As I approach 30 (way too quickly, I might add), skin care is now one of my top personal care priorities. This age, for me at least, has been a tricky one. I still get breakouts now and then, but my biggest enemy are those pesky little wrinkles that are starting to pop up. So I am really stuck with 2 very different issues that require different levels of care.
Prior to my wedding, I did a lot of experimenting on what products would help me with my breakouts, leave my skin glowing and moisturized, as well as help prevent those awful signs of aging. And now I think I have really settled on the optimum arsenal of products and routine that will help me with my skin care goals. Sure, I still do some experimenting with different products no and then. But these are the ones that I always seems to come back to.
My routine, as I’m sure yours does, follows the same basic steps. 1) Makeup removal 2) Cleanse 3) Clarify, and 4) Moisturize and anti-aging.
For the first step, makeup removal, I have relied on these two products for the last couple years and I honestly don’t see myself changing these up any time soon. Why? Well, first of all they are pretty inexpensive. I get that jar of coconut oil from Trader Joes for about $5 and it lasts for ages. Plus, I use it on my hair, mixed with some sugar as a body scrub, or just rubbed on some dry skin as a moisturizer. The un-petrolium jelly is from Whole Foods and runs be about $6. I have been using this stuff since 2010/2011 and am only on my second tube. Prior to this used Vaseline, but I prefer this stuff because it’s all natural.
To remove all the makeup off my face, I just slather on about a tsp or 2 (I just dig in my fingers and scoop out a bit) all over my face and neck. Then I take a very soft towel or paper towel dampened with a bit of warm water, and remove all the makeup. Your skin will still be a bit greasy afterwards, but don’t fret. If you are prone to breakouts, coconut oil is actually really good for your skin as it is a natural anti-bacterial and doesn’t clog up your pores. If I have worn a lot of eye makeup, or it’s particularly stubborn that day, then I go back over my eyes with the un-petrolium jelly and wipe of the excess with a tissue or towel.
The next step is to cleanse my face. This helps get rid of any leftover makeup and dirt that the coconut may not have gotten. Even I haven’t worn any makeup that day, I might skip step 1, but will always wash my face with this cleanser. I prefer the Cetaphil or similar cleansers for my skin because they are milky and don’t leave my skin extra dry afterwards. If you have dry skin, you should look into cleansers that are “milky” and not “foamy”.
I will also use this cleanser with my Clarisonic every other day or so. I used to use it every day, but it actually made my skin break out more. I have the sensitive brush head that comes with the Clarisonic, but will probably try the even softer brush head next and see if that makes a difference. While I know some people swear by the Clarisonic, I don’t think it is totally necessary. Depending on your skin type, you may be able to get by with just a wash cloth or an exfoliate scrub. I will say, because I do have dry skin, I do need something to get rid of all the dead skin and flakiness on my face.
The next, and possibly most skipped, step in my routine is the clarify step. I try to tone my face after I use the Clarisonic, but if it’s one of those days where I haven’t, then this gets skipped. I don’t necessarily have a favorite toner. This one by Boots that I got from Target is really nice. It doesn’t contain any alcohol whatsoever and has aloe and other moisturizing ingredients. And, like most of the products I use, it was fairly inexpensive. Maybe $5. I have also heard good things about the Pixie Glow Tonic (a bit more expensive at $30). I heard that it may be be at Target soon so I may try that one once by Boots toner runs out.
If my skin is being particular stubborn I will use tea tree oil on any breakouts or any spots that look like they might be a future breakout. It may seem counter intuitive, but the tea tree oil will actually dry out any spots you may have. Granted it may not work as well as some other spot treatments, but I like it because it is all natural. It does have a very distinctive smell though, so beware if you have a zit under your nose.
The last, possibly most important and rarely skipped, step is the prevention step. I use the Roc Retinol Correction night cream then top it off with the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense skin fortifying hydrator. While the Roc Retinol Corrector isn’t cheap when compared to my other products (about $20), it is cheap when compared to other retinol and Retin-A products on the market. But I really do see a difference in my skin. Not only does it help with breakouts, but my skin definitely feels a bit more youthful. Eventually, maybe after I turn 30, I will splurge on some serious Retin-A products (in case you are curious about the difference, Retinol is the over the counter version of Retin-A, and isn’t quite as potent). But for now this does the trick.
The moisturizing cream was a bit of a splurge for me at $50 and is the only product, other than the Clairsonic, that I didn’t get a drug/grocery store. But boy oh boy is it moisturizing. I think somewhere on there it says it lasts 24 hours, and I can definitely attest to that. When I wake up in the morning, my skin still feels dewy and moist, which I love since my skin is typically very dry. It hasn’t caused any breakouts that I have noticed. And really, the best way to prevent wrinkles is to keep the skin moist. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I love and use (during the day under my makeup) Traders Joe’s Nourish (no SPF) moisturizer. Seriously, Trader Joe’s has some pretty awesome skin care/beauty items you should check out!
What are your go-to products for your night-time beauty routine?