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Mirror, Mirror: Mikayla Raymond, The Herstorian Who Loves P50

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: Mikayla Raymond

Occupation: I'm a herstorian! I write about old places.

Handle: @mikayla_e_raymond

Identity: 26, forever anxious, forever sleepy, forever just tryin to live my best life.

Location: The Maryland suburbs of DC

Describe your skin:
SUPER prone to acne and clogging, oily as all hell with a bit of acne scarring here and there.

Short term and long term goals:
KEEP. THOSE. ZITS. AT. BAY! Keep my skin clear and dewy.

Biggest concern:
Hormonal breakouts around period time. They are the bane of my existence. I've taken to naming them after powerful women, so I am a bit more compassionate towards them. Eleanor Roosevelt is a cystic monster on my jawline, but I can't hate her too much ya know?


I treat my skincare routine as a combination hobby/self-care practice. I put so much time and effort into it, that this approach helps me justify the craziness? I think of my skincare as a different type of therapy (although I am a BIG advocate and have benefited from the good ol talk therapy) and another way to take care of myself and manage my mental health.

I sleep with a humidifier like right next to my face. It makes this relaxing shhhhhh sound, and I read that Mariah Carey does it so who am I kidding. I have found that my skin is much less dry when I stick to this nightly, especially through the winter.

As soon as I wake up and get my coffee, I gulp down a WHOLE LITER of water and take my meds, which include probiotic supplements that I have found help manage my acne.

My general skincare approach is simpler is better, and I try to use products that I can buy at a regular ol drug store or on Amazon. Aside from a few splurges, everything else in my routine falls in the $10 range.

Before anything else, I shower with my Salux Cloth, brush n floss, and do a good lip scrub with some Hanelei sugar scrub.

Next, I cleanse my face with Vanicream Gentle Cleanser. This shit is HG status. If you're like me and sensitive to fatty alcohols and everyone's faves CeraVe and Cetaphil make you break out, this is the best alternative I've found, and it's really cheap to boot.

In the mornings, I do one, thorough cleanse. In the evenings, I double cleanse and use a muslin cloth for a little, *gentle* exfoliation.

I then run, dripping and crazed, all the way to the kitchen and get a fresh paper towel to pat my skin dry. (There has to be a better way to do this, but at this point, it's part of the process sooo.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

Next is the pièce de résistance (I majored in French, bitch)- Biologique Recherche's P50 1970. Nothing has changed my skin tone, texture, and helped keep acne at bay without drying me out the way this stuff has. To call it HG is an understatement, it cannot be overhyped. I buy it online from Rescue Spa, and apply it with Muji Cotton Pads which I find almost as nice as the Shiseido ones but a fraction of the price. Rescue Spa has a few good videos on applying this stuff, but the whole motion is kind of like a gentle-tug-pat. I pay extra attention to my jawline, where I break out most.

Now, depending on whether it's morning or evening, this is where things get funky. In the AM, I pop on a bit of Timeless Squalane Oil and if I'm going outside a UPF 50 sun hat and call it a day. I don't wear any makeup. I used to be a religious makeup-all-the-time-no-matter-what kind of girl, but I found that cutting it out eliminated about 80% of my acne and greatly improved my self-image and mental health).

We’re loving the hat! Physical sun protection is just as important as sunscreen. BUT, we highly encourage you to add an SPF in there. Did you know that you can get sun damage just from sitting near a window?! Crazy!

If it's the evening, this is where things get real chemical. Depending on the evening, this is either where Biologique Recherche's Masque Vivant or my old standby Acne.org's 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide come in.

The BP is easy. I wait 30 minutes after applying my P50, slather it all over, and let it dry. For some reason, the P50 seems to keep the BP from drying me out too much, so I don't even apply moisturizer, I just wait until the morning's douse of Squalane.

Masque Vivant is my problematic fave. It looks like poop (for real) and smells absolutely foul, but Biologique is here for results and not floofy fragrances. The reason it smells so bad is because it contains yeast, and, surprisingly, yeast is very beneficial for the skin. It’s a powerful antioxidant and also helps to calm irritation and redness!

The Masque Vivant is a fairly new addition, and so far WOW. After my P50, I layer on this stinky, bad boi and let it sit for 20-30 mins. I rinse off, lovingly apply another layer of P50 et voila! I've heard rumor on the street that to give Masque Vivant a little extra punch you can add a bit of baking soda to it, but I haven't tried that yet!


Want to see if Mikayla's products work for you? Head to RateYourRoutine.com!

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