The Gemini
2 years ago

I need a new skincare routine asap my current routine isn't cutting it

I started a skincare routine about a year ago. Seeing my skintone being uneven with sun & or hyperpigmintation spots (don't know which) dry patches, fine lines on my forehead, eyes, & my cheeks I'm assuming from sleeping on my side.

Wearing foundation only accentuated these lines and dark spots. Feeling like I really need to do something, I started researching different products I felt would benefit my concerns.

I ended up purchasing Cetaphil face cleanser, Thayers Toner, Cosrx Snail Musin Essence, & Hanskin Hyaluron moisture cream.

I have discontinued use of the Cetaphil, & Thayers. I currently use no cleanser, only water. Olive oil mixed with Lemon essential oil, Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum, Cosrx Snail musin & Hanskin Hyaluron cream.

I'm so confused lately 😕 I don't know what to use. These products are just okay to me. I'm not seeing any real results so I'm looking to change up the while routine.

Any help? Please?!

Glow Recipe - Guava Vitamin C + Ferulic Dark Spot Serum
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Hanskin - Hyaluron Moisture Cream
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COSRX - Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
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Sounds like your skin is dehydrated, might also be irritated (hence dry patches and more visible fine lines) + there is some sun damage (and sun leads to pigmentation spots).

I would recommend using a cleanser once per day, at night. I am not a big fan of the Cetaphil cleansers (gentle version is good though), I'd recommend something like this instead:




I would also strongly recommend to stop the olive oil & lemon essential oil mix. Both components make dry skin worse.

I would also suggest changing your moisturizer to something fragrance-free - basically any product from the first 3 pages here would work:

For 1-3 weeks, I'd suggest using only a sunscreen in the morning (for example: - you can also apply a moisturizer and/or the Cosrx essence before the sunscreen for extra hydration), and then cleanser + moisturizer at night. Please do not use other products or oils during this time. This will help to reset your skin and restore the skin barrier.

Once your skin feels less dry (but please stick to the simple routine above for a week at least), you can add a retinoid product. It can help with the pigmentation and fine lines. Apply at night, after cleansing, before the moisturizer. Please avoid the eye area at least in the first couple of months. It is a good idea to start using a retinoid product only every other night for a couple of weeks, and then gradually increase the frequency to every night. A few options here:




Hope it helps!


Thank you, Maria! I have picked some products to purchase, ASAP. Do you have other suggestions for a sunscreen, something more budget friendly?

Much appreciated 🙏


Faded topicals was the best ingredient for hyperpigmentation, it completely fixed my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation over not that much time. Use it as a spot treatment. It doesn’t smell great but that’s bc there’s not added fragrance-something there’s no added benefit too but also can be irritating. It has a ton of ingredients geared toward hyperpigmentation including Konica acid, tranexamic acid, niacinamide, licorice root and azelaic acid. Hydroquinone is another great ingredient (not in faded topicals) but comes with potential side effects so I would use that as a last resort if the faded topicals for some reason doesn’t work.

Absolutely don’t use any essential oils, and I would personally discontinue the olive oil. I am 33 and have fine lines which I saw greatly reduced using adapalene (a retinoid which used to be strickly prescription but was made available over the counter a few years ago.) differin and la roche posay both have a product w adapalene as the active ingredient. That is the most potent active ingredient IMO for aging over the counter (though it’s marketed for acne and will defiantly help that to.) retinol is the gold standard for anti-aging and the most studied and effective ingredient but a lot of products don’t have a very concentrated percentage of it and also have to use less potent forms of retinol that need to do many conversions to even be able to be used by your skin-making it a weaker form. So, now I am prescribed Tretinoin (retin-a) that I get through a dermatologist. It has minimized my fine lines by 50%, as a conservative estimate. You have to get it though a derm or I know there are online skincare services that you can get one through there. Adapalene is going to be the closest thing to that over the counter.

The other biggest helper for my skin besides faded topicals and adapalene and Tretinoin has been putting a very light occlusive layer of cerave healing ointment over my moisturizer-referred to as “slugging”- (currently using Naturium- plant ceramide rich moisture cream which is high in vitamin F, but any simply, hydrating moisturizer would work. the active ingredient in the cerave healing ointment is petrolatum, which is also in vaseline and aquaphor. This is going to serve the purpose of locking in your actives but also preventing transepidermal water loss which is what causes dry, dehydrated skin. I have only finalized this routine through alot of trial and error and learning in esthetician school.

Another tip I’ve found helpful is putting my products on wet skin- which allows for deeper penetration.

At some point adding a solid vitamin c serum would be beneficial (especially used under sunscreen) for hyperpigmentation. I’m still trying to find one that doesn’t pill or leave yellow in my face. Look for l-ascorbic acid, aminpropyl ascorbyl phosphate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate or tetrahexyldexyl ascorbate as the form of vitamin c- those are some of the most effective forms as vitamin c can be hard to formulate in a way that keeps it stable.

And always use sunscreen, broad spectrum I try to always use at least 50. But make sure it’s broad spectrum (or PA+++ for non-American brands.) bc spf rating only accounts for protection against UBV damage (or burning rays) and the broad spectrum or PA rating is what protects from UVA damage (or aging rays.)

Best of luck!


I'll definitely give the Faded topicals a try; I'm desperate to fade my dark spots. I've discontinued use of the Olive oil and E.O. I started a new routine last Sunday with products recommended by Maria.

Morning: water on a washcloth to clean my face, Snail mucin & finally CeraVe facial moisturizing lotion AM with broad spec spf 30

Night: CeraVe Hydrating cream to foam cleanser, Snail mucin, Differin Restorative Night moisturizer (first I tried CeraVe daily moisturizing lotion but felt like a weird film on my face almost chalky/dry and tight.) And finally I got Roc Retinol correction line smoothing Capsules. Oh, and I am spot treating my dark spots with the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C

I can see already that this is going to be a trial and error sort of process. I'm buying the smallest product available in case it doesn't work for me.

What products in particular do you apply to wet skin? You shared a wealth of info and I'm excited to buy Faded. My dark spots and fine (some not so fine lol) lines are a self esteem killer. I can't wear foundation to cover my dark spots because it just excentuates the lines. It's so frustrating but my end goal is to fade my spots and diminish my lines so I can go foundation free; mostly anyway.

I've slugged before and quit like it. This may seem "out there" but I honestly attribute my skin woes to the fact that my heating and cooling system has a de-humidifier attachment. The air is so dry it's terrible; so much so I bought a humidifier. It helps but wintertime is just hard on my face.

Anyway I won't blab anymore. Thanks for your time and advice!!!



I don't attribute all my skin problems to the HVAC. HOWEVER, I do think it plays a substantial role. 🙃😉