also added a toner (again, trying to tighten pores), and that's La Roche Posay Effaclar toner - but it's very drying so I only use it on the nose area where I have the most visible pores.
A warning, though: when starting such a treatment, you may have to go through a purging phase (which means your skin issues get worse for a little while, more blackheads and whiteheads etc...) and you must pay attention to that and not confuse that with allergic reactions to the products - that can be tricky.
I need to tell, too, that Avene and LRP products are the same price level as drugstore ones in my country, but they're much more expensive in the US. So for me that's a very reasonable price to pay for that kind of routine but it might be much more expensive depending on where you live.
I don't know how long I will keep up with this new, quite complicated routine. It's a bit of a trial and error process, too, since reactions to those products are really common and I'm trying to avoid them by not really doing the same thing two days in a row.
I have good skin right now, I'm determine to get it clearer on the t-zone during this Summer, but I already know I'll have to give up on that routine for Winter as my skin gets really dry then and that would make it worse.
Do you have any miracle product range to keep your skin clear and flawless?