Before lockdown, I had a pretty basic skincare regimen; but that changed after a few months at home with some newfound skin issues.
I literally drove myself crazy as I tried to treat dry patches and irritation around my mouth and chin; then I experienced some unusual breakouts. These skin issues became a very unhealthy fixation and interfered with my daily life, so I decided to see a dermatologist.
Treating the Primary Issue
To make a long story short, it turns out I had contact dermatitis from a toothpaste I began using back in the spring (crazy, right?). My dermatologist prescribed a topical steroid and told me to stop using the toothpaste altogether. Very quickly, things began to look up. The skin irritation went away, which was a huge relief; but the acne got worse as well as the accompanying hyperpigmentation. Basically we got rid of one problem and compounded the other.
Treating the Secondary Issue
Later, my dermatologist prescribed a retinoid, but my skin absolutely hated it. Dryness, flaking, and increasing hyperpigmentation… It was a nightmare. So eventually I listened to my intuition, stopped using the retinoid, and went back to the basics; then I slowly re-introduced some old (and a few new) favorites back into my skincare regimen.
Reviving My Skin Altogether
It’s been a few weeks since I stopped using the retinoid and my skin is finally starting to look normal again. Thanks to the products listed below, my super-sensitive, combination skin is happy and healthy.
Before you decide to purchase any of the more expensive products for yourself, I highly recommend locating trial sizes or kits that include them before committing to full sizes – i.e., spending more money.
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser for dry, sensitive skin effectively cleanses, gently removing excess oil, dirt and makeup, so your skin feels clean and moisturized every day.
- Effective for cleansing before and after wearing your mask
Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Face Toner refreshes skin without stripping its own natural moisturizers, so you can get a clean, refreshing toning experience without the harsh drying effects of alcohol.
- Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
- Absorbs quickly
These two serums kicked my hyperpigmentation in the butt and helped restore the overall look of my skin:
Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum promotes surface cell turnover for brighter, more even skin.
- Patented resorcinol technology, exclusive to Murad, visibly reduces the intensity of the look of dark spots and uneven tone
- Suitable for a wide range of skin tones
- Targets the dark spots you see and prevents the look of the ones you can’t see yet
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is a lightweight, antioxidant-enriched serum designed to encourage a more radiant and youthful-looking complexion.
- Formulated with powerful Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) to help retexturize skin and reduce visible signs of aging, Vitamin C Serum brightens uneven skin tone while diminishing the look of fine lines.
- Sodium Hyaluronate and Collagen combine to moisturize and smooth—revealing skin that appears luminous and glowing.
It’s winter now, so I’m fighting dry skin at least twice a day with these lightweight, but effective moisturizers.
Avene Skin Recovery Cream RICH is formulated with minimal ingredients for the highest level of tolerance for hypersensitive and irritated skin.
- PARCERINE® calms and soothes skin while restoring damaged skin barrier
- PLANT SQUALANE nourishes and protects
- GLYCERIN moisturizes
Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer is a liquid cloud of fluffy-light moisture that feels soft and weightless.
- Concentrated 30% Hyaluronic Acid Complex cream has three molecular sizes of Hyaluronic Acid, a potent hydrator that draws in water.
- Helps plump the look of skin with moisture.
- Pentavitin® helps provide up to 72 hours of hydration—even after cleansing.
- ProHyal+® helps improve hydration for healthier, smoother-looking skin.
Sheet masks make for the perfect skin pick-me-up. Pro tip: once you remove your sheet mask, squeeze every last drop of moisture out of it, then apply directly to your face and neck, and allow it to soak it.
TONYMOLY Sheet Masks soothe, replenish, and brighten. All of these sheet masks are free of parabens, benzophenone, triethanolamine, talc, and color additives. My top three sheet mask are always available at Ulta:
Last, but certainly not least, I spot treat my most stubborn dark spots with this magic in a bottle:
Palmer’s Skin Success Fade Cream gives you a flawlessly radiant complexion by effectively correcting discoloration such as dark spots, age spots and uneven skin tone.
- Formulated for all skin types
- Visible results in as little as 2 weeks (it’s true!!)
- 5% Niacinamide
There you have it, ladies! My quarantine skincare favorites in one place.
I am not a skincare expert by any means, but these products worked for me; and I haven’t experienced any skin irritation as a result of using them together. As I mentioned, my skin is pretty sensitive and has been through a lot over the past year, so that should tell you something.
If you purchase any of these products, please keep your receipts! You can save a lot of money on skincare by returning the products that don’t work for you – even after you’ve already used them – and others that you don’t need.
Also, be sure to hydrate on the inside by drinking plenty of water. It will show on your face.
Hope you found this helpful!