Lisa♥ Lisa♥
last month

is this routine too harsh for a very irritated skin ? Did I permanently destroyed my skin barrier?

Two months ago, I messed up my skin. I used way too much of the vitamin c suspension 30 from TO with some kind of weird greasy soap which I thought was a kojic acid soap because of its color. When I started breaking out from irritating my skin and clogging ever single pore I had with this weird ass soap, I used undiluted apple cider vinegar which made it even worst obviously. I thought that my skin just needed exfoliation and I didn't wanted to wait and order a new lactic acid peeling from TO. My skin obviously got worst and I kept the idea that my skin just needed exfoliation. Id still use the vitamin c and the alpha arbutin serum from TO to prevent PIH not knowing it would cause further irritation. In addition, it was also a very stressful time for me as I had very important exams to work on while also being illed. I gotta say that when I was 13, I did way worst things like putting toothpaste, NAIL POLISH REMOVER ON MY SKIN. Yes I know. Though my skin never reacted like that in my whole life. Im 17 now and I feel so bad because of all the weird pustules and cysts and inflammed acne in general going on on my cheeks. I feel like Im a monster and I cant go out with make up, even around my family I feel so ashamed even around them and I feel like they're disgusted by me. And now I'm so scared to go back to school looking like this, even though my skin has slightly improved. Is this routine good enough for this type of inflammatory acne ? Is it too much ? Is it hydrating enough ? Should I add an exfoliant ? Feel free to leave recommandation of products under 10 € available in France over the counter. I cannot afford to see a dermatologist sadly as I'm still a minor. (sorry if they are any grammar mistakes or if I didnt spell some words right, Im french)

AM - Everyday
1
SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover Garnier - SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover
2
SkinHit Calming Serum with Cica and Mushroom By BEAUTY BAY - SkinHit Calming Serum with Cica and Mushroom
3
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
AM - Every other day
1
SUN Protect & Moisture Suncream Spray SPF 50 Nivea - SUN Protect & Moisture Suncream Spray SPF 50
2
Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA The Ordinary - Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
PM - Everyday
1
SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover Garnier - SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover
2
SkinHit Calming Serum with Cica and Mushroom By BEAUTY BAY - SkinHit Calming Serum with Cica and Mushroom
3
Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 The Ordinary - Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
4
Cicaplast Baume B5 For Dry Skin Irritations La Roche-Posay - Cicaplast Baume B5 For Dry Skin Irritations
PM - Every other day
1
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
PM - Twice a week
1
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% The Ordinary - Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
1
3
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Also, I forgot to mention that I didn't have acne before doing all this, I used to exfoliate with lactic acid and I tried to fade my dark spots left from previous blemishes that I picked with alpha arbutin 2 + HA from TO. I would also use tea tree oil essential oil as a spot treatment for the few pimples I would get. It was a great routine for me tbh, looking back I would have added a moistruiser tho and more gentle cleanser than the one I used but this routine made my skin pretty clear in terms of blemishes. The only thing bothering me was dark spots which were not so visible but they were quite a lot. Now I guess my whole cheeks will turn into a huge dark spot. My routine now is garnier micellar water as a cleanser both in the AM and in the PM because I don't have any gentle cleanser. (Id like recommandations feel free!!) A serum with 5% liposomal vit C and 2% matrixyl from Eliza Jones (i bought it a while ago thinking it was gonna get rid of my hyperpigmentation) which a use as a hydrating serum since it contains a lot of glycerin. This really helps calming the inflammation and makes my skin pretty soft (maybe the matrixyl boosting collagen ?). I add a small amount of the Niacinamide serum sometimes but idk what to think about it, and I'm scared that it will make me breakout further more so I do it like twice a week maybe. I also had to mention that I already tried NIacinamide from TO before when I had clear skin and it broke me out a bit on the forehead and gave me three giant cysts ( I hardly get any blemishes on the forehead, just few whiteheads usualy) when I had clear skin. Now that my cheeks are covered in pimples, Niacinamide seems to help calm the skin but its quite drying so I dont use much. I always follow up my routine by applying a coat of cicaplast from la roche posay which is very good for calming the skin. Though it has a very heavy and greasy consictency, it's not really hydrating.

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Hello Lisa! 👋 Please don't worry, your skin will return to normal - you just need to give it time and a break from most skincare products. Your skin barrier will restore itself, and you'll be less prone to inflamed blemishes. Just give it time. I'd recommend you to drop the morning cleanse, just splash your face with cool water in the morning. You don't really need the serums from your AM, but you can keep using them if you feel your skin likes them. But please add a daily sunscreen - I'd actually recommend something like this instead of the Nivea spray (sprays are difficult to apply evenly on the face): https://whatsinmyjar.com/product/avene-tinted-mineral-sunscreen-fluid. A daily sunscreen will help reduce & prevent pigmentation marks. For the PM, you can keep using the Micellar water as your cleanser, just rinse it off with water at the end to make sure no residue remains on the skin (micellar water residue can lead to skin irritation). You could use the TO azelaic acid daily in the PM. I'd recommend you to add a moistruizer in the PM and use it daily to support your skin barrier. For example, something like this: https://whatsinmyjar.com/product/dermageek-nourishing-facial-night-cream or this: https://whatsinmyjar.com/product/e-l-f-e-f-happy-hydration-face-cream. I'd recommend to stick to this super simple routine for 2-3 weeks and resist the temptation to use anything else on your face. You could use acne patches on inflamed blemishes - they could help to heal them faster and prevent you from obsessing about them (I know how it feels!). Please be patient with your skin - it got assaulted with some harsh products, and needs time to come back to its senses. You can trust that your skin is trying hard to return things to normal as soon as it possibly can, but it won't be instant. Most people dealt with blemishes at some point in their lives. People can relate to how it feels, and I can assure you it is never as bad as we think. Maybe you could try to focus your attention on a hobby or some outdoor activities before the school start, to get you away from mirrors and over-checking your skin imperfections? It is normal to feel insecure about your skin, but it is certainly not helpful to your wellbeing or even your skin state because it adds to the stress. Once you feel that your skin is no longer sensitized, you can add anti-acne actives to your routine - depending on how the things will look then (it could be a retinoid, a salicylic acid product 1-2 times per week).

2
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Ah, apologies, I overlooked that you use the Cicaplast balm in the PM - it can absolutely work as a moistruizer for you now if you don't mind the texture, no need to buy an extra product.

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