My Skincare Routine: AM & PM
As I mentioned in my hair care post, I don’t consider myself a hair guru, though some would say I have a few secrets to share… Now skincare is something I’ve looked into pretty extensively. I had great skin all through puberty, but as soon as I graduated high school, I assume with the addition of college, self-inflicted eating habits, and a void of sleep, water, and ways to de-stress, I basically turned into a zit.
Fast forward 8 years later, and I can proudly say, I am the owner of an acne free face for the first time in years! I have done everything from getting routine facials, to changing my hydration habits, and today, I’m going to share what worked for me! Full disclosure, I am traditionally an oily mess. Like, crack an egg on my forehead and fry-’er-up at 3 PM oily. I also prefer to be low maintenance and not to create a huge fuss about my skincare routine, but I want nice skin, but I like to sleep in, but I can’t go to bed without washing my face--- you get it. I’m all over the place! I’m also just starting to show signs of aging like fine lines, so I’m really paranoid about getting on top of that. But I found that the skincare routine I finally fell into really worked for me, didn’t make me super high maintenance, and also doesn’t cost a fortune. It’s all about balance people.
I cannot even begin to express how crucial getting your 8 hours is, especially for my ladies who get bags and dark circles under their eyes, amiright?! Really, truly, try to get to bed at a decent hour to avoid those early morning routine killers, and your whole body will thank you!
Wash, Splash, Water Is Key!
If you’re a morning shower person, you’re probably already doing this...hopefully..ew. But if you’re not a morning showerer, like me, you wake up and have eye crispies, drool, and god only knows what else attached to your face after a night of sleep. Wake up and wash your face. Truthfully, I don’t use soap that early in the morning. I just splash some lukewarm water on my face and call it a good morning. Pat your face dry, and greet your day with a smile in the mirror!
Moisturize A Smidge
Directly after washing my face, I apply my daily moisturizer. Because I am oily, I prefer a get based moisturizer like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel, or Neutrogena Hyrdo Boost Water Gel. If my skin is going through a dry spell, like during the winter months, I turn to SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture or Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream for a little more product for your price. Again, I reeeeeally prefer a gel based moisturizer for my combo/oily girls out there. Apply all over your face and neck in an upward motion (you want to work against gravity at all costs).
That Sun Tho
I was a firm believer that I did not sunburn, but I’d never really considered the effects of everyday sun exposure until I met an older lady a few years back who, fairly apparently, took really good care of her skin, except her neck. Her poor, neglected decolletage was ripe as a raisin from years of sun exposure, but her face was well taken care of. She actually opened conversation with me casually (we’d never met), commenting on my skin and asking what products I used for contour and highlight. She quickly commented that she’d done her best to take care of her skin, and that she felt like she’d forgotten her neck her entire life. She kind of drilled it into me that SPF was what kept her face looking young, and her neck, well… not so young. Remember this sweet gal when you’re putting on your Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense or at least double checking that your daily foundation has some SPF in it, like Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup (my ABSOLUTE favorite for the last 5 years running, and I’ve tried to branch out!).
Makeup Primer Is Not A Joke
This is more of a makeup tip than skincare, but it felt so right. Don’t skimp on your primers people. My two favorites are Becca First Light Priming Filter or, for a crazy cheap alternative, try Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm. You’re going to have to trust me on this one. I have no idea what makeup artist I originally saw who announced this double duty product, but it does work wonders on as a man’s soothing aftershave balm, as well as a women’s primer (and moisturizer honestly).
Beat My Face
Only at this point in my morning will I step away from my routine for 10-15 minutes to eat breakfast, brush my teeth, and proceed to completing my makeup for the day. We’ll get into this routine later, but some side notes here are to: 1) always apply makeup with clean hands (visualize literally dragging and rubbing in bacteria all over your face. Ew!), and 2) get in the habit of washing your applicators (sponges daily, brushes at least every 8 weeks), or they can also spread germs all over your face. When people tell me “their makeup is breaking them out” the very first thing I ask is if they’ve washed their brushes within the last millenia. If not, get on it. Dawn dish soap for your disinfecting agent, and Johnson’s baby soap for a little scent and extra moisture, air dry completely before use (overnight at the very least).
Throughout The Day
I cannot reiterate how important it is to maintain your hydration throughout the day. This affects so many different parts of your body, but especially skin. I personally drain my 32 ounce Hydroflask (which I recommend getting used to carrying around ASAP) at minimum 4 times a day. I make it a point to drink at least one before 11 AM daily, one with lunch, one with dinner, and one before bed. That’s not counting any juices, coffees, teas, etc because those aren’t the same as water! When your skin is dehydrated it will appear dull, flaky, cracked, or plain ol’ ashy. Dry skin and dehydrated skin are not the same thing! So, if your skin is naturally dry, you don’t have anything to worry about so long as you monitor your hydration, but if your skin is lacking moisture because you’re not drinking water, imagine how your vital organs and systems that you can’t see are doing… Drink to thirst, and if you’re not a thirty person, I can promise from experience, that it comes with time. Over the last 2 years I went from a 16 ounce bottle a DAY, to 16 ounces every hour or two. Your body will adjust to the extra hydration, you’ll feel better, sleep better, and your skin will glow!
Make Good Choices!
Eating food high in naughty fats can absolutely have an affect on your waistline, so why not your skin? We all know that a diet of junk food and acne can go hand in hand, but you’d probably be surprised to know that there are studies that link an unhealthy diet to a variety of skin problems including dry, itchy, redness, and acne breakouts. From combating inflammation, to improving elasticity, the food we all eat each day plays a great deal into how we actually look! Try out a new cookbook that incorporates fruits and veggies into your everyday meals, like The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook (because I’ve never seen an overweight human being from the Mediterranean, and they don’t skimp on flavor!) As my momma always said when I’d leave the house every morning, “Make good choices honey!”.
Sweat Baby, Sweat!
Again, no big surprise here, exercise is beneficial to many parts of the body physically and mentally, so of course, that circulation will help your skin as well! Nourishing your skin with increased blood flow is a great way to get oxygen and many vital nutrients to your skin, and nasty waste products away from your skin and out of your body. Decreasing stress can also have a positive effect on your skin by reducing acne breakouts. Whether it’s at home or the gym, try to get in 30 minutes a few times a week! If you work out, just be sure to shower. Moist places can harbor bacteria and cause all sorts of problems, so wash off after your work it out!
Sloughing away dead skin the first step to seeing your glow! I love a good facial exfoliant like Origins Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser, and it smells SO good! Another good option is the Soap & Glory Scrub Your Nose In It Detox Scrub and it’s kind of minty and refreshing. I’ve always been told it’s beneficial to your skin to exfoliate daily, so I definitely do, but if you feel like the scrub you are using is leaving your skin dry or sensitive, feel free to try some other options out. I’ve had a rough run in with a few products because I feel like scrubs sometimes take it a step too far in their microbeads, so beware. Not all products are created equally.
Wash Your Face. Again. Again.
I have a personal 3 wash rule for days that I wear makeup, which are just about every day. The first wash is always with a mild soap just to remove my makeup. I prefer the Shea Moisture African Black Soap because it’s a big bar and lasts forever. Then, I exfoliate, see above for product references. My last wash of the evening is with whatever product I am using to resolve an issue at the time. I’ll switch up throughout the year using a moisturizing product, or acne resolver, but lately I’ve been in love with how Origins A Perfect World makes my skin feel, and it smells SO delicious and fresh. Never, EVER go to bed without washing your face, you will wake up to angry pores and crusty leftover makeup.
Ever Tried A Facial Brush… Ooooo…
I personally LOVE these gadgets, and I’ll use mine in lieu of exfoliating if I feel like I need a deep scrub. I use my Clarisonic Mia 2 a few times a week in addition to the 3 washes mentioned above and swirl in my final cleanser, whatever that may be. Give one a try!
Everyone Hates Toner
I have never been a fan of using a toner, mainly because I’d have to buy cotton rounds and I never felt like a toner did much but burned the first layer of my skin off. I switched to Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner and I finally use a toner nightly! Side note, this one actually feels replenishing, not just like I poured acid on my face and stripped my pores of all hydration.
Even though I am oily, I still always use a deep moisturizer at night time to hopefully aid my skin’s natural hydration, and cut down on the oil that needs to be made during the day. Again, if you’re giving your skin what it needs, it doesn’t have to work so hard! My go to for about a year now has been the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask.
Sundays are my religious “self-care” days where I do all the things I’ve neglected all week. Trim my nails, scrub my rough spots on my feet, pluck my brows, run a bath, and mask my face for whatever my current skin needs are. My ongoing love affair with Origins is pretty apparent because their products are no BS and work amazingly with my skin (not to mention, they all smell SO FRESH). If I don’t have any specific skin needs, I reach for Origins Original Skin. Using an old, clean, foundation brush, I apply this to a clean, dry face, and soak for 5-10 minutes. I’ll use this clay mask as my exfoliant and go about my normal routine after that.
Let It Breathe Sister!
Once a week, usually on a weekend, I try to let my skin get some air sans makeup. I feel like this helps me reset for the week to come, and my skin thanks me by being nice to me the rest of the week. Give it a rest, and wash your makeup brushes on this day!
Don’t neglect your lips! Every night before bed, I slather on an intense lip mask every night before bed and wake up to suuuuper happy lips. I really like the age old Vaseline Lip Therapy or Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask. These make gorgeous day glosses that last forever too!
And there you have it! I wouldn’t say this is a foolproof system, and you have to remember that your chemical makeup is drastically different than mine, your mom’s, or your sister’s. Try out products and see what works for you! Sephora oftem gives you a good size of free samples to take home and try out, that’s actually how I found the Origins exfoliant that I fell in love with. You may also notice that you don’t like certain products, and that’s okay too! Not every product or line was made for every person (a great example, I actually break out in hives when I use Philosophy’s Purity line, my skin just hates it!). But always go for samples before you invest in a tub of an expensive face cream that may not satisfy your personal skincare needs! Try before you buy always!