Hormonal Acne Q&A and My current Skincare Routines

As my article on hormonal acne is already quite long, I suggest you continue reading the Q&A here :

  • Why not incorporate Vitamin C into your routine when you still have pimples? Vitamin C can make acne worse, causing even more inflammation. Vitamin C should be used on healthy skin. Once your skin has gotten rid of pimples, if the skin barrier is seriously damaged, you should even use B5, Copper Peptides or Ceramide to repair the skin barrier before using Vitamin C.
  • Why not use exfoliation when you still have pimples? Many blogs tell us over and over again that we need to exfoliate the skin and “bring” the pimples to the surface so that they go away faster. They will recommend physical exfoliation (with apricot kernels) or chemical exfoliation (AHA/BHA peeling for example). There’s a joke going around between “skincare addicts”: if your enemy asks for the secret of your beautiful skin, you have to give her the name of the St-Ives Apricot Scrub (so she’ll be with a skin of m*rde). These two types of aggressive exfoliation are to be proscribed for acne-prone skin. I prefer that you cleanse your face well every evening and treat each pimple precisely using the COSRX patch for example, than to use these very aggressive methods. Acneic skin is fragile, it is not by attacking it even more that it will be able to heal. You can reintroduce chemical exfoliation once the pimples are gone and the skin barrier has been repaired.
  • Why moisturize the skin when you have acne, it’s better not to dry it out? Skin needs water and oil. When the skin lacks water, it over-produces oil (sebum), causing, among other things, acne. It is therefore necessary to provide it with water, internally and externally, so that it no longer has to overproduce sebum. In this routine, it’s true that I use products like zinc and sulfur to regulate excess sebum, but on the other hand, I bring a lot of water (hydration) to the skin. So, you can’t just take the first half of my routine and ignore the rest. The routine as a whole is designed to correct, but also to provide the necessary “nourishment” to the skin.
  • Some of the products you recommend are too expensive, are there alternatives? I can only recommend products that I use and approve of. However, for expensive products, I have put “dupes” in this article. I’m not one to believe that the more expensive the product, the more effective it is. The reason I told you about these expensive products is that they really work, and despite the high price, I bought them back
  • Why do I have to take off my makeup in the evening when I don’t? Because I recommend in my routine to put on a physical sunscreen, and it doesn’t go away with a normal cleanser. Here, I have recommended micellar water for make-up removal. Always cleanse your face with a cleanser after the micellar water. But you can also remove your make-up with washable make-up remover discs specially designed for this purpose.
  • What do you think of Roaccutane? I know that many people have been delighted with the results of the treatment. Personally, I did not choose this treatment because the negative effects I see are not worth it. I feel that my skin has not reached a level of desperation enough for me to do so. My skin is healing quite well. However, on people who have a hollow scar with every pimple, I understand that you are tempted by this treatment
  • What do you think of Benzoyl Peroxide? I am in love/hate with this ingredient, available only by prescription (available under the name Cutacnyl). It can soothe pimples in a few days, but instead of ripening the pimples and then healing them, the pimples are like “sealed” and you’re left with red streaks for months without being able to ripen or clear them. This is a product that I would have used as a last resort, in case of despair (for example if the whole area is on fire and bleeding and you need to stop the proliferation of bacteria). In addition, it stains clothes, sheets, scarves… even if the skin has been well cleaned. If you opt for this product, choose a concentration between 2.5% and 5%. Be aware that in English-speaking countries, Benzoyl Peroxide products are available over the counter.
  • What do you think of adapalene? Ah! the famous Différine (under prescription) prescribed by all dermatologists for acneic skin. If I see a small use for Benzoyl Peroxide, frankly adapalene does nothing for me, except to make me peel and purge more. I hate this product! More info on retinoids here When my GP found out that I had waited 3 months for a dermatologist’s appointment to prescribe me Differin, he asked me why I hadn’t asked him.
  • There aretoo many steps, I will never be able to spread myself with so many products: The products chosen are particularly liquid and easily absorbed by the skin so that you don’t find yourself with 5cm of cream on your skin. If you don’t use any products at the moment, it may be this lack of routine that makes you sprout. In this case, you should start at least with a basic routine: make-up removal (in the evening) / cleanser / moisturizer (cream with SPF in the morning) . Start with that for 3 weeks. If the pimples go away, so much the better, then introduce thermal water, moisturizing masks, serums and then treatments.
  • NIOD products are as liquid as water and very concentrated (3-4 drops for the whole face), so I can put on 5 layers without any worries.
  • Listen to you! If you love a product, but no one else does, you should listen to your skin and not listen to the Sephora beauticians or salespeople who say otherwise. On the contrary, if everyone loves a product and you don’t, you have the right to dislike it. I have been remarked many times when I said that make-up removal with oil (especially coconut oil) was not successful, the beauticians allowed themselves to tell me “ahh because you don’t emulsify enough, or because you don’t rinse well enough or the oil you use is not suitable blablabla” and so they removed my make-up with coconut oil, then at the end of the facial, the same evening, 2 pimples ! All the products I suggest below are suitable for me, for my skin. This list is not an absolute truth, you have to test to know if a product suits you or not. Preferably, do a patch test, then introduce one product at a time every 3 weeks, that way you will know which product is the cause of a possible purge or improvement.
  • Why do your current routines change all the time? It’s just because I like to test cosmetics a lot. After several years, I have about 20 favorite cosmetics and I use them more or less depending on their availability in the country where I am, and my current needs. If I’m in Asia for example, I’ll focus more on cleansing. If I’m in Iceland, I’m going to spread more cream. I am not against using the same cosmetics from one year to the next, on the contrary.
  • Should we listen to dermatologists? It depends. You have to listen to your intuition. Whether it’s dermatologists, aestheticians, bloggers, there’s a kind of lobbying that makes them recommend the products they’ve received and tested for free. Thus, very effective brands that do not work with them will not necessarily be brought to light. If they do recommend something, write down the main asset and find out about the best products in that category. I am not the exception. Even though I pay for all my cosmetics myself (no one sponsors me at the moment SNIF), I only have one face and can’t test 10,000 products at the same time. So I think you still have to go see a dermatologist, but to know if it’s a good dermatologist, you have to ask questions, listen to the answers carefully… you can for example ask a silly question about retinol and see if your dermatologist knows what it is. If he doesn’t know anything about it, when it should be stalled, if he tells you to use it during the day, run away! If he never talks about hydration, goodbye! For people with matte skin, you should go see a dermatologist who is used to working with patients with matte skin. Being Asian, I really like it when a dermatologist mentions that for my skin type, the treatment will be a little different, because it means that he knows that my skin is thinner than Caucasian skin and doesn’t tolerate high dosage treatments or too much acid.
  • Why do you recommend seeing a naturopath? Because hormonal acne can come from dairy products, which basically contain a lot of hormones. There are also foods that promote inflammation, so a pimple due to a normal variation of hormones before menstruation becomes problematic and inflammatory because of our diet. I don’t recommend the naturopathic option to everyone, because it is difficult to find a good naturopathic doctor, and if you find a bad one, not only will you get frustrated (like going from carnivore to vegan in one day), but you may also eat shit if the naturopathic doctor is too lame. Once, JB was recommended to drink, listen up, some sauerkraut juice, while he’s on a roll! So I recommend this solution only for desperate cases. Personally, I think our body intuitively knows what it needs. That’s why some people like apples, others don’t. But if your body is not intuitive and you have a big acne attack, or you’ve been on the pill for years and you want to stop it, you should go to the naturopathic doctor.
  • What do you think of invasive treatments such as peeling, microneedling or laser ? I think they are fantastic! But it all depends on the person who performs them. Personally, I wouldn’t do it at an esthetician’s, but at a dermatologist trained in these types of techniques. It’s expensive and you have to come back several times. However, one must keep in mind that the care routine after these treatments is restrictive for at least a week. So you should not opt for these solutions if you are basically lazy, if you are not able to spread cream on your skin once a day, you will not be able to regenerate your skin after these treatments, and the results can be very ugly.

Routines February 2020

Problems: brown spots, pigmentation, sensitivity to the cold
Solutions: moisturizing products combined with anti-spot products, while strengthening the skin barrier and using anti-acne products for prevention

These routines are pretty hard to follow, and you don’t have to copy/paste mine. It’s just to show you what it’s like to exfoliate 2 to 3 times a week, or how often to use retinol, with which products

For example, you can take the Wednesday routine for 2 days of the week, and the Friday routine for the rest of the week.

It depends on the products you have in your possession (I have 2 cleaners, 3 niacinamides, 3 hyaluronic acids, 2 azelaic acids, I have to turn them all over to be able to use them all, but if you have one product per category, your routine will be much simpler than mine).


Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water
NIOD CAIS 2 SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Geek&Gorgeous aPAD NIOD CAIS 2 SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF NIOD CAIS 2 Whamisa Toner Deep Rich
NIOD MMHC 2 Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Goku-Jyun Hada Labo Geek&Georgeous B-Bomb Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Goku-Jyun Hada Labo Clarins Thirst Quencher NIOD Re:pigment Geek&Gorgeous aPAD
Benton Steam CreamSK-II Moisturizing Cream Anti-stain luxury SPF 20SK-II Moisturizing Cream Anti-stain luxury SPF 20 NIOD MMHC 2 The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1
NIOD S20 spf 20 NIOD S20 spf 20 NIOD S20 spf 20 Benton Steam Cream Benton Steam Cream
Comments: Copper peptides one day out of threevitamin C twice a week, SPF mandatoryazelaic acid: twice a week, can be used during the day because it is non-photosensitizingcopper peptides one day out of threevitamin C twice a week, SPF mandatoryno SPF on weekends because I don’t go outno SPF on weekends because I don’t go out


Make-up RemoverMake-up RemoverMake-up RemoverMake-up RemoverMake-up Remover rosette Blue cleanser rosette Blue cleanser
rosette Blue cleanser NIOD SS Cleaner rosette Blue cleanser NIOD SS Cleaner rosette Blue cleanser Uriage Thermal Water NIOD SS Cleaner
Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal Water Uriage Thermal WaterSK-II Essence (exfoliation) Uriage Thermal Water
NIOD CAIS 2 Aura Mask Biological research P400 PIGM (exfoliation) Aura Mask Whamisa Toner Deep RichBenton Essence Aura Mask
NIOD Re:pigment Whamisa Toner Deep Rich Clarins Thirst Quencher NIOD CAIS 2 Geek&Gorgeous aPAD Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Goku-Jyun Hada Labo NIOD CAIS 2
NIOD MMHC 2 Geek&Gorgeous aPAD Geek&Georgeous B-Bomb NIOD Re:pigment The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% Zinc 1 Benton Steam Cream NIOD Re:pigment
NIOD NAAP Clarins Thirst Quencher Benton Steam Cream NIOD MMHC 2SK-II Moisturizing CreamLED Light NIOD MMHC 2
NIOD S0SK-II Moisturizing CreamLED Light NIOD NAAP Drunk Elephant A Passioni (retinol) before bedtime Panthenol B5 before bedtime NIOD NAAP
Benton Steam Cream Drunk Elephant A Passioni (retinol) before bedtime Panthenol B5 before bedtimeNIOD S0 NIOD S0
LED Light Benton Steam Cream Benton Steam Cream
Comments: NIOD is very liquid, hence a 10-step routine with no problems

Azelaic acid 5 days out of 7 because this formulation is not exfoliating, but effective for acne and spots
NIOD SS cleanser every other night to cleanse the pores

Moisturizing mask 3 times a week

Products with probiotics 3 times a week (Whamisa & SK-II) for the skin barrier
Exfoliating product followed by very moisturizing and soft products

Panthenol twice a week for the skin barrier

Niacinamide 2 times a week as a preventive measure
Routine almost 100% NIOD 3 times a week because I like this brand too muchProducts with probiotics 3 times a week (Whamisa & SK-II) for the skin barrier

Routine including azelaic acid and retinol. Twice a week

Niacinamide 2 times a week as a preventive measure
Exfoliating product followed by very moisturizing and soft products

LED light 3 times a week

Panthenol twice a week for the skin barrier
if I’m not lazy: LED light in front of a Netflix movie

Anh est toujours très occupée à profiter de jolies choses, et à fabriquer de petites bricoles de ses propres mains. **** Hi, my name is Anh. I am a Vietnamese-French DIY passionate, beauty lover and cosmetic tester.

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