My SOS Skin Regimen

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How to cite: Wong M. My SOS Skin Regimen. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. May 23, 2013. Accessed June 15, 2024.

Lately I’ve had a few nasty pimples appear on my face, including a few of those deep, nasty bumps that hang around for ages and make you start to think you may have a tumour, as well as a field of little clogged pores. I mainly think it was diet and lifestyle (lack of sleep, possibly also my habit of eating a whole jumbo bag of chilli kettle chips in one sitting) which made them rear their ugly heads, but by the time you notice them, there’s no way to diet-and-lifestyle them away. At the same time, I was having horrible hay fever which made my nostrils sore and flaky.

Chin bumps! 🙁

So with this combo, I turned back to these safe, non-irritant options:

Ground oatmeal – My irritated skin go-to. Oatmeal contains anti-irritant avenanthramides as well as moisturising beta-glucans – see my original post here for the juicy scientific details. My mum is a nurse who treated kids hospitalised for severe dermatitis with oatmeal baths when steroids weren’t effective, and the difference it made was astounding, as well as dirt cheap and risk-free.

I pulverise the oatmeal in a coffee grinder, scoop out a teaspoon and cover it with water, then mix it into my gel cleanser or clay mask. I also soak a teaspoon in water before bed, then dab it into the irritated parts before moisturising. I store a whole heap of pre-ground oatmeal in a classy plastic IKEA container:

Rose hip oil – In my excitement to try new products, pure rose hip oil sometimes falls by the wayside in my skin regimen, but when I need SOS treatment, I head straight for this miracle-in-a-bottle (original review here).

A’kin Lavender & Rose Repairing Anti-oxidant Night Creme* – This cream is pleasantly soothing, and hydrates my combination skin all over without breaking me out or leaving me dry. It was one of my top products of last year.

Salicylic acid – This stuff exfoliates inside oily pores to prevent future clogging (the science behind them here). I apply Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Skin Perfecting Liquid after the benzoyl peroxide cream has had a chance to dry (15-30 min), to the same T-zone area. I use my fingers, and even though I’ve had this bottle forever, I’ve barely made a dent in it.

Benzoyl peroxide – Brilliant antimicrobial for killing infected (i.e. red) acne (more on BP here). I’ve been dipping into my sister’s ProActiv Step 3 Repair cream, which is a 2.5% BP lotion. I cover my T-zone in a thin layer before bed, carefully avoiding the flaky, irritated parts (it can be a bit harsh).

Lush Ultrabland* – This is a new one for me. I decided to try it after finding out that it’s the Lush founders’ desert island product. It’s a cold cream style cleanser – a thin layer of the sweet almond oil base stays on the skin after wiping it off with a flannel soaked in hot water. I’ve been using this for two weeks so far and it’s been great. Since it doesn’t strip the skin of oil, it hasn’t been exacerbating my dry skin through the chilly weather we’ve been having, but it’s still effective enough to get makeup off without breakouts. I’m looking forward to trying out other cold creams once I get through this one!

What are your failsafe skincare products? Let me know in the comments!

Product marked * was provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.

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20 thoughts on “My SOS Skin Regimen”

  1. Excellent choices! As someone with congestion/bump prone skin I found myself nodding along with your recommendations. The oatmeal one is new to me, but I’m definitely going to try it now 🙂

    I’m currently loving the 1.5% salicylic + 0.5% LHA combination in Vichy Normaderm Hyaluspot to de-gunk my pores and reduce inflammation.

  2. My skin is going thru the exact same thing, including huge red bumps that stay for a fortnight! I’ve been using my Glycolic Acid wipes, toning with Witch Hazel, not missing washing my face at all at night (as I am prone to do) and slathering Pawpaw cream onto fresh breakouts. When I was a teenager I would get a clay based facemask and smear that onto my pimples everynight and by next day they would be reduced…..I keep forgetting to go buy some clay tho. Toothpaste is also supposed to help! Maybe you could verify this one?

  3. Man those deep pimples are the worst! I’ve had a few lately too… I really notice how shit my skin turns when I stop using RHO.
    Also I’ve found witch hazel pretty good at getting rid of pimples
    Thanks for explaining the ground oatmeal thing…I’m absolutely going to start trying that out. My eczema has been beyond painful lately, and the worst it’s been in my life. I’ve been using steroid cream but it’s so bad for long term use so I’ve been trying to find an alternative – going to give this a go!

  4. I always swear by bp when my skin is mucking up, I used to use the PC bha gel but just purchsed the liquid the other day. I generally use Moogoo moisturisers and their vit C serum 🙂

    • BP works really well for the shallow ones on me, but I can’t tell if it really works on the big bumps. I wish I could do my own cortisone injections!

  5. I also love a classic tea tree oil. Though I know not everyone gets along with that.
    Have you tried any oatmeal masks from the store? I’ve thought about trying some out, because sometimes I’m too lazy for DIY…

    • I’ve never really solidly tried tea tree oil, it’s on the list though! I’ve never tried store-bought because my oatmeal is already so easy to use.

  6. Mixing your oatmeal with your cleanser is genius! I have a tub of oatmeal I ground up ages ago, but I just kind of mooshed it together with water in my hand and threw it on my face, which was incredibly ineffective. Now I can use it again, hooray.

    Your SOS skincare regimen looks freakishly similar to mine! I also use rosehip oil, Benzoyl Peroxide and LUSH Ultrabland… The only other thing I use is Moogoo milk wash cleanser. Really gentle and made from natural ingredients too 🙂

  7. That was an awesome post and I surprised myself reading it to the end even though I usually just pick and choose nail-related posts mainly!

    I started using a blend of oils in an almond base just over a year ago for my legs (after a first career in pro sports, they uglyyyy) and it has done so much more than moisturisers ever did! Yay oils! I’ll definitely check out rose hip, thank you!!


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