Skin Care 101: My Routine + Favorite Products for Glowing Skin
Okay so I am about to turn the curtains wayyy back for you and let you in on some of my little beauty secrets.
For most of my life I have been blessed with very easy skin (normal type, no major issues), and thus, a very easy (or lazy depending on how you look at it) skincare routine. However, in the past few years I have noticed my skin changing after long beach days in the sun, nights of too little sleep and depending on my diet and hormones. I’ve seen more breakouts, more dry patches, more dark circles, signs of aging, you name it.
So, in the last few years I’ve taken a closer look at my skin care routine and started to pay more attention and really hone my craft when it comes to my skin. I have seen results and overall it feels good to take care of yourself in this way. I love to turn things like this into a SELF CARE RITUAL and act of self-kindness. Once it became a habit I realized that this is a little part of the day that I truly enjoy and love to indulge.
My inspiration for caring for my skin is definitely my mom. My mom has always been a fabulous example of someone who has had a dedicated skincare practice since as long as I can remember. She has always paid close attention and it shows. People are always saying how great she looks and when we are together they say “what? You’re mother-daughter? I thought you were sisters!” She loves that one!
I believe that the key to [great] skin is actually a four part recipe:
1 part diet
1 part genetics
1 part lifestyle
1 part skin care products
Would you agree?
Three of the four elements are IN our control (while genetics are not). I’ll touch on diet and lifestyle in a Skincare 201 post down the line since there are soooo many good nuggets to share in those categories.
For now, here is my current skin care regimen now that I am paying a wee bit more attention to these things, and also a list of some of my favorite skin care products. Remember that skin care is SO individual, so learning about your skin is uber important to being able to properly care for it. You can visit a dermatologist, esthetician, facialist or naturopath to find out more about your skin type and concerns.
My skin type is normal/combination with hormonal and stress-related breakouts and some sun damage. My concerns (or focus areas) are around sun damage protection, cleansing, minimizing breakouts and helping my skin age gracefully. Here is my routine….
—- MORNING ROUTINE —-
Step One - Rinse face with warm water, massaging it into the skin. Then, finish with a splash of cold water to close the pores and also just give you a WAKE UP CALL. I only cleanse with a soap on my face 1x a day (at night). [i read in an article years ago and this trick has always stuck with me!]
Step Two - Apply a light layer of serum all over face and neck. My current favorites products are:
Buy: Amazon (or local drugstore)
Step Three - With ring finger, apply a light layer of eye cream around the eye area. I tend to look for hydrating and depuff-ing (is that a word?) products. My current fave:
Step Four: Apply a light layer of face cream all over face and neck. I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum(in Bisque) as a part of my everyday make-up routine that contains SPF 20 – so I’m covered there. But if you don’t use a tinted moisturizer with SPF, I recommend using a day cream with SPF to protect against sun damage. I love any of these depending on the season and if I am wearing make-up that day or not (for the SPF factor – gotta protect from those harmful rays!):
Summer Buy: Sephora
Winter Buy: Amazon
Buy with SPF: Sephora
Vitamin C Infused Buy: Bliss
—- NIGHT ROUTINE —-
Step One - CLEANSE – Rinse and massage a gentle foaming cleansing into the skin to remove make-up and dirt build up from the day. I only use cleanser/soap on my face once a day. My all time favorite (thanks to my sister for introducing me – i’m hooked!):
Step Two – TREAT – Use a mask(1x a week), peel (1-2x a week) or nightly treatment(daily) to regenerate skin cells, exfoliate, and boost collagen production. I am LOVE-ing:
Mask Buy: Bliss
Peel Buy: Sephora
Nightly Treatment Buy: Sephora
Step Three - Generously apply night cream to face and neck and decolletage area. My longtime favorite because it goes on silky smooth and has a light finish:
—- OPTIONAL ADD-ONS—-
Zit Zapper: I looooooove this product and have been using some type of DRYING LOTION for the past 10 years or so. Just dip a Q-tip into an unmixed bottle of drying lotion and dab on the first sign of a zit before bed, go to sleep, and wake up to the spot all dried up (and almost non-existent). I never travel without this product, it has been a LIFE SAVER!!!
Buy: Kate Somerville
Coconut Oil: This is one of my favorite beauty add-ons. I use coconut oil on a cotton swab to gently remove eye make-up before cleansing. I also keep it in a small lip balm container next to my bed and dab it around my eyes, on my lips and on my cuticles for extra moisture right before bed. You can also use this as a moisturizer (and hair mask – stay tuned for my homemade hair mask post!). I use the organic unrefined coconut oil that I keep in my kitchen pantry and just parse it out in travel containers that I get at the drugstore to keep in the bathroom and my bedside table.
On-The-Go: I love this Bliss Facial In-A-Box Kit and bring the sample-sized spa favorites with me when I am traveling, especially if it is for work and I know I’ll have time in a hotel room (I turn it into a spa!). This kit contains my favorite mask (from above), a gentle peel and invigorating moisturizer perfect for creating a spa facial experience at-home or when you’re away.
Sampling: When I was new to skin care I joined Birchbox, the monthly cosmetic sample subscription that sends a customized box of samples to your home each month. I love this service because it introduces you to a wide array of products that you can sample before you purchase. Skin care in general can be kinda pricey, so sampling is a great way to test the waters before jumping in. I have found so many of my favorite products that way!
—- SOME FINAL THOUGHTS —-
As you can see, I love variety. My general skincare steps remain the same, while I switch out the products here and there depending on the season or travel. I think it’s incredibly important to understand your OWN skin type, issues and sensitivities as well as go with brands that are research-based, trusted and use gentle ingredients.
It has taken me years to tap into this valuable information about my skin from looking at it, testing different products and giving it the care and attention it deserves. The best way to learn about your skin is to seek professional guidance from a dermatologist or your trusted esthetician, then bring that information with you when you purchase or try out new products.
There are other ways to care for your skin like GETTING LOTS OF REST, DRINKING A TON OF WATER and EATING FOR SKIN HEALTH that I will touch upon in Skincare 201…so stay tuned.