My night time facial routine

I rotate frequently between products I’m trying out and my staples but here is a typical night time routine for me. 

If you’ve been following the blog, you will recognise my holy grail products.  

This is routine number 1. 

Lazy and simple. Gets the job done avoids breakouts. 

Julep, love your bare face for dissolving makeup is a blend of natural only oils.

Equate version of neutrogena pink grapefruit scrub is a 2% salicylic acid faciAl wash / scrub which ensures no dead skin cells will be falling into my pores and cleans them out.  I usually leave this on for about a minute.
To the bioderma I gave added glycolic acid so it’s more or less a  5% glycolic solution like the pixi glow tonic. I have figured our various ways to get the acid on without the pocket breaking. 

If you want to try my diy toners with pixi effects just buzz me. 

Walgreens benzoyl peroxide 10%. I find that although more expensive at $7 the walgreens version is actually microionised. It works big time. 

I have various other routines and I rotate products a lot so I will be sharing.

For info on shopping these items in your physical location in Nigeria,dtop a comment.

What’s your night time facial staple ? I need to discover some more products. Please share. 

Treating acne- pimples. 

It’s really simple if you know the science behind it.

When you realise however that almost every company making skincare products knows the science and starts out with it but sometimes you don’t get desired results for reasons I’ve mentioned in a previous post. 

Then again,  that’s why I take the pain to review almost every product I use,  from testers to full size just so you do not make that mistake of buying something with right reasoning but a little flawed.

Now, for people with acne,  a lot of your options depends on your age and scarring as well as other associated conditions of your skin.

Nothing replaces a dermatological assessment and nothing replaces a carefully tailored skincare regimen after consultation.

A general rule for a skincare regimen is the basic 3

  1. Wash
  2. Toner
  3. Treatment 

You must follow these steps to see any improvement in your skin.

This means you have to use these 3 steps as building blocks for whatever regimen you want to follow.

Other steps can be added as mini rituals to the 3. Whatever you put on your face is either cleaning it, toning it or treating it.

WashING is so important. This is where clogged pores start and not with oil production as is regularly touted. If you produce enough oil to fry stuff on your stuff but you wash it away, does it cause any harm in the end ? No. 

Okay. Starting carefully I don’t advocate all that use of oil free cleanser and blah blah because your skin will only become drier and then produce more oil.

Don’t believe that oil free hype. 

A wrongly formulated oil free wash will set your pocket back and keep you with breakouts intact. 

Does it really matter ? Yes,but not as much as you are led to believe. I’ve used a lot of these items and believe me , its not that serious.

Wash your face with even the simplest of simples. A bar soap .. liquid soap is always better because it covers more areas. 

In this regard, there’s a fabulous brand whose facial soap is to die for. It doesn’t smell like what you would think soap should and I don’t mind ebcause fragrance doesn’t do much to help your skin. It’s ecopantryskincare. Check out their facial bars here and even though it will set you back a bit, you’re getting more bang for your buck Instagram link. Try their facial bar soaps. Then there’s a whole lot of natural soap artisans on social media now and this gives you options. Suggestions are to go for charcoal and tea tree soaps. Charcoal will lift dirt and tea tree will kill bacteria. Perfect right ? Yes!

I love dettol soap for people who are on a budget and who need to choose one or two serious items to focus on in their regimen. 

Wash your face of all makeup and all dirt acquired during the day. Dettol has a lovely even tone soap with apricot bits. I say dettol because it has antibacterial agents in it. This helps to kill the bacteria lying on the skin waiting to get into the pores. The idea of washing is to get the surface dirt off and perhaps if you can afford some thing more, move up to a specific acne or facial wash.  Always look out for exfoliants  in your wash. I listed them out in the post on facial washes.

If you use makeup and cannot afford to get micellar water or a blend of oils for oil cleansing then I suggest a tub of shea butter some  of  which you rub some on your palms and then on your face with hands then wash, makeup comes off real easy. Do not use coconut oil for this business. It doesn‘t have enough natural acids in it to perform this function.  Shea butter is cheap and is everywhere.  Remember it has to smell nutty.

Toning is a very important step and this alone can help you beat breakouts. Many people skip this step but please, Don’t .

An acid based toner is best. I will address this rose hydrosol and other hydrosols used for toning. If you have problem skin,please skip the drama and keep it for after you have treated your skin.

Hydrosols are good when you have sorted out your main issue. Witch hazel is also a good toner  but if you have acne skin, do not run away from the truth. You need that acidic based toner to slough off cells and open your pores for whatever treatment , serum, hydrosol you eventually use to work. 
Alcohol based toners are not the devil.please do not regard them as so. Alcohol dissolves the oil in your pores and if you cannot afford pixi glow then why will you allow your face become a crater ?

 Please and please, use a  toner. 

Diy formula will be up soon. 

Swish and swipe with Cotton wool repeatedly until you get clean wool. 

Last step is to  Apply treatment.

This could be benzoyl peroxide,retinol or any other fancy item you please.  There is no diy swap for this one,invest your money in your skin.

 good products are not always the expensive ones.  Do check out This post on acne creams a list of products you can use. 

I’m always available for a chat.

Pimples/acne solutions -choosing a toner and why 

Why do you need a toner ?

Why is it that most persons whin suffer the most acne don’t use a toner ? 

This is what you need to know about a toner. Sometimes called an astringent , toners help to do a number of things on your skin.

They help to open up closed pores further after washing.

They help to return the ph of your skin from alkali me after soap to a neutral ph which is the basic ph of our skin.this is why most toners are acidic in nature. 

Some toners help to seal open pores after treatments and some toners also help to calm irritated skin, reduce inflammation and prepare skin for a treatment , cream or serum that will sink into the pores.

This is why it is important to use a toner if you have acne because without your pores open, and unlogged your products will get in and block the openings preparing you for more breakouts.

Your choice of toner will depend on the problems you have with your skin or what you try to achieve with your skin.

  1. If your concerns are for acne, something  with salicylic acid is best. The concentration would range from 0.5% to 2% -clearasil ultra rapid action pads, alba botanical acne dote deep cleam astringent 
  2. Homemade toners like acid cider Vinegar work on the same principles of applying acids to help exfoliate and further clean out pores on skin. Vineat contains a weak acid which is naturally derived from apples.
  3. For aging skin with imperfections, Glycolic acid from 2% to 5% -pixi glow tonic and glow peel pads, dr.Dennis gross peel pads.
  4. For skin damaged from sunburn and creams, Glycolic acid and a mix of other acids as well as herbal constituents to calm the skin is useful. – examples -pixi by petra glow tonic , play herbal active with snow petal
  5. For dry and flaky skin, a herbal hydrosol of rose or lavender essence will calm itching and camomile will reduce inflammation buy rose hydrosol from organic life plus. At least I’m sure of that brand.

When choosing a toner, it is important to see a dermatologist or cosmetolgoist at least once for an assessment of your skin. This will help you to make a choice as to what type to buy and know what your skin really needs.

Not all skin that has acne is oily skin. Dry.skin can have acne too the pathologic process is just different but the end mechanisms are the same. 

If you had to scrimp on any part of your regimen for skin, it shouldn’t be your toner. 

As always, the products listed above are just a guide..

When we have concluded the talk on various parts of a simple 3 step regimen then we will go on to extras. 

What toner do you use and do you like it ? Does it work for you ? 

Have you had acne problems and what did you do to help it along .. 

Pimples/ acne solutions -face wash to buy 

Despite how much information is out there,  acne /pimples still is a topical subject for many women and some men out there.

Pimples have one major underlying factor and it is bacteria that end up trapped in your facial pores, the little holes on your skin that hair comes out of. 

When bacteria is on your skin as it should be because you are normal,  your skin may produce oil and the oil gets trapped into these pores with the bacteria that were just having a nice quiet life 

The bacteria find themselves in a cozy hole which is covered with oil and it is so lovely for then to start making babies. They increase in number and because the holes or pores are blocked,  they grow and grow and grow. Then they release chemicals that make the body react by inflammation , that’s when you feel the pain and before you know it a zit is out.

It takes about 3 days from a blocked pore to a full acne breakout.

The key to solving acne is solving

1. Excessive oil production which in all honesty you can’t really control because you cant control your your skin. You can only help regulate it.

2. Prevent skin cells from accumulating and increasing chances of blocked pores  by exfoliation and cleansing. 

3. Kill the bacteria

A simple 3 step routine to accomplish this is easily obtainable for anyone who wants to do away with their acne. In life, sometimes keeping it simple works.

I will address the issue of using oil free cleansers and scrubs later.

Steps to pimple treatment –

  • 1. A good face wash. -In this regard, liquid is often better than soap bars. You can spread it around easily and a little will go a long way. The active ingredients are easily dispersed in the liquid and you get better results. Soap bars may be cheaper but of recent I haven’t seen many a soap bar with the key exfoliative ingredient needed for acne which is salicylic acid. This compound needs to be present in your facial wash for you to have any good results from it.  You also need to use a sponge or facial brush to wash your face. It’s really quite easy. Most exfoliating mitts help to take off excess oil and help your gel or soap wash penetrate into skin. Using your hands doesn’t cut it and some people use a towel which will hardly ever dry out completely and will likely wash off your makeup before it gets to really cleaning your face.  Makeup must be taken off completely and not using the face wash which is for treating your Acne.
  • For makeup wearers I always suggest using a light oil to dissolve everything off and then rinse with water before you go onto wash your face with the face wash. If you can afford micellar water, then go ahead and use it . I swear by bioderma sensibio and garnier micellar water is a good addition to that list as well. Coconut oil is a fabulous cleanser and Infact some of its molecules is what is contained in the bioderma water. So keep a bottle on hand, wash your face properly and ensure you take off all the makeup
  • Facial cleansers to swear by , neutrogena pink grapefruit oil free facial scrub
  • Ambi facial cleanser with vitamin c and soy
  • Johnson and Johnson clean and clear facial bar
  • Clean and clear foaming facial acne wash
  • Dr lin acne face wash with Glycolic acid
  • Avon blackhead clearing cleanser 

These all have salicylic or Glycolic acid which is a very important step in eradication of acne.  

I will update this list whenever I find another product which is seriously breakout free and please note that most of the products I have listed here are drugstore products. 

They are cheap and contain active ingredients.  Some expensive brand a would contain the same thing and maybe add a few exotic ingredients here and there to prove their price point. Some are purely plant based and use the really expensive materials to achieve the same purpose of effective facial cleansing 

  • Clarins gentle foaming cleanser with cottonseed oil for combination to oily skin.
  • Origins a perfect world deep cleanser
  • Murad clarifying cleanser for acne and perfect time release acne cleanser
  • Dermatologica clearing skin and face wash for acne

There are tons of brands out there but with acne realise that it is more or less a skin condition which needs targeted treatment to halt it and reverse damage.

So go out today and get yourself a cleanser that will work and that’s your first step to acne free skin. 

Remember to always read labels and it must say salicylic acid,Glycolic acid, or in some mild cases, lactic acid.

Salicylic acid is best for acne skin.

If you have any questions or comments,please drop them below and I will respond  promptly. 

Need help shopping from whatever you find in the stores ? Send me a picture and I will be willing to help.

Don’t forget to share any great cleansers and face washes you have found or have used that have made a difference in your skin.

Next post will be on toners for acne /pimples. 

Ciao.

Alba botanica acne dote review

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I review a great find in a retinue of facial toners worldwide.
I say worldwide because when it comes to toners there isnt such a wild market for them.
They arent so many if you ask me.
I bought this toner from marshalls in the usa and I havent readily found this brand in nigeria on our shelves.
Alba botanica is an all natural line kf skincare products without parabens, pthalates and other known skin irritants.
This contains salicylic acid at 2%, witch hazel and thats about it.
Comparable to my trusted clearasil pads I found this to be a very good toner.
It doesnt clear out marks as quickly as I would like but it certainly works.
It dries out acne flat.
It is one of the best toners I have used in my life.
I am not mincing words with this.
It also has some alcohol so it will sting a bit but listen, if it deals with my acne and it has alcohol I do not mind.
The breakouts have been over the top of recent its unbelievable.
This acne dote helped out a whole lot and now.i have emptied the bottle I regret shipping its replacement by sea.
There will be bottles of acne dote at skinplusng calabar.
I love it that much.
When it is good, you dont have to talk too much.

Acne treatment 1- facial cleansers/washes

So acne.
Adult onset, emotional flare ups,pimples,hormonal that time of the month acne, oily skin acne , dry skin with acne, whatever you choose to call it.
It is acne and it has one underlying problem.
Bacteria and clogged pores.

Regardless of what the intiating or aggravating problem is, the baseline is that there’s bacteria which gets trapped in your skins pores by oil.

A lot of products have been touted as the be all, cure all for acne.
There are kits costing thousands of naira.
There are native cures as well,ranging from the use of potash to the use of lemon.

I am not refuting any of those above as some of them actually work.
What I need to pass across however is that whatever isn’t targeting one or more of the above mechanisms by which acne arise will have a long road to solving the problem.

Essentially there are several steps to get rid of acne once and for all.
Done consistently and properly I have discovered that skin actually develops a penchant for less flareups after months of conditioning with the appropriate treatment.

Step 1-
You need to wash that face.
Sleeping with makeup on is a no-no
Stop touching your face
Allow your skin breathe- meaning wear makeup only when you need to go out.
Sanitize your phone often.
And wash that face. Wash it!
LoL! Okay.

Facial washes
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Most facial washes for acne prone skin contain
Salicylic acid in varying strengths from 0.5- 2% .
In its natural form it is from willow bark.
Salicylic acid works inbetween the cells of the epidermis the topmost layer of your skin.
It separates the dead skin cells from each other causing them to fall off.
It can also be used as a prepping agent for bleaching.
2%is the highest allowed to be sold over counter for skincare.
Dermatologists use higher strengths for facial peels.
The lower for sensitive , dry skin most often.
With salicylic it is advisable to start small.
You will often see the strength at the topmost part of the label behind.
Brands- neutrogena – 0.5%
Clean and clear – 0.5%sensitive to 2%
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Neutrogena clear body wash which is pictured is a great product for body breakouts. Works well for the face too.
Aveeno facial wash bar has 0.5% salicylic and so does clean and clear bar.

Avon clear skin emergency treatment wash

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Neutrogena acne wash, .. best for dry skin.

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Some washes have benzoyl peroxide.
This works as an antibiotic for propioni acne.
I personally do not think benzoyl as a face wash is a good start to any regimen.
It will kill bacteria only on the surface and it works best when left to stay on.
I would rather benzoyl as a treatment gel, left on at the end of your routine.
Brands- proactiv , oxy 10

Glycolic acid-
Usually combined with salicylic and on its own.
It is also an exfoliant with same action as salicylic acid.
It works better on skin that is dry and will cause photosensitivity on exposure to sun.
Do not do glycolic in any form and skip sunscreen.
Varying strengths are available.
From 2%-5%
Brands seen- ambi skincare ,
nip and fab oily skin kit face wash.
There’s 50% off on the nipandfab site right now

Tea tree oil-
This is a natural antibacterial, anti fungal and anti inflammatory.
Brand — St.Ives

Each of these listed above also come in facial bars .
The idea is to ensure you wash your face and while you are at it, with something that is clinically proven to work.
If you are out to treat acne and you are serious about it, you should be using a facial wash with one of the above ingredients.
Read the labels and it has to contain one of the following words-

Salicylic acid or willow bark
Glycolic acid
Benzoyl perozide
Hammelis
Any other antibacterial-eg- triclosan.

So you know what to watch out for when buying a facial wash or soap.
That’s the first step towards getting rid of those breakouts.
Will add some more facial wash brands subsequently but those pictured are the most common ones found in nigeria.
Singular product reviews will come up in subsequent posts.
What facial wash or soap are you using now ?
Does it work ?
Would you like to try something else ?
Hit me up with questions, let’s talk about this.