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  1. #1
    Registered User LurkoLantern's Avatar
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    Skincare of the Gods (GTFIH for skin gains - especially hormonal acne!)

    I've had acne my whole life. It was so bad when I was 14 I had to do accutane for 4 months. My face had horrific cystic acne all over. Even after, I would get half a dozen new pimples every month throughout my teenage years and 20s.
    So this left me with the wonderful world of acne scars and post-inflammatory-hyperpigmentation (PIH), where the skin is just permanently redish/pinkish. The concept of an "even skin tone" was so foreign to me. I thought it was normal to have a reddish nose tip, reddish undereye area, and blotchy pink spots all over the cheeks & chin. (plus wrinkles and scattered dark brown acne scars).

    I also always had wayyyy more wrinkles around my eye area than I thought was normal. New cracked skin seemed to appear every fukkin month. I would get these crappy wrinkles setting in every time I smiled.

    So basically at the age of 25 I looked like I was in my late 40s (ignore the after pic, that comes later. Also there's already a misc thread about my hair transplant and invisalign treatment, so not going to touch on that here)




    I started reading up more on self-improvement, and focusing on correcting things that I didn't like (aforementioned hair transplant). Started hitting the gym more, started playing sports, etc. But that one nagging issue was my skin. No matter what else I did, I still had chit-tier skin on my face. So I began scouring a bunch of different sources for info on what to do, and basically got a PhD in fixing skin/face problems along the way.

    After years and years of research, here's the skincare routine that has completely changed my skin for the better. No more PIH, significantly minimized acne scars, and minimized/disappeared wrinkles.


    One huge caveat: You must use sunscreen on a daily basis or you can damage your skin following this routine. UVA radiation is the No. 1 cause of skin damage - so you have to guard against it big time, especially since a few of the items on here will make your skin more photosensitive.

    Entire routine takes 20 minutes in the morning (but you can do other things while certain components are drying), and 20 minutes at night. I'll include prices to show you this doesn't have to be an expensive routine.




    Morning


    1. Wash face with gel cleanser, not a foaming one. Foaming ones remove the water based dirt and whatnot from your face, but suck at removing oil/grease. A lathered up gel one will take care of both. I use Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash (https://www.amazon.com/Earth-Science.../dp/B004FHDGLE), but prolly any gel cleanser will work. $10 for like 3 months use in one container.


    2. Step out of the shower, towel dry your face, and apply toner (this will get rid of any residue the cleanser didn't get, so your face will be extra clean. Plus, if you use one of the ones with witch hazel in it, it'll help shrink your pores). Soak a cotton ball with the non-alcoholic toner and apply all over. I personally use Thayer's witch hazel toner https://www.thayers.com/shop-thayers...h-hazel-toner/
    Again, it's just $10 and one bottle will last like three months

    I usually run a blowdryer on my hair and face after this step to speed things along.


    3. Apply hyaluronic acid Put some on a cotton ball and rub on your lower eyelids/upper cheeks first. Then everywhere else on your face. Alternatively (if you have time), use the Japanese sheet mask method (google it or watch it on youtube).
    I usually use Hada Labo's hyaluronic lotion https://www.amazon.com/Hada-Labo-Gok.../dp/B000FQUGXA
    This is what gets rid of a lot of the wrinkles, and will help your skin look younger. Basically you're plumping up your skin layers by hydrating them with this, thereby preventing future "superficial-layer" (top few layers) skin wrinkles/cracks.
    This one I use is $12, will last two months.


    4. After about 5 minutes, apply Vitamin C serum Go do other stuff to get ready for the day, like make your breakfast or iron your clothes. Then come back and apply a few drops of Vitamin C serum to a cotton ball and apply all over your face. Vitamin C does a ton of good stuff for your skin - it'll lightly exfoliate, heal some sun damage, lighten existing scars/redness, and even act as a low-level sunscreen.

    One caveat regarding Vitamin C serums (and other serums like hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, etc): There are a chit-ton of scammers out there. Amazon's filled with garbage products when it comes to serums. Just because something is listed as "#1 best-seller for Vitamin C" (or something like that), it doesn't mean chit. Scammers use fake reviews (like several hundred all posted in the same month), as well as mad-libs style descriptions for each of them. It's just one or two companies that are making most of them, slapping a different label, and then copy-pasting the descriptions. Then they'll change one or two adjectives.

    There is no "good deal" on topical Vitamin C serums. When it comes to serums, you really do get what you pay for, and if you only spend $15 or $9, you're actually just getting some glycerin mixed with water, with a drop of orange food coloring added.

    Your only options are to go with companies that are widely trusted (like Paula's Choice or Drunk Elephant) or stuff recommended by non-amazon reviewer (like on beauty blogs or subreddits).

    Personally I use the Paula's Choice Vitamin C serum. http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/ski...-Super-Booster

    Yeah yeah, it's $45, but you can get it for $10 off using this link: https://goo.gl/Sf7Hqw
    (since I shop there I sometimes get discount codes emailed to me)


    5. Wait five minutes, then apply your chemical exfolients. You know those St. Ives exfoliating scrubs? Do you have one? Throw it in the trash, or start using it to clean tile grout. It's not good for your face - physical exfoliants create tons of little microtears that invite acne-causing bacteria, and they can damage the moisture barrier of your skin. Rather, you should use chemical exfolients - light acids that temporarily lower the pH of your skin to break up the bond of dead surface cells. You apply a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) or an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and then the next time you wash your face you'll see a brighter younger layer of skin. The acids that are suitable for daily use (meaning you don't have to wash them off) are below 10% acid (I use 2% and 8% solutions). Anything stronger is a chemical peel, which you leave on for just a few minutes then wash off.

    At this point I've had more acid on my face than a Pakistani girl trying to get an education. And they work - they get amazing results. BHA's help reduce oil production, close up pores, and basically "future-proofs" your skin by not giving it a reason to break out. AHA's are different - they'll fix issues in the here and now, like lighten reddish/pink blotches, lighten acne scars, and reduce (or remove) wrinkles found in the upper-layers of the skin. Soak a cotton ball in the bha first, apply to your face (especially the nose or anywhere that you can actually see pores). Then go ahead and soak the same cotton ball with the AHA and apply. Now go finish your breakfast or whatever - you need to chill for at least 15 minutes before the next step.

    For BHA and AHA's, I usually use Paula's Choice exfolients:
    http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/ski...quid-Exfoliant ($28, lasts 3 months)
    http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/ski...-Gel-Exfoliant (also $28, lasts 3 months)

    Like I mentioned before, you can get $10 off using this link https://goo.gl/Sf7Hqw


    6. Apply moisturizer At this point I'm using combo moisturizer+SPF, but after your face has dried a bit from the acids, you'll want to put moisturizer all over. This is that key step that I wish I understood as a teenager - if your skin is dry, either you have to moisten it, or the skin will itself by producing oil (and therefore acne). Most common moisturizers (ie, Neutrogena) should work just fine. You may have to mix and match to find one that doesn't look greasy/wet on your skin. Which actually brings me to the final step...

    7. Apply sunscreen. Turns out there's a whole underground world of sunscreen. Stuff that's legal in Europe and Korea, but not here. Physical sunscreens, chemical sunscreens, etc.
    I prefer using physical sunscreen (meaning it has minerals like zinc oxide that rest on the face and don't absorb) since you don't need to reapply. The chemical ones you do (and also may cause breakouts due to influencing hormones-srs). Here's an article that does a really, really good job of bringing you up to speed on sunscreens: https://vanityrex.com/2015/05/21/eve...unscreen-pt-1/

    There is one problem with physical sunscreens - most leave what's known as a "white cast", or white shade that doesn't rub in. The solution I've found is to use one of the lightly beige-tinted kinds that are also moiturizers. There's a couple out there - I can't really recommend one particular kind because its all based on the tone of your skin (white, tan, brown, Indian, black, etc). You'll just need to google "tinted physical sunscreen".



    At night

    At night its time to clean your skin from the damage that occurred to it during the day. You don't need a sunscreen for this one.


    1.Cleanser
    2. Toner
    3. Hyaluronic acid srs - try the sheet method once or twice. A fukkin box of japanese sheet masks is like $2 on amazon for like 2 months supply. I know from experience it does work.
    4. Vitamin C serum

    5. Retinoid product In addition to no sunscreen, I don't use the exfolients at night either. You're exfoliated enough - plus, the acids will lower your skin pH down to 3, which inactivates retinol products (they only work at pH 5-5.6). Retinoid products are the other "wrinkle fighters" - they should tighten up the face and smooth out under-eye/upper cheek wrinkles. They also make the skin way more susceptible to sunlight damage, so you really have to wear sunscreen during the day.
    I alternate between ROC brands and Paula's Choice brands. Keep in mind though, over the counter retinols only work after undergoing conversion process on your skin, so they're not as effective as prescription retinoid creams. Also, if you ask a dermatologist for one, you might be able to get insurance to pay for it.
    http://www.skinacea.com/retinoids/ty...l#.V55xFugrKUl


    6. Apply a night-time moisturizer Honestly you can just use any kind of moisturizer - I use the neutrogena pm one, as it has niacinimide in it (which also shrinks pores and fine lines).
    http://www.neutrogena.com/product/de...ortby=ourPicks It's 12 bucks


    So to get youthful God-tier skin, you gotta spend $10+$10+$12+$45+$28+28+$30+$15+$12 = $190 every three months.

    For me, spending $190 every three months is worth it to get good results. If you have any questions, let me know. I didn't really go to far into detail about sunscreens or the science of pH sequencing, but there's whole subreddits and blogs about that




    TL;DR Cliffs:
    1) Gel cleanser
    2) Toner
    3) Hyaluronic acid
    4) Vitamin C serum
    5) Chemical exfolients
    6) Moisturizer
    7) Sunscreen
    (plus some variations at night)
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  2. #2
    Registered User Banbimi's Avatar
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    For redness in your face you can get rid of that with a couple of sessions of ipl lasers. Looks like you have some rosacea?
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    Registered User Magnolia916's Avatar
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    Magnolia916 is offline
    Originally Posted by Banbimi View Post
    For redness in your face you can get rid of that with a couple of sessions of ipl lasers. Looks like you have some rosacea?
    Or Soothe by Rodan Fields, the #2 treatment. Or Redness Calmlex by Skinmedica.

    R&F regimens are easy, honestly... takes a lot of the legwork out of everything he's written down there. Or SkinMedica's GRASS regimen.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Banbimi's Avatar
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    Banbimi is offline
    Originally Posted by Magnolia916 View Post
    Or Soothe by Rodan Fields, the #2 treatment. Or Redness Calmlex by Skinmedica.

    R&F regimens are easy, honestly... takes a lot of the legwork out of everything he's written down there. Or SkinMedica's GRASS regimen.
    Sounds good, he shouldn't be putting retinoids and acid peels etc on rosacea either I think that would make his redness worse.
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  5. #5
    Registered User LurkoLantern's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Banbimi View Post
    Sounds good, he shouldn't be putting retinoids and acid peels etc on rosacea either I think that would make his redness worse.
    The AHA got rid of rosacea pretty quick, but I'll look at the #2 soothe - thanks!
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