you're reading...
Come Out! (With Your Skin Care)

Come Out! (With Your Skin Care) Catherine Aldrich!


Catherine has quite problematic skin that is characterized by multiple inflammatory acne lesions and an overall oily surface. While the acne is mostly limited to the jaw, cheek, and chin areas, the lesions leave behind severe post-inflammatory hyperpigmented scarring that persists for months. Because of this, she’s had several visits with a dermatologist, whose solutions have either been too irritating or ineffective for her hormone-induced breakouts. She’d like to see if there’s some combination of topical products that can remedy her situation, before taking the final step recommended by her dermatologist.



  • Cleanser: MooGoo Milk Wash OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • HealingTreatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast (on open lesions)
  • Chemical Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner (on existing spots and nose area)
  • Hydrating Toner: Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion
  • Anti-Aging Serum: Cosmetic Skin Solution’s Phloretin Serum AND Cosmetic Skin Solution’s Firming Eye Gel
  • Moisturizer: MooGoo MSM Smoothing Cream
  • Eye Moisturizer: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream
  • Moisturizer with SPF: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen SPF 50 OR Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 OR La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
  • Primer: Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer


  • Makeup Remover: (Acne.org Organic Jojoba Oil OR Moogoo Oil Cleanser for Combination Skin) AND (L’Oreal Lip and Eye Makeup Remover)
  • Cleanser: Moogoo Milk Wash OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap
  • Physical Exfoliant: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (every other day) OR Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant (once a week)
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • Healing Treatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast (on open lesions)
  • Chemical Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner
  • Hydrating Toner: Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion
  • Lightening Serum: Cosmetic Skin Solutions Phyto Botanical Gel
  • Anti-Aging Serum: Trilogy Age Proof Nutrient Plus Firming Serum
  • Moisturizer: Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
  • Eye Moisturizer: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream
  • Acne Treatment: Acne.org 2.5% Benzoyle Peroxide Treatment (on spots and chin area)


  • Deep Cleanse Mask: Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque OR Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque
  • Hydrating Mask: Dermalogica Multivitamin Recovery Masque OR Dermalogica Hydrating Masque


Just like Adrianna’s routine HERE, a large part of Catherine’s problem is that the routine is so elaborate. Combined with the fact that her skin is acne-prone, it would make sense that her skin is going haywire. My best guess it that Catherine attempted to address both her acne and “aging” issues at the same time. Simultaneously treating both issues can certainly be done, but unfortunately not with this particular routine.

As with the routine review for Adrianna, I will first evaluate each product on merit alone, and then proceed to explain why a product is or is not appropriate for Catherine. Finally, I will list what I’d like Catherine’s routine to be.

Makeup Removers: Both oils cleansers are fine and excellent for picking up makeup. However, the MooGoo one does contain several irritating essential oils. The L’Oreal Remover is fine as well.

Cleansers: Both water-soluble cleansers are also fine. I especially like the Moogoo Milk Wash use of gentle detergents (glucosides) and water-binding agents (milk proteins).

Toners: The PC Toner is excellent and I personally use it as well. The mini-review of this product can be found HEREThe Hada Labo toner on the other hand, is simply put, dull. I know a lot of Asian brands (have you seen those ads?) say that hyaluronic acid is purely magical. But the truth is, topically-applied hyaluronic acid is too big to penetrate into the skin. Any “hydration” or “suppleness” that’s felt from the use of this product is from the butylene glycol and glycerin contents, which incidentally are present in significantly higher concentrations than those of the hyaluronic acid salts.    

Physical Exfoliants: The Daily one is okay, with slightly less damaging granules (cellulose, Mg oxides) than those present in the “Gentle” Cream one (algae shells). The Cream one also includes several essential oils. Both are overly priced, and overly basic scrubs.

Chemical Exfoliant: The PC CLEAR toner is excellent and reviewed HERE.  

Healing Treatment: The Cicaplast contains an ingredient known as madecassoside, a component of Centella Asiatica. To my surprise, it actually has a few studies suggesting that it can facilitate in wound healing and reduce the appearance of hypertrophic and keloidal scars. For those of you interested, madecassoside in vitro inhibited the migration of keloid-derived fibroblasts (KFs) by decreasing the activities of various mitogen activated protein-kinases (MAPKs), and decreased F-actin filaments by reducing the phosphorylation of cofilin. This would be quite beneficial for papules, pustules, and cysts that have recently been extracted or popped. Great find!

Serums: The three CSS serums all contain at least a few excellent and proven ingredients. The Phloretin’s effficacy is due more to the 10% vitamin C content, rather than the phloretin itself (an apple-derived polyphenol), as it does not have much documentation. Phloretin, as an antioxidant, has some documentation suggesting that it is anti-carcinogenic due to its ability to inhibit some cyclooxygenase (COX) pathways, like salicylic acid. It does so (at least in mouse skin) by inhibiting the expression of the COX-2 gene by reducing the binding of the necessary transcription factor (nuclear factor-κB). However, more research is needed to elucidate its potential benefits. The Eye Gel’s efficacy is also due mostly in-part to the Vitamin C content. On the other hand, the Phyto Gel contains a multitude of well-studied lightening ingredients (arbutin, kojic acid, and bearberry leaf extract), and is overall quite good. Granted, all of these are packaged in dropper bottles, which while preferred over jar packaging, is not impressive as airless pump bottles. Finally, the Trilogy Serum is also good, with the inclusion of several non-fragrant plant oils (sunflower and evening primose) and calming extracts (chamomile, licorice, and cucumber).

Moisturizers: If it weren’t packaged in a jar, the MooGoo cream would be pretty good for dry skin types due to the inclusion of the olive, almond, and coconut oils. Its emollience along with the presence of aloe vera will help soothe dry and inflamed skin. Too bad Catherine doesn’t have that kind of skin type. The PC RESIST Serum is fantastic and also reviewed HERE.

Eye Moisturizer: The Bobbi Brown Eye Cream contains several beneficial ingredients such as green tea and mulberry extracts, wrapped up in a decadently rich base of shea butter, olive oil, and petrolatum. However, it’s packaged in a jar, so down the drain it goes (in every sense of the word).

Moisturizers with SPF: All of the sunscreens listed are chemical sunscreens in a water and alcohol base. They all provide excellent UVA and UVB protection.

Primer: The Laura Mercier primer is very silky, but contains moderately high amounts of alcohol.

Acne Treatments: The Acne.org BP Treatment is excellent, having both 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and a silky gel texture–something that’s lacking in many OTC BP products.

Masks: Both the Sebum Clearing and Skin Refining Masques are clay masks that help absorb excess oil. However, with the inclusion of various irritants like menthol, sage, and camphor, these are no longer adequate, if they ever were. It’s odd because while these contain various forms clay, there’s also several emollients throw into the mixture. Talk about a confusing skin care line! The salicylic acid content in the Sebum Clearing Masque will not exfoliate the skin since the pH is too high (4.5). The Multivitamin and Hydrating Masques are anything but, with butylene glycol and glycerin as the main “emollients.” Not to mention that though some antioxidants are present, several other irritating ingredients are present in even higher concentrations, such as the bitter orange and lemon extracts.


Just like for Adrianna, our goal is to streamline Catherine’s routine and also, to focus on getting her acne under control. The main problem with her routine is that in an attempt to integrate anti-aging products, Catherine unknowing included heavy emollients and plant oils that can certainly contribute to an excess amount of sebum and clogged pores. Furthermore, certain treatments are applied in the wrong order and have therefore, become compromised.



  • Cleanser: MooGoo Milk Wash OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap
    • I personally would like Catherine to pick the MooGoo one just because it’s a bit more sophisticated. But it’s really her preference. I’d advise just picking one or the other.
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • HealingTreatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast (on open lesions)
    • The order of application is not “correct,” and will be addressed in the final version of the routine.
  • Chemical Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner (on existing spots and nose area)
    • This contains 2% salicylic acid, which is meant more as a preventative measure against acne, rather than a treating one. While it certainly will treat existing acne, our goal is to treat the contributing factors that cause ance, not its aftermath or visible manifestations.
  • Hydrating Toner: Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion
    • Please remove this. It has no real function and only serves to provide another layer of product that subsequent ones need to first penetrate before coming into contact with the skin.
  • Anti-Aging Serum: Cosmetic Skin Solution’s Phloretin Serum AND Cosmetic Skin Solution’s Firming Eye Gel
    • I’d suggest removing both for different reasons. The Phloretin Serum’s efficacy comes mostly from the 10% L-ascorbic acid. Phloretin does have some documentation showing its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacities, but nowhere near those of L-ascorbic acid. Furthermore, it contains ethanol, which will be irritating to Catherine’s already irritated skin.
    • The Firming Eye Gel is basically the same as the CSS C+E Serum (a dupe of the Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Serum), but 2x more expensive since it’s marketed as an eye product.  
    • Therefore, I’d recommend replacing both with the Cosmetic Skin Solutions C+E Serum because it has more research behind it (due to its similarities to the Skinceuticals version), and because it is more gentle and cost-efficient. If anyone’s curious to see how similar the two version here, refer to Nicki’s post HERE.
  • Moisturizer: MooGoo MSM Smoothing Cream
    • Please remove this product. This may be the product in Catherine’s routine that’s most responsible for clogged pores, since it contains some heavy duty non-fragrant oils whose components are similar to sebum. Catherine’s skin being very oily, already has an excess of sebum. Why add to the torment?
  • Eye Moisturizer: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream
    • Please remove this product as well, mostly because it’s packaged in a jar. But again, Catherine’s skin is already so emollient, why use a heavy-duty emollient cream on top of that? Furthermore, any moisturizer can double-duty as an eye cream.
  • Moisturizer with SPF: Shiseido Anessa Perfect Essence Sunscreen SPF 50 OR Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50 OR La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
    • I’d recommend removing all of these and finding a single mineral-based sunscreen that’s also lightweight in texture.
  • Primer: Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer
    • This is personal preference but, while this contains a bit of alcohol, which I said in my second FutureDerm post HERE, can dry up layers of product, it may still be too irritating for Catherine’s acne-prone skin. I’d (personally) recommend something like the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 due to its non-alcoholic-derived mattifying properties and inclusion of gentle mineral sunscreens. This can also be mixed into the Moisturizer with SPF, which would be nice as it further simplifies the routine and lessens the total wait time.


  • Makeup Remover: (Acne.org Organic Jojoba Oil OR MooGoo Oil Cleanser for Combination Skin) AND (L’Oreal Lip and Eye Makeup Remover)
    • For the oil cleansers, I’d suggest removing the MooGoo one because its primary oil is jojoba oil and it also contains potentially irritating essential oils. Usually I don’t mind them in something like a cleanser, but since Catherine’s skin is so easily irritated, I’d suggest removing any and all essential oils completely.
  • Cleanser: Moogoo Milk Wash OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap
    • Same as before, just pick one.
  • Physical Exfoliant: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (every other day) OR Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant (once a week)
    • As I discussed in Jessica’s routine HERE, physical exfoliation is not preferred over chemical exfoliation due to the former being inconsistent: By not exfoliating in some areas and too much in others. Furthermore, it isn’t constantly causing exfoliation, which is what skin naturally does and what chemical exfoliants mimic.
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • Healing Treatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast (on open lesions)
    • Again the order of application will be addressed soon.
  • Chemical Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner
    • Because Catherine expressed that this product is quite irritating to her skin, I’d recommend using this only during the daytime.
  • Hydrating Toner: Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Lotion
    • Remove please.
  • Lightening Serum: Cosmetic Skin Solutions Phyto Botanical Gel
    • Because we’re not going to be using the PC CLEAR Toner morning and evening, we still need something with salicylic acid to address the acne. Therefore, I’m recommending the Paula’s Choice RESIST Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel, which contains 2% salicylic acid (but without the penetration enhancer methylpropanediol from the PC CLEAR Toner and therefore, has less irritation potential) and 2% hydroquinone, which will further address any hyperpigmentation.
    • By alternating the Phyto Botanical Gel and the PC RESIST Gel, Catherine will still be getting all the lightening ingredients her skin needs, with the addition of a slightly less potent salicylic acid treatment.
    • And if Catherine or anyone is scared to use hydroquinone, rest assured it’s safe to use. I’m not going to go into detail, as this topic will be addressed in numerous future posts, but I will quickly just say that even arbutin (which is supposedly and correctly all-natural) is just glycosylated hydroquinone, meaning that it’s lightening capabilities are because of its HYDROQUINONE content.
  • Anti-Aging Serum: Trilogy Age Proof Nutrient Plus Firming Serum
    • Please remove this because of the inclusion of several emollients that Catherine’s skin doesn’t require and probably can’t tolerate, leading to clogged pores and increasingly damaging breakouts.
  • Moisturizer: Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum
  • Eye Moisturizer: Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream
    • Same as the morning comment: remove due to jar packaging and emollience.
  • Acne Treatment: Acne.org 2.5% Benzoyle Peroxide Treatment (on spots and chin area)
    • This product is fine but used in the wrong order.


  • Deep Cleanse Mask: Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque OR Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque
    • Please remove these. With the removal of several heavy products, Catherine’s skin will be less oily. Furthermore, there are better ways of controlling oils such as with a primer, foundation, powder, etc…
  • Hydrating Mask: Dermalogica Multivitamin Recovery Masque OR Dermalogica Hydrating Masque
    • Please also remove these. These aren’t particularly hydrating and contain several essential oils. Usually I don’t mind them in something like a mask but like for the MooGoo oil cleanser, since Catherine’s skin is so easily irritated, I’d suggest completely removing any and all essential oils.
    • Furthermore, I don’t believe in masks because they’re on the skin for such short periods of a time. The skin’s health is significantly more influenced by a person’s daily routine, not gimmicky masks that are done once or twice per week.



  • Cleanser: MooGoo Milk Wash OR Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap (Pick ONE)
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • Chemical Exfoliant: Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Targeted Acne Relief Toner (over entire face)
  • Acne Treatment: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast (on open lesions only and wait at least 30 minutes)
  • Anti-Aging Serum: Cosmetic Skin Solution’s C+E Serum
  • Moisturizer with SPF: Catherine’s Choice!
  • Primer: Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer (keep only if absolutely necessary) (Like I said above, Catherine can mix a little bit of something like the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer SPF 15 into her Moisturizer with SPF and skip this step entirely, which of course is preferred)


  • Makeup Remover: Acne.org Organic Jojoba Oil AND L’Oreal Lip and Eye Makeup Remover
  • Cleanser: Moogoo Milk Wash or Dr. Bronner’s Baby Unscented Pure Castille Soap (Pick ONE)
  • Toner: Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Toner
  • Lightening Serum: Paula’s Choice RESIST Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel OR  Cosmetic Skin Solutions Phyto Botanical Gel (alternate everyday)
  • Acne Treatment: Acne.org 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Treatment (on lesions only and wait at least 30 minutes)
  • Moisturizer: Paula’s Choice RESIST Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Hopefully, everyone can see that Catherine’s skin won’t be so covered up and clogged by heavy emollients with this much simpler routine! I was hesitant on whether or not to recommend a retinol product (because it’s such a fantastic multi-purpose ingredient), but since Catherine claims to have tried retinoids before (and responded negatively to them), I ultimately decided not to go down that same path.


I’d be lying if I didn’t think that some people “deserve” a detailed routine review more than others, but alas, I have to consider everyone equally and do any and all routines in the order that I receive them. But I really want to take the time and thank Catherine for trusting me and even including photos of her condition. Many people with as severe a conditions as hers, would be too ashamed or afraid to show bare-faced pictures. Catherine is quite fearless and I am very proud of her.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments down below. And if anyone would like for me to review his/her routine in a similar fashion, click HERE.

Like I’ve mentioned before in the Disclaimer, I am not a medical professional of any kind, so if you decide to follow my advise, do so knowing that you bear full responsibility.

*This is something new that I’ve decided to do from now on. I was actually inspired by Emma (routine review v 0.04), but from now on and for any past reviews, if a reviewee follows my advice for a significant (relatively) period of time and gives me a detailed (relatively) update on how his/her skin is responding to the new routine, your response will be given ITS OWN POST! And I will respond with my own thoughts of course. You could say its a way for you to have a GUEST POST on this site! Of course if you have a blog or something you’d like to share, you may provide a link. I think it’d be a fun and educational way that will benefit both parties! Any “updates” will be included in a completely separate series. In no way will the choice or promise to give an “update” affect whose routine gets reviewed or when that happens. I will add this information to the Template, but I’ll include it in the next few Come Out routine reviews!

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


23 thoughts on “Come Out! (With Your Skin Care) Catherine Aldrich!

  1. John, Catherine here! Thanks so much for going through my routine. Am currently travelling but really excited to apply your suggestions once I get home. So got a few questions for you which I decide to ask here for everyone’s benefit.
    1. The PC toner ( SA) – can you specify the application. Am supposed to apply it to the whole face, what’s the best way? Use it like toner with cotton pad (seems wasteful). Approx. how many drops? My reason for asking is that I think my prev bad experience. has been due to overzealous application.
    2. Can you recommend a good mineral based sunscreen. I may have to order it online and have it shipped but if it’s good I don’t mind. From what I read on your previous post it is recommended than the chemical sunscreen cause it’s less irritating, right?
    3. The CCS serum – I do use it really for the vit C benefit. I was trying to find one that is less irritating. I ordered their sample and try it out first. I tried the phloretin serum and the 20% vit c. Phloretin is ok but the 20% broke me out bad. I did not even try the C&E cause my impression is that the vit E will broke me out/clog my pores. Any thought? I will try on w I get home. I saw Nicki’s post on the comparison and will try that if the C&E works for me.
    Btw, I’ve been decanting 2/3 weeks worth of product to the small sample vial to minimize exposure.
    4. I have to check again on the RESIST line cause from my knowledge the PC distributor in my country has yet to stock it. Been dying
    to try it after all the good reviews.

    I’ve kind of known that I need to streamline my routine for a while but being a product nut ( readinf product review is a fave. past time) been quite confused. So thanks for the jump start.

    Posted by Cath81 | May 15, 2012, 12:48 am
    • Hi Catherine!

      I’m glad you decided to comment! 🙂

      1. What I’d recommend is to just apply a few drops to the palm of one hand, and just gently spread that around your face. I’d completely forego the cotton pad/round because that just wastes product. I don’t know how many drops, but just enough to coat your entire face with a thin layer.

      2. Yes, properly made physical sunscreens are almost always less irritating than chemical ones. Since you have oily skin like me, there are several that I really enjoy. The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 55 is excellent. It’s very water and transfer resistant, and just lasts forever! Make sure to powder it though, just to ensure its longevity. Note that, you’ll want to be careful if you’re going to apply foundation on top. The finish of the Shiseido is a bit tacky until after about 10-15 minutes. So when you apply liquid foundation, make sure to stipple it on, rather than swirl. With powder, I typically get a big dense brush like kabuki, and just pat and roll. Again, no swirling. Another sunscreen that’s a bit cheaper, and I’d like to try, but haven’t yet, is the EltaMD Broad Spectrum SPF 47 one, which can be found on Dermstore and Skinstore I believe. The ingredients suggest that it’s lightweight, but again I haven’t personally tried it, so I don’t know.

      The Shiseido one, also has a bit of a white-cast, but if you’re going to apply makeup on top, that doesn’t matter.

      3. No the vitamin E in the C+E Serum is only 1%, and its main function is to preserve and enhance the stability of the vitamin C, which in that product is 15%. But yeah, give it a try.

      Also decanting products won’t really help (obviously it’s better than nothing), because the goal is to never allow air exposure. I’m going to be doing a future post with some elementary algebraic and geometric math equations to exemplify this concept.

      4. Dang, that’s too bad about your country not being stocked! Um, let me know if you still can’t find it, and I’ll see if I recommend another similar product that you can get your hands on.

      And you’re welcome. I really hope you’ll follow some of my advice, because I really mean it when I said that your current routine is probably contributing to your condition.

      Posted by John | May 15, 2012, 5:31 am
      • Hi John,

        Yes, am trying to apply your rec. even now whilst am on holiday. Regarding the PC RESIST Lightening gel product rec., can you recommend from La Roche Posay/Avene line. Am currently in Europe so it”s easier for me to obtain. Am thinking Effaclar Duo, any thought? If it’s good I’ll just stock up on it.

        I also don’t have my RESIST antioxidant serum and looking for a night time moisturizer. I’m actually not too crazy about the texture of the serum, so I don’t really want to use it on daily basis.

        Have started on the SA rec. and will look for the sunscreen today 😊. Thanks!

        Posted by Cath81 | May 17, 2012, 12:30 am
        • Hi Catherine,

          Way to get a jump on things! I scanned the entire LRP and Avene lines and there’s nothing that’s similar or that great unfortunately. The Effaclar Duo contains 5.5% benzoyl peroxide as the main acne-fighting ingredient. While it also contains 0.4% LHA, a hydroxy acid discussed in my series on FutureDerm, the BP content limits this to a spot-treating product. Since you already have something in your arsenal fitting this desciprtion (Acne.org BP gel)… and can I say at a much lower price/oz, I don’t see the need for this product. However, since you can’t seem to get your hands on that RESIST product, the ProActiv Dark Spot Corrector is pretty good. I’ve recommended it before to another reviewee. It contains 2% hydroquinone and 4% glycolic acid.

          As for the moisturizer question, and I cannot stress this enough, as someone with very oily skin, you don’t need a moisturizer in the sense that it contains emollients. All you need a light occlusive product (something that prevents water loss) that uses something like a non-volatile silicone. The RESIST serum is truly one of the best serums/light moisturizers available on the market. While the texture isn’t great, since you’re only using it at nighttime, why does it matter? But I didn’t originally give another suggestion in this category because I assumed you liked it, and didn’t want you to go and buy ANOTHER product. Lol! I personally also wasn’t a fan of the texture (a bit too greasy feeling and shiny) at first, but now, given the improvement I’ve seen with my skin, I don’t mind.

          But if you really can’t deal with the texture, then look for a serum/moisturizer that uses silicones as its primary base ingredients. There are several others (pricier options) that I would recommend such as the Estee Lauder Nutritious or Perfectionist serums. They are both excellent and light in texture. I have a reivew of the perfectionist on here. Or if you want something cheaper, the Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragrance-Free is also good. It contains 2-3% niacinamide, which is great for soothing acne-prone skin (and can further help lighten hyperpigmentation), and some green tea and a peptide, among other things. However, I have personally tried this, and I can tell you that the texture is not that wonderful. It’s kind of like a slightly silkier version of the Smashbox Photofinish Primer. In comparison to the RESIST serum, it’s slightly less greasy-feeling.

          I hope that helped, and even if you still think you need a moisturizer, once you start following my suggestions and taking out the unnecessary products, you’ll hopefully notice your skin becoming more normalized. You really don’t need a moisturizer… 🙂

          Again, if you have more questions, ask away!

          Posted by John | May 17, 2012, 7:28 am
          • John,

            Heard back from the PC distributor from my country. Aside from the RESIST cleanser, toner, moisturizer and serum they now carry the daily and weekly resurfacing treatment. However not the Remarkable skin lightening Gel.

            I know that you use the two, will this serve the intended purpose for me?

            Sorry to keep bugging – trying to get it together.

            Thanks John!

            Posted by Cath81 | May 18, 2012, 6:45 am
            • No no, it’s completely all right! Don’t ever feel like you ask too many questions. In fact I’ve had less polite people “pester” (not really) me with questions, and I still answer. 🙂

              Anyways, considering that you’re satisfied with the lightening that you get from the Phyto Gel, the Daily Treatment would be excellent. I did a full review of it in my latest FutureDerm blog, and it’s great. You can try and implement the 10% Weekly Treatment into your routine once or twice per week. Keep in mind that because both of these are glycolic acid treatments, you’ll need to be diligent but not overzealous with your salicylic acid in the morning.

              So I know we’ve talked a lot about different alternatives for various categories of products. Are you clear on what you’ve decided to do for your entire routine? I’d be happy to write out an updated “ideal routine” in the comments section so you know what to do.

              Posted by John | May 18, 2012, 9:51 am
              • Hi John,

                Back again, quite hard to get online while travelling. Well, I am clear on what I need to do. I’ve pretty much summarized it all in my head by now. Haha..

                So been using the SA for about a week now. I know we discuss purging before and how you said that there’s really no such thing. Well I’ve been getting a few white heads (papules with white head) overall the texture of my skin is also feels different. Somehow it feels rougherwith little bumps showing up. It does quicky dry out and slough off with regular cleansing. It somehow really feels like purging.The reason why I’m not so worried is that it’s not cystic so is my skin kind of cleasingoff all the blockedpores?

                I’ve been pretty careful with the application ( 2-3 drops max) and wait 30 mins before applying sunscreen ( bought the Shiseido already)

                Appreciate your thoughts on it.


                Posted by Cath81 | May 21, 2012, 3:03 pm
                • Hey,

                  I still don’t believe that the purging process exists, unless a product is irritating, such as tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. But that’s not really purging, it’s just an increased amount of irritation, not your skin getting rid of “bad stuff.”

                  But I’m thinking you may be sensitive or even slightly allergic to the SA. Here’s what I want you to do: Only apply the SA to either the right or left side of your face. Do the rest of your routine on both sides of course. After about a week or two, see if you can tell a difference. Take note of things like, which side looks better? Feels better? Has more/less breakouts? Etc… We’re basically doing a casual split-face test.

                  Also, I’m pretty sure that you’re using too LITTLE of the SA. For example, when I use it, I literally slather it on. I don’t really count, but I use maybe 10-15 drops for my face AND under my chin. So if you can tolerate it, I’d suggest using (a lot) more. Let me know how that works.

                  Did you decide to implement a GA acid into your routine at nighttime. Because that will help smooth out that “roughness” you’re talking about. I believe I said this in my last response, but wold you like to me to relist your entire “suggested” routine, since we’ve made so many modifications since the original?

                  Posted by John | May 22, 2012, 8:32 am
      • John – I have recently found your blog and appreciate reading your detailed reviews on skin care routines. I am specifically interested in your recommendation on the daily mineral sunscreen and was wondering what other options were available. The Shiseido doesn’t sound light weight enough for me (I have slightly oily, acne prone, sensitive skin so avoid creams on my face) and I can only wear mineral powder foundations so it doesn’t sound like it would work for me in that respect as well. I would also want as high an SPF rating as possible as I also live in Florida and spend a lot of time outside during the summer. Thank you for any additional assistance you can offer.

        Posted by GA_Peach | May 18, 2012, 7:41 am
        • Hi GA,

          Glad to have you here! Well the Shiseido SPF 55 is a “cream” but it’s actually very long-wearing and water/transfer resistant; it dries down quite matte. It’s even a bit tacky until about the 10 mimute mark. It doesn’t feel particularly heavy either. If you’ve read the “My Story and Routine” Page, you’ll know that I have very oily skin and the Shiseido works excellently for me. I’d say go to a department store counter and ask for a sample to see if you like it.

          If not, I’d be happy to discuss alternatives with you. Just curious, so you don’t wear any liquid foundation over your sunscreen? Also, I’m not sure why you said that, because you wear mineral powder foundations, the Shiseido cream wouldn’t work for you. Can you elaborate on that a bit?

          Posted by John | May 18, 2012, 9:57 am
          • Thank you for your reply! To elaborate (and I apologize for being unclear,) since you mentioned the tackiness of the Shiseido and the way you apply powder over it, I suspect incompatibility with the buffing technique I use to apply my powder foundation but I agree it makes more sense to try it before discounting it. And no, I don’t wear liquid foundations over my sunscreen. Every time I try liquid foundations I ultimately have to admit that it made my skin look worse and caused breakouts so back to my powder foundations I go.

            Posted by GA_Peach | May 18, 2012, 2:47 pm
            • Well now it’s my turn to apologize for the misunderstanding! I said that it dried down tacky, but would disappear after about 15 minutes. So it’s not incompatible with mineral/powder products.

              However, when I said that you need to “tap and roll,” that applies for all products. Because for any sunscreen, if you buff, a lot of the sunscreen will come off on your brush. That’s why I don’t recommend buffing for anything.

              Hope that made sense.

              Posted by John | May 18, 2012, 8:47 pm
              • That makes perfect sense and I am embarrassed that I didn’t realize it as I’ve spent way too many days wearing Paula’s Choice Skin Mattifying Lotion with SPF 15 then buffing my foundation over the top. Thank you so very much for the clarification and explanation.

                Posted by GA_Peach | May 19, 2012, 4:41 am
            • Oh yeah, faluuobs stuff there you!

              Posted by Jaylynn | April 13, 2014, 3:04 pm
  2. I love Cicaplast, it’s one of those products I always keep in my medicine cabinet. It’s also amazing for very ragged and dry cuticules (i.e. mine). I’m curious about the order of application and the waiting time you recommended. Do you mind elaborating a bit on that?

    Posted by Isa | May 14, 2012, 4:56 pm
    • Well I only recommended the waiting time so that the salicylic acid has time to exfoliate (it needs a low pH environment). If you apply something on top of the whole face, it won’t exfoliate. But that’s about it.

      As for the order of application, the two acne treatments work best with direct application to the skin, at least as close as possible. Before, Catherine was applying the benzoyl peroxide last, which isn’t good. But yeah, that’s about it.

      Any other confusing things?

      Posted by John | May 14, 2012, 9:33 pm
      • I didn’t know you were supposed to wait so much after applying an exfoliant… Paula Begoun says the opposite, and that question has been asked a lot of times over on PC Fabeook Page. Skin care can be so confusing 😦

        Posted by Isa | May 20, 2012, 11:16 am
        • Well my philosophy is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. And what Paula’s saying doesn’t really make sense.

          Fact 1: She claims that salicylic acid in cleansers don’t stay on the face long enough to exfoliate (cleansers are on the face for on average 30-60 seconds). I believe this is correct.

          Fact 2: Salicylic acid needs a low pH in order to exfoliate the skin. This is also correct.

          Fact 3: She says you only have to wait a few minutes after SA application before going to the next step of your routine.

          See how those are conflicting? She’s saying that SA can’t exfoliate the skin in one minute… but can in a “few” minutes. That doesn’t make sense. And while I realize that perhaps the vehicle of the SA can maintain the “environmental” pH by not mixing with subsequent topical products, there’s no clear cut answer for that scenario. Therefore, it’s my own personal opinion that it’s just “safer” or basically “better” and “effective” to simply wait a while longer. Note that the length of time I usually recommend, at least 30 minutes, is arbitrary and not determined by any studies, etc. But like I said before, it’s still better than waiting just a few minutes.

          I hope that made sense.

          Posted by John | May 20, 2012, 12:51 pm
          • I get what you’re saying, but I also like to think my exfoliant is effective for more than 30 minutes… perhaps it’s just wishful thinking but I like to imagine it working its magic while I sleep. I do wait about 15 minutes or so after I apply it, but it’s mostly because of the texture of the BHA I use (PC gel or lotion). I find they don’t layer too well unless you let them dry and absorb for a bit.

            Posted by Isa | May 23, 2012, 4:11 pm
            • Well the amount of exfoliation will dimish as times passes of course, or you’d have no skin by the end of the day lol! But yeah, unlike Paula, I’m not a fan of waiting just a few minutes.

              Posted by John | May 23, 2012, 6:58 pm
  3. Hey John! This is totally irrelevant, but I have that exact same metronome that you put as a picture onto this post. Yay for music!

    Posted by Med School Girl | May 14, 2012, 10:48 am

Leave a Reply to Jaylynn Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Make a Donation Button
Finish Line Flag

Pick a topic, and go!

A Trip Back in Time

Save Money Shopping

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 805 other subscribers

© 2014 The Triple Helixian.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

%d bloggers like this: