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Mirror, Mirror: Melina Peterson, The Ultimate Soothing 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: Melina Peterson

Occupation: I run the paid social consultancy Walk-Up Digital, teach digital marketing at General Assembly, and run the NYC-based lifestyle blog, 5th Floor Walk-Up

IG Handle: @melina_peterson + @5thfloorwalkupblog

Identity: 26-year-old female

Location: NYC

Describe your skin:

My skin is very reactive and acne prone. I've struggled with acne throughout my adulthood and have made major dietary changes to try to combat it. I haven't had coffee in 3 years (I used to be a triple-Americano-every-AM kind of girl, but the caffeine spikes caused my hormonal acne to really flare up) and started a mostly plant-based diet a year ago. These dietary changes have definitely improved my skin overall, but there are still periods of time where I struggle with breakouts.

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

Short term: Getting my stress-related acne breakout under control! I recently made a major life change (leaving my full-time job to start my own consulting business) and my hormones went a little haywire in the transition. My skin is finally leveling out, so I'm focused on really calming products that will reduce my skin's overall inflammation. Long-term: Once we get this acne situation under control, I would love to even my skin tone (I have a ton of freckles and sunspots) and work on reducing redness.

Biggest Concern:

Hormonal Acne

In the morning:
1. Wash face with Naturopathica’s Aloe Cleansing Gel. I love this cleanser because it’s calming as well as deep cleaning, and made from all natural ingredients.
2. On clean skin, spray either Naturopathica’s Rose Water (discontinued) or Lavender Honey Balancing Mist.
3. Apply Marie Veronique’s Soothing B3 Serum. My facialist at Cap Beauty recommended it for reducing inflammation.
4. For a lighter moisturizer, I either use Naturopathica’s clarifying Neroli Oil or Carrot Seed Oil (I mix with the rosewater face mist so the oil applies easier). If my skin is feeling extra dry and inflamed, I’ll apply the Naturopathica Calendula Cream.

This is definitely a very soothing routine! It’s important to start the day with a gentle cleanser to not shock the skin first thing in the morning with a harsh cleanse. If your goals are to reduce inflammation and acne and even out the skin’s tone, B3 (aka Niacinamide) is a great multitasking product to have in your arsenal.

In the evening:
‍1. If I’m taking a shower that evening, I cleanse with Naturopathica’s Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm. First, you rub into dry skin, then add water to emulsify, then rinse off with a warm washcloth. Feels like a mini-facial every time I use!
2. 1-2 times a week, I’ll follow with the Naturopathica Pumpkin Enzyme Peel. I leave on ~5 minutes in the steaming shower, then rinse off. If I don’t do the pumpkin peel, then I’ll sometimes do a double cleanse with the Aloe Cleansing Gel to remove any residue from the honey cleansing balm.
3. I’ve recently started using StackedSkincare’s high-frequency device every other night. It’s a total game changer, especially for my cystic acne breakouts. My facialist was the one who recommended I try it after seeing my struggle with acne flare-ups. It’s amazing because I used to go to facials specifically for the high-frequency treatment, and now I can do it myself at home. It’s definitely helped control some of my hormonal breakouts.

High-frequency devices kill bacteria (the acne causing kind), reduce inflammation, and increase circulation. The device has a electrode that produces a skin-friendly gas called argon gas that, when paired with the electric current, creates oxygen while zapping zits. If you were/are shelling out hard earned money for facials just for this feature, spending about the same amount on this device will save you some serious cash in the long run, while making your skin look just as good!

4. Once I’ve washed my face, I’ll spray either my rose water or lavender honey balancing toner again.
5. I alternate between Marie Veronique’s Intensive Repair Serum and her B3 serum depending on how my skin is feeling. The intensive repair is good for controlling breakouts.
6. At night, always finish off with Naturopathica’s calendula moisturizer.
A couple times a week, I’ll apply a mask after I wash my face. For a clarifying mask, I alternate between Tata Harper’s Purifying Mask and Herbivore’s Blue Tansy. Or, if I want something more calming I’ll use Naturopathica’s Aloe Replenishing Gel mask.

It’s super important to exfoliate once or twice a week depending on how your skin is feeling. Exfoliating regularly clears dead skin build-up, causing acne. It also helps to improve skin tone and texture, and as your skin is prone to inflammation, using a gentle chemical exfoliator is best. Be sure to steer clear of physical ones as they’ll upset your skin!

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