#StayHome Skincare: Extras + Occasional Products

For the final part of my skincare lineup, I want to share the products that I use regularly, but not on an everyday basis. The particulars may change, but this category always includes some combination of masks, chemical exfoliants, and spot treatments. There's some overlap between the different products I've been using recently, but I try to keep everything balanced and in rotation, and choose what to use on a given day based on how my skin is feeling.

The Daily AHA Tonic is one of REN’s most well-known products, and while I didn’t completely love it initially, I’ve slowly come to appreciate it.  The Tonic, which is made with yeast-derived lactic acid, willow bark extract, and an azelaic acid precursor, targets dullness, pores, texture, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation, and it does a nice job!  I experienced some stinging when I started using this, so I prefer keeping it as an occasional treatment vs. the everyday product the name suggests, and I find myself reaching for it between one and three times a week, usually in the evening.  The Tonic is watery and lightweight and readily sinks into the skin.  

The 3-Minute Flash Mask is a quick treatment that exfoliates and brightens the skin with pomegranate enzymes and AHA-rich fruit extracts.  Moisturizing aloe vera and sodium hyaluronate help keep the mask from feeling too strong, so it's effective but gentle.  It works quickly -- 3 minutes really is all you need! -- and leaves my skin smooth and soft, but never irritated.  This and the REN Tonic have been my go-tos for chemical exfoliation, and I've seen good results from using one or the other every two or three days.  

I reviewed this duo in February and I’m still loving it just as much as then!  The Anti-Pollution Sleeping Mask is a moisturizing mask that works as a mild resurfacer, gently removing dead skin cells overnight.  Rather than acids, it uses bacillus ferment, an enzymatic exfoliant that’s naturally obtained by fermentation, and also includes nourishing shea butter, and ectoin, a powerful ingredient that has been shown to counter the effects of UVA-induced cell damage.  

I like pairing the mask with {save}’s Vit C Booster, which includes a potent dose of stable vitamin C (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), as well as ectoin, again, and moisturizing argan and sweet almond oils.  I’ll replace my regular night routine with this combo about two nights a week and consistently wake up with bright, plump, and glowy skin the next morning.  

Thera Wise Ac+ Acne Ointment
I’ve talked about the Ac+ Acne Ointment countless times before, but if you’ve missed my earlier raves, this is one of my favourite products for acne-prone skin.  The Acne Ointment, which takes a gentler approach to treating acne and blemishes, combines heavy hitters like willow bark-derived salicylic acid, witch hazel, tea tree, and tamanu oil with supportive and skin-friendly aloe vera, oat beta glucan, alpha lipoic acid, and more. As a spot treatment, the ointment targets harmful bacteria and visibly reduces swelling, redness, and inflammation without overdrying.  (The ointment is even a little moisturizing -- definitely not the norm for acne products!)  I also sometimes like to pat a small amount onto areas with more visible pores or anywhere that I’m prone to skin congestion.  Ac+ is a true staple in my skincare lineup and an almost automatic rebuy at this point!

Thayers Lemon Blemish Stick
In the same realm, I’ve also been loving the much newer-to-me Lemon Blemish Stick from Thayers. The Blemish Stick combines the company’s popular alcohol-free witch hazel with aloe vera, glycerin, aspen bark, parsley leaf, centella asiatica (gotu kola), and lemon, tea tree, and geranium essential oils.  It’s a transparent spot treatment that works incredibly well at shrinking or eliminating blemishes.  As you’d expect from the rollerball packaging, the Blemish Stick is quite watery in consistency and it dries invisibly on the skin, making it perfect for daytime use -- both under and over makeup.  When I have a breakout, I usually reach for the Ac+ Ointment in the evenings and the Blemish Stick during the day, but I’ve also been known to layer the two on top of each other on occasion.

Have you used any of these? What are your favourite occasional use skincare products?

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