So you survived your first week of the #GlowIn6 Challenge. Last week focused on hydration only. Think of it as giving your skin a bit of a reset. Based on the routines I saw you all posting prior to the challenge starting, very many of you were overusing exfoliants and/or using the wrong products for your skin type. Now that we’ve taken some time to level set, we can get started with the real routines to address acne and hyperpigmentation.
Last week, you may have experienced some “purging”. I’m putting that in quotes because it’s not a true purge but more so your skin adjusting to the right products and hydration in the skin. This means that if you are an oily-acne skin type, you may have noticed oil production levels were maybe a bit crazy at the start of the week before balancing out. However, some of you have been tweeting about experiencing some sensitivities and more breakouts than normal. Honesty hour: this is exactly why I was hesitant to provide drugstore recommendations. The results vary too widely for my liking. If you experienced any breakouts using CeraVe SA Renewing Cleanser, I’d recommend switching to a professional salicylic acid based cleanser. Yes, it may cost more but at least I’ll know your skin will be in tact. Other important considerations that I’ve noticed people haven’t paid attention to: allergies and contraindications. Salicylic acid should not be used if you are allergic to aspirin. Additionally, if you had taken any prescription medicines for acne within the last two months, this challenge isn’t for you. Curology counts as a prescription treatment. Lastly, these weekly routines are very specific on which ingredients can be included each week. If you have added any extra ingredients into the routine that are NOT listed out by name each week, then you aren’t doing the challenge.
#GlowIn6 Routines Week Two: What to Expect
This week, you can expect to see less inflammation (acne) and a visibly brighter complexion (hyperpigmentation). We’re slightly remixing the routines and adding in our first targeted exfoliant. You will also notice options for those who experienced any kind of sensitivity last week. Read on for your complete routine remix walkthrough below. If you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below this post (I’ve turned on comments). As always, I’ll be on Instagram live (@fairyglowMUVA) later today and throughout the weekend to explain things in more detail.
I’ve bolded and underlined the new items/differences in the routines. Some steps will only be utilized on certain days which has also been emphasized.
Acne I: Week Two
If you experienced some sensitivities to the salicylic acid cleanser last week and you think it was the ingredient and not the brand you were using, or if you are allergic to salicylic acid, switch to a sulfur cleanser. Really, really good sulfur face cleansers are actually hard to find (don’t worry, I’m working on it!). And if you do find it, there’s a chance that it will contain salicylic acid. The hack is to find a sulfur mask (both PTR and GlyMed make an excellent one). Apply a thin layer of the mask and allow it to sit for no more than 5 minutes. To make removal much easier, apply a dime-sized amount of a gentle cleanser on top to help break up the mask and rinse away cleanly.
Why sulfur? Sulfur is a conditioning agent that naturally inhibits p. acnes (the bacteria that causes acne) from forming. It is really effective for all stages of acne and is also pregnancy-safe! If you go the sulfur route, please note that it may smell a bit stinky… that’s just how sulfur smells. If you can’t stand it, do the sulfur mask cleanse hack at night only.
The other difference this week is the addition of a BHA Exfoliating Toner. Notice you will only use that one day per week. On all the other nights, use the hydrating toner from last week. If you have a sensitivity to BHA, you can use an AHA exfoliating toner instead.
Acne II: Week Two
If you experienced sensitivities last week, you can use the sulfur hack detailed above or switch to a cleanser with a lesser percentage of mandelic acid (the Face Reality cleanser has 1%). If you went straight from CeraVe SA Renewing Cleanser to Vivant 3-in-1 Exfoliating Wash, your skin may currently be looking at you like WTF?! Reminder: the Acne II routine is for people who were already using those ingredients (BPO/Mandelic Acid). If you jumped straight into this routine without having used these ingredients prior, you likely purged a lot this past week. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when you go head first into the world of BPO but you should be seeing clearer days ahead in about a week or so.
This week, we’re adding THREE new things to your routines.
First up is a BHA serum for the day time. Something like the PCA Skin acne gel is just fine for this. You will use a q-tip to apply it over the acne lesions ONLY. This will not go all over the face. A little goes a long way. Next, you will utilize a BHA Exfoliating Toner two nights only. Please use the hydrating toner from last week on all other days. If you have sensitivities to BHA, you can use an AHA exfoliating toner instead. Lastly, you will use a spot treatment every other night. Majority of spot treatments contain some amount of Benzoyl Peroxide but some can be salicylic acid based. Use a q-tip to apply the spot treatment over just the acne lesions ONLY. It does not go all over your face. If you find the spot treatment irritating, just leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off before completing the rest of your routine.
WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER COMPLETING THIS ROUTINE. Transfer can lead to more irritation.
Hyperpigmentation I: Week Two
This routine is still super simple. The only addition is a Vitamin C serum and AHA Exfoliating Toner. Start low + slow with the Vitamin C. I recommend a serum at 8-10% for beginners. Anything else might feel “spicy”.
If you had sensitivities to your cleanser last week, I recommend switching to a gentle, milky lactic acid cleanser. Also, pay attention to the order you’ll layer your serums. Sensitive skin can be more reactive to Vitamin C, so I advise applying hyaluronic acid first to help buffer.
You will only utilize the AHA Exfoliating Toner one night ONLY. Please use the hydrating toner from last week all other nights.
Hyperpigmentation II: Week Two
If you had any sensitivities last week, you can substitute your cleanser for a gentle, milky lactic cleanser or find a cleanser with a lower percentage of glycolic or mandelic acid.
During the day, you’ll utilize a Vitamin C serum. If you already used one in your routine prior to starting this challenge then you can continue using what you had. If you’ve never used a Vitamin C serum, I recommend you start with one between 8%-10% concentration. Please pay attention to the suggested layering of serums based on your skin sensitivity.
You will utilize an AHA exfoliating toner two nights this week. Please use the hydrating toner from last week on all other nights.
Lastly, you will utilize a hyperpigmentation spot treatment nightly. It is rare to see spot treatments specifically for hyperpigmentation so using a hyperpigmentation serum as a spot treatment is totally fine. Use a q-tip to apply the hyperpigmentation serum over the hyperpigmented areas of your face ONLY. It does not go all over the face. Alternatively, you can use your fingertips and press into the skin. Do not “rub” or apply like a lotion.
If your skin has been a bit more reactive in the past week, skip the hyperpigmentation spot treatment and stick to the Vitamin C routine at night.
Leave a question in the comments below. I’m answering all weekend!