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Winter Skincare Routine


Today I'm sharing something extremely raw and personal. It's something I struggled with for years, and if this post even helps one person, I know it's worth sharing. 

I never struggled with acne in middle or high school. I would have random pimples here and there, but nothing major. It wasn't until about a year/year and a half ago that I started to struggle with my skin. 

Being an adult with skin problems might be one of the worse things ever. I felt dirty, gross and like I had horrible hygiene, despite the fact that I was trying anything and everything for my skin. Over the course of 18 months, I saw multiple doctors, dermatologists, estheticians, you name it. I'm not kidding, multiple cities, multiple people, multiple facials, products, treatments, lasers, peels, masks, and even prescription oral medicine. Nothing was working. 

I was crying, I was skipping events and things with my friends; I was hopeless. There were a few things I did that made my acne a little better.. 
- I was using the Murad Acne System. This was the closest system I could find (up until what I use now) that showed the best results. 
-I changed conditioners. The one I was using originally had way too much oil on it and it would rinse off on my face, causing bad breakouts. 
-Sleeping in a long sleeve shirt. If I sleep on my arm or touching any other skin, I will break out. It's so crazy how sensitive my skin is. 

I've written this post a million times in my head. I've waited months to post it in fear that my skin clearing up was just a fluke. I've had it written and sitting in my drafts for days.. but it's finally time to  just do it. 

I'm sharing photos of my before skin below. This is something I never, ever thought I would share with you all, but seeing the change in my skin has been so incredible. I have to do this and be 100% transparent in hopes it can help someone else out there too. 

ps. this is in NO way sponsored. I am not gifted any of these products or paid to talk about them. 




Before: 

After:


*pics above are no make up, no filters, no editing 

Sorry for the close up, awkward pictures. I originally took these photos to send to my stepmom, not to share with anyone ever. I honestly don't even know if this was the worst of my breakouts. 

I took these pictures about a week or two before I started a new system. It was about a week before I went to California (September 2017). While I was out there, my stepmom told me about a doctor she followed on Instagram, Dr. Kay Durairaj. She is a otolaryngologist (or ear, nose, and throat specialist) and facial plastic surgeon. She works on many celebrities and also has her own line of beauty products. The day I saw her, she told me 'Your skin will be different in 30 days, I promise.' 
*honestly typing this made me tear up, I remember how hopeless I felt and I didn't believe her. I had seen so many doctors before her, how was she any different. 

The best part of her system, it's only 4 steps and under $50. The acne kit includes a face wash, 'wipe away the day' pads, all over cream and moisturizer.  I went home with her system and started it right away. 

Since trying her system months ago, I have reordered three times. I've also found the perfect routine of how to use it and what to incorporate with it. I'm discussing my routine below + after photos. My skin has basically been reborn, it's so much better than it's ever been in my life. 

Step One: Cleansing 
Morning and night, I wash my face with this cleanser and my Clarisonic
How to use: This step is pretty simple. Apply about a dime size amount to damp face, massage all over with wet hands, and rinse. Be sure to get it wet enough that it lathers up. I love using my Clarisonic, but if you don't have one, just take two fingers and really massage the lather into your skin.  

Step Two: Treatment Pads
Next, I use a wipe away the day treatment pad. I use these every single night, but also some mornings. I really try to read my skin and see how it's doing that week. If it's super dry (especially in the winter), I won't use it in the morning. If it's normal, I will use it. 
How to Use: Very easy: just take one pad and wipe all over your face and neck avoiding lips & eyes. 

Step Three: Spot Treatment Gel
I only use this at night or as a spot treatment during the day. This stuff is a miracle zapper for pimples and I'm obsessed! 
How to Use: (Night) I take a pea size amount and apply to my entire face, avoiding eyes and lips. Let dry before moisturizing. (Day) Using a q-tip, I apply a very thin layer to any pimples or blemishes on my face. Let dry before moisturizing. 

Step Four: Serum
Finding a serum that didn't break out my very sensitive skin has been tough! I recently started using this Image Skin Care Intense Lightening Serum *on sale. After clearing up my face, I still noticed uneven coloring, dark spots from acne and overall just a not so pretty complexion. This has helped even out my skin so much
How to Use: Apply two pumps to your skin morning and night. 

Step Five: Moisturize
Before I had this 'skin-volution' in the Fall, I thought moisturizing was the enemy with acne! Boy was I wrong. I cannot get enough moisture now. When I go to bed, it looks like my skin is wet. It's been the biggest game changer. I love the moisturizer that comes with the kit. It's thick and creamy without being too heavy that it doesn't soak into your skin. I do run out though before the other three products, so I also use this First Aid moisturizer. In addition to a moisturizer, I also use this Laneige Water Sleep Mask every night. 
How to Use: After your serum dries, applies a generous amount of moisturizer to your whole face. Follow up with a quarter size of the sleep mask. 

Step Six: Under Eye Cream
I have horrible under eye bags. They are dark, puffy, all the problems. Finding eye creams that work has been a chore. I finally have found two that I love. First, I use this Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb day and night. It is very thick but absorbs well. I use it alone at night but with my other eye cream during the day. This Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream is my favorite for during the day, and if you don't have serious eye issues, this could easily be your only one! It's thick, moisturizing and illuminated, providing a gorgeous glow under your eyes. If I'm headed to a big event, shooting or just want an extra pick me up, I love these Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Eye Pads. Keep them in the fridge for an extra delight!  
How to Use: (Day) Using your ring finger, apply a very small dab (1/2 a pea size) of the Belif Eye Bomb starting under your eye, tapping until you reach the outer corner and then continue apply to the upper eyelid/brow bone as well. Repeat on the other side. Follow with a small pump of the Tata Harper, tapping just under your eye. 
(Night) Only apply Belif, following steps above. 

Step Seven: Massage
I suffer from bad allergies and as a result, facial swelling. I have been using the Uplift Massage Head day and night and it's a game changer. Not only does it help with swelling and draining your lympathic system, but it also helps absorb all your products.  If you don't have a Clarisonic, you could use a Jade Roller for a similar massage. I highly suggest a Clarisonic though! 
How to Use: (Day & Night) After applying moisturizer, massage your entire face and neck (the Clarisonic is timed for you!). If using the jade roller or hands, you can YouTube simple lympathic drainage massages to do on yourself. You want to make sure your face is very wet, to avoid pulling on your skin and creating wrinkles. If I notice it starting to get dry, I will spritz this Mario Badescu spray on my face. I also use this during the day to hydrate, refresh my make up or just as a pick me up! 

Step Eight: Tight'n Cyrogenic (aka Botox in a Bottle) 
This step is completely optional but I am trying as hard as possible to prevent wrinkles! My dad gets one, very deep line in between his brows, and I know I will have the same. I use this Kate Somerville Tight'n Cryogenic twice a day to freeze my skin and help prevent wrinkles. It also has a filling sort of property that helps fill out fine lines. This bottle is pricier, but you only use the tiniest amount. 
How to Use: (Day & Night) After your skin routine, apply a dime size amount to problem areas. 

Pimple Prevention:
Even though this system has miraculously changed my skin, I do get a pesky li'l pimple every now and then. Luckily, I've mastered the art of zapping it away quickly thanks to my new BFFS Zap It Acne Spot Treatment Gel & Kate Somerville EradiKate or Mario Badescu Drying Lotion *side note, I just realized that I've been using the Kate and Mario pimple cream without even noticing they were two different brands. They are the exact same product! Although the Mario is about $5 cheaper.
How to Use: (Day) After finishing my routine, I use a q-tip to apply a small amount of the Dr. Kay Acne Spot Gel directly to my blemish. Allow to dry (it dries clear) and apply make up. 
(Night) Using a q-tip, apply a small amount of EradiKate or Drying Lotion directly to your blemish, allow to dry before bed. 

GloPro:
The GloPro has been increasing in popularity this year, and I 100% see why. The GloPro uses 540 micro needles + a LED light on your skin, with no pain! There are so many benefits to this: it increases cell turnover, products are more effective after using (200% more effective!), increases skin firmness, skin is smoother and complexion is clearer. After one week, I noticed a difference in my skin. 
How to Use: Every other night after cleansing my skin (step one), for one minute I gently press and roll the GloPro over my entire face, avoiding eyelids, nose and mouth. Follow with the rest of my routine. 

PMD (Personal Microderm Device):
 In addition to my GloPro, once a week I use my PMD. This little device is like a vacuum for your skin. It exfoliates by removing dead skin and clearing pores. I've noticed it helps keep build up from my face, reduces blemishes, creates brighter skin and also helps products go deeper. 
How to Use: Once a week (on a night I'm not using my GloPro) I use this according to the instructions provided. It takes about 2 minutes. I follow up with this Milk Moisturizing Face Mask

Notes: 
-If you start using the Dr. Kay Acne Kit, work your way into it slowly. No matter how bad your skin is, it's very strong and can shock your skin if you do it too quickly. Start with once a day or every other day and increase as needed. When I first started, I would use this at night and in the morning I would wash my face with a bar of Dove Sensitive Skin Soap + moisturizer. 

I know this routine seems like a lot, but it only takes me about 10 minutes every night. The way my skin has transformed, I would honestly spend an hour each night doing it. Also, I know some products are a little pricier, but investing in my skin has changed my whole life and has been 100% worth it. The basic kit is a great price and lasts for over a month. Add in products here and there depending on what your main concerns are!





I'll be sure to share all of this in videos on my IG stories (@YesPleaseDaily). If you try this routine, I would love to hear what you think. I know this won't work for everyone, but after how much it changed my life I had to share. I hope you have a wonderful MondayXO 









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