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Post in Skincare Aware

Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

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



Thanks! I have attacked my skin with all of the above lol Smiley Very Happy

Cool I will try this out next time. That makes sense. I have noticed that when my skin is moisturized, issues don't seem as bad. Is there a particular oil that you like to use? 

And I'll try not to use my nails- I've been bad to my skin =(

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@jesscheemsI have multiple oils on rotation...I don't really keep track of which ones I use when I have breakouts though, just what I feel like that day and what other products I'm using: Herbivore Lapis (this is strictly my AM oil because my skin drinks it up and it doesn't make me look greasy), Pixi Rose Oil Blend, NUDE Rescue Oil, Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula, Fresh Seaberry Oil.


Definitely no picking. That is simply the worst you can do for pimples...we've all been there and I know it's hard, but I always regretted picking at my pimples because they always end up looking worse than before!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@jesscheems no problem, happy to help Smiley Wink


I will echo what @k617 mentioned re: treating the area with drying products, as it's true it does harden the area and make it more difficult to heal.


Also, when it comes to picking, I would extend that to popping, pushing, and any general manhandling of acne spots.  Touching them should be kept to a minimum, as you don't want to introduce additional bacteria to the situation.  Plus, when we pop/press/etc it can push the infection deeper under the skin and cause it to spread, resulting in more breakouts. No bueno Smiley Sad  Definitely use an oil to nourish, but another thing you can do to help them come to a head is applying a warm (not hot) compress a few times a day to the area.  The heat can help to loosen and draw the gunk to the surface.


 Spoilering the rest:


If your skin is reacting well to jojoba, argan and vitamin E already, any of those would be a good candidate.  Jojoba in particular is considered anti-bacterial (good) and is similar in make up to sebum that our skin naturally produces so it absorbs well.

If you are wanting to stick to the natural skincare realm, generally that means sticking to the 'green beauty' brands like Herbivore, Farmacy, Tata Harper, etc or DIY'ing.  Broadly speaking green beauty seems to be a bit more costly but there are lots of options out there.

I can totally relate to what you've said @jesscheems. Last year I received a diagnosis that brought to light why I was having all the cystic acne issues I'd been dealing with for close to a year prior and after that I spent a lot of time investigating what could help to calm and soothe my skin.  I may PM you about this a bit more, as my experience may help but I am not comfortable sharing it broadly.

If you are using the Cetaphil and it isn't drying, I don't see any reasons why you couldn't use it on days you've worn makeup, after removing the makeup with your coconut oil.  If you are looking for other cream cleansers, you may want to check out the Pixi Caroline Hirons Double Cleanser - it contains both a makeup remover and a cream cleanser in one pot.  I haven't tried mine yet because I'm still trying to finish my current Farmacy Green Clean, but it has gotten many rave reviews.  In general I use an oil product to remove my makeup (Clinique Take The Day Off, Farmacy Green Clean, NUDE Oil Cleanser) and then if I want a second cleanse I use the Pixi Glow Mud, but I have combo oily skin so this might not work for you. 

Please fill us in on how the Niacinamide works if you use it on the body; I am curious.

I'm sorry to hear about your health and your hair.  It can be quite shocking to see how many things can be affected by what we eat and what products we use.  

In terms of SPF, it's not often that I'm out in the sun but for my face I use the PTR Rose Oil with SPF 15, primarily because sunscreens in general cause me to break out.  If I'm going to be in the sun for an extended period of time I will use Coola.

Interestingly enough, the Ordinary does not have the Magnesium cream listed as a contraindication for the Niacinamide, which I believe is because it's made of a vitamin C derivative and not pure vitamin C.  So theoretically you could use both in the same application, but you may want to space them out so you aren't doing a ton of steps at one time. Smiley Happy






Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All



Manhandling lol. That's exactly what I've done! Definitely going to be nicer to my skin going forward. This is all so eye opening haha.

Okay cool. I think I'll stick to Jojoba. Definitely PM me- totally appreciate it! Smiley Happy

The Pixi Double Cleanser looks like a nice product to try- thanks for the recommendation.

For sure! Can't wait to experiment. I just ordered Niacinamide from The Bay but the description on the site was for Alpha Arbutin so let's see what comes in the mail Smiley Frustrated 

I wasn't sure if my Cetaphil was helping remove any makeup after oil cleansing so I've been using the Tea Tree but maybe it's fine and I'm just overthinking things and could ditch the cleanser.

Thanks for understanding. I'm trying to come to terms with everything and have been for quite awhile now (feels like forever).

I breakout with sunscreens as well. I purchased a drugstore one that is oil free by Neutrogena. I haven't used it enough to know if I will breakout with it. 

Interesting. I would have thought you wouldn't be able to use the Magnesium and Niacinamide together. Alright that makes sense. Thanks a million! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I'm new to this brand that everyone seems to be talking about, and really appreciate your run down of the products P! I'm going to have to look at the Niacinamide serum.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@k617 the Niacinamide is pretty decent stuff.  I posted a mini review in the Deciem thread as well.  I had been wanting to incorporate Niacinamide into my routine for a while but wasn't looking for another pricy product.  


This was a good way to test what it can do and I think I may continue with it once I'm finished my bottle.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

What about trying out Differin??? 

0.1 gel became OTC, pretty affordable. 


I can't use any retinol so far (bad reactions and severe irritation leading to micro inflammation) or topical tretinoin  BUT i can use adapalene (3rd gen retinoid) with very minor irritation. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@HoneydewK I don't believe Differin is available OTC in Canada yet, which is where Jesscheems is.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@jesscheems About Caffine solution @Mochapj is right, I basically picked it for fluffiness. I don't expect it to do anything for lines. I am using separate eye creams on top of it for rest of the problems. Farmacy Eye dew is great for dark circles but I don't feel it does much for fine lines so I started using Shiseido beneficence wrinkle resist 24 (from recent promo) at night and Farmacy Eye dew during the day both on top of Caffine solution. This routine is pretty new so I can't say at this time if it is working but I will share my feedback after a few weeks of use.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Hi all Smiley Happy so I've been waiting for the VIB sale this spring to pick up Sunday Riley Power Couple..I am currently testing both for a week now at night and CEO in the AM ...I do not see any changes on my combo skin thou so im not sure if i will buy....My questions are :

Anybody tried the Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser? and

Tidal Brightening Water Cream? 


DO you guys put toner and  serum first prior applying luna oil and good genes? Or you apply directly after cleansing the face? Is it too much product on the face?


Can i put the toner and serum with the CEO in the am?


current toner: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@mztm I am using both Ceramic slip Cleanser and Tidal, I like Tidal very much and find it very hydrating. I use it in the morning.


For Ceramicslip Cleanser, though I have oily/ combination oily skin, I find it a bit too much for daily use. It is a clay Cleanser and dries out the skin if used everyday (or it did in my case) So I use it once or twice a week on the nights when I feel my skin needs a bit deeper cleansing.


Both Luna oil and Good genes are treated as serums but as SR says you can layer them together at night or use Luna at night and good genes in the morning. Toner will come after cleansing and before serum.


CEO is a moisturizer so you can definitely use toner and serum before it.



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@mztm I'm not sure what results you would like from the power couple duo, but using for only a week will not show anything more than superficially (ie skin feels softer) since skin turnover is a 4-6 week process.


i have tried both ceramic slip and tidal. Cc is quite drying and when used daily it ended up giving me lots of little congested spots. I continued to use it infrequently until I finished the bottle by mixing it with gg for the flash facial. Long story short, there are better cleansers. Lots of people love tidal but I was not a fan. I didn't feel like it held moisture long term and I'm not a fan of fragrance added to skincare. I also found it gave a burning sensation whenever I used it.


a good rule of thumb is cleanse, tone, serum, hydrate (oil or cream, or both)



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

thank you all @fatimamummy@Mochapj@underwhelmed11@MissPuff


i have stocked Purity cleanser from holidays so i think ill skip the cleanser and tidal with the set ( squad goals) and just buy the power couple ...i was thinking its better value the squad goals since it included cleanser and water tidal but they slash the luna in half size.... Smiley Sad


btw..i just saw a lot of Shiseido,Dr Brandt at Winners this weekend so i pick up the Dr Brandt age arrest eye cream and Shiseido toner at 29.99 each Smiley Happy almost bought the Dr Brandt glow serum...hence i was asking the question if i need it in my routine....


Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I agree with Mocha here. Tidal wasn't as irritating as other skincare products from SR, but it wasn't even in top 10 among moisturizers I've used. 


Ceramic slip feels really nice when using/applying, but I also got irritation (congestions from micro inflammation is not a good picture, and took me more than 2 weeks to completely recover). 


If you want to try mud-containing cleansers, I like Pixi mud cleanser (was recommended by BTer) and I love it because among all products I've tried, Pixi is the only brand that has products containing AHA that don't irritate my skin. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I will second @HoneydewK on the Pixi Mud Cleanser - it's one product that's always on my counter - love that stuff.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Third for the Mud Cleanser! So glad you encouraged me to get this @Mochapj. My skin is baby soft after having used this for a couple of months, and no long term irritation (it did take a couple of weeks for my skin to get used to the minor tingling sensation).


I have a bottle of Ceramic Slip open right now and while I really like it, for the price and effectiveness I don't think I'll buy again. I limit my use of this cleanser to once per week--for no reason other than the fact that I find the Pixi Mud Cleanser to be far superior (and cheaper!)

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I've got combo to dry skin and while I love good genes, I feel like Tidal is just okay. I really wanted to love it because I love the texture and it feels really nice when you first put it on, but for me, just doesn't really provide enough moisture. I find myself having to use a second moisturizer or lotion soon after. Tidal might be something I go back to in the summer when my skin is less dehydrated, but for the winter months, doesn't cut it.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I like Tidal okay but it isn't anything spectacular. I have combo skin. I think I'll go back to my Algenist Regerative Anti Aging Lotion once I'm done Tidal - the price is about the same, it comes in a pump (far superior to a jar IMO), and I think it has more anti oxidants, plus less heavily fragrances and no colourants

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Hi! I am looking to improve/change my skin care routine and am hoping for some suggestions. Currently I am using micellar water to take off my make up, followed by Philosophy Clear Days Ahead cleanser. I use a prescription tretinoin for acne and follow it with an Aveeno moisturizer. 


I have acne prone skin that is sensitive due to the tretinon treatment that I am on. I am very oily in my t-zone but have noticed that I can get very dry and flaky around my mouth and chin. When needed, I alternate between the Origins Out of Trouble mask for acne and the Laneige water sleeping mask for dryness. 


I am thinking of adding in a toner, face oil, and exfoliator but am very new to skincare and unsure of what to use. I tried the Ole Henriksen Balancing Force Toner and it caused me to break out. Is there anything else I should add in to my routine that I am missing? I am hoping to add in products one at a time to see how my skin reacts. 


Any suggestions for products would be much appreciated!! Thank you! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@magnoliabowtieIt sounds like your skin is acne-prone, dry and dehydrated. The tretinoin is causing additional dryness (if your normal skin type is dry already), which is the dry and flakiness you see around your mouth and chin. If your skin is damaged enough it can't reabsorb the oil it produces, the oil just sits on top as a layer on your face, hence you're also very oily. I used to have what I'd consider oily skin. By mid-day the oil would come through on my nose (even if I'm sitting at my desk in the office) and my foundation would break apart. Once I cut out all the drying products from my routine and added an oil (or two) to my routine, my skin has actually become less oily. I don't even need to blot now anymore, and if I do look a little shiny after some minor exercise (brisk afternoon walk for example), my skin ends up re-absorbing the oil once I cool down.


You have quite a few very harsh and drying products in your routine (this is on top of using the tretinoin) - the Clear Days Ahead has salicylic acid which is meant for treating acne (you wash it off so I couldn't say how effective the salicylic acid is--but typically cleansers targeted for acne prone skin are very harsh), the Origins Out of Trouble contains camphor, sulphur, clay and more salicylic which is another set of drying ingredients. I use this as a spot treatment ONLY when I'm desperate. Even then, I've rarely gotten good results with this mask. You might be tempted to attack your face with acne-targeting products, but sometimes those products do more harm than good, especially when you combine multiple of these products together.


The Ole Henriksen toner contains a bunch of acids...which, in addition to all the other already-drying and acid-containing products you're already using, doesn't surprise me that your skin finally had it and broke out when you started using it.


I do not find the Laneige water sleeping mask to really add any moisture whatsoever. I think your skin can definitely benefit from a face oil (everyone's skin can!) but finding the right oil for you will take a bit of research and possibly trial and error. I'll leave specific product recommendations to others. If your skin is sensitive, I would start with simple, short ingredient list oils so you know what you can and can't tolerate.


Overall, I think that if I used your skincare routine, it would strip away all the moisture from my skin, and I have slightly oily skin and not on any prescription meds. I can only imagine what it's doing to your sensitive, dehydrated skin thanks to the side effects of tretinoin!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@k617 Thank you very much for the detailed reply!! Your comments about oil sitting on top are exactly how my skin acts during the day. Looks like I need to start over from the beginning and do some research on better moisturizers/face oils. I appreciate your insight and advice! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@magnoliabowtie 100% agree with what @k617 has already stated.  


The products you are using are way too harsh, especially with you being on tretinoin already, which is extremely drying as is.


When on tretinoin you want to nourish your skin with an oil and you may even want a cream on top of that.  I did tretinoin for about 6 months last year and I felt like I could never get enough moisture.


Do you have a particular budget in mind?


I will say generally (until you've responded) that you would benefit from a gentle creamy or oil cleanser - something that will leave some moisture in your skin once you've finished cleansing it.


Once your skin is dry you'd apply your tretinoin.  About 30 minutes later you can proceed by adding a serum, oil, and/or moisturizer on top. 


I can provide some more specific product recommendations once you let me know what your $ would be.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@Mochapj I am fine with spending a bit more on products that I know will work. For a cleanser I'd like to stay between $30-$50 and would go up to $75-$80 for a serum or oil. 


I have a sample of the Drunk Elephant Marula Oil which I think retails for around $90. If I loved it, I could probably shell out for it but it would hurt a bit haha. A brand like Sunday Riley is probably out of my price range, but I would be willing to try out the smaller sizes if there was a product that had the potential to be amazing. 


Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help as I am a bit lost in this area! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@magnoliabowtie ok - I have a few things that could work for you in that range.  I'm assuming for the moment it's a cleanser that can be used with or without having worn makeup.


Here are a few cleansers that I like, that are fairly gentle but still nourishing. Tongue126... Tongue174...


The one thing all of these have in common is they are oil or balm type cleansers, which will allow you to cleanse without stripping the skin of all the moisture.  I like the Clinique and Farmacy in particular because they both emulsify with water (becoming creamy like a 'milk') and don't require a hot cloth to steam off.  If you're in the US, they are all around the $30 range.  I could also suggest the new Pixi Beauty Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse - with the caveat that I have not tried this yet myself - but that it is full of good ingredients and has plenty of great reviews.  It can be found at Target in the US, I believe and is in around that same price range, IIRC.


As for an oil, there are a few options.  I haven't personally used either of the Clarins oils because of a nut allergy in my household, but one of our resident skincare experts (@jemly) swears by these. Tongue379064 Tongue392...


As to the rest, they are at various price points and some have more bells and whistles than others.  There is another oil (Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil) that I like but I don't see it on Sephora anymore.  I think they may still sell it at Ulta, though. Tongue Tongue Tongue400...


Lastly, I agree with @k617 about the Laneige Sleeping Mask - I didn't find much difference when using it.  If you wanted to add a sleeping mask or heavier cream for overnight (which I would recommend, as it's kind of like putting on layers of clothing when it's going to be cold) I can recommend a few of those, too.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@Mochapj Thank you so much!! I've put a bunch of these on my loves list and will try them out to see what works for me. I will probably start with either the Clinique or Ren cleansers and check out either the Clarins or Ren oils. If you have a few suggestions for night creams, I would love them! 


Again, I can't thank you enough for spending the time putting this together! 

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