Skincare Update 2019: Acne-Prone Skin Savers!

17 November 2019

Heya everyone!

I wanted to pop in today to discuss my latest skincare routine changes that have made a wonderful difference in my acne. Typically my skin goes through a cycle every 1-2 years, and what worked before stops working. One of the holy grail pieces in my skincare regimen is a RETINOID (that means prescriptions strength). It has made the biggest difference in my blemishes when I started it years ago in medical school, and still wards off really bad breakouts.

Here is my current night time routine:

Double wash (this is new for me) - I use either micellar water followed by a gentle cleanser w/ a brush, or Avene make-up removing cleanser followed by my gentle cleanser.

Actives - I alternate with Retin-A 0.1% with glycolic acid (I'm currently using Drunk Elephant's TLC Glycolic night serum. Both are a bit pricey so I suggest you get the tester bottle from Sephora for Drunk Elephant - this is what I did and it lasted me ages. Sometimes you can ask your derm for a few testers of the retin-a to try out, or if you're in the USA you can test out adapalene (it's over the counter). The Ordinary makes a more affordable and high quality version of glycolic acid. An alternating regimen of retinoid with acids has been amazing for my skin!

Moisturizer - I have learned moisturizing is a step I must be more cognizant of during seasonal changes. I don't use moisturizer in the summer before I go to bed because I have oily skin and it rarely needs additional help in humid months. HOWEVER, once fall rolls in I have dry skin quite quickly so I'm using a light moisturizer. I also adjust my actives above and make my retinoid less frequent. I either utilize my super simple, non-comedogenic CeraVe moisturizing lotion (or the CVS alternative - always read your ingredient list and get the generic pharmacy brand. This habit has been all thanks to academic dermatologist Dr Dray). I also enjoy Hada Labo's hyaluronic acid gel that I picked up in Japan - you can find it on Amazon!

Masks - This is more of a self-care habit, and I do not think masks cause a significant improvement in my skin.
Brightening - The Ordinary's Peeling Solution. It's affordable, and great when your epidermis needs a little refresher. The red color allows you to see where the peel actually went on, and helps with removal afterwards. My skin always feels incredibly tight afterwards, so I recommend a thicker moisturizer afterwards.
Decongestion - The old aztec clay mask does the trick! My skin is tough and can tolerate this. It is great to make the look of your blackheads disappear. Again, a mask won't get rid of blackheads permanently, but this one does the trick for a short period! PS. The mixing process drives me nuts because I'm lazy, but you can pick up a small kit with a mixing brush, pot and sponge.

Morning Routine:

I wash my face with a gentle cleanser, and if my face is feeling a bit dry in the morning then I just use water and pat dry.

Sunscreen - This has been another hardcore move for me. I became an OFFICIAL daily user without the inconsistencies I had before. I tested out all my sunscreens vigorously and found my favorites. I absolutely love CerVe's morning SPF 30 lotion - it goes on easily, doesn't break me out and doesn't burn my eyes (don't forget the eyelid skin when applying, gotta prevent those wrinkles!). I also like the glow from ColorScience's Color Shield - it has a very unique luminescence that doesn't make you shine like a disco ball or look sparkly. There are two contenders that I've tried this year: Neutrogena's HydroBoost SPF 50 (it has fragrance hence sometimes burns, and although I don't break out I DO feel just slightly oilier by the end of the day if it's summertime), and Ombrelle's facial sunscreen (basically CerVe's sunscreen, but SPF 50 instead and just slightly thicker).

Then I place my make-up and go off on my day!

What are some of your holy grail skincare pieces? I know it's hard to figure out what to spend money on if there is no strong science behind it, but we have amazing dermatologist's online now who teach us how to stock our shelves with safe, high-quality ingredients and not break the bank. Woohoo!



  1. Love this!! i Just got The Ordinary AHA BHA peeling solution and i am loving the results i was scared it would be too harsh for my skin but its not!! My holy grail product is my Hadalabo/Biore sunscreens they're like the Neutrogena hydroboost I cant live without them!

    1. I love the peeling solution, even over a year later. It's so amazing! I went on to try the biore sunscreen, and you're right, it's like the hydroboost by less oily. I'm a huge fan and will be repurchasing!


Thanks for stopping by. À plus mes belles!

Latest Instagrams

© Belle Chantelle. Design by FCD.