a skincare update | part I

It wasn't too long ago that I was raving about the new Kiehl's products I'd just picked up. While that system seemed to work for me for over a year, I could tell it was time to change things up. My skin has been all over the board - super oily, super dry, tons of tiny breakouts. Gross. I did some research and asked around before finally settling on some tried and true Mario Badescu products.

I used a bunch of Mario Badescu products in high school. They are super affordable and super effective. I've been a fan of the drying lotion for awhile now. It works like a charm and it's only slightly embarrassing when I go to bed with little pink dots all over my face.

I browsed the website for a while, took the skincare assessment and read a TON of reviews online. I settled on the following products.
  • Botanical Facial Gel ($12) - A refreshing oil controlling cleanser. This non-soap, non-foaming, gel cleanser is deep cleansing and refreshing for oily skin. Removes make-up, dirt and oil thoroughly without over drying skin. Exfoliating Alpha Hydroxy formula helps prevent build-up that can cause blackheads and pimples. I'm using it morning and night. It smells great and doesn't feel harsh. You have to get used to the fact that it doesn't foam or lather. 
  • Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($15) - For dull, congested skin, this lathering, deep cleanser has the exfoliating powers of Glycolic Acid to break down build-up from skins surface, reduce minor discoloration and leave skin radiant and smooth. I've been using it 3-4 times a week. 
  • Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (Toner) ($15) - Your skin will be refreshed and deep cleansed with our 4% alcohol and soothing Cucumber Extract astringent. Removes pore clogging residue and disinfects skin’s surface for thoroughly clean skin to prevent future acne problems. It feels really good on my skin and gets rid of any last traces of make-up. I'm using it twice a day after washing with either of the above.
  • Control Moisturizer for Oily Skin ($18) - Acne inflamed and oily skin will be well hydrated and soothed with this oil-free, Balsam Peru formula. Reduces redness upon application while it provides the needed moisture balance from aggressive acne treatments. It's a little thicker than what I'm used to but I do think it balances the dry patches from treatment without being greasy.
I also purchased two products to use on my body - the Special Cleansing Lotion "O" and the A.H.A Botanical Body Soap.

It's important to note that no matter how many different products you use or how much you pay, it won't be effective unless you develop a firm routine. For me, that means washing my face both morning and night. It means using lukewarm water (not hot) especially when rising my face in the shower. It means regular exfoliation and moisturizing. Unfortunately, it also means not caking on the concealer and foundation on a bad skin day. (Ladies, we all know that only makes it worse...). It means keeping face wipes with salicylic acid in my gym bag so that I can quickly clean my face after a sweaty workout. (I also use those same wipes to quickly get my make-up off if it's a particularly sleepy night. I try not to make that a habit.) Lastly, it also means patience. Oh how we'd all like to wake up with amazing, smooth, glowing skin.

In just a week, I've definitely noticed and improvement in the evenness of my skin. My make-up goes on smoother and I need less of it. I've also noticed that my face isn't nearly as oily as it used to be at the end of the day.

I also started using a Clarisonic. That's coming up on Part II!

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