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Mirror, Mirror: Ijeoma Kola, the Grad Student with a Targeted Routine

What is Mirror Mirror?

Behind that image of you staring into the mirror is an army of products, procedures, and more. Tell us your skincare routine and we'll dissect it to let you know what's working and what's not. We give personalized recommendations to help you meet your skincare goals and then share it so that our whole community benefits. There are so many ways to get better skin and we hope these vulnerable posts will get you closer to your goals.

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Name: Ijeoma Kola

Occupation: PhD Student & Lifestyle Blogger

IG Handle: @ijeomakola

Identity: 28-year-old female

Describe your skin:

Slightly combination skin prone to acne scarring

What are your short-term and long-term skin goals?

Short term: clear up these dark spots! Long-term: have succulent glowy skin

What is your biggest skin problem right now?

Acne scarring. I've gotten the acne under control for the most part, but any time one slips through it leaves PIH [postinflammatory hyperpigmentation].

In the morning I use:
1. Urban Skin RX Clear Skin Cleanser (has kojic acid and is in bar form so great for travel and I can convince my husband to use it!)

Kojic Acid is a skin-lightening ingredient, but don’t worry! It’s safe and is actually great for lightening any hyperpigmentation or pesky scarring.


2. Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner (pH balancing and alcohol-free)
3. Rohto Melano Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence (comes with a small applicator tip so it won't oxidize)
4. Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid (I use this the week I'm prone to breakouts, usually apply with my fingers)
5. Dr. Brandt Bright Biotic Dark Spot Minimizing Serum (after waiting for the vitamin c to absorb while I brush my teeth)
6. Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Cream (new addition that's lightweight and I love)
7. Coola Sun Silk Drops SPF 30 (has both UV AND digital ray protection & SPF is a must - I mix it in with my moisturizer)

You’ve really honed in on your skin’s issues with hyperpigmentation and picked a great lineup of products to target them. BHA and Vitamin C do wonders for helping to fade scars and uneven tone. The Dr. Brandt product also has fruit enzymes which are also great gentle exfoliators.


In the evening, my routine is:
1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (my fave Japanese beauty purchase, takes off all my makeup!)
2. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (salicylic acid is my homie and double cleansing has turned my skin around)
3. Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner
4. Rohto Melano Mentholatum Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence
5. Dr. Brandt Bright Biotic Dark Spot Minimizing Serum
6. Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Oil, Paula's Choice BHA or Ren Wake Wonderful Nighttime Facial (depending if I want retinol, BHA, or AHA for the night)
7. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Glow Moisturizer (most nights) or Kose Medicated Sekkisei Emulsion (if I need extra hydration)

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