My Skincare Routine / inexpensive products for adult acne, combination skin, and hyperpigmentation

First I would like to say I am not a dermatologist, or beautician and so I can't officially recommend my skincare routine to anybody. Also everyone's skin is different and can react differently to these products.

So all that being said, I've tried pretty much every skin care routine and product type under the sun for my (teenage then) adult acne, hyperpigmentation, and combination skin type. This routine hasn't 'cured' my skin but it has improved it to a degree that I no longer need my dermatologist prescribed medication (which frankly didn't do a whole lot) and so I consider this to be a necessary part of my life!

My Morning Routine:

The first part of my routine is my cleanser aka washing my face. I've tried many different face washes and frankly I don't think this is the most important part of my routine. All the other products actually stay on my face with the cleanser just washes off. Basically, I just try to go for something that isn't drying. Currently I'm using Shea Moisture African Black Soap that I apply with a mechanical face washing brush. Basically it's a knock-off clairsonic that I bought for $10 at T.J. Maxx.

Other brands I like for face wash is Lush's Fresh Pharmacy, Glamglow, and Skinfix foaming oil cleanser.

Next I tone my skin using Dickinson's Witch Hazel Hydrating toner. I make sure to use the alcohol free kind so it's not drying. I just swipe it over my face with a bit of tissue.

After that I use my essence. Now, I don't always do this step because it's the most expensive part of my routine and I can't afford to keep purchasing it. My favorite it the SK-II essence but I really can't afford it so I use the Missha essence too. To help with affordability these essences can sometimes be found in smaller 'sample' size in various kits like the Sephora Favorites kits.

Then I use two serums. I love the serums from The Ordinary since they have great ingredients at low prices. I use first Alpha Arbutin and then Niacinamide. They are both for hyper pigmentation, oil control, and the appearance of blemishes.

Lastly, I apply my moisturizer with is Olay Complete for Sensitive Skin. This is a light moisturizer which is all I need for my combination skin; I also apply it around my eyes as I don't use an eye cream except in the winter time. This moisturizer also has SPF 15.

Then I just apply my makeup for the day!

My Evening Routine:

My evening routine is very similar to my morning routine.

The first thing is remove my makeup with coconut oil. I hate face wipes because they are bad for the environment and irritate my skin and are also expensive! I had used micellar water which is nice but didn't remove my waterproof mascara very well. I then moved to face oils but I didn't like the added fragrance etc. Coconut oil is inexpensive and is great at basically 'melting' makeup off without clogging pores or anything.

After I rub in around my dry face I then wipe it off with a tissue. Then I wash my face like I do in the morning.

After that I tone like before and then sometimes add my essence.

Next, I use a serum. I have a couple of choices from The Ordinary and I use just one at a time. I either use Lactic Acid 10% or Retinoid 2%. Both of these lighten acne and help dry it out. Lactic Acid is also a chemical exfoliant.

I then will use a spot treatment on my active acne. I either use a salicylic acid/ benzoyl peroxide/ or sulfur.

This is my last usual step in my routine. I don't usually moisturize, because of my combo skin, but I will add moisturizer and/or an eye cream in the winter if my skin gets super dry.

There are also a couple of things I do once or twice a week. Instead of my night serum, or sometimes in the morning, I'll use a physical exfoliant. I have a lot of little tubes and I especially like Origins Modern Friction. I also use the Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution once a week. This is an excellent product that lightens my hyper pigmentation to a very high degree.

I also use Glamglow Clearing mud as a spot treatment on my whiteheads and also use various masks. I use the TonyMoly I'm Real Sheet masks when my face is dry and a clay mask if my face is oily. I have various ones I've picked up at the drugstore and don't have any real preferences.

My overall advice for skincare is to try out different stuff, but only add things one at a time to figure out what works for you. I also really recommend you try out products from The Ordinary; their prices are super cheap and are often dupes of higher end products. They also have regimen guides on their website. You really shouldn't have to spend too much money on your skincare; just focus more on ingredients than brands.

I hope this helps! What are your favorite skincare products?


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