Acne Regret #1: Overdoing it with actives and prescriptions

Over the past decade I’ve made a number of regrettable decisions when it comes to treating my acne, and I wanted to share these regrets in a series of posts for all my of acneic friends out there!

I used to blast my skin with every sort of active ingredient and prescription ointment known to humankind because I was so frustrated with the negative feedback I received about the way my acne looked, and the physical irritation of cystic acne was no joy either. Because of this, my skin barrier was super fragile and my skin became quite dehydrated, red, and sad. My skin never had a moment to breathe and repair itself, and it showed. •

In a bout of desperate online searching I came across @liahyoo ‘s video “Clear Acne without Acne Treatment: Minimal Acne Skincare Routine”, and it entirely changed the way I viewed and treated my skin. Following Liah’s instructions I tried downsizing my skincare routine to just a cleanser, toner, hydrating product, and sunscreen for a number of weeks to see what would happen.

This little skin rest gave my skin barrier a chance to chill the hell out, and my skin became less irritated and dehydrated. Only after a long break using just the basics did I begin to gradually (VERY gradually) incorporate AHAs and retinol back into my routine. Even now that my skin is relatively clear, I still revert back to my barebones routine of @tatcha Deep Cleanse, @herbivorebotanicals Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Green Tea Toner, @zoskinhealth Rozatrol Normalizing Serum for red, sensitized skin, and whatever sunscreen isn’t breaking me out at the moment.

If you’re in the same boat I was, or are overwhelmed by the hoard of skincare products in your bathroom cabinet, sometimes it’s nice to just press pause and keep it simple for a bit. It’s been a long, LONG process but I’ve finally gotten my skin to a point where it doesn’t physically irritate me, I have minimal breakouts, and my redness is at a fairly manageable, healthy level.

Sephora restock conspiracy theory

Is it just me, or does this seem to happen every single VIB sale?

There will be a hot ticket item or items, usually something that has just launched or has been popular on YouTube. They sell out of it pretty much as soon as the sale starts, and then as soon as the sale ends, it is magically restocked.

That’s what happened for me with the Becca Hydramist powder. Not even two and a half hours after the sale ended here, the item was suddenly restocked after having been out of stock since about the second day of the first VIB Rouge sale. Like you can’t tell me that they suddenly got the shipment of it in at 2am Monday morning and decided to update the website then. Even if they did, could they not have put it up as “restocked” on the website knowing that it would arrive in time to be shipped if people ordered it from the sale, especially considering they have posted the warning about delayed shipping?

I honestly believe that they time restocks of hot ticket items until just after the sale to prompt consumers to make another purchase after they’ve already made one or multiple purchases at the sale. I’m sure within the next few days I’ll see restocks of other popular items from Herbivore and Tatcha that were gushed about on YouTube prior to the sale.

Anyone else super frustrated by this always happening, regardless of whether or not it’s on purpose?

Finished Five: February 18, 2018

I just finished up a bunch of skincare! I’m really happy as I seem to have an ever growing skincare stash despite decluttering a little bit when I moved. I have such a short attention span–I need to learn to stick with products longer to see if they actually make a difference for my acne-prone skin. The fact that I get freebies and discounts on skincare from BOTH of my jobs certainly does not help, either!! Anywho, here are five products I actually managed to stick with until the bitter end.


  1. Celazome Penetrating Body Lotion: This is the best lotion I’ve ever tried. And as someone who lives in the drier-than-hell Canadian prairies, I feel like that is a substantially helpful statement. I know it looks like something your grandma would have in her bathroom, but this stuff works. I would use it head to toe after every shower, and throughout the day at work after washing my hands, and it was a life saver. I feel bad gushing about Celazome products though, because they currently are not producing products. You see, the Celazome plant got hit by the hurricane that hit Florida this past summer, and they are working on re-sanitizing and re-building, to my knowledge. We sell this line at one of my workplaces and were told that the goal was to have the company back up and running in 1-2 years, but I’m unsure if that is still the timeline or if they will ever be back up and running. Fortunately my workplace stocked up on their products when they heard the unfortunate news, so I should be able to buy this for awhile!
  2. Celazome Balancing Botanical Cleanser: I don’t have anything bad to say about this cleanser. It gets the job done, and it doesn’t make my face feel oily or dry. I would definitely recommend it for combination skin in the winter if you are able to find it at any medical skincare centres near you!
  3. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist: One of my dear friends told me that this product was overhyped and not worth it, and yet I still had to try it out for myself. I could see why perhaps those with older and/or drier skin would like it, but for my oily to combination skin it did nothing other than make my face feel fresh for a brief period of time. As well, I chalk up at least some of the success of this product to the Tatcha PR team, as I’m sure this product worked well for some, but it didn’t deserve the ridiculous hype it received from the Youtube community. I do love Tatcha as a brand overall, but this product was not meant for my skintype.
  4. Let It Bee Toner: Let It Bee is a line of honey skincare made by Planet Bee in Vernon, British Columbia. I quite liked this toner! You receive a large amount for the price you pay, and it was excellent for my combination skin. I really enjoy products that have any sort of honey in them as they soothe my skin and scare away my recurring fungal acne problems.
  5. Let It Bee Clay Mask: I’ve tried many clay and charcoal masks, and this one is currently ranked #1 in my eyes. It soaks up my excess oil but doesn’t make my skin feel itchy or tight, and the honey is soothing and moisturizing. I would definitely recommend!

What skincare products have y’all finished lately? Any winter skincare hacks you’ve found useful as of late?

Highlighting Moisturizers: Tatcha vs. Doctor D. Schwab vs. Tarte

I’m so glad this dewy, moist face look is still so popular because when you have skin as oily as mine you can basically chuck some glitter on yourself and call it a day. It’s nice to use a highlighting moisturizing product when I go barefaced because I feel that it makes my oily skin look radiant rather than just greasy.


I’ve tried three highlighting moisturizing products so far. I’ve also tried adding liquid highlighter to my foundation, but if I’m doing that extra step I may as well be efficient and have some nice moisturizing benefits thrown in. Here’s how these three compare in my eyes:

Most vibrant highlight: Tarte Brighter Days, followed by Doctor D. Schwab Flawless Skin Fluid. If you’re looking for a more subtle glow, Tatcha is a great option. It’s not marketed as a highlighting moisturizer, but it does have 23 karat gold bits in it to make you beam without going into Edward Cullen territory.

Lightest consistency: Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel Moisturizer. It’s a very thin, liquid moisturizer that melts right down into the skin. When my skin is really dry, I do need to apply a second round to feel quenched. Flawless Skin Fluid is a smidge thicker, and Tarte Brighter Days comes closest to a runny cream consistency.

Most expensive: Tatcha pulls ahead with the most expensive price tag at $78 CAD. Schwab again is the middle man coming in at $48 CAD, with Brighter Days costing $42 CAD. However, with Tatcha and Tarte you do get 50mL, but with Schwab you only get 30mL.

Featured ingredients: Tatcha utilizes Japanese Wild Rose to reduce the appearance of pores, and 23 karat gold to boost your glow factor. The Flawless Skin Fluid features one of my favourite ingredients, Rosehip Oil. Not only does Rosehip Oil smell divine, but it is known to help reduce scarring and hyperpigmentation.  My tube leaked all over my purse while travelling in B.C., lucky me.  Tarte doesn’t really plug any specific ingredients in their marketing, other than “water” and “mineral pigments” to moisturize and soothe skin appearance.

Out of them all, I probably love the Tatcha Water Gel Moisturizer the most, for it’s ability to keep my oily skin hydrated without going into that greasy, discoball moisturizer type category. I also adore the healing properties that the Flawless Skin Fluid has, and its comforting rosehip scent.Watch out for the packaging though, as the screw on lid makes leakage probable. Though I didn’t have a problem with the Tarte Brighter Days moisturizer, I would never actually purchase it. I received it as a deluxe sample from Sephora, and have mixed it in with my foundation, but it doesn’t really wow me or do anything substantial for my skin or my appearance. For the steep-ish price, it just didn’t seem quite worth it to me with better options available. I may be biased because I don’t tend to go for cream moisturizers, no matter how thin they are, because of my oily skin (with Tatcha Water Cream being the ONLY exception, but that’s another story). All in all, I’d say they are all decent options! I definitely need to look into more affordable options. I’ve seen that E.L.F. has come out with a lot of skin care products lately, so that is next on my wishlist!