Our skin is something many of us don’t appreciate in the present, only looking back and realizing “those were the good old days” a few years out. I’ve been guilty of that, for sure — I had angst about the condition of my face in my teens and earlier twenties — but I’m happy to say that I really, really appreciate my skin these days. It’s not perfect, but I’ve worked hard to take care of it and I now realize how good I have it!
Though beauty and style ranked near the bottom in the list of your favorite topics in my most recent survey, many of you requested posts about my beauty and skincare routines in the open-ended section… so here we go! Happy to oblige :)
To give you a little background, in high school I used prescription topical treatments like Differin and Tazerac to help with some acne, mostly on my forehead. I never really felt like they did much, and I wouldn’t say my skin cleared up until I stopped sucking it dry and started giving it more moisture. Though I rarely breakout, my face can be both dry and oily, and moisture, I’ve found, is the key to balancing it all out.
Most of the products I use I’ve found either from blog recommendations or makeup artists with whom I’ve worked. There aren’t many products I’ve tried over the years that have impressed me enough to place a reorder (the ultimate stamp of approval!), but the majority of the ones I’m sharing here have stood the test of time.
Rise and shine! Here’s my morning routine:
1. Wash with charcoal soap. This soap was a game changer for me! It and the moisturizer in my evening routine are my two MVPs. This soap went a long way toward balancing my oily/dry issues and improving the texture of my skin. It leaves my skin feeling clean but never tight. Plus, at $12 per bar, it is an INSANE bargain — I have been using my first bar for a year this month, and still have half a bar left to go!! Insider tip: cut your bar into four smaller bars using a sharp knife – it’s more manageable to hold and I think helps it last longer! I keep mine on a little butter dish next to the sink.
2. Moisturize. True story: after reading this Beauty Uniform on Cup of Jo, I went out and bought almost everything this girl recommended — I guess her skin was very compelling!! The Ordinary products didn’t end up working out for me, but I really like this lightweight moisturizer for daytime. One pump is enough for a light application all over my face.
3. Remove any remaining eye makeup from the day before. After trying several drugstore removers that hardly did anything and burned my eyes, I returned to the ridiculously expensive but extremely effective Bi-Facil. A bottle lasts me about a year.
4. Apply sunscreen. I am hyper-vigilant about wearing sunscreen on my face and neck every day, and for me, sunscreen in another product doesn’t cut it. If there’s ONE piece of advice every dermatologist gives, it’s this one, so I figure it behooves me to take it! Right now I’m using a basic Neutrogena SPF 45, but my current tube is almost empty and I’ve ordered a highly-rated Elta MD sunscreen to try. We’ll see if I like it enough to justify the price!
5. Apply deodorant. I’ve used natural deodorant in the past (Schmidt’s), but didn’t like that I had to apply it with my fingers and never felt like it was particularly effective. The geranium Primally Pure one, though, has made me a big fan! It’s not an antiperspirant, so I do still sweat when wearing it depending on my activity level, but I smell good at the end of the day :)
6. Swipe on lip balm. I also use Primally Pure lip balm, but I’ve been known to use Chapstick in a pinch!
Time for bed! This is how I end the day:
1. Wash with charcoal soap. I use a makeup eraser cloth to remove most of my eye makeup at the same time.
2. Swipe on toner with a cotton round. Honestly, I’m really not sure what this toner does for my skin… and thus I’m not sure I will reorder it once I finish the bottle! However, since I’m happy with my skin overall, removing any one step makes me nervous, ha! This recommendation came from the same beauty routine post I mentioned above.
3. Dab on eye cream. This is a reasonably-priced, often-recommended product that many people I know use, but I’m not sure it’s made any difference for me. I have some pretty serious laugh lines, so maybe that’s just my thing, but I’d be open to trying something new once this one’s done!
4. Moisturize. I saved the best for last! I’ve used a few different deep moisturizers over the years, but this one is hands-down my favorite – and possibly the linchpin in my whole routine (along with the charcoal soap!). Skin Dew feels so light and sinks so effortlessly into my skin, yet is SO moisturizing and balancing. It’s expensive, but a pea-size amount goes a long way for me, and the price is totally worth it for the results I see. Plus, I love supporting a Southern small business! In the past, I’ve used Moon Fruit, Hydro Boost, and Skin Savior for this step, but Skin Dew outshines all of them, in my opinion.
Two more things:
— I do these steps every day, without fail.
— I almost never touch my face during the day. I think I read this advice in a magazine in middle school, and it stuck with me very strongly, ha!
So there you have it – a mix of drugstore, high-end, small business, and household names. I would love to hear the standout skincare products in your routine, and whether you use an eye cream that you think actually makes a difference! :)
P.S. I have an unopened container of Skin Savior I’d love to pass along to someone, if you’re interested! Just leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner at the end of the week :)
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