Yeah, I’m fucking terrible at titles.
So I was listening to the Snailcast about acids earlier, and it really made me reflect on the amount of actives I throw at my skin on the regular now. I mean seriously:
- .06% Tretinoin
- 6% Azeliac Acid
- 1% Clindamycin
Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion
- pH 3*
- 12% blend of hydroxy acids including lactic acid, malic acid, vinegar, phytic acid, salicylic acid, gluconolactone
Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifiante
- blend of lactic acid, vinegar, and salicylic acid
Mizon 8% Peeling Serum
- pH 3.8
- 8% glycolic acid
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
- pH variable
- 4% betaine salicylate
Obviously, I don’t use all of that every night, but I do use them regularly. And I should point out that my skin is incredibly tolerant of acids because I’ve been using them for so long. Which probably explains why my man nearly cried using when he used Silk Naturals 8% AHA Toner the first time while I happily slapped an 1/8 of a teaspoon of Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 on my face like a serum and laughed at him (I never said I was a good girlfriend).
Actives. I use a lot of them. And while my daytime routine actually stays pretty stable, my nighttime routine rotates between using Curology (4-5 nights a week) and acids (2-3 nights a week). Obviously, this isn’t for everyone, but it’s what I get the best results with. I think my skin just really needs the keratolytic action of hydroxy acids despite tretinoin (basically my skin cells don’t unstick and shed the way they should, so I need hydroxy acids to do it for me otherwise clogs ensue).
Last night – as you can tell from the picture at the top of the post – was an “acid” night. Normally I would have used Mizon 8% Peeling Serum with it, but Curology just increased my tretinoin to .06%, so while my skin’s adjusting to that I’m taking it easy so my face doesn’t fall off. Of course I’d also be using P50 every night too, but again I’d like to prevent totally trashing my moisture barrier before my skin has a chance to adjust.
So putting it all together it looks like this:
- Cleanse/double cleanse as needed
- pH adjusting toner
- *wait 30 minutes*
- sheet mask
- moisturizer and eye cream
Since I’m taking things easy last night I used Cosrx AHA/BHA Skin Clarifying Treatment Toner as my pH adjusting toner. Personally, of all the products I’ve tried from Cosrx this one is kind of a dud. The pH is in the right range for the AHA and BHA to be effective, but it only contains minuscule amounts of both so it’s not really worth it. I’m using it up, and it was great for my purposes last night, but I won’t be repurchasing.
Mizon 8% AHA Peeling Serum is what I normally use for my AHA spot. I’ve only been using this for about six weeks and it’s okay. I think my thing with it is that I’m used to using Jan Marini Bioclear Lotion – which is much more aggressive -, but my skin can’t handle it anymore. This Mizon serum effectively exfoliates my skin without irritating it, but it’s like switching from M80’s to firecrackers and being disappointed at the difference of the boom. The product isn’t the problem, just my perception of it. That said, I will probably repurchase once I use up the one I have because it does what I need it to do.
Technically your BHA product should go before your AHA since in a perfect world your BHA would be at a lower pH to be effective. Unfortunately Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid isn’t perfect. Recently there has been some issues with the pH of Cosrx’s BHA Blackhead Power Liquid; you can read about it here, here, and here. Regardless, the pH is higher than my AHA, so it goes after. I don’t feel like I’ve used this long enough to really form an opinion of it, especially with the pH issues. I will say that, as someone with dry skin, this at least doesn’t dry my skin out, and it’s the only BHA that I’ve had that kind of luck with. You can read a really good review of this product at 50 Shades of Snail.
After applying all that I wait 30 minutes before applying anything else. I know wait times in regard to acids are sort of controversial, but I find I get better results when I observe them. You can read about the Pro’s here, and the Con’s here.
On to the fun stuff! Last night I used Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster and Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel, and a sheet mask. To be honest I’m not a huge fan of either the Hylamide or the Benton, but slathering them under a sheet mask is a great way to use them up and add some extra hydration to my skin. I’m not sure if I’ll repurchase either product because I’ve got other products I need to use up and frankly like more.
Last night I used one of my favourite A’Pieu sheet masks, which I’ll review in depth sometime soon. Long story short: the ‘Skin Fit’ lines of masks from them are thin, silky, and super clingy and hydrating. Unfortunately I still have to order them directly from Korea, so I am a little miserly with them, but I love them (*makes heart eyes at A’Pieu*).
I’m also pretty damn miserly with my Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifiant, but that’s just because it’s $90 a jar, and even though I love it my wallet does not. But it’s kind of the perfect moisturizer for my skin and using it as my last step after acids and sheet masking makes my skin glow in a way no other moisturizer does.
So that’s that.
- *Biologique Recherche says P50 has a pH of 3.5-4, but home tests by many bloggers consistently find it to be lower, usually between 2.8-3