skincare for textured skin

having had lots of rough texture on my skin for many years and many different reasons, I know there is no miracle potion, but I have found several products that can help a bit in several cases.

I’m not addressing conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea, but far milder (and to a point a lot more temporary) texture concerns.

for me, there are two main types of texture: disturbed or irritated skin, and rough or lacklustre skin.

disturbed or irritated skin

This type of skin irritation can have two “levels”:

1. impaired barrier – slightly swollen dry patches with some roughness, redness, maybe peeling, sometimes itchiness, tenderness, skin heat and even some soreness that stays on the skin for a few days.
this usually happens when one’s had a close encounter with a product that didn’t agree with one’s skin and the skin’s barrier may have been compromised. could I call it contact dermatitis? I’m not equipped to say that.

2. environmental changes – not as severe, but when your skin goes suddenly quite dry, feels tight, may start having some dry patches and even some light tenderness, usually because of an environmental cause – like being in a room with heavily drying air conditioning for long periods of time.

what has worked for me to soothe a skin freak-out is always to pair down my skincare, remove all actives – go back to cleanse-moisturise-spf – and rely on products that help calm those symptoms down and help my skin recover.

rough or lacklustre

When your skin feels a bit rough to the touch, it doesn’t look soft, elastic, may have some dry patches – but no irritation —, and it’s lacking that bouncy glow.

First things first, and I didn’t emphasise this enough on my video: although some occasional exfoliation is something that our skin will eventually need, now and again, a good skincare routine will overall fix most daily needs for your skin to be in tip-top shape.
I’m assuming you already have your routine down, your skin is properly balanced, but just needs that little bit of oomph to get it a bit further.
Basically, only exfoliate healthy skin and never push it.
So, exfoliation.

Know that exfoliation goes hand in hand with proper nourishment of the skin: when you exfoliate, you need to hydrate and moisturise. The products mentioned in the precious list play really well with exfoliators, because they balance it all out.

Always start slow with low concentrations and using the product once a week, and only increase the use if you feel you really need it. If your skin doesn’t like it, it doesn’t like it, don’t push it.

Mild/daily exfoliating toners
– I would not advise daily exfoliation if you already incorporate other cell-turnover or potentially skin-sensitising actives in your routine like retinoids and/or LAA. It all comes down to each one’s skin, of course, and these products are formulated to be well-tolerated with daily use.

Cream exfoliators


my favourite combo with a bit of physical exfoliation

skincare routine — am

my morning skincare routine focuses a bit more on keeping my skin balanced, prevent breakouts and hyperpigmentation as well as, as always, also preventing further oxidative stress.

most of the serums mentioned can be used alone (after cleanser, before SPF) for a more minimalistic but still really effective routine, but I do like layering them to try to boost all the benefits possible.

all about the products

winter skincare routine – pm

I think this is the perfect time to let you in on my winter skincare routine, since now that I can look back and really hone in on the products and steps that kept my skin going for the past few months.

my skin is combination, I’ve had severe acne from 12 to 23, then mild acne from 25 onwards up until recently (about 1 to 2 years ago my acne started subsiding), and I still have the odd breakout and maskne. I’m very prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that then turns into dark spots that outstay their welcome for years.
I’m 41 and life has naturally happened to my skin up until now: loss of elasticity, sagging, wrinkles, fine lines, textural issues.

my goals are keeping my skin barrier safe, help it as much as I can to stay as elastic, responsive and smooth as possible, tackle the blemishes that still come to visit, and tone down and prevent further hyperpigmentation.

I can’t say this enough: what works for me may not work for you, it’s all a game of listening to your skin and understanding what jives with it, being patient and willing to adapt.
skincare has its limitations to what can be achieved – it’s only creams and serums, not scalpels nor needles –, and severe issues will definitely need a specialist. we need to manage our expectations regarding skincare (and brands need to back the hell up on the wild claims).
but, with good science-based information, I believe many people can safely go beyond the “cleanser-moisturiser-spf” essentials and help their skin stay in the best shape it can be, and even tackle some minor issues.

products mentioned