My evening skin-care routine.
I’m always interested in knowing what skin-care products other people use and love, so I thought I’d do a post on what I’m using right now and what is (finally) working for me.
Step 1: Make-Up Remover Wipes. I’ve been using The Honest Co. 3-in-1 Facial Towelettes for several years now and love them. They don’t make me break-out and leave zero greasy residue behind like many others do. I use one each night to remove the majority of the make-up from my face and eyes.
Step 2: Face Wash and Clarisonic. Earlier this year I had a long talk with my dermatologist about my skin and problems I’d been having. She told me to try 3 things for at least 3 months and this was one of them. When you have oily skin like I do, exfoliation is key to sloughing off dead skin cells- something that is naturally harder to do as we get older. Regularly exfoliating help keeps breakouts, dull skin, blemishes and large pores at bay.
I am good about using peels and masks at least once a week (usually twice), but she suggested that I start using a facial brush every day. Not only does it remove make-up far better than just using face wash alone, but it helps the serums / products that you apply after the fact absorb better into your skin. I found a relatively affordable brush online and began using it religiously. There is no question that my skin feels smoother after using it and my break-outs are not nearly as frequent. I recently upgraded to the Clarisonic Mia 1, Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush System and love it. I’ll point out that I have sensitive skin so I use the sensitive brush heads (on both brushes) and have been fine- they are gentle and I have had no irritation whatsoever. My dermatologist told me that if I did start to get irritated, to just reduce how often I was using it to every other day.
As far as cleansers go, I’m not 100% loyal to any particular brand and often switch things up. I’m on my 3rd month of using ACURE Facial Cleansing Gel and I like it. It smells like lemongrass too!
Step 3: Retinol Serum. Retinol is the 2nd thing she told me to start incorporating into my every day routine. I have used retinol products off and on over the years but now that I’m in my late-30’s she said I should be using it every. single. day. We’re just at that age ladies. Getting older is fun, right?? If you have ever used a retinol, which I’m sure at some point you have, you know that it can be very drying to the skin. You’ve also probably been told (or read) that you just have to push through the dryness and eventually your skin will get used to it and that any temporary peeling is normal. That may be the case, but my skin never seemed to stop getting dried out. It irritated me to the point that I’d never go more than a month before chucking it to the side.
Nevertheless, do any kind of research on the topic and you’ll find that dermatologists agree that retinols really are a must in preventing and reversing the aging process and keeping skin looking good. So what’s a girl with already sensitive skin to do?? Enter Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum. This serum has been a game-changer for me. I’m starting week 9 and am so happy I started using it. Murad claims that “93% of users saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles within 2 weeks” which initially made me SUPER skeptical. Nothing ever seems to work in less than 8-12 weeks, but you guys, I saw results in week 2. Really. (BTW- this is not a sponsored post) The lines in my forehead started to fade in the middle of the 2nd week. I’m obviously not saying they are completely gone, but they are certainly less noticeable. Another thing I noticed early on was that the blackheads in my nose and chin were starting to go away. I know this is not just from using a facial brush because I’d already been doing that for several weeks. The only thing that had changed was me introducing the daily retinol serum.
It’s good stuff- I highly recommend it. It is formulated to be gentle enough to use every day as long as you follow it with a good moisturizer. I had a little bit of dryness on my chin but it didn’t last more than 2-3 days. I’m pretty hooked on this product and see myself using it for a long time. It’s kind of pricey, but you only use a little bit so I think it will last ages. If you’re interested in purchasing it check their website as they sometimes have coupons.
Step 4: Face Oil. This was the 3rd thing she told me to start using every day. I cringed when she said it. It wasn’t the 1st time she’d told me this either, but if you have oily skin then you can probably appreciate the fact that putting oil on already oily skin is completely mind-boggling. It just doesn’t make sense. Except that it does. She explained to me (for probably the 3rd time) that you have to fight oil with oil. Huh?
I won’t bore you with all of the details, but in a nutshell, using drying products (like many anti-acne face wash and moisturizers) does nothing but strip your skin of natural oil (sebum) and moisture which in turns just causes your skin to produce more oil to replace what’s missing. You get yourself into a never-ending cycle. Ensuring your skin is plenty moisturized will stop it from thinking it needs to produce more oil.
Sounds simple enough, right? She is a doctor for goodness sake and obviously knows what she is talking about, but what can I say? I am stubborn. She could sense my hesitancy and challenged me to do it for 3 months to see what kind of difference I saw. There are various oils out there that you can use- many of the major beauty brands are making them, but she suggested saving money and just using either coconut, jojoba, agran, flax-seed or avocado oil.
I did a little research and found that argan oil has a ton of natural qualities that are good for the skin- it is a full of linoleic acid that reduces inflammation and is packed with vitamins A and E. I decided that if it didn’t work on my face, I could always use it on my hair or body. (its one of my favorite things for hair) I bought 100% Pure Moroccan Argan Oil, Certified Organic and just use a drop or 2 each morning and night. (after my Murad) I rub it between my palms to warm it up and then gently pat it on my face. I love it- it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave me feeling greasy.
And you know what? Not shockingly, my board-certified dermatologist was right 🙂 It works. I haven’t touched my regular moisturizer in ages. Now that summer is here, my skin is still oilier than it is the rest of the year (my natural skin type and our Florida climate can’t change that), but it is not nearly as bad as it used to be. By the end of the day I am less shiny than I was last summer. So glad I have been buying oil-free products for over 2 decades 🙁 (that’s sarcasm)
Step 5: Eye Cream. Of all the products I use, I am least loyal when it comes to eye-cream. I have used tons of different kinds over the years and while there are some good ones for reducing puffiness, nothing has really blown me away in terms of wrinkle reduction. I naturally have very wrinkly eyes (always have) from allergy issues and years of constant eye-rubbing. (and plain old genetics)
This is the one I’ve been using for the past month- Malin + Goetz Revitalizing Eye Cream. I like it and I’ll finish it up, but I don’t know that I’d go out of my way to re-purchase it. (I can’t knock the brand though as I love their hair products and lotions) If any of you have an eye-cream that you swear by, leave me a note in the comments section.
So that’s it! That’s my process 🙂 I use various face masks 1-2 times per week too, but I’m not including them here since they aren’t part of my every day routine. You can read about one of my favorites here and I’m working on a post for another new discovery that is giving me all the heart eyes. Coming soon to a blog near you…
Any products you guys swear by?