I’ve gotten a lot of comments lately about my glowing skin – thanks you guys! I want to say that part of the reason is due to my favorite foundation and my new favorite highlighter, but there’s actually another reason behind my glow, and it’s time for me to stop keeping it a secret!
Can you guess what it is?
That I found TWO amazing skincare products that have absolutely changed my life?! You got it!
I’m sorry if I hyped you up, but you walked right into that ?
Here’s the backstory about my skin. I’ve struggled with hormonal acne and hyperpigmentation for the past God knows how long. Too long. I’ve tried a ton of remedies both to address the acne and to fade my dark spots. Black soap, witch hazel, hydroquinone (back when I was young), natural remedies, chemicals, everythang. The thing that made the most impact was microneedling, but it was pretty expensive and I couldn’t keep it up. Here’s what my skin looked like at the end of last year. While those products did help make my skin look more radiant and supple, but they didn’t do anything for my dark spots.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to give one last thing a try. I’d done some reading about the benefits of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) for acne and hyperpigmentation and decided that I would test some out before throwing in the towel. AHAs and BHAs chemically exfoliate your skin, and are great for unclogging your pores (BHAs) and resurfacing your skin (AHAs) to improve it’s texture and tone. Which is essentially what microneedling was doing, but that was more of a deep physical exfoliation.
After reading rave reviews, the first product that I incorporated into my skincare routine was Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid. Its a toner like product that I started using every other night in January, and then built up to using it twice a day. You can use it with cotton rounds, but I don’t like to waste product so I just put a few drops in my palm and pat it all over my skin. Immediately, I noticed that the texture of my skin improved dramatically. I also observed fewer pimples and noticed the ever slightest fading of my acne scars. Rather than breaking out a few times a month, I only broke out once or twice around my cycle. Then I hit a plateau. My skin wasn’t getting worse but it also wasn’t getting that much better, so I dropped my usage down to every night (so I could use a vitamin C serum in the morning) and went on the hunt for my next life changing product. That said, Skin Perfecting Liquid has had the biggest effect on reducing my breakouts compared to any product I’ve ever tried.
The next product that I added to my regimen was one that I literally rolled my eyes at because who the heck spends over a hundred dollars on a skincare product? Not me! But I had a gift card so I decided to risk it all and get the Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid treatment that has a pretty serious cult following.
GIRL. I am now a proud member of that spend $100 on Sunday Riley to get flawless skin cult.
I hope Sunday Riley doesn’t venture too far away from skincare because Good Genes is a powerhouse product. Within three days, all the spots on the whole left side of my face dramatically faded. On the right side which is my more troublesome side, not only did my deepest, darkest spots begin to fade, but two pimples that scarred over didn’t get as dark as usual, and began to fade WAY faster than any spot ever has. Good Genes is hands down the product that has made the most impact on my hyperpigmentation.
While Paula’s Choice and Sunday Riley are the star players now in my amazing journey to completely clear skin, there are a few other products I use with alpha or beta hydroxy acids that I feel like are worth mentioning. One is a custom serum from Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations. If you’ve never heard of Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations, they are serums that are specially formulated for you based on your skin needs. That said, you can only get them done in store because they actually do a skin exam to identify your top problems – oil, pores, wrinkles, acne, dark spots, etc. My exam revealed that texture and even tone were my two biggest issues, so my serum includes the Brightening Complex and the Texture Refining Complex, which contains LHA, which stands for beta-lipohydroxy acid (a BHA).
To round out my acid packed nighttime routine, I sometimes use Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer, which also contains AHAs. I should mention that AHAs make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you definitely want to use them at night, and also use a sunscreen every day in the morning. EVERY DAY fam. There are different articles with different theories about layering acids but I don’t pay much attention to them. I just put my products on in order from thinnest to thickest (so Paula’s Choice, then Sunday Riley, then Kiehl’s, then Kate Somerville), and wait a few minutes between each product before adding the next one. I don’t use Good Genes, which is the strongest, if I’ve just exfoliated physically or if my face is feeling sensitive for some reason because it can definitely sting!
There you have it guys, the secret to my glow! If you’re struggling with acne, I encourage you to give the Skin Perfecting Liquid a try, and if you can’t fade or prevent dark spots from forming, invest in Good Genes (maybe get a sample from Sephora first). Since you get the benefits of two serums in one, a custom Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparation is a great option for someone looking to save money and/or time in their skincare routine.