September 22, 2016


 I was recently invited to participate in a South African beauty bloggers' version of Jaclyn Hill's Ride or Die makeup tag and this week the focus has been on skincare, so I thought I'd share my top 5 #RideOrDieSA skincare favourites that I rely on to take care of my blemished combination skin.

When shopping for skincare, I always look for products that can accommodate both the oily and dry to normal zones of my combination skin. In general, my forehead, nose and chin are oily (the infamous T-zone), while the rest of my face can range from normal to dry depending on the season. More to that, I get the monthly outbreak of hormonal acne so I also make sure to add products that prevent breakouts or minimise the appearance of residual dark spots. You'll notice that I didn't include face creams, serums etc., in my product selection - that's because I'm currently still using my Kiehls' #High5ToGreatSkin products and I already have a blog post and video for that (and I still plan on adding a lengthy review in the future). So onto what I've picked...

South African Beauty Blogger
My Ride or Die skincare favourites

1. Garnier Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water (R79.95, Dischem)

Makeup removal is utterly important when it comes to implementing an effective skincare routine, no matter your skin type, but it is even more crucial when you have skin that is prone to breakouts. I've been loving Garnier's Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water because it removes makeup (including waterproof makeup) effortlessly and effectively and is enriched with Argan Oil, which is loaded with Vitamin E  - a natural skin repairer. I've already reviewed the micellar water HERE, so if you are interested in knowing its other properties, check that out.

2. Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Purifying Gel  (R165, Dischem)

About two years ago, I started taking an interest in chemical exfoliation when I came across an article that discussed the transformative power of glycolic acid. Unlike mechanical exfoliation which involves physically scrubbing your face or body with an abrasive (e.g. facial scrub with seed granules/ silicon beads,  facial brush/ cloth), chemical exfoliation relies on a chemical reaction to remove dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliants include Alpha Hydroxy Acids  (AHAs) like salicylic, glycolic, lactic and citric acids as well as fruit-based enzymes (causes that tingly feeling when you apply a pineapple-based facial mask). Vichy's Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel contains both glycolic acid, apparently the holy grail of exfoliation due to its collagen-building and skin-refining and brightening properties,  and salicylic acid which is highly recommended for treating acne seeing as it removes "dead skin cells by causing the cells to shed more readily, opens clogged pores and neutralizes the bacteria within".

3. Hey Gorgeous Vitamin C Toner (R180, Hey Gorgeous online or Hazelwood, Pretoria)

Earlier this year, I decided that I should add more organic beauty products to my skincare stash and Hey Gorgeous (a South African skincare brand) had  just opened up a store in Pretoria, so I decided to try out their Vitamin C toner. What drew me to this toner was the 'Brightening' aspect as I had those pesky acne dark spots that I wanted to see diminish. The ingredients of this toner include Orange Blossom Hydrosol (a milder water-based form of an essential oil), Witch Hazel, L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Bergamot and Chamomile essesntial oils. I've gone through my fair share of toners, but this one has stood out as the most comfortable on my face (it doesn't feel soapy or leave your skin feeling tight and dry). I can't single out whether it's been as effective in brightening my skin (seeing as I use so many products that target that skin concern), but I've really enjoyed using it (if you look closer you'll notice that the bottle probably has a drop left, lol).

4. Eucerin Oil-Control SPF50+ Sun Gel-Creme (R179.95, Dischem)

I have a confession to make: I hate sunscreen lotion and I only apply it if I'm spending the day hiking or swimming  (I haven't swam in over 5 years though, lol). Actually I should say, I hated sunscreen lotion until I came across this godsend right here and I've been using it religiously since I bought it. Think about the things you dislike about sunscreen - greasy-looking, smells like chemicals, leaves a grey/purple tint - none of those in this suncreen lotion and it actually mattifies your skin and acts like a primer. The sunscreen was designed for individuals with oily, acne-prone skin so it works perfectly to keep blemished, combination skin satisfied.

5. Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray (R149, Clicks)

I'm sure a lot of people might find this beauty favourite unnecessary and quite extra - yes, it's basically spring water in a spray can. I thought so too until I started using it and found that it soothes and hydrates my skin beautifully throughout the day and keeps my makeup looking and feeling fresh. The multi-purpose face mist is made from pure natural spring water and was designed to address common sensitive skin concerns including irritation from sun exposure, makeup removal, nappy rash and shaving, amongst other things. According to Avene, the spray's anti-irritant properties have been acknowledged by several international scientific publications (career-wise, I come from a science research background, so I take note when science is mentioned, lol). The spray is really great to use if MAC Fix+ tends to make your makeup a bit mobile in summer and if your skin gets dry from spending the whole day in an air-conditioned office. 

So, those are my top 5 #RideOrDie skincare products and if you want to see what other beauty bloggers are using, follow the #RideOrDieSA tag on Instagram and Twitter. 





  1. Cool. Do you have any SPF recommendations, at different price points I mean?

    1. Hey Peaches! Since dark skin has a naturally higher SPF than fair skin, an SPF of 30+ is recommended for all year-round application. The Eucerin sunscreen lotions that I've seen all have SPF 50+ though and range in price from around R179-R220. The Oil-Control SPF50+ Sun Gel-Creme is currently on sale though for R139.95

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