Monday, July 11, 2016

My Skin Care Routine [Shrinking Pores & Fading Dark Spots]

Okay, first off, the photos above are not all of the products I use for skincare! I took these photos yesterday very quickly before I caught my flight for Atlanta. I completely forgot the SD card so John sent these to me and left out half of the images. So I'll be listing step-by-step my skin care routine below including my face wash & a few other special products.

Anyway, my skin care routine doesn't change too often. I find what I love and I use it long term - BUT I do always try products now and then. If you are new, here's the background on my skin type; I used to have crazy oily & acne prone skin (lots of acne scars too) but I did 6 months of Accutane and since doing that I get minimal (if any) acne & am not oily anymore. I'm grateful for this of course, but my skin is still far from perfect. Accutane caused me to have bad bad bad melasma on my upper lip & it's very hard to fade. Accutane did a {good} number on my pores, but they are still there and require attention, they are still large. Sooooo, yea, that's the 411 on my skin and now I'll share my daily products! 

I switch my cleansers depending on the season. My go-to is THIS one - it's gentle, simple, and good for your skin. It doesn't do anything crazy or have exfoliating beads but I recommend starting off with a gently cleanser. I also like THIS cleanser if I feel like I could be getting a blemish. 

I'm loyal to Clarisonics (I use THIS one at home and THIS one for travel.). BUT I do not use them as frequently as I used to... it's going to sound bizarre but I feel like my skin looks more porous after using it so I only use it 1-2x a week.

You all will think I am crazy but I use a travel size version of Johnson's baby wash. It's gentle, inexpensive, easy to travel with & strips the makeup right off - no rubbing! It doesn't have oil in it so you feel clean after.. but I do like oil based products so that doesn't really affect me. I go to Target and grab a travel sized bottle every 2 months or so! 

Haha. Okay, so I know I mentioned the Clarisonic BUT once I've washed my face & completely removed my makeup, I pour THIS onto a cotton ball. This product is like a liquid exfoliator! It is made to go inside of your pores & unclog them - AND kill the bacteria in your pores that cause acne. Also, its great for resurfacing the top of your skin. WARNING: When you first start using this - expect blemishes. Small ones. It goes into and within maybe 2-3 uses, starts pulling out the dirt in your pores!! (Sidenote - this product is $28 which is very affordable considering that it works and makes a huge difference in your skin!!) (I use this AM & PM - if you are going into the sun make sure you are using SPF.) *PS. If you read reviews on this product you will see that it is very popular & effective. 

5. SPECIAL CONCOCTION (Shrink pores + Fade Dark Spots)
Lol.... Really, you'll laugh but this is the key to everything. If you have followed me for long you know I am OBSESSED w/Jojoba Oil. It's a God-send product. I am not good with explaining these things, but pretty much, jojoba oil is much like the oil your skin produces and EVEN if you are oily you need to use oil on your face! Don't ask me to explain it, but I promise, I am living proof. So whether you are oily or dry, you need to use jojoba oil. I kind of have a special mix for applying my oil. First, I drop 3 drops of my jojoba oil into the palm of my hand, then I add a pump of moisturizer (you don't need a fancy one, Cetaphil is great), and then... [this is the important part] add 3 drops of THIS product. Holy Smokes, this product is a game changer. It is made to actually shrink pores & smooth out your skin texture. Now, before I get ahead of myself, please know that I am always skeptical of anything being able to shrink pores! But, I gave this a product a try because it sounded too good... and after using this AM & PM for a while, I felt like my pores were not as noticeable AND I had a scar on my cheek and it started fading within a few days. It didn't fade my melasma though... yet?! {wishful thinking}

For melasma, I am using some Obagi bleaching / skin lightening products. I use it sparingly just because they are powerful products and I don't want to dry out my upper lip. 

I really wish someone would have gifted me a good eye product in college for Christmas and told me "one day you will understand" because your eyes start aging after 25 and the damage is irreversible (unless you want to have surgery?). Accutane dried out my eyes very badly. I was left with bags & dark circles. I've learned that you have to splurge on good products for your eyes. There are a few that I love - but right now I'm using THIS one. It hydrates your eyes SO well which is the key - I use it 2-3x a week and I actually sleep in it. Also drinking lots and lots of water helps, too. I use this only at night - but I also like Kiehls eye products as well. THIS one is great because it makes your under eyes feel tingly and awake so I use it before applying my makeup! [Sidenote: I love anything from Tata Harper - its pricy but it works & it smells good. I think I am going to try THIS next.]

If you travel a lot (especially flying) make sure you drink lots of water and moisturize. I always pack THIS in my travel bag (I typically buy the travel size.) It locks back in moisture that you lose while in the cabin. This is random, but before I did accutane, every time I flew somewhere I'd get off the plane and into a new city and voila, a new blemish would pop up! It was awful. Now, I just can tell my skin doesn't feel as soft and make up looks dry if I don't use a hydrating product. 

Alright, that wraps it up!! I'd love to hear your skincare secrets - or if there are any laser treatments you like or have benefited from... 

PS. I am in Atlanta visiting a special friend - follow on Snapchat today to see who it is! (@emilyanngemm)


  1. Love this!

  2. Very good blog, Thanks for sharing this blog of Buy Sweets in on line at Asha sweet center.

  3. Great post! I have tricky skin as well so it's nice to know I'm not alone! I absolutely live for La Mer Eye Concentrate - it's done absolutely wonders for the dark circles I used to have under my eyes! Now I look well rested all the time (even if I'm not!).

  4. I've heard so many good things about a lot of these products! Especially anything Obagi! Has the Obagi been working for your melasma? My cousin has it on her upper lip and I would love to recommend it a good product to her!

  5. SUPER helpful - thank you so much!

  6. Such great tips, Emily! I love the idea of using Johnson's baby wash. All their products are so wonderfully soft and gentle on the skin.

    Arum Lilea

  7. Thanks for sharing your sincare! I've used the purity face wash for so long as well and the big bottle has lasted me so many months. Now that I've run out, Im going to try the clarisonic one because i loved the trial that came with my clarisonic.

    -ashley @

  8. I love a good skin care routine. I was on accutane for 6 months. My face was clear for a good 6 months, and then out of no where I began to breakout again! So odd! I am going to most likely start a second round of accutane and pray that it gets rid of it for good! Amazing tips! Will definetly try out for some of my dark spots!

  9. I love this! So thorough. Thank you for sharing all of this! I could definitely use some toning products.

    Sara Kate Styling

  10. The best eye cream I've ever used is from Rodan and Fields. It's amazing and I've tried a ton of them! That and Retin-A are my must-have's!

  11. Would love to try these products too:P

    Shall We Sasa

  12. Thank you so much for sharing Emily! I definitely need to try these products!

    xo, Caitlin

  13. yay glad you're in atlanta :) we love it here!

  14. Thank you for sharing your routine step by step! I'm always so curious hearing about everyone's daily products they love! :)

  15. I've been wanting to try an eye cream from Kiehls. I've heard good things about them :)

  16. I've heard a lot about jojoba oil products but never tried them. But after your review I want to give try to jojoba oil for my skin.For my dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles I am using Revitol dark circle eye cream and its effective for sure.

  17. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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  18. I definitely need to try Jojoba! I'm always trying out new products to take away dark spots :)

  19. I love reading skincare posts! I really need to try that jojoba oil- I've heard great things!
    -Angela & Amy

  20. You always have the best skincare tips! Thanks so much for sharing!


  21. Helpful tips for us gals with big pores! Thank you! xoxo - Amy J.

    Bowlines and Lace

  22. Loved this post and everything about it!! You have the best tips. Will definitely be trying of few of these out!! Some I already use so good to know that I'm in good company!!! I know this is off the subject BUT I need to know what the leopard book is in the post, I think it a decorator books but can NEVER find the one with that cover, PLEASE help!! Like the name, and where u might have gotten it, etc..... Looking forward to your new posts, they make my day!


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  24. I've always struggled with dark spots and I have heard a lot about Paula's choice so I might have to check this out! x

  25. Wow I will def try these out. I have horrible pores and have tried so many products that don't work!

    - I am new to blogging, do you have any tips?

    Thanks Love.

  26. Your skin really does have a glow! I think more and more people are moving towards more natural solutions for the body and skin, and this is a great example of how effective it is. Thanks for posting-very helpful!
    skin treatments pune

  27. I would love to try jojoba oil for my skin after your review.For my dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles I am using Dermology all in one anti aging cream and its effective to eliminate my fine lines :-)

  28. My sister love jojoba oil for her skin and using this from i guess last 6 months when she told me. She has wrinkles and fine lines and for this she has having anti aging cream from Lifecell and its effective to eliminate all her fine lines. I hope this will work for someone else too :-)

  29. Do you have any recommendations on laser treatments/anything to help with scarring after Accutane? I have to wait another 4 months, but if anything I have noticed my face is clear but my scars are more visible. Thanks!!

  30. This article provides a brief overview of important cleanser and moisturizer properties in order to better prepare healthcare providers for recommending skincare products to patients.


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