When it’s estimated that one person dies every five hours from Melanoma in Australia, I can’t help but be obsessed with protecting my oily, acne-prone, moody skin come rain, hail or shine.
The relationship I have with my skin can be summarised in one word: Obsession.
And I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way.
It all started when I was a teenager. One day I had perfect skin, then suddenly puberty hit and boom! Here came the acne. Boy, was it an onslaught.
This unwelcome change led me to self-consciously pick at the active breakouts, often during school with fingers and nails that have been touching used stationery all day. Not the most sanitary thing to do, nor is it the smartest. Trust me, I know better now.
As the acne increased, my levels of self-confidence decreased. I wouldn’t even leave the house without some kind of coverage, be it tinted moisturiser, concealer or full-blown makeup. Though I begged constantly, my family didn’t want me to see a dermatologist as they disliked the idea of trying various anti-acne products until one of them showed results.
So I had to improvise and make do with the resources I have. Cue the internet and a deep rabbit hole of academic research journals, subreddits and online forums.
Cue the internet and a deep rabbit hole of academic research journals, subreddits and online forums.
Being obsessed with trying not to aggravate my acne, the research helped me accumulate a mental list of ingredients I knew would break me out. Ingredients like excessive silicones, oils high in oleic acid and much more. While I am currently seeing a dermatologist to gain back control of my moody skin, my dedication to this list has not wavered.
Not to mention, I’m never one to try products for the fun of it. Every product I use has had extensive research into the full ingredients list and the comedogenic rating. If I can’t find the full ingredients list, I simply won’t use it. If I do try it out, a two-week patch test is always conducted.
When it comes to my morning skincare routine, one idea stays paramount: Sun protection.
Living under the Australian heat, sun protection is a non-negotiable. Especially when it’s estimated that one person dies every five hours from Melanoma in Australia and it’s the third most common cancer in Australian men.
Having had a morning and night routine ever since the onslaught of oily skin and acne, I’ve perfected it all down to an art form with time.
But enough talk, onto the pièce de résistance – the products themselves.
The Morning Routine, in two phases:
Phase 1: Skincare
Cleanse: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser – My holy grail cleanser. I’ve tried others in the past but I always come back to this. It doesn’t dry out my skin and removes everything from the night before, perfectly prepping my face for the next steps. Only a pea-sized amount is needed.
Day serum: Ultraceuticals Ultra C10+ Firming Serum – It’s a lightweight product with 10% pure L-Ascorbic Acid (read: the best form of Vitamin C you can use in skincare) to smooth out wrinkles and maintain skin firmness. That said, if the weather is too hot, I skip this step to keep the layering of products simple. If in use, I apply one pump to the whole face and neck.
Moisturiser: Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50+ – Another holy grail for me. It’s everything that I could ever want in a sunscreen. Lightweight. Hydrating without being overbearing for oily skin. Leaves a healthy sheen that doesn’t look shiny. The best part? It doesn’t leave a white cast and sits great under makeup. I apply about a teaspoon worth on my face and neck, which is the recommended dosage.
Phase 2: Makeup
Foundation: MOMMA Matte Mineral Base SPF15+ – I opt for the “No Makeup Makeup” look. The easiest way to achieve this is to keep it simple. I mix two shades (Medium Beige and Nude Tan) in a 2:1 ratio for the right colour, then apply a light layer on top of the sunscreen. For a powdered mineral foundation, the coverage is astounding for the little amount I use.
Setting: RMS Un-Powder – A light dusting or pressing sets everything in nicely. In fact, it only has two ingredients: Silica and Mica. But best of all, it keeps my face silky matte. All. Day. Long.
Finish: MOMMA Bulgarian Rosewater Face Mist Makeup Fixing Spray – A simple mix of aloe vera and rosewater removes any powdery look from my face, all while hydrating it for a natural glow. I spray in an “X” formation, then in a “+” formation.
The time it takes to complete this all? Less than 20 minutes, and I’m out the door.