Lately, my skin has been breaking out pretty badly around my chin and jaw line. I rarely broke out on this side of my face until a few years ago, when I experienced my first bout of hormonal adult acne. Since that initial outbreak, my skin is now more prone to prescription resistent acne aka cysts and tiny little flesh colored bumps on my jaw line. I have learned that the only thing that really helps me are 8 hours of sleep, less stress, no anger (repressed anger exacerbates my acne (weird, but true), more exercise, and eating as healthy as I can, while NOT blitzkrieging my skin to oblivion with the three horseman of the acne apocalypse (Rx Retinol, Glycolic Acid, Masks) applied around the clock until my skin starts to crack. (Yes, I have done this quite often in the past).
Coverage is very important with hormonal acne – the simple kind – especially in the summer. When my skin is all hormonally broken out, I can’t get as elaborate with my going out face routine because it is significantly more sensitive to all chemicals, and it is also peeling. I need gentle formulations during the day, non-pilling textures, and opacity.
When my skin is broken out, chemical sunscreens are out. Chemical sunscreens burn my skin because of the increased exfoliation I am putting my skin through (Tazorac is like paint stripper). I prefer thick, but matte-ish, mineral based sunscreens. I don’t like to wear foundation on broken out skin in the summer since it just makes me think my skin is going to break out more. So I prefer tints or bronzers. Plus, a little bit of color on the cheeks.
My go to products for a casual summer day, where I am not trying to impress, but don’t want to scare anyone away, while either hanging out with friends or running an errand are:
1. Kose’s Sekkisei Lotion, 12 oz., $68.00
The increased exfoliation from Rx gels /creams means that I have patches of peeling skin and I use the Sekkisei Lotion to gently sweep them away. Even though this lotion has alcohol in it, it does not burn my skin. It also does not leave a heavy moisturized feeling, which I prefer in the humid summer. But it does not dry out my skin either.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Glycerin, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Coix Lacryma, Jobi Seed Extract (Job’s Tears), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (Witch Hazel), Melothria Heterophylla Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Oil (Wheat), Citric Acid, Di C12 15 Pareth 8 Phosphate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Triethylhexanoin, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum) (Parfum)
2. Dr. Ci: Labo Black Basic Charcoal Gel, 2.10 oz, $52.00
I follow with Dr. Ci: Labo Black Basic Charcoal Gel, which has lactic acid, salicylic acid, and Charcoal powder. My skin may be more sensitive and have dry patches, especially around my mouth, but it still gets oily. I concentrate this gel heavily around my t-zone.
Ingedients: Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Alcohol, Alpha Glucan Oligosaccharide, Octydodecanol, Triethylhexanoin, Pentylene Glycol, Charcoal Powder, Quaternium 73, Lactic Acid, Ceramide 3, Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Extract), Glycine Soja Seed Extract (Soybean), Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Phellodendrom Amurense Bark Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Alpinia Speciosa Leaf Extract, Sanguisorba Offinaus Root Extract, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract (Sage), Citrus Medica Limonum Fruit Extract (Lemon), Hedera Helix Extract (Ivy), Arctium Lappa (Burdock) Extract, Nasturtium Officinale, Saponaria Officinalis (Soapwart), Soluble Collagen, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Salicylic Acid, Arginine (L Arginine Hydrochloride), Capryloyl Glycine, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol
3. Skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm BB Cream Triple Function (Pink Label) SPF 25 ++
I like thickish, matte textures for my sunscreens for protection, and there is nothing better than a tinted cream WITH sunscreen. I have been following the Asian BB cream craze for a couple of years, but I did not actually buy a BB cream until this summer. Most of these products are made by Korean companies, so the tints are better suited for Korean skin with a pink base. Surprisingly, some of them are quite adaptable if you are within a specific skintone range (Light-medium) and your undertones are not especially warm. I am darker in the summer, around a NC 30 and my undertones more golden-olive, but Skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm BB Cream Triple Function (Pink Label) SPF 25 ++ was still useable. It has a pinkish grey tone that will require a tint on top to match my tone. It is mportant to note that this BB cream does have a moisturizing base and it is not as matte, which is fine because my skin feels raw from the other prescription chemicals and my skin sensitivity is significantly increased.
4. Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer in Golden Beige, 1 oz., $59.00
Enter Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheers, by far the BEST, most adaptable highlighter EVER. My favorite color is Golden Beige (but bronze works well, too) because it is like the liquid cellophane version of my skintone. I slap this on top of most mineral sunscreens, and foundations with the right texture, and it melds and becomes imperceptible as an additional layer.
5. Edward Bess Compact Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in After Sunset, 0.05 oz., $38.00
Finally, I am a blush girl. I love pops of pink, peaches, corals, plums, and bronze on my cheeks. Cream blushes work best on bb cream, and avoid the muddy look that can happen with powder blushes. I prefer to use sheer toned cream blushes that can be swatched and spread on skin once without need for more blending. I am currently using Edward Bess Compact Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in After Sunset. One gentle swipe on the apples of my cheeks and I am done.
That’s my quick summer face routine for casual days when my skin is pretty bad, sensitive and needs coverage.
Check back later for the less expensive version of this face.