I recently had a few questions on my skincare routine from a few coworkers, and I have also had a lot of interest in beauty routines and my favorite products previously between Instagram followers and my previous blog domain in the past. Here is a step by step guide to my skincare routine both day by day and throughout the week.
All of my products are tried and true. I have used them for many years and have a tendency to keep going back to them regardless of if I have tried other products. While I understand that many of my picks are pricey, I believe your skin is something you should always invest in, because you only have one shot at it through life. This being said, wear sunscreen each time you are going to be in the sun for an extended amount of time (they say anything greater than 20 minutes regardless of rain or shine requires sun protection). I live in the north so being blasted by the sun on a daily basis is not a main concern of mine, especially since I work night shift. In fact, I have been told by my dermatologist that 20 minutes of sun exposure can be healthy for those are deficient in Vitamin D. However, there is a very fine line between soaking in a beneficial amount of rays and worshiping the sun.
I wash my face two times a day, no more and no less regardless of whether or not I have worn makeup. I have two toned skin, so washing my skin more will result in overdrying after which my skin will produce copious amounts of oil. When I wake up to go to work, I wash my face with St. Ive's Exfoliating face wash. I use a tear-drop sponge to exfoliate which I tend to replace every 3 to 4 weeks. I also wash my face in the shower when I get home from work with the same face cleanser. I always like to make sure my cleanser has salicylic acid to fight blemishes. I find that this face cleanser is cheap, is not formulated with any phthalates or parabens and has just the right amount of salicylic acid to not overdry my skin. I have found that benzyl peroxide leaves my skin with large, scabby flaky patches which is not ok. Not to mention, St. Ive's is cheap and can be found almost anywhere, as well as exfoliating pads.
Every time I wash my face I also follow up with a toner and a moisturizer, both 2 minutes within getting out of the shower. The toner helps even skin tone and finish cleaning oil and excess makeup off. I am always surprised that I can dirty two to three cotton balls with junk from my face despite having washed and exfoliated my face in the shower.
I then use my favorite face serum underneath my moisturizer whether it is morning or night. I thought I should or would ever use a face serum, and once I did I noticed a difference immediately. I tried argan oil and thicker night moisturizers, but nothing left my skin as soft, supple and ageless as Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Recovery Complex. It has a formula that not only moisturizes but produces radiance, fixes dryness, and fades dark spots. It never leaves my skin oily, and I have felt like in the 3 years since I have been using this my face is at a "stand-still" despite trekking through multiple Northeastern snow belt winters. However, it does not stand alone...I smooth it all over my face and neck but still follow up with a day moisturizer with SPF in the morning or a night cream in the evening before I go to bed. I use Neutrogena for both, as I find they are affordable but do the job beautifully since I go through a jar at least every 2 - 3 months. A $45 - $75 moisturizer would get expensive very quickly considering I use a different one in the evening and at night. I think it is so important to use a night moisturizer in the evening because the goal is to hydrate and let your skin breathe with a thicker cream. I often get free samples from Sephora with my purchases and will do a water pack mask at night when I don't have to worry about my face looking oily.
What do I think my true secrets to beautiful skin are? I never spot treat blemishes with hyper-drying ointments, I always always always wash my makeup off before bed, and I make it a point to wear both a moisturizer and a foundation during the day with an SPF. I have also included a link in the scrolling Polyvore insert with my favorite sunblock to wear in sunny weather in addition to a hat. Though the theories state SPF does not work after 30, I say the higher the block the better.
Three times a week I will also use the Philosophy Oxidizing Facial Peel. I cannot rave about this peel enough. You first put on a charcoal base peel and let it sit for a minute. The second step cream is added to the charcoal base and it starts to foam. The combination of the two allows for an oxidation process that lets bursts of oxygen into your pores. After three minutes, you use the dermablade to exfoliate and scrape off the peel. It truly clears the skin and my face feels like silk through a gentle process. Once a week, I also use a thick Boscia fask mask to pull off extra oil in my ENT zone and also pull out extra "crud" in my pores that more gentle exfoliating might not pull out.
Some of the dream products I would like to try out include La Mer's moisturizer. I also would like to find an eye cream in the future. I will let you know if I find one that I love! You can shop all of my favorite products below, and ask any questions...skincare is my passion!