Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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This is a place to discuss everything skincare.


- Have a question about a product (Or type of product)

- Need recommendations

- Learned a new tip or trick you want to share with fellow skincare junkies

- New to skincare and lost about where to start

- Have a skincare emergency ( Bad reaction, broken dropper, lost lid of a jar)


Images From top left to clockwise (Essencz, Garnier, Men's Fitness, Harper Bazaar)


We have some great thread about skincare but I feel we don't have a general place to discuss skincare which is open for everything from lowend products to luxury skincare. 


Other skincare threads you may like to explore




Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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@k617 @lachaton Where do you buy Paula's choice products from? From direct site or is there a Canadian retailer who sells the brand?

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fatimamummy I've only bought direct - I was hooked before our dollar became so weak haha. I just wait for good deals and stock up. The Nordstrom site has it now, but their site is still too expensive. 


(This is part of why I'm interested in trying The Ordinary, to see if it will replace the PC for me.)

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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Thank you @lachaton , Yes our dollar is going really weak. I checked at Paula's choice last night and they charge brokerage fees in addition of taxes as well.

The Oridnary is a great price but If you are referring to The Ordinary AHA 30%+BHA 2% peeling solution,apparently it isn't available in Canada.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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It seems like a few of us ( @fatimamummy!) have been interested in retinol options lately, especially the new-and-cheap 2% Retinoid from The Ordinary. Mine was delivered yesterday so of course I used it right away - here's a first-use snap opinion. I can't comment on the effectiveness yet, obviously.


The texture is nice, kind of a thin emulsion. On me, it sank in almost immediately. No initial irritation or sensitivity. After a few minutes I added Aurelia oil and finished with a Caudalie moisturizer. In the morning my face was soft to the touch, but had that shrunken post-retin-whatever feeling. After my morning cleanse/moisture/sunscreen it felt fine, no lingering redness or irritation.


At first glance I would say this is a more active retinX than Luna. Which is interesting, because they contain the same trans-retinol ester! The Ordinary also contains encapsulated (for stability) retinol, and there I think is the difference. I'm interested to see if that encapsulation keeps it effective over time - the main difficulty with retinol delivery is how vulnerable it is to change.


tl:dr version - I like it and will continue using it, being mindful of surrounding it with soothing products in my routine.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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Thanks for your insight on the Advanced Retinoid so far. I just ordered that, the Vitamin C suspension and rose hip seed oil from them directly but I want to slowly incorporate them into my routine. 


Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Thank you for sharing feed back @fairlywell I was able to pick 2% Retinoid and a few other Ordinary product from a Deciem store today. I will incorporate them in my routine one at a time and will keep you guys posted about how they perform.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Oh shoot, I just re-read your post from yesterday and realized the 2% is a retinoid not a retinol.


I don't think you'll have to worry about irritation as much as using 2% retinol then @fatimamummy . The retinoid I currently use is 3% and I had no "break in period" whatsoever, which I usually do with retinol.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Ah, good catch @k617! I definitely conflated those terms above.  Let's see if I can edit...

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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IMG_2640.JPGIMG_2642.JPGHi Ladies - I read through this post last night and cannot get over how much knowledge about skincare you all have. I recently tried to get into a dermatologist in my town, however all three are totally booked and no longer accepting referrals. I need your help with my routine Smiley Happy 

I am currently 30 years old. As a teenager, I had clear skin however since hitting 25, I have had regular breakouts often flaring up into full on cystic acne. I would say my skin is dry/dehydrated however I had a facial last week and the aesthetician said she felt my skin was more oily. I just know that whenever I put product on it, it seems to suck it right up and I sometimes have dry patches with foundation. Perhaps it is combination. I also have dark undereye circles. With my current routine, I have had minimal breakouts but I do still get small pimples (as you can see above) and I have redmarks/texture on my skin. I want bright, luminous, glowing, smooth skin (don't we all!) and to diminish my dark circles/fine lines. I have listed my current routine below but I would love some help from you ladies on products I should discontinue/continue using and products I should try out. Let me know what you think as I am lost! Smiley Happy

AM Routine:

Cleanser: Boscia Thermal Black Cleanser OR Kate Sommerville Exfolikate Cleanser

Moisturizer: Kate Sommerville Goat's Milk 

Eye Cream: Murad Renewing Eye Cream


PM Routine:

Makeup Remover: Burt's Bees Cleansing Oil or Sunday Riley Blue Moon Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Boscia Thermal Black Cleanser OR Kate Sommerville Exfolikate Cleanser

Acid: Nib/Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

Serum/Treatment: Alternate between Neostrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Cream with 10% Glycolic, The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% or The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%

Then I sometimes layer Sunday Riley Juno Oil on top if I feel my face needs some more moisture

Eye Cream: Shisedio Benefiance Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream


I also do different masks treatments once or twice a week: Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, Peter Thomas Roth Moor Mud Mask or a random sample mask


Tell me what to try/do to make my skin the best it can be!! Thanks Ladies! Smiley Happy

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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Welcome @Jillia, in addition to what @fairlywell mentioned in her post already, I think it's possible you're over exfoliating your skin.


The red bumps in your photos look to me like irritation and not pimples. I tend to get bumps like these in areas that I rarely/never get breakouts (like hollows of cheeks, top of cheekbone) if my skin doesn't like a product, or I've gone too far with treatments.


You are using glycolic night pads "extreme" (the extreme part already kind of scares me a little) AND THEN following with another serum/treatment, some of them containing, once again, glycolic acid.


AND THEN on top of that, you sometimes apply Luna, which also has retinoid.


I think the bumps might be your skin's way of asking you to back off on the treatments. Sometimes when our skin starts to rebel, we're tempted to throw every product we can at it, but most of the time that does more bad than good.


If I had your routine, I would personally back off on the acid/retinoids for period of time (say a week or so), see if your skin recovers, then SLOWLY reintroduce an acid OR treatment in. Only one product that contains any acid or retinol at a time, though.


I also would not use an acid or retinoid the same day you use a peel. Whenever I use a mask/treatment that's not a nourishing/hydrating mask (my Blue Tansy mask, or my microdermabrasion device for example) I tend to skip the acid in my routine.


I wanted to add regarding the whole dry/oily combo skin - if your skin is damaged (from treatments or other factors), it looks and comes off as a bit dry. Because of this damage to your skin, your skin can't reabsorb the oils it produces, so sometimes a film sits on top--hence it seems oily. No proven science I can reference, however, from my experience this explains why my skin has gotten less oily the better care I take of it and the more oils and moisturizing ingredients I throw at it!


I keep editing my post with things to add - final thing I wanted to say: my personal experience with the Goat Milk moisturizer was not good. It definitely gave me irritation bumps.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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Thanks so much for your advice! I meant to put Sunday Riley Juno oil, not Luna so it doesn't have a retinoid - but you are likely right about the irritation. The glycolic pads have 5% glycolic and the cream has 10% so that is probably a lot for my skin. Do you think it would be okay to use the glycolic pads with the retinol or lactic acid or would you still recommend backing off for a bit? 

I agree about the Goat's Milk moisturizer, I don't think I will repurchase as it isn't my favourite or really all that moisturizing...

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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@Jillia I have pretty "tough" skin and I tend to stick with one exfoliant per routine.  AHA and BHA can work together, but stacking glycolic and lactic or multiples of those is a lot for your skin to handle. 


If if it were my face I would use the 2% Retinoid twice a week in the evening, no other acids or fun stuff. On the off days I would choose glycolic or lactic. I would go no more often with those things until your skin settles. You'll have to watch how things adjust and determine what sort of changes you see. I think a lot of us have had the idea that a tougher skincare approach was better.  At 35 I have some regrets there. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Welcome @Jillia! It looks like you have a nice routine going. I do wonder if your cleansers might be stripping the moisture from your skin, or at a pH high enough to make it sensitive? This is just conjecture, but if your skin is vulnerable after cleansing, any acid/exfoliant/retinol has a greater potential for irritation.


One of the things I've found useful from learning about Korean products is that the pH of your cleanser matters. Ideally you want something around 4-5.5. I don't know the pH values of the cleansers you're using, but my guess is they are a bit high. Some that I know are in the "good" range: Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser, Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser (the others from her line may not be the same), and CosRx Low pH Good Morning (actually 3.5, but apparently low is better than high.)


If you want to venture into more hydrating products, there are a world of options! I particularly like CosRx Snail 96, Missha First Treatment Essence (make sure you're not sensitive to fermented products), and Kypris Antioxidant Dew. May Coop Raw Sauce is very popular (and the small size will last you quite a long time!) 


Oils are quickly becoming my favorite secret weapon. I seem to have more leeway with my acids, etc. if I finish with an oil. I don't find Luna to be hydrating, though - it's funny, that seems to be such a love/hate product!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Ooh, I am actually looking for a better cleanser that I like as I have mostly been using up samples and these sound great and affordable from my research! Thanks for the tip!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I think I have mentioned it earlier. I want to introduce Retinol and BHA in my skin care routine. I was looking at different strengths of Retinol and want feed back from those who are knowledgeable about it. I want to test the waters with a cheaper products so it isn't a big waste if it doesn't work for me. The Ordinary advance retinoid 2% is the first product I want to try but I am unsure if 2% is too strong or strong enough?

Also any other recommendations for BHA and Retinol are welcome. I will check with my doctor to see if she prescribe me Retinol but till then I want to check some countertop product.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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@fatimamummy I'm just re-entering the world of retinol, and here are some of my favourites. Yes, in general, I think my skin loves all of them!


Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle cream (make sure you get the formula without SPF - In Canada I think this one's called the "Original Formula" which differs from the one in the States, which has SPF. In the US they call their SPF-free formula the "Night" formula. tThis is a very good, inexpensive retinol in cream. Absorbs well and I've had no reaction to it. SLightly moisturizing too. Only cost $16 at SDM!


Paula's Choice Anti-Oxidant Serum for Normal/Oily skin (it doesn't state % of retinol and is in the middle of the list) - I dipped my toes in the world of retinol with this product in 2015. It took my skin time to tolerate it, it did great things for my skin


Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment - I really liked this. I didn't have any issues with it not absorbing properly but I would typically skip my face cream (final step) if I'm using this since this comes in a lotion consistency.


PTR 3% Retinoid - this is the "gentler" derivative of retinol, I'm currently using this and it's made my skin super soft, smooth and bright. I hope the fading of marks will come in months' time. This one's in 3% vs. the 2% max concentration I've seen for retinol, probably because this is actually a retinoid rather than retinol.


DDG Ferulic Serum - this one is AMAZING. Wow. I only have a sample of it, but I dotted it on a stubborn but (thankfully) fairly tiny papule/cyst near my mouth and it brought it down significantly overnight. When I use it all over my face overnight, my face glows the next morning. 



I don't think you'll find OTC retinol higher than 2% (I might be wrong). If I see something higher than 2%, I'd be skeptical If your skin doesn't respond to the standard 2% you might need to get a prescription for something stronger!


I tried Luna and my skin doesn't hate it, but doesn't love it either. I sometimes use my deluxe sample for days when I'm using a stronger AHA so I'm skipping retinol. 


I've also tried PTR 1.5% PM Fusion--it was good, but I like the ones I listed better.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Thank you. For detailed review on so many great products @k617 It is very helpful. I think I am going to start with Ordinary 2% Retinoid and will see where it takes me. DDG serum is another product I get frequently recommended so it is on my "Get a sample to try" list.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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Thank you @k617 @lachaton Paula's Choice BHA liquid sounds like a promising product. I never tried anything from this brand so I think it is going to be a first.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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You're welcome @fatimamummy! Also I forgot to mention I use Paula's Choice BHA 2% liquid, have been since 2015 and I'm probably on my 4th? or 5th? bottle. I haven't tried many others but I really love this product. I feel like it really does contribute to keeping my skin smooth and glowy. I still get breakouts, so it isn't a miracle product for clearing pimples, but who doesn't? Smiley Wink

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fatimamummy @k617 seconding the rec for PC BHA 2%. Works so well for me - I really do see a difference when I stop using it and start up again. I've gone through I think 8 bottles. 


I want to try out The Ordinary SA next and see how it compares.

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