Y’all… I actually purchased some new skincare!
I told the tale of two sunscreens earlier this month, so it’s not as though I’ve been on a skincare no-buy challenge. Still, I’ve been focused on using up my skincare, and I realised a few Sundays ago that I am really out of things.
It’s a great feeling to see my skincare collection shrink. My current routine would probably drive my sister (an aesthetician!) insane, so shh….
My skin has been relatively clear for the past year and a half. It’s been great, but I’ve been working on some sensitivity, redness, and an amazingly oily forehead/t-zone.
As I was reading about what it means to have oily skin and what it means to have sensitive skin, I ran across the concept of the moisture barrier. The two best guides I’ve found so far are on Reddit and Birchbox. The Reddit guide is very detailed, and the Birchbox guide is a quick read with a couple of very basic suggestions.
The basic idea is that a lot of chemical exfoliation, certain alcohols, clay masks, and essential oils can disrupt the lipid barrier on your skin, and basically ruin your skin’s ability to stay hydrated.
I’m not saying that this is where I am now, but I remember myself and my skin from 2013-2015 and it was a rough, flaky, greasy time.
In working through my skincare, I was a little concerned that if my moisture barrier was actually disrupted, I would just be messing up my relatively-clear skin streak. Was coconut oil going to betray me? Was my skin only clear because I had certain products in my routine?
My current routine is essentially the same in the morning and night. I put my hair up, take my teeny tiny jar of coconut oil, get a bit on my fingers, and rub it gently into my face. Then, I add a couple of drops of organic sweet almond oil, and rub it around. All greased up, I take a warm (but not hot!) wash cloth and press it onto my face until the oil is gone. I’m nearly out of the coconut oil, but I’m not sure if I want to use sweet almond oil by itself. We’ll see.
It takes a couple of minutes, but my skin feels so fresh once I’m finished. I was using various toners, and occasionally witch hazel on my t-zone, but I’m out of toners and have started diluting my witch hazel with tap water. Then, I use whatever moisturiser I have on hand, or just another thin layer of one of the aforementioned oils.
It’s a very basic routine, and I can see that I’m lacking serums to help my skin stay plump and fresh. My skin has felt rougher over the last few weeks, and I wanted to add in some serums and a moisturiser that isn’t coconut oil or sweet almond oil. They’re just a bit too thick, and I’m still convinced that the coconut oil will betray me and I’ll break out.
Instead of waiting until I was down to water and oil, I ordered some new skincare. It’s from the popular new brand The Ordinary, which prioritises simple molecules over complicated formulas and fancy packaging. The formulas are developed in Canada, and also produced in Canada, which helps me feel more comfortable about the working conditions in the factories. The bottles are glass, and the external packaging is recyclable. There is, however, a plastic layer of bubble wrap, but I sent an email about getting 100% recyclable packing products.
I ordered four different products for three different reasons.
First, the hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 serum. As I mentioned in an earlier skincare post, hyaluronic acid is a little champion of a molecule, and it works wonders for drawing water up to surface of the skin to give the impression of plumpness. I figured that this would help address the rougher texture on my cheeks by keeping everything hydrated and bouncy.
Second, the niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% serum. Niacinamide is basically just Vitamin B3, and it helps to reduce redness and regulate sebum production. My skin is fairly sensitive and oily, and I have previously used niacinamide in an anti-redness moisturiser. As I’m not using a cream moisturiser, I wanted to incorporate this molecule into my regime in a different way.
I want to be clear, I didn’t need both oils right now. I plan to layer them together in the fall when the air gets cold and dry, but for now, I’m only using the rose hip oil. I bought them together, however, because I wanted to get free shipping! I haven’t opened the squalane, and I probably won’t until October.
I’ve started using both serums and the rose hip oil, and I am thrilled with the results. I’ll post a detailed review on Monday, and the next steps for my skincare routine!