My Nightly Skincare Routine

I've struggled with skin issues ever since I was a teenager. In my earlier teen years, I suffered from constant breakouts all over my face as well as bouts of cystic acne a few times a year. Towards the ends of high school and in college, I struggled more with clogged pores, blackheads, acne on my back and arms, and still the occasional bout of cystic acne. I was never allowed to wear any kind of makeup until high school, so I was constantly self-conscious of my skin. To make the problem worse, my dermatologist at the time was putting me through an endless cycle of several acne treatments at once, which resulted in constant red and irritated skin with no relief from my acne. He also recommended for me to undergo chemical peels on my t-zone (my most heavily-affected area) every few weeks.

The peels were painful and I had to fan my face with a magazine and fight back tears during the whole process as well as for a few hours after to try and "cool" my burning skin. I would have to get my chemical peels done on Thursdays after school, show up on Fridays with what looked like the worst sunburn ever, and then hide inside my room for the rest of the weekend while my t-zone bubbled and blistered, scabbed over, and peeled off. As a result of these chemical peels on my young, sensitive skin, the skin on my nose has been permanently damaged.

Now I'm stuck with the adult acne I had before, serious red discoloration on and around my nose, overproduction of oils on my nose to the extreme, and constant peeling of the skin on my whole nose. And when I say constant, I mean it. I can wash my face in the morning and apply a moisturizer and primer to my nose, only to have a whole layer of skin slough off of it just from touching my nose with a makeup brush. I thought I was going to be doomed to feeling like a broken out, peeling, red-nosed Rudolf until I found my new skincare favorites.

It may sound strange that I've never tried the basics to help my current skin problems, but I've just been so deep into the dermatology world trying to control my acne while trying to also trying to repair my nose, that it was just something that never came up. However, just a quick trip to a few stores was all I needed to get some relief.

First, I always make sure that I remove my makeup every night before bed. If I feel like using a liquid makeup remover, I use the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. If I feel like being extra lazy or am traveling, I use the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. I've tried other makeup wipes before, but I feel like they're so concentrated that I end up with irritated skin, so I stick with the Neutrogena ones. Then I use the Olay ProX Advanced Facial Cleaning System to help exfoliate my face. The Olay ProX works similarly to the Clarisonic brush for a tenth of the cost. It has two speed settings and I first use the lower setting with my Clean & Clear Morning Burst Shine Control Facial Cleanser to wash off any leftover makeup, makeup remover, or oils. I also use this cleanser in the morning and it really helps control the oils on my nose as well as the shine. After that, I use the higher setting with the Anti-Aging Exfoliating Renewal Cleanser which comes in the box if you buy the deluxe facial brush kit (which I highly recommend) to unclog my pores and remove any dry and dead skin, especially on my nose. Lastly, I apply my Ole Henriksen Counter Balance Mattifying Moisture Creme to hydrate my skin without making it oily.

Seriously, since I've stopped putting harsh chemicals on my skin and have just created a nightly skincare routine, my skin has improved so much. Even with photoshoots and the runway makeup of LA Fashion Week, my breakouts have been reduced by more than half and the skin on my nose is looking so much better.