Last year I found out how much having bad skin can affect my mood and how I feel about myself. I don’t know what it is, but having my skin breakout or be dry or be oily really knocks away at my self confidence. And let’s face it, my self confidence wasn’t a very secure struture to begin with. In March, I moved to the U.S. and I don’t know what it was, but my skin went crazy. I did get a lot of spots growing up but I had never experienced acne before, then all of a sudden my jaw line became a resting ground for cystic mountains that were sore and left scars. The Internet tells me that the placement of this acne makes it hormonal. Personally I think there were a lot of factors. I had moved to a new country, my diet had changed, I was homesick, I was stressed, there was a lot of change. These horrible under-the-surface waves rose and fell along my jawline for months, and even trickled down my neck. I hated it. I found 1 product that helped control it (which I will talk about below), but thankfully a few months ago, the waves and mountains started to subside. Then came my next new skin hurdle: dry skin. I have always had oily skin, probably leaning towards combination but my t-zone has always been as slick as a greased up frying pan. It wasn’t fun, but I was used to it. Then BAM! Ohio winter hits and decided to pull all the moisture from my face. Suddenly I was dealing with dry flaky tight skin and I had no idea how to deal with it. My skincare products were making it worse because they were tailored towards my oily skin, so I had to rethink things. Recently I’ve found my skin flip-flops between being dry, oily and a combination of the two.
The number one thing I’ve learnt from my changing skin is that you have to look, evaluate and listen to your face every day. It’s annoying and I really wish I could have a minimal skincare routine but there’s just to many factors that change my skin so unfortunately it needs different things at different times. Below are all the products I switch between to keep my skin clear and feeling comfortable. I realise the stuff I’ve been using is pretty expensive. Honestly, I was just so down about my skin that the prices were worth it to me, but I’ve tried to include in my review what I felt was worth the price and what you could find at a cheaper price point.
ALL SKIN TYPES
Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – $40
Having had oily skin for most of my life, I was never interested in face oil. How could I possibly put MORE oil on my face? However, my friend Aoife, who shares my oily skin woes, talked me into trying it. And now I’m obsessed. Pai’s website states ‘with regular use, it deeply conditions skin, improving firmness and elasticity and promoting a clear, even skin tone’, and I 100% agree. It helps my skin feel plump and radiant, without adding to the oil. Honestly, if you have oily skin, do not be afraid of this product. When I started to experience dry skin, this helped hydrate those areas, again without adding to any oiliness that I still experienced. This has also been helping with the scarring I have after my bout of acne last year. It has high concentrations of Omegas 3, 6, 7 & 9, also well as antioxidant carotenoids that help repair and protect the skin against environmental stresses and visible damage. Everyone needs this in their life.
HOW I USE IT: I apply this every night after cleansing. Your skin should be a little damp when you apply this; normally I don’t fully dry my skin after cleaning or splash a little water on it. You can also use a toner to make your skin damp. I put 2-4 drops on my fingers and apply all over my face and down my neck. It leaves a slightly orange tinge on your face but that disappears after a few minutes. I also use it every so often in the morning if I need some extra hydration before putting on a lot of makeup. I use it after every shower so I don’t get that tight feeling.
This is fairly new to my skin care routine, but I’ve been loving it. I went through a phase where I wanted to keep my skincare as minimum as possible., but I found that that just wasn’t working for my skin. Sometimes it needs one thing, sometimes it needs another. I bought this because I wasn’t happy with my skin texture. It gives a very light exfoliation but my skin has been brighter since starting to use it. You know those moments when you look in the mirror and you actually notice a visible different in your skin? Well, the morning after I used this, I looked in the mirror and thought my skin looked radiant. Their website says this scrub ‘combines the exfoliant and anti-oxidant properties of ground grape seeds and multi-fruit acids with mild surfactants to buff away dead cells and remove blackheads, whiteheads and calluses’. I can’t say I’ve noticed a different with my spots and blackheads (yet!) but my skin is definitely softer and brighter when I use this.
HOW I USE IT: I use it around 5-7 times a week, no matter whether my skin feels oily or dry. I wet my skin and message it all over my face. I then rinse it off with a sponge.
This is the only suff I’ve found that helps reduce spots fast! Their website states that it ‘protects skin’s moisture barrier to prevent dry or flakey patches’, but I actually find this product very drying so I’m careful with how much I use it and where I put it, but it knocks my deep sore mountains down to little hills in a day or two. Honestly, this stuff is another holy grail product. If you struggle with spots or acne, you need to try this. It was the only thing that helped reduce my breakouts. I do plan to start using this on my nose at night because it’s also supposed to reduce sebum production and I have a very oily nose. This is the most expensive product I use, but you only need such a small amount if you use it as a spot treatment that it lasts for a long time. The only thing that frustrates me about this product is the packaging, I wish I had more control over the amount of product that comes out because like I said, you only a small amount.
HOW I USE IT: When I feel a spot coming on, I apply a very small amount of this to that area after I moisturise, morning and evening. I continue to use it until the spot is gone.
This moisturiser is pretty basic, but it does what it says on the jar. The website states ‘the light, buttery Cream melts into the skin, instantly plumping and smoothing dry patches, delivering a soft and radiant complexion’, and I would agree. However, if your skin is very dry, you will need to use something even more hydrating at night. I’m not sure this is holy grail, you can probably find a cheaper alternative but I do enjoy using it.
HOW I USE IT: If my skin is feeling dry, I apply 1 pump on my dry face in the morning after cleansing. If I’m wearing make-up, I will sometimes use this on top of the Rosehip oil mentioned above.
This is the cleanser I’ve been using recently. It helps hydrate my skin, so it doesn’t feel tight after cleansing. It’s also great at removing makeup, even stubborn eye makeup. This website says ‘bursting with Omegas 6 & 9 and Vitamin E, it replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier, leaving it soft and supple’ and I have to agree. This stuff feels so nice and soothing on my skinned leaves you skin feeling hydrated without feeling oily. I love it when my skin is dry but it can feel a bit too hydrating when my skin is more on the oily side.
HOW I USE IT: I apply 2 pumps to dry skin and message it around my face. If I’m wearing make-up, I will use a little bit more and focus on my eyes, using gentle motions. If I want to exfoliate I use the muslim cloth that comes with the cleanser, if I don’t want to exfoliator, I use a sponge to rinse it off.
I haven’t been using this product for as long as the others, but I do like it. It is on the drying side, so I would say it is only for people with oily skin. Their website does state ‘the alpha and beta-hydroxy acids in the cleanser penetrate deep into the pores without causing skin irritation; helping rid your skin of makeup, excess oil, blackheads, whiteheads, acne, ingrown hairs and other blemishes’. Honestly, I don’t think it helped my acne or spots, but I may not have used it for long enough to see the proper effects. I’m going to continue using this until it runs out but I’m not sure I will repurchase.
HOW I USE IT: When my skin feels oily, I use 1 pump on wet skin.
I really like this moisturiser for oily skin. It’s helps keep your oily skin from feeling tight, hydrating without making my skin greasy. Their website states ‘the non-greasy formula effectively hydrates skin, whilst balancing oily and blemish-prone areas, leaving a bright and smooth complexion’. I would agree, but I would say that if your skin leans towards combination, you may need to use something a bit more hydrating at night (I used the Rosehip oil mentioned above).
HOW I USE IT: If my skin is more on the oily side, I apply 1 pump to my dry face after cleansing. If I’m wearing make-up, I will sometimes use this on top of the Rosehip oil mentioned above so that my skin is hydrated but doesn’t get too oily.
Nearly all of my skincare comes from Pai, and I just wanted to finish this post by confessing my undying love for this company. It is expensive, I realise that but honestly, I think it’s worth it! Everything is cruelty free and vegan. They have super fast shipping and regularly have deals going on. This is such a small thing but when I filled out a survey for them, they had multiple options under Gender, not just male and female, including giving people the options to label their own gender. They focus on social responsibility and using organic ingredients. And their products really work! What more could you ask for? I would say their only downfall is their packaging. You can’t tell how much is left and it’s hard to get every last bit out. But other than that, I have no complaints and plan to try more from their range.