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Friday, July 19, 2013

My full skin care routine for oily skin with Retin-A, HQ, AHA, Naicinamide and Vitamin C

Have been planning on writing a post on my full skin care routine for a while now....

So a few notes on my skin first. I have extremely oily skin. I have sun tan and general discoloration on my forehead, outer cheek and some spots on chin which is my most break-out prone and problematic area. I am also prone to blackheads (nose) and whiteheads( pretty much whole face but mostly chin).

Thus my priority is not only moisturizers and oil control but to keep blackheads, whiteheads, breakout etc on check therefore AHA. Also trying to even out my skin tone by using HQ to get rid of sun tan and marks. Trying to improve the texture as well, plus whatever anti-oxidant benefits I can find so added Vit C. Plus I am 27+ years old so introduced very light dose of Retin-A too.

Because you cant use Retin-A, AHA etc on same day/night ( or consecutive even, for beginners like me), I am going divide my routine into 5 days/night circle. I know it sounds like a lot of products but its not really, most of them are repetitive. Plus I never really bother much with high end products, like if its doing something special ( for example I am eying Paula's Choice for AHA/BHA next) but say moisturizers or cleansers? I cant feel any difference and Alhumdulliah everything pretty much suits my skin so yes my special priorities are problems like suntan/oiliness/breakouts like I mentioned earlier.

Night-1: So I have been using Retin-A every 4 days so thought it would be easier to describe the routine that way. So 1st night is the night I use Retin-A and everything else that goes with Retin-A
  • 1. That is, I use a mild Cleanser like Himalaya Herbal Purifying Neem Face Wash right now. Originally my dermatologist suggested Dove but had some problems with that soap. I was thinking bodyshop but I finished my last body shop face wash and like I said Himalaya or Bodyshop I dont really fell much of difference. Just it needs to have as less chemicals as possible.
  • 2. After cleansing my face I wait atleast 30 minute, which is pre-reequisite for Retin-A. Then I apply a pearl size cream on  face and neck. I am using local product called Retin-A  with .05% tretinoin manufactured by sanofi-avantis bd. Retin-A is basically vitamin A which increases cell turnover, helps to get rid of old skin cells and the new skin will be brighter/smoother/clearer etc. To know more about usefulness of Retin-A read this NY Times article or simple end user experience or search Google.
  • 3. Then I wait 1 hour and apply Nadinola which has 3% HQ on my face and neck. I mostly started using Retin-A because of this HQ, Retin-A can done miracle for HQ. I know HQ is a complicated but I am not using direct HQ just a moisturizer (with awesome reviews btw) with HQ. I have been using Nadinola for 2+ months now but didn't see much difference until I started using Retin-A, then in this routine my marks/ tans etc faded more than 50% in 1st 2-3 weeks.
  • 4. For eyes, I am using Healthy Shop undereye Gel at night these days. I am not really 100% satisfied with the product, I miss Ponds Age miracle and currently in the market for another eye cream.

Day-1: So this is my routine for the next day after Retin-A. I mostly take shower after I wake up so this is pretty much my morning+after shower routine.
  • 1. I use a heavy-duty cleanser like L'oreal Go 360 Degree Clean to make sure that I have all the residue of Retin-A out because tretinoin can increase photo-sensitivity and mild cleansers (like Himalaya) may not be able to get rid of it 100%. This cleanser also comes with a scrub which can take care of flakes or dry skin that comes with Retin-A (remember how Retin-A gets rid of old skin cells? they flake!).
  • 2. I then use a commercial toner, alcohol free something natural like Bodyshop Cucumber freshening water as opposed to witch hazel which is my DIY toner because I just used a heavy duty face cleanser.
  • 3. For day time eyes, I am using Neutrogena Fine Fairness undereye cream, just because I have it and it has talc so not suitable for nights. But like I said I am looking for a better product.
  • 4. Retin-A and Loreal cleanser make even my oily skin kind of dry so I go with oily skin friendly yet heavy duty moisturizer Garnier moisture rescue for the day.

Night-2: This is my night after Retin-A and I keep it simple
  • 1. After cleansing my face ( Loreal 360 or clean and clear or if I went out/ had make up on sometimes, OCM), I use water down Witch Hazel as a toner.
  • 2. Same Healthy Shop Under Eye Cream
  • 3. No HQ tonight, keeping it simple for skin to recover from Retin-A remember? So will be using Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream.
  • 4. Only with a pinch of Now Foods vitamin C ( read details one DIY vitamin C here)

Day-2: Since I didn't use Retin-A last night, I can use my regular morning routine
  • 1. Same water down witch hazel toner
  • 2. Neutrogena under eye cream
  • 3. For facial moisturizer I love Pond's Clarant B3 for oily skin, it is an awesome product specially formulated for oily skin which keeps me oil free for hours. Plus it has Niacinamide, which can also fade tan/marks. In fact I read a few articles that says to use HQ and Niacinamide interchangeably to get the best out of both.
  • 4. Of course I mix some vitamin C powder with Ponds

Night-3: This is night 3 after Retin-A

  • 1. So I start with AHA. I am using Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle 12% Glycolic AHA but I will try Paula's Choice AHA next. In a nutshell, after shedding the dead cells, they still hold onto the skin by a glue. AHA loosens the glue. Scrubs can take off the superficial dead skins but AHA does the real exfoliation ( I still scrub once a month as a part of my DIY facial, but thats about it, no regular scrub) Specially as I am using Retin-A, I get a lot of skin flakes and AHA takes them all off.
  • 2. Healthy Shop Under Eye Cream
  • 3. Nadinola
  • 4. Mixed with little vitamin C ofcourse.
Day-3: Same as Day-2

Night-4: Same as Night-2
Day-4: Same as Day-2/3

Night-5: Same as Night-1
Days-5: Same as Day-1
...and thus the circle continues

Cleansing: Now, I wash my face multiple times a day. Like before applying make-up , click here to see example. Before going out, then I'll just apply some MOM (click here to see details), sunscreen, BB cream or powder foundation and compact. I also cleanse my face before workout, mostly on the evening, trust me product residue and sebum is a formula asking for pore blockage and breakouts. So anyway after I take off my make up, come back home or done with my workout I repeat the day routine for the respective day again!

Body: As for body, if I am not feeling lazy I try to apply some body butter (right now using Body Shop Mango Body Butter) on my hand, arm, leg and feet etc before I go to bed.
Except for winter seasons, I mostly apply lotions (right now using Garnier intensive 7 days Grape Gel lotion) on my body after shower.

Lips: Whatever I have and whenever I feel like it, like before going to bed, first thing in the morning, everytime my lips feel dry etc

Right now I am using EOS mint or Body Shop Born Lippy Strawberry, love body shop one more though because it gives a tint and has an awesome flavor.

Masks: About 1-2 times a week, I use a mask, no fixed day or time, whenever I have time or feel like it something like that.
I have some other masks too but right now its one of these three, Body Shop's Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask,Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask, Tea Tree Face Mask.

Facial: I do a DIY at-home facial once a month
I have a conair facial sauna system i use for this, for details please read my post here

So there you go, my current skin care routine. If you have any question about any of the products I am using, or simply have anything to add, feel free to do so.
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  1. Thank you very first for this awesome and in-details skincare routine that you share with us!
    I would like to know that how the improvement you find after following this routine?I mean here suntan or multiple skin color, black heads and whiteheads tantrum, wrinkles related points. Are your skin now smooth, radiant and healthy?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Yeah its a work in progress, like Retin-A takes care of blackheads/whiteheads plus AHA helps so they are pretty much non-existance..but tan and marks will take longer period of HQ + Retin-A..but overall my skin is way better than before..this is how i came up with my routine keep changing and experimentaing till I find something which works

  2. Apu...Mashallah that was absolutely amazing of you!! just a bit of clarification needed...could you please explain this "1. After cleansing my face ( Loreal 360 or clean and clear or if I went out/ had make up on sometimes, OCM), I use water down Witch Hazel as a toner." a bit? thanks a lot in advance..

  3. That was amazing apu...thanks a lot!! Just a bit more clarification needed...what did "After cleansing my face ( Loreal 360 or clean and clear or if I went out/ had make up on sometimes, OCM), I use water down Witch Hazel as a toner)" mean? thanks in advance...