Thursday, August 2, 2018

My Skincare Routine (+ Tips for Saving on Skincare Products)

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There was a time, not so long ago, when I prided myself in the simplicity of my daily skincare routine. A simpler time. Uncomplicated: Cleanser, moisturizer, done. That was, of course, when I felt invincible against environmental factors, before the onset of visible wrinkles and dark circles caused by stress and lack of sleep, and all those other fun things that seem to crop up as soon as one turns 34 (and/or is living a perhaps too-frazzled life). As the birthday candles on my cake have increased in number, so has the intensity of my morning and evening skincare rituals – I'm not obsessive, I've just come to enjoy the ritual and process of it, and of course, the nice skin that comes with it. While it's no 10-step-Korean-double-cleanse-tango, it is definitely more involved. But it's also very much worth it, ever since changing a few things in my arsenal last fall, my skin has been considerably clearer and fresher looking. I'm not without the occasional breakout, but it's better. Much better.

Recently I've received several requests on Instagram to share my routine, so here we are. When we moved here in October last year, my skin was looking... haggard. After one final gross Philadelphia summer and the stress of moving (and some not-so-great food choices because of it), my complexion was congested and broken-out, and I was miserable. It took a lot of tinkering, but after several months my skin is back on track and frankly looking better than it ever has.

Along with the products and routine described below, two major factors that affect my skin are stress and diet. I'll be discussing both in separate posts because the topic is a big one. So while you read what follows, I ask that you keep the following two points in mind:

1. I am not a skincare expert, this is simply what works for me at this very moment in time. I'm happy with how things are going.

2. Stress and diet play a major role in the clarity and tone of your skin. You can use all the expensive products in the world, but if you're not taking care of your insides, it often (though not always) reflects on the outside. You gotta eat well and keep things moving.

Anyway, another post for another day. OK?

OK! Let's do this:

Oh... one more thing to keep in mind  I don't use ALL these products EVERY DAY. I swap 'em out! Some days I'll be feeling one product while some days I'll be feeling another. You gotta go with what moves you.

Morning:
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  • Cold water-only wash (usually – sometimes hot though)
  • Tone
  • Serums
  • Moisturizer (gel cream)
  • SPF
  • Lip Serum
Cleanser: I don't normally cleanse my face in the mornings, instead I'll typically just splash with cold water and pat dry. Occasionally I'll use the Jan Marini Bioglycolic Cleanser on my chin since that's where I tend to break out most frequently. This cleanser can also be used as a quick mask, so if I'm feeling especially congested, I'll leave it on while I brush my teeth.

Toner: Usually just a few sprays with this rosewater spray. But again, if I feel like I need more or if I'm trying to clear a breakout, I'll swipe on this witch hazel toner.

Serums: Always vitamin C and something with hyaluronic acid in it. The vitamin C brightens and hyaluronic acid plumps and helps retain moisture. Right now I'm loving this vitamin C serum (which I found at TjMaxx) and this serum from Coola that contans hylaluronic acid and also adds a hint of tan (also LOVE their sunless tan for what it's worth).

Gel moisturizer: This is a new one for me, prior to this I was using oil for daytime and didn't put two and two together that it was the reason why my makeup was always tired looking. Not anymore! I picked up this gel moisturizer from Origins and it's been a game changer. It makes my skin feel super hydrated and dewy.

SPF: Confession: I only recently started wearing SPF consistently. I know. Regardless of my shameful ways, I found two that I LOVE: This gel SPF primer from Coola and this mineral SPF from Biossance. Both work beautifully - switch 'em out depending on how I'm feeling and what I'm doing (SPF primer for low-key days and mineral SPF for days hiking or at the beach).

Lip serum: Yes, lip serum. Guys, I am OBSESSED with this serum from Odacite. It's made to diminish fine lines on the lips and provides a gorgeous cooling sensation. Yes, it's pricey, but it lasts forever and in my opinion, it works. I barely need lip balm anymore.




Night:
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  • Cleanse (with either oil cleanser or double cleanse with oil cleanser + Bioglycolic cleanser)
  • Tone
  • Serums
  • Moisturizer (oil)
  • Eye stick
Cleanser: At night, I use this oil cleanser from Biossance to remove my makeup and cleanse my skin. Depending on how my skin is feeling and the time of the month (I always get some problem spots before my period) I might follow that up with the Jan Marini Cleanser. I always, always remove my makeup and do my full skincare routine. It's a non-negotiable for me and has been since my 20's. 

Toner: Same as my morning routine (either this rosewater spray or this witch hazel toner).

Serum: In the evenings I'll usually use a serum or two that has some kind of AHA or exfoliant in it - right now I'm loving this vitamin A serum from Mad Hippie and I've also been using this AHA serum from Paula's Choice lately. 

Oil moisturizer: I'm a huge fan of oils for skin. I use Trader Joes coconut oil as a body moisturizer and after my serum soak in, I pat on one of three oils that I switch out: either this one from Biossance, which is fairly light, this rosehip oil from Trilogy, or this CoQ10 oil from Trilogy. Again, depending on my mood and the state of affairs on my face.

Eye stick: I learned of this eye stick from Evan Healy from a coworker and now I use it nearly every night. After my moisturizer has had a chance to soak in, I'll dab it around my eyes and sometimes swipe it over my lips for added moisture. It's super travel-friendly, too, so I always pack this with me when I fly for a little extra moisture (I fly with a clean face if the flight is over two hours - something I definitely recommend)

Lip serum: Before I hop into bed I swipe on the Odacite serum to moisturize my lips overnight.



Phew! That's "it" (it feels like a lot even though I know it's not). I understand a lot of these products are on the more expensive side, and I get that's not feasible for everyone, so I wanted to add a note about saving money on skincare. 

First, I guess I should say that most of these will last a full year for me. For example, I bought the Jan Marini cleaner back in October and I'm only about halfway through. 

Second, I'm a huge sale shopper. I purchased most of my Biossance products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and I always look out for the beauty sales at Whole Foods (they carry Ole Henrickson, Trilogy, Mad Hippie, Evan Healy, the rosewater spray and witch hazel). I'm also a Thrive Market member, where I'll occasionally pick up a mask or reup on rosewater or the witch hazel. When it comes down to it, knowing when to buy will save you a ton of money, and also purchasing from retialers that accept returns on beauty items in the even that a product doesn't work for you.

And finally, investing in products when you know it's worth it. Yes, that lip serum is expensive. But it lasts forever, and for me, it was a product I deemed worthwhile. Some people pay for expensive spin classes, I go to a $10 dollar gym and buy expensive serums. We all have our vices.

I hope this was helpful! Hit me up on Insta if you have any questions! XOXO

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