Today, I wanted to spend a little time talking about my favorite daily / weekly skincare products. Traditionally, I've always had relatively good skin, but it basically blew up in my face over the last few months. Part of this is likely from my breakup at the end of September- I've always been prone to stress acne, and this breakup was a nightmare that came equipped with breaking a lease, finding a new place to live, and losing a dog, all while trying not to flunk out of my fall semester. Besides that, I also decided to give up on "for acne" products (i.e. salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide) and get my skin re-adjusted to a regime that didn't involve such harsh, chemical based products. Your skin can definitely become addicted to these products, and when you take them away, it tends to wreak havoc on the skin for a while. We're dealing with that too.
1. Makeup Remover
I have been using raw, organic coconut oil as my makeup remover for over three years now. It's an incredibly natural, and cost-friendly way to remove makeup. In my experience, coconut oil breaks down waterproof eye makeup better than any beauty brand-made makeup remover I've ever tried. You can buy a giant tub of coconut oil from Target or Whole Foods for around $10-15, and it lasts forever. Coconut oil can also be used for face masks, or mixed with sugar to make a lip or body scrub.
I have been using the PÜR "In The Clear Cleanser" for over a year now. Ulta describes this cleanser as a "clarifying cleanser [that] calms and cools with a refreshing mix of lavender, peppermint and aloe vera." What I love about this cleanser is that it leaves my skin feeling so fresh and clean. It smells very similarly to tea tree oil, and it's designed to combat acne prone skin, without all the harsh active chemicals. It leaves my skin feeling clean, without feeling stripped. You can buy it at Ulta here. I use this cleanser two times a day- once in the morning and once before bed!
3. Face Masks
I've been using Perricone MD's "Refreshing Shower Mask" for a few months, and it has quickly become a critical part of my shower routine. You can find it here. This mask is pricey, but it's a bottle of gold. It is designed to be activated by the shower steam, and it makes the skin feel cool and tingly, but warm at the same time. It's also incredibly gentle, and not at all drying, so I use it a couple times a week while I'm in the shower. I apply the gel-like mask right before hopping into the shower, and proceed through my whole routine (shampoo, condition, shave...) and then wash the mask off last. It leaves my skin so tingly, and soft, and clean- it's the best feeling.
Lush's "Mask of Magnaminty" is another favorite of mine. I love all of Lush's face masks, but the fresh face masks require refrigeration and they expire relatively quickly, so I'm a bit too low maintenance for them. "Mask of Magnaminty" is great because it's self-preserving, so it lasts months, and I can actually get through the whole pot before having to throw it out. This is another mask that makes the skin feel tingly, but the mask is formulated to draw out impurities, so it can leave the skin feeling a bit tight and dry. It's also full of small beans that are designed to exfoliate the skin and leave it feeling smooth. It's definitely worth a try- my skin loves this mask. You can find it here.
My final face mask recommendation is a DIY product. This is specifically good for acne-prone skin, and it is the combination of plain oats, raw honey, and lemon juice. What I like to do is take a good spoonful of raw, plain oatmeal and grind it up with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can use a plain bowl and the hard back of a cooking utensil, or tear the pieces apart with your hands. The point is to grind the oats into really small, powdery flakes, so when we add hot water, it can be mashed into a paste. After the paste is made, add a bit of raw honey and lemon juice (I don't have exact measurements) and put this mixture on the face. I typically leave this mask on for about 15-20 minutes, and it does wonders for acne.
4. Serums and Oils
One of my longest used skincare products is The Body Shop's "Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil". This overnight serum is incredibly rich and hydrating, and my holy grail product in the winter, when the Minnesotan air wants to suck the moisture out of my skin. I've used this product on my skin, my hair, the dry patches on my elbows... I feel like everyone needs a good, "all-rounder" product. For some people, it's Elizabeth Arden's "8 Hour Cream", for others, it's Vaseline. This is my version. When my skin is feeling dry, I will also mix this serum with my foundation and wear it like that. It's a very versatile product. You can find this oil here.
I've also been using The Ordinary's "Lactic Acid Serum" for a few months now. I use this product once a day, right before bed. I like it because it leaves my skin feeling very clean. It is advised to be used at night, because the acid can make the skin tingle a bit, and make the area look red. It can also make the skin hypersensitive to sunlight, so it's not ideal for daytime use. I only use it at night, and I like the tightness and cleanliness it leaves my skin. It does feel a bit drying though, so I always put on moisturizer afterwards. You can shop this product here!
The only spot treatment I use for my acne is "Grease Lightning" by Lush. I've been using this product on and off for a couple of years, and it does wonders. "Grease Lightning" is a gel made with soothing products, like tea tree oil (a known acne combatant), witch hazel, and rosemary, and I love this product because it helps fight off acne, without using any harsh chemicals. Lush is a great brand to support because of how natural their products are. This is another product that leaves my skin feeling a bit dry, so it is usually my last skincare step before moisturizer. You can find it here.
I use the Perricone MD "Daily Brightening Moisturizer" twice a day. This moisturizer is creamy and smooth, and the pink tint helps combat that unflattering, white casting effect that some moisturizers have. It also has SPF 30, which is great. There isn't too much one can say about a moisturizer, but this one works really well. You can buy it here!
The eye cream I use is also by Perricone MD, and it's the "Cold Plasma Eye Cream." Maybe I'm simply too young to notice the results yet, but I've never had a holy grail eye cream. I like this cream- the cold plasma has a really pleasant cooling effect on the under-eyes, which I enjoy. But I'm too young to have wrinkles, so this is simply a preventative step in my skincare. I couldn't honestly comment on the long-term effects of this product, but it's definitely nice.
I will never recommend a lip balm more than The Body Shop's "Wild Argan Solid Oil Lips." It's 8 dollars (on sale for $5.60 right now), here's the link, GO BUY IT NOW. Got that settled? Okay, great. Welcome back! But seriously, this is the absolute best lip balm I've ever tried. It's thick, and moisturizing, and it lasts forever. I've been using the same tin of product since I purchased it last November. It's my best defense against the cold of winter, and the most effective thing I can offer my chapped lips.
7. Other Quick Tips For Problematic Skin
For immediate relief on a red, under-the-skin pimple, wrap an ice cube in a towel, and hold against the pimple for 10 minutes. This will reduce redness and swelling.
Apply Neosporin to combat acne scarring and scabbing. You might be surprised by how many marks on your face are no longer active acne- they are open wounds that need to heal. A bacterial ointment will help this.
Drink lots of water (duh).
Avoid the urge to mask every 10 minutes (I know this is hard!!!). The phrase "too much of a good thing can be bad" comes to mind. Just like over-washing your hair will strip all the good oils, the same principle goes for your skin. Over-washing and over-masking is counterintuitive. It will leave your skin raw, and dry- it's not a skin fix.
Try taking a biotin supplement- this is also good for the hair and nails!
STOP PICKING AT YOUR SKIN! I'm talking to me, too. Oops.
That is all of the skincare products that I use in my routine! All of these have been a part of my routine for a minimum of a few months, but most of these products have been with me for over a year. I'm a creature of habit, and I don't like to switch up products too often.
I'm sorry I didn't take individual product photos- I decided that there were simply too many items for me to take individual photos of every product. However, I did leave links for all of the products mentioned, so you can go check them out in more detail if you are interested! I hope this post was still helpful regardless.
Thank you always for reading!