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Your Top Skincare FAQs: ANSWERED

what do you have for... 

acne 

dryness 

dark spots 

oily skin 

eczema 

These are the top questions I get all day everyday. Always the same. And yeah, no one ever says hi. 

(PS I'm not a bot, nor am I a skincare encyclopedia. I'm a real, very human person who doesn't always enjoy typing out answers to the same questions over and over every day... can you imagine what that would be like?! Okay, I'll tell you: it's boring.) 

You might be thinking, "Geez why is she complaining? Why doesn't she just hire a customer service representative?" 

Well, I would love to. That is my plan by the end of the year, but you see, the thing is, I spend a lot of time answering questions, but not enough of those people actually take my advice and buy my products. LOL! People are also weird about not accepting the exact same advice given by the employees that I already pay for (and train/tell exactly what to say) in my shop, so will it really be prudent to hire someone else? IDK...

Anyway, hence the point of this blog post - I'm covering everything in one go so that when you ask me these questions, I can send you this link (Hi, and thanks for reading.) 🙂

Now, I've covered all of this at one point or another over the years on this blog (most recently, here,) and on my social media, so if you're already reading them and taking my advice, using my products, you probably already have glowing skin and don't already need this advice.

I feel perfectly confident saying that because I've been using these products exclusively for the last 3 years with wonderful results, and they are my main business, top sellers, everyone who tries them loves them and comes back for more. My skincare line is 10/10 how I pay the bills, because it's good stuff and it works. If you already know this, feel free to skip this one! 

This post is mostly for those of you who casually follow me on social media but have never actually visited my store or my website, read my blogs or looked at my product descriptions online, (where I provide A LOT of information, BTW) hence the asking of the questions! 

So let's get started. This is a long post but I promise that it's worth the read.

First things first, no matter what your skin issue is, you have to get over the idea that just one product can fix it. Your skin is your largest organ, and it truly is a reflection of your overall health. You can't target one issue with one product and expect a miracle. Your diet, stress levels, genetics, and overall skincare routine far outweigh the effects of using a new product. 

I personally know this because I have a histamine intolerance and a lot of food sensitivities, and the negative reactions from it all manifest directly in my skin. (The irony!) Redness, itching, burning, hives, and most recently a fun new patch of eczema on my wrist have nothing to do with my skincare, and everything to do with my stress levels and diet. Are there products I make that help? Yes! Do I rely on them while continuing to eat foods that make me feel bad? Heck no! 

I say this because the questions I get always start with, "what do you have for..." 

And I never quite know how to answer it, because the answer is so much more than a "what." It's more like a why/how/everything kind of thing, you know? 

And because I'm not a doctor, nor am I a human skincare encyclopedia, I can only share what I know works for me. (And a lot of my customers, of course!) 

And the number one thing have found that works for me, and I am confident that it will work for you too, no matter what your specific skincare issue is,  

Find a routine that balances your skin overall and STICK TO IT. 

Don't worry, I'm going to break it down... 

I always recommend a very basic 3 step cleanse/tone/moisturize routine to start, featuring everything in my travel skincare set. These are the original products that I created specifically with the intention that they would cover all of my bases and provide everything I (and you) would really need in a skincare routine. What I'm going to do now is talk about each product/step and tell you how it will correct your specific skincare complaint.  

1. Cleanse  

This is a big one. The number one piece of advice I give to everyone, is to switch to a powder or oil cleanser. This is because traditional soaps, and pretty much every water based/standard store bought foaming face wash completely strips your skin. 

Why is this bad?

Your skin already works very hard to achieve it's own balance every day - it produces oil to protect and moisturize your skin - there are good bacteria on your face that actually work to keep you from breaking out - and when you wash them away by using a face wash that's too alkaline? Your face has to do extra work to try to get back to normal.

When the oil on your face gets washed away, your skin tries to produce extra to correct the imbalance. If you have dry skin, which means you have fewer oil glands than "normal," it's pretty much impossible for it to keep up so you end up extra dry and flaky/uncomfortable. If you have oily skin (and lots of already over-eager oil glands) you end up greasy. 

If you have acne prone skin, you're much more likely to break out without the good bacteria on your face to fight the bad. 

Powder cleanser and oil cleansers are pH neutral - (here's a link to a very unscientific post I made regarding my powder cleanser and pH levels which I highly recommend reading) and they effectively cleanse your skin without disturbing the delicate balance of good oil and bacteria already on your face. 

I personally have combination skin that's very well balanced these days, and I use a mix of both - I oil cleanse to remove my makeup at night, then follow with my powder cleanser (or a face mask which all work the exact same way.) In the mornings, I oil cleanse. 

Please read this link to learn all about oil cleansing - why you should do it, and how it's effective.

If you have oily or acne prone skin, I still recommend oil cleansing - don't fear the oil! I recommend my personal routine/doing a mix of both. Definitely don't skip the powder cleanser at night - the kaolin clay draws out impurities as it dries, and the neroli, lavender, and ylang ylang essential oils were all chosen for their healing, antiseptic, skin balancing properties. 

If you have dry skin - you may be able to get away with just oil cleansing, but I love the gentle exfoliation provided by the powder cleanser.

If you're concerned with dark spots, I don't make anything to specifically lighten skin (that would involve much more harsh ingredients which I won't work with, and I've never found that "lightening" products actually work anyway) but I think you'll be pleased with the overall brightening effect of the powder cleanser thanks to the rice and tapioca flours, and neroli essential oil. Also, make sure you wear sunscreen every day! 

2. Tone

DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. 

I don't know why everyone skips this step. Okay, maybe I do... I imagine that it's because you've tried toners in the past that don't seem to "do" anything and you think they're all the same. 

Well, they're not. Toning is an essential step no matter your skin type, and here's why: 

- It helps rebalance your pH levels after cleansing - because even if you're using a pH neutral cleanser, you most likely rinsed it off with tap water, which is too alkaline. So this helps your skin get back to where it likes to be immediately. 

- It ensures that your skin is truly clean after cleansing. Mist your face and mist it on a cotton round (or something reusable if you're a zero waste-r) and rub your skin. Keep doing this until you don't pick up anything else on the pad. NOW your skin is clean and ready for bed (almost, don't forget there's a third step.) 

- It tightens your pores back up again after the warm water or steam from cleansing has opened them a bit. This will help prevent them from getting clogged. 

Oily/Acne prone skin - my toning mist is a must for you. 

Dry Skin - toning mist is good for you, but you might prefer a more hydrating hydrosol, or a mix of both. 

Those concerned with evening/lightening/brightening skin tone - the essential oils in my toning mist were selected with this in mind. Neroli, lavender, ylang ylang, sweet orange, and geranium were chosen for their healing, balancing, antiseptic, brightening properties. 

Eczema - toning mist is something that could be really soothing on a hot spot - I also recommend lavender hydrosol, my healing lotion stick, and/or dope queen balm because they contain essential oils that soothe itching and fight inflammation. (Lavender, carrot seed, chamomile, ginger, coriander, cannabis, rosemary, peppermint.) I find a lot of relief with my healing lotion stick, but the main thing is to figure out what's causing the inflammation in the first place and eliminate it - easier said than done, believe me, I know!  

3. Moisturize

Oily/acne prone skin, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. 

Your skin needs oil. Even oily and acne prone skin needs oil. In fact, oil balances your skin because it tricks your skin into thinking it doesn't need to produce so darn much of it's own. It may take you a couple of days to get used to the idea/feeling of putting oil on your face but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with less oily skin. I PROMISE! 

Nervous? Click to read: A Beginner's Guide to Using Facial Oil!

Oil will heal the broken skin of an acne breakout too. It is absolutely essential for all skin types. 

Dry skin (and everyone) take it to the next level by applying a hydrosol immediately before you apply facial oil for more hydrated skin... get it? I do this morning and night and I do think it makes a difference. 

I go into more detail on that in this post. 

Now, which oil/moisturizer to choose? 

Easy, the original. That's because, as I mentioned earlier, it's the oil I designed to treat everything and be a multipurpose moisturizer no matter what. (You can also use it for cleansing.) 

It is a lightweight oil (all of mine are) made with non-pore clogging ingredients. 

- Oily/acne prone/dry/aging/every skin type will appreciate that watermelon seed oil is said to dissolve oil buildup in your pores while increasing elasticity. 

- Grapeseed oil penetrates deeply to heal and moisturize, and it also has astringent (skin tightening) properties. (Note that this does not mean that it will dry out your skin, it's still very moisturizing.) 

- Rosehip oil is full of nutrients that brighten and even skin tone, and heal broken skin/fine lines. 

- Red raspberry seed oil is anti-inflammatory, rich in omegas and vitamins, and also boasts a natural SPF factor, but I absolutely do not recommend going without an FDA approved sunscreen. None of my products are intended to provide sun protection. 

Essential oils of neroli, lavender, carrot seed, and ylang ylang are the same ingredients I use in my cleanser and toning mist with the edition of carrot seed - which is great for healing breakouts, fine lines, and evening/brightening skin tone. 

After applying 2-5 drops of facial oil, you may feel that you've done enough, (and you are definitely free to stop right here,) or, you may want to add one of my shea based moisturizers for more rich moisture and an anti-aging boost. (I use beauty butter every single night and recommend it for all skin types.) 

You could also use facial balm - and I've outlined the main differences between both in this post. 

Facial balm is my morning moisturizer, after facial oil, and before Facewhip

(Yes, I wear a lot of moisturizer and I swear by it. Also, see what I mean about addressing all of this already?! 😆

Before I go further, I'd like to quickly point out the main differences/similarities between my facial serums, because that's another top FAQ, but they are really all interchangeable. There may be one that speaks to you more than the others, or that you prefer to my original oil, although original is the one that I recommend to start. 

Spring Serum - This is the closest to the original facial oil, except it contains evening primrose oil instead of rosehip oil. I designed this one to brighten dull, after winter skin.

Autumn Serum - I think of this as a skin repairing oil - for after too much fun in the summer sun, you know? It's extremely lightweight, with jojoba, rosehip, and evening primrose ( I really love evening primrose for all skin types.)  

Winter Serum - This is the one I made specifically to treat dry/flaky skin. It's lightweight, but I think it has a slightly thicker, more comforting feel, with sunflower, avocado, and red raspberry seed oils. 

Summer Serum - I made this one for oily/acne prone types and it's my lightest weight facial oil. The hemp seed oil soaks right in, and it also has jojoba and red raspberry. 

4. Extra Tweaks 

Before I get into extra tweaks that you can add to customize your routine, I want to reiterate that the most important thing is to stick to your routine! 

These products are wonderful, but they can't help you if you don't use them. If you're new to a skincare routine and it seems overwhelming, I get it, but you have to at least wash your face before bed or none of this advice will help you at all. 

There are plenty of nights where I don't feel like washing my face or doing anything, and sometimes I don't, but I usually do, because I see the benefits from sticking to my routine when I look in the mirror. 

Because I feel you and I also don't want to be a slave to my skincare routine, I try very hard to keep it simple - cleanse, tone, moisturize. That's all you really have to do to make a difference in your skin. Just keep repeating it to yourself. Cleanse, tone, moisturize... that's all you have to do! 

That being said, here are extra things/products that you can do to support your basic routine: 

Acne spot treatment: best used at the very first sign of a pimple (and continuously until it disappears) I also use it as a preventative measure nightly at the very end of my routine (after beauty butter) on my breakout prone areas. 

Eye serum: for fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. You can use it morning and night, at any part of your routine, but make sure it soaks in before you apply makeup. 

Facial massage: I gua sha in the morning and facial roll at night, but you can do one or neither. I go into the details about the benefits of these in this post. 

Facemasks: I recommend adding the activated charcoal mask to your routine 1-2 times per week to curb breakouts. I recommend the sandalwood and rosehip mask for dry skin, because it has extra exfoliating properties. I recommend the green tea and pink kaolin masks for all skin types when you want a little something extra. Please review the product listing information for all of the ingredient information and their benefits! 

Double Cleansing: This is what it's called when you use an oil cleanser to remove your makeup followed by another cleanser - I mentioned that this is my nightly routine above but want to reiterate that it's very beneficial for all skin types. (It's also very effective at removing your makeup!) 

Hydrosols: I also mentioned these above, but am doing so again here, because it's an extra step you can take that really will make a difference in your skin. 

Mask Add-Ins: These are great for anyone who wants to experiment with adding ingredients to their powder cleanser one at a time, instead of the pre-made facemasks that I offer. Please review the product listing for all of the ingredient information and benefits for each! 

Serum Singles: These are for anyone who wants either a super simple moisturizer, or, to target a specific skincare concern. Read over the ingredients/benefits and let me know if you need help picking out the right one for you!

Customizing your powder cleanser/mask: The powder cleanser works great on it's own mixed with tap water, but you can also mix in any facial oil/serum or customize the liquid that you use to mix it up with. Hydrosols, (cooled) herbal teas, toning mist, coconut milk/water are all great options. I mostly use water from the sink!  

Makeup: Makeup can really make a difference in the health of your skin. Using the wrong products every day can be harmful and lead to a lot of sensitivities and other skin issues, so I highly recommend switching to something more natural if you haven't already. Since starting Twinkle Apothecary, I've really moved away from wearing makeup completely - I use my facewhip as a foundation replacement, and the color cosmetics that I make exclusively. To answer another FAQ, no, I have no plans or intentions to start making foundations/concealers, but someday I do hope to find something from another brand to offer in my shop. Keep in mind that I have very high standards when it comes to ingredients/packaging/price point so it may take me a while to find something I can really get behind! 

AND THAT'S REALLY, REALLY IT. 

I honestly don't know what else to say! 

This is the full twinkle skincare routine in a nutshell, and it's a routine that I developed for all skin types. 

I obviously highly recommend giving it a shot, because I know that you will see results. Of course, you are free to use any part of this routine that speaks to you and ignore the rest, but I can't guarantee that you'll be happy with the results if you pick and choose which steps to use and which steps to ignore... 

All I know is that this routine works for me, and a whole bunch of my customers. I hope it helps you too!

More questions?

You know where to find me!

-XO-

Stefanie