Disclaimer: Some of these are affiliate links
How to layer products?: This is a tricky one because everyone has their own way of applying skincare and in what order. It also depends on how many skincare steps you have and whether it is the AM or PM and how sensitive your skin is! I will tell you how I layer products for myself (this may not work for everyone):
- I focus on thinnest layers to the thickest usually. So for instance: Cleanse, Tone, Serum, moisturiser / sleeping mask / sunblock. (do you see how it goes from thinnest and fastest absorbing to the thickest?). I don’t use facial oils so I don’t think about the use of oils in my skincare steps.
- If I’m using retinol, I personally cleanse, tone and then apply the retinol so it’s closest to my skin to penetrate/absorb. Some people however require a buffer and so they mix a moisturiser/serum with their retinol and then apply. If I use a retinol I usually don’t apply anything on top.
- In terms of pilling and balling up – this is a trial and error situation that I still have to deal with / suffer with. For instance some sunblocks will make my serum underneath pill, but some sunblocks do not.
- I try to always use the fastest absorbing products and get to increasingly slower absorbing products in my routine and that’s how I layer. So i.e. Tone, Argerilline solution (absorbs very fast) and then my vitamin C and leave that to really sink in and soak in. Then I can move on to either a thicker serum or a moisturiser.
- I do think with actives, most people would say get the actives onto your face with as little barrier as possible so cleanse, tone, ACID, serum/moisturiser. But this of course depends on your skin’s sensitivities.
Serum to fade dark marks or sensitive skins/beginners?: I would say the dear klairs vitamin C 5% serum is a good place to start. I do think retinol is always great for pigmentation and perhaps trying a very low % would be the most effective for beginners and sensitive skins, like the Ordinary’s 0.2% (please see Q+A part I) People also recommend Alpha Arbutin (see previous Q+A part I) i.e. from Hada labo or the ordinary. But this could be irritating so it’s all trial and error.
The Ordinary vitamin Cs which can brighten: Ascorbyl Glucoside serum / Tetraisopalmitate solution
Niod: L-AA serum HERE
-Niacinamide from the ordinary could also help. AND DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN!
Also Tranexamic acid in Hada Labo’s whitening serum HERE
UPDATE: The Ordinary offer an Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C Serum – I think this could be decent at lightening dark pigmentation HERE
Do you cleanse in the mornings? What is your take on cleansing in the AM?: I used to cleanse in the mornings but found that it was excessive because I also workout so would end up washing my face 3x a day. I think 2 is a good amount. I know many youtubers and instagrammers recommend skipping on the morning wash and I didn’t want to buy into it. But recently I’ve found myself naturally not cleansing in the morning because I’ve found that my skin didn’t need it.
Of course I still wash with water and I SWIPE MY FACE WITH A TONER TO WIPE OFF EXCESS DIRT (so that is sort of my cleanse!) but my skin routine is quite light in the evening i.e. I don’t use thick heavy shea butter creams and sweat all over my pillow so I don’t feel the need to clean my skin squeaky clean in the morning, I can wash off my serums from the night before with just water (and swipe with a pad) – the real cleanse step for me is the toner stage BECAUSE I apply a lot onto a pad and swipe my face, this removes a lot of my dirt and then I move on to the serum/moisturiser/sunblock stage and it seems OK for me. My toner is not acidic or loaded with actives – I use very gentle toners that just focus on hydration, I like the Muji High moisture light toner HERE
I should also say, I pray so I have to wash my face with water – frequently throughout the day SO this means I am already washing more than recommended and adding a cleanser in will just give my skin a tight feeling.
I absolutely think that skipping out on cleansing in the morning with a cleanser has kept my skin barrier in tact and definitely dehydrates my skin less! I have sensitive acne prone skin so I do think that this has matched my skin type. I do think it depends very much on the weather and how loaded with products your skin is to depend on whether you need to use a cleanser or not. Also it depends on how gentle your cleanser is i.e. if you’re using a cleanser with AHA/BHA in it 2 or 3 times a day that could be excessive so just cleanse in the evenings with it and splash your face in the mornings etc. i do think you need to ‘feel’ your skin and see how tight it is or if you are feeling dehydrated and dry, perhaps try skipping on the morning cleanse! but make sure to wash your sunblock off/makeup off later on in the day with a cleanser 😀
The cleanser I am using at the moment is the Hada Labo Cleansing Foam, HERE I find it extremely gentle and if I need to clean in the AM I much prefer using light cleansers that take as little of the oil from my skin as possible. But as said before, I skip my AM cleanse.
What antioxidant is the most suitable for teenage skins?: Personally, I think vitamin C is a good antioxidant.
I use the Timeless C E Ferulic Serum (C and Ferulic acid are good together), HERE I have not used it but the Wishtrend 21.5% vitamin C erum, although oxidises very quickly, is potent, HERE – HOWEVER!! both of these could be way too strong for teenage skins so I will recommend lower % and weaker vitamin C’s for teenage skin:
- Dear Klairs Vitamin C serum (5% so it is very light, able to use in AM and PM) HERE
- The Ordinary Tetraisopalmitate HERE
- Also from the ordinary HERE Resveratrol and Ferulic acid antioxidants sounds good. It’s recommended to dilute this with a cream to lessen the effect!
I will say: These recommendations are oily-feeling. However it is extremely difficult to use potent vitamin C as an antioxidant and it not be in oil.
4.The Inkey list also have Coq10 (an antioxidant) which is quite cheap HERE and also may be less irritating
5.Niod also offer Superoxide Dismutase antioxidant spray but this may be pricier for teens! HERE
Thanks for the questions and I have a few more so stay tuned for a part III!
Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.