I’m stuck. Not mentally or emotionally but physically. I’m turning 27 in a few months and my body, heart and mind don’t know where on the age scale I fall. I feel young at heart but am 80 mentally and my poor body is somewhere in between, in a grey area if you will. Where zits and cystic acne that have plagued me since I was a teen continue to appear on my face but with it, sun spots and wrinkles. REALLY?! Both at one time?! That’s so extra. What’s worse is now that I’m in this ambiguous grey zone, I no longer feel that drugstore products fit the bill: I don’t need a heavy scrub that I once did as an oily teen and the richer (more expensive) face creams are a bit too potent for my skin at the moment.

Enter India Rose Cosmeticary, a hidden gem nestled into a sleepy corner in Vancouver’s West Side that’s a dream for makeup artists and lovers, as well as the curious. Offering a finely curated selection of haircare, beauty and body products, I knew India would have just the thing up her sleeve to help calm down all the madness going on around my face. After discussing my skin type, my current skin regime and all my concerns, we came up with a new routine for me that would elevate and enhance the skin that I’m in.

Start with Cleanser: Joelle Ciocco Sensitive Cleansing Milk

Other than a store in Toronto, India’s shop is the only place in Canada that sells the highly coveted products from skincare and epidermologist legend, Joelle Ciocco. Biochemist by training, Joelle believes that if properly taken care of, your skin will reach equilibrium and will regulate itself, and not need a mountain of products to take care of it – a philosophy I can get behind 100%. Now to reach that equilibrium…

With this cleanser, India suggests to wash your face in the evening and do it twice, the first time to remove makeup and pollutants, and the second to target deep down into your pores and cleanse the skin’s hydrolipid barrier. Now my technique thus far to wash my face was to slap on some cleanser, douse my face with water and call it a day — this is wrong. While the products you use are important, so is the application, and can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your skin. Who knew? I didn’t, but wanted to share with you the proper technique. Watch and learn:

As an FYI, I have sensitive combination skin: oily in my T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and dry on my cheeks, so the Sensitive Cleansing Milk worked best for me. If you have Oily Skin, India sells a gel cleanser from the Grown Alchemist that works great (just be sure to remove your makeup first, as gel isn’t efficient at makeup removal); if you have very dry skin or often use long wear foundation, a balm cleanser from Cosmetics 27 is super rich and hydrating, and very efficient at removing product.

Toner is a great way to wake up your skin in the morning and ensure your skin is properly cleansed in the evening. As a general rule of thumb, there shouldn’t be any makeup on the cotton pad that you used to wipe your face. The Perfecting Lotion from Joelle Ciocco is lightweight and smells great.

Follow with Serum: Kypris Antioxidant Dew

I have to admit, I was skeptical when India first presented this chalky-white product. But the moment I tried it on I was hooked. It smells fantastic (are you noticing a trend here?) and as I found out from INdia, is the most potent dose of nourishment in my new skincare routine hands down. Antioxidant dew does exactly what the name suggests: packs your skin full of antioxidants — which I might add are also anti-aging because they have to counteract exposure to harmful pollution and free radicals — and best of all, leaves your skin glowing and dewy, without feeling greasy. I call that a win-win!

Then Moisturize: Kypris Beauty Oil #2

Beauty oil is all the rage right now and I’ve tried a bunch; most of them have caused me to break out even more! This one from Kypris thought is lightweight and less processed than the rest, so if you mix it in with the Antioxidant Dew, doesn’t have the same negative side effects (zits!) as using just your average facial oil. Out of all the products I’ve mentioned so far this one is by far the priciest, but a little goes a long way since you literally only use 2-3 drops at a time.

Apply Eye Cream: Joelle Ciocco Eyelisse

When India brought this out I thought to myself, “what the heck? Does a 26-year old really need eye cream?!” Turns out, yes I do, and here’s why. Your skin is at its thinnest under your eye so naturally, it’s also one of the first places to show signs of ageing and/or environmental effects. This eye cream from Joelle Ciocco is luxurious without being heavy, fantastic for sensitive skin like mine and (this could be my dry winter skin talking) literally disappears within seconds of applying, unlike some of the heavier, richer moisturizers. Just be careful when you apply it to your face; use your ring fingers to gently pat it on the skin, and only underneath the eyes.

Et voila! That’s my new daily skin regime thanks to India Rose Cosmeticary. It’s simple, straightforward and, like all the products that India sells in her shop, is all natural! But if you’re feeling extra oily, puffy or just overall blech, here are a couple extra steps that can spice up your daily routine.

Cool: Use a Jade Roller

This is India’s favourite product and I totally get it. It helps ease puffiness in the morning and helps calm a particularly nasty red zit. Toss it in the freezer for a couple hours and roll it on your face to soothe redness and ease muscle tension, which ultimately will help staving off fine lines and wrinkles!
While you don’t have to do this every day it’s still important to ensure you’re sloughing off dead skin cells to help renew your skin and reveal bright, clear complexions. When you’re going through a zitty patch, it also helps to exfoliate and remove all the gross build up that causing acne in the first place! India suggests enzyme exfoliants rather than physical ones because they’re just as effective, maybe even more so, but significantly more gentle on sensitive skin like mine.
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