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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My lazy girl skincare regimen

The Jen Project's lazy girl skincare regimen for acne and wrinkle-prone skin

I have super sensitive combination skin that’s acne-prone and starting to wrinkle. It’s been a challenge to navigate through all the skincare products on the market: anti-acne products exacerbate wrinkles, and anti-wrinkle products exacerbate acne.

Case in point: eye cream applied at night does wonders for my undereye wrinkles. But I tend to get a few pimples on my cheeks after I've used eye cream consistently for about a week.

Then I don't use eye cream for a while, and while my face clears up, those pesky undereye wrinkles are back again.

A few years ago, a fairy godmother-like dermatologist helped me craft a skincare regimen in which the products were not at odds with each other. With this regimen, I got the best of both anti-wrinkle and anti-acne solutions.

While not perfect, my skin today is the best it’s been since I was 12 years old, thanks to this regimen. It's a lot easier to exercise and travel now – no more hiding my bare face at the gym, and my carry-on toiletries bag is so much lighter.

The lazy girl skincare regimen: An easy-peasy, no-nonsense skincare routine for acne and/or wrinkle-prone skin. From The Jen Project - a skincare blog for busy people. Visit

My daily skincare regimen
  • Cleanse: Cerave Hydrating Cleanser or Shiseido Perfect Milk
    • Love the Cerave because it's so gentle and affordable. There's no foaming or deep-cleaning action, which is fine for mornings when I'm mostly trying to wash off my retinoid and eye cream from the previous night's application. 
    • Shiseido Perfect Milk foams up and cleans deep - I use this about once a week when I want to get in a deep-clean in the mornings. 
  • Moisturize: L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream
    • Love the way this moisturizer smells and feels on my skin. It gives my face a healthy glowy look, smoothes out rough patches, never breaks me out, and puts my heart at rest when I feel some fine lines starting to settle in. I've tried to migrate away from this stuff and use products like Olay Regenerist for budget reasons, but I always return to my Precious Cream. It truly is...precious. 
  • Prime: Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer
    • Applying a thin layer of this primer in the morning makes my skin velvety smooth and (relatively) shine-free. It's also a great base for my tinted sunscreen. 
  • Protect: Clarins UV Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40, Light/Medium tint
    • Love the light silky texture of this sunscreen, and the slight tint helps conceal blotchiness, sun spots, and acne scars. It's also mineral-based, containing only titanium dioxide (chemical sunscreens break me out and cause blotchiness). 
IMPORTANT: WAIT 20 MINUTES. This is the most enjoyable part of my regimen – when I get to be truly lazy. I think of it as my “me” time at the end of each day, when I treat myself to 20 minutes of Netflix, do a few lightweight Blogilates workouts, or literally lie around the house while I let my toner do its thang. It's important to wait 20 minutes before applying a retinoid because the residual moisture left on your face after you wash it will cause the retinoid to absorb faster/deeper than necessary, leading to dry, irritated skin. That 20-minute period allows the residual moisture to evaporate while your skin regains some of its natural oils and protection so that it can absorb the retinoid in a balanced, gradual way (more like grazing than devouring, if you will).
  • Treat: Apply a pea-sized amount of a retinoid product (I use Atralin) gently all over skin.
    • According to my dermatologist, retinoids are the holy grail of dermatology. Retinoids magically have anti-acne, anti-wrinkle, and sun spot-fading properties, all backed by medical research.
  • Moisturize: L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Cream
  • (optional) Fight undereye wrinkles: Shiseido Benefiance Eye Cream or Etude House Moistfull Super-Collagen Eye Cream
    • Love both of these eye creams. The Shiseido one is more creamy and the Etude House one is firmer, but whenever I use them at night, I wake up to a noticeably smoother undereye area.
    • The trick to using any eye cream for acne-prone skin: apply to the undereye area right before you get into bed so there's no risk of the eye cream trickling down to your cheeks. As soon as you wake up in the morning, wash your face. 
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