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Post in Clean Beauty

Help | Critique my Skincare routine please, before I go broke!

Hi everyone, 


I recently moved from dry, cold Canada into balmy California and I'm finding my usual skincare routine wasn't working for me. My combination skin is leaning towards the oilier side nowadays and I feel constantly shiny. I've spent the past two months trying hundred of Sephora samples and trial sizes but have yet to find a proper line of products that 1. All have clean ingredients 2. Don't make my too shiny/oily and break out and 3. Have at least a variety of prices! I can't afford to get the $60+ version of every item, but I am willing to splurge on a few key, skin-sinking in products. If you're anything like me and have some favorites from the categories where I'm currently missing, I'd love to hear your opinions. Thanks! Below is my crazy long list of what I've tried, loved and hated so far. 


CLEANSERS (I usually have 4 types on hand):

  1. FOUND Quick/Travel/Waterproof Makeup remover: LOVE Garnier Micellar water (use with cotton pad. Simple & cheap)
  2. FOUND Makeup removing cleanser (oil or balm): LOVE Farmacy Green Clean Balm
  3. STILL LOOKING Regular, daily wash. Cleans well for combo skin, leaves no residue. Brightening properties ideal. 
    • TRIED Tarte “Rainforest Of the Sea”. Good, but no brightening properties. Not drying, but slightly oily residue
    • TRYING Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
    • TRYING Ole Henriksen the clean truth
  4. STILL LOOKING Acne prone days wash/exfoliate
    • TRIED Tarte “Frixxx” Stick. Loved it, but left residue and not much in package. Finished too fast. Residue not great for acne, just exfoliation
    • TRYING Neutrogena Grapefruit Oil Free Acne Wash


Regular, daily. Cleansing, Moisturizing and pore minimizing

  1. TRIED “Fresh” Rose Deep Hydration - good, but too watery. Don’t like dispenser, which pours too fast when squeezed
  2. TRYING Indie Lee C0Q-10 Toner
  3. TRYING Claudalie Beauty Elixir
    1. Apparently more of a “setting spray” than toner. Has alcohol Smiley Sad



Target Brightening, uneven texture, pores (Necessary at 32?)

  1. TRIED Ole Henrikson “Truth”. Liked it. Lightweight, but not much result.
  2. TRIED Drunk Elephant “Vitamin C Day Serum”. Very sticky & stupid expensive! Makes me too shiny
  • Honestly, not sure if a serum is necessary for my problems. Always seems like an annoying, extra step in the morning. Perhaps will use retinol when wrinkles start to become a problem. Will probably skip in the future, once products run out. Thoughts?



Target problems: dark circles!

  1. TRIED Algenist “Complete Eye Renewal Balm”
    1. Received for free. After months of use, definite slight improvement. I feel it is more for wrinkles, which is not yet a problem for me.
  2. WANT TO TRY: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream



Concerns: shininess + pores

  1. TRIED Drunk Elephant “Polypeptide” - found to be greasy and too expensive
  2. TRIED Tarte, “Water Cream” - LOVE IT, but too darn expensive Smiley Sad
  3. TRIED Murad, SPF - Loved it but moved away from moisturizers containing SPF. I now believe they need to be separate. 
  4. TRIED Origins “Ginzing” - Loved it, but didn’t have the pores reduction effect. May try again later.
  5. TRYING: Belif “Aqua Bomb” - liking it, almost like the Tarte Water Cream BUT it doesn’t absorb as well. Still searching...HAS ALCOHOL! NOO! MUST RETURN!



  1. TRIED Tarte Silken Pore Perfecting - love it, but too expensive Smiley Sad
  2. TRIED: Drunk Elephant Umbra - leaves white cast, super thick
  3. TRIED Algenist Ultra Lightweight UV Defense - liked it, very lightweight. Perhaps will go back...Would have to get primer separately, not that big a deal.
  4. TRYING: Supergood Unseen - liking it so far, but worried it is clogging pores. Had some breakouts after…


Toner + ...

Chemical Exfoliating

  1. TRIED Origins “Night-a-Mins” - was sold to because it was a moisturizing cream + AHA peel. Never again gonna try combo products. Too heavy for me. Need to use it all up and dreading it Smiley Sad. Will use only on dry days.
  • WANT TO TRY: Farmacy “Honeymoon Glow”

Acne-prone days, for overall avoidance

  1. LOVE Peace-Out Acne spots: LOVE for Concentrating on a single, bad zit. Gone in 6 hours. Will use forever!
  2. TRYING Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel: Like it, but expensive.
  3. WANT TO TRY The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% solution: Basic, but apparently works and CHEAP!



To be used when have the time, depending on issue. Have a fancy + cheap alternative and swap between to save $$

Acne/Detox - use pore sucking up clay!

  1. CHEAPER TRYING Loreal Pure Clay Charcoal: not bad, not great. Sucks skin dry at least. And not expensive.
  2. TRYING Herbivore Blue Tansy: Will note effects after few days. Do not mix with “honeymoon glow” as could cause over exfoliation.
  3. CHEAPER WANT TO TRY: Origins “Clear Improvement"
  4. FANCY LOVE Dr. Jart + Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask, but expensive 

Moisturize - when feeling dry

  1. FANCY LOVE Dr. Jart Hydration Love Rubber Mask - awesome but expensive! Use sparingly. Go back and forth with cheaper alternative
  2. FANCY WANT TO TRY: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mask


Brightening - when feeling dull, especially if I stop using vitamin c serum

  1. FANCY WANT TO TRY: Dr Jart+ Bright Lover Rubber Mask




Re: Help | Critique my Skincare routine please, before I go broke!

Reality is that it is better to invest in 5 good products one at a time rather than buying a bunch of things that are cheap, skin doesn't forgive. In my opinion you need to through all your products and start over. I am going to give you a good formula based on what you are exposing and based on my experience. Some products are in Sephora and some are not. Look for brands that have more balanced, natural and gentle approach like FRESH, ELEPHANT, CAUDALIE and combine then with once a week stronger resurfacing serum. DENNIS GROSS  chemical peel towels will work for you as long as you use it gently and every very few days. Another resurfacing treatment that can work for you and that I personally love because is gentle and it works is the resurfacing serum that comes in a hot pink and white dispenser will make a miracles for you. Use that at night.Also the Baby Facial from ELEPHANT. In the morning apply vitamin C and B5, I personally love the vitamin C from OBAGI and an hidrating B5 serum in drops from SKIN CEUTICALS.  Make sure you protect your pores before applying makeup. Use the DIOR prep is like a pinkish cream and is high quality. Ordinary has good and affordable LACTIC ACIDS and GLYCOLIC ACIDS that you could definetly benefit from... Marula Oil from ELEPHANT is a great product. Rosa Mosqueta oil if it's pure it's great, any brand that is zero additives "rosehip oil". As a final note, make sure to use the best make up and medium to light weight, maybe a BB CREAM would be better for you for the 80 per cent of the week. Apply SPF EVERY DAY. OBAGI, has a non greasy good one. If the shiny bothers you, get a translucent setting powder, one that has good in it. GIVENCHY has the best translucent powder, no reactions... You need to start taking seriously the products you use in your face. Toners from obagi are good too. Make sure the products respect your skin and do not maje it worst. Get what you need the most, eliminate the products you have, and for the rest get samples while you get one by one the good quality products, at your own budget pace. Good luck Smiley Happy I hope it helps!

Re: Help | Critique my Skincare routine please, before I go broke!

Cleansers :

* Philosophy Purity made simple is a good one and cheaper (Blackfriday deals on this are incredible)

* Drunk Elephant Beste (if you like gel type) or Drunk Elephant PeeKee bar (lasts 4+ months)



If you are using DE cleansers, you don't need toner. But if you like to acid tone then CosRx BHA power liquid is really good. 

I would like to hear your thoughts on Indie Lee CoQ toner


Day Serum:

Caudalie Radiance serum is good and light


Try to see Stephani Nicole (she generally has multiple price point options and doesn't do sponsored videos) or others videos where they have done a more affordable or drugstore version. 


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