Figuring out what your face likes in terms of skincare can sometimes feel like a difficult math problem. You have to try out multiple products and different combinations to create an amazing formula just for you. It’s easy to want to purchase every product you hear about when there are so many out there. When one product doesn’t work out, you can go out and buy another. That’s exactly what I used to do until I figured out what my face not only liked but what it needed.

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Face

My face used to break out all the time, mainly on my forehead and my cheeks, and it was annoying. I would wash my face twice a day with just water. My skin isn’t dry nor oily, but it is sensitive, so I figured that was all I needed. Even though I don’t think just using water as opposed to an actual facial wash was the problem, I realized I needed to switch things up. I started using the Clean and Clear Essentials collection that came in the bright orange, red, blue, and green colors. They were pretty straightforward products that you can pick up at Target. I used both the cleansing wash as well as the astringents since they were both for deep cleaning and acne. They were decent products, but they were very drying to my skin, so I had to go back to the drawing board.

Looking at the drawing board, I saw that my best option was to try out African Black Soap. African Black Soap is literally an all-around beauty product since there are benefits to using it for both your hair and skin. The African Black Soap Acne Prone Face and Body Bar from Shea Moisture was doing wonders for my skin. I didn’t have as many breakouts, so I thought I found a staple for my skincare routine. I used the bar for a while because it provided nice results, but I realized that my face does not like it when I wash it with a soap or a scrub daily. It wasn’t necessarily the fault of the soap, I think that is just something I needed to understand for my face. I stopped purchasing the bar when my breakouts started happening again.

It’s important for me to say that I kind of just come across skincare products. I look into and research hair products way more then I do skincare products, which is probably why I’ve had mixed results. Another product that I happened to stumble across was the “Acne Be Gone” facial wash from Ancient Cosmetics. Acne Be Gone is a charcoal facial wash with tea tree and neem, and I absolutely love it. Activated charcoal is good for the skin because it gets into those pores and brings all of the dirt, chemicals, and bacteria to the surface so it can be washed away. I wash my face with it about three times a week. My face does not like to be messed with a lot, so three times a week works out really well. It is now a staple in my skincare routine.

The Witch Hazel Debate

Witch Hazel kind of just popped up out of nowhere for me. I wasn’t looking for a toner of any kind, but I heard from my mom that Witch Hazel helps with clearing up blackheads and I had quite a few at the tip of my nose. Witch Hazel is a natural astringent that also acts as a pore reducer and helps with eliminating blemishes. It also helps with inflammation which is why it is often used in products used to get rid of acne.

Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel Flower

I’ve personally had great results with using Witch Hazel. It didn’t get rid of my blackheads, but it has made my skin a lot smoother without making it feel dry and irritated. Witch Hazel is also a product that works really well with my facial wash so that’s a great plus. I think that finding products that work well together can also be an obstacle in creating a skincare routine. If the products do not come from the same brand, line, or collection, there is a possibility that the products you use might conflict with one another especially if they include ingredients that just don’t like one another. Witch Hazel and my facial wash have worked amazingly at clearing up my skin. I now have a consistent skincare routine that I know works for me. My skincare routine is:

  • Wash face at night with Acne Be Gone facial wash 3 times a week (pretty much every other night)
  • The nights I don’t use the facial wash, I just wash my face with water
  • Apply Witch Hazel every night with a cotton ball
  • Wash face every morning with warm water

Now with every debate, there are two sides, so we have to talk about the cons that can come with using Witch Hazel. A thread on Twitter made me look into the disadvantages of using Witch Hazel because it pretty much summed up my feelings about the product. I could only think of the benefits that I received from using it. Of course, everyone’s skin is different so some products may work for others while some don’t. I still wanted to know more about why Witch Hazel could cause problems.

Witch Hazel products contain alcohol which is known not to be good for the skin because it can be very drying plus it can cause irritation. It has been said that Witch Hazel produces short-term benefits that can cause long-term effects. Even though your skin may not feel irritated, the alcohol in the products can still cause irritation underneath the surface. There are alcohol-free Witch Hazel products if you are looking for a similar alternative. You can also make your own toners with Witch Hazel Distillate.

Put It All Together With A Moisturizer

Moisturizer is another common item that one usually includes in their skincare routine. I personally wasn’t as worried about having a moisturizer as I was about having a great face wash, but that didn’t keep me from trying out a few. Through a Birchbox subscription, I have tried out a few skincare products here and there. One of my favorite products that I came across was the Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre Face Cream.

I recently reintroduced this product back into my skincare routine to kind of help with the Witch Hazel (even though it doesn’t dry out my skin). It’s still in the trial and error period. This is where I see if a product is okay with being a team player with the other products in my routine or if it prefers to be a solo star. The trial and error periods automatically accompany new products because you don’t really know if your face will like it until you use it and then observe how your skin reacts. I really like this moisturizer because it makes my skin soft and it is not very fragrant, so I hope its a team player.

It is interesting how sometimes you can stumble upon the answer to the math problem called a skincare routine, while other times you really have to use your problem-solving skills. I do realize that doing some research, especially on ingredients, can provide you with a cheat code. Do you have a skincare routine? If you do, what products do you use? If you don’t, why not? Share in the comments!


Image Credit: Pixabay

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