Come at me with your (skin) drama!
Do you have some drama for me? I wanna hear all about the drama you have when thinking about your skin! I’ve heard all about some skin types, like oily skin or dry skin or sensitive skin, etc etc etc — I’m talking about some REAL drama, here, like some damn persistent adult acne, or deep dark circles under your eyes that make you look like you haven’t slept in months. Yep, the DRAMA.
Does your skin’s drama make you feel like this lady?
Yep – I feel you. When you don’t have the right products, your skin can get pretty dramatic and say, HEY! THIS AIN’T THE RIGHT STUFF, GURL! I’m going to try to calm some skin attitude down for anyone with adult acne, dark circles under their eyes or dark spots on their face (for those with lighter skin tones). Let’s discuss the best ingredients to use for each issue and I’ll recommend some products with those ingredients.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, a skin specialist, nothing. I am a normal person like you who did some research and has opinions.
1. Adult Acne
The drama: I’m not a kid anymore, I am a grown woman! Why do I have to deal with this?
Now, I personally get some acne around that time of the month, but I’m really referring to people who just have this constant, persistent, “I’ve tried EVERYTHING” acne.
Acne is caused by a) oil production which can increase and decrease based on so many factors in your body and b) all the extra skin, dirt and bacteria getting inside your pores.
What ingredients should you look for in skincare for acne?
1a. Benzoyl Peroxide
Kills the bacteria that causes acne and reduces any excess oil by drying your face out. Can be used as a really effective spot treatment for emergencies.
It can just REALLY dry your face out and be irritating to your skin. It’s not great for sensitive skin and you could get so dry, you start to peel.
Use it, try it out. If you get irritated, use it less. If you’re fine with being a little dry to get rid of all those bright red pimples, fine by me, girl. Sensitive skin peeps, let’s not use this one. Use an SPF in the AM!
IMAGE Skincare Clear Cell Medicated Acne Lotion with 5% benzoyl peroxide. That percentage of BP is pretty high. I suggest using a thin layer and only applying every other day or so when you first start, then build your way up to using more. If your skin gets irritated, stop using it!
1b. Salicylic Acid
Prevents pores from getting clogged by removing dead skin cells. Is more gentle than benzoyl peroxide.
Can also cause some dryness and irritation.
If you have acne and also have more sensitive skin, I suggest you start with some salicylic acid instead of benzoyl peroxide. If you don’t have sensitive skin but you want to stay away from the ultra dry skin caused by the BP, use a product with salicylic acid twice a day in your skincare routine! Keep those pores clear!
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. This percentage of salicylic acid isn’t high, I would use it twice a day in the tone step. Again, if your skin gets irritated, stop using it!
1c. Kaolin Clay
Kaolin Clay is much more gentle than Bentonite Clay and doesn’t dry your skin out. It pulls the dirt and oil out of your pores but is able to leave much of the moisture you have on your skin. It is also great for those with sensitive skin because it is healing and fights inflammation from redness and irritation.
Personally, I love clay masks. Not sure if this is how you’re supposed to do it, but I love letting them dry and then taking a towel soaked in super warm water and just laying it on my face to break up the dried up clay. So relaxing to do before bed. They’re easy to do while you soak in the tub or get things done around the house. Even though it’s more gentle than Bentonite, don’t use Kaolin too often. It IS a drying agent, you can still get dry from over use.
ANAIRUI Rose Clay Mask. So, it was actually really hard to find a kaolin clay mask that didn’t also include bentonite in the ingredient list. The Inkey List Kaolin mask is only kaolin but that’s it, it’s literally only kaolin. The ANAIRUI mask I have here has so much more! I feel like this is a some secret super power that I’ve just come across. It includes, let’s list them — kaolin for all the reasons above, lactic acid to help get rid of dead skin cells & reduce inflammation, rose flower extracts for brightening and moisturizing, small molecular collagen for some serious anti-aging and niacinamide for some serious all around punch to bad things on your skin. Girl, this is a powerhouse mask.
Works by unclogging pores which will allow other acne medication to work better. Can also help your old acne scars and marks look better! Helps reduce oil production, which I can personally attest to!
Retinol can make your skin kind of sensitive and isn’t safe for pregnant women. It makes your skin really sensitive to the sun.
Start small!! Thin layers, not every day. Your skin has to get used to the effects of retinol, but once they do – bam, girl, get ready for some nice lookin’ skin!!! Make sure to use that SPF every morning!!!!!
I have a couple here because I’m going to suggest two different types of beginner retinols and then 1 stronger option once you’ve adjusted.
First choice is the CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum. It isn’t posted on their website but it’s believed to have a low potency form of retinol at 0.3%. It’s pretty gentle so I’d say start every other night and then move to daily.
Second beginner choice is the Derma-E Anti-Wrinkle Renewal Cream. It uses a more gentle form of Retinoid called Retinyl Palmitate. You could start using this daily from the start. Those with sensitive skin could go for this option first and not be as worried about how dramatic their face will react.
The potent option I chose is the Drunk Elephant A-Passini Retinol Cream. This uses a vegan retinol with a 1% potency. Give it a go once you’ve used the more gentle options first.
2. Dark Circles Under Eyes
The drama: If I want to be a raccoon for Halloween this year, I don’t even have to put any makeup around my eyes!
So what’s going on when you’ve got discoloration under your eyes. According to Byrdie, this happens when the skin under your eyes is really thin. It’s so thin, it’s damn near translucent and is showing your blood vessels to everyone looking at you. Super weird, right? Then (!!!) when you aren’t getting enough sleep, your blood will struggle to circulate out of that area so stagnant blood can sit there and make your under eyes look puffy. What?!!
Ok, calm down, not everyone you know has dark circles under their eyes, a few people have it figured out! USE EYE CREAM, never skip it! What do we need in an eye cream? An anti-inflammatory, something that can plump up your skin and something that helps with these wicked blood vessels.
Repairs skin by eliminating free radicals, stimulates collagen production, calms down redness and inflammation. GREAT for people with sensitive skin.
None – just don’t overdo it.
In my uneducated, normal person opinion, this ingredient is a little newer to the skincare game, but getting TONS of hype. What I didn’t know was that a few products I’m currently using on my face already include niacinamide. I learned this today, when I re-read the ingredient lists. I’m having some great results, no reason why you wouldn’t get the same results!
Alastin Skincare Restorative Eye Treatment includes Niacinamide as a main ingredient but in addition to this, it includes their Tri-Hex Technology which is a “blend of active peptides and key ingredients that works with the skin to clear out old damaged elastin and collagen and support the skin’s natural ability to create new, healthy elastin and collagen.” It can be used day and night without a “getting used to it” period like retinol. Get some and get it going!
2b. Hyaluronic Acid
Plumps and hydrates the delicate skin in the under eye area.
Don’t know if anyone has any cons of this ingredient, it’s the bomb!
This will sound over the top but get Hyaluronic Acid in all your skincare so your skin doesn’t start hating you by sagging. Use your ring fingers so you’re not tugging on that sensitive skin.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Perfect C Eye Cream. This eye cream includes hyaluronic acid to plump you up AND it brightens those dark spots.
Here’s our blood vessel fixer upper thingy. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor (google it!), meaning it narrows your blood vessels and increases the blood flow in your under eye area when applied in a cream. It is also anti-inflammatory.
The pros are super nice but you have to be really consistent with using it. If you aren’t consistent, it won’t work as well.
I use the eye cream I recommend below every morning and can tell that it works every single day. I have some bags under my eyes that are genetic and can be bigger or smaller depending on some sleep/diet/lifestyle factors but then I’ll sometimes also have inflammation BELOW the bags, so bags under the bags some mornings. SO RUDE. When I use a caffeine eye cream, I can see those genetic bags decrease in size and the ultra rude extra bags go away altogether.
100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. This eye cream has caffeine from coffee and green tea. From my personal experience, using this eye cream at least every morning is the perfect amount to get consistent results. I always say to not skip eye cream in your routine, don’t you dare skip it!
3. Dark Spots on Face
The drama: I am not a spotted trunkfish, I should not have spots.
**Google that fish, it’s actually fricken cute.**
KA, the 17 letter word, hyperpigmentation. This can be caused by an increase in melanin and this can happen for a few different reasons, some being legit medical reasons. Since I’m not a doctor, I’m only going to talk about the increase in melanin as it related to repeated overexposure to the sun!! Remember in my SPF post, we talked about how UVA is absorbed by your melanin?? Yes, so once you have the dark spots and you go out in the sun again, your melanin absorbs those rays again and then your spots can look even darker! It’s wild, wear an SPF, PLEASE!!!!
3a. Daisy Flower Extract
If you go google, ‘hyperpigmentation on face’, the results will give you a bunch of articles that mention hydroquinone. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS INGREDIENT. It bleaches your skin. What’s surprising is that the articles mention bleaching your skin so casually, like it’s no big deal if you go buy it and try some! I would never use this ingredient without first talking to a Dermatologist.
I did find a safe alternative for this ingredient though, daisy flower extract. This article from Rhonda Allison gives a GREAT overview of how daisy flower extract helps brighten your skin naturally.
Naturally suppresses melanin production, is safe for all skin types and even pregnant ladies can use it.
None that I know of!
Nobody wants to have dark spots on their face. I know you’d try anything to remove them but start with a gentle product for your skin. You don’t want to turn red and flaky and inflamed because you got too excited about some cure all for dark spots.
IMAGE Skincare ILUMA Intense Brightening Creme. Not only does this product include daisy flower extract but it also includes a peptide, Vitamin C and Sea Buckthorn Oil. After using this consistently, you’ll have even skin tone, you’ll glow and you’ll be super moisturized.
3b. Azelaic Acid
This has the same benefits as the daisy flower extract. As a plus though, because it’s so mild, it can be used in combination with retinoids and AHAs.
It can cause a little irritation but only if you over do it, and you would really have to overdo it.
Go slow and see how it feels on your skin for a few days before adding it to AM and PM skincare routines for daily use.
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster. This can be used alone or mixed in with your favorite serum or moisturizer. It is VERY gentle and can be used by those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You may not see results immediately but you will after some consistent use.
Tell your face to sit down with all it’s drama and let’s go get carded!!
Have a super duper day being beautiful!
xoxo, Dinah <3