in Beauty

Life Changing Skincare


It’s no secret that our favorite subject is skincare – we’re damn near borderline obsessive. We’re going to be honest, a major part of this is because Kate and I have struggled with acne most of our lives. We’ve tried a ton of products throughout our skincare journey – some wins and some MAJOR fails – but nothing that left us with weeks of ZERO breakouts. With that, we want to share with you the most magical and life changing skincare products that have completely rocked our worlds.

Before we share these products, we thought it might be best if we share our skin types:

My (Kim) skin is combination-oily, and with the summer weather around the corner, it leans heavily towards oily. My t-zone is exceptionally oily; and I have pores that are so large, you can swim in them. Okay, obviously an exaggeration, but they’re pretty large. My breakouts often occur on my chin and jaw line.

Kate is on the dry side – all year round. Her skin produces less oil resulting in dry, dehydrated skin, however she is also acne prone. An oxymoron, I know. But for her, it just happens. And her breakouts? Chin. Always chin.

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff. 

I’ve incorporated the following items into my skincare routine, catered to a combination-oily skin type, and I couldn’t be happier. So if you have a similar skin type, you might find these worth trying.

tarte – Knockout Tingling Treatment

I’ve shared this product before in our Sephora Spring Bonus Sale Buyer’s Guide blog post. I’m SO glad I purchased this because I cannot rave enough about it! If you’re a fan of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, but can no longer stomach the price tag, the Knockout Tingling Treatment is an amazing alternative. At only $39 bucks, this chemical exfoliant has a formula that houses 10% salicylic and lactic acids that is said to resurface the skin and restore it to it’s natural pH level. Basically, it’s perfect for all skin types.

Okay, let me tell you how this has transformed my skin. I didn’t expect anything to happen overnight, that’s for sure. For a whole week, I went through the motions of swiping a cotton pad with a few drops of the treatment on my face morning and night. To be honest, it was such a hectic week, I wasn’t paying much attention until Sunday – which tends to be the day for all things self-care. By the end of week one, I noticed that my pores appeared to be smaller. Still visible, yes, but no longer an option for skinny dipping. I know you dig that visual. 

I also noticed that the little, non-inflammatory bumps that have taken refuge on my chin have nearly disappeared. Like, texture gone. My skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation, ESPECIALLY after a breakout comes and goes. Knockout has definitely helped lightened my acne scarring – I think using this product as well as Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma is really doing the trick in lightening these spots.

You guys, this stuff is SO good, and a must try! As a warning though, if your skin is sensitive, this might not be a product for you as it is a chemical exfoliant; so you may experience a tingling or a burning sensation.

Jan Marini Bioglycolic Bioclear Lotion

This was introduced to me by my aesthetician a couple months ago; and boy, I cannot even believe how effective this stuff is!! Ever since I started using this lotion (a misnomer, it’s really like a thick serum) I’ve had ZERO breakouts. Which is a damn near M I R A C L E. Like clockwork, I breakout when my monthly friend shows up. I have – strike that – HAD two cystic acne spots that pop up like clock work right on my chin. I haven’t seen them for two months now!! You guys, this stuff seriously works.

The active ingredients in the lotion are azelaic acid, glycolic acid and salicylic acid – sound familiar? It should, the Knockout has similar ingredients. The difference between the two is that the Knockout is a toner (addresses issues superficially), where this lotion is a serum (which addresses issues superficially AND penetrates below the surface). The lotion continues to work throughout the day and/or night. The only gripe you may find that it costs $72 – however, Dermstore has sales all the time, and you can definitely snag this at 20% off!

Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea

Okay, not exactly a skincare product – but just hear me out for a second. I’ve been a matcha green tea drinker for years now, but coffee has always been my preference. As I’ve gotten older, coffee just hasn’t been sitting well with me. At the ripe old age of 29, I experience acid reflux. Bleh. Anyway, after a terrible bout, I decided to quit coffee cold turkey and switch to matcha. I never really thought of the benefits, but after a few weeks of my daily matcha green tea lattes, I noticed a difference in my skin. This difference is definitely a combination of the skincare products I use, but matcha is helping me inside out!

Matcha green tea is known to be jam packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the body from inflammation (think: acne) and has a ton of anti-aging properties. Chlorophyll that is also a property of matcha, is known to help promote cleansing the body of toxins and impurities, leaving the skin clear and glow-y. The tannins in matcha help with slowing the production of oil – I have to say that my skin feels and appears to be more balanced these days. Last week, I went two days without a matcha latte, and swear my skin looked dull and just stuffy. This could very well be all psychological, but I swear to you, I’m really seeing a difference. Just try iiiit!

Okay, onto the ways that have saved Kate’s skin!

Suffering from acne all her teen years & most of her twenties, she has tried almost every face wash on the market but the only one that has made a difference month after month, day after day? Well, that my friends is Obagi CLENZIderm Daily Foaming Cleanser. Like myself, Kate also has a wonderful little cystic-chinny-chin-chin breakout when her gift from God (or Science) makes its appearance every month; but with the use of this cleanser (and a couple other things) her breakouts have been EXTREMELY limited. I’m talking maybe one every three months. Maybe.

The other product that has helped? A toner. A drugstore witch hazel toner (say whaaaat?!?!). Thayers, actually. Since Kate’s acne is in remission, she continues to battle with its after-effects, like, dull skin. But this $11 toner has helped her TREMENDOUSLY! She is on her third bottle! The witch hazel extract contains tannins that help remove excess oil from the face. The tannins (sound familiar – think matcha!) also reduce inflammation and irritation preventing future breakouts. And because it’s an antioxidant (notice a theme?), it helps brighten the skin! Guys, Mother Earth really gives us the good stuff.

Like myself, Kate knows that skincare isn’t as easy as just buying these products, but it’s also about taking care of yourself. Her tip? Beauty sleep. It’s a real thing. REST DOES WONDERS, especially for your skin. When you sleep, your body boosts blood flow to the skin. This means you wake up with plump and glowy skin. Have you noticed when you stay up late working and only get a few hours of sleep you wake up with puffy eyes and a dull complexion? That’s because you didn’t get enough beauty sleep! It’s a thing, guys. Let your body recover, regenerate, and replenish!

There ya have it, these are products and practices that have magically transformed our skin!
As much as we would hate to admit, we weren’t fully comfortable with leaving the house with our bare skin.
But because these products and practices have worked, we do and we werk it!

Let us know if you try any of these products! If you do, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Comment below!


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