Skincare Routine

***Note: This post was written in December 2016. An updated routine will be posted in the coming months.***

New phone, who this? Long time, no post! I know.

Quick update, I've been travelling and moved flats. In that time, I kept my hair in Senegalese twists, but I'm giving my hair a break for now. While moving, I threw out a huge bag of empties that I had been saving to review, but I couldn't stand taking extra clutter to my new flat.

I have a tendency to disappear and post new products on a whim, so in keeping with tradition, here's a skin care routine I'm trying out since these are products I still have on hand. Last year, I had a bad reaction to YSL Touche Eclat Foundation. My face broke out so badly, I felt like I was a teenager all over. It was...bad. I realised it was the foundation and immediately stopped using it and my face began to clear up. Then I tried Sunday Riley Flora...and the headache began again. Suffice to say, Flora is not for me.

After reading and watching an endless series of reviews, I became obsessed with the prospect of trying Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant. I'm certainly no expert in skin care, just trying to find what works for me and sharing my journey with you.

Morning Skin Care Routine:
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner (on cheeks) + Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Rose Facial Mist (all over)
Drunk Elephant C-Firma
Vichy Mineral Water or Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Rose Facial Mist
Sunday Riley Juno or Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro
Replenix SPF

Night Skin Care Routine:
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm or Soap & Glory Ultimelt
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser w/ Clarisonic
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Toner (on cheeks) + Herbivore Botanicals Coconut Rose Facial Mist (all over) [let face dry completely]
Sunday Riley Good Genes [let product absorb completely] or Drunk Elephant Framboos
Sunday Riley Luna
Sunday Riley Juno or Herbivore Botanicals Phoenix
Drunk Elephant Lala Retro + Sunday Riley Artemis

I haven't used any of the above long enough to fully review them, but I won't leave you without some first impressions.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: snotty consistency, which is a bit disconcerting at first, but it is gentle and not drying. Removes excess makeup not removed in first cleanse. Good ingredients and the scent isn't repulsive. I'm leaning towards buying the full size. I currently have the deluxe sample from Sephora's birthday set this year.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm: This works best if emulsified first. I wasn't adding enough water when I first started using it, but I like it better now that I'm adding more water. This also made me realize that I'm not a fan of cleansing balms with straight beeswax in the ingredients list. I can deal with PEG-beeswax though. It's slightly gentler than the S&G Ultimelt.

Soap & Glory Ultimelt: I can apply this directly to my face without adding water, and it removes my makeup well. I've also used it on my bare face as a morning cleanse without any problems. This can be slightly drying around my eyes though.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma: I've only used this a couple times. It's a serum consistency. After applying this, everything on top of it applies easily and absorbs quickly. It smells faintly of witch hazel. I follow this with an extra spritz of mineral water, which moisturises and allows for easier application of my oil. Side note: Witch hazel smells like sausage to me. I know it's weird, but that's what it reminds me of. No worries, though, this a lighter tolerable version of that scent and it fades quickly.

Sunday Riley Good Genes:
This is a cult product and seemingly with good reason. My first time trying this, I used Luna directly afterwards. Sent me sister a text saying I am assuming this is what people mean by baby-skin soft. That's how my face felt. Everything applied on top of it absorbed so easily. I was having some areas of dryness and peeling and that seems to be gone, and even my forehead seems smoother. BTW, this does not smell good, but it's not foul. The scent fades within a few minutes.

Drunk Elephant Framboos: I've only used this a couple times, and so far, I really don't know what to think. The first time it tingled, the second time, I felt absolutely nothing. I'm shaking it like crazy before using it (as directed), and I'm sure my skin has not fully acclimated to the acids so I'm worried that the ingredients aren't active when I apply the product. Also, I noticed I got some peeling but perhaps I didn't let it dry long enough before applying my oils afterwards. This might be returned, because seriously how much shaking do I need to do to activate it!

Sunday Riley Luna: I've been using this in combination with Good Genes. It's a light oil and absorbs quickly. I don't have an issue with the color transferring and on me it's not even visible. I've nearly finished my bottle and am considering switching to Pestle and Mortar once it's done.

Sunday Riley Juno: I'm liking this one. It's light, applies easily, and absorbs quickly. It's not sticky at all and wears well under makeup.

Sunday Riley Artemis: I got this in hopes that it would help with balancing my skin, alleviating breakouts and fading hyperpigmentation. I tried this after the disaster with Flora and so far it's been ok. I have not had a bad reaction to it. It seems to have helped clear my skin after the Flora struggle. It's a thick and sticky oil. It can be difficult to apply. I mist my face before applying and that helps. It's great at night. I do look extra-greasy, but by morning, my skin is super soft. I've started mixing this with DE Lala as my final night-time step so I get the benefits of both, a boost in moisture, and easier application. [My sister thinks my hyperpigmentation on forehead has improved, and that was her comment after a week of use and prior to adding Good Genes and Luna.] Unfortunately, this is discontinued but it's still in stock through a few of SR's official retailers. The fragrance is a light lemon scent. It doesn't bother me at all. I just need to reiterate...I absolutely love this mixed with DE Lala.

Sunday Riley Flora: Even though it's not on the list above, I'll give a mini review since I've cited it so much in this post. First thing to note, Space NK has a different formulation of Flora than what is posted on Sephora and Cult Beauty. The Space NK version has pink trim on the box and there is added fragrance in the ingredients list. When I used this, my face would itch and tingle in between my eyebrows [I ended up with a dry patch of skin and whiteheads] and on my cheeks [where I ended up with under the surface inflamed bumps]. I wasn't sure what the culprit was so I used Flora for 7 days. No matter what I used as a spot treatment, the bumps would not go away and the dryness persisted. Once I stopped using the oil [still keeping the rest of my routine the same], my skin began to improve. The bumps are gone, but I have hyperpigmentation scars left from them. This might work for others, but it just wasn't for me at all. This was not a clearing-out phase either. From everything I've read, the reaction I had was nothing similar to a clearing-out when starting new or intense products. (Note: I've not reacted to any other essential oils or rose oil before, so it's a mystery to me as to why this was such an epic fail.)

I'm getting older and wanted to improve my skin care. I hadn't changed my regimen in at least 10 years so this is a long overdue change.

I'll definitely post updates of how these products work / don't work for me. I do think the texture of my skin has improved a bit and my hyperpigmentation is fading.

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Kinks ;-)


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