My Cleansing System
I used to have combination/oily skin. I had dry cheeks, spots of dry patches in areas but my t-zone was oily. I have now "graduated" to oily status as I have aged. No, I do not look at this as an accomplishment! But, hey, I suppose we all just have to deal with what we have! :) I ran across the Clinique 3-Step system
|Clinique 3-Step Set for Combo/Oily Skin|
Everybody Take It Off!
I used the 3-Step system on its own for several months before adding a few more things to my routine which for me have worked wonders for my skin. I added in using makeup removing wipes before using the Clinique cleanser. Now, mind you, I would always remove my eye makeup with eye makeup remover (no one wants to get cleanser in their eyeballs!), but at that time, cleansing my face at night should mean one easy step. But, once I added in the makeup wipe remover, then cleansing my face with the cleanser, I saw even better results.
Better Than Sandpaper
Finally, I added another thing to my routine that made a huge difference for me. I had heard oodles of people talking up the Clarisonic system (basically a vibrating "toothbrush" for your face) that promised to deep clean your pores and exfoliate while at the same time being gentle on the skin. Problem is that it is pricey (at least in my book). The original Clarisonic can cost around $225, but within the past year they came out with a cheaper, smaller version that is $150, that is just as good at cleansing the face (I think it just does not have brush heads for the body, and fewer settings).
|i-Skin Pore Perfecting System, Sally Beauty Supply|
Well there are a lot of things that the iSkin claims to do that I cannot necessarily prove, like reducing/preventing wrinkles, shrinking of pores, etc. but I do love this product. It is different from the Clarisonic in that it is battery operated (2 AA batteries required), vs. the Clarisonic can be charged by plugging into the wall. This did not bother me to test out, and after using it at night every day for 4 months I am happy to report that I have not yet replaced the batteries! (I have heard others who are skeptical about having to pay up the wazoo in batteries.. so they just get the Clarisonic !) So, I figured that the $.50 I spent on the batteries has been a pretty good investment so far! The brush heads are replaceable and should probably be replaced every 3 months (which I have done), as the Clarisonic system suggests. The ISkin brush replacements are also at Sally Beauty and cost $10. The ISkin comes with a cleanser in both the starter kit, as well as the brush replacement head, but I have not used this cleanser, since I like the current one I use.
I get two things from this product: deep cleansing and exfoliation. I remember in high school trying out different cleansing systems where you wash your face with the cleanser, then use the toner and immediately look at the cotton ball to see all the yucky stuff the cleanser left behind exclaiming: "WOW! Isn't that amazing to see all the dirt and grime off your face that would have otherwise sat there had you not used the magical toner?!" My face is now fully cleansed even after just using the cleanser with the ISkin so that now the "toner" part in the Clinique system (which they do not call a toner) can do its job (light exfoliation is their claim). Secondly, "exfoliating" with this product nightly has made a huge difference in dry patches or flaking on my skin. Even if I get a breakout now, and need to use acne cream on it (which ultimately causes some drying of the skin, and therefore flaking), using the ISkin keeps that in check so to speak, so that my moisturizer, liquid or powder makeup, bronzer, blush, etc. have a smooth foundation to land on! That way, even if I have a blemish I only have to conceal the blemish, and not the lovely drying patch that is also around the blemish - ugh!
|Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Lotion|
|Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel|
I started adding back in the acne lotion and applying that each night before my moisturizer to the spots I always seem to break out in - think preventative! On active breakouts I use the Acne Spot Treatment Gel.
My Nightly Face Cleansing Routine:
These are the steps I take to cleanse my face at night
- Remove eye makeup with a gentle eye makeup remover (I use the Up and Up Target brand that says it is comparable to the Neutrogena brand).
- Remove face makeup with a makeup remover wipe. I like the Up and Up Target brand ones that are comparable to the Neutrogena makeup remover wipes (purple and white package) or I use the Ponds ones if I get them on sale.
- Wet my face with water and also the brush head of the ISkin, and apply a small amount of the Clinique facial cleanser to the brush head. I turn on the ISkin and massage it all over my face (10 seconds on each cheek, 20 seconds on forehead and 20 seconds on jawline/neck).
- Rinse my face with warm water, and dry with a clean towel.
- Use the Clinique gentle exfoliating lotion (looks like toner) on a round cotton pad (I find that these absorb less product than using a cotton ball).
- Use the Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Lotion along my jawline/neck and other chronic problem areas.
- Use the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion all over my face
- Use Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Spot Gel on blemishes (if needed)
In the morning I do not feel the need to use my ISkin for cleansing. I just use the Clinique cleanser, acne lotion, and then moisturizer before applying my face makeup for the day.