The road to clear skin has always been a tumultuous journey for me but, since starting this blog I’ve been able to navigate it with a bit more ease. Blogging has afforded me the opportunity to try new products and find what does and doesn’t work for my skin and it has taught me important lessons in caring for my skin and investing in my routine. That being said, I haven’t shared a skincare routine on the blog since 2015… which I can’t even believe I’ve even been blogging for that long to begin with. Anyhow, since I made that original post, my skin has gone through a bit of changes.
First off, my skin leans more towards combination now rather than oily. It also is less acne prone and overall has less blemishes (hallelujah!). Some of my bigger concerns now include fading dark spots and scarring from old acne and keeping my skin’s oily-ness balanced. When I do get zits, stress, hormones, and diet still do play a large role.
That being said, I still maintain a heavier nighttime regime so I can wake up with my best face forward and do minimal effort for my morning routine. My routine has also expanded extensively since my original post, so be warned — I’ve become quite the skincare junkie!
Before we get started though, I’d just like to quickly disclaim that I am not a skincare professional and I am just sharing what works for my skin. Everyone’s skin behaves differently, and if you have serious concerns, you should consult a dermatologist or esthetician. If you are looking to learn more about the basics of skincare and where to start, you can check out my handy Beginner’s Guide here.
Now, let’s get started!
Step 1: Remove Makeup
I’ve enjoyed using various oil cleansers and cleansing balms in the past, but due to me getting eyelash extensions on and off during the recent months, I’ve had to seek an alternative (oils can breakdown the adhesive of the lash extensions). So, I turned back to micellar water for this step. In my original routine I was using Bioderma, but since then have found that the Garnier Micellar Water is a close runner up as far as drugstore alternatives go. It isn’t as nourishing to your skin, but it’s a helluva lot cheaper and gets the job done. I use this on the Premium Cotton Rounds from Target (the basic ones tend to get fluff stuck to my lash extensions when I have them) to remove any traces of makeup I have on at the end of the day.
Step 2: Cleanse
I’ve found that a good cleanser is the key to making sure that every last bit of makeup you have on is removed. After years of staying true to my Michael Todd Charcoal Detox, I’ve been trying new ones out and am currently using the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel. Gel cleansers still remain my favorite formula and this one is no exception. It’s refreshing but still tough on oil, dirt, and makeup residue. It is also quite hydrating so it doesn’t feel like you’re stripping your skin dry. I also did a quick search on Sephora and found out that it is vegan, hypoallergenic, free of – Parabens
– Sulfates – Phthalates -Added Fragrance, and is dermatologist tested. What more could you want? I apply the cleanser to a konjac sponge, which I find is really effective for providing a deep clean to the skin. Currently, I’m using the sponge from EcoTools, however I previously was using the Dew Puff and I actually think I prefer it to the latter.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Exfoliating isn’t an everyday step for me, but is still quite frequent in my routine. I try to fit it in 3-4 times a week, right after cleansing. My preferred method is a chemical exfoliant, specifically using the ingredient glycolic acid. Glycolic acid gently removes the outermost layer of skin by breaking down the dead skin cells to reveal a fresh layer underneath. I alternate between two products that contain glycolic acid: the Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Daily Cleansing Pads & the Pixi Glow Tonic. Both are quite gentle and suitable for daily use. The Pixi Glow Tonic has a strong floral scent to it, so I prefer to use it less frequently. The Nip+Fab pads are great for travel since they are pre-moistened, although I know that Pixi came out with their own version of these as well. Both are good options and work relatively the same for me.
Step 4: Serum
I’ve sampled quite a few serums for review and have come to find that retinol has become my all time favorite. I was using the one from Valentina and adored it, but decided to try something new after finishing the bottle. I am now using this one from Flawless Beauty Essentials that I found on Amazon. Retinol has been the number one ingredient that I believe has improved my acne. Retinol is able to increase cell turnover quickly and help skin heal itself whether it be pimples or dark spots. This serum also contains Vitamin E, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid and Jojoba Oil which all help nourish the skin and prevent it from drying out, as retinol can be very stripping.
Step 5: Spot Treat
I was previously using straight tea tree oil to treat my blemishes, but it can be very drying. The Lush Grease Lightning gel treatment contains tea tree oil, but also aloe and rosehip to counteract the drying properties of the tea tree. I use it on my spots when they pop up, which luckily hasn’t been frequently. Fingers crossed it stays like that. This is my favorite spot treatment…can you tell from how well loved the bottle is? This is my second bottle of this stuff!
Step 6: Moisturize
To keep my skin hydrated and supple and seal in all of the skincare goodness, I apply just enough moisturizer. I try not to overdo it because I’ve heard that your skin can actually get “addicted” to moisturizers and stop producing its own oil. For the most part, I’ve been using the Valentia Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer which has lasted me for months! However, I just got this Julep Boost Your Radiance Rosehip Oil in my Influenster Posh VoxBox and have been putting it to the test. Through a bit of experimenting, I’ve found that it is most effective to add a drop of oil to the moisturizer and apply to face and then apply oil down the neck. The oil can take a bit long to absorb so I prefer not to have it sit on my face for too long.
Step 7: Eye Treatment
The Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift is another product from my Posh VoxBox that I’ve been testing. I love the cooling metal tip applicator to deposit product. It is really soothing on the delicate eye area.
Step 8: Tone
To finish everything off, I spritz a generous amount of Rose Water as a toner and another layer of hydration. This one I got from Target and is the brand SW Basics.
Bonus: Face Mask
When the need arises and I’m having really congested skin, I use the Body Merry Charcoal Mud Mask. The Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal help draw out dirt and oil from the skin and the formula also has a bit of a light physical exfoliant grit to it which helps slough away flaky skin when washed off.
…Aaaand that’s it! I know it might seem like high maintenance, but in truth it takes me less than 10 minutes and I wake up with refreshed and plump skin. Skincare is the key to great makeup application, plus taking care of your skin now means it will continue to be radiant in the future. What are your skincare must haves? Let me know in a comment below!
All my love,