Favorite Moisturizers While On Isotretinoin

Normally, I would give an update on my isotretinoin journey with pictures and an updated skincare routine. However, I do not feel that I have had such a huge change this month. My skin care routine is pretty much the same. While my skin seems to be a little bit dryer, it’s nothing unbearable. So, this month I decided to go over all of the best moisturizers that I have found, everything from head to toe.


I don’t feel like my skin has made any huge improvements this month and I have not had any changes with symptoms or mood. Although that is great, it makes for some lame progress photos. Hopefully next month I will show some more progress. Without further adue, here is my favorite moisturizers while on isotretinoin.


These first products are ones that I use while in the shower. I am in love with the Sea Mineral Moisture Body Wash by OGX. Not only does it smell fresh, but it leaves my skin feeling so soft. I also love to use it as a bubble bath. Also, the scent does not irritate my sensitive skin or cause migraines. If you are not into scented products, I also love Cetaphil Body Wash. The other product I love to use in the shower is the Nivea In Shower Body Lotion for very dry skin. Basically, I use this after cleansing and shaving. Basically, it is like putting an oil on your skin. I will let it sit in while I condition my hair and exfoliate my face with the clarisonic. After that, you just rinse it off. The only note I have is make sure not to put it on the bottom of your feet and take care to rinse out your shower after you are done because it can make the floor slippery.


After the shower, I lather on a good body lotion. Right now, I am absolutely in love the the Hempz Herbal Body Moisturizer. I love how soft and smooth my skin feel after putting this on. In fact, I usually only have to put in on once a day. I also love all the wonderful scents that they offer. They are so fresh and natural. The best part is that the scents do not irritate my skin or set off my migraines like Bath and Body Works does. The only downside is that these can be a little expensive. However, I tend to pick them up when Ulta does their Buy 1 Get 1 Half off. I think they are worth it because they are high quality and last a long time. Right now my favorite scents are White Peach Rose & Peony, Velvet Cashmere & Tuberose and Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon.


When it comes to cleansing my face, I am quite particular. For removing my makeup and double cleaning my face, I really like the Burt’s Bees Cleaning Oil for normal to dry skin. While it might seem kinda expensive, a little goes a long way. You don’t even need to use a full pump for your face. It melts off all of my makeup without leaving my skin feeling stripped. However, I do not like using it alone because the oil feels too heavy on my skin. So after I have rinse this off, I go in with the First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser. I love FAB products because they are so gentle on the skin. This cleanses without stripping and leaves my face feeling clean and soft. When my face is all clean, I like to exfoliate my lips. I have been really into the Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub. A little goes a long way and the sugar is a great gentle exfoliator. After I have exfoliated my lips, I let the product sit for a little while as the oils help moisturize the lips.


I find the most relaxing thing is to put on a good face mask and relax with a cup of coffee and a book. In the past, I used a lot of face masks targeted at clearing my skin or shrinking my pores. So, it was a little strange to have to look for something that soothes and hydrates. My favorite sheet mask has to be the Tony Moly Tea Tree Skin Soothing Mask Sheet. As the ingredients are all in another language, I can’t speak as to what is actually in this mask. What I can say is that it works every single time. If my skin is hurting or feeling extra dry, I will use this mask. I just put it on and let it sit till it is dry, usually about an hour. Afterwards my skin always feels soft and hydrated. Another great mask is the Lumene Hydration Recovery Aerating Gel Mask. This stuff is so cool! You only need a little bit and it goes on with a cooling effect. You can leave it on for 10 minutes for a quick session or even use it as an overnight treatment. I love exfoliating my face and then using this over night to keep my skin plush.


Before I apply moisturizers, I love to prep with a spray or an oil. Usually, when I first get out of the shower I will spray my face with the Mario Badescu Facial Spray. I feel like it not only helps to hydrate but also calms and cools my skin. It smells great and is very refreshing. Pro Tip: if you already have your hair done, spray twice into your hands and then pat into your skin so that is doesn’t get sprayed all over your hair and clothes. Before putting on my moisturizer, I am all about a good oil. In the morning, I love to use the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir. Now I know, at $55 this stuff is expensive, but I have created an inexpensive DIY Version. Basically, it is Pumpkin Seed Oil. It sinks into the skin quickly and moisturizes without leaving a heavy feeling residue. This has been my savior for my dry under eyes. At night time, I like to use the Tarte Maracuja Oil. While this is another expensive one, it is a great quality and I have been using the travel sized one forever. This oil is a little heavier which makes it great for night time. It helps to keep my skin soft and I wake up feeling hydrated instead of dry and flakey.


After I have let any facial oils sink in, I will put on an moisturizer. For the day time, I like to use a gel moisturizer. Right now, I am really enjoying the Clinique Moisture Surge. I find that this moisturizer helps to give my skin that drink of water without being too heavy or oily. It is really great to use before putting on makeup. Another moisturizer that I love for day time that is not pictured is the Belif Aqua Bomb. This one is amazing! It is really perfect for days when I am feeling extra dry or sensitive. I love to use this after sun exposure or to help my skin heal after traveling. The only reason it isn’t pictured is because I need a new one. Another gel moisturizer that I like to use if I have been in the sun is the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask. Although it is technically a mask, I tend to use it as a moisturizer for days I do not put on make up. It just helps to calm my skin and hydrate it as well. Perfect for when it is a little burnt or irritated. At night, I almost exclusively use the Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins. I have been using this for months now and I still love it. It is a thicker cream the works all night long. It is great to use when while my skin is so dry and it smells great too.


One of the things that has been driving me crazy is my lips. It is probably the one part of my body I cant seem to keep hydrated. That being said, I have three products that I have been using on a daily basis. Throughout the day, I generally use the Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. I like these because they have great ingredients, smell good and contain SPF 25. I really enjoy the Shea Butter and Mint ones. For the most part, these do the job. Whenever my lips crack or bleed, I use the Dr. Dan’s CortiBalm. This works amazing at healing cracked lips because it contains hydrocortisone. The only reason I do not use this all the time is because I have heard that too much use of hydrocortisone can actually thin out the skin making it more prone to cracking. However, it is great at healing my lips quickly. The final product, not pictured, is aquaphor. This is a classic product that anyone on isotretinoin has heard of and used. It is great to use overnight because it is so thick.


The final products I want to talk about are makeup products. Now there are tons of products that are great for dry skin, but I wanted to keep this specifically to products that hydrate the skin. When I do my makeup, I always start with the Hard Candy Hydra-Prime Priming Lotion. I feel that it not only helps to keep my makeup on all day, but it keeps my skin looking hydrated as well. It also contains dimethicone, so it helps to smooth the skin and fill in pores. For foundation, I have been IN LOVE with the Tarte Empowered Hybrid Gel Foundation. I love the coverage and how a little goes a long way. The color is great and it keeps my skin looking hydrated and fresh all day long. The only thing I dislike is that it comes in a pot. You can check out a full review and wear test here. The final makeup product that I swear by in the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I have had the hardest time with dry under eyes. Using an oil has helped a lot but I have to be careful with which concealers I use. Like the Tarte Shape Tape leaves my eyes looking so dry. This stuff not only covers well, but it leaves my under eyes looking smooth and hydrated.

These products have all done wonders for my dry skin. I have to tell you, it was quite the struggle at first transiting from super oily skin to desert dry. Luckily, I have found a ton of products that work great and leave my skin feeling wonderful, even while taking isotretinoin.

What are products that you swear by for dry skin?

Xoxo Sammie

Continue Reading

DIY: Whole Foods Face Masks

While everyone knows how important whole foods are for our health, not many realize the benefits that whole foods can have for your skin. Think of it this way, why should you spend extra money to put harsh chemicals and other unknowns on your skin when you can achieve the same results with produce from the local market? Here are some of my favorite foods for your skin:

Customize Natural Face Masks

Honey is a humectant, which promotes the skin to absorb moisture and lock it in. It also is highly antibacterial which can be beneficial for acne-prone skin.

Oatmeal is fantastic to soothe irritated skin and to reduce inflammation. A mix of flavonoids, phenols and avenanthramides act as natural anti-inflammatories. It is best to use oats ground up or in a flour form.

Cocoa is rich in antioxidants which help to protect your skin against free radicals. It also contains caffeine which is great in helping to firm the skin.

Turmeric has antiseptic, astringent, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When used in a face mask, it works to help fight wrinkles and smooth the skin. It has also been shown to help fade acne scars. Just be sure to dilute with other ingredients as it can stain the skin when used alone.

Avocado and Avocado Oil are rich in healthy fats. They are easily absorbed while moisturizing and helping with skin regeneration. These particularly help dry, sensitive or sun damaged skin.

Green Tea is high in antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce inflammation, soothe damaged skin and calm irritated skin. Tea leaves or brewed tea can be used for rinses or in DIY face masks.

Greek Yogurt is another great moisturizer and soother due to its protein, calcium and probiotic properties. It also works as a chemical exfoliant due to the lactic acid. Mixed with other ingredients, it can be used in a hydrating mask to promote glowing skin.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil not only moisturizes the skin but also cleanses it. It helps to remove makeup and pull out dirt and impurities from the pores. It has also been found to help prevent cell damage due to the sun’s radiation.

All of these ingredients are amazing on their own, but they are even better when combined. Mix two or three of these together to create the perfect face mask. Apply to clean skin and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat your skin dry.

By making your own masks at home, you know exactly what is in them. Even better, each time you make a new mask, you can tailor it to your skin’s needs at the time. No more spending money on large amounts of chemicals or standing in the beauty isle confused by the hundreds of different products. There are so many wonderful foods for you skin, these are just a few of my favorite.

What kind of masks are you planning on making?

Xoxo Sammie

 

Continue Reading

My Skin Diary

This last month has been great! At least it has when its come to my skin. I haven’t noticed any symptoms with taking isotretinoin except for my skin is getting increasingly more dry. However, it isn’t too bad and I think that has to do with my use of oils in my skin care routine. I’ll discuss that more below, but first here is my morning and evening skin care products in order.


AM Face:

  1. Farsali Rose Gold Elixir (DIY Version)
  2. Origins Ginzing Moisturizer 
  3. Origins Ginzing Eye Cream
  4. Hanalei Lip Treatment

AM Body:

  1. DIY Shimmer Body Oil
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Essence of Beauty Hand Cream

PM Face:

  1. Tarte Gel Cleanser
  2. Tarte Maracuja Oil
  3. Origins Night-A-Mins Cream
  4. Origins Plantscription Eye Cream
  5. Lumene Gel Mask

PM Body:

  1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

I think the oils have really been helping the most. A lot of people are afraid to use them because they think that the oil will worsen their acne. However, I haven’t had any breakouts and I also checked with my dermatologist. She agreed that as long as the oils are noncomedogenic then it should be fine. Here is my progress for the last month:


    They decided to bump up my dose one more time. So for May, I was taking 40mg. Now I am taking 80mg of isotretinoin. The best part has to be that even my dermatologist noticed that my skin was clearing up.

    What are your go to skin care products?

    Xoxo Sammie

    Continue Reading

    DIY: Whipped Sugar Scrub

    Though I may be in love with spring, there is just one thing I dislike: my skin. It is still dry from winter, and now I have to start wearing dresses and shorts again. Ugh, so not appealing. But, I have found an answer that is not only quick and easy but leaves my skin so soft, smooth and moisturized. I came up with a Sugar Scrub that will buff away all the dry skin while moisturizing it for a beautiful glow. The best part? You only need a few ingredients and it takes less than 10 minutes to make!

    What you’ll need: 

    1/2 cup Coconut Oil

    1/2 cup Sugar 

    Mixing bowl and Mixer

    Jar to hold the finished product

    Optional: Essential Oil and Food Coloring


    First, measure out your coconut oil and place in mixing bowl. If you want to add essential oils, now is the time. For 1/2 cup of oil, I added 4 drops of lemongrass essential oil. 


    Now you are going to beat the coconut oil until it takes on a light, whipped consistency. What this will do is make the coconut oil easier to use as well as prevent it from creating clumps as it sits in the container.


    After a couple of minutes you should have something that looks like this.


    Now you want to add in the Sugar and any food coloring. I used 1/2 sugar and one drop of food coloring to make it look pretty.


    Now you just fold on the sugar and coloring and you are done! This diy is so simple and fun. 


    I keep mine in a plastic ice cream cup from talenti (don’t judge) because I get nervous about keeping glass in my shower. I just use this on my arms and legs before I get out of the shower. The sugar will exfoliate while the coconut oil will moisturize. The best part? No need to slather on lotion when you get out of the shower. 

    Side note: the coconut oil will leave a slight oily feeling when you first get out of the shower, but sinks in within a couple minutes.

    What do you think? Will you be trying this out?

    Have a happy Monday!

    Sammie

    Continue Reading

    DIY Honey Rose Face Mask

    I love face masks. I have at least three different ones one had at all time. Only problem is, that they can get pretty pricey at $30-$40 per container. Recently, I have been playing around with making my own beauty products. I have been doing this because it is inexpensive, I can customize each product for my needs, and it is fun!

    Today, I’m sharing a simple three ingredient mask. All you will need is honey, Greek yogurt and Rose Hip Seed Oil. First of all, here is why I chose each ingredient:

    Honey is antibacterial and works great for acne prone skin. It is also moisturizing and soothing on the skin.

    Greek Yogurt is full of lactic acid and will help break down dead skin cells as well as tighten pores.

    Rose Hip Oil is very hydrating. It is also good for anti-aging due to the high content of essential fatty acids. It sinks in without leaving your skin oily.

    Now that you know why I created this mask, here is how you can do it too.

    Diy Rose hip honey mask
    You will need:

    2 tbps Greek yogurt

    1 tsp honey

    3-4 drops of Rose hip oil


    Mix all three ingredients together and apply to clean, dry skin. Once you have an even coat, let sit for 15-20 minute.

    As a side note, this mask makes enough for two as demonstrated by my husband and I. Isn’t he such a good sport?


    After 15-20 minutes, wash the mask off with cool water. It will be a little thick, but it should come off fairly easily. After drying your face, take 2-3 more drops of the Rose Hip Oil and warm in your palm before patting onto face and neck.

    Personally, the mask leaves my skin feeling smooth, soft and moisturized. I also see an immediate decrease in redness and inflammation.

    Do you have any at home beauty treatments that you do? Let me know below.

    Xoxo Sammie 

    Continue Reading

    DIY Monday: Easy, Clean Bath Bombs

    I’m the first to admit it: I love pampering myself. I love having girl’s nights and spa days. Spending the time to do nails and face masks is just so relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to find the time to do all that between work and school. But, something I can find time for is a long, hot bath.

    When I take a bath, I love using bath bombs. They smell so good and are so much fun. However, they can get very expensive when you are paying $5 or more a piece. So, I tested out a bunch of recipes so I could find out the perfect homemade bath bomb for less than $1 a piece.

    What You’ll Need:


    1 Cup Citric Acid (Amazon, Walmart)

    2 Cups Baking Soda

    1 TBSP melted coconut oil

    20-30 drops essential oil (optional)

    Silicone Mold (Walmart)

    Spray bottle of water (not pictured)

    I found that this combination works perfectly! My mix made 8 bath bombs, but that will vary depending on the size of molds you use.

    First, start by mixing all of your dry ingredients together.

    Then, melt the coconut oil in a separate bowl and add any essential oils and/or food coloring. Side note: I do not add food coloring to mine because I don’t trust the bathtub in my apartment to not attract all the dye. Another option is to use mica pigments.


    Now here is the hardest part. With one hand, continuously mix the dry ingredients. With the other hand, very slowly add the wet ingredients while continuing to mix. It is important to mix the ingredients continuously and add the liquid slowly because if you go too fast, the liquid will activate the citric acid and then your bath bombs will not fizz in the bath. 

    Once everything is mixed together, you may need to add the tiniest amount of water to help the bath bombs stay together. I judge if I need water by squeezing a bit of the mixture in my hand and then seeing if it holds the shape or not. If not, spray the mixture once while mixing continuously.


    After your mixture is complete, you just need to put it in the mold. On the left, you will see the mixture is loose and on the right it is pressed. You will need to press the mixture as hard as you can so that it will be tightly packed and the bath bombs will maintain their shape once you take them out of the mold.

    And that’s it! You just need to let them dry for at least a few hours. I kept mine under a lamp (because it happened to rain all weekend) for about 4 hours. You will want to make sure that you store them in a dry place as well.


    The bath was so relaxing! The citric acid makes the bombs fizz, the baking soda acts as a detox, the essential oils are for aroma therapy and the coconut oil is soothing and hydrating. In mine, I used 10 drops of peppermint, 10 drops tea tree and 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oils.

    Just as a note, these bath bombs don’t float as much as Lush or other store bought ones because I have omitted corn starch. I have read that is can help cause yeast infections, and that sure didn’t sound relaxing to me!


    I plan on keeping a couple of these for myself and using the rest for gifts! What about you? Will you be giving these diy bath bombs a try? Let me know in the comments 🙂

    Hope you have a happy Monday!

    Xoxo Sammie

    Side note: for something fun and different, try different molds, such as these fun doughnut bath bombs 🍩

    Continue Reading