Gentle Skin Care for Acne, Anti-Aging + Pores

When I was a freshman in high school, a boy I liked found out that I had a crush on him and his response was, “She’s wears too much makeup.” It was really hurtful at the time because I wore makeup to cover up my annoying breakouts – as many girls who are 14 do. My skin was crazy oily, hyper sensitive and prone to acne. I’m happy to say that my oily skin has kept me (for the most part) looking younger than my age, whereas that boy from high school never grew into his large nose and [unmarried Steffanie] would never give him the time of day now.

Now, I’m 30 years old and my skin STILL is fairly oily, hyper sensitive and prone to breakouts – as well as, needing preventative anti-aging treatment. Over the past few months, I’ve discovered some super helpful acne and anti aging skin care products. These are all sensitive-skin approved and have really made a noticeable difference in the texture of my skin. Use all three or just pick one to combat your harshest offender…

Skincare enhancers acne and anti aging skin care products for 30somethings or those with sensitive skin that address large pores wrinkles or acne pimples sensitive skin approved Origins Out of Trouble Paula's Choice 8% AHA Chanel Purete Lotion Toner

To combat blemishes

Even though my skin is oily and acne-prone, I have to be careful and not be too aggressive or it will get extremely irritated and flaky if I were to use the same products I used when I was 13. I was searching for an affordable acne face mask around the same time I got to check out the brand new Origins store here in Houston. Before I went, I was checking out their mask selection and came across their Out of Trouble ’10-minute mask to rescue problem skin’ ($4-25). The ingredient list sounded so promising:  zinc oxide (calming), glycerin (hydrator), salicylic acid (exfoliant used to treat acne), colloidal sulfur (antioxidant for skin conditions/redness), and bentonite (clay/oil-absorber). These are all pretty great ingredients at gently, yet effectively treating acne.

It’s also important to take note of ingredient lists and the order in which they appear on products. The earlier in the list the ingredients appear, the higher the concentration in the formula. The list is fairly short in this mask, so all of these ingredients hold their weight fairly well.

Anyways – on to the important stuff – how it works! I am always trying new makeup and thus, when things don’t work out, I will quickly get a breakout letting me know. Using Origins Out of Trouble for 10-15 minutes a night for 3-5 nights in a row quickly heal my breakouts, yet leave my skin with no flakiness. I have even used it overnight as a spot treatment without irritation and saw visible improvements in any reactive or hormonal breakouts!

I like to use this mask twice a week for maintenance or every night if I’m battling a breakout.

Pick it up at your local Origins store, Sephora or click here to order online.

To improve wrinkles, fine lines, pores

As a beauty junkie, I’m a huge fan of skin care founder, Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia website. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a must-bookmark. Basically, it’s a site where a group of scientists, chemists and doctors review the claims of 45,000+ beauty and skin care products and rate them for efficacy. They also have curated their own line of very gentle, yet effective skin care solutions for a multitude of needs – (including acne and anti aging skin care products) – Paula’s Choice.

After years of reading stellar reviews on tons of the Paula’s Choice products, I decided to try one for myself. They offer a 100% money-back guarantee, anyway. I decided on the Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel with Glycolic Acid ($28) because I’ve used glycolic acid pads in the past and had decent results with them. At the fairly low 8% concentration, this is a great daily, gentle exfoliant. Glycolic Acid helps to chemically exfoliate the skin; which keeps the pores cleaner and smaller and prevents the skin from developing fine lines. It also can help minimize the signs of sun damage over time.

I apply this to my skin after cleansing and toning in the morning and follow-up with my moisturizer. I have experienced absolutely no irritation, redness or flaking from using this product. It’s been over eight weeks of use and I’ve seen a dramatic difference in pore-size (from taking so many makeup pics lately, it would be hard to miss). I also feel like my skin tone is more even and any old acne marks have diminished. I am beginning to see the early signs of those fabulous ‘elevens’ in between my brows and although Retin-A helps a lot, the addition of this gel/serum has exponentially increased it’s effectiveness. I think it helps buff away any flakiness my Retin-A can sometimes cause. I definitely am keeping this in my regimen for a long time!

BONUS: This formula should be pregnant-lady safe! As ladies in our 30s, many of us are popping out babies and under a lot of life-stress, but need to still keep our complexions glowing. Check with your ob/gyn to confirm, though. Everyone’s different.

Pick up Paula’s Choice at select Nordstrom stores, or online here*. They always have great sales and discounts happening!

*I am an affiliate with Paula’s Choice, so if you choose to purchase through my link, I will get a few cents on the dollar commission, which helps me – so thank you 🙂 I wouldn’t want to be an affiliate with any company unless I LOVED their products, so trust me on this one.

To minimize oiliness

This was a painful purchase – not gonna lie, people. It’s Chanel, after all. Chanel’s Lotion Purete Fresh Mattifying Toner ($45) was one of those un-researched purchases that I truly went risky on. Again, I stalked out the ingredient list and online reviews once at the counter. I was sooo hesitant about this, but the sales lady reassured me if I hated it, I could return it in 30 days. She also said that the toners are one of the products she rarely (if ever) has people returning. Fair enough.

I almost purchased the sensitive skin formula, which is completely alcohol free, but the sensitive formula definitely left a layer of moisture that I was not a big fan of. I just saw it enhancing my oilies instead of diminishing them. The Purete formula has alcohol in it, but I do not find it drying – just fresh feeling; clean. I also really liked that I saw Niacinimide in the ingredient list – a water-soluble form of vitamin B that helps heal acne, protect against toxins/pollutants, and any other skin inflammation.

Using Chanel’s Lotion Purete Fresh Mattifying Toner after cleansing both day and night has really kept my skin feeling very clean and visibly clear. The mattifying properties are interesting – after swiping a cotton pad over my face with the product, it dries down to a soft matte finish, which is a perfect prep for moisturizer and makeup.

The bottle is nice and large at 6.8 fl. ounces, so I see it lasting me a good two months or so, using it morning and night.

Purchase Chanel Lotion Purete Fresh Mattifying Toner at your local Chanel counter (Dillards, Nordstrom, Macy’s) or

acne and anti aging skin care products that fight acne blemishes wrinkles large pores fine lines and oily skin by Origins Paula's Choice and Chanel Origins Out of Trouble Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting AHA Gel Chanel Lotion Purete

I hope this helps you find your best skin in 2016, especially if you’re like me and needing BOTH acne and anti aging skin care products! Let me know if you have any skin care superstars that you can’t live without in the comments below.

Happy skin,


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*I’d greatly appreciate your support in using any of my affiliate links throughout this post. I would not utilize affiliate links if I did not support the brand/product wholeheartedly. Read my full disclaimer here.

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