FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I Need Help, Tell Me All About Your Skin Care Routine!

Luminescent angels! Hello! Happy Friday! I don’t know about you but I had an absolutely hellish week and I am thrilled it is over! Not only do I get to celebrate that, but as of this afternoon, I am officially on spring break, and I’m flying back to my beloved Portland to spend two weeks with pals, attend AWP, and, most importantly, meet Cee’s new puppy!

But before I fly away to my jam packed spring break adventure, I’d like to spend the day here with you gorgeous humans, talking about a topic near and dear to many of your hearts: skin care routines! Now, I have to be very honest with you – I am not a Skin Care Gay…yet. You’d think being extremely close with Rachel Kincaid, Noted Skin Care Bisexual, would insure I was on top of my shit when it comes to what I do with my face, but the truth paints a much bleaker picture. I am…lazy. And intimidated. And also, to be honest, until recently, pretty happy with my skin. But then I moved back to the East Coast from the PNW, turned 30, and suddenly turned into a scaly monster and a greasy oil vat all at once, which seems wildly unfair. I think the harsh winter dried out my skin, forcing it to produce more oil, but I have no idea if that’s real or if I just made it up. More importantly, I have no idea what to do about any of this.

Right now, my skincare routine looks like this. Most days, I do absolutely nothing. A few days a week, maybe 2-3, I wash my face with Cetaphil in the shower. On those days I also moisturize with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. I use any brand of drugstore chapstick. I often wear makeup and when I do I remove it with Burt’s Bees face wipes (the ones for sensitive skin). My skin has felt really dry but I also notice my face getting way more oily than ever before (including my scalp which is very annoying because in Portland I washed my hair once a week, max, and here in New York it feels like I need to be washing it like once every other day which is a hard no, sorry, did I mention I am LAZY!!!), I’m breaking out more on my chin and my forehead, my eczema is flaring up, and my face just looks like…tired. Which I mean, I am tired, but it would be nice if I looked moderately awake every now and then. Just moderately.

Aside from actually wanting suggestions to help my face look superficially nicer, I admit I am straight up fascinated (and wildly intimidated – cannot overstate HOW intimidated I am) by skin care! I love hearing my friends talk about their masks and their peels and their professional facials. I’ll read anything you tell me to about Dermarollers and jade rollers and rose quartz rollers. I live for the debate surrounding St. Ives Apricot Scrub facial cleanser (I extra love this Very Pure Reddit thread about St. Ives Apricot Scrub from a drunk lesbian looking out for her girlfriend). I just have no idea how to apply any of this to myself.

So help a girl out? I’ve got at least one and a half more years living on the East Coast. Please help me look like the nicest version of my self for the duration of that time! Tell me about your skin care routine if you have one, tell me what you love and what’s a scam, tell me what to avoid at all costs, tell me what to put on my face! Feel free to gently yell at me about not wearing sunscreen, I’m ready to change my ways!!! Also if you just want to tell me about your week or your life or your feelings or your Mercury Retrograde experience thus far, I’m available to chat about that too.

Grab a beverage, grab your favorite skin care product, and let’s start talking. I can’t wait to be a brand new person at the end of this discussion! XOXO, V

PS: While looking for a feature image for this post I consulted our TV Team, and Valerie Anne gifted me the knowledge that our very own Cheryl Blossom does Bioré commercials! I’m not endorsing Bioré (nor am I not endorsing Bioré – as mentioned above, I know nothing about skin care!) but I do want to share the gift of this commercial with you on this fine Friday in March, because who doesn’t want to watch Cheryl Blossom lightly tease an audience with a foam beard? You’re welcome.

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Vanessa is a writer, a teacher, and the community editor at Autostraddle. Very hot, very fun, very weird. Find her on twitter and instagram.

Vanessa has written 404 articles for us.


  1. Vanessa! I want to talk about skin care with you!! I also find it all very exciting and intimidating. So…First thing: I feel like everyone’s skin is totally different and we all need different things. So I really recommend trying a bunch of things out you’re curious about and see how your skin reacts. Hopefully you know this, but if it hurts, makes you break out, or makes you itchy, DON’T USE IT!! My face skin is dry in the perimeter and oily in the t-zone, so I just call that combination and go with it. Basically, I wish I would have learned earlier not to scrub my face too hard or too often and to moisturize the heck out of it. Because I bet teenage me would have had less acne had I not been trying to keep my whole face as dry and scrubbed as humanly possible!
    Second thing(s): I wash my face in the morning in the shower (I do shower every day, ill-advised or no, because I feel like a greasy ball of slime if I don’t) AND at the end of the day to take off makeup. I use Glossier’s Milky Jelly and I love how mild, yet effective it is. On Friday mornings/whenever I’m feeling like I need it, I use a little hand-held exfoliating brush I got at Target to give my skin a little extra loving with the same stuff. If I really want to scrub it up, I will use a gentle exfoliating scrub. Right now I have the GinZing one from Origins. It smells nice and doesn’t hurt my face. In the mornings after I wash my face I put on Origin’s GinZing oil free moisturizer which makes me feel like I just had a glass of fresh-squeezed oj. At night after I wash I use Glossier’s rich hydrating primer. It smells lavender-y and feels really yummy going on. LAST THING: I use Origins honey charcoal mask once per week-ish (emphasis on the ish) to brighten things up and deep clean ye olde pores. Hope this helps someone and that you hear from lots of us about our magical queer skin maintenance!!

    • KYLIE thank you for talking about skin care with me!! Also can I just say that nothing has more effectively made me want to try a product than this phrase:

      “which makes me feel like I just had a glass of fresh-squeezed oj”


      Ugh, I know you’re right, but honestly I think part of the whole trial and error thing with skin care is what keeps me away from it. I’m lazy! I’m trying not to spend money! I don’t *want* to test out a bunch of products! Why can’t someone who has never seen me in person and knows me only from the internet just give me a silver bullet solution to fix my face quickly and cost-effectively?!??!! (LOL can you tell I’m fun to be friends with IRL ;)) But you’re right, and I know you’re right, and if nothing else this whole thread will certainly give me a lot of suggestions to start with. First up: that metaphorical glass of fresh-squeezed OJ.


    • hi fellow kylie! i’m so glad someone else uses the GinZING exfoliant as i just switched to it and my skin (which is super sensitive and rosacea/breakout-laden) loves it so to see another person, especially another kylie!, like it makes me optimistic for long term use!

  2. i do not have sophisticated skincare opinions but those cheryl blossom biore commercials charm the HELL out of me every time

  3. I am far from a skincare expert *but* I also have oily, oily skin. What I’ve been doing lately is cleansing my face with an exfoliating, brightening cleanser (I use one from the brand Jason but I don’t have much of a preference provided it’s eco-friendly) and then I use the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum from the ordinary. When I have pimples, I apply the Salicylic Acid 2%, also from the ordinary, as a spot treatment. I’ve also used the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (again, from the ordinary) and enjoyed it.

    As a disclaimer, I don’t wear makeup, so YMMY when it comes to what best removes foundation and etc.

    • Going to be very real, anytime I see an acronym followed by a percentage, I panic!!!! I am trying hard not to panic in response to AHA 30% + BHA 2% but it is VERY HARD!!!!!!!

      …why am I like this, LOL

  4. Okay so first of all, let me introduce you to your new bible – r/skincareaddiction this is where I have learned literally everything I know about skincare, it has been a serious game changer.

    As for my own routine, I too only do a major face cleanse a few times a week (Burt’s Bees cleansing oil massaged in and rinsed, then I use the the drunk elephant juju bar) but on the days I’m not doing that I’ll use Simple Miscellear Cleansing Water (particularly the water boost kind because I’m a sucker for anything that I think will help moisturize) to cleanse in the morning and evening, sometimes with a little bit of tea tree oil added if I’m fighting breakouts. If I’m wearing makeup I’ll usually use a ponds cold cream type balm situation to remove it before doing the micelliar water.

    In the mornings after cleansing I use a vitamin c serum from Eva Naturals, before I moisturize and sunscreen. It keeps me breakout free, fade acne scarring, and minimizes oil production for a couple hours.

    In the evenings after cleaninsing with the micelliar water I use a chemical exfoliant – I’ve found that my own skin does best with the drunk elephant gylcolic night serum, but there are a lot of options. The Ordinary carries one that I like to recommend because it’s super affordable, that line is great for most things if you’re willing to do your research because they tend to sell more base ingredients for you to customize by mixing and fewer premixed miracle serums, keeping the prices lower.

    My other big love is snail mucin, which I use both in the mornings and evenings for moisturizing. I know, it sounds gross and potentially ethically questionable but I’ve done a solid amount of research and the snails have to be treated very well to produce maximum mucis, so I’m satisfied that they’re living a good life and my skin is VERY happy about it. Snail mucin has a bunch of super hydrating shit in it that also does great things like help even skin tone.

    Right now I’m investigating fermented skin serums. I’ve heard they can help soften skin and improve product absorbsion but I normally avoid profits with any alcohol in them so I’m very out of my comfort zone with this.

    Lastly, fav cruelty free skin care recommendations- drunk elephant, farmacy, cosrx, ava’s naturals, deciem/the ordinary, products in the assorted Yes To [carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, etc] lines, simple


      I occasionally lurk the r/skincareaddiction threads but honestly they are SO INTIMIDATING. I don’t know if I’m a weirdo / get particularly upset when I’m not immediately an expert on something I know nothing about (hello, yes I’m a Capricorn, oops) or if that shit is legit intimidating to everyone, but I get SO OVERWHELMED and usually just X out of the site and forget about this for a few more months until I get upset about the state of my skin again.

      I suppose in creating this thread I essentially brought r/skincareaddiction to me…so I am going to try to take deep breaths and not get overwhelmed by this FOT. It’s okay that I know nothing! We’re all in this together! Snail mucin, HELL YEAH. (Honestly Nicole Cliffe once tweeted about snail mucin and I needed 0 other convincing, I was like “cool yes if it’s good enough for Nicole IT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR US ALL!!!!!!”)

      Thank you for taking the time to provide such detail about your routine, I will definitely be coming back to this comment for guidance and bravery as I embark on this new journey!!

    • micellar water is a really good rec for people that don’t want to go to the hassle of washing their face, and snail mucin rules!

      @trish also i know this isn’t a serum but i use botanic farm’s rice ferment first essence and absolutely recommend it. if you’re not sure how fermented ingredients would react with your skin it’s a super gentle way to test it out, and it’s incredibly hydrating and brightening with no alcohol.

    • I’m a huge fan of COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence in the mucin/slime/mucus department. It’s 96% mucin, under $20, and has gotten rid of these persistent rough/dry patches on my cheeks (along with the help of some gentle exfoliation).

  5. It sounds like your skin is dehydrated, which can lead to excess oil. Since you have enough oil, try looking for hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, which will help draw moisture to the skin, and avoid heavy, greasy, moisturizers. Also, drink more water – you want to hydrate from the inside and outside.

    I would also try exfoliating with a gentle chemical exfoliant once a week or so, which will remove the dead skin cells that are causing dullness.

    The Ordinary is a great brand for experimenting with skin care as it is really affordable and transparent about what is in each product.

    A YouTube Channel that really helped me is Gothomista – she is so knowledgeable and had great recommendations at multiple price points.

    Hope that helps!!

    • You are so so so right about the water tip, and I know it and I still do such a bad job at it! Definite priority for my life moving forward, every day is a new journey, etc.

      I’m also very excited about this YouTube rec – I really love when someone just tells me what to do, which I realize is a cop out when it comes to skincare but I am who I am, so this sounds potentially life changing for me.


      • No problem!! I learned a lot about skin care over the past couple of years and love to share. Water for sure helps, I also get oily when I’m dehydrated. I started drinking a lot of tea at work, which helps.

        One word of warning about the YouTube rec – she uses a lot of products, which I don’t think the average person needs to do to have great skin. I think more than 3 steps is pretty much just for fun (which is fine, if you are into it)! You have to take what is useful to you and leave the rest.

  6. I have lots of skin care thoughts/rants! But it can be summed up by “if I wouldn’t put it in my mouth, it doesn’t go on my skin”.
    I had eczema issues for so long, till I understood the topical steroids were actually the cause and perpetuation of the issues. The process to heal after quitting those was intense and long, but lead me to a decent overall skin care routine. Coconut oil, calendula oil, crisco are my main things for my body, then aloe vera (one without a ton of additives) for my face. I occasionally use a few other things, like Eczema Honey (honey, beeswax almond,olive,sunflower oil) or some salves with a mix of natural oils. Our skin is our largest organ and after years of using products with ingredients lists I didn’t understand that only harmed it, I’ll never use topical steroids like hydrocortisone or more intense ones ever again or even complex products.

    • JAY!!!! This comment speaks to me! I have eczema. I’m actually currently dealing with (TMI) potentially eczema on my LABIA which is like, so fun, let me tell you. JK it’s not fun at all it’s a nightmare.

      I’m very interested in your perspective about going off topical steroids entirely. I try to avoid them but always think of them as like, my secret ultra weapon – if I’m having a bad spot flare up I’ll dab some on and it seems to heal so quickly. But I hear you on not using it…I just have been too lazy, I guess, to find another way.

      Do you wash and/or moisturize your face regularly? And if so what do you use? I’ve heard about “washing” with oil (from this very website!) but have always been too scared to try. Thank you for your thoughts!!!

      • Oh wow, does not sound fun! I’ve had eczema in some really not great spots too, aloe vera for those sensitive parts helped me a lot, like LOTS of it to the point you’re like is this too much? and only the 100% aloe kind, lots have alcohol in them.

        I think some people may be able to handle using them sparingly on rare occasions, but with any widespread eczema doctors tend to continuously prescribe them and encourage continuous use or even frequent “fix-it”s for flares. But essentially your skin can get addicted to the effects of the steroids, your skin becomes dependent on the anti-inflammatory process that when you aren’t using the steroids your skin becomes even more inflamed and the reaction you are seeing appears to be really bad eczema but is in fact steroid-induced “eczema”, sometimes this is called Red Skin Syndrome. The process of quitting them is Topical Steroid Withdrawal, because the skin gets worse and worse for a period of time as it works through its addiction to the anti-inflammatory. It’s intense. Even occasionally using small amounts can cause this because of how powerful they can be. And when quitting them it seems/does get worse so a lot of people don’t wait long enough to break the cycle. But after about a year, year and a half of stopping I basically don’t have eczema anymore. I occasionally will get a few dry patches, and I had a bad flare post surgery because I wasn’t able to use my oils and take care of my body as usual, but once I did it all calmed down. When I quit them and went through my withdrawal, I had to use an intense amount of coconut oil and crisco everyday, and i would recommend eczema honey or similar things for that process too, I didn’t know about it then but used something similar.

        I don’t really wash it very often, I mean I take a shower most mornings, but its really more of just a rinse for my face and hair since I don’t use any products most days. Then I’ll use aloe vera on my forehead most days cause that tends to be dry. Some witch hazel/aloe vera if I shave. But really I tend to just “wash” my face with cold water and that seems to work. I’ve personally never “washed with oil” but I could see how it might be a good reset for your skin

        • WOW okay, thank you so much for going into such detail and explaining so clearly. I definitely did not know that about the steroid creams and you have given me a lot to think about it!!! As always, I appreciate you and your generous sharing so much! Thank you.

  7. I’m trying to get back into the whole skin care routine, I have very sensitive skin and sometimes when I use something new I break out in a rash or sometimes it even burns. All I’ve been doing lately is washing my face in the morning and at night and I’ve been using Burt’s Bees Sensitive Facial Cleanser. When I get a chance I’m going to go to Utla and look at all their Burt’s Bees products, since the facial cleanser works fine with me I feel their other products might too. *crosses fingers*

    • I also have REALLY sensitive skin, and some of the time I convince myself that ~skin care~ is a farce??? Like my skin should just be left alone to live its own life and any kind of *routine* I impose upon it will ultimately backfire???

      But then I like, wash my face and gently moisturize it and my dry patches go away and it looks sparkly and new, and then I think I’m an idiot and am using my skepticism to hide my laziness. You know?

      Anyway I wish us both luck with our sensitive skin care journeys, it helps to know other people are out there doing their best too!! <3

  8. I am by no means a “skin care” person, but I have found I like the Philosophy Purity cleanser. I was going through a weird period of really itchy face skin and that plus First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream seem to have done the trick. I usually try to wash my face with cleanser every other night and exfoliate with some natural light scrub maybe once a week. But I also don’t wear any makeup other than eyeliner which helps I think.

    Also, the thing to watch out for with East Coast humidity is the moisture will make your skin glow like crazy but can cause your makeup to clog your pores because of sweat. I’ve heard a lot of people like the Mario Badescu spray or some kind of face wipes to use in the middle of the day so you don’t feel so sticky.

    • i love first aid beauty! their ultra repair cream is the only thing that can stop my eczema in its tracks, and it absolutely saves my skin in the winter. they also have daily brightening peel pads that i use every morning and highly recommend.

      • Okay @mcjw asking here because you mentioned eczema and you seem like you know Everything There Is To Know about skincare and I am both IMPRESSED and INTIMIDATED –– do you have any experience with the Lush products that are supposed to stop eczema? I’ve heard mostly glowing reviews but have not bought the product myself yet because of all the aforementioned reasons about skincare scaring me, etc. Thank you!!

        • eczema sucks! lush is kinda expensive so if you’re unsure about a specific product i would go in and ask for samples, they are super friendly (especially the one in the underground shopping area at columbus circle). the products i would check out are dream cream body lotion (lavender/chamomile/oatmeal, super soothing and gentle), breath of fresh air facial toner (sea water/aloe vera/rose water, use it before face lotion/to refresh makeup/anytime you need some hydration and also helps to soothe skin irritations), and figs & leaves soap (aloe vera/coconut oil, gentle and creamy).

          i do love lush but honestly, the best thing for my particular brand of eczema is first aid beauty ultra repair cream, which is definitely cheaper and you can get in lots of sizes at sephora. their whole line is excellent for sensitive or cranky skin, but the ultra repair cream has helped my worst eczema outbreaks and soothes that itchy, scaly shit that is so hard to get rid of. you can use it on both face and body, so it can double as a facial moisturizer on those miserable cold/windy nyc days.


    • This is a HOT TIP about East Coast humidity and I will definitely look into that spray or some wipes. A long time ago I bought some cheap-ish blotting sheets from Sephora. What were they called? I have no idea. They came in a small floral print envelope style cardboard case and they had the look and texture of thin recycled tissue paper. Maybe I could find those again…if I ever went to Sephora…hmmm…

      …Y’all are really getting an inside look into how I view skin care products, and it’s a good thing we all love each other so much cause this is E M B A R R A S S I N G !!!

      • don’t be embarrassed! we all know different shit and that’s why this community kicks ass.

        facial sprays are one of my favorite things and i second the mario badescu rec. blotting papers are fine for absorbing excess oil but if you want to “wash your face” without having to actually go to a sink and use water, facial wipes could be really helpful. think micellar/cleansing water but without the cotton ball – you just wipe your face and throw it out. i like the kiss my face brand from cvs or the sephora brand is also nice.

  9. i deeply love skincare! it does sort of feel like joining a cult but once you start doing a regular daily routine it’s amazing how much a difference it can make, even if you’re lazy and don’t want to do a thousand steps or buy a million products.

    i also have super sensitive, fucking cranky-ass skin that freaks out when i do anything different and blows up into hormonal acne or eczema if i change things up. (working at sephora for 3.5 years and lush for another year and constantly testing new products did NOT make this better.) but i have found a few things really help and may also act like a gateway drug for skincare:

    1. WASH YOUR FACE. seriously. especially if you wear makeup but even if you don’t, do it at least once a day. i personally am a huge advocate for the twice-daily double-cleanse (start with an oil-based cleanser to break up makeup and gently remove oil, then wash again with a water-based cleanser to actually cleanse your skin), but if that seems like too much just use a super gentle daily wash from a simple brand like cetaphil or first aid beauty. if you’re feeling extra fancy, buy yourself a stack of cheap bamboo (or cotton, or whatever) wash cloths so that you can have a fresh towel every day – using the same towel on your face can cause breakouts and flare-ups because of the bacteria that grows on wet fabric. if you don’t want to do that try to let your skin air dry!

    2. USE MOISTURIZER. i personally layer essences and serums and face oils together because i am obsessive and enjoy the daily ritual of skincare, but if you don’t want to do that you absolutely do not have to. find yourself a simple moisturizer that feels good on your skin and that works for your skin type – cetaphil and first aid beauty, again, are wonderfully gentle brands that are great for sensitive skin and don’t cost too much. use it in the morning and again at night, always after washing your face.

    3. WEAR SUNSCREEN. every day, always, forever. if you don’t want to add another step, lots of daily face lotions have sunscreen in them so you can combine steps, or if you wear makeup you can use a bb cream or foundation or tinted moisturizer with spf. this is one of the best things you can do for your skin’s overall health to reduce signs of aging and keep you healthy.

    if you want to pamper yourself, sheet masks are awesome and cheap (go to innisfree!) and a lovely way to give your skin an extra boost of moisture, especially if you’re going to an event and want to have a little glow. scrubs and exfoliants are also a lovely thing to do a few times a week, whether it’s a scrubby wash (i like angels on bare skin and ocean salt from lush) or a chemical exfoliant (i like alpha/beta peels by dr gross).

    *leaves to wash face*

    • You are a wizard. I will never reach this level of competence when it comes to my skin but I love reading about your routine and I asked above about a Lush product and now I see you worked at Lush so I’m anxiously awaiting your thoughts (jk no rush but I would love to know if you see this and have time to weigh in!) Also while we’re here please tell me what sunscreen to use thank you!!!! <3

      • i mean, i sold skincare for YEARS and started when i was 20 so there is a lot of ridiculous product knowledge in my brain that just takes up space. but i tried to answer your lush question and i hope it helps!

        right now i’m using drunk elephant’s tinted umbra physical spf 30 (from sephora), but i’ve heard excellent things about COSRX aloe soothing sun cream spf 50 (on amazon) and cerave facial moisturizing lotion spf 20 (most drugstores). there are some great recs in this comment section too! it mostly depends on if you want a separate sunscreen, you want it to also be a moisturizer, or you want it to also be a makeup product – find something that feels good on your skin so you’ll actually use it because that’s the most important thing!

    • …I’m a filthy little goblin slob but even I know better than to reuse the same unwashed face towel. However now that I think about it some of that could be coming from some place hellaciously humid and seen what moisture can do.

  10. I only oil cleanse, usually at night. After using a crapton on chemicals and acids through my 12 years of terrible acne it’s finally all gone. Basically I just massage some help oil into my face, wipe off any sunscreen or makeup, steam with a wash cloth, and put some more oil on or a moisturizing vitamin e serum. In the morning I wipe off any excess oil with rosewater.


      I feel like “help oil” might be a typo and maybe you mean a different kind of oil? Or maybe I’m embarrassing myself again and that’s totally a regular kind of oil people use on their face as part of ~skincare routines~. Either way, I’m intrigued! If you see this please tell me what kind of oil you use!!!


  11. I literally came here to watch skincare people cause it’s like, the best people watching

    Anyway I just use micellar water and moisturizer and also a cleanser but only when I’m in the shower because I’m just so grossed out by washing my face in the sink, THASSIT, COME AT ME

    • Excuse me I love you but you have to explain what is gross about washing your face at the sink. I only wash my face in the shower because I’m lazy but am dying to learn of new excuses I can use to avoid washing my face.

      Also omg I never thought of skincare people as a group but you’re so right, and you’re also right about the people watching! It’s like, so much shared and collective knowledge, so many tiny disagreements, so much love and appreciation, so much info I will literally never synthesize into my brain, so much fun for me to be told what to do! Is this how non-astrology gays feel when I talk about their birth chart?!??!

  12. Like Jay above, “if you can’t put it in your mouth, don’t use it on your skin”!
    I’d add : “one ingredient only!”

    The skin was designed to take care of itself (ditto the scalp), and it did so beautifully until we started living in an environment with bad water, bad or conditioned air, weird levels of humidity…
    And the thing is, that environment and our products create a vicious circle:
    > Our skin dries out, or we dry it out with products (soap, foaming agents…)
    > It overcompensates by pumping out oil
    > We dry that oil away and replace it with artificial hydration
    > Often, that hydration contains alcohol, which keeps it “light” but sucks moisture away from the skin as it evaporates.
    > And the cycle repeats, our skin getting so confused it can’t regulate for a steady amount of oil.

    (Also good to keep in mind that companies which sell products and shampoo, have an interest in selling over and over again. Which means it’s a short-term fix by design.)

    I have scalp psiorasis and super-sensitive skin and found that the simpler I care for it, the better it feels.

    So to cut short, I…
    > Wash with non-foaming, oil-based soap if necessary (in the evening, once; only if I’ve been in the city, no need to do so in woods, in clean air…)
    > Rub virgin oil in to moisturize (I swear by olive oil, which I rub into my face and neck if I’ve washed them, and onto my body about once a month).
    > If the skin isn’t dry but you want to feel light and nice, rosewater (like Ray above!)

    I have no clue about makeup removal, I don’t wear makeup, I’m sorry.

    For hair : I gave up the cycle of shampoo > dry hair > scalp over-compensates with oil > shampoo. I now use:
    > Ghassoul (moroccan clay in powder form) once a week or every two weeks
    > I avoid city water like the pest as it triggers my psiorasis. I try to keep my hair dry in between clay washes.
    > A superlong henna or cassia mask once a month (also works with eggs or pure honey, but those are harder to wash out without shampoo)

    It took me a serious two to three months to “reset” my skin and scalp so that they would regulate their own oils. But I’ve found that beauty products with one (1) ingredient only are most efficient, for me, on the long term.

        • i love your long comment and i also want to add that when i moved from the suburbs to nyc my skin was FUCKED UP and then when i moved from nyc to the woods my skin was SO HAPPY and then when i moved back to the city my skin cried for years and now here we are, back in nyc, my skin will never trust me again etc etc. thank you for all these hot tips, i’ve actually been trying to follow them for the past few weeks and i think i see a difference!!! scalp psiorasis and super-sensitive skin babes unite!!

  13. Vanessa – We’re doing the same thing in opposite directions! I just moved back to Portland from the Northeast, and my skin/hair are going through a major adjustment period. I am also a do-nothing when it comes to skincare. Like, nothing. And until recently that worked for me! But I started feeling like the PNW humidity was making my skin kind of congested, so I figured I’d try a couple of things and see how I liked it. I’m a fan of The Ordinary ( – everything is reasonably priced and they are transparent about ingredients, etc. The list of products they offer is ridiculously daunting, but I had fun reading through the descriptions of free radical-busting antioxidants vs. blemish-clearing minerals. And at the end of the day almost all of their stuff comes in little dropper bottles full of goo – no rinsing required! I can literally put it on sitting in my bed, all I’ve ever wanted. Right now I’ve got three main things I’m using: in the morning I put on their “Buffet” and a regular SPF moisturizer (I buy one from Trader Joe’s), and in the evening I put on their Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane and their B-oil. Honestly my skin feels like a plumpy dream – it’s surprising to me every day.

    Hope that helps – good luck on your skincare journey from one oil vat to another.

    • molly i miss the PNW so much plz kiss the trees and the sky and the dirt for me

      sorry i know that’s not rly what this comment was about i just became overwhelmed


  14. Wow. I am sooo intimidated by skin care. I’ve only recently started thinking I might try something more sophisticated than Dove bar soap and lubriderm lotion – partly because I stumbled on an article about tomboy femme skin care in the AS archives and realized that one of the main reasons I’ve resisted skin care (besides being low maintenance and lazy) is that I associate it with being girlier than I want to be. So this is interesting.

    • Maybe finding a very gender-neutral brand and going for a minimalistic routine would be a good start?

      I got my pretty resistant partner into a super basic routine to replace “whatever liquid soap is the cheapest at the grocery store” thanks to a local French budget organic brand (Avril) that has really neutral packaging and scents.

      • Speaking of gender neutral, minimalist brands, I just got into skincare a few months ago and love the Deep Serum from Noto Botanics. It’s queer owned too!

    • this is a fair reaction, it’s important to allow for disagreement amongst community, i am here for all Discourse about Cheryl Blossom

  15. So I’m finally at a point in life where I seem to have a routine that works for my super-sensitive, dry skin. A few years ago I went off hormonal birth control and HOO BOY did that make me break out! And I was just starting to date my now-wife, so I super didn’t want to be acnified! Anyway, I learned in this process that I have to be very very kind and gentle with my skin, and in return, it will settle down and not do the whole tight-and-itchy thing.

    I cleanse/scrub my face once a day, in the morning, and follow up with moisturizer. I wear sunscreen. I occasionally wear makeup. At night I usually use micellar water to cleanse my skin. (I keep it beside my bed along with some cotton pads so I DON’T EVEN HAVE TO GET OUT FROM UNDER THE COVERS to wash my face, which has been a big win for me.) Sometimes I follow that up with a face oil before I go to sleep. I stick to natural products as much as possible, especially for daily use items.

    So here’s what I use, and most of it’s very affordable:
    – Grapeseed oil: I use NOW grapeseed oil to cleanse my face several days a week. Basically I massage it all over my skin and let it sit for a couple of minutes, then I soak a washcloth in hot water, put it over my face to steam a little, and use it to wipe off the oil. When I was breaking out, this helped a lot and quickly. I applied a thin layer after cleansing as a moisturizer too, and the acne was less red and inflamed within a couple of hours.

    – Desert Essence Gentle Face Scrub: I use this on the days I don’t use grapeseed oil. It does a good job exfoliating without making my skin angry. It’s my favorite scrub I’ve tried. Plus it’s in a jar not a tube, so you can actually use it all up!

    – Keys Luminos Moisturizer: Keeps my skin so happy, and leaves a nice, semi-matte finish.

    – BioDerma Sensibio H20: This micellar water is so very gentle and does such a thorough job cleansing my skin.

    – Acure Marula Oil: This is what I put on after the micellar water dries sometimes. I can tell when I use it regularly my skin is grateful.

    If you’re looking for sunscreen, my strongest recommendations are for Keys Solar Rx (SPF 30), which is the Luminos above plus zinc oxide, and MyChelle Sun Shield Liquid (SPF 50).

    Good luck!!

  16. i love hearing about everyone’s routines so much! mine has been super inconsistent and pared down lately due to time & stress, but i wanted to share my fave skincare resource rn, ! i started out on skincareaddiction like a lot of people did, and still check it frequently for product recs, comparisons and discussions, but have come to appreciate simpleskincarescience so much for really in-depth but also no-bullshit discussions of ingredients that help me figure skincare stuff out without encouraging me towards product junkie-ism.

    ALSO this sounds dumb but no matter what’s going on with your skin my #1 tip is washing/changing your pillowcase regularly! it makes such a big difference! changing our pillowcases regularly 2k19!!

  17. Only skin care routine I have is to soap my face up daily with dove soap in the shower. Once in a while, like many in the community, will lather my face up with shaving cream to use with my electric shaver. I really should just get my facial hair lazered or get electrolysis done, but I am a lazy queer additicted to snacks and spending time with friends. Like I did last night.

    How’s everyone’s week going? Mines has been good. My friends and my birthday is in 3 weeks and trying to figure out what to do, we know we want it to include hot tubbing, but since we kind of planned it a hair bit late the kitschy motel the Madonna Inn doesn’t have the room she wants so we may plan that for the summer. We may also do the the trailer themed kitschy placed in the desert owned by Kate Pierson of the B52’s(she also has one in NY state). Also, the Hicksville Pines Bud and Breakfast, which has a John Waters room called Mondo Trasho, a Dolly Parton room, Dita Von Tease room, and a honeymoon suite with a heart shaped tub. All screem very queer spots to do queer things lol. I may go broke, but at least I was being queer and doing fun. lol

    In less fun news because 45 hates blue states and I live in super blue California my taxes have gone up while business income has pretty much remained the same. Ugh when will this nightmare be over? At least it’s already Spring here and poppy’s are in bloom so I may just spend my sunday either playing with my friends dog or go poppy watching, whichever makes for better profile pic for OKC. lol

    Saw this last night as I was wating for my best friend.

        • Just finished browsing their site, I don’t even smoke and I want the 420 room.

          But the Mondo Trasho room so perfectly John Waters I can’t even…the silver and fuchsia chaise, the Pink Flamingos curtain, the lawn furniture, the BED.
          Sometimes I’m just delighted that things exist, and that room is one of those things.

  18. My skin routine was washing my face in the shower or with a gentle cleanser and putting moisturiser on after showering and that was it. And then my acne got bad since I’ve been on the pill (my body apparently didn’t get the memo about it being supposed to help with that) so I’ve been using a cream that contains peroxide that made my skin feel like it was burning the first two weeks I used it and has ruined my towels because it bleaches everything it touches. So that’s fun. Now I how to wash my face to put it on before going to bed and to get rid of it in the morning. It’s helping but ugh I miss being able to do barely anything with my skin.

    Also I go through a lot of handcream because I dry my hands out washing them all the time but the one I’ve been using for years is great and it isn’t greasy or smelly like so many of them and only costs £1.49 which is amazing because I couldn’t live without it.

  19. I consider myself pretty into skincare, but I wouldn’t say that aloud.

    I clean my face with micellar water.
    I use rose water as a toner.
    I use a day cream with SPF 30.
    I try to remember to apply rosehip oil at night.

    Every 10-12 days I scrub with used coffee grounds in some almond oil.

    About once a week I use a moisturising face mask.
    Right around my period I switch to a pink clay mask instead.

    My skin has always been very dry, but this routine has gotten it to behave very nicely and stop looking flaky when I wear makeup.

  20. It’s not a routine, it’s more does my face feel icky today? Or was I out in the cold and wind? And reacting accordingly.

    But in summer it’s called do I want skin cancer Y/N? The answer is of course no so I stand before the mirror barefooted naked above the waist and slather the sensitive skin neutrogena sunscreen on my face, neck, decolletage, on and behind my ears then use the quick-dry sunscreen spray on my arms, hands and feet.
    In the evenings I use warm (not hot) water, washcloth, and cetaphil gentle skin cleanser to gently scrub off and cold water to rinse off my face before I have a shower.

    The closest thing to a daily skin care routine is using lotion on my hands because cracked bleeding stigmata hands suck.

    I grew up with my very handy-man dad taking care of his skin so basic skin care never seemed girly to me and having sensitive skin I couldn’t even wear body glitter without developing a rash so the fancy skin care stuff never had or will have any appeal to me.
    They just look like 1001 ways to develop a rash or worse >_>

    Oh hey in case anyone was interested I made the king cake and decorated it.
    It floof-ed up so much it lost it’s circle and ended up looking like a fancy loaf so uh might need less of something in the recipe or need to stretch the ropes out as far as I can before braiding and forming the circle.
    Annnnd I learned yes turbinado is too dark to dye purple and have it come out purple but I was indeed CORRECT it makes an excellent gold once the glaze is on the cake.

  21. Hi Vanessa! Great Friday topic, I’ll be looking for extra tips in the comment section myself :) I also live on the East coast!

    Here’s my skincare journey: as a teen, I was lazy & rebelled when my mom told me to wash my face, so I didn’t do any kind of facial skincare. I had acne (not the worst, but it was annoying), and washing my face really would have helped! In college, I did a full-scrub of my face daily with products that had salicylic acid and didn’t really understand moisturizer…so I had some good days & some bad days, in comparison to my teens. During grad school, a friend introduced me to a less harsh skincare routine, and I have since streamlined it.

    My face isn’t perfect everyday…but I only have the occasional hormonal acne (around my period, I get a few pimples) and that’s a great improvement. I have a combination oily/dry face and I don’t wear makeup on a regular basis (for special occasions, when I feel like it). My current routine: AM I gently wash my face with a washcloth and just water, then I use a Cetaphil moisturizer (Light for Body/Face, Fragrance free); PM I use jojoba oil to cleanse, then I gently rub it off with a wet washcloth, then I use the Cetaphil moisturizer. That’s it! It’s also really cheap! Some weeks I also manage to exfoliate (I use a blueberry acai mask from Trader Joe’s) and/or use a facemask (really cheap Korean facemasks on Amazon). My moisturizer also doesn’t have sunscreen in it…I go back & forth about this, because I am pale and skin cancer is serious, but the sunscreen often makes the moisturizer oilier and it does make you smell like sunscreen! Of course when I’m going to be outside for extended periods of time (doing outside activities on the weekend, a beach trip), I put sunscreen on top of my moisturizer, once it’s dried. Also, about showering…I shower every other day because my hair & skin dry out if I shower too many days in a row. I’m still clean and smell clean and look hygienic, it’s fine.

    A few other helpful things I do: I change my pillowcase every night (good for my hair & my face), I use a fresh washcloth each time I wash my face, I drink lots of water (I use a calorie counting app and it also tracks water, and usually I reach 80% of my suggested intake or 4 large glasses of water a day. I bring a water bottle to my work and refill it when needed), and I do my best not to touch my face during the day (I used to lean my chin on my hand at school a lot, and I try not to do it at my office day job).

    Good luck with your skincare! TGIF and have a good weekend babes!

    • P.S. Regarding makeup remover, I highly recommend Neutrogena Oil-Free Makeup Remover or Micellar Cleansing Water (Target has a cheap version). Definitely remove your makeup every night, and by that I mean your whole face of makeup!

    • this comment is so thorough and helpful but also i am SHOCKED that you change your pillowcase EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, i literally cannot even imagine, i am trying not to be sidetracked by this fact as i slowly but surely build up a doable skin care routine for myself…

      you are a superhero, is what i mean to say

  22. omg long time reader, first time open thread commenter, but MAN DO I HAVE THOUGHTS ON SKIN CARE AND AM A SKIN CARE BISEXUAL!

    as i have sensitive skin that’s dry with rosacea and now prone to breakouts because my IUD decided to change my skin (RIP my non-breakout skin of my early twenties), i have a tried and true method before auditions/meetings as well as daily.

    -first i take my makeup off using a makeup wipe before i wash my face. basically makeup remover wipes are great for that first layer but you still gotta wash that face. my fave for sensitive skin is the burt’s bees 3-in-1 micellar makeup remover wipe.
    -then i do a face wash, i like the caudalie pump face wash as it’s super nice for sensitive skin. 2-3 times a week, as i have dry build up skin and the aforementioned breakouts, i use an exfoliant. for years i used the kiehl’s pineapple scrub but i’ve been moving away from kiehl’s as a brand, so i just started using origins ginZING exfoliant which is great because it’s natural AND organic and my skin looooooves it.
    -after wash, i use murad recovery gel which is really great for fine lines and stuff. as an actor i have to look like i actually slept most days, so this is really nice for plumping your skin up. i tripped and fell coming home from a drag king show and fell on my face and i have some residual hyperpigmentation, so i dab a bit of murad brightening serum that’s good for age spots and hyperpigmentation (don’t have that extra vodka at a drag king show, you may score a cutie’s phone number but you will fall on your face coming out of the lyft)
    -finally, i use caudalie moisturizing sorbet and their eye cream (off the top of my head i can’t remember it but it’s the one in a green tube for eyes). my skin basically absorbs moisturizer super fast, and this is really nice to absorb without feeling like my skin is sucking all the moisturizer the moment i slab it on my face.
    -i am ALSO a big fan of sheet masks! my personal favorites are Dr. Jart + Clearing Solution and Porecting Solution for acne/breakouts (if you are having a LOT of breakouts, porecting is better, clearing is nice if you have a big spot pop up the night before) as well as these great little k-beauty zit stickers that are like a suction cup for a zit; boscia hydrating tsubaki and dr. jart + vital hydra solution masks for extra moisturizing (perfect for traveling, yes i wear a sheet mask on the plane this skin needs HYDRATION); and spot masks like dr. jart laugh line lift hydrogel mask, sephora collection pomegranate anti-dark circle eye mask, and boscia sake under eye gel mask. when i have a shoot, a big audition, or a meeting, i do sheet masks in traffic to multitask before i put on makeup/primers. i don’t recommend doing sheet masks more than 3x a week, but if you’re having a rough week and you would just like to look like you weren’t crying that that girl didn’t text you back and you went to bed at 2am marathoning schitt’s creek for the 4th time this week and had a bottle of wine in the process, they’re helpful.

    my biggest take away is that while you do get what you pay for in terms of skincare, there are MANY affordable options and it’s all trial and error anyway as everyone’s skin is different, so you don’t need to splurge for Drunk Elephant or Sunday Riley right away – or at all! also, when you first try a new product, give it a couple of weeks (unless you have like, a GIANT rash immediately) so your skin can see if it likes it or not. when I change cleansers, for example, there is about a two week period where my skin goes BONKERS and then chills out, so it’s a long haul process.

    welcome to your skin care journey!!!!

  23. I made an account to comment on this post, I hope that shows how hyped I am to discuss skincare! I’m going to go by section of routine, then

    Cleanser: If you wear makeup, moisturizer, sunscreen, ANYTHING on your face, I’d suggest a double cleansing method. Step one is an oil cleanser (I use DHC oil cleanser, there are a bunch out there at different prices). My DHC one goes onto a dry face, then you massage with some water and it emulsifies (turns white/milky) and then washes off easily. Since you’re having issues with oil, I’d suggest to use an oil cleanser that does emulsify instead of just an oil by itself, though that definitely works for some people. Step two is a water-based cleanser, it can foam or be a “milky”/”jelly” cleanser. I use the Krave Matcha Hemp Cleanser, because it has a lovely texture, protects the skin barrier, and cleans my face gently and thoroughly. Your face should feel clean but not tight after cleansing.

    Toning: This is an important step! Toners get your skin back to the correct pH range (~5.5) and ideally provide hydration/protection by supporting your skin barrier. There are a lot of ways to get a toner on your face! Spraying, wiping with a cloth/cotton pad, patting on with your hands. If you’re struggling with acne, I’d suggest putting some toner on a cotton pad (or a reusable pad, the store waste less has some good ones) and swiping gently over your face (I’ve heard to go upward & away from the center of the face, but who knows). This removes any cleanser/dead skin/irritants that might have been missed, and helps with pH. You can stop there, or do a second round of either misting toner on or putting some on your hands and pressing it into your face. I use the Acwell Licorice toner and the cocokind rosewater and raspberry vinegar toners. The rosewater is very gentle, while the raspberry vinegar is more acidic/astringent (I’ll use it as a first swipe if my skin is feeling congested, but not too irritated). Then just let the toner dry, and move on to the next steps!

    Treatments: This is the spot for serums/essences/what have you. If you’re going to do a sheet mask, do it here! Usually I’ll have a pretty steady, simple moisturizer and switch up the serums to fit however my skin is that day. Some standards are:
    -Hyaluronic acid- moisturizes, but this is a humectant (attracts water) so put on after a shower or anywhere that’s relatively humid, so the HA draws water from your environment & not from deeper layers of your skin. The Ordinary has a Hyaluronic Acid & B5 serum that is affordable and effective.
    -Vitamin C- antioxidant, brightening, can help with hyperpigmentation. There are a lot of options with vitamin C! I’d suggest doing some research into the different kinds/delivery methods, and start with a lower dose to avoid irritation. Mad Hippie makes a vitamin C serum that has yet to irritate my skin or break me out.
    -Niacinamide- I LOVE THIS. I think of it as a long-term skin stabilizer: chills out sebum production, can help fade hyperpigmentation (redness or coloration left behind after acne/inflamation) & supports your skin barrier. I’d suggest starting with this every other day (or less) and working up, especially if you use The Ordinary Niacinamide and Zinc (which I’d recommend because it’s effectivea and affordable).
    -Glycolic acid- a relatively gentle chemical exfoliant! I pat this on with my hands ~once a week or when my skin seems congested, and though people do use it more often I’m wary of it because I’ve sensitized my skin in the past (more on that at the end!).

    Eye Cream/oil: This is really just personal preference! Under eye skin is thinner, so if you want to put on eye cream just use your ring finger to pat in a small amount following your brow bone and just above the cheekbone. Anything too close to the eye could cause irritation, so err on the safe side! I use the eye cream by Youth To The People (also a cute reusable glass container!), but any heavier cream will work.

    Moisturizer: Seals everything in! This can be a cream, oil, or both (layered or mixed). I’ve liked:
    -Youth To The People Hyaluronic Cream- moisturzing, light, great as a day moisturizer.
    -First Aid Beauty Barri”air” Cream- has niacinamide, seems to really even out my skin tone. There is a bit of a matte/pilling texture once it’s on though so I use this PM and layer under a heavier cream or oil.
    -Chia Seed, Sea Buckthorn, and Jojoba oil- Oils are great at sealing in moisture and keeping skin glowy. Oils can work for oily skin! If you use non-comodogenic oils that mimic sebum, it can chill your oil-production out (stripping your skin frequently can have the opposite effect and end up rampin up oil production).

    Sunscreen: WEAR IT. EVERY DAY. 50+++ PA! CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH! Get your neck, face, ears, everything! Krave has a great sunscreen. Just find one you don’t mind (or even like) applying.

    Spot Treatments: For active acne, a bit of salicylic acid (again, The Ordinary. Keep in mind that salicylic acid is drying and is best used when needed as a spot treatment) or Tea Tree oil (diluted in another oil, don’t put straight tea tree oil on your face!) can help clear up inflammation/congestion. I’d put the treatments for active acne/inflammation on in the treatment step, after toner but before heavier moisturizers. For fading spots, I’d suggest tamanu oil. I use it as a spot treatment and it (probably combined with the niacinamide,Vit C, & semi-regular exfoliation in my regimen) helps fade scars literally overnight. I will say it has a woodsy smell, very unpleasant taste, and slightly greenish color so it’s best left for PM routines (and then your skin can regenerate with it too!).

    Resources & Brands:
    -Liah Yoo on youtube! She is lovely and has really open, honest, informative videos.
    -Chemist Confessions (website, Insta, brand) Great if you’re interested in the science/ingredients side of things.
    -Krave Beauty- Launched by Liah Yoo, they have a cleanser & sunscreen that I adore. Definitely worth checking out if you want a simple routine or solid building blocks.
    -First Aid Beauty (FAB)- they have a great heavier cream (all-purpose, could be used on face, hands, undereyes, wherever) and the Barr”air” cream with niacinamide.
    -Cocokind- Really lovely, eco-conscious brand. They have everything from cleansing oils to mushroom highlighting sticks to beet lip balms! I believe they’re at every Whole Foods.

    TL;DR / Overall: Wash your face! Get the pH around 5.5! Keep it moisturized! Don’t overdo exfoliation, chemical or physical, because you can damage your natural skin barrier that helps keep moisture in and irritants/acne causing bacteria out. Finally, wear sunscreen every day and re apply!!!

    ( also please for the love of god don’t use that st Ives scrub on your face )

    • I remembered my pH wrong! Ideal skin pH is about 4.7. (My toner is 5.5 to slightly overshoot & I flipped them accidentally.)

      • I’m here to learn/be intimidated because I don’t know anything about skincare! I wash my face when I shower and sometimes I do a sheet mask when I want to give myself an excuse to do nothing (as if I need one).

        But I DO want to complain about non-face skincare: like a week and a half ago, I stayed outside in the cold dry air longer than I should have, and my hands said, “Wow, screw you, you jerk.” I have been trying to use hand cream regularly (trying is the key word here) so I can get back to having normal, soft, not-dry skin, but I may be turning into a pangolin no matter what. Is there a better way?

        • That was meant to be its own stand-alone comment, but hell, I’ll just accidentally tap someone else’s reply button and fling myself in. I got one packed with info, so cool!

          • You might have literally picked the most info-filled comment on the whole thread. I AM IMPRESSED WITH EVERYONE HERE.

        • This happens to me sometimes! With the cold, and the hands. Do I have a solution? I do not. Maybe @internrachel does??? (Well moisturized) fingers crossed.

          • For cold dry cracked hands: oil gloves!
            Slather your hands in olive or coconut oil until the skin won’t absorb anymore, then slip on soft gloves, and go to bed. Or watch series or whatever that doesn’t need your hands.
            Works for feet, too, and they’re so happy afterwards <3

    • This comment is WILD and the stuff of my DREAMS and I know I will never ever be able to match your incredible skin care knowledge but I am goddamn INSPIRED and for that I thank you!! I also think it’s cool that you made an account just to share this wisdom, THANK YOU x 1000000.

  24. Morning: Sometimes a morning mask (something light and moisteruzing), which I then wash off with the body shop’s seaweed gel cleanser and water, then the same line’s toner, then rosewater spray, then rosehip oil gently rubbed in. I finish with the body shop seaweed moistuerizer cream and then sunscreen on top.

    Night: Mask (seaweed clay mask or something else), wash face in the shower with the same gel cleanser, then alight rosewater spray, rose hip oil, then seaweed night gel. if it’s been windy or sunny or my skin is stressed I use the body shop’s aloe night mask

    My skin used to be super oily, but I realized it was over compensation because it was dried out.

    • The Body Shop was my EVERYTHING growing up in Canada, this comment inspires me to purchase something from The Body Shop.

  25. I wash my face with Aleppo soap every evening and it has helped tremendously with my sensitive eczema-skin. Aleppo soap is made out of olive oil and laurel oil. It helps to balance the skin and is really, really gentle.
    After that I dab diluted apple cider vinegar (just put a few drops of vinegar on a wet cloth, it should not burn on your skin) all over my face. I use a cream with Dead Sea Salt as basic care and Weleda’s Skin Food for really dry spots. Dead Sea Salt is another great ingredient for allergic/sensitive Skin.

    Good luck on your skincare adventure; took me years to find the perfect solution as well!

    • Aleppo soap is fantastic! You can also brush your teeth and do laundry with it. My housemate washes his hair with it too.
      Weird to think that Aleppo is now in ruins.. :/

      Anyway, thanks for mentioning apple cider vinegar, too, I use it when my face feels super oily or when it’s having some kind of reaction, as a calming agent.
      Yet another magic ingredient (food, housecare, haircare, skincare…)


    i’ve never had skin ~issues~ but i love taking care of my skin anyway because it’s a gender-neutral/less-feminine way to pamper myself and feel like i’m putting time into my appearance.

    i put on night cream AND rose hip oil on my face, neck and hands in the evening AND in the morning AND ALSO at any other time of day that i feel stressed/dry/in need! i’ve started using a teatree facial cleanse whenever i’m in the shower because i have a fringe now which is sexy but also pimply.

    good luck on your skin care journey!!

  27. Ex-‘too punk for skincare,’ now skincare devotee…

    In the morning, I use gentle exfoliator, toner, then alternate between Vitamin C and Niacinamide & Zinc, then moisturizer, then sunscreen (50+). I used to use eye cream but it seems to be a giant scam.

    In the evening, cleanser then moisturizer (and in those rough Euro winters, a bit of rosehip oil)

    Once a week, I use AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (and if I remember during the week, a clay mask but that’s very sporadic)

    I try to use cruelty free and vegan where I can, but it all depends on finances tbh so I rarely have brand loyalty (except hello The Ordinary). My skin has never been this good ever (am in my mid- late 30s) and I live in the sweet dreamy delusion of having control over my life.

  28. I wake up at the last possible second in the mornings, so I only do my skincare routine at night during the week. (#lazyfemme)

    That being said, what’s currently working for my sensitive combination skin is:
    1. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
    2. Thayer’s Rose Petal Toner
    3. Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream
    4. Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly
    5. Clinique All About Eyes (eye cream)
    6. Facial oil; rotating this one around a little to find what I like still, but it’s made a huge difference–my skin is soft with no dry patches and less oily in my oily spots at the end of the day because skin is weird like that.

    On the weekends, I do steps 1-4 in the morning, and use micellar water to remove any makeup before starting this routine when I get home. (If I’m feeling awake enough at the end of the night, I remove my makeup, then shower, then brush & floss my teeth, then do my face routine. Usually what happens is I remove my makeup, use a Burt’s Bees Sensitive Skin face wipe, proceed with steps 3-6, brush my teeth, and collapse into bed.)

    My skin texture has improved immensely, much of my redness has faded, and I haven’t been breaking out nearly as much as I usually do.

    For my body skin, I use handmade soaps from a friend of mine (she grows the plants that go into them!) and her stick moisturizer and with that combo even my elbows are soft in the dead of winter.

  29. Yes hello I wash my makeup off about 50% of the time and am always v sad that my skin is not clearer but also unwilling to put the work in to improve it. I’ve finally admitted that my body requires dedicated maintenance to function properly and I resent it! Having a physical form is highly inconvenient and uncomfortable. Fingers crossed the 12th dimension aliens recognize their family, the 3rd dimension gays, and rescue us all.

    Anyways, Paula’s Choice is a brand I highly recommend.

  30. I had really bad skin in high school and would break out all the time but at some point it just…stopped? And honestly I don’t know if it was because I stopped washing my face with anything in particular or if I stopped when my skin cleared up (I also had to start going on birth control for hormonal imbalance reasons in college so that could have helped??) so I am VERY fortunate to not have to do anything special to my face to keep it doing whatever it always does.

    That said, my friend recently gifted me a bunch of face masks and even though I don’t know what they do in the long run, I find them very relaxing and refreshing to do and now I’m intrigued by the concept and want to try more types. Maybe that charcoal kind that you have to peel off. That looks fun.

  31. I normally use a baby wipe from Target to wash my face (fragrance-free, because people say that’s important). If I’m in the shower, I use Cetaphil foaming soap, because I like the pump top, and the minty-colored label is cheery. I moisturize with La Roche-Posay Toleraine Double Repair Face Moisturizer- either SPF or not, depending on if it’s muddy season, or sunny season (I buy this because it’s like 30 bucks and makes me feel froofy, and since it’s the only thing I wear besides Chapstick, it’s all I got, OKAY!?).
    Nutshell: Target wipe/pumpy soap, moisturizer with long name, Chapstick.
    Best part? Wipes are good for errrrrything, and Chapstick for errrrrything else (maybe my advice is not the best…). Grain of salt, people!

  32. my skin routine varies on my mood which makes my skin really happy im sure & 99% of my skin care comes from people telling me “your skin is so soft!” and then immediately being terrified if i dont put lotion on asap that will change and ill turn into mother gothel / i only know that eucerin w oatmeal helped w my face when it was v dry/in pain, cocoa butter vaseline lotion is great for the rest of my skin and i basically just do whatever the older women in my family (and my sister) tell me to do cause it seems like its working for them

    when im in a good mood: im doing those face scrubs my sister gets from lush called dark angels and just going around feeling like helena from ob and powerful and shit and my skin feels really fantastic when im done

    when im in an okay mood: dove soap mIGHT touch my face

    when im my usual self: im just pretending i dont exist so theres no need for me to do any extra face skin care! but mileage may vary

    regardless of mood im just running my face through my hot shower (which i hear isnt good?) and changing my pillowcases regularly and trying to drink so much water that im thinking of how to make my bathroom look more interesting since im spending so much time in there

    tldr ; i think the only tip i can give you from this is to ask my family ill ask them for you

  33. ~* Basic skin care tips for everyone*~

    1. Make sure your drinking enough water. Most people don’t drink enough water and are dehydrated. This affects your skin. 1+ being properly hydrated is great for your overall health.

    2. Take off your make-up!!! Not removing make-up is really bad for you and if you need a reminder as to why Google Subconjunctival Mascara Deposition. I find makeup wipes are really helpful for this when I’m feeling to lazy to use micellar water to clean my face

    3. Wear sunscreen. If you have concerns about the environmental impact of your sunscreen. The two big ingredients you should avoid are octinoxate and oxybenzone.

    4. Wash or change your pillowcase. You should do this once a week. This is because dirt, bacteria and oils start build up on your pillowcase and can contribute to breakouts.

    ->Helpful Hints<-

    1. Remember everybody has different skin what might work for one person might not work for you.

    2. Free Samples! At the Sephora store you can always ask for a free sample of the product you are looking to try. The same goes for Nordstrom and the body shop. Ulta on the other hand tends to offer lots of coupons on products so always check there sales and coupons section before purchasing.

    3. Know the return policy! Both Ulta and Sephora will let you return used products within 60 days of purchase with a receipt. Fashionista .com also has pretty in-depth list of companies and there returns policy on open products that I highly recommend checking out. ***Sephora will ban people for “abusing the return policy” so keep that in mind.

    ♥Fav products i've been using forever♥
    -Mario Babescu Drying Lotion
    -Thayers rose petal witch hazel
    -Rosebud Salve – Rosebud perfume co
    -Simple skincare cleansing wipes.
    -clinique dramatically different moisturizing lotion

  34. hello just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread, i have slowly but surely been building up a legit skin care routine and while it is taking a while to adjust to i will say i have washed my face and applied sunscreen more regularly in the past two weeks than i ever have in my whole life and so far it is going okay!! you are all very smart and very committed and maybe one day i’ll change my pillow case every night but for now we’re doing baby steps.

    ps cheryl blossom forever, still, always, etc

    <3 <3 <3

  35. very great, thank you, I think that The most important step in any skin care routine is to cleanse your skin. If you have oily skin, you likely may need more cleansing, and although most people should wash their faces morning and evening, it is especially important for those with oily skin to clean Face them deeply in the morning.

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