Skincare For The Face With All The Problems

Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve tried every skincare product on the shelf? Raise your hand again if you feel like most haven’t fixed your problems, or even made them worse? (Wow, I feel like Ms. Norbury. But you know what, Tina Fey has some stellar skin and so does BASICALLY EVERYONE IN THAT MOVIE).

So tell me, my lovely people, how many of you have felt personally victimized by Regina George unruly skin?

I’m raising my hand!! To the skin thing and the Regina thing. Rachel McAdams, how are you so beautiful?

Maybe you're some luminous unicorn of a creature who doesn't know what I’m talking about because it’s all clear and radiant rainbows and butterflies in skintown? Well first, let me say, I just a little bit hate you, and am a just a little bit envious. Just a tiny bit.

Kidding... I’m like so humble and happy for you and don’t even know what that green monster on my shoulder is.

BUT if you’re any other human being, then you know what I mean by unruly.

There’s dry skin, oily skin, acne-prone skin, a combination of all three (That’s me!) and even crows feet and worry lines (got some of that too).

Trying to deal with this stuff sans an expensive dermatologist who recommends even more expensive prescriptions can be hard. There are so many products and they’re all promoted as being the best for whatever problem you have, but trying them all can rack up a bill that makes you think twice about not visiting a professional. Well, you can thank me and my empty wallet because I’ve struggled with skin issues since I was fifteen and after six years of trying product after product, I can give you a good list of what might work for you.

My biggest tip for all skin types: moisturize moisturize moisturize. Even for combination or oily skin, moisturizing is ultra important!! For my oily/acne prone babes, they have oil-free moisturizer. Look for the term non-comedogenic, no matter your skin type. 


Some ingredients that are oh so good for your skin:

Ceramides: protect skin’s moisture barrier

Niacinamide: visibly reduces, pores, fine lines, evens skin tone

Vitamin C: brightens and evens skin tone, boosts collagen production, may prevent UV damage

Hyaluronic Acid: moisture binding, anti-aging, skin plumping

Glycolic acid: exfoliates, reduces fine lines, clears pores, reduces scarring

Okay. This is going to be a long one, but I hope it’s super helpful! If you’re jumping around don’t forget to skip to the end for my holy grail product!


For my fellow sufferers of dry skin:

Cleanser: you wanna look for a non-foaming face wash (they strip your skin of oil, and you need all the oil you can get). 


Cetaphil is popular for being the best all around cleanser because it’s non-irritating and non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores) for acne sufferers.


Drunk elephant isn’t super easy to find but its such a fun brand if you can get a hold of it.


Moisturizers: SPF is so super important but it can be really hard to find a moisturizer for with SPF for dry skin.  


Cetaphil baby. Even when I'm trying new products, I know this is the one to come back to when I want something I know that works. 

I adore La Roche-Posay, but it’s just something I use every once in a while because of the prices. I go through moisturizer like it’s water so I try to buy cheaper products.


Serums: vitamin C is your bestie

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum is my favorite favorite skincare product to this day. I have crazy dry, acne-prone and sometimes oily skin so I’m always concerned about irritation and products potentially making me break out, but this baby takes the cake! It’s not on the cheap side, but I promise it will last you through the worst time of the year for dry skin sufferers: winter. I plan to use this year round since it brightens my whole face and is even helping my acne scars! I use it after I cleanse my face, let it dry, then I add moisturizer and glow all day.  



Want to glow and smell like a flower? This is your mask. Yes To is my favorite brand of face mask so this might be slightly biased, but hey, what works, works, right? I also really like The Body Shop’s charcoal mask:

Just look at the packaging (heart eyes emoji). Find it here.


Dry skin and acne-prone? (it hella sucks) Read below:


I actually use Differin Balancing Cleanser in the morning and another cleaner at night when I remove my makeup. It could totally be used morning and night but I would remove my makeup with micellar water beforehand because this face wash is more about washing and moisturizing and it’s not harsh enough to remove makeup.



I would also again recommend a Cetaphil product like the one listed above or something with salicylic acid in it like Burt’s Bees Acne Cleanser*. Also, yes this is a foaming cleanser which is the not best for dry skin, but when you have acne you gotta fight it hard. This is the cleanser I use at night, and as long as you moisturize well after cleansing, you’ll be okay.


Moisturizers: I would recommend both moisturizes from the dry skin section, but if you’re looking for more...

I just started using this one a few weeks ago. I tend to bounce around Cetaphil moisturizers depending on what’s on sale and I hit up a 30 SPF in the summer.


I used Cerave AM Face Moisturizer for a long time and really liked it. The only reason I swapped was the price, and sometimes I would notice it didn’t mix well with my concealer and it would sort of get chunky. I’ve also swapped my concealer since then so who knows.


Can you say 3-in-1? Murad can. But the good kind, not the kind that ruins your hair.



Again would totally recommend the Mad Hippie serum above, but here’s just one more option:


I’ve heard just as many good things about Juice Beauty's Serum as Mad hippie’s. If salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is your treatment of choice, this is a good serum for you. If you use a harsher retinol treatment you may want to find a serum sans acne fighting ingredients. (I promise Vitamin C is good for anyone's skin and there are tons of serums filled with it!)



Yes To Tomatoes Charcoal Mud Mask is a little messy but I love it, and it lasts for ages.



I was a little nervous to sleep in a mask (breakout nightmares!) but Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Sleeping Mask is perfect when you need an extra boost of moisture, especially after a long week of harsh acne medication. Skip it for a night and sleep in this.


Grease balls: I feel you. I am here for you:

From my experience, most people with oily skin also have acne-prone skin so I’m going to list a mix of products for both*


*would highly recommend the previously mentioned Burt’s Bees acne solutions cleanser for acne-prone skin.



Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser should only be used a few times a week to start depending on how oily your skin is because although it’s amazing, it can be drying even if you’re greasier than a McDonald's French fry. 

I know, oil sounds counterproductive, but if you have more combination skin then Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil will wick up your oil without stripping your dry areas. 

Kisses to anything by La Roche-Posay. I’m also loving the competitive price. 




Catch this baby on sale and then sail away into a sunset of bright and smooth skin.


I wish Acure was in more stores because I have loved samples of it. If you're strong enough to wait for it to be shipped, then power to you!


I’ve used Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer before, and it’s amazing. I tend to swap to it in the summer because of the higher SPF and the oil-absorbing since my skin does a 180 and becomes completely French fry-level greasy. If you use this in the winter (a time when I tend to wear more concealer than usual) then this moisturizer may make your concealer s little clumpy, TBH for the skin benefits, it's worth the extra blending. 



Have to, yet again, recommend Mad Hippie because it’s my bestie. And TBH any serum previously listed is good for most skin types.

I’ve also heard great things about NO7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum and Vichy Minéral 89 Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid



I haven’t personally given No 7 a shot, but if I did I would only use it under my eyes and maybe on my cheeks. It’s too small of a tube for me to pay 30 bucks a month to use on my entire face.


Hyaluronic acid is my best, best friend. Keeps me looking all baby soft and such. If you're willing to pay the price of Vichy's serum, you'll probably get your money's worth. 



Masks for greasy skin can be super amazing and keep your oil production to a minimum longer than just using a cleanser.

Murad’s Oil-Control mask is a bit spendy but has tons of product and you won’t have to wash your face a million times a day.


Even when I’m not breaking out I use Yes To brand Charcoal Mud Mask. It feels so cleansing, I can’t help myself.


Other products I can’t get enough of:

When I was still struggling with really bad acne Mario Badescu Drying Lotion was the perfect spot treatment! (I quit using this after I started Differin out of fear of overwhelming my skin).  

Differin Acne Treatment is my holy grail. This is the best thing I’ve ever tried. It was my last resort before visiting a dermatologist because I’d just had it. My cystic acne was out of control (so painful and lasted forever!) and I’ve been through product after product, but if you commit this really is great! I started it last November (horrible idea!) because in the winter my skin is its most sensitive and this will do a number on your skin until you adjust, which is really just a few weeks. I only use it once a day. In the evening after I wash my face I put a thin layer from jawline to chin (that’s my trouble area) then I let it thoroughly dry before tapping on my moisturizer. It’s really important not to rub your moisturizer on or you’ll move the product around. I have friends use it too and a number of people leave tons of positive reviews online. It’s a great next option if you feel like you’ve tried it all. Now that my skin is used to it I will occasionally put on a thin layer of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid during the day as extra defense.


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Acne Treatment is another great option for skin that’s a bit more sensitive.


This Mario Badescu Facial Spray is refreshing for any skin type, and smells really good too!