Hello Skincare Routine! {+A Bit of Heart to Heart} {Hello, Naked Face!}

SOME HEART TO HEART (or as my brother would say, 'reel shiet')

I'm not even going to bullshit you--past/younger Vanessa was a bitch. I was like Regina George meets pageantry, as I used to pride myself for being the one my friends came to when they wanted an individual's appearance to be deconstructed, analyzed and criticized. Thankfully, those days are long, long, long behind me, and though I cringe and deeply regret those thoughts, I am lucky enough to learn to appreciate the gorgeousness in each and every individual's face, whether they have acne or flawless skin, or whether they consider their noses small or large, and I've come to empathize with those struggling with acne. (Thanks, tumblr and your social injustice awareness posts)

I've had acne for about 4 1/2 years now, and I can probably safely now say I'm on the road to recovery. There has been plenty of trial and error over the years, loads and loads of acne research and advice, and tons of personal support from my friends, and although it's so incredibly easily to fall into the despair trap (trust me, I know), the best advice I can give is: Don't give a sh-t about what others (and yourself) think of your appearance during your own process/routine of recovering from acne.

No one knows your skin and body better than you do (...except probably the dermatologist. Yeah actually, maybe the dermatologist), and it's so incredibly difficult not to beat yourself up over the condition of your face. You might even start believing that other people are judging your face, when maybe they're even understanding of your condition. Although you look like a hot mess with all that acne, I really want you to be comfortable and confident in facing and dealing with your acne, and stop being so self-aware, because I for one, will still genuinely think you're super gorgeous. 

Here are some of my top lines for a self-esteem + confidence boost that even I use from time to time. (Although it is in comic sans, the next time you need a confidence boost, I really want you to say some of these lines....minus the 'bopity boop' one because I don't know why it's there...but you know, you could say it)

But honestly, I'm not going to lie--seeing photos of myself with a significant amount of acne hyperpigmentation made me want to roll off the nearest cliff. Despite me being used to/comfortable with it on a daily basis, there will still be times where I go berserk, but then I remember it won't be so bad in 3 months to 2 years time (hyperpigmentation fade time). In the meantime however, I try not to let it get me down! 

(Selfies under the cut, and for more of acne experiences + 'advice', check out my post on lessons learned in acne)
Hello daily skincare routine!

Some tl;dr of the previous section:
- 4 1/2 years of acne
- Finally taking skincare srs 4 reasons (basically b/c wrinkles and hyperpigmentation)
- I think ur supergorgey (??)

Alright, let's get serious.

My real life friend recently discovered this blog and scolded me for the lack of skincare posts on this blog. I thought a daily skincare post would be a great way to introduce skincare back, and so here's what I use!

My skincare routine is nothing too fancy schmancy, because 1) I'm not one to pile numerous items on when a few products will simply do, and 2) I'm actually really lazy about skincare.( ._.'') I'm not one to try and speed up cell turnover to fade hyperpigmentation faster either, just because of skin sensitivity, and I honestly don't mind the wait.

1. Cleanse: I've been using Cetaphil for years now, and I think it is a great basic facial cleanser. At night, I'll pump olive oil onto tissue to remove my makeup, and follow with Cetaphil after. 

2. Tone: Ever since my Clinique toner ravaged my skin and made me break out significantly back in February, I've been skeptical about trying toners. I recently decided to try Thayer's 'Original Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Astringent' after hearing fantastic reviews, plus it's also natural! So far so good! (Also, I'll occasionally apply ice to my face to close up pores after a hot shower)

3. Moisturize: Nivea 'Soft' is a great lightweight moisturizer for my sensitive skin, and I use Neutrogena's  'Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night' because I actually laugh a lot in real life, which is not fantastic in the whole LETS-MAKE-SOME-LAUGH-LINES-HAPPEN-YAY department.

Some occasional pick-me-ups!

Clarisonic Mia: Ever since I stopped using my Clarisonic regularly, I've stopped breaking out....(sorry, Mia!). I used to use it 2-3 times a week for about a year, but several months ago, I started using it once every two weeks, and my skin is faring so much better!

Masks/Spot Treatments: Whenever my skin is feeling pluggy, I'll use Queen Helene's 'Mint Julep Masque' to absorb the yuckies, and if my skin is feeling spotty, I'll use either of the above masks as a spot treatment.

And that's basically it! Nothing too fancy, just practical, somewhat inexpensive (except Mia and Origins!) products that get the job done for me, which is just what I need! What products do you guys swear by?


A Bunch of Acne Selfies view at your own risk, srsly
Don't ask me why I was so excited to read/study these three books in one of my first year courses 3 years ago...BUT HELLO ACNE AND HYPERPIGMENTATION 
(You know what's even worse? I didn't have concealer back then ;-;)

Sadly, this is actually a really, really generous shot of my acne on that day that it was taken 2 years ago.

My no-makeup face as of this month! Clinique toner totally ravaged my skin back in February, and my entire cheek is covered in hyperpigmentation. @_@

??? My face???

??? My hair beard????

Blerg, I really don't know how I feel about posting photos of myself with no makeup on. 
Heck, I rarely leave my house without concealer on, and for months, I couldn't hold sleepovers at my house because I was afraid of my friends seeing my face with all that hyperpigmentation.

But hey, I'm slowly gaining a bit of courage and confidence to tackle acne self-esteem issues,
I hope you slowly do too!


  1. YES for confidence, I say! Your skin really has gotten better since then! :D

    And oooh - I probably said this before, but I really want to try the Clarisonic. Gawd, why are they so damn expensive?! T__T

    And omoomog. A RL friend recently (like, 20 minutes ago) found my blog too. Doesn't it feel weird? I'm so paranoid now, and keep checking on my blog stats, trying to somehow detect her if she's watching meee. T__T So weird. GAH.

    1. Thanks!
      Yeah, I try not to use the Clarisonic Mia too often, as it does break me out, but once every two weeks is fine c:


  2. Dude I invite my RL friends to my blog, and now they poke fun of me.....but let's get right to it as well. I've been also suffering from hyper pigmentation, something I never really suffered from prior to this year thank you for your skincare post, I do love seeing what other bloggers use for their products. Pretty much everything on this list is something I have been wanting to buy! I hope your skin is clearing up and I'm glad your confidence is being built back up. <333 Pauline

    1. Yeah, I try not to talk about my blog irl too much, it's like living a double life sometimes though!
      Meh, hyper pigmentation sucks, but thankfully, it allows me to test a plethora of concealers :D

      Thanks! ❤ Hopefully one day I wont be too chicken to show my irl BFF my naked face up close and in person ._.

  3. You're a beautiful person, inside and out! I love how simple your skincare routine is. I have like a dozen products so I'm probably going a little overboard, but I HATE acne! I'm going to try to minimize it though. Thanks for the recommendations! xo Kelly http://chicnstylishblog.blogspot.com/

    1. Gah, you're too wonderful ;-;

      Nah, if your skincare routine works for you, stick to it! Don't go changing what works for you! C:

  4. My boyfriend suffers with acne and it's so difficult to make him feel good about himself with it and help him deal with it! I'm going to pick up some of these products so hopefully his acne will clear up! Thank you for this post, it's been really helpful! c:

    Lucy | Lucys Lifestyle

    1. Yeah, confidence really does have to come from within. It's a lot of hard work though, but pep talks and not taking yourself too seriously helps c:

      Ouu, I really recommend the Queen Helene Mint Julep masque if you can get your hands on it! And a very basic, stripped down skincare routine + special products specifically designed for spot treatment. ALSO, I THOUGHT IT WAS CLICHED, BUT WATER INTAKE REALLY HELPS, as well as changing pillow cases frequently! (From my experience anyways!)

      I really hope your boyfriend's condition gets better soon! c:

  5. I didn't know I could ever love a post as much as this one. So much relate.
    I had clear skin up until I was 18 and then I started breaking out like crazy. I didn't know what brought it on and I didn't know how to stop these spots. I felt so lost. I tried so many products and nothing was working. You know that feeling of hope you get when you buy a product that is so hyped up and it doesn't work on your skin, that would get me so unbelievably down. So I stopped researching products, I stopped using multiple products on my skin at one time - I just took a breather.
    Using few products on my skin has really helped. I just use a face-wash and apply a face cream in the morning and night. I still suffer with spots on my chin but my skin overall has significantly improved. I like to think of my scars on my cheeks as freckles!
    Go you for posting pictures of yourself and for writing a post like this.
    And in your words, ~*~Sparkle Sparkle~*~ and Boop Boop Bobbity Boop to better skin!

    (eeee apologies for the long comment)

    1. Nothing like a bit of acne to bond people together, huzzah!

      Yeah, trial and error was a hot mess for me in the early days, and for some reason I never thought to strip down my skincare routine ;-;

      Hey, at least we've learned what works for our skin, and thankfully, our current faces are in a significantly better condition! (And heh, nice positive outlook on the scars as freckles! Freckles/scars/moles do make a face more interesting/unique, imo :D)

      Thanks! :')
      I do love me some positive outlook/pep talk

  6. I honestly love you, that picture you put the words on is so funny OMG!
    Your skin is flawless! :)

    I have a give away when I reach 100 followers and it would mean so much if you helped me to get there xx

  7. Hahahaha! I love how you made this so funny! :)
    I tagged you to do the My First Time Tag!

    1. Thanks!
      I'll stop by and I'll make sure to do the tag...(eventually)!

  8. Omg I love your blooooooog. And great post! I use Cetaphil and srsly really love it, it's so nice on the skin but doesn't dry me out.

    Ada | thespianxx

    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, Cetaphil is really a great, bare bones/simple cleanser. No magic tricks, it just does what it claims to do c:

  9. i know what you mean! i've been getting some acne going on and i'm like...dude im how old now? this is so high school/early university. i just need to tell myself that no one cares! (even though i just want to hide under blankets) thanks for the post

    A Beautiful Zen

    1. Oh man, I'm in late university and I'm still recovering LOL (never too old for acne, heh)

      Yeah, I always tell myself no one cares, blah blah blah pep talk blah, but I usually end up hiding in concealer anyways (man, I'm a hypocrite sometimes ._.)

    2. whatever gets you by man :)
      hey, i tagged you for a liebster. i know you got the verstaile award but here's another one! yay!
      the post is at: http://abeautifulzen.blogspot.ca/2013/08/liebster-award-post-where-you-can.html

  10. That inspirational picture was so tumblr. :) Vanessa, YOU are goregeous!

    I have acne only on my forehead! It's so weird. I'm still not too confident on pinning up my bangs (which are probably the cause of my acne. bangs + oily skin = bad acne. ;___; i wash my hair and face daily and still no good. =A=;), but this made me feel less self conscious, haha. :)

    1. Yeah, tumblr has really gotten into my head! And thank you! ❤ (though it's pretty weird to be called 'gorgeous'...don't mind me, heh)

      Oh man, I used to have bangs, which was terrible because I had an oily T zone. My forehead was one of the first places I got acne, AND THEY WERE HUGE MOUNTAINS I KID YOU NOT o_o

      If anything, you could pin them up immediately when you get home! I know I used to do that, and I had some improvement c:

  11. Were you reading my mind? Today I decided to do tons of research for the best skin care routine, products, etc.
    One product that got excellent reviews was Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser. I have rosacea, so I could totally use some redness relief, but a lot of people with acne issues said it did them wonders.
    Anyways, thanks for the post! I'll look into your products in my search.



      Ouuu, I'm always on the lookout for new moisturizers, and Eucerin isn't too terribly expensive, so I might give that a try next if I can find it! (Thx Canada, and ur limited moisturizers/lotion collection)

      Yeah, I still have a lot of redness aside from hyperpigmentation, so if other people with acne issues say it does them wonders, then I'll try! (thanks for the recommendation! c:)

  12. i admire your story and your confidence vanessa <3 i struggle with confidence and blocking peoples criticism a lot. your advice and how you handle yourself is really inspiring and fun to watch :) btw cetaphyl also helped me during my breakout years :)

    1. Thank you! :)
      Oh man, I used to struggle with people's criticism a lot (especially when university paper comments rolled around), but I've convinced myself that constructive criticism is worth considering, and criticism just for criticism's sake is to be disregarded.

      AS I WOULD SAY, "DAS DAT SHIET I DUN LEIK" and roll on, haha XD

  13. I have the Cetaphil facial cleanser as well. I love it. I thought i was following your blog. I am following again. GFC acts wacky sometimes .lol. Great post ! :)


    1. Haha, I think it may be because you're following my profile on Bloglovin and not my actual blog, oops XD


  14. I have been suffering with cystic acne for the past 12 years now and even though I have come to terms that it will never completely go away I can now say that I have started figuring out how to make it better, it's still very frustrating at times but it's so encouraging to see how other people are going through what I'm going through :)

    1. Oh man, that is a terrible/frustrating situation to be in, but at least you're learning to manage it! (At some times, I can't even be bothered by my face anymore because I've gotten so used to it @_@)

      Yeah, it's always motivating and uplifting to share stories on acne, much like any other recovery support system (substance abuse/medical conditions, etc). Empowering each other ftw! c:

  15. Great post! I love seeing what others use to battle acne. I also use toner and love using Dickinson's witch hazel. I currently use the prescription drug Epiduo to battle my acne and find it has helped me a lot. I broke out bad lately which I blame stress on :/

    Boop Boop :)

    1. Ugh, school stress and acne is the WORST, especially since essays make me stay up unusually late, and I often wonder if my assignments and papers reeks of 7am desperation.

      But yeah, totally not fantastic for the skin.
      I really like witch hazel so far!

  16. Wow crazy that the Clarisonic Mia used to cause you breakouts!
    I recently decided to splurge on it because I heard so many good stuff about it!
    No I am hesitating..
    Which skin type do you have? Maybe that matters.

    x Birgit

    1. It was great after a year, but after that I realised it was causing me to break out :(

      It works differently for everyone though, a lot of people say it's their holy grail item, so it might work better for you!

      I have combination skin, haha. Normal and oily t