My skincare

People have asked what I use for my skincare. I use a gentle cleanser, a an exfoliant, and then a serum. Those are the basics.

I remove makeup with Clinique's Take the Day Off makeup remover.  I wash my face with either Dr. Ron's cleanser or some other cleanser, I'm not terribly picky about that step because it's all washed off anyway. I use a Sonicare brush with a gentle bristle and barely touch my face.

I then use an exfoliant at night.  I currently use mandelic acid because it's not too drying or irritating.  I started with it every other day and worked up to daily.  During the day, I use witch hazel as a toner, followed by copper peptides serum from Diana Yvonne and then put on emu oil as a moisturizer.  My skin is oily, so I don't need a thick moisturizer as long as I don't go crazy and dry myself out.

By the way, copper peptides are the bomb!  It helps remove damaged skin and remodel.  I use it only in the morning and work up to daily use gradually.  Some people use it twice a day, but I just can't--it's too much for me.

Some nights I also use Atralin, which is tretinoin. I used to use Retin A micro, but it made me red, even when I used it less frequently. My dermatologist recommended Atralin, and it's been working so far.  However, I am about to run out of it, and they jacked up the price, so I don't know if I will keep using it because it isn't cheap!

For makeup, I use Omiana Minerals foundation and powder. There are lots of mineral makeup options out there, but I found that titanium dioxide is a real irritant for me, and so my makeup options became severely limited! Titanium dioxide is in virtually every foundation because it is what gives heavier coverage, and it is sunscreen.  They make a couple liquid foundations now, which I like.  Powder was not enough for me around my nose where I am still a bit pinker.  

What I avoid in my skincare

I avoid titanium dioxide because it's always coated with something.  Titanium dioxide is pretty unstable by itself, so it has to be coated, and usually that's with a silicone, like dimethicone.  I can't use any silicones on my skin or I get acne-like bumps under my skin that give me the texture of a grapefruit.  The thing that bugs me is that whatever is used to coat the titanium dioxide may not be listed as an ingredient!

I also avoid mineral oil.  That's gotten easier because more products use alternatives today.

Shea butter is not my friend.  It seems to dry out my skin rather than hydrate it, and once my skin gets dry and flaky, it's very hard to get it back to normal.  So I consider it an irritant and avoid it.

Salicylic acid is also something I am careful with.  It can be a great exfoliant, especially if you have acne, but it also can dry my skin out really fast.  If you use salicylic acid, I recommend using a light moisturizer even if you're oily by nature.