My Ultimate Face Skincare Product TrifectaHello everyone, and welcome! I hope you got a chance to check out my post on all the IT Cosmetics products I’m crushing on right now. You might want to get your hands on some of those items. Today I wanted to finally share my skincare routine with you. I’ve posted a few pictures of my bare skin (like the image above) on Twitter and Instagram, and you’ve been requesting this post for some time. I have a previous skincare-focused post that goes well with this one, so you might want to check it out.
Firstly, I wanted to start of by letting you know that “great skin” really depends on several factors like genetics, your environment, stress levels, and overall care. Myths like “drink more water” aren’t really going to help you. While drinking water is essential for overall health, increasing water intake is not going to make a noticeable difference in your skin. That being said, the best things you can do for your skin are wash, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect. The important thing is to do those three things based on your skin type.
My skin is very privileged to benefit from “good” genetics. My older relatives have dark, smooth complexions and virtually unwrinkled skin, so hopefully that means I have that to look forward to if I’m lucky enough to make it to their age. However, genetics alone aren’t going to save me from skin damage and wrinkles. That’s where my daily care comes in.
I know this post may seem really intimidating, especially to the skincare novices. But take it from me, a person who barely managed to wash my face at the end of the day; every product and effort you put into your skin is worth it. A little bit of time in the morning and evening will really pay off, and you’ll be able to see the results of your efforts over time.
My skin is generally dry, but depending on my diet and environment, I can get a little oily on my forehead, around my nose, and on my chin, giving me a more “combination” skin type (dry with oil). I start my day off gauging where my skin is. Sometimes I wake up and my skin feels smooth and soft, so I don’t wash it – if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. If it’s feeling dry, I make an extra effort to apply more moisturizing products before leaving the house or putting on makeup (I no longer wear makeup every day). If I feel a little oily anywhere on my face, I do the full routine: gentle wash, toner, moisturizer, then makeup (or no makeup). Makeup removal is essential to healthy skin. Do not leave makeup on your face. If you don’t have energy (I get it, I really do) to do your full face routine before bed, please please please at least remove your makeup! Once my makeup is removed, I wash my face with products based on what my skin feels like. If I feel like I’m getting a blemish or blackheads I make sure to exfoliate thoroughly. Then I apply my moisturizers and night creams. Occasionally I use masks to boost my hydration or healing. I’ve listed all of the products I like below! Enjoy!
These are the products I enjoy using for gentle washes. They don’t strip all of the moisture from my skin, but remove the impurities I don’t want on my face. I’m not easy on my products, and they’re not attractive in their age 🙂 so I’ve included simple Google images for the sake of aesthetics.
Biore Charcoal Bar
This gives skin a deep but gentle cleansing without fragrances, parabens, or sulfates. It doesn’t cost more than about $5 at more drugstores. See this post for more info on this bar.
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
This is another deep but gentle cleanser with no sulfates or fragrances. There are parabens in this product, so if you’re concerned about that ingredient this one won’t be a good match for you. You can find this at Sephora or on the Fresh website for about $38. I’ve reviewed it here.
The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Cleansing Gel
Here’s another soothing and gentle cleanser. The only ingredients in this gel are natural oils and derivatives. This is my most expensive cleanser coming in at a scary $85. (10 mL of product has lasted me 8 months. Full sized bottle is 100 mL)
After using the above cleansers I use the toner below. This toner reduces inflammation (good for people with redness on their faces, or blemishes) and controls oil. I like to put this down before any moisturizers to control my natural oils. I usually only tone if I’m going to be applying makeup.
Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner
This gentle astringent is a good way to prep skin for moisturizer and other products. It can be found in most drugstores for around $5. I have a slightly more in-depth review of this product here. I also Enjoy using the Nots 28 Remedy Toner, but have been unable to find a site that sells it for a reasonable price. If you know where I can get it, please help!
After toner I like to use gel moisturizers or other light moisturizers and my eye cream that do their job without being heavy or greasy on the skin. You don’t want things to slide everywhere if you’re going to be applying makeup. If you need a more intense or heavier hydration to your skin, you will need to let the product soak in before moving on to primers and makeup. I’ve listed some of my favorite light moisturizers below.
L’oreal Eye Defense
This is a light and gentle anti-aging eye cream. I have a full review of this product here. You can find this in most drugstores for around $12.
Eau Thermale Avene Hydrating Optimale Hydrating Serum
This is another really fancy and expensive item that I cherish. It’s light but it does magic for my skin. I’m an affiliate with Avene, so if you use this link to purchase from them, I get a small commission! This item costs $38 for 30ml. 1 ml has lasted me almost 7 months.
Tucker Ashley Perfecting Moisturizer
At the end of my day if I’ve worn makeup I use the wipes listed below to remove my makeup. For really stubborn lash glue or liquid lipsticks that don’t stay put, I use the liquid makeup remover.
Simple Micellar makeup remover wipes
I’ve tried countless brands of makeup remover wipes, and nothing is as fast or as gentle as these are. They’re also the only brand that doesn’t burn my eyes. They can be found in most drugstores for around $6. I even use these to wipe brushes off and correct eyeliner mistakes!
Equate Oil-Free makeup remover
Since I normally use the wipes, I’ve had this same bottle for over a year. It appears to be comparable to the Neutrogena Oil-Free makeup remover. It removes even the most stubborn of liquid lipsticks, eyeliners, and lash glues. I tend to need this when I’m doing heavy makeup looks. I believe this brand is only sold at Wal-Mart for about $3, and the Neutrogena brand can be found at most drugstores for about $4.
If I don’t wear makeup that day, or don’t feel like my skin is very dirty I’ll use one of the cleansers from my morning routine that I mentioned above. On days when I feel like my skin is pretty dirty, or it went through a lot that day I will double cleanse. That means I’ll use two of the products mentioned above or the system below.
Erno Laszlo Sensitive Skin Two-Step Cleansing System
I went really in-depth about this product in this post. This is by far my favorite way to gently but thoroughly cleanse my skin. It’s on the pricey side, so I have not purchased oil to replace the one I’ve run out of, so if you know of any really good cleansing oils please let me know. You can find this travel set on their site for $28 (individual items are much pricier). They also have sets that cater to different skin types.
Vasanti Cosmetics Brightenup Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
Ever since I’ve started taking better care of my skin, I have discovered that I only need to exfoliate my skin up to 3 times per week. There is such a thing as exfoliating too much, so you want to only exfoliate when you’re expriencing a breakout, blackheads, or excessive dry skin. You can always use exfoliators just on the areas that need it so you don’t disturb the rest of your skin. This is the best exfoliator I’ve ever used. I review it in full in this post. Wow, I’ve really learned a lot about how to better care for my skin since then! You can purchase this on their site for $34.
Once my face is all cleansed in the evening, I use the Dickinson’s toner again before applying my night creams. I always apply the L’Oreal eye cream I mentioned above first and then move on to the retinol. You can read more about that here. I keep all of my nighttime creams in a small makeup bag on my nightstand, so even if I have no energy or am in a lot of pain at the end of the day, I can lie in bed while I take care of my face.
Advanced Clinicals Retinol Serum
I won’t say too much here because I discussed this product and what retinols do in my previous skincare post. I only paid $15 for this at TJ Maxx. You can probably find other good retinols and retinol serums (more moisturizing) at TJ, or at any drugstores.
Burt’s Bees Brightening Even Skin Tone Moisturizing Cream w/Daisy Extract
As with the item above, I discussed this one in detail in the previous skincare post. I don’t typically use this cream in the morning because it is so thick. The moisturizer below has temporarily taken the place of this one, but I will use Burt’s Bees in combination with the one below on days when my skin needs extra hydration and help .
IT Cosmetics Confidence In a Cream
Here’s another item that I’ve discussed in length in a previous post. It’s still the product out of my entire arsenal that I’m most excited about. I hope you get a chance to try it! You can find it at Ulta, Sephora, or on the IT Cosmetics site. If you choose to buy direct from IT’s site, please use my link to sign up for the IT Girl Superheroes reward program. I get 100 points towards prizes for items = more reviews!
Finally, there are two masks I enjoy using to give my skin some rescue or a boost when it needs it.
The Spoonique Boutique Clay Facial Masks
Lather Honey Moisture Mmask with Popolis Extract
My favorite thing about this mask is that you don’t have to wash it off, and you smell like fresh honey after using it. I reviewed it in depth in the previous skincare post. It can be purchased from Lather’s site for only $24.
Just some final thoughts:
I don’t spend much time in the sun because, due to my condition, I get very sick in sunlight (malaise, nausea, rash); therefore I typically don’t use a daily SPF. This is a huge no-no. No matter how little you are in the sun every day, you really should be using sun protection. Doing so will prevent age spots, skin cancer, and other damage to your skin. I do use makeup products that contain physical SPF’s so I do get some protection in that form, but if you know of a nice SPF product that is cruelty free, doesn’t leave your skin oily, and doesn’t smell bad please let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
I don’t use all of these products every day, and as a beauty products reviewer, I’ve accumulated these over some time. I generally don’t have a big skincare budget, but if you collect items over time, you’ll soon have a kit to keep your skin in check. I would recommend finding a beauty blogger or YouTuber with your same skin type, as they will be able to recommend specific products that would work best for you. Overall, I hope this post helped a little bit to clarify what I do, and why, and maybe give you a base to work off of. I really hope I haven’t missed anything!
With skincare, a little bit of product goes a long way. Since most of these products are pretty pricey, using the smallest amount will still get you optimal results while conserving product and making your dollars stretch a little further. I learned this the hard way!
Here’s where I give you the typical disclaimers: make sure to get good rest, eat nutrisious foods, stay out of the sun, and always take off your makeup and wash your face!
Have you used any of these items? Is there a step in your skincare routine that could use a little help? Please let me know if you have any questions about any skin concerns or products and I will do my best to help you research and find a solution! I would love to help you get better skin in any way I can!