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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

Hey @MissEmilly you can tell if it's a physical sunscreen by checking the active ingredients - I believe Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are the only UV blockers that are considered physical sunscreen. All the others, like avobenzene, oxybenzene, oxtinoate etc are chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens sit on top of your skin and block the UV rays whereas chemical ones get absorbed. 


Because of this, physical sunscreens are better for people with sensitive skin. There are a few studies questioning the safety of chemical sunscreens as well so other people without sensitive skin prefer physical. 


Chemical sunscreens usually go on smoother. A big issue with physical sunscreen is that most formulas leave a white cast. 


I have heard many rave reviews about the Neogen Dermalogy SPF 50 in the orange and white tube. I haven't tried it but people say it's very light and leaves no white cast. 


I liked the Clinique SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen for face as well but ended up returning because my face reacts to vitamin C products and this contains a form of it. If your skin can tolerate that though then I highly recommend it - it was very light, easy to blend in, and no white cast. 


I'm currently using the Coola SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen Stick. I like it enough to keep it but I preferred the Clinique if I hadn't been allergic. The SPF stick I haven't reacted to but it's a waxy texture that you can feel on your skin. It's worth it to me because my skin reacts to 90% of things and my skin is also dry so I don't mind the waxy texture as much (it's pretty hydrating). It's also got a very slight tint so no white cast. 


All the products I suggested are physical sunscreens, but chemical sunscreens are usually more comfortable. If you find one you like and will reapply consistently the extra UV protection is worth it over the very slight risk. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

thank you SO much for all the info and recommendations! I picked up the Sun Safety Kit and I noticed some of them are chemical sunscreens so I will toss that! I'm terrible at reapplying my sunscreen, I often forget so I think a physical sunscreen is a lot better for me.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

All below is correct but I also wanted to add HOW they work is different and that's where people can sometimes have issues with chemical sunscreens (along with their chemical makeup).


Physical sunscreens work by actively blocking the suns rays from hitting you skin.  Think of them as a deflector that bounces the suns rays right off your skin as soon as they hit.   They also go to work right away where chemical ones take longer to work.


Chemical sunscreens work by creating a chemical reaction within your skin by changing the UV rays into heat, then your body releases that heat from your skin.  Some of the them to scatter the rays but most absorb.  Additionally, most chemical sunscreens take about 30 min to start to work.


If you have sensitive skin or any hyperpigmentation, acne scarring or age spots, a chemical one is NOT ideal for you as the heat that is create merely by it working how it is supposed to, can cause more damage to your existing conditions. 


oxybenzone Is a chemical found in most chemical sunscreens and it is a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt your horomones as it is absorbed into your skin/blood.


Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide ARE the only physical/mineral sunscreen ingredients.  

Many sunscreens are a combination of both physical/mineral and chemical.  


I hope that was helpfulSmiley Happy



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

This was very helpful! I struggle with hyperpigmentation so I will start using more physical sunscreens. I prefer chemical sunscreens because they are a little thinner, but physical sunscreens sound sooo more beneficial in the long run. Thank you!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Ok, just because I don't see it asked here- what do you beauties use to minimize pores (or even just cover them for makeup application)?  

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Hi All!  My daughter is having difficulty finding a good routine for her skin. She came to me and although it didn't look red, when you touched it, it felt ruddy (like very fine sand paper). I told her I believed her skin was both under moisturized and dehydrated. She is currently using only MissHa FTE and Neutrogena Hydroboost water gel in the am and then MissHa FTE, Cerave Lotion, followed by Biossance Rose Face Oil in the pm. She also exfoliates twice a week and uses the Fresh Rose Mask a couple times a week. Her skin texture has improved somewhat but she is also breaking out. She had been using Paula's choice AHA/BHA  too but stopped when she started trying to get her skin soft.  I told her I think she needs to add that back into her routine but I was going to post the question to get help from all of you too. She is getting married in the beginning of July and really wants her skin to look its best.

A few things you might want to know about her to help. She is 24 (going on 25), does not wear any makeup on a daily basis, and is a minimalist when it comes to skincare. 

What products/routine would you all suggest to address these issues? I am open to any and all suggestions. Thank you all in advance. I am desperate to help her.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

hi @NancieNano ! tell her to add the Paula's Choice BHA back into her routine. it's whats going to help soften the texture of the skin the most-- particularly when she follows it with those hydrating products. this should also help with the breakouts. how often was she using it ? did the breakouts begin once she cut back usage ? and was she using her current routine in conjunction with the BHA before she stopped using it ?


the only exception to what i'm saying is if her skin just doesn't like BHAs. (for example, mine tolerates them but responds to AHAs better. everyone's skin is different). but if she was using it without problem before, tell her to use it when she does to bed at night, after cleansing. also, see if she gets better results with the rose oil but applying it before her moisturizer, rather than after. everyone has different opinions on where oils should go (before or after moisturizer) but i prefer to put them on before, as i find they absorb infinitely better.


lastly, how does she like the neutrogena hydroboost water gel ? it's definitely, in theory, the sort of cream to go for when dehydrated. but the second ingredient is dimethicone, as is the 3rd. these sorts of ingredients are find for some skins, but to be honest--particularly when so far up and prominent in the ingredients list--the dimethicone is there to serve as a "feel". to make skin feel smooth and hydrated, rather than to smooth and hydrate. can lead to breakouts too, she might be better served by a different type of moisturizer.....

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@jemly thank you for your reply. She was not using her current routine when she was using the BHA so I think removing that might be part of the issue. Should she use it am and pm or just once a day?


Also, I was mistaken. She is using the oil then the moisturizer like you do.


She loves the neutrogena hydroboost water gel but if it is only giving her  the feel of hydration and not really doing the job, maybe she should try something else. And like you and @pixiedust2 said,, her skin might not like dimethicone.  Any suggestion for a hydrating yet light moisturizer? She does not like to "feel" it on her skin once put on. (That's why she likes the Neutrogena)

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

OH @jemly and @pixiedust2 she was using the Paula's Choice Resist Repair Barrier Moisturizer. But it has retinol and was not moisturizing enough so stopped ussing that awhile ago.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@NancieNano Have her eliminate the Rose, both the Bioessence and the Fresh. Some people are sensitive to Rose and she could be having a mild reaction. It can build up over time, even if she's been ok with it before. Have her switch to the regular squalene instead. 


And yes she should add the Paula's Choice back. But I can't stress this enough. She needs to add a sunscreen, especially with the acids. Rain or shine, every day. If she wants something milder, the Pixi Glow Tonic is great. Leaves my skin soft. 


I agree with Jemly on the silicone issue. You know my opinion. She's using two moisturizing products with silicone. Those little bumps, plus the breaking out, make me think her pores are clogged. She would be better off trying a face Oil along with the squalene and eliminating those silicone based moisturizers. And honestly, I know peeps swear by that Rose face mask, but it dehydrates me terribly and I have oily skin. 


NJ do you have that Mario Badescu silver mask? The little pot of power? That stuff is a miracle worker to quickly unclog the skin. It eliminates blackheads in minutes and she could try it as an allover mask. 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Hi @pixiedust2. I did not know that about rose oil/products. I'll give her the squalene to use tonight. 


I will definitely tell her to begin using the BHA 2% again. I asked @jemly but I'll ask you too. AM and PM or once daily?


Is there any moisturizer you can recommend that hydrates and doesn't contain silicone? She won't want to use an oil in the am because she doesn't like the feel of it.


She loves that rose mask and likes the way if feels but if you think it might be clogging her pores, I'll have her stop. What type of mask would give her the hydration she needs?


I do not have the Mario Badescu silver mask. I've never actually even heard of it. Would it be too harsh for a full face mask? 


This balancing moisture and hydration while keeping acne at bay is hard. LOL. But she's willing to try anything to get glowing skin for her wedding.  Thanks A. Smiley Happy


Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Okay y'all I need some skincare recommendations as I'm almost finished with what i'm currently using.


-I want facial oil recommendations

-I want essence recommendations (I love the texture of may coop, but i'm a little hesitant about repurchasing, because alcohol is the number 2 ingredient and I have dry skin)

-I want eye cream recomendations

-I want face wash recommendations (I'd ideally like something with tea tree oil, because I just like how my skin looks when I'm using some form of tea tree oil) 

-I open to adding serums instead of an essence or in addition to it


about my skin: I'm in my mid 20s and it's on the drier side if I'm not moisturizing enough. I had acne when I was a teenager (but went on accutane and my skin has been pretty much clear every since w/ a few hormonal breakout every now and then, which has completely when away when I added a prescription retinol cream). My skin was oily, before accutane, but now it's on the drier side. I had no hyperpigmentation issues (I have a nice even tone), but have minimal texture issues and generally am after brighter skin. 


here's what my current routine looks like:



I remove my makeup with coconut oil or vaseline if it's extra hard to get off

herbivore charcoal or dove soap (I want a liquid version of the herbivore bascially)

i sometimes use a straight witch hazel toner or may coop essence

bellevolve lac luronic (i'm giving this a try to sub for good genes)

prescription retinol

oil (currently rosehip oil from ordinary)

first aid beauty ultra repair cream


sometimes i use an acid mask like ordinary's or herbivore's about 1x a week; i use straight tea tree oil over any spots if i have them, but haven't had that issue in about a year



most of the time i just rinse my face with water and don't cleanse it

i sometimes use a straight witch hazel toner or may coop essence

embryolisse lait creme concentrate or first aid beauty depending on how dry my skin is 


I really want a good softening facial oil. I've tried herbivore's orchid oil, ordinary's rosehip oil, josie maran argan oil... herbivore was probably the best absorbed and so i'll probably try the phoenix oil if I don't get another recommendation, but i just want something a little better 

I'm not currently using an eye cream. Last eye cream I tried gave me an allergic reaction (farmacy eye dew) so I've just been applying my creams to my eyes, but I think they might be a little heavy for my eyes/my eyes get a little dry from my retinol and I rub them so they'll be a little darker. I'd love a lightweight one that absorbs really well, but is really moisturizing and maybe brightening. I wear contacts, too. 


feel free to give me constructive criticism on my current routine 


thanks in advance Smiley Happy


Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@sierrafallon I'm sorry, you've waited so long for an answer! I am full of opinions, take that for what it's worth.


First, if you want to make your solid soap liquid you can do that.  Add www and com to make a link: 

Thebalance /liquid-hand-soap-recipe-1388706


I'm kind of worried about your coconut oil or Vaseline makeup removal step. Both are comedogenic, and IMO Vaseline strips your natural oils and replaces them with low quality mineral oil. That said, one of my balm cleansers is mineral oil based, so do what works for you! For me, when I use it up I'm going to look for more skin-friendly balm. 


I don't have a cleanser rec with tea tree oil.  But Uma Clarifying Oil has tea tree and I've been enjoying it. I feel like it's more of a treatment, so likely not your only oil.


Essences I like: TO Buffet, Eleven Huesday Photoluminosity, Kypris Antioxidant Dew, Whamisa Deep Rich Organic Flowers Toner. I've tried others but those are my likely repurchases in the future. 


Oils I like a lot: Aurelia Probiotic (fave), Trilogy COQ10 (less $$, but not quite as good). There will be more one day but I only have one face. Smiley Wink


Oils I've tried and mostly use on my neck/arms/hands because they weren't all I had hoped: Pixi Rose Oil, Paula's Choice Resist, Whamisa Organic Flowers, Clarins (the regular one.)


Creams: I use Dr. Jart Ceramidin as an eye cream as well as an all over. Great stuff. Also love Belif True Cream. You can get both as sephora samples. I use Eye Dew with no problem, so I'm not helpful there!


Not an eye cream but you might like anyway: MILK Cooling Water Stick. I have been using it in the AM after cleansing before any creams. The caffeine seems to perk me up a little!


last thought on eye cream: it doesn't need to be an eye cream! If you like your FAB cream, try it lightly around your eyes and see if you like that. 


Hope that helps? 



Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Oh my goodness @fairlywell thanks for your response!


I only use the Vaseline when I have really stubborn makeup. For whatever reason, my skin really likes coconut oil. It's never given me clogged pores and I've made a sugar scrub with it for years.   I usually just wash it off my face anyway. 


That's amazing tha you can make a bar soap a liquid. Did not know that so I'll have to try.


i was actually thinking about trying the Aurelia so I'm definitely putting that on my list.


ive heard so much about the ceramide cream, too. I'll have to get a sample. Unfortunately, belief products don't do well with my dry skin Smiley Sad


thanks again for all your recs! I'll be checking them out! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I need help to deal with this allergic reaction I got on my eyes.

I am not a makeup removing wipes person. I keep wipes but just to clean the spills of makeup and rarely ever use them on my face. 

Yesterday I was wearing only Mascara as makeup so got lazy and removed it with the Garnier Purifying makeup remover wipes (the ones in black packaging)

This morning I woke up with these annoying bumps on my eyes.

I know it is from the wipes because I haven't used any other new product for many days and nothing at all on my eyes. 

Now how should I treat these rashes? 


Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

OMG no! I am sorry @fatimamummy Smiley Sad  Cold compresses could possibly help if it hurts. I would also probably just stay away from products for a day or two. I personally would take something like Benadryl if it itches but I know how I react to that so it's definitely not for everyone. Not saying you should. I am just saying that's what I would do. Hopefully it passes very fast.


ETA: Hesitated posting this but in the past when the skin around my eyes got super irritated (very sensitive area for me) I used Vaseline for a day or two. I know it's not good but it did help.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@veronika23 I like the idea of cold compresses. 

Im on high dose of medication these days ( hence already plenty drowsy) so no idea where it will take me if I add Benadryl to the mix but I'll ask hubby to pick some just in case it get worst.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fatimamummy  I always found the cold compresses so soothing. I totally understand about the meds... hesitated posting Benadryl too. I hope it will go away by tonight or tomorrow morning. Smiley Happy

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Thank you V! I hope so too.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Your other medications could be sensitizing your skin, @fatimamummy. Take care of yourself! 

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fatimamummy Ouch! Does it itch/burn? Honestly I would not try anything new at all.  Freeze some damp washcloths? Maybe an aloe spritz if you have one you like? Do you think it's allergic or reactive? If you generally do well with an oral antihistamine that might help if it's allergic. 


Life hack for your future: I keep a little jar of sweet almond oil-soaked cotton pads to take off eye makeup if I'm not doing the whole double cleanse song and dance. Your oil would depend on your skin, obviously. Cheap and easy, winning combo for me. Smiley Happy

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

@fairlywell It does has some itching and discomfort 😔

Almond oil is the only thing I actually know I am allergic of. I always go with double cleanse even if I have slightest of makeup on. It was just a bad moment when I decided to go with wipes and then single cleansing.

Wish I had aloe spritz but for now I think I will make do with cold compresses with frozen wash cloth . Thanks!

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

I like that hack @fairlywell Smiley Happy  Jojoba oil is a good one to remove makeup too. It's the closest oil to resemble sebum.  @fatimamummy  just in case you want to try something like that in the future Smiley Happy

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Thank you @veronika23 I'll keep that in mind.

Re: Skincare 101: Discussions, Questions and All

Oh dear, I had the same thing happen to me the first (and last) time I used cleansing wipes, I woke up with my eyes so swollen, and then it was like the top layers of my eyelid skin died and I had flaking and peeling for a week and a half, it was awful. Benedryl is a smart move. I just used a really good plain unscented eye cream during the flaking and peeling stage. This week I just purchased and used the Ciate cleansing balm which is just for eyes and lips. It's really clean ingredient wise and completely scentless, marvellous product. I find plain oils don't remove eye makeup as easy for me. Take care of those peepers girl ! Benedryl!

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