I am strangely one of those people who really enjoys working out. I love the rush it gives me …..on the days I actually do workout. There are numerous articles telling us the benefits of working out including benefits to our skin. When you exercise, you sweat and blood flow increases, carrying oxygen, nutrients (and waste) through the body so if you fail to cleanse properly you may be inviting problems for your skin.

Before your workout

  • I know you want to look really pretty on the treadmill but please take off your make up before you start exercising. All that sweat and make up may clog your pores. You can use a light mist for hydration
  • When running outdoors, don’t forget to wear SPF and try to get your run in before 10am or after 4pm. If in cold climates, apply a light moisturizer or facial oil as well.
  • At your local gym, take along antibacterial wipes to wipe down the machines and benches before you use them as you may be transferring someone’s dried up sweat to your face!

During your workout

  • Have a clean face towel to wipe sweat off your face.
  • Drink water during your workout
  • Put your hair in a ponytail or high bun or better still wear a headband (don’t forget to take it off immediately after you finish your workout.

After your workout

  • Wash your face immediately after your workout. If it isn’t convenient to do so at your gym, have a travel sized micellar water and cotton pads in your gym bag or worst case, face wipes and ensure you finish your full night routine as soon as you get home.

I hope these tips help you especially if you are still working on your summer bod

 

Till next time

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

As promised, here’s the second set of my must-have skincare products. If you missed the first post, please click here to catch-cup.

For a product to be in my ‘Hall of Fame’, it means it exceeded my expectations and I will gladly repurchase it over and over. Choosing a favourite product can be difficult for me because there are so many I’ve tried that performed really well.

 

1. Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

Hydration is one of the best ways to get glowing skin….ask the Koreans! This toner is slightly thicker than your usual rosewater but deeply hydrates. Perfect for the Korean 7 skin method.

WHERE TO BUY


 

2. Garnier Oil Infused Micellar Cleansing Water

photo source: amazon.com

We all know how amazing this micellar water is but take it up a notch and try the oil infused ones. It takes off even your waterproof mascara and matte lipsticks. Oily skintypes …fear not. It will not break you out!

WHERE TO BUY


 

3. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

photo source: takaski.com

I was surprised how quickly this made it to my hall of fame! I tried a sample I got at a beauty event and it was love at first use. Emulsifies really well and takes everything off. While I prefer cleansing balms, this cleansing oil really blew me away.


 

4. Heimish All Clean Cleansing Balm

photo source: agashii.com

Previously nothing could topple Clinique Take The Day Off as my Holy Grail…then I tried Heimish. The slip is just right, price is right and best of all, it rinses clean so you don’t necessarily need a flannel.

WHERE TO BUY


 

5. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

 

I am one of those who always forgets to wear eye cream and I just take my serums around my eyes but if there is one serum that delivered, it’s this one. Even my mum loves it

WHERE TO BUY


 

6. Skinceuticals 0.5% Pure Retinol

photo source: makeupalley.com

A game changer! My forehead was unbelievably smooth as well as the rest of my face. The 0.3% is more readily available as I don’t see the 0.5% anymore.


Have you tried any of these products? Did you feel the same way about them.

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

So at this point, solely based on my previous articles on this platform, I don’t need to tell you I am a skincare junkie. I try so many products and lucky for me, I don’t react to them. For a product to be in my ‘Hall of Fame’, it means it exceeded my expectations and I will gladly repurchase it over and over. Choosing a favourite product can be difficult for me because there are so many I’ve tried that performed really well. Here are my hall of fame/holy grail/must-have products and why I love them. This doesn’t mean I don’t like other products but these were just excellent! There are 12 products in total, will share 6 in this post and the rest next week.

1. IS Clinical Cleansing Complex

photo source: skinstore.com

A gel cleanser, formulated with willow bark and sugar cane extracts deeply purifies your skin to reveal a glowing complexion. I always leave it on while I brush my teeth and take a shower to use as a mask then wash off (I do this with all my cleansers). If you have acne or you experience frequent breakouts then try this. I was one of those who disliked this cleanser initially but it grew on me.

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

2. Krave Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser

 

photo source: cravebeauty.com

Cleansers are my favourite category of skincare and it was really tough picking just the two listed (trust me I have about 10 cleansers I LOVE). This cleanser was released this year and as the name implies, it is formulated with matcha, oatmeal and other amazing skibcare ingredients that clean your skin without stripping it.

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

3. Biologique Recherche P50 1970 Original

photo source: shoprescuespa.com

If you follow me on Instagram then you already know how much I love this toner. This is the one product I will probably use as long as it is being produced. It is a powerhouse of AHAs, BHAs and PHAs no wonder it has a cult following. There are 7 variants but I believe the original formula is by far the most effective. Know the one required for your skintype, but I must warn you, it is strong and it stinks. Comes in a travel size so you can try before taking the plunge

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

4. Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum

photo source: jordansamuelskin.com

Probably the best hydrating serum I have ever used. Chock full of cucmber, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and fruit extracts. It leaves your skin supple and hydrated

WHERE TO BUY


 

 

5. CosRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion

This has everything I want in a moisturiser; hydrating, light, affordable, and amazing under make up.

WHERE TO BUY


6. Eucerin Oil Control Sun Gel Crème

A chemical sunscreen that I call “a godsend for oily and acne prone skin”. No white cast, perfect for reapplication


 

Have you tried any of these products? Did you feel the same way about them.

Remember to check back next week to see what other products made it to my ‘Hall of Fame’.

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

Two questions I am often asked is “what exactly does retinol do” and “do I need retinol”. I am a strong advocate of including retinol in your routine once you are 25 and above.

However, I understand your confusion when it comes to what retinol or retinoid to use so here are some quick definitions:

Retinol – a mega antioxidant, also known as Vitamin A, and the gold standard of anti-aging. It has the power to reverse the signs of aging (I use reverse loosely here), smoothen lines & wrinkles, fade acne marks & hyperpigmentation as well as accelerate skin renewal.

Retinoid – derived from retinol. A potential irritant but great for acneic skin or if you need to smoothen your skin. I know glycolic acid does this but I got better results using RetinA for my ingrown hair bumps after I got laser hair removal.

 

Retinol rules to live by:

  1. Use at night only
  2. Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding
  3. Ensure you are religious with sunscreen during the day
  4. Proceed with caution when using with other actives like glycolic acid. It is fine for me but those with sensitive skin may have some irritation
  5. Do not apply a higher quantity of product more frequently for quicker results
  6. Start slowly say once or twice a week and build up to a maximum of 4 times a week
  7. For retinoids (retin A, Renova, Differin) you may want to start with the lowest percentage 0.025% and work your way up to 0.05%. Personally I think 1% Tretinoin will be too much for most people. If it comes in one strength, use less frequently.
  8. Apply directly after cleansing. Some prefer to use a hydrating serum to buffer the dryness or peeling that may follow but I usually apply directly then wait 15 to 30 minutes and follow with a moisturizer or facial oil. On the other 3 nights I am off retinol I either use a hydrating serum or an acid serum.
  9. Get formulas with droppers or tubes to avoid contamination or loss of efficacy from jar containers

 

 

photo source: amazon.com

 

Some of my favourite retinol/retinoid products

  • Skinceuticals 0.5% Pure Retinol
  • Paula’s Choice 1% Clinical Retinol
  • The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% (available on Allure Beauty StoreGebeesq & My SK Beauty)
  • The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane (available on Gebeesq)
  • Tretinoin (sold under different trade names)
  • Differin (main ingredient is Adapalene, a type of retinoid) (available on Hilary Says)
  • Indeed Labs Retinol Reface (great for beginners)
  • Medik8 Retinol 6TR
  • Jordan Samuel Skin Etoile with Retinol (available on Hilary Says)

 

Have you ever tried retinol? What was your experience? What is your favourite retinol product


We have a number of BeautyDirectoryNG listed businesses that retail Retinol Products:

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
1. INSTANATURAL RETINOL SERUM
2. PURITAN RETINOL CREAM
3. RENTINA 0.5 CREAM
Allure Beauty Store
1. PETER THOMAS ROTH RETINOL
FUSION PM (1.5% RETINOL)
2. SKINMEDICA RETINOL COMPLEX
(0.5% RETINOL)
3. JORDAN SAMUEL SKIN ETOILE
WITH RETINOL (0.2% RETINOL)
4. DIFFEREN ADAPALENE GEL
(O.1% RETINOID)
Hilary Says
1. THE ORDINARY GRANACTIVE
RETINOID 5% IN SQUALINE
2. THE ORDINARY GRANACTIVE
RETINOID 2% IN SQUALINE
3. THE ORDINARY RETINOL 0.5%
IN SQUALINE
4. THE ORDINARY RETINOL 1%
IN SQUALINE
Gebeesq
Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

Continuing from Part 1 of our mini-series on skin acids, we have enlisted the help of our knowledgable BiL Contributor, Olabisi, to shed some light on a few more acids. If you missed part 1 you might want to click here to catch-up. If you are all caught-up, continue reading…

AHAs and BHAs usually come to mind when everyone hears acids but did you know that there are other types of acids which also help you achieve the healthy and supple skin that you deserve. I promise you this is not a chemistry lesson but keep reading to know more about these other acids.

 

HYALURONIC ACID

photo source: iherb.com

What it does: Quickly gaining popularity and is probably one of my favourite ingredients. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the skin and helps to hold in moisture. As we get older and get exposed to environmental factors, we lose moisture, leading to lacklustre skin. Another form of hyaluronic acid is Sodium Hyaluronate which is derived from hyaluronic acid as well but is more easily absorbed. Add hyaluronic acid to your routine in form of toners, serums, moisturizer or even sheet masks. Some of my favourite products with hyaluronic acid include Medik8 Hydr8 B5, Neutrogena HydroBoost, Cerave Moisturising Lotion and The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5

Skin Type: All types. Best for Dry/Acne-Prone Skin in need of oil-free option

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
1. INSTANATURAL HYYALURONIC ACID SERUM
2. PURE HYALURONIC ACID SERUM
3. WHITE EGRET HYALURONIC ACID DAY SERUM
Allure Beauty Store
JORDAN SAMUEL SKIN HYDRATE SERUMHilary Says
1. KLAIRS SUPPLE PREPARATION UNSCENTED
TONER
2. COSRX ULTIMATE MOISTURISING HONEY
OVERNIGHT MASK
3. COSRX BHA BLACKHEAD POWER LIQUID
4. KLAIRS MIDNIGHT BLUE CALMING CREAM
5. COSRX ALOE VERA OIL FREE MOISTURE CREAM
Your Skin's Love
1. RADHA BEAUTY VITAMIN C SERUM WITH
HYALRONIC ACID
2. CETAPHIL DAILY HYDRATING FACE LOTION WITH
HYALURONIC ACID
Serenite Beauty & Skincare

 

 

CITRIC ACID

photo source: us.memebox.com

 

What it does: An AHA naturally found in citrus fruits – lemon, limes, oranges, kiwi etc. Helps to exfoliate the skin which is probably why there are DIY tips advising you apply lemon directly on your face – PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. Citric acid helps to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, scars and skin discolouration and is present in most moisturisers.

Skin Type: Hyperpigmented skin with dark spots. NOT suitable for sensitive skin.

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
COSRX LOW PH GOOD MORNING
CLEANSER
Your Skin's Love
1. The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Lotion
2. The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Sleeping Mask
SK Beauty

 

 

AMINO ACID

photo source: amazon.com

 

What it does: Known as building blocks of proteins. They play an important role in maintaining hydration in the skin as well as the texture of the skin.They also help to promote cellular repair. One of the major sources of amino acids is animal protein, beans and nuts. Some amino acids also work as antioxidants e.g glutathione. Other amino acids are arginine, lysine and glycine. Some skincare products rich in amino acids include The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factor + HA, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream.

Skin Type: All skintypes

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
1. THE ORDINARY BUFFET + COPPER
PEPTIDES 1%
2. THE KLAIRS SUPPLE PREPARATION
FACIAL TONER
3. PAULA'S CHOICE SKIN REVOVERY
REPLENSHING MOISTURISER
4. CERAVE PEPTIDE NIGHT CREAM
Gebeesq
RADIANT GLOW BOTANICAL FACIAL MILKSK Beauty

 

 

RETINOIC ACID

photo source: skincarerx.com

What it does: Also known as Tretinoin, a metabolite of retinol. It is usually used in the treatment of acne, razor bumps (I personally used it to smoothen out my jaw area post-laser and it worked really well). It kick-starts collagen production to fill out fine lines and cellular turnover to give you a ‘glowy’ complexion. Retinoic acid also lightens up dark spots and helps fight photo-aging from sun exposure and free radicals. It is important to follow instructions given to you by your doctor as Tretinoin is prescription-only, so it is technically a drug and may cause some irritation or dryness.

Skin Type: All skintypes, particularly signs of aging and blemishes.

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
1. INSTANATURAL RETINOL SERUM
2. PURITAN RETINOL CREAM
3. RENTINA 0.5 CREAM
Allure Beauty Store
1. PETER THOMAS ROTH RETINOL
FUSION PM (1.5% RETINOL)
2. SKINMEDICA RETINOL COMPLEX
(0.5% RETINOL)
3. JORDAN SAMUEL SKIN ETOILE
WITH RETINOL (0.2% RETINOL)
4. DIFFEREN ADAPALENE GEL
(O.1% RETINOID)
Hilary Says
1. THE ORDINARY GRANACTIVE
RETINOID 5% IN SQUALINE
2. THE ORDINARY GRANACTIVE
RETINOID 2% IN SQUALINE
3. THE ORDINARY RETINOL 0.5%
IN SQUALINE
4. THE ORDINARY RETINOL 1%
IN SQUALINE
Gebeesq

 

 

FATTY ACIDS

photo source: stratiaskin.com

What it does: Helps to maintain hydration, strengthen barrier and reduce dryness. Most facial oils contain fatty acids, if you are acne prone, use grapeseed or seabuckthorn oil while other skin types will benefit from almond and olive oil. Two products I love that contain a rich blend of fatty acids are the Stratia Skin Liquid Gold and Fortify

Skin Type: All types, especially dry to very-dry and sensitive skin

PRODUCT SUGGESTIONWHERE TO BUY
STRATIA LIQUID GOLDGebeesq
Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com 

You may have heard the quote “getting older is out of your hands but looking older is not”. I am a firm believer that as long as you are alive, you can’t anti-age! Ageing is a natural process. However, do not despair, you can control it to an extent and it is best to start early as damage already done may be irreversible. It is easy to fall for the marketing hype of anti-ageing creams with buzzwords like “magic”, “miracle”, “overnight” and expect a cream to do all the work. The harsh truth is creams can only do so much, it is a combination of lifestyle choices, the right products and treatments that really work. We know not everyone can afford botox, fillers or most treatments that turn back the clock (besides your hands and knees will give you away if your diet and lifestyle choices are not so great) so here are 5 tips that can help you “not look your age”:

 

1. Diet and Lifestyle

photo source: socialbox.co.com

Yes…you read that right. Do not let the “black don’t crack” deceive you. Black WILL crack if you slack. Smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, processed food and sugar will age you faster than you can control. Eat a diet rich in vegetables and healthy fat, eat fruits, drink lots of water, exercise and take your supplements regularly. No point spending so much money and time on skincare if all the above are not under control.

 

2. Wear Sunscreen Daily

I can’t emphasize this enough. Sun damage will age you. – wrinkles, hyperpigmentation are some of the effects of sun exposure. While the sun is beneficial in terms of Vitamin D, excessive sun exposure is bad for your skin. Don’t forget to reapply every two hours.

 

3. Exfoliate

I personally prefer chemical exfoliation but you can also use a physical one. Ensure it’s not a scrub with large and harsh granules as this may do more harm than good. Exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin, revealing smooth and soft skin and prepares your skin for skincare products. For chemical exfoliation, look for products with glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid and it may be in toner or serum form or both. Aim for at least three times a week.

 

4. Add a Retinol Serum or Cream to your routine

Start early and slowly. If you are 25 and above, I would highly suggest adding retinol to your nighttime skincare routine. I started super early and although I didn’t know what I was doing then, it has paid off eventually. Retinols help to resurface your skin, reduce the appearance of pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. My favourite retinol brands are Skinceuticals, Jordan Samuel, Indeed Labs and Paula’s Choice.

 

5. Be Consistent with your skincare routine

Don’t wear make up to bed, see a dermatologist/aesthetician if you need to and don’t use skin bleaching products. If you are still struggling on how to build a skincare routine for yourself. Checkout my two previous posts: 7 Things to know before you build a routine & How to build a skincare routine


This is by no means an exhaustive list. What anti-ageing tips do you swear by? Let me know in the comment section

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com

As promised, here is the 2nd part of the series on building your own routine. If you missed the first part, I strongly suggest you read that first before continuing with this post.  You can read it here.

This post is super detailed so  get comfortable, grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea and enjoy!

 

MORNING ROUTINE

Whatever your skin type is, you need to wash your face in the morning.….EVERY MORNING. Your skincare routine can be as simple or elaborate as you want it but over the years I have come to realize I get the best results from simple routines
The steps in any morning routine should be pretty simple and straightforward: Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize and Protect.

Step 1: Cleanse.

This is the most important part of any routine as a clean canvas is needed for products to perform their magic. You need a gel cleanser (oily skin) or a cream cleanser (dry skin). Combination skin can use any of the two. Apply to dry skin, massage in gently and rinse off with lukewarm water.

Step 2: Toner.

It is okay to skip this step if you want a very minimal routine but I wouldn’t. Toners are meant to restore the pH balance of your skin. Your toner may be an acid toner (do not panic – this is glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid, not battery water…LOL) or a hydrating toner

Step 3: Treat.

Also important and I believe this is where your money should go in your routine. No point in buying an expensive cleanser that you rinse off. You can use a vitamin C serum to provide your skin with antioxidants and also help with hyperpigmentation. You can also decide to use a hydrating serum or a niacinamide serum or a combination.

Step 4: Moisturise.

A lightweight moisturiser, suitable for your skin type

Step 5:Protect.

Sunscreen is NON-NEGOTIABLE regardless of the weather or your skin tone. I know you are worried about the white cast but there are loads of sunscreens that do not leave a white cast. The BodyShop Skin Defense, Eucerin Oil Control Sun Gel Crème, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, Zein Obagi, Earth’s Recipe, Laroche Posay etc. Don’t forget to apply 15 minutes before you go in the sun and reapply every 2 hours.

*some people may wish to combine steps 4 and 5. Opt for a moisturizing sunscreen rather than a moisturiser with sunscreen. Eucerin Oil Control is a great option.

 

 

EVENING ROUTINE


The day is over and you are home, wig off, bra off, shoes tossed aside. ….you need to wash your face. I understand you have had a long day, been in traffic etc but Lagos is such a polluted city, your phone has been on your ears most of the day, sweat ….do I need to go on?

Start by washing your hands. This is very important. You shouldn’t take dirty hands to your face. If you wore make up, you have to double cleanse which is basically taking off your make up with a designated make up remover and following with your regular cleanser.

Step 1a: 1st Cleanse.

Gently take off your eye and lip make up with a make-up remover and cotton pad. I particularly love the Garnier Oil infused Micellar Water for this purpose. Then sweep another cotton pad all over your face to remove the rest of your make up or sunscreen. Alternatively, you can use cleansing oil or cleansing balm. The Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing balm, Heimish All Clean Balm or the BodyShop Chamomile Cleansing Oil are all great options. Personally, I don’t like wipes but if you have to, then use wipes.

Step 1b: 2nd Cleanse.

Go in with your usual cleanser. It could be the same one you used in the morning or a different one. It is totally up to you. I have at least 3 cleansers in rotation.

Step 2: Tone.

Same as the morning routine (you may skip an acid toner if you are using retin A or Differin as it may be too much for your skin especially if you use Biologique Recherche P50).

Step 3: Treat.

Retinol, Retin A, Differin, hydrating serum, glycolic acid serum. It all depends on your skin concerns. If you are 25 and older, I would highly suggest adding retinol to your routine. With retinol ….start slow, ease into it and with Retin A and Differin…make sure you need it before you buy it as it is available here without a prescription.

Step 4: Moisturise.

If you are like me and you sometimes get dry after using retinol or retin A, wait 30 minutes and follow with a moisturiser or a facial oil.

 

Points to Note

  • See a Dermatologist or Esthetician, especially if you have acne. You may need medication or treatments no YouTuber, Blogger (myself included) or friend can provide.
  • Always remember to tailor your routine to your skincare needs, you can’t keep tackling hyperpigmentation and forget about hydration even when your skin is dehydrated.
  • Pay attention to your skin, be consistent, be patient and you will get results.

That’s it!

Hope you enjoyed reading the series. Feel free to tag me in pictures of routines you were able to build yourself.

Follow:

Olabisi is a Medical Doctor and Skincare Blogger based in Lagos. When she is not busy working with vulnerable women and children, she is writing blog posts on www.thatgeminigirl.com.

You can find her:

Instagram @that.geminigirl

Twitter: @geminigirl03

Email: olabisi@thatgeminigirl.com