The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (Dr. Shreya Andric is a dermatologist based in Sydney. She is passionate about skin health and her mission is to educate the public on how to care for their skin, and also clear up the vast amount of misinformation out there on this topic.
While Dr. Andric has independently chosen the products that appear in this article, she does not receive revenue from the links. Some of the links may return revenue to Yahoo Lifestyle Australia.
My approach to skincare has obviously changed significantly since I became a dermatologist. Once upon a time, I was more interested in trends, what friends had been using on their skin, and also thought that perhaps more expensive products were superior to their cheaper counterparts.
As time has gone on, I have embraced my own skin type and choose to nourish it with products that suit it. During lockdown I have definitely experimented more but I find that the more products I apply to my skin, the more sensitive/irritated it becomes so I often have to pull back and give it a little break.
Below I will go through what products I use, when I use them, and in which order - keeping in mind that my skin is generally normal to dry, with occasional breakouts around my period. I try to offset the breakouts by taking the pill continuously but constant mask-wearing has meant that my skin has a mind of its own.
Cleanse – I use the Neutrogena HydroBoost Cleanser Water Gel. Cleanser is one thing I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on and this one can be found for around $11. I also like the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser but this one leaves the skin feeling a bit cleaner and has a lovely smell. It also contains hyaluronic acid to boost hydration.
Vitamin C serum – My go-to vitamin C serum is the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, which contains vitamin C, vitamin E and Ferulic Acid. This is on the pricier side, however, the science behind it is significant and I have found this product to help with overall improvement and evening out of my skin tone. I have also tried and enjoyed the Arbonne DermResults Illuminating Skin Therapy Concentrate as well as the Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Oil. The latter two contain THD ascorbate, which is a more stable molecule than L-ascorbic acid and so doesn’t necessarily need other ingredients to stabilise them. I will use the Sunday Riley one when my skin is feeling a little dry as it is in an oil base.
Sunscreen – As dermatologists we are always saying - the best sunscreen is the one you will use. My go to is the UltraViolette Supreme Screen SPF50+. As this is a hydrating sunscreen, I don’t feel the need to use a moisturiser as well and so this saves me a step in my skincare routine. As I spend most of the day inside when working, I tend not to need to reapply, however, I will do if I am spending time outdoors with my kids.
Double cleanse – Double cleansing is important as the first cleanser will break down any makeup, remove dirt and excess oils which have built up during the day, and clean the skin. The second cleanser should address your specific skincare concerns. An example of one of my lockdown splurges is the Eve Lom cleanser, which is a cleansing balm that removes makeup without drying out the skin. I use this as my first cleanser. It feels indulgent to use and the added step of removing with the muslin cloth and having a moment of calm brings a touch of the day spa home, which is why I’ve been loving it! A cheaper alternative, which removes makeup equally as well is the Bioderma Micellar Water and I always have this on hand. My second cleanse is with the Neutrogena HydroBoost above.
Glycolic acid – This works as a chemical exfoliator and I typically use this a few times per week. I like the Skinceuticals glycolic acid products and will occasionally use The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (maximum once/week) if I feel that my skin could do with a bit of brightening/unclogging the pores.
Retinoid – After sunscreen, retinoids have the highest level of evidence in terms of anti-ageing. I use a prescription retinoid (tretinoin 0.05% cream), which costs about $50 and a 50g tube lasts me 6 months of nightly use. It is important to build up your tolerance to retinoids, initially using only 2-3 times per week and building up to every night. Most people’s skin will eventually get used to it, but some people cannot tolerate a prescription strength one and are best using an over-the-counter retinol. Retinoids/retinols should always be used at night time because they can make your skin more sensitive.
Moisturiser – I typically use a thicker moisturiser at night time. Moisturiser is another product that you can save money on – there are plenty of good ones that can be purchased from the pharmacy including the QV, Aveeno, Cetaphil, and CeraVe moisturisers. These are great for sensitive skin as they have minimal other ingredients in them. If you have acne-prone skin, then keep an eye out for products that are oil-free and non-comedogenic. My personal favourite moisturiser at the moment though is the Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream. It’s the perfect consistency for my skin and keeps it hydrated until the morning.
Whenever I get pimples, I jump onto them as soon as I can with clindamycin lotion. This is also on prescription and is applied twice/day to reduce the inflammation. Using this and avoiding picking minimises the chance of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in my darker skin type.
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