My Perioral Dermatitis Journey: Month 3 – Skincare Routine

perioral dermatitis


It’s been almost three months since I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis. In that time, as you may have read in, “How I Drastically Cleared Up And Improved My Perioral Dermatitis In Two Weeks.” I did a major overhaul of my skincare routine, diet, and lifestyle. If you haven’t read my first piece on perioral dermatitis, I highly encourage you to go back and read it. The article covers the basics of PD: symptoms, duration, causes, diagnosis and treatment, an in-depth breakdown on why I try to avoid irritating chemicals, essential oils (this I’m becoming slightly more lax on) and fragrances in my skincare products, and what I used to radically clear up my PD.

perioral dermatitis


Above right: when my perioral dermatitis was at its worst; Above left: after 2-3 weeks using the first intense skincare routine I outlined in my previous blog post, “How I Cleared Up And Improved My Perioral Dermatitis In Two Weeks.” 


perioral dermatitis


Above right: after 2-3 weeks using the first intense skincare routine I outlined in my previous blog post, “How I Cleared Up And Improved My Perioral Dermatitis In Two Weeks,” which I ended up following for around 2 months. Above left: after 1-month using the skincare routine that I outline below. 


Since that first article, which was now almost three months ago, I’ve adjusted my skincare routine, paring it down and swapping out a few non green items for green ones. I’m happy to also report that I currently have no perioral dermatitis outbreaks at this time and my skin feels stronger and healthier than it has in a long time!

While I still avoid acids, irritating chemicals and harsh exfoliants, I have found that my skin can tolerate small amounts of essential oils again!

See below for my current core skincare routine. I’ve found these products to be very gentle and supportive of my PD issues at this stage, and I’m going to try to post a skincare routine update every 1-2 months, as I test new gentle, nontoxic products.


SKINCARE

Cleanse
I alternate between these cleansers depending on if a) I’m in the shower or at the sink or b) I have makeup or just SPF.

1. I wash my face with Luzern La Defense Urban Protect Micellar Cleansing Water at the sink in the mornings when my face is bare. I also use it as a first cleanse when I have makeup on. This cleanser goes above and beyond. It has pumpkin enzyme ferment to speed the removal of dead skin cells, as well as zinc, copper and magnesium – mineral “helper molecules”  – to remove waste/toxins from the skin. I’m obsessed with the lightweight feel and cucumber seed oil scent. I’ve tested various micellar waters (Dr. Jart, Bioderma, Avene) and this one is by far my favorite!!

2. I use the True Moringa Eternal Youth Soap after working out, in the shower and as a second cleanse when I have make up on. I never thought I’d be a bar soap kinda gal, but True Moringa has changed me! This soap is extremely gentle; leaves my skin feeling balanced and hydrated from the moringa seed oil, coconut oil and avocado oil; and is everything I love in a product – paraben free, sulfate free, vegan and created in small batches through a sustainable process supporting farmers in Ghana. It does have small amounts of essential oils – geranium, palmarosa and rosewood – but in wash off form versus leave on, they’re gentle and nonirritating.

Tone
A lot of green toners have essential oils in them (they use EOs as the natural preservative), so I avoided them while my PD was healing. Now that my skin can tolerate them, I’ve added in a hydrating toner that has orange blossom.

4. Lotus Moon Skincare Tonic Replenish has orange blossom distillate, which offers all of the benefits of the essential oil, but in a milder form. I love the refreshing citrus scent and the lightweight feel that leaves my skin hydrated with aloe and hyaluronic acid.

I first came across the Lotus Moon Skincare line from my favorite green beauty spa, Natural Feeling Spa, in LA. LMS was founded sixteen years ago, before green beauty was trendy, and offers some amazing products I love, including the Cherry Blossom Healing Soothe – great for comprised skin!

Serum
I’ve started to rotate my serums on alternating nights to give my skin a breather. This way I get the same benefits, but my skin isn’t overtaxed and the products don’t interfere with each other.

5. In the morning, I use the Susanne Kaufmann Nutrient Concentrate Skin Smoothing. First off, I love that SK’s line is organic. This serum uses plant hyaluronic acids and aloe vera to nourish, plump and smooth the skin. The best part: it’s an HA serum that doesn’t pill!

6. In the evening, I alternate between the Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Barrier Restore Serum, which has pre/pro bionics to maintain a healthy skin microbiome, and the You Skincare Clarifying Glow Serum which helps fade post acne red marks and brighten sun damage spots.

7. Every night after the Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique and the You Skincare serums, I use the Susanne Kaufmann After Sun Gel. I love the cooling gel feeling of this hyaluronic acid serum. It reduces redness and soothes inflammation. But it does pill, a lot, which is why I only use it at night. 

Moisturizer

8. Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream : This may be my end-all-be-all moisturizer for the foreseeable future. It’s gentle, speeds wound healing, prevents scarring, and deeply hydrates with a lightweight feel. When I used up all of this moisturizer, I decided to try the Uriage Bariéderm Repairing Cica- Créme thinking it would be the same, but it is not – at all! With the Uriage, I noticed almost immediate irritation and had to stop using it after the second night.

Eye

9. The Susanne Kaufmann Eye Cream Line A is the BEST dark circle eye cream I have used! It’s expensive, clocking in around $250, but it works! After the first couple of nights, I woke up to brighter, refreshed and hydrated eyes. The powerful antioxidant blend of lady’s smock seeds, broccoli seed and elderberry extract work to enhance skin’s elasticity and prevent premature signs of aging.

Neck

I use two neck creams – one to address the overall skin on my neck and decollate and a second to address my deepening neck bands.

10. SkinOwl Neck+ : This light gel treats the overall skin on my neck. It does a good job at lightly exfoliating the skin with witch hazel, hydrating it with aloe and jojoba oil, and providing anti-inflammatory benefits from yarrow and turmeric, but it won’t tackle deeper lines.

11. Susanne Kaufmann Regeneration Cream Line A : is what I use for the deeper neck bands. This cream is meant for the face, but it’s a tad too rich for my face. I would recommend it for as a face cream for someone with extremely dry or mature skin 45+. But for me, it’s amazing as a neck cream! I can feel it tighten almost on contact and it has noticeably helped soften my neck lines.

SPF

12. I have started to incorporate SPF back into my routine. I go in-depth reviewing my two current favorite SPF’s by Marie Veronique and Luzern here. And of course, I’m still using my Coolibar UPF 50+ hat, scarf and Axtion visor in the car.

Body
I mentioned it in my previous article on PD it’s very important to avoid harsh surfactants, preservatives and synthetic fragrances in body products, as well as face products. You just want to eliminate the irritants as much as possible.

13. To cleanse I use the Meow Meow Tweet Cinnamon Coffee Scrub bar. It has thick, rough granules in it which are great for exfoliating and the scent is intoxicating!! The only drawback is that this bar goes so fast! I’m not sure why. Maybe my husband keeps using it…

14. Susanne Kaufmann Detox Body Oil Scrub: This scrub is so darn expensive, but SO GOOD. I cried when I used the last few drops. Read my full review of this detoxing scrub here.

15. Meow Meow Tweet Juniper Mint Body Oil : I’m forever rotating my body oils. Right now I am obsessed with this juniper mint body oil from the brand Meow Meow, which uses natural and organic ingredients. The woody juniper, crisp peppermint and herbal rosemary, calm, soothe and treat the skin and make a great scalp treatment!

Hair

16. Rahua Voluminous Shampoo & Conditioner are still my go-to shampoo and conditioner. I tried the Color Full line from Rahua, but the brand added synthetic preservatives to it for some reason, which the Voluminous line does not have, and it caused a terrible scalp dermatitis outbreak for me! I explain everything here.

17. January Labs Tonic Mist : This is my ride-or-die scalp tonic. It’s meant for face, but I use it on my scalp to prevent flakes, itchiness, rebalance the pH and soothe the skin on my head.

18. Playa Dry Shampoo has become my go-to green dry shampoo. I’ve just decided that I need a dry shampoo with an aerosol. I’ve tried so many of the green brands that come in shakers and they’re fine, but you just can’t get the same even light mist without an aerosol.

19.Playa Endless Summer Spray is another hair styling product that I.can’t.stop.talking.about. If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories, you know I’m obsessed. It takes my air-dried-twisted-into-a-bun hair from blah to flowing, voluminous and texturized!

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My lifestyle and diet routine has not changed. (I explain more in-depth here.) I still follow a paleo diet, avoid UV exposure, heavy sweating, hot water, saunas and steam rooms and try to live as much of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle as possible. Not only has it helped my PD, but I feel more energized, happy and balanced.

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If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! I know this PD journey is a tumultuous one, as you figure out what works and what doesn’t for your skin, but know that you’re not alone!


Written & Photographed by Amy Chang, founder + editor