Ah, skincare. I had (or rather, still have) sensitive and acne-prone skin growing up, so it took a lot of trial and error to find products that work best for my skin type.
Here's a list of things that have been working well for me lately:
In terms of routine, I don't really have one anymore (sorry if that's not the answer you're looking for!). It's more like a standard set of procedures that I deploy depending on what my skin needs that day.
General principles that I stick to are:
a. Absolutely no soapy cleansers (messes up the pH of the skin);
b. Use either the micellar water or the Avène cream cleanser as a final rinse (because London's hard water sucks and gave me cystic acne);
c. Sunscreen every day, even if I'm at home because I use acids and retinol occasionally;
d. Moisturise right after I get out of the shower while my skin is damp (my grandmother taught me this one and has amazing skin for an 80+ year old);
e. If I do get a pimple, I'll wear an acne patch every day until it goes away. Best acne strategy so far and helped prevent a lot of scarring.
In case you still want a routine:
Rinse skin with lukewarm water, apply CeraVe moisturiser and La Roche-Posay sunscreen.
Evenings (on days I wear makeup)
Double cleanse with Clinique balm + micellar water
then apply Muji toner, CeraVe moisturiser and Elizabeth Arden eye cream.
Evenings (on days where my skin feels rough and dull)
Use either glycolic acid or the Paula's Choice BHA after cleansing. Then tone and moisturise.
Sometimes I'll switch out the CeraVe for the aloe vera gel, just because.
Switch CeraVe moisturiser with Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C moisturiser after cleansing.
Follow up with La Roche-Posay sunscreen the next morning
Note: I never do this 2-3 weeks before doing my eyebrows or waxing any part of my face. I also don't use exfoliants and retinol on the same night to minimise irritation.
Do nothing. My skin is somehow fine with me not cleansing it every day (not recommended...I'm just lazy). A recent phenomenon I discovered during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Last update: September 2021