summer skincare

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My “I woke up like this” skin


The above picture is my skin a good 20 minutes after I woke up and washed it. As you can see, I don’t have too many blemishes right now. However, the bad quality picture (android phones are seriously lacking) and the lighting reduces the redness by a lot.

But my skin is soooooooo problematic.

Let me start this post off with a little bit of a background story: I got my first pimple in 6th grade. I remember this because it was when I got my first period (TMI?) and I didn’t get just one; I got an entire forehead full of them. And they weren’t red either, they were all under the skin bumps, sometimes blooming into whiteheads, which I stupidly proceeded to pick at. I tried everything to get rid of them, and the most popular acne treatment at the time was OXY Cleansing Pads. These did nothing but dry my combination skin out. I mean, I peeled. It looked like I had a really bad sunburn in the dead of winter.

Eventually I went to a dermatologist, both to learn more about my skin and to find how to fix it. I learned that I had sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin, with a oily t-zone and dry patches. My doctor prescribed Differin. I know that most prescription topical medications for acne take a couple of weeks to start working properly, but after two weeks, my skin was the worst it has ever been. Peeling and cracked in my T-zone, and breaking out in cystic acne on my cheeks. I promptly stopped using it.

I heard that birth control can help with skin, and so I talked it over with my doctor and she agreed that putting me on a very low hormonal birth control pill would be best. I was on that for a year and a half, and my skin GLOWED. Aside from a pimple or two around that time of the month, my skin was perfect. Unfortunately, I gained 20 lbs, and no longer felt happy in my skin. I had to quit.

It’s been a year and I’ve lost the weight. I’ve also figured out how to keep my skin under control with a simple routine. So, without further ado: my summer skincare.


morning routine

I start my morning by splashing my face with cold water and cleansing with this Tony Moly moisturizing cleanser. I find that this product is very gentle, and unlike most foam cleansers, doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped. Perfect to start the day with! I then moisturize with Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer. I only have the sample size of this because it came with my Juice Beauty cleanser, which I ran out of months ago. So when this bottle runs out, I’m gonna need to find a new moisturizer! I use Smith’s Rosebud Salve at all hours of the day — definitely a holy grail item. And finally, my foundation. The only makeup I’ve been putting on my face this summer is the Rimmel London Wake Me Up BB Cream in Light. I wanted a light coverage cream with SPF in it because I always forget to use sunscreen, and most foundations/bb creams with SPF are absolutely awful — chalky and don’t blend in. This one is the best I’ve found! The problem is it only has two colors — Light and Medium — so it’s not for someone with darker tones.


night routine

My night time routine starts with the Nuance Marigold Cleansing Oil. Most people with oily skin are afraid to use oils, and I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop being afraid! This cleanser leaves my skin feeling soft and pristine. After that, I take a cotton pad with a little bit of the Kiehl’s Cucumber Toner and swipe it over my whole face, avoiding the eyes. This just ensures that all pollution is off my face and my skin is ready for serums. It’s also alcohol free, which is great for sensitive skin, and the cucumber helps reduce redness. My favorite step of my night time routine is my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil. THIS. STUFF. IS. MAGIC. If I had to choose one product to save from a burning building, it would be this. It is a little bit pricey, coming in at about $50 for a 1.0 fl oz bottle, but in my opinion, worth every penny. I use two drops a night, which is more than enough, so it will last a long time. Last product is the eyes. I recently ran out of my Elizabeth Arden Eye Cream, so I’m on the lookout for new products.


Sometimes I like to pamper my skin a little bit with masks. This Dirty Works Detox Mud Mask is perfect for when my skin is feeling a little clogged: it has a slight tingling effect because of the willow bark in it. The most I would recommend using it is twice a week. The Honey Dew and Chamomile overnight mask is super soothing and great for dry skin. You can leave it on overnight for extreme hydration or just for 20 minutes for a fresh, dewy feel. When doing masks I always put honey on my T-zone, because that’s where I have the most dry skin. Honey also helps with my redness.


And that’s about it! It’s really not a very big regimen, especially compared to most bloggers I read. But it’s what works for me, and maybe it will work for others with similar skin! I do hope to update it soon because I need a couple more products, but this is okay for now. Hope you enjoy!

x Elle Mary


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