Recently I have been struggling with clogged pores on my face which either develop into acne or stay as little annoying bumps forever. I finally realised that they weren’t going away with the skincare products that I was using, so I needed to do some research and find something that would actually work for me.
I have finally managed to find a routine that is giving me the results I want! I have pretty much completely changed the products I use and have tried to develop some new habits which I believe are also helping to keep my skin under control. I’ve been wanting to share this routine with you for ages, but I didn’t want to recommend anything until I was positive that these products were making a difference to my skin! So here we have it: my current skincare routine which aims to fight clogged pores and keep the skin smooth and glowing.
I have 13 products to share with you – and yes, that does sound a bit high maintenance. I’m not suggesting that you need every single one of these products, but in combination they have worked really well for me and maybe one (or more!) of them will work for you too! If anything, I hope that you skincare fanatics can discover a new brand or product that you love. I’ve divided my skincare routine into morning and evening, although some products cross over into both.
* Since writing this blog post, I now use the Kate Somerville Anti Bac Clear Lotion every evening. You can read my review on it here.
1. Tribeca Skin Tonics ‘Cleansing Balm’
I’ve written an entire review (which you can find here) dedicated to Tribeca Skin Tonics and their incredible Cleansing Balm, so I’m sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that this is my cleanser of choice. I’ll summarise why I love this balm so much and won’t be changing anytime soon: it’s extremely hydrating, leaves my skin feeling soft and supple, is very gently (even on angry acne), smells amazing and a little goes a long way. Most importantly, this cleanser does an incredible job of removing all traces of dirt and makeup from the skin. You can go over your face afterwards with micellar water, but I guarantee that nothing else will come off. If you’re struggling with acne or clogged pore (and even if you’re not) it’s so important to make sure that you keep your face clean and don’t start the day with traces of makeup from the night before still on your skin (eeeeek!)
2. Skin Sonic mini
A key step in my routine, I use this vibrating cleansing brush in combination with the Cleansing Balm. It’s made of very soft silicone and I find that it works best with a balm cleanser. Every morning I massage the balm into my face using the Skin Sonic mini. It really helps to buff away the any dirt or oils on my face that are clogging my pores. I focus the brush around my cheeks and chin – it’s very gentle and doesn’t leave my skin looking irritated in the slightest. A few years back I watched a Lisa Eldridge video on facial massaging and there are just so many benefits! I definitely recommend that you watch THIS and read about the benefits of this vibrating facial brush HERE… blood-flow circulation, oxygen to your skin cells and an increase in collagen production… if you don’t have anything like this in your routine you should definitely do some research and give it a go! I highly recommend this Skin Sonic mini in particular – it’s so travel friendly and the perfect size to use for a facial massage (plus it looks so cute).
As you’ll see in my evening routine, sometimes I’ll use this cleansing brush for a second time to really clean my face after a long day. The great thing is that the Skin Sonic is it’s gentle enough to do this with. I used to use a rotating cleansing brush similar to the Clarisonic and I would have cringed hearing that someone used it twice a day as it really wasn’t gentle enough for that! No need to worry with this silicone one though. If you’re like me and feel you’re face muscles are tense and almost sore after a long/stressful day, it just feels amazing to use the Skin Sonic and get rid of the tension.
3. Hunt Skincare ‘Daily Face Mist’
The best face mist I have ever used! I’ve used this for months and months – this is the one face mist that I just keep coming back to. This spray has a list of beautiful ingredients (which is one of the reasons that I love it so much), but I would say that the incorporation of witch hazel, green tea and Manuka is what has really helped my skin. This mist has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients which are great for those of us who are trying to keep our skin under control. Unfortunately I’d say that I only have about a week’s worth of sprays left (cries on the inside)… An entire post dedicated to this brand has been a long time coming, so keep your eyes peeled!
4. Ole Henrikson ‘Truth Serum’
I picked this up on a whim while I was holidaying in Sydney – it came in a set with the night gel for a total of $60 instead of buying it on it’s own for $76… was there ever really a choice? At first I didn’t really think much of this and then I started consistently using it and fell in love. It smells like fruit loops and some type of childhood medicine… nice once you are used to it! It definitely brightens my skin the moment I put it on and leaves a healthy looking glow. It’s formulated with vitamin C and collagen and it adds a layer of hydrating to my skin. I’ve been using this consistently for about 5 weeks and I’m halfway through the 30ml bottle. In terms of a lasting brightening effect, I haven’t noticed one, but I’ll report back in another month. It definitely doesn’t break me out and is quite gentle.
5. Origins ‘Ginzing eye cream’
My favourite eye cream of the moment! The second I apply it I can actually see a huge difference in the brightness under my eyes. If you examine the cream up close there are tiny sparkly particles, but these aren’t noticeable once applied. This does wonder for dullness and dark circles! I don’t really have much to say about this eye cream, other than it truly does visibly brighten my under eyes.
6. Embroylisse ‘Lait-Creme Concentre’
A French pharmacy classic with a cult following… I can see why! I used to use this moisturiser a couple of years back, but sadly my makeup/skincare bag was stolen with this gem inside (that’s another story) and ever since then I struggled to find somewhere to repurchase this that didn’t cost and arm and a leg. Luckily us NZ folk now have INÈS brining us French pharmacy classics, such as this Embroylisse moisturiser. I’ll keep this short and simple as so many of you on Instragram want to see an in-depth review of this beauty, so one is is the works! Lait-Creme Concentre is very hydrating, nourishing, leaves the skin looking plump and makeup glides on so well over this. Most importantly, this moisturiser doesn’t clog my pores, so basically I can’t get enough of it.
7. Mecca Cosmetica ‘To Save Face’
My current sunscreen of choice. It’s been a struggle to find a sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores and leave me a shiny mess. This Mecca one is doing well so far! It’s lightweight, matte and not greasy…it also smells divine. I can’t stress enough how important sunscreen is to use daily! The only thing I don’t love about this sunscreen is that makeup doesn’t sit well underneath it… the sunscreen pills/balls up when I try to apply foundation over the top. Very frustrating! The longer I leave it before applying my makeup, the better.
As soon as I get home and I know that I’m in for the rest of the evening I’ll take off my makeup with a cleansing wipe – I think that this has made a really big difference to my skin as no makeup, dirt or grime from the day is left on my skin any longer than it needs to be. If you’re struggling with blemishes try taking your makeup off as soon as you get home, even if you don’t properly go through your evening skincare routine until later on – it’s something that has been working really well for me.
Let’s get into the evening routine!
8. Raw Kanvas ‘Canvas: Resurfacing AHA & BHA Treatment’
This is the star of the show. I absolutely love it. To kick off my nighttime skincare routine, I start with the Raw Kanvas ‘Resurfacing Treatment’ – if I could only recommend one product from this whole routine, this would be it. This treatment applies like a mask – I leave it on for about 15 minutes and then wash off. This has made a huge difference in reducing my clogged pores – it’s also really great for clearing up old acne scars. I used to have tons of tiny bumps around my chin/lower cheek area, but this treatment has almost completely reduced them. Don’t let the ‘AHA & BHA’ bit scare you… this treatment isn’t irritating at all. It also smells amazing and if you’ve learnt anything about me so far it’s that I’m a sucker for good smelling products.
After the ‘Resurfacing Treatment’ I’ll go back in with Tribeca Skin Tonics ‘Cleansing Balm’ and sometimes I’ll use the Skin Sonic mini for a second time – especially if I’ve had a stressful day and I can feel that the muscles in my face are tense/sore – does anyone else get this? It feels so relaxing to massage my face.
9. Raw Kanvas ‘The Limelight: Brightening Probiotic Lotion’
Say goodbye to bad bacteria! This is a live vegan probiotic which helps to deliver good bacteria to the skin – a must have for anyone struggling with blemishes. This lotion says that it will eliminate toxins and help with inflammation and I have found that it really does this. I use this lotion every other night I’ve seen a huge decrease in breakouts. I just think that having a probiotic lotion for the skin is such a novel idea and it makes so much sense to use one! This is definitely the coolest product in my whole routine. I don’t use it every night, but I do use this quite a few nights each week.
10. ‘Invigorating Night Transformation Gel’
This gel has AHAs to help improve uneven skin texture, dullness and dark spots. To be completely honest, I haven’t noticed a dramatic difference in my skin, but I have it so I use it anyway (how many of us can admit to doing this?). It does sting a little on breakouts so I try to avoid those areas. It feels quite nice on the skin and adds an extra layer of hydration at night. It definitely hasn’t had any adverse effects on my skin and it could be really helping with my clogged pores, so I don’t want to stop using it just in case! It’s not one of those products that you can see or sense an immediate difference from, but I’m going to keep using it – I would recommend the other Ole Henrikson product ahead of this.
11. Raw Canvas ‘The Foundation: Flawless Retinol and Vitamin C Lotion’
A vegan retinol lotion that helps to decrease fine lines and discolouration! This is the first Vitamin C lotion I have ever used and I’m loving it. What I particularly love about this cream is how hydrating it is – it’s perfect to wear at night as it sinks into the skin and feels really nourishing. Every morning when I wake up my skin feels soft and hydrated – it also looks brighter! A little goes a long way, so I know that this lotion will last me a while – I can’t wait to see how many skin is looking in a few months time. If you do use a cream like this make sure you wear sunscreen during the day! Even though you already should be. (Is it bad to use the Invigorating Night Gel as well as this? I’m not sure, but my skin seems to like it).
12. Mario Badescu ‘Hyaluronic eye cream’
I’ve been using this eye cream for about a year (it was one of the few items I repurchased when my skincare bag was stolen). I only use this in the evenings and find it to be really hydrating. It’s so gentle and doesn’t have any scent, so definitely a good product for those with sensitive skin. It hasn’t made a dramatic difference to my under eyes, but I’m not really looking for a difference as I’m only 22 and things are pretty good at the moment. So much like the Origins eye cream, there isn’t too much to say, but I do really enjoy using this and would probably buy it again, or at least try another eye cream from the Mario Badescu range.
13. Mario Badescu ‘Drying Lotion’
Another classic, I don’t love this drying lotion, but it mostly does the job. It isn’t a miracle treatment by any means, but it does seem to work well on drying up pimples that have only just appeared. Forget using this on fully fledged break outs though! However, I’ve talked to people who absolutely swear by this, so it might work really well for you.
To summarise my top tips would be DRINK WATER, take off you’re makeup as soon as you get home, use a cleansing silicone brush like the Skin Sonic mini and try the Raw Kanvas resurfacing treatment! Let me know if you liked this skincare routine and if you have any products which combat clogged pores that you swear by.